Guild Wars 2 Chest Farming Guide

Guild Wars 2 Chest Farming Guide by Rawrzberry

Hi guys. We’ve all been farming chests in the Silverwastes for quite a while now, but a lot of players don’t seem to realise that there’s actually more to it than just mindlessly chasing a dorito. This post is intended to explain what I think are the best practices for efficient and sustainable farm. Hopefully with a better understanding of what is happening we can all improve each other’s farm.

DISCLAIMER: As I have said I’m interested in efficient and sustainable farm so the methods I’m describing here are not for making the fastest runs possible, but rather doing multiple runs as quickly as possible in a way that lets you keep farming indefinitely without having to go grind more shovels or crests.

What is Chest Farming?

For the new/returning players: Chest farming is widely considered the best way to make money in the game at the moment. It involves heading to The Silverwastes and beating up all the mordrem you can find. Once you’ve helped out the Pact in some events they’ll reward you with some low quality shovels and Bandit Crests. You then head to a vendor and convert your hard earned crests into Bandit Skeleton Keys. Once you have 50+ keys you’re ready to hop on a chest farm (use the LFG tool if you struggle to find one).

Chest farming itself is basically someone with a commander tag who knows all the possible chest spawns running a circuit on the map. When he/she finds a chest they will stand on it until someone in the zerg digs it up. Then everyone unlocks it and gets rich. However there can be more to it than that, which I’ll get into now.
P.S. You should also take a look at this video by inkthedink. He gives a pretty good explanation of shovels and keys.

For the Commanders

  • Take the Forts. This is probably the most important part of chest farming other than finding the actual chests. Forts give us shovels; without which we are nothing. I know that sometimes it seems you you’re doing fine and every chest is dug up almost instantly, but if you don’t take the forts this won’t last and your farm will disappear. The event where you collect vines for Solus the outlier at hidden depths waypoint is even better than a fort. Everyone needs to tag one mob and hand in one vine and you’re done. Free shovels!
  • Do veteran events in your path. These take almost no time and provide a few crests – helping to keep your farm sustainable. Forts and Solus’s event also provide crests so this reasoning applies there too.
  • Don’t trust the front runners. There will always be those (usually warriors and thieves) who like to show off their fancy mobility skills. If you see them leaving a spot don’t disregard it until you are sure there isn’t a chest there. Your job is to make sure your zerg opens every chest possible and its not like the potential chests ahead are going anywhere. At the same time…
  • Try to stay ahead of your zerg. No one likes a slow commander and its so much easier to see the chest spawns without player names and legendary particle effects flying around everywhere. If you struggle to stay ahead and have a level 80 warrior you may want to use that character to take advantage of the insane mobility GS and sword/warhorn provide.
  • Manipulate your camera. There are a few chests that I find really hard to spot looking top down. As long as there aren’t players in the way, these are a lot more obvious if you bring the camera down so you’re looking along the ground.
  • Don’t be ashamed to step down. If you’re missing chests because you’re tired or just don’t have that much experience, see if someone else can lead. Most of the time no one will step up, but if they do then your farm improves. Everyone wins and your ego will recover one day ;)
  • Lower your graphics settings. I can’t say definitively how much of a difference this makes because I only have the option of playing on low graphics, but quite a few people have said they see the chests more easily on lower graphics settings.
  • Fort Tactics courtesy of Ecmelt
    • Blue: Spread to the backside of fort – do not forget the upstairs. Always check for mobs that may be outside of the walls (they aggro other mobs and go away sometimes)
    • Yellow: Range hit the troll on balcony and then cut line of sight to pull it down so zerg kills it downstairs (i do this everytime as commander)
    • Red: Range attack the husk and out-range it to pull downstairs ASAP. Kill the tendrils on backside BEFORE you reach red (assign a few ppl {2-3} to kill them everytime you are at the back of red for chests. Tell them to simply leave and loot after zerg reaches fort)
  • Map of chest spots by Daviez20. I wouldn’t recommend trying to use this on the fly, but its a very good reference for learning the spots.
  • If you know all this stuff check out Patron03041 ‘s comment for some other ideas.

For the zerg

  • USE YOUR SHOVELS. I’m going to say it again. Use. Your. Shovels. And know where they are in your inventory. The faster you dig up this chest the faster we can get to the next one and the faster you will get whatever you are in the Silverwastes to farm. None of the speed tips I’m mentioning mean anything if you end up waiting 30 seconds to open each chest.
  • Stand behind the mound when using your shovel. Because of the way hit boxes work you may end up missing the mound if you’re standing right on top of it. Rather pretend that you are using an attack on your commander (who should be directly on top of the mound). This should give you flawless victories every time.
  • Use shovel 2. If you end up with a shovel in your hands use the 2 skill to help highlight nearby chests. If your commander is struggling a little you can even use 2 before 1 on all the chests to help him/her out. This isn’t always necessary though and in open areas with a good comm it will just slow you down.
  • Help with events. Nothing is more frustrating than coming out of a fort and finding a bunch of players idling on the next chest mound. By not helping you are slowing the entire group and therefore your own farm down. Its not like you have something better to do in that time anyway if you spend it standing around.
  • Keep up the banter. When you’re farming well its not always as easy because you’re constantly rushing to the next chest, but I find it a lot more enjoyable to farm along to humorous/interesting conversation.
  • Point out skipped chests in /s. If the commander misses a chest and you say “here” or “missed one” in map chat, he/she has no way of knowing where the chest is. If you can tag up on it, or dig it up yourself those are even better ways to get everyone’s attention.
  • Keep up the taxis. You want your chest farm map to be full. More people means more shovels; not just in their inventories, but from events too. A bigger zerg also means you clear events quicker and can get back to digging.
  • Pay attention to the route and the chest spots. It may be tempting to just switch off and chase the dorito all the way back to camp resolve, but every pair of eyes helps. Even if your commander is the bestest you should still learn where things are so that one day if you end up with a less competent commander you can help out.
  • Kill trash mobs on the chests. It’s really annoying getting hit by something when you’re unlocking a chest. If 10 people hit it once before attempting to open the chest, it will die and everyone is richer, faster and happier.
  • Don’t troll by dropping banners and bundles on chests. If someone with a shovel picks it up thinking it’s loot, then you’ve just destroyed that shovel and jeopardized your own farm.

Other Tips

  • Use magic find buffs. I know that MF doesn’t affect Bandit Coin Purses or Lost Bandit Chests, but it still helps with the random trash mobs you’ll fight along the way. Obviously this won’t be as big a difference as say Frostgorge Sound farming where you are killing things all the time, but I have seen a noticeable difference in the the t5 and t6 drops from the mordrem in the forts depending on how many MF buffs I have.
    EDIT: There seems to be a lot of ambiguity and disagreement around whether or not MF affects the chests because of the wording of the perseverance buff, but I don’t think that’s really relevant because there’s nothing really valuable that drops from those chests. My point was to buff MF for t5 and t6 mat drops and if it turns out that that helps with chests too, all the better.
  • Try to farm with the Hero of the Wastes buff. In addition to providing magic find as explained above this gives you a bag of crests for every event you do. More crests = more keys = sustainable farm.
  • Don’t try to progress a chest farm map. Chest farm maps are pretty easy to identify as they’re have a single commander who is usually the wrong colour for the nearest fort. If you’re still unsure just ask in map chat – people will tell you. All you will get by trying to progress to breach on a chest farm is frustration, both from yourself as you won’t get any help and from the chest zerg who you’re denying shovels by capturing the forts.
  • Don’t try to start a chest farm on a map where people are doing events. As explained above this just makes everyone sad. Additionally you should be trying to start a chest farm with the Hero of the Wastes buff and if you start right after the Vine Wraith the map will nearly always be empty.

Useful Skills

  • Mesmer portals. These are really helpful with parts where everyone runs in and then out again such as the cove next to blue oasis where the salamander drakes live with their mom. If you put a portal at the entrance and then at the farthest point we travel to we can get out quickly and farm faster.
  • Reflects. In some spots, the most notable being just above Red Rock Bastion, there are vines that spit that terrible OP poison at you. A quick Wall of Reflection blocking the projectiles keeps your zerg alive while they’re waiting for someone to find a shovel.
  • Blinds. If a mob is about to attack someone who is opening a chest you can blind it. Some blinds, such as Theives’ Blinding Powder are instant cast so you can use them without breaking your own channel thereby saving everyone’s loot. Blinds are also VERY effective when fighting tendrils. Nearly all of their damage comes from the spinning knockback, so if that one attack misses it’s EZPZ.
  • Fear. Fearing mobs away from you while you’re opening chests is another great way to get rich in peace. Again the most useful fears are instant cast ones, such as Warriors’ “Fear me!”, as they don’t break channels.
  • Aegis. Works just as well as fears and blinds for not getting interrupted and Guardians have plenty of ways to apply it to those around you.
  • Swiftness. Speeding up everyone around you is great and some swiftness skills like Warrior WH 4 and Staff Ele Lightning 4 cure cripples and entangles as well making them very useful for running past husks and wolves. Also notable is Guardians’ “Retreat!” as this provided aegis so can keep you out of combat all together.
  • Lightning fields. Drop these when you’re waiting for someone to dig up the chest and everyone can blast them to bits for swiftness. On this note please don’t drop other combo fields (e.g. Guardian staff 3) on chests as this interferes with the swiftness stacking.
  • Knockbacks. Please think very hard before using any kind of knockback skills. There are niche situations, such as stopping thrashers spinning over a chest, where these skills can be useful, but most of the time we see these skills just knocking idle mobs out of our AOEs and making everyone sad.

For the Pact

  • Make better shovels

Please let me know any tricks you have/any glaringly obvious things I’ve left out so we can make this into a comprehensive guide and all get richer :D


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