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Guild Wars 2 for Mac is now Available for Free

This could be a game changer for the MMO genre. Guild Wars 2, one of the 20 best MMOs for Mac, just became completely free, for the most part.

While at the Penny Arcade Expo, developer ArenaNet surprised fans with the announcement that the core Guild Wars 2 is free to play. Free accounts will obviously have some limitations, but this is a smart move for a company that wants to attract more players just before they launch Heart of Thorns, Guild Wars 2’s first Expansion.

At least they are clear about it: “Our bet is that we still believe in buy-to-play, but all we want you to buy is Heart of Thorns“, said ArenaNet President Mike O’Brien.

Some of the limitations to free accounts are:

  • Less inventory space
  • A limit on how often they can begin whispered conversations with others
  • Not possible to send mail to other players
  • Will have to reach level 60 before taking part of the World vs. World mode

But much more importantly, you will have to purchase Heart of Thorns to take part of the brand-new raiding system. Guild of Wars 2’s raids will be a 10-player experience against extremely difficult bosses. Raids are nothing new to the genre, but ArenaNet aims to improve them and make them unique.

Guild Wars 2 Mac


Instead of watching UI bars move around (if you ever tried a 25-man raid in World of Warcraft with your guild, you know what I mean), you will have to stay focused on the action, including active combat, dodge-rolling and working with allies to perform combo attacks.

Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns will release on October 23. If you’ve never played Guild Wars 2 on you Mac before, this would be the perfect time to give it a try.

  • ikir

    Yeah but it is still a bugged, slow cider port.

    • Camilo López Cristoffanini

      A long lasting discussion!
      In my mac it works perfectly =P!

      • ikir

        But not for most since he forum was flooded by bugs and upset users, they even offered refounds.

        • Camilo López Cristoffanini

          Of course you’ll find more people saying that it did not work than it did, because people without problems won’t look at that part of the forum!
          But I admit that is divided!

          • ikir

            Sure i work in a support center and users just whine and blame. But anyway the forums was filled with rants, all my friends had problems we were about 6 players all quitted for bugs. Sometimes Arena net support replied that they haven’t any Mac to test the game on…. and cider files were configured badly… for example the gam ran better in Crossover!!!! THIS IS NO SENSE.

      • @ikir:disqus @cami_lopezcr:disqus What GFX card do you guys have?

        • Chris Tallant

          650GT. 2012 MBP. Works without issue.

        • Camilo López Cristoffanini

          An Intel HD 4000 graphics card, ZERO problems!

        • That leaves you @ikir:disqus, what brand is yours?

  • Camilo López Cristoffanini

    Awesomeeeeeeeeeee!!! Great news, I have downloaded it already and hope this weekend immerse myself several hours on it!

    • Let us know how it plays man!

      • Camilo López Cristoffanini

        It plays greatly with my Intel HD 4000 graphics card!

        • Good to know! I know someone is working on the gamplay video but always nice to hear that even slightly older Macs can handle it.

  • ikir

    Tried it yesterday, the game is more polished, they did a good job lately but the performance are not optimal. With high settings my Mac Pro drops frames… which is a joke considering i can run all other games to max setting like Bioshock Infinite. The gameplay is awesome like i remembered… but seeing still the “mac beta” icon on their client when they did not release a single OS X patch in years… Probably i will end buying Elder Scrolls Online 😀

    • OMG, coming from you these are good news indeed 😉 (the fact that performance went from awful to good)
      I do agree that their Mac support is sad, after 2-3 years nothing has been done. And I guess you’re right, better give your money to a developer that cares more about their Mac port (like Blizzard!).

  • mikelyons

    This is welcome news but as others have mentioned the means by which is was ported remains an issue for at least some related to performance. When I tried it previously, performance was abysmal even on low settings and resolution on mid-2011 27″ iMac with 12 GIGs RAM, 3.2 i5 CPU and the then top of the line Radeon 6970m GPU.

    • I can’t really vouch for this port as I haven’t tried it lately (last time was over 2 years ago). Many keep telling me that the game runs great on their Mac so I can only conclude that it depends on the graphics card.
      Anyway, we’ll see now that the game is free, more Mac gamers will try it and report if it’s better, worse or the same.

      Regarding the future of cider, only time will tell. Hope that Nvidia will see an interest there and at least keep it alive (ports aren’t the best, but I prefer a decent port than no port at all).

  • Mike Swat

    I just downloaded GW2 onto my iMac 24″ (mid 2007) 3GB ram, 2,4 Core2Duo, ATI 2600Pro 256MB and GW2 is very playable under MacOS El Captain. Settings are all on LOW but nothing other expected on this aged beauty ! a “new” iMac does not mean in the same time that it is better at gaming. like the ATI 2600 Pro got a better “GFX score” as the Geforce 9400 (who was build into iMac´s 2009 and Macbook´s 2013).

    • For a 2007 iMac, that sounds like a very good result 😉
      Glad to hear a slightly aging iMac can still kick some ass!