ARCdps setup guide

by Yevvie.2590
Last Updated: 18th July 2022

Yevvie

Xinluang [BP], Nevaelei [ebay]

Hello! I'm Yevvie and I'm a dedicated Firebrand main for a couple of well-known fight guilds and a driver for Fabled Mythos [Fabl]. I've been working on a variety of tools and guides, introducing people to the NA fight scene and its culture. Together with my husband and friends we're leading a guild with learning as its goal, so if you enjoyed this guide and ever swing by BP, pop in to say hi!

What is arcdps?

Arcdps is an expansive and highly customizable combat metric tool developed by deltaconnected. It uses information provided by the GW2 server to provide users with overview of the performance on any class and spec, both for themselves and the entire squad.

Personally, I find it to be crucial in the learning process for any class, as the on-screen feedback will help you better tailor your behaviors to the goal you want to achieve.

Where to get it?

ArcDPS is available on its own website. Just scroll to the very bottom for the "current" link to get to the download page.

Isn't it cheating?

Despite modyfing the game itself, Chris cleary former Anet Fraud and Game Security Lead, have commented on Arc being within allowed on numerous occasions (source). In fact some Anet developers admitted to using it as well, so it is within reason to assume they won't be distributing bans related to general use of Arc, unless it is proven to be used in exploitative or malicious way.

That is the case with only the original .dll so make sure you always download files straight from developers and not from other websites, where they could have been modified and flag you for bannable behavior.

Elitist's favorite toolkit?

One of major concerns for people who are anti-DPS meters is that access to such information is making people more elitist or even toxic. Truth is, it is not the tool that makes person elitist, but the person that chooses the tool.

You will have people who use ArcDPS in a respectful way to boost the overall performance of their static raid group or WvW fight guild. Others will use it to benchmark themselves and try new builds, theorycraft and build a brand new level of understanding on how to play their class.
And then, there will be people that will use it to bully others. But to be honest, whether they have Arc or not, they would find a different way to push their elitist behavior onto others - from tracking kp, achievements or even item drops, there's always a way to gatekeep others if someone looks for it. Best for you is just steer clear from obviously toxic people, and don't blame the tool for their existance, duh, you can even use it to prove them that they're not as good as they think they are - which, in most toxic elitist cases, is actually quite true.

Initial setup

When you load into the game, you should see the Arc window shown below pop up on your screen. If you can't see it, you may have to change your game to windowed fullscreen / borderless and restart the game.

If you closed the window by accident (by pressing Esc for example), you can bring it back up with Alt + Shift + T. This toggles the options window and will be used a lot in this guide.

Pve

By default it shows PvE setup, so if you're interested in setting it up for PvE, you will have to do this in any map other than WvW or Armistice. If you want both things setup, you'll have to do it twice! That's double the opportunity to learn how it works.

WvW

You'll have to visit a WvW map or Armistice Bastion to access the WvW setup. This can be done in EotM to prevent your main map contribution from decaying (participation is split between these modes).

How to use it?

Advanced Stats

Area stats

Area Stats is the most important window you can configure to show you the crucial information about your squad on the go. You can add additional copies of it by clicking the checkboxes under extra area stats in the settings.

Start by opening a couple of Area Stats windows so we can learn how to manage them and edit the data they display.

Right Click Menu on Area Stats

Stats Exclusion - WvW

Once you open the windows, they can be Right Clicked to finetune the experience you'll be receiving. Do so and choose Stats Exclude  and set it as below: 
 vs players
 vs npcs
 vs gadgets
 from players
 from npcs
 from gadgets

This way information shown in the stats will only include Player vs Player metrics, so the damage won't be for example padded by killing guards or mobs around you.

Mind that some types of damage aren't included, as Arc checks the data server-side, and certain things are omitted in the calculation. Despite this, it's still the best approximation for what you actually see.

Target Damage - PvE

While in WvW your damage matters the most when it hits max targets, if you go into any boss encounter and want to know how you're doing, you'll need to adjust to see target specific damage over cleave.

I have ran Drizzlewood South Meta with the window setup showing difference between target (T) and cleave (C) for the last encounter. This is a good meta to illustrate the difference, as you have a lot of mobs spawned around that will soak up your AoEs and boost your cleave damage.

In the example above, I have created a separate Area Stats window and right clicked it, and in Display options entered a new stats format: @1 (T @5 | C @2), giving me information on total cleave damage, target dps and cleave dps respectively. 

