Authentication (also known as "two-factor authentication") is an extra layer of security that prevents unauthorized individuals from accessing or tampering with your ArenaNet account. An account protected with an authentication tool not only requires the correct login email and password to access, but requires a unique security code whenever a login attempt is detected from a new location or unknown network. This gives you total control over when and where your account is accessed, and alerts you if it's ever from a place you don't recognize.
Your security code is delivered via one of two authentication channels:
- Authenticator App: This type of authentication uses a downloadable app—such as Google Authenticator—on a device such as a cell phone or tablet to deliver your security code.
- SMS Authentication: This type of authentication sends your security code via text message whenever a login is detected from a new or unknown network.
Once you’ve verified a new network with a code, you can mark and save it as a “safe” network where you play often (such as in your home) or use it as a temporary network (if playing from a hotel or school campus), which will be forgotten at the end of your session. In doing so, you’ll not only begin building a list of the networks where you play regularly, but will prevent anyone from accessing your account outside of those approved networks.
Please note: The option to add account authentication within the Account Management page of your ArenaNet account is not available for Guild Wars 2 Steam accounts. Please visit Steam to review any options they offer concerning authentication for your Steam account.
Benefits of using Authentication
There are three big benefits to using authentication:
- Free Unlock: Mini Mystical Dragon! As a thank-you for helping keep your account safe from account thieves and gold sellers, you'll unlock a free Mini Mystical Dragon when you enable authentication on your account! This in-game item is available exclusively to Guild Wars 2 players who add authentication to their accounts.
- Security: A password isn’t enough to protect your account in the digital age. Account thieves have access to massive databases of email and password combinations stolen from sites all over the internet, purchased from shady vendors, or stolen through malware. An SMS or Authenticator App adds an extra level of security that helps protect your account.
- Account Recovery: If you ever forget your password, you can use your authentication code to prove you’re the rightful owner of the account and reset your password—even if you’re trying to log in from a new network!
Adding an Authenticator
How do I setup authentication on my account?
If you’re creating a brand-new account, you’ll have a chance to choose and add an authentication tool during the registration process.
If you already have an account, you can add authentication at any time on your account management page. Navigate to the Security section, where you can select the type of authentication you’d like to use. Follow the steps provided on the page to add it to your account.
What types of authentication are available?
You can choose between two forms of authentication to protect your ArenaNet account:
This type of authentication sends your security code as a text to a cell phone. Note that alternate phone services like landlines, Skype or Google Voice will not work with this method.
See our article on SMS Authentication for more information.
This type of authentication uses an application installed to your cell phone or tablet to deliver your security code. Google Authenticator is the most popular app that works with Guild Wars 2, though you can use any app that supports the TOTP/OATH standard (IETF RFC 6238).
See our article on the Authenticator App for more information.
What if I have problems getting authentication to work, or need to remove it from my account?
Depending on which authentication tool you’re using to protect your account, visit the article (below) for additional installation or removal steps: