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GW Properties
An example of a shortcut properties window. Click to enlarge

Command line arguments are used to change/set a program's behavior during start-up. Guild Wars game client (Gw.exe) supports several arguments that you can use for troubleshooting, convenience, or fun. You can specify these arguments from a command prompt or you can put them into the shortcut that launches the game if you intend to use them all the time.

To set your shortcut to use an argument every time you launch the game, you can right-click on the Guild Wars shortcut and choose "properties." In the properties window, look for the text box labelled "target" with the path to where Guild Wars is installed on your hard drive (e.g. "C:\Program Files\Guild Wars\gw.exe"). Add the necessary parameters after the target path. If the path contains spaces, it may be enclosed in quotation marks. If this is the case, add the parameter after the closing quote.

By default, your install directory is "C:\Program Files\Guild Wars\Gw.exe". Users on 64 bit windows have a default install directory of "C:\Program Files (x86)\Guild Wars\Gw.exe"

Gw.exe switches and parametersEdit

-bmpEdit

This tells the game to save screenshots in BMP format rather than JPG. Use this tag to maintain maximum image quality in your screenshots.

"C:\Program Files\Guild Wars\gw.exe" -bmp

-characterEdit

The character name you provide with this option is auto-filled in the login screen. The name must be surrounded in double quotes. Combine this option with the -password & -email options for logging in automatically. When you use this option the specified character is the default character on character select screen; otherwise the default character is the last one you played.

Warning Putting your personal information in a shortcut or a batch file makes it easily accessible to everybody with access to your computer. Never use this option if you are sharing your computer with other people whom you do not trust.
"C:\Program Files\Guild Wars\gw.exe" -character "Mhenlo The Healer"

-diagEdit

Launches ArenaNet's diagnostic utility that will inspect the computer and write a detailed report into a text file named NetworkDiag.log in the directory where the executable file is installed. The report includes some useful information about the system which may be helpful for troubleshooting, especially when contacting ArenaNet support with a technical problem.

"C:\Program Files\Guild Wars\gw.exe" -diag

-dsoundEdit

Use the previous Audio engine (Microsoft DirectSound).

"C:\Program Files\Guild Wars\gw.exe" -dsound

-dx8Edit

Since the game update on March 23, 2006, the game engine uses DirectX 9 by default. This switch is provided for backward compatibility for users with older graphics cards that do not fully support DirectX 9. Using this switch will force the game to use the older DirectX 8 framework.

"C:\Program Files\Guild Wars\gw.exe" -dx8

-emailEdit

The e-mail you provide with this option will be used in the login screen. Combine this option with the -password & -character options for logging in automatically. You can also create different shortcuts for different accounts so you can switch between them without having to re-type the e-mail addresses or passwords.

Warning Putting your e-mail or password in a shortcut or a batch file makes it easily accessible to everybody with access to your computer. Never use this option if you are sharing your computer with other people whom you do not trust.
"C:\Program Files\Guild Wars\gw.exe" -email email@example.com

-fpsEdit

Perf monitor

Used to limit the maximum frame rate that the graphics will be rendered for testing or troubleshooting purposes. Note that setting the frame rate for a value higher than what your system is capable of will have no effect. The engine already renders the graphics at the highest frame rate that the computer can handle.

"C:\Program Files\Guild Wars\gw.exe" -fps xx
(where xx is a numeric value such as 30 that specifies the frame rate limit.)

-imageEdit

Guild Wars client is designed to download the streaming updates in the background or when needed, in a way that will not much interfere with the user. This, however means that when a large-scale update is released, users may be required to wait while necessary files are downloaded and decompressed upon entering a new zone. With this switch, you can force the client to download and decompress all the pending updates on start up so you will not have to wait while entering a new area or mission.

Quest The client, when started with this switch, will exit immediately after it is finished with the download and decompression. Do not use this switch in your regular game shortcut. Either use this switch from a command prompt when necessary or make a new shortcut and name it something like "Update Game".

"C:\Program Files\Guild Wars\gw.exe" -image

Check online forums for the common current size of a gw.dat file, and if yours is much larger, you might want to delete your gw.dat file and then run gw.exe with the -image command. This will usually result in the smallest possible file size for a complete install. The download plus decompression time can take anywhere from 1 hour on a fast system with broad band internet access to several hours. This approach is NOT recommended for dial-up users.

-mceEdit

Sets Media Center Edition compatibility mode.

"C:\Program Files\Guild Wars\gw.exe" -mce

-muteEdit

Similar to -nosound, the difference being that -nosound sets the volume to 0, while -mute completely shuts off the sound engine in GW.

"C:\Program Files\Guild Wars\gw.exe" -mute

-noshadersEdit

Disables shader support for 3-D rendering. Can be used to improve performance with older graphical boards or for troubleshooting.

"C:\Program Files\Guild Wars\gw.exe" -noshaders

-nosoundEdit

Disables all sound effects and music by setting the volume to 0. Mostly to be used for troubleshooting.

"C:\Program Files\Guild Wars\gw.exe" -nosound

-nouiEdit

Disables the graphical user interface. The effect is the same as pressing CTRL-SHIFT-H within the game, however, if you start the program this way, you will not be able to turn the interface back on until you close the game and start it again without this switch. Since the interface elements will not be shown, you may not be able to login or select a character. This was designed to use Guild Wars as a fancy screensaver.

"C:\Program Files\Guild Wars\gw.exe" -noui

-passwordEdit

When the game is started with this option, you will not be required to type your password in the login screen -- the password you provide here will be used automatically. This password will also be used right after you log off (pressing F12 key, by default). Combine this option with the -email & -character options for logging in automatically.

Warning Putting your e-mail or password in a shortcut or a batch file makes it easily accessible to everybody with access to your computer. Never use this option if you are sharing your computer with other people whom you do not trust.
"C:\Program Files\Guild Wars\gw.exe" -password xxxx (where xxxx is your actual password)

-perfEdit

Using this switch will enable the game to display performance statistics during play. For more information see the Frame rate article.

"C:\Program Files\Guild Wars\gw.exe" -perf

-repairEdit

This switch will repair the registry entries needed by the program to run properly. It should only be used when the game thinks it is not installed on the computer (due to corrupt registry settings or moving the installation directory) and brings up the installation dialog on start-up.

"C:\Program Files\Guild Wars\gw.exe" -repair

-sndasioEdit

Use the (FMOD) sound engine with the low latency ASIO driver.

"C:\Program Files\Guild Wars\gw.exe" -sndasio

-sndwinmmEdit

Use the (FMOD) sound engine with the Windows Multimedia driver.

"C:\Program Files\Guild Wars\gw.exe" -sndwinmm

-updateEdit

Update function which is mentioned on the official wiki. Because it uses the CDs, if you installed GW from them, it is better to use -image.

"C:\Program Files\Guild Wars\gw.exe" -update

-uninstallEdit

This switch will instruct the game to remove itself from the computer. Under normal circumstances, users are recommended to use the Add/Remove Programs from the Windows Control Panel to uninstall the game.

"C:\Program Files\Guild Wars\gw.exe" -uninstall

-windowedEdit

Normally, the game will remember the full-screen/windowed state from when it was last shut down. For example, if the game was in full-screen mode last time you quit, it will start in full-screen mode the next time you launch. This switch forces the game to start in windowed mode on start-up regardless. Note that this will not prevent switching to full-screen mode afterward: you can simply hit the maximize button on the upper right corner of the window to switch to full-screen mode. Also the key combination Alt-Enter toggles between full-screen/windowed states.

"C:\Program Files\Guild Wars\gw.exe" -windowed

Unusable or Unknown switches and parametersEdit

-authsrvEdit

"C:\Program Files\Guild Wars\gw.exe" -authsrv xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx
Where xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx = the IP address (ex 127.0.0.1)

Changes the server where the GW.exe application connects for authentication. Most likely used by testers or beta/development servers.

-exitEdit

Unknown

"C:\Program Files\Guild Wars\gw.exe" -exit

-mapEdit

Unknown

"C:\Program Files\Guild Wars\gw.exe" -map

-portEdit

Unknown

"C:\Program Files\Guild Wars\gw.exe" -port

-resetmapEdit

Unknown

"C:\Program Files\Guild Wars\gw.exe" -resetmap

-sndfastbufEdit

Use the new (FMOD) sound engine with fast buffer (?) parameter.

"C:\Program Files\Guild Wars\gw.exe" -sndfastbuf

Examples Edit

Full Autologon Edit

These options allow you to logon automatically, skipping the need to type credentials when you connect to ANet's servers:

"C:\Program Files\Guild Wars\gw.exe" -email gwikicontributor@gw.com -password AvoidWeakPass -character "Mhenlo The Healer"
Reminder: you must use quotation marks around the character's name (so that gw.exe keeps looking after each space).

Geek out Edit

These options start the game in windowed mode and show performance statistics on-screen during the game:

"C:\Program Files\Guild Wars\gw.exe" -windowed -perf

Update and/or repair Edit

This non-intuitive switch grabs updates (if needed) and repairs gw.dat (if needed):

"C:\Program Files\Guild Wars\gw.exe" -image
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