If you do a lot of boss encounters, you may want to setup your default PvE damage to show target damage, make a new window just for the target, or - a common option - show target damage as default and add cleave to the window title instead. 

Area Stats

Area Buffs

advanced stats

Advanced Stats  is a way of adding different types of information to your Arc. What you want to set up there highly depends on your personal preference and the class you're playing. I'll go with the most common ones, those being cleanses, strips and tag distance. For PvE you may be interested in adding Breakbar as well.

For squad gameplay, you'll want to use the options available in squad combat stats category as they provide information about your entire group. It will then trigger as soon as one of your teammates enters combat with valid target (players in WvW, anything else in PvE).

cleanses and strips will show the number of cleanses or strips during the given fight. For this it is useful to have either specialization icons turned on, or color the names by spec, so you can realistically asses what is happening within your group, ie so you don't blame fb for not topping the chart in group with scrappers and tempests.

tag distance will tell you how far from the tag are different people in your group. Keep in mind though that it will spew complete nonsense while in-game, so it's mostly used for generating reports later on. Not necessary to run with, but some people do so I decided to add it in here.

Breakbar will be useful mostly in PvE - it will show you the breakbar contribution by player so you know who's MPV when clutching that boss phase, and who coulda paid more attention to callouts over dps.

Advanced Stats

Self Stats

Area buffs

Area buffs is a way of displaying upkeep of buffs throughout the fight. It can display outgoing and incoming boons, although its showing raw generation (ie. 25 stacks of Might being 2500). It is very situational and hard to read, and as such a better ArcDPS extension plugin exists (check Boon Table).

Values are displayed as a result to a formula

stacks  players affected  uptime

Area Buffs

Self Skills

Self Stats

Self Stats is an easy way to glance at your performance mid-fight. It displays your current DPS (target | cleave) and healing and can be set up to show your barrier and incoming damage as well - just right click the window and pick the options you want to see.

Self Stats

Area Graphs

Self Skills

Self Skills will list your skill usage during the fight in order of highest damage contributor to the lowest. This includes reflected skills, so you may see a different classes' skills under yours, but that means you have reflected it back to source.

If you hover over any skill you'll get more information about how it was used:

Mortar Kit Shells and Thief Downed Skill in Firebrand log.

hits (cmprs)

"Compressed" information about the hits. The number represents the amount of times the skill was cast by the player, that is every pulse and hit of the skill after one press of the button is still treated as one cast.

hits (dmg)

The amount of successful hits on a target(s) that dealt damage. Won't include skills that were reflected, absorbed etc.

hits (all)

The total amounts of hits. It includes missed, reflected, blocked hits, as well as every single hit and pulse of the skill, including AoE damage.

total / min / avg / max

Additional information about the damage dealt by the given skill.

Self Skills

Metrics

Area graphs

Area graphs shows a breakdown graph for different statistics. You can configure it to display a variety of information, in the same way as it was with advanced stats.

Area Graphs

Detailed Preview

Metrics

Metrics window gives you with all the information about your and server's performance. This is the most reliable way of detecting lag and figuring out when the problem lays on your connection to the game, as opposed to the server's side. If you hover over this window, you'll be provided with extra information.

F: Client FPS

Your Frames per Second. This is gonna cause visual lag the lower it gets. Optimal value is equal to your monitor's refresh rate, although is dependent on your overall specs and graphic settings.

P: Ping to Server

Ping tells you how long it takes the data from your network to reach server. This is the delay between you and the server, based on your location, internet speed, routing and other variables.

R: Server Tick Rate

Server tick rate is an information about the server's performance. It should sit at stable 25, but when the load on the server is too big, it will fluctuate causing freezing, lack of server response and skill lag. It is very commonly seen in WvW when big groups of players clash, causing everyone to have issues with the server response.
You will see below 25 during a lag spike, and over 25 when server is catching up to all that happened.

If you hover over the metrics, you will be able to see the advanced metrics window. It provides advanced data:

HH:MM:SS (-s)

Server time (UTC) in hour-minute-seconds format. This will let you know what time it is server-side and allow you to preview when things will happen. For example, daily reset happens at midnight UTC. 

--h--m--. -s

Map uptime in hour-minute-second format. This will let you know whether you landed on a new instance or an old one. Relevant to certain things as some maps may close right before events you waited for etc.

-------t

Map uptime in server ticks. Usage similar as above, but more advanced and important for debugging.

Map type: --

Internal data describing which map is currently active; this helps developers to figure out how to implement certain behaviors of the program.

Map ID: ---- (-:----h)

Internal data describing an instance ID you're within. 

dist cbt: -u (-u)

Displayed in in-game units, it's the total distance you have moved while in combat. Second number gives information on the distance in combat while skills were active (dealing damage etc).

dist ooc: -U (-U)

Distance out of combat, also provided in in-game units [eq. to inches].

Time cbt: -S (-S)

Time spent in combat within the same instance.
(Time spent in combat since login.)

Time ooc: -S (-S)

Time spent out of combat within the same instance.
(Time spent out of combat since login.)

damage out: 0 (0)

Outgoing damage within the same instance.
(Outgoing damage since login.)

damage in: 0 (0)

Incoming damage within the same instance.
(Incoming damage since login.)

Mem gw2: ----mb (----MB)

Memory usage by GW2-64.exe process.

Mem arc: --mb, ----

Memory usage by ArcDPS.

PID: -----

Process ID assigned by your OS to the GW2-64.exe process.

Metrics

Keybinds

Detailed preview

Left Click a chosen player on any of the advanced stats windows to open the detailed preview window. It will display overall performance of the player during current (or last) combat event. 

Leftmost column will show you all the detailed statistics, and you can scroll through them to get even more information. A graph displayed on the top will show you the damage flow. Below, you can see which skills contributed to the graph above.

For even more details you can Left Click the buttons in the top-right to finetune the data shown. The explanations for the buttons can be seen on hover, also explained below:

  S Skills

  B Boons

  T Targets

  L Log

O Outgoing

I Incoming

H Hostile

F Friendly

If you Hover over the graph it will display the index number corelating to the list below it, allowing you to preview the performance on the spot.

To preview a specific part of the combat you can Left Click + Drag drawing an invisible box over the section you're interested in. This will zoom into the data specific to that part of the fight (animation on the right). 
To add items to the graph, Left Click them for detailed stats.
To cancel preview Left Click once anywhere on the graph window.

Detailed Preview

Customization

Keybinds

Here are displayed the default keybinds of ArcDPS as shown in the options window. However, you can customize them so if you don't like the current setup you can make your own.

 Alt + Shift  + T 

Toggle options window.

 Alt + Shift  + V 

Toggle graphs.

 Alt + Shift  + H 

Toggle ArcDPS UI.

 Alt + Shift  + S 

Toggle details.

 Alt + Shift  + Q 

Close a windows.

 Alt + Shift  + K 

Toggle killproof.

 Alt + Shift  + C 

Toggle area stats.

 Alt + Shift  + B 

Toggle buffs.

 Alt + Shift  + F 

Toggle food.

Customizing shortcuts

To modify your keybinds, enter the key code in the box near the chosen binding. For a list of keycodes, you can check out my reference sheet.

To use any shortcuts you'll have to press the modifiers first. You can also toggle the option that will require modifiers for clicking or dragging the windows, helping you to preserve them in given space.

Modifier 1 + Modifier 2  + Keybind

You can, for example, set up that Area Stats will be D for dps, Area Stats +1 will be C for cleanse and Area Stats +2 will me S for Strips. Then Alt + Shift + D would open the dps window, Alt + Shift + S would open the strips.

Keybinds

Changing Font

Customization

Display options

Under the Display  menu you'll have a lot more options to finetune the data you're receiving. Here you have an example of advanced stats window and visual upgrades you can toggle on and off. Naming stays pretty consistent across the other windows, so this should be applicable in most cases.
Hover on the parts in the example below to preview what options affect them.

Stats format, title Bar format

If you hover over the stats format or title bar format you'll see the way the variables are assigned. From there you can type these options in this box and modify the way data is displayed.

Cleave format shows your damage done to the all targets.

Target format shows your damage done to a specific target.

 Hover over data for details on each item: 

Damage excl

1:(SCG)20sCharacter Name100K (500/s, 100%)

 combat time will provide information on how long people were in combat for, helping you understand the amount of DPS they did and average their behavior out of it. 

 draw bars adds a background bar displaying the visual way of damage hierarchy. It will use percentage (@3) as a width of the bar, giving you way to see the stats at a glance. 

 Bar Colour by subgroup changes the way background bars are colored. By default the color corresponds to the profession, but you can change it to see the subgroup-specific coloring.

 index numbers enables the hierarchy number displayed before any other data.

 Profession text adds a profession short code in front of player's name, helping to distinguish between different players.

 profession Icons does the same thing as profession text, but adds specialization image instead the text. They can be used simultaneously.

 Name colour using profession helps to distinguish players by coloring their names according to their class.

 Name colour using subgroup colors names based off the subgroup they're in.

 also show self at the top adds additional entry above the list, displaying your own stats regardless of your position on the meter.

 self only removes other players from the list.

 stats format pad spaces helps to even out data that gets offset when it gets too long or uneven between the numbers.

0 Max name length limits the character count for player names as to avoid overlapping. Dependent on your window width.

0 Max displayed limits the amount of player entries visible on the list. They all are still there and you can scroll them, but will display default amount, ie. if you type 5, only 5 players will be shown on screen and you'll have to scroll if their index number is higher than that. Useful for making advanced meters more compact vertically.

If you want to have everything perfectly aligned and expand together, you can link windows so they stick to each other. To do that head into Position  tab on the window you want to attach to a different one, and choose  window relative position. This will enter the positioning mode, and temporarily change the title of all your windows to an internal code.

This internal code will tell the window you're changing what you want it to attach to, so if you want, for example your area stats 2 ("chcli2") to attach to your area stats 1 ("chcli1"), you have to type "chcli1" in the positioning menu of area stats 1. 

If you want them to stack vertically, choose from:  bottom-left to:  top-left for example, but there's plenty of working combinations to achieve variety of results, so feel free to experiment with that.

The windows should now move together when dragged.

Although the basic font is fine, it can be a little hard to read, especially on lower-quality recording, where pixels get just a little bit shifted when scaled down. 

To change the font, you'll need to find a .ttf version of the font you'd like to use and place it in

%\Guild Wars 2\addons\arcdps

directory, then rename it to 

arcdps_font.ttF

Here's a list of some popular fonts used by other GW2 players and streamers, as well as a font used in this guide for the blue headers (Titillium Web). If none of them suit you, you're welcome to scroll through the internet and find the one you'll like.

Lemon Milk medium by Marsnev - via DaFont - commonly used, seen above in screenshots.

Roboto Bold by Christian Robertson - via Google Fonts

Bebas neue by Ryoichi Tsunekawa - via Google Fonts

Titillium web by Accademia di Belle Arti di Urbino - via Google Fonts

Changing Font

Logging

Advanced Edits

In Appearance category in options you can find a checkbox use advanced style options. While there's an option for every single aspect of the UI, I find two last tabs to be the most important - it is here you can adjust colors of classes to your liking. 

This is also where you can change font size if needed! Just remember that that will need a game restart to redraw all the windows.

Default Arc for normal vision

Default Arc for Blue-blind Tritanomaly
(simulated)

I do not recommend playing with it if you absolutely don't have to, as it affects a lot of things and designing such UI setup may be tedious and end up looking worse, but in cases where colors are too close together and affect your color vision, you can adjust them here.

If you make a specific vision set, don't hesitate to send me a note saying what type of color blindness you have and screenshot of your color set + list of color values, so I can share it with people in this guide.

Advanced Edits

FAQ

Logging

ArcDPS and its addons have ability to save all the collected data into a log file. These logs can be then put through a parser, an Elite Insights tool that interprets the data and spits out a very detailed report of the encounter.

To turn on logging, head into Logging tab in Arc options. Here you can toggle different logs (PvE/WvW/Map specific) and configure exact details of them. Configuration is pretty straightforward but you need to choose values that suit you the best. There's also an option to open logs folder, or type the path to a new one if you wish to change it.

You can find your logs in Documents/Guild Wars 2/addons/arcdps/arcdps.cbtlogs

To parse the information you can upload your log files to dps.report.
Here you can also anonymize the data or add additional WvW report options.

Here's an example log from a short WvW fight (anonymized).

I'm not gonna give a detailed overview of the parse tool, as you can just sit down in your free time and click through all the available tabs to figure out what you want to know from it. Good luck and have fun!

Utility: Log Manager

You may find that you quickly run out of idea which log was from which activity, or what character were you running on at that time. To keep it all neatly categorized and have a preview of it, you can download an external app developed by Sejsel of gw2scratch, one of Elite Insights developers.

where to get it?

You can download arcdps log manager from GW2 Scratch. It is not an addon but a normal installer, so you treat it the same way as every other program on your computer and use as needed.

How to use it?

The program is pretty straightforward. Once you open it, it should automatically detect the log folder if you're using the default one, and if not head into Settings  and choose add a log directory. You can here exclude all the short, probably accidental logs. In this menu you can also change all the other program-related things, such as to which server you'd want to upload your logs to and whether you want to pull the API data or not.

On the left you're presented with Filter options, which help you organize your logs by result, mode, date, favorites, tags or location. You can also press Advanced Filters to enable filtering through squad composition, mistlock instabilities, players and processing status. So if you're looking for that one raid from a bit ago with that one specific player in it... you'll be able to find it this way before uploading everything to dps.report.

In the center you can see your Log list. It will tell you what you were fighting, what was the result of the encounter, date, duration and player comp and whether this log is one of your favorites. If you want more data displayed, you can right click the top row to add additional fields such as what character were you recording the log on.

Here you can also check all the Players you've ran with that are recorded in your logs, and the amount of logs they've contributed to. If you left click their account name, it will list the character names they played with you on.

Guilds tab will do the same thing for the guild information. Mind that both these options are relying on API being turned on.

Statistics will summarize all the data per encounter. While this cannot give you proper WvW stats, it's quite useful for raids and metas where it will extrapolate success and failure rates, timing of these and total time spent in these encounters. You can also preview the average spec spread across the logs if you're interested.

If you click on any of the items, you'll open a right-hand sidebar with details about this specific log, player or guild. On the right you can see a censored preview of one of my WvW encounters. 

You can scroll through the Subgroups and see who you were playing with and how the comp looked, as well add your own tags to each encounter so you remember what they were:

You can scroll through the Subgroups and see who you were playing with and how the comp looked, as well add your own tags to each encounter so you remember what they were. This can really help with organization, especially if you're running with multiple statics or guilds and would want to have a good idea of what was happening during that day.

And finally, if you're happy with everything else you can upload the data straight to the parser, and have a link that will be ready to preview at any time, instead of requiring you to re-upload the same log each time you want to look at it. It saves you hassle and helps developers with the server upkeep!

Logging

FAQ

I hope that this answers all your questions and helps you set up yourself for using Arc. If I missed any crucial information or you have any questions, feel free to contact me either on Discord or through the form on this website. Whatever relevant questions I can answer, I'll add them in the section below!

Error: ArcDPS has been modified by another application / ArcDPS modified in RAM

This error is caused by BitDefender, Razer Cortex, NVIDIA Ansel and some other applications that use overlay extensions such as antivirus software. For antivirus/firewall software, you will need to add exception for gw2-64.exe and GW2 folder. For others, you may need to disable the overlays it comes with.

Bitdefender
Citrix (v22)

If possible, uninstall it to avoid further problems.

If it's required to stay, installed reinstall it with the command line:

CitrixWorkspaceApp.exe ADDLOCAL=ReceiverInside,ICA_Client,AM,SELFSERVICE,DesktopViewer,Flash,Vd3d,WebHelper,BrowserEngine

Windows / Xbox overlay

Windows has an xbox / gaming overlay built in. You can disable it  through Settings  Gaming.

I can't see ArcDPS in-game

Here are basic troubleshooting steps. After each step you want to check if Arc works.

1. First off, try to bring up the option window with  + . It may be just having no windows displayed.
2. You need to make sure Arc .dll matches the DX version you're using in-game. Check the installation section at the top of the guide for details.
3. Try updating Arc by replacing the .dll with a newly downloaded one.
4. Remove all add-ons and try again. If that fixes it, you may need to update or remove one of the addons.
5. Nothing helps? You can contact the developers of Arc and the extensions mentioned above on Elite Insights discord. Make sure to describe your issue, troubleshooting steps you've taken and if possible attach the logs from %/Guild wars 2/addons/arcdps directory.

My UI broke when I was customizing style

If you cannot undo whatever you did from in-game menus, you will have to edit or delete %/Guild wars 2/addons/arcdps/arcdps.ini and redo your setup.

Arc crashes on load without crashlog

To make sure the issue isn't related to incompatible addons, pull your addons out of the folder and try to launch the game without them. If this fixes your issue, you may need to redownload extension dlls.

However, if it still doesn't show, you may need to turn off Windows compatibility mode. To do so, Right Click the game shortcut and choose Properties. Head over to Compatibility   tab and unmark  Run this program in compatibility mode.


Big thanks to deltaconnected and Kappa322 for patience with answering my questions; to Knox and Sejsel for additional data and feedback!

Thanks to Pancake, Kara and others for additional data!

Thanks to Volmie (Phiravat) for help with screenshots ♥ 
and to [DED] and [red] for letting me use them as test subjects! 

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