Troubleshooting Black Screen and Client Launch Issues

If the game won't launch or you're facing a black screen, it's time for troubleshooting. In this guide, we'll give you easy solutions to get past these problems and back into the game ASAP. Let's dive right in and fix those issues!

  • Before troubleshooting further, ensure that your device meets Guild Wars 2's minimum requirement by checking this article: Minimum System Requirements.
  • If you have multiple graphics cards, it's worth checking if your dedicated or stronger GPU is utilized when launching Guild Wars 2.
    • For example, laptops often feature a dedicated GPU (like Nvidia GeForce or AMD Radeon) and an integrated GPU (such as Intel HD Graphics). Some AMD CPUs are paired with built-in integrated graphics alongside dedicated graphics cards. To verify this, please follow this guide: Verifying Dedicated GPU Usage.

"-Prefreset" Reset in-game settings

If you encounter a situation where the game launches, background music plays, but only a black screen is visible, it's likely due to incompatible graphics settings being applied previously. To address this issue, you may need to reset the in-game settings using the "-prefreset" command argument.

Follow these steps to reset your in-game settings:

  1. Right-click on your Guild Wars 2 shortcut and select 'Properties'.
  2. In the 'Target' field, you will find the location of your Guild Wars 2 executable file, for example:
    • "C:\Users\Username\Desktop\Guild Wars 2\Gw2.exe"
  3. Add "–prefreset" after the closing quote mark, preceded by a space. Your target line should look like this:
    • "C:\Users\Username\Desktop\Guild Wars 2\Gw2.exe" -prefreset
  4. Launch the game using this modified shortcut.

If the issue is resolved, you can then remove the "-prefreset" string from the target line in your shortcut properties.


Windows User Permission & Force Run as Admin

Ensure that the current Windows user being used has all permissions set to “Allow” and that the client is always running in administrative mode:

  1. Locate the Guild Wars 2 (1) game file folder:
    • Right-click your Guild Wars shortcut and select 'Properties' > 'Open File Location.'
    • For Steam users: Right-click Guild Wars 2 in your Steam library, then select 'Browse' from 'Installed Files.'
  2. Find the ‘Temp’ (2) & ‘Guild Wars 2 - Roaming’ (3) folders:
    • Press 'Windows key + R' on your keyboard.
    • Type '%temp%' & ‘%appdata%’ 
      • The folder locations should look like this:
  3. Check folder permissions:
    • Right-click all of the three folders located above then select 'Properties.'
    • Go to the 'Security' tab > 'Permissions for (#Your Windows username#).' Ensure all settings are set to "Allow.”                             
  4. Locate 'Gw2-64.exe':
    • This can be found within the Guild Wars 2 folder from step 1.
  5. Force it to run as admin:
    • Navigate to the 'Compatibility' tab > enable 'Run this program as an administrator.'

Exempting ‘Gw2-64.exe’ client

Ensure that the client is allowed and exempted on your firewall. To do this, please follow the steps below:

  1. Locate the ‘Gw2-64.exe’
  2. Add the client to the list of ignored or allowed programs within your Windows firewall software, or any other security software installed on your computer.
    • For instructions on how to allow apps through Windows Firewall, you can refer to this article “Creating a Firewall Exception” for detailed guidance.

If you're using other security software, such as antivirus or standalone firewall programs, it's recommended to consult the support documentation provided by the respective software vendor. Look for articles pertaining to tasks like 'Adding exceptions' or 'Allowing an app' through the firewall, which should provide the necessary steps to resolve the issue.


If All Else Fails, Contact Support!

If you’re still having problems after an hour or two of waiting, please submit a ticket so our Support team can assist you further.