Is Guild Wars 2 Pay To Win?

One of the most popular free MMOs, Guild Wars 2 attracts a lot of attention from gamers who are interested in its unique living world and deep combat system. However, those who’ve never played this game might think the developers use a freemium model. After all, that’s what most free-to-play games do- the more you spend, the better gear you get.

So, is Guild Wars 2 pay to win? Depends on what you consider a “win” since this is an MMO in which there is no finite win condition and free players can easily get top-tier gear. Purchasing items from the gem store only provides quality-of-life improvements, and you can also buy all this stuff by exchanging the in-game currency.

Guild Wars 2 cannot be compared to something like Call of Duty or Rainbow Six Siege where the match outcome can be influenced by a player’s purchases. Power creep is less of an issue here compared to other MMOs and in PvP everybody has gear of the same level. In PvE, other people can’t attack you so their having legendary weapons (that you can grind for free) doesn’t affect your experience.

Is Guild Wars 2 Pay To Win?

Not really, since it doesn’t fit the definition of a game that you play to “win”. At its core, Guild Wars 2 is more of a life choice or profession for those who are truly engaged in its fantasy world. Even casual players pour hundreds, if not thousands of hours into it, and are still nowhere near exploring everything the map has to offer.

In a single-player game with monetized content that you purchase via microtransactions, you can buy a better weapon or armor. This gives you a direct power boost and helps you reach the final level or beat the endgame boss much more easily. But in Guild Wars 2 there is nothing that you can’t craft for free by simply gathering materials, as long as you have the right tools.

Here is where the nuance comes in- collecting and storing all these materials can be tough without a few upgrades to your account. You can purchase more storage space for crafting materials, share inventory slots between characters on the same account, get high-quality tools, etc. from the gem store. Of course, all this can also be purchased with the in-game currency you get just from playing.

 But only those with a paid account can exchange coins for gems. Worry not, you don’t have to buy the entire collection. Just purchase any one of the expansions, the base game itself is totally free.

Once your account gets the paid privileges, you can grind more coins and use them to purchase the remaining expansions. Or any legendary item of your choice. You can also get some excellent salvage kits and gathering tools that will help you on your crafting journey.

Can You Play Guild Wars 2 Without Paying?

Totally, the base game won’t cost you anything and you can download it from the official site right now. And here’s the best part- a while back, Guild Wars 2 arrived on the Steam store along with all of its expansion packs.

You should also know that existing accounts can’t log in via Steam, you need the original client. However, both Steam and ArenaNet players will be hosted on the same servers which means the only difference is in how you log in.

Is Guild Wars 2 Worth Playing?

Yes, if you value an MMORPG that has no subscriptions, a free base game, no gear treadmill, excellent combat, and a dynamic story with interlinked questlines. On top of that, the game has an excellent PvP mode where everyone is equal so you can’t really claim it’s pay-to-win. For instance, World vs World is a mode in which hundreds of players from multiple servers team up to fight an epic battle.

This battle spans several maps and goes on for one week. Your level and attributes will be dynamically adjusted to level 80, so everyone is on an even playing field. In PvE players can’t attack each other and grab items off of someone else’s body, this encourages them to team up and take down bosses so everybody gets a reward.

How Long Has Guild Wars 2 Been Free?

The base game became free on August 29, 2015- exactly 3 years after its release in 2012. The developers were facing stiff competition from other MMORPGs and realized that they needed some drastic changes in order to make the game interesting for new players. Even before going free-to-play, Guild Wars 2 never had a subscription plan which differentiated it from other big MMORPGs like World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy.

How Many GB Is Guild Wars 2?

Guild Wars 2 takes up around 64GB of space on your hard drive if you install it via Steam, and approximately the same if you download it from ArenaNet. Ideally, you want 70GB or more of free space on your PC so you won’t run into performance issues. Having the game on an SSD is quite beneficial for loading times.

How Many Active Players Does Guild Wars 2 Have?

If you check on Steam, the numbers look quite dire at just 3400 per day on average and peak at 5600. However, that’s not where the majority of the Guild Wars 2 player base lies. Because ArenaNet doesn’t directly publish official data on things like MAU, DAU, etc., third-party databases must be used.

Estimates range from 300,000 to 500,000 monthly active users. As for the total number of accounts, this forum post from 2022 estimates it to be 16 million. As that’s the number that was displayed on the Guild Wars 2 landing page back then.


I hope this article helped you learn more about Guild Wars 2’s business model and how player-centric it is. The base game is entirely free and you can easily grind top-tier items within a relatively short period of time. Crafting legendary items is made a lot easier with a few purchases from the gem store, but if you’ve got a paid account you can exchange coins for gems.


As long as I can remember myself I always enjoyed video games. I had amazing moments playing them and that's why I became a game developer, to create amazing experiences for the players. Read More About Me

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