“Noob” FAQ

Guild Wars 2 is a big game. And it’s been around for over three years now. There’s a lot to know about it, and a lot of the time, the people who play it are so used to aspects of it that they throw out terms or concepts and expect them to be understood – even if those things aren’t explicitly explained in game. Hopefully, you’re in a guild that doesn’t mind if you ask “dumb questions,” but even if you are, you might not want to ask.

This guide aims to explain some of these concepts in detail. So, read on!


What is a shard/overflow/ip, and how do I “taxi?”

An overflow (or server, or shard, or ip) is an instance of a particular map. Maps in GW2 have a max capacity – if a certain one fills up, a new instance of the same map will be created to accommodate the extra population. These instances are the same place in-game, but may differ in certain ways. Some gathering nodes will be in different places (and may be harvested separately in each instance), and events may be in different stages of completion.

You can determine which overflow you’re in by typing the /ip command. It will return a line like this: “Ip address(es):” When people ask “what IP are you in?” they are generally referring just to the final two numbers before the “:0.” So, in the previous case, your IP would be 44.

There are a couple of ways to try to move from one overflow to another. The first, and most common way, is to “taxi” in on another player. When you and a party member are in the same map, but different overflows, one of you may join the other by right button clicking on their icon in the party (which will be greyed out) and choosing “Join in [whatever map you’re in].” This is called “taxiing” – the person whose overflow is being joined is the taxi. If you’re looking for a taxi (say, into a Silverwastes map for chest farming, or an organized HoT meta event), you can find them under the “Open World” category in the LFG tab.

Another method to change an overflow is by guesting. This is done when you want to find an empty map, or a map that your friends are not in. The best way to do this is by making sure you’re not in a party, and you’re in a low-populated guild (if you have a personal bank guild, this is ideal!). If you are in either of these, the game will automatically try to place you into an instance with your friends, which may not be ideal. Then, log out to Character Select, and at the bottom left, click “World Selection” and choose to Guest on your world of choice (I pick high-population ones). When you log back in, you may be in another IP. However, you cannot choose what IP you’re placed into.

The final way is when you receive a prompt to volunteer to move to a “more populated” map. It will grant you a small bonus as an incentive to move, and place you into a new instance of the map. Like before, you cannot choose what overflow you’re put into.


What is a “home instance?” Why do people invite me to theirs?

A home instance is an instance that’s your home! No, I’m kidding (sort of). In every racial city, there is a section of the city that is only accessible via an instance (the Hero’s Canton in Black Citadel, or the Salma District in Divinity’s Reach as examples). Each player has a version of this unique to them, and NPCs from your personal story will appear here. You can access your home instance (with the NPCs) in any city, not just the city of your character’s race. By default, if you walk up to the instance entry, it will take you into your personal instance. However, if you are in a party with someone else when they enter, it will prompt you to join their instance.

Home instances can be upgraded with various gathering nodes and other gizmos. The full list of home instance upgrades is here. People who have many of the upgrades will often invite other people to join when they go into their home instance, because everyone who enters the instance can benefit from the upgrades. With the exception of the Treasure Chest (obtained by completing the Treasure Hunter achievement), every node can be harvested by anyone who joins. This is an easy way to obtain the gathering dailies such as Ascalon Forager etc.


What is clearing my cache and why would I do it?

Clearing your cache is a general term that refers to removing unused temporary files. In this case, in GW2, clearing your cache can help if you’re experiencing very long Trading Post or Makeover Kit loading times.

Here’s how to do it (on Windows 7 & 8):

  1. Exit the game.
  2. Find your “Temp” folder. It will be at “C:\Users\{YourUserName}\AppData\Local\Temp” by default. You can access this by opening Windows Explorer and typing “%temp%.”
  3. Find your GW2 cache folder. It will begin with “gw2cache.”
  4. Delete the folder.

Next time you load up the game, you should experience less lag in Kits or the Trading Post.


What are PvP Dailies?

Technically this just refers to a particular category of available daily achievements. However, there are some players who own Custom PvP arenas, who participate in cooperative matches to complete the daily achievements. If you’re interested in this, you should search for “daily” or “dailies” in the Arena panel. Be sure to read chat, check the arena message, and follow rules.