|Release date||13 December 2004 (Update)|
|Location||North of Jiggig|
|Skills involved||Combat, Firemaking, Mining|
|Reward currency||Castle wars ticket|
|In spotlight rotation||Yes|
|Next spotlight||1 November (wrong?)|
|Hiscores||Yes (games played)|
|Music unlocked||Castle Wars, Castle Warz, Ready for Battle|
|Developers|| • Original: Graham B|
• 1st update: Tim C
• 2nd update: Ashley S
Castle Wars is found in the south-west corner of Kandarin and may be accessed via a number of ways:
- Using a Ring of duelling to teleport directly to the Castle Wars entrance.
- Travelling west from Yanille or Gu'Tanoth.
- The Balloon transport system has an end point just north-east of the entrance.
- Fairy ring code BKP teleports players south of the building.
- Use the Mobilising Armies teleport and travel north.
- Use the Spirit tree to teleport to Tree Gnome Village and walk south-west.
- Travelling south-west from Ardougne.
Castle Wars has no set skill requirement, however having strong combat skills is highly recommended as Castle Wars is a primarily combat minigame. All three sides of the combat triangle are commonly used, with rangers and mages tending to guard and defend the base while the meleers attack the enemy base. Additionally, players cannot wear capes into the arena, as the Zamorak/Saradomin cloak will be automatically equipped when you enter the waiting room and during the game. There is a bank chest on the south side of the entrance room of the building that can be used to deposit your cloak as well as any non-combat items, as they are also not allowed into the game.
If you intend to melee, level 60+ in Attack, Defence, Strength, and Constitution is strongly recommended, as well as good armour (dragon or better). Prayer is also extremely useful, as the protect from magic/range/melee prayers help fill the gaps in your defence that your armour cannot cover - for most meleers, this will be magic as metal armour conducts magic very well.
For rangers and mages, a high Ranged or Magic skill level is recommended. This is not so much a requirement as high Attack/Defence/Strength/Constitution is for meleers, however it helps to have higher levels relative to your attack style for more powerful and accurate attacks. For rangers: a magic, dark, or crystal bow is recommended, and all three are commonly seen in use. For mages, level 60+ Magic is very useful, and Ancient Magicks is an extremely effective way to freeze the enemy team's standard defenders while your teammates capture the standard, to freeze enemies that have captured your standard, or to stop enemies from rushing your base.
If you intend to capture the other team's standard, expect to be under massive attack from all three corners of the combat triangle, so excellent armour and 90+ Defence and Constitution are recommended. Many teams use Ancient Magicks to defend the flag, so a high magic defence bonus is essential. Armadyl, Pernix and Ganodermic are commonly used armours used to sponge the Ancient Magicks hits.
- Each game lasts for 20 minutes.
- The team with the most points (captured flags) at the end of the game is the winner.
The goal of Castle Wars is to take the enemy's standard, or flag, from their castle and return it to the standard in your own castle's keep, gaining 1 point each time. Players must prevent the opposing team from taking your standard by defending your castle. This can be done by killing, or simply using barricades and other equipment. Slain players will respawn in the starting area within the game, so both sides are constantly fighting with a near (if not totally) equal numbered team.
Castle Wars tickets are redeemable for a number of decorative armours and other rewards only available through the minigame. Gold tickets are used to purchase armour rewards. Silver tickets are used to purchase consumables: ballista parts/ammunition and potions.
To earn tickets, ten minutes must be spent in the game. For gold tickets, both teams must have had at least five players at some point. Players may gain twice the number of tickets as normal with a Castle wars token enhancer held in the inventory.
You will not gain extra or lose any tickets if you kill another player or score a point, but can get special capes if you have the most kills/captures in a game.
Food cannot be brought in, but bandages can be obtained within the arena, which are used to heal 10% of the player's max health, cure poison, and give approximately 30% energy. Non-combat spells such as Alchemy spells cannot be used within the minigame.
Unlike the Duel Arena, arrows will not be returned after each match. It is the player's responsibility to pick up any projectiles fired if they choose to do so. However, upon completion of Animal Magnetism players can speak to Lanthus in order to receive the effects of Ava's Device during a game. Also, unlike Fist of Guthix, runes are not supplied and must be provided by the player.
The large square formation covering most of the map is the actual arena. Inside the arena there are 2 smaller castles, one for each team. There are 5 levels to a castle.
- The ground floor has two outer battlements facing into the arena, one with a large door that can be attacked and broken down (or barricaded by the defending team) and another with a smaller door that can be pick-locked (or locked by the defending team). Enemies as well as your own team can use ropes on the battlements and climb onto the top of the wall (note that the ropes do disappear eventually). The battlements on the ground floor are accessible via a staircase near the small door, and there is a catapult on top of the outer wall. Within the walls there is a staircase leading to the battlements, a staircase leading to the second level, a ladder leading to the second level, and a ladder leading to the underground passages. There are tables where climbing ropes, rocks, barricades, pickaxes, toolboxes, explosive potions and flares are attainable. There is a tap, two bucket spawns, and a tinderbox respawn. When players die, they are returned to the spawn room in their team's castle.
- The floor above contains the team's spawn room, which cannot be entered by the enemy team. Enveloping this room is a passage bent at a right angle, leading to a staircase to the next floor. Inside the spawn room there is a bandage table, a tinderbox respawn, a ladder leading to the next level, and a portal to leave the current game. If a player leaves the game, players on the same team in the waiting room will be asked if they wish to join the current game. The first to accept takes the previous player's space.
- The second-highest floor has a small inside wall enveloping a trapdoor that leads down to that castle's spawn room. The trapdoor is only usable by that castle's team. Additionally, there is a one-square-wide passage around this wall. A staircase leading to the highest level is located against one of the walls.
- The highest floor contains only a standard stand, which is where the castle's team's standard can be found. Players must use the opposing team's standard on the stand to score. If a team's standard has been taken, it will only reappear on the stand if it is reclaimed or if the opposing team scores.
- The underground passage level can be accessed by two ladders in the middle of the arena or by a ladder from either team's castle. Either castle's ladder is located at opposite ends of the underground area, each with two passages towards the central cavern. At the mouth (facing the centre area) of each passage there is a deposit of rocks which may be removed or replaced with explosive potions or pickaxes. The central area is a small castle that has two ladders leading up to the centre of the arena's ground level. This area can be used for ranging and maging.
Features of the arena
One catapult is located in each team's castle's wall. Players may use the catapult if they have ammunition (rocks), which they can obtain from tables on the ground floor. After players have ammo, they can operate the catapult by clicking on it. A display will open up and players must then choose a square on their side of the river. Catapults can be destroyed by the enemy team using a tinderbox or an explosive potion. A toolkit can fix a broken catapult, and a catapult that is on fire can be put out with a bucket of water. The catapult may be difficult to use as players normally keep moving, though it can be a valuable assist in battles at the feet of the wall. Lower level players often use the catapult as it allows them to deal damage anywhere from 1 to over 10000 damage (if striking a group of enemies) with less risk to themselves. Players who have finished the Catapult Construction quest will deal higher damage than normal when using the catapult.
Players can deploy flares on the battlefield to mark where they want the catapult to be fired. The flares will appear on the catapult interface, allowing players using the catapult to know where they should aim to land a hit. Note that there will be a delay between the catapult user clicking on the coordinates and the rock travelling there. Therefore, the best time to utilise flares is when you are fighting stationary.
Contrary to belief, you cannot hurt other players on the same team when firing the catapult.
These are located in the north-east and south-west points of the river. Players can jump from stepping stone to stepping stone to cross the river in the middle of the arena. The stepping stones have many uses, one main use is to escape the enemy team while capturing the standard. It is faster to run through the middle island, but there are usually fewer enemies around the stepping stones compared to the middle. The stepping stones also take time to cross, putting a melee user or flag-holder at the mercy of rangers and mages. If the standard is dropped while standing on stepping stones, it will appear on the closest shore. Players under the effects of a stun or bind cannot cross the stepping stones until it wears off.
The collapsible rocks are located in the caves below the arena. Using a pickaxe or an explosive potion, players may collapse the walls and fill the cave passageway with rocks, so that players may not pass. To get past the collapsed rocks, players must use either 2 explosive potions or a pickaxe or both. If rocks are collapsed on top of a player, he or she will die immediately. This can be effectively utilised by players who are running through the tunnels with the standard, as it will block the pursuing players and potentially kill them under the rocks. This can be used in conjunction with barricades for an easier escape.
In the caves, the most popular cave tunnel is whichever one has the least resistance. For example, if several players are waiting to ambush in one tunnel, a player from the opposite team will use the other tunnel which has fewer or no players in it.
If a player wielding a standard is killed by the collapsing rocks, the standard will appear next to the rocks on the side that they died on.
The collapsed rocks can be used defensively, as mages and rangers can attack from the other side of the rocks. This is highly effective on players who only use melee, as they will have to destroy the rocks to get through and will risk being crushed under them.
Players may bring their own stronger pickaxes into the game, such as a rune or dragon pickaxe. With a high mining level, it can collapse walls at about the same speed as an explosive potion.
A small island with two bridges connecting it is found in the middle of the map.
It has two towers on it with stairs leading to the top which mages and rangers can use to snipe enemy players from above. There are also two buildings adjacent to the towers which can be entered and used for cover.
The island has two ladders leading down to the middle of the underground caves. It allows either team to reinforce their comrades down or up in the middle, preventing the other team from completely dominating it.
This area usually the site of a brutal slug-fest between both teams during the beginning of the match. Players will frequently run into each other and attack with no discretion at all. Controlling the middle gives the team an advantage over the other, but in a typical match, the middle area is contested by both sides with no gain to either side. If the island is controlled, attackers from the driven-back team still make their run for the enemy flag while the other team is given a clear route to the enemy castle. If this happens, much of the fighting will move to the castle, allowing someone to more easily steal the flag.
The island is also frequently bombarded by catapult attacks from both sides, as there are usually a lot of people going to and from the island to get the opposing team's flag. Because of these factors, combined with the fact that ballistae can be set up in front of the bridges that lead to the island, many players die here.
In the 27 May 2010 update, ballista platforms were added throughout the map, mainly by the bases, stepping stones, and by the bridges going to the central island. There are eight in total. Individual players can purchase the four parts and ammunition for the ballista from the Castle Wars rewards store, and all of the parts are required to set it up. Depending on which of the eight platforms you choose to setup your ballista on, there will be three or four directions in which it can be aimed, by rotating it (it cannot be aimed towards a castle wall). You are able to take up to 100 pieces of ballista ammo into a match to load the ballista with; a loaded ballista will automatically fire upon the first enemy to cross in front of where it's aiming, using up one piece of ammo, and will continue at targets in this way until it runs out of ammo.
As with catapults, enemy ballistae can be attacked and destroyed, so defend them well. Ballistae are incredibly weak to explosive potions (only about 3 are needed to destroy one), however, if protected and well maintained, they can be a powerful tool in your defensive arsenal.
One possible ballista strategy is to set up barricades to make a path to ballistae (usually the ones that are set up by the middle island) to rack up damage. This is an effective way to do damage, but is not commonly seen as it usually requires 6 to 8 barricades to be effective, and also leaves the ballista prone to attack.
Strategy and tactics
To join a team