Instances are areas inhabited by either a single party or a limited number of players. On a server, main map areas such as Protector's Enclave contain multiple instances each with a limited number of players; however, the Zone chat for the main areas are connected among instances, so talking in Zone chat on one instance in Protector's Enclave talks to all instances.
Other instances, such as Dungeons, are created and inhabited by a single party for the purpose of completing a Quest or clearing the dungeon's boss. Instances allow a map area to not be overwhelmed by players competing for resources.
Entering an instanceEdit
Each area of the game contains at least one instance and usually many at peak hours. Sub-instances such as dungeons can be initiated by using the Action key on their entrance. Dungeon Delves, Epic Dungeons, Skirmishes, and PvP Domination can be entered from anywhere in the game using the Queue system.
Each map often has many sub-area instances. For example, the Protector's Enclave has the Hall of Justice Vaults and the Ruined Tunnels. These can only be accessed as part of their associated quest line.
What instance am I on?Edit
To find out what instance you are on in the PC version, highlight the small blue circle in the upper right hand corner of the minimap. The highlight text should say the name of the instance followed by a # and the area instance number you are playing on.
To change instances for an area, click the small blue circle in the upper right hand corner of the minimap. For consoles, press the touchpad (PS4) or the select button (Xbox1) until the minimap is highlighted. And then click the corresponding button.