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A target is any potential recipient of a skill or attack. The current target is also sometimes called the current selection. A target could be a foe or ally.

How to target

There are various ways to pick a target:

  • Click the target with your mouse pointer
  • Target using the keyboard and these potential targets:
Default Targets...
T Last Called Target
F Self
V Closest NPC
(including party henchmen)
C Closest foe
Next foe
Previous foe

Targeting using next/previous

Using the keyboard (or programmable mouse-clicks) can be very helpful in selecting targets quickly and accurately. However, cycling through a long list of names can be maddening during a heated battle; spend time practicing on less challenging foes to perfect the technique before trying it in Hard Mode or in missions with other players.

Mechanics: Each time you use C to target the nearest foe, the software figures out a list of foes, in order of closest to farthest. Next (] or [Tab]) and Previous ([ or [Shift+Tab]]) cycle through this list until the character leaves the area or presses C again, even if the foes move around. As foes die, the list drops them but otherwise remains the same.

To target the backline (e.g. Monks and other casters), after targeting the closest foe (C), use Previous instead of Next; this begins with the most distant enemies and cycles towards the closer ones.


  • Against small groups, you can cycle quickly through the list, quickly choosing your target, especially when they aren't near each other.
  • Against groups of similarly named targets, use caution in choosing the right one. Sometimes you might be better off using the mouse.
  • Against large groups, next/previous makes it easier to aim within a clump, since it can be difficult for the mouse to find the right moving target. However, it can sometimes take a long time to cycle through all the names.
  • The keyboard shorcuts above can be changed using the Options menu.

Target Monitor

The Target Monitor is the part of the GUI that shows you the status of your current target:

Per default the Target Monitor is located at the center top of the screen.

If no target is shown in the Target Monitor, you target yourself.

Calling targets

You can announce your current target to your party by holding down [CTRL] and

  • Double clicking on the target/target monitor, or pressing space.
    • As you attack your target, text will show up in the team chat channel saying "I am attacking <target name>."
  • Activating a skill that targets the current foe.
    • As you use said skill on the target, text will show up in the team chat channel saying "I'm using <skill name> on <target name>!"
  • Holding down [Shift] and double clicking on the target/target monitor or pressing space
    • You will continue your previous action while text appears in the team chat channel saying "I'm targetting <target name>." This allows you to call a target without actively attacking, which can be useful to avoid aggro or giving away a spike.

Party members may then press [T] (default key) to target the called target.

For more details, see Calling.

Skill target types

Skills use different types of targets. Every skill description will specify the applicable target type:

  • Corpse: The body of a creature after its death. Corpse Exploitation skills and Resurrection skills target corpses. Example: Well of Blood
  • Creature: Everything that appears as a dot or triangle on the minimap, red or green alike. This includes all of the types listed below, even animal wildlife and NPCs. Example: Heal Area
    • Fleshy Creature: Any creature that is a being of flesh and blood. Some creatures (for example Elementals and some Undead) have no flesh. Although not all skill descriptions mention it, all skills which must target fleshy targets must also target foes. Example: Rotting Flesh
    • Ally: Any friendly creature, i.e. anything that appears as a green dot or triangle on the minimap. This includes everybody listed in the party window, as well as friendly animals or NPCs (green on the radar). Example: Healing Breeze
      • Other Ally: Any Ally (as described above), except the skill user himself. Example: Heal Other
      • Party (Member): Everybody listed in the "Party" window, including the skill user himself. This does not include allies (listed under "Allies" in the party window) like pets and minions. Example: Heal Party
    • Foe: Any non-friendly creature, i.e. anything that appears as a red dot or triangle on the minimap. Example: Amity
    • Summoned Creature: Any creature summoned or animated through skills. Example: Banish
      • Animated Undead: All minions (animated bones) animated by Necromancers from corpses. Example: Taste of Death
        • Hostile Animated Undead: Any foe's minions or masterless minions. Example: Verata's Aura
        • Ally Animated Undead, Undead Ally: Any ally's minions (those of the skill user as well as other ally's). Example: Blood of the Master
      • Spirit: Any creature of the Spirit type. Example: Spirit Siphon
        • Allied Spirit: Any ally's spirits (those of the skill user as well as any other ally's). Example: Draw Spirit


As of the June 15 2007 update, offensive skills and attacks may automatically select the nearest valid target if one wasn't selected manually, if there is one available on screen. This effect can be toggled in the General Options panel (F11) via the checkbox labelled "Auto-target foes when there's no chosen target".

Targeting notes

  • Activating a skill on an incorrect target will not invoke the skill. Instead the skill will refuse to activate at no cost with the message Invalid Target.
  • Skills that are beneficial (like healing spells and Enchantments) will not cast on enemies. If the player is targeting an enemy and casts a beneficial spell it will cast on the player unless the player is not a possible target (like a skill that targets other allies).
  • Area of Effect (AoE) skills need a target (ally or foe, depending on skill) before they can be invoked, but once invoked they remain where the target was and will not follow the target. Point Blank Area of Effect (PBAoE) skills automatically target the caster, but hypocritically these do not count as ally-targeted spells for the purposes of, e.g., Shame. Examples of these include skills that target foes like Meteor Shower, skills that target allies like Balthazar's Aura, and as well as skills that are located at caster's current location (like Symbol of Wrath. There is no location targeting in Guild Wars: a player can only invoke a skill at a location occupied by one of the targets listed above---in short, foe, ally, or self.
  • The "T" beside your name in the party list will last for 30 seconds after calling a target, or until the target is eliminated.
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