How to Download the Guild Wars 2 Beta Client - The Missing Tutorial

Updated Mon, Apr 30, 2012 by Shayalyn

Guild Wars 2 Engineer

UPDATE: It seems ArenaNet has heard the cries of many frustrated beta hopefuls and updated the beta landing page to make the less-than-obvious painfully obvious. But we hope our guide helped a few of you who were lost in limbo in the meantime.

So, you pre-purchased, and you've received your Guild Wars 2 beta invite. You figure that any minute you'll be downloading the beta client in preparation for the beta weekend event kickoff at noon Pacific time on Friday. You click the link in the invite email, accept the forum terms encouraging you to play nice, and then click the grayed-out "DOWNLOAD" link. Which doesn't do anything. Because it's grayed out.

What now?

You could cry, swear, email customer support, or spend several frustrating minutes trying to figure out where, exactly, you're supposed to get that beta client you've been told to download in advance to avoid the rush. Or you could let Ten Ton Hammer solve the problem for you. The problem is that, in your haste to download awesomeness, reading comprehension failed you and you missed ArenaNet's directive telling you where the actual download is cleverly hidden...under News & Announcements.

How to Download the GW2 Beta Client

  • Start by clicking that unobtrusively marked link in your invite email that reads "here." Go ahead and sign in.
  • You'll likely land on a page that asks you to accept the terms of the Guild Wars 2 beta forum. Go ahead and do that, because you're a nice person and you can promise not to be a jerk.
  • Forget about the big "DOWNLOAD" button--it's a lie. For the moment, it doesn't do anything because Guild Wars 2 doesn't yet have an installer. Instead, click on the "News & Announcements" link. (We know it doesn't really make a lot of sense, and it was even grayed out when we first encountered it, but trust us.)
  • Now, click "Getting Started." (Yay! That's an intuitive step!)
  • Follow the download instructions very carefully. Don't skip the step that encourages you to create a folder on your PC in which to install Guild Wars 2. On most operating systems and setups, you're also going to probably want to right click the exe file and select "Run as administrator."
  • Install. Patch. Check back for another patch before Friday, just in case. Then cheer, because the Guild Wars 2 beta client finally has a home on your PC.

That wasn't so tough, was it?

Okay, it was needlessly complex and a little aggravating, but you've done it. Treat yourself to a cookie and rest easy, comforted by the fact that ArenaNet specializes in making awesome games, not writing tutorials.

See you in the Guild Wars 2 beta on Friday, April 27 at noon Pacific time!

Strike One:
A game with no Official Forum.

Strike Two:
A game where the first quest is to figure out where the hidden Pre-purchase promise of BETA access is hidden.

Strike 3:
Any game that does not realize the first two strikes are FAIL cannot be expected to manage game updates, patches, game launch day, or anything else for that matter with reson, logic, and intelligence.

@ Mr MMO

Strike One:
Really? First off, you realize the place you are directed to download the beta client from is the 'Guild Wars 2 Forums' right? They're in beta themselves at the moment but I'm assuming the whole idea of being Guild Wars 2 Forums is to official forum.
Secondly, and this is my opinion, I know a lot of people like to get together and share experiences on official forums but lets be honest, most of it is to complain about this OP class or why they hate the game. You have other forums to share on too so you don't lose much without official forums.

Strike Two & Three:
You sound put out, or possibly slightly bewildered I'm not really sure.
You're judging an entire game years in the making on 1) something they have / are implementing and 2) your own failure at both reading and navigating the official forum you obviously really, really want. I admit it doesn't just jump out and bite you on the face or sparkle at you in giant glowing neon but the most it takes is having read the email and if lost, clicking the few links about the forum on the page you were linked to to find out where the Getting Started thread is.

TLDR: They have or are implementing forums, you got the beta client from them. Take time to read things through, you should probably never sign any legal documents. Not agreeing with you does not make anyone else fail.

World of Warcraft and games like it which give instant gratification for doing absolutely no work and reading absolutely no instructive texts have really produced some great players in MMOs and video games in general. You do know that in Guild Wars 2 you have to dodge and moving around while fighting an enemy is not only encouraged, but critical to in-game survival, don't you? I suppose those two little tidbits would also be strikes according to you.

don't play

Secret One: Its Beta Testing.
Secret Two: There are millions of fans out there who will do anything for Beta access and will at least put thrice the effort you put in reading.

Just give me your beta key.

Thank you for the download instructions and putting an end to my misery.

Thanks for the info!

Thank you so much for the instructions. First quest over. Now, I need help and you are possibly the only person who actually can figure things out! When I click on the download thingy, it only gives me the option to 'run' the program. I do not have the option to save it. I clicked run and it did its thing. Took many hours. Then I want back and clicke don the icon in my folder and it started to download it again. I tried right-clicking and it doens't give me the option to run as administrator. Please help me!


Think it was not going through the whole process again (as I thought first time) will go through need to update - Arena are continuously adding.If you wait a while you will see it complete quickly

Will do. Can't wait til tommorrow!

Thanks for this, I thought it didn't exist, that link when I received the email didn't go to any forums it went to an account page with an option that didn't work. Now I just have to be patient and wait for the downloader to stop fitting, its irritating how it downloads at 1.7MB one moment then is frozen, stuck at 0.00KB because the connection keeps dropping

The download keeps failing at 1,2, or 3 percent... I thought I was doing something wrong, but the folder I put the executable file in is not read-only and neither is the Gw2.dat. Also, I am on the administrator account. Right now I just think my computer is stupid, but I was wondering if there is anything else I can try to help this possibly work... Thanks!!!

I have this same problem someone please help.

"So, you pre-purchased, and you've received your Guild Wars 2 beta invite." you have to pre-purchase AND have received an invite? On the website they say you are guaranteed access if you pre-purchase the game, but not that you must also have received an invite.

If so that is massively misleading and a huge piss-off >:(

Most bizarre error I've ever come across - I downloaded, installed and patched GW2 into the folder I made for it. Now that folder is empty bar a .dat file and an empty folder called "Music", and GW2 is nowhere to be found.

I've checked every hard drive manually, run searches, checked my games folders, my downloads folders, my original GW folders, and I can't find it. It's definitely not where I put it and it doesn't seem to be anywhere else. I installed it, I ran the patcher - it worked! Now it's just... vanished?

What the hell?

Quest Two - Locate the missing GW2 files.

love downloading beta client with 5-100kbs... awesome.. and i should be (in theory) able to dl @ 1,8mbs.... grr.. guess im gonna miss the beta launch for todaymanaged to download approx 11gb out of 14gb?....

i had 5mb/s so idk lol

Actualy the download link was hidden. Many people couldn´t find it. I was searching that beta forum for 5min looking for BETA CLIENT big button but no. Just some type 8 font in the middle of page full of text about anything - voilá! Sorry but that was bad idea. Make page with big button called beta client and done. It would spare at least 10.000 fans to spam their twitter and facebook with question: "Where the hell is that download link?".

Has anyone in Europe who has pre-ordered actually receive the beta invite email yet?

I hope the answer is no as i havent :(


Anyone else having problems even accessing the 'here' link? It won't load...

Thanks for posting this. I couldn't find the link via intuition so i googled and found your instructions. I appreciate your time in making this so quickly :)

I per purchased and received an email , fat lot of good it was because for some reason it was in French . Managed to find the beta but after hours of downloading it stopped at 4 files left and isn't dou g anything now any ideas ..

am i the only one who pre purchased the game but didn't get invited to the beta??

Funny all this, I went the official website and hit the download beta button....
Don't make reference to World of Warcraft comparing Guild wars, there is no comparison, for
world of warcraft learn your classes learn to key bind learn to prioritize skill usage and then buy a backup keyboard for button mashing noobness.
Guild wars is and always has been skill based, but the only negative thing I can think of is Anets tendency to use their rather large nerfbat .

I can not down load the game client. Tried 3 times.
gets stuck on 99%, down loads almost 14 Gb, and nothing..
says there's 1 file left to down load but won't.

Am I doing something wrong? I can find no support to suggest this is a known error.

i am having the same issue... 1 file 37mb and its frozen =(

i am having the same issue... 1 file 37mb and its frozen =(

im completely lost here. i just downloaded the gw2.exe and followed the instructions, but when i double click it it only gives the option to run or to cancel, but when i press run it starts to bring up the page but then i get an error code and it says it crashed. it's happened every time ive tried to run the file. what do you recommend?

This article was written for the first Guild Wars 2 BWE. Since all of us have already downloaded and installed the client, I'm not sure how much help we can provide, but we'll keep an eye out for information.

I am having the same problem as another guy here. I downloaded 99%, 13.82075 gb, and now it is stuck. 2 files remaining. :( Please help

Thanks for the info but it wasn't really what i was looking for.

My problem is most likely because of my PC and not the company or anything else I am just looking for similar occasions just in case I am missing something.

So here it is... I start downloading the game and it freezes to 0% - 3%. I can do nothing to keep it moving. There is difference if I use the PC for something else or not it just freezes. I contacted Guilt wars Support Team but I think I will end up fixing my PC first before I play. T.T

Btw if you guys have any clue feel free to say it I am open to suggestions. :)

Please try getting assistance through

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