GW2 packet loss: What is it and how to fix it?

Vlad Constantinescu
by Vlad Constantinescu
VPN Expert & Privacy Advocate
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  • GW2, short for Guild Wars 2, is a popular MMORPG published by NCSoft and ArenaNet. It gathered a lot of traction in the past few years and still has it going on.
  • In GW2, packet loss behaves the same as for any other similar online game. It happens whenever the packets that you send/receive never make it to their destination.
  • Check out our best VPNs for GW2 that can improve ping.
  • Visit our Gaming Hub to discover more awesome reviews, guides, and tips & tricks.
Packet loss in GW2
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GW2, short for Guild Wars 2, is a popular MMORPG published by NCSoft and ArenaNet. It gathered a lot of traction in the past few years and still has it going on pretty good, considering it’s been released eight years ago.

The environment of the game is vividly colored, vibrant, and encourages you to explore it. Compared to other MMORPGs, the combat system also feels like a breath of fresh air.

Also, GW2 has an interesting life state system. You can be either alive, downed, or defeated. If your character’s health points drop below zero, it doesn’t immediately die but enters the downed mode.

You get a special set of skills (downed) that you can use to fight for your life. If you succeed, you’ll regain your life. So much blabbing about GW2’s life state system for a packet loss-based article, but guess who got excited?

What is packet loss in GW2?

In GW2, packet loss behaves the same as for any other similar online game. It happens whenever the packets that you send/receive never make it to their destination. It sounds worse than it actually is since packet loss usually fixes itself.

As a byproduct of network congestion, packet loss is more often than not no more than a nuisance. It triggers other issues such as high ping, jitter, rubberbanding, trouble interacting with your inventory, and even disconnections.

If you can take some time off, that’s the best way to tackle packet loss, especially if it’s occasional and doesn’t last for long. However, if you start to notice a pattern, that’s when things get complicated.

How to check packet loss in GW2?

  1. Navigate to your GW2 folder
  2. Right-click the GW2.exe file and select Create Shortcut
  3. Rename the shortcut to something relevant (e.g. GW2 Diagnostic)
  4. Right-click the shortcut
  5. Choose Properties from the context menu
  6. In the Target field, append -diag at the end of the text
  7. The end of the field should look like GW2.exe -diag
  8. Click OK
  9. Run the GW2 Diagnostic shortcut (or however you renamed it)
  10. Click the View Results button to see the test results

Note that even if you close the results, the Diagnostics tool creates a NetworkDiag.log file and saves it automatically to your PC. It’s in the same place where you can find your GW2 screenshots.

Results of pathping

The test results should look something like the screenshot above. Note that you’ll have hops along with their ping value and packet loss percentage. If there’s any packet loss, the Diagnostics will reveal it.

Normally, you can check for packet loss with Windows’ built-in pathping tool. However, GW2 made it all easy for you by embedding the diagnostics tool within the game files.

Important note: GW2 must be running in order for the test to run successfully.

GW2 packet loss fix

1. Use a VPN

  1. Download Private Internet AccessPIA GW2
  2. Install it on your computer
  3. Launch it
  4. Log into your PIA account
  5. Connect to a fast server of your choice
  6. Launch GW2
  7. Run the test above to see if the problem still persists

Private Internet Access is a great VPN service brought to you by Kape Technologies. It can easily bypass any packet loss situation you encounter, but there’s a catch.

Using a VPN will only work if the packet loss is caused by your ISP. Whether from improperly routing the network or limiting your bandwidth, if it’s ISP-related, VPNs can improve packet loss in this situation.

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On the other hand, even if it’s not 100% able to fix your packet loss issue, having a VPN is useful in so many other ways. For instance, it can circumvent geoblocking, boost your online privacy, and secure your connection.

2. Troubleshoot your connection manually

  • Reset your router and/or modem
  • Switch to wired instead of Wi-Fi (Wi-Fi causes packet loss frequently)
  • Reboot your computer
  • Try connecting straight to your modem/home line
  • Make sure software isn’t blocking the game server’s attempt to communicate with your computer
  • Check/replace/update/repair any faulty components on your home network (PC, router, cables)
  • Call your ISP if there seems to be an issue on their side
  • Contact GW2’s support team if there’s something wrong with the game server
  • Avoid peak hours

GW2 packet loss can be easily detected and fixed

To sum it up, if you’re having issues with packet loss in GW2, you can easily perform a check by using the game‘s diagnostic tool. This tool performs a traceroute and shows you ping and packet loss for each hop in the connection.

Packet loss is usually triggered by network congestion, which can be bypassed by merely waiting it out. However, if the underlying cause is not congestion, you might want to perform some manual troubleshooting or turn to a trustworthy VPN.

Keep in mind that using a VPN won’t work all the time. In fact, in order for this fix to work, the packet loss situation must be caused by your ISP, whether by improperly routing the network or throttling your bandwidth.

FAQ: Learn more about GW2 packet loss

  • How to check for packet loss in GW2?

You can perform a packet loss test by using the game‘s embedded network diagnostic tool or use the Windows pathping tool.

  • What is the best VPN for GW2?

If you want to improve your online privacy and lower your ping, check out our best VPNs for GW2.

  • Can VPN improve packet loss?

Certainly so, you can improve packet loss using VPN, but only if the issue is on your ISP’s side (bandwidth throttling or improper routing).