What to Do if You Keep Dying

Photograph of old weathered tombstones

Frustrated by how often you die in Guild Wars 2? There are many possible causes and solutions. Check out our top suggestions on how to improve your GW2 survivability, so that you spend more time enjoying yourself, and less time grinding your teeth while you check the map for the nearest waypoint.

Re-Roll Your Character

Maybe you would do better with a different class, or just a different approach to your current class. For example, if you have been flinging yourself into the thick of it with a melee Warrior, maybe you want to switch to a class that does well with ranged attacks, like Ranger or Mesmer. Or if you are a light armor class like Thief, maybe you want to try a heavy armor class like Guardian.

If you just want to try a more optimized build for your class, we recommend the Snow Crows builds.

Understand Level Scaling

When you enter a zone at a level lower than your character’s, your character’s level will be scaled down accordingly. This means that if you take a maxed-out level 80 character to one of the starting areas, you will be scaled down to level 1-15, just like everyone else.

Guild Wars 2 interface with arrow pointing to your real and effective level in a scaled map

Level scaling creates an even playing field. But it can also be a surprise to players who aren’t expecting it. You may think you’re a level 80 badass, but if you wade into the middle of that pack of level 6 bandits, you might just get your ass handed back to you on a plate.

Check the lower left-hand corner of your screen to see if level scaling is in effect. In the image shown here, a level 54 character is being scaled down to level 5.

Update Your Armor and Weapons

As you progress your character up to level 80, be sure to keep their equipment up to date. It’s easy to let this slip. Next thing you know, you’re a level 65 character wearing a bunch of level 12 junk.

While you’re at it, make sure to repair your gear whenever it gets damaged. Damaged and broken gear doesn’t work as well. Repairing is free, and you can find repair benches in all major cities and many of the smaller outposts.

Practice Dodging

The dodge is arguably the most important move in Guild Wars 2. V is the dodge key by default. You can also dodge by double-tapping a movement key (W, A, S, or D) to dodge in that direction. This ability can be turned off and on through the Options menu.

Whenever you find yourself in a red circle, dodge out of it! They can’t kill what they can’t hit.

Break Line of Sight

Most enemies will stop attacking you if you break their line of sight (LOS). You can do this by running around a corner or hiding on the other side of a rocky outcropping. If you can break their line of sight, it will give you at least a few seconds to recover before you continue the fight.

Learn to Pull Mobs

It’s easy and fun to just charge right into a huge mob of enemies. But it’s not always the best idea. Even experienced, high-level players get killed when they get attacked by too many enemies at once.

Start by picking a target on the edge. Use a ranged attack to hit them and draw them out to you, without luring out the entire group. Deal with one enemy at a time this way, and you will avoid being swamped. This is called “Pulling” and can be a true lifesaver.

Learn the Controls

Many beginning players use the WASD keys as their entire movement control. Learn how to use the mouse to control your character. It will give you MUCH better, faster, more responsive control of your character.

Trivia: As a beginning player, I didn’t even know you COULD use the mouse to move your character. I remember being particularly frustrated when moving underwater. The only way I could figure out how to go up was to keep tapping the spacebar to “jump” upwards. It doesn’t work very well. I don’t recommend it!

Don’t Overthink It

I often see players get all caught up in trying to learn “the rotation,” the optimal combination of attacks for their character and build. Don’t sweat it! 95% of your PvE gameplay can be handled by clicking 1, and acting sensibly.

Photo by Peter F. Wolf on Unsplash

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