- Show All Enemy Names: Checked.
- Disable Closing Windows with ESC: If you’re using the ESC key to cancel casting of spells, then it might be a good idea to check this.
- Show Skill Recharge: Knowing how long it will be when a skill is available allows the player to predict what options they will have in the future. Recommendation: Checked
- Simple Party UI: For players that need real-estate on their screen for teleporting or ground targeted spells (such as Thieves or Mesmers), checking this may be a good option to open up clickable real-estate on the screen. If you leave it unchecked, you’ll be able to see all buffs and whether a player is in the same instance as you or not easily. It is automatically enabled in PvP matches.
- Show Simple Condition Floaters: This will turn off all graphics for conditions and simply show fountains of numbers coming out of a player’s head. Up to player preference.
- Rotation Speed: Slide to the right to speed up camera rotation. The faster you can turn, the faster you can see what is happening around you. Recommendation: Full Right.
- Position: Changes the angle at which the camera looks at your character. Recommendation: Middle (leave as is).
- Enable Camera Shake: Makes the game feel cooler. Makes it harder for competitive players to aim and track what is happening. Up to player preference. Competitive players will want to uncheck this.
- Use Free Camera: Used in many “tricks” like forward rolling or reversing leaps. Check only if your guide explains how to use this. Will make it so your camera stays where it is moved to by the left mouse drag.
- Ground Targeting: Recommendation: User Preference
- Normal: This is the default option. The area indicator is activated by clicking or pressing the skill hotkey and the actual skill is placed when you left-click or hit the skill hotkey again. For slower, but more precise targeting.
- Fast with Range Indicator: Similar to above, however works on skill hotkey press down and press up. Meaning the area indicator appears when you press the button, and is visible while you’re holding the button down, but when you release the key, the skill will activate in that location. Faster than normal, but may be harder to use while juggling combos.
- Instant: Instantly activates the AoE skill you press at the mouse location (If your mouse is on a UI element the location is at the player’s feet). Will cast the skill the absolute quickest, but only if the player knows the positioning and ranges. Line casting is a bit more difficult, but with practice can still be done; Elementalists using Frost Bow or Staff to line-cast should practice their combo in the Mists if need be. This setting and Fast with Range Indicator are helpful for Engineer’s using grenade kit as it halves the button presses required to throw a grenade, and is a very popular choice for thieves in structured PVP.
- Double-Tap to Evade: Having to hit a key twice to dodge is slow. Also it makes it hard to dodge in diagonal directions. Better to use the dedicated dodge key. Recommendation: Unchecked.
- Double-Click to Attack/Interact: Can cause accidental interactions. Up to player preference.
- Right-Click to Attack/Interact: Often causes accidental interactions with new players. Again up to player preference.
- Stop Autoattacking on Target Change: Can be used to “cancel” skills by tab targeting, clicking the ground to clear target, or using a hotkey to de-target. If unchecked, the player will continue hitting the target regardless of what is targeted (even if nothing is targeted). Up to player preference.
- Autotargeting: Many skills cannot be used for disengage when auto-target is enabled. For example
will take you back into the fight rather than away from it. Many WvW and PvP players use skills to get away from a fight. Even in PvE it is easier to travel through a map with this setting off. Recommendation: Unchecked
- Promote Skill Target: Prevents the Autotargeting option from changing targets after a foe has been hit. (Note: Targeting a harvesting node/ally when trying to use a skill on a nearby foe will change the target to that foe with this option on.) If you hit a group of enemies with AOE and this option is checked, the enemy you hit first will be targeted and will only change with player input. If unchecked your target will change everytime. If you use autotargeting (not recommended as you can see above) then it is recommened to check this. If you have autotargeting unchecked, then this option does not matter.
- Melee Attack Assist: Players will have “boundaries” which you cannot go through. Having to backstab a player by running around them is a waste of time compared to running through them. Makes boss fights harder in PvE too. Recommendation:Unchecked
- Team Colors: Can help players distinguish who is on the team and who is fighting against the team. Works in WvW and PvP. Optional.
- Standard Enemy Models: Only works in PvP Team Queue and Custom PvP Arenas.
Gallery of Standard Enemy Models
- Interface Size: Smaller will give slightly more real estate for ground targeted spells. Totally up to player preference.
Basically you want to play in a way that causes the least lag. Competitively speaking, lag can cause deaths or other failures. The number one method for increasing frames is to limit the number of frames that can be displayed. As explained above, set the Frame Limiter to 30 if need be. Otherwise the biggest factors to a player’s graphic performance is somewhat based on what they are doing. In heavily populated areas like WvW it is Character Model Limit and Quality (Both should be set to Low, Lowest, or a combination of the two). In the rest of the game it is usually Environment, Reflections, Textures, Shadows, Shaders, and Postprocessing. Adjust them to get a solid frame rate. The check boxes at the bottom also cause graphics issues for many players. (Some require a map change.)
These are explained for competitive reasons. Players will want to know what skills are being used, who is where (through walls even), and possibly identify players based on what they say (For instance an asura thief saying “Help me!” in stealth means they have been downed after using shadow refuge possibly and are now trying to revive themselves. Knowing where that sound came from can allow a player to cleave their location even in stealth.)
- Music: Unecessary clutter for competitive players. Slide all the way to the left to turn off.
- Environment: Also mostly un-needed for competitive players. Slide towards the left to lower or mute it’s sound.
- Effects: The most important sound for a competitive player. Slide to full right.
- Dialog: Can be helpful. On Battle for Khylo the speaker will tell you to “Get down!” when a trebuchet is firing on your position. Try a position between 25-75%.
- UI: Mostly helpful to know when you’ve been whispered. Experiment with this value between 0 and 100%.
- Player Instruments: Not an issue when playing competitively in PvP, could be annoying in WvW. Up to player preference.
- VOIP Ducking: Set to full right. This will keep the game’s volume as is when others are talking on TeamSpeak or Mumble.
Many professional PvP players will drop some keybinds and re-do others to reach them more efficiently. Commonly accepted is re-binding the turn keys (A and D) to strafe buttons, thereby unbinding Q and E. Players then use the right click drag to turn the character where they need to. Number buttons past 6 are hard to hit efficiently. Most easy keys to hit are Q E R F G X C V. It is also possible to set keys with combinators like Shift, Ctrl, and Alt. The goal is to keep all your important key presses within easy reach ofW A S D so you can continue to move and use your skills as needed.
There are many unbound hotkeys in GW2, many of them are useful and deserve a bind. Consider:
- Stow Weapons: you can use this option to cancel skill casting (doesn’t work with all types of skills, for example it won’t cancel movement skills). You can cancel skill such as
, or you can fake-cast to bait a dodge with skills like
. Also long cast skills like Arc Lightning on Scepter for Ele or Greatsword Autoattack on Mesmer can be cancelled to reduce Confusion damage taken. The same thing applies to fast hitting skills like Pistol Whip on Thief against retaliation.
- About Face: this turns your character around. It’s mainly used by Mesmers who want to
“forward” or Thieves that want to withdraw forward for movement. Let’s say you bind it to X, then you can press X ⇒ Phase Retreat ⇒X. Similarly for thief you would use mouse clicks on the screen with the combo; I.E. Left-Click ⇒ X ⇒ Withdraw ⇒ Right-Click during animation.
- Look Behind: Can be especially helpful to see if players are sneaking up on you. Also can be used to drop AoE skills behind you while running away. For example as an Engineer you can throw grenades while disengaging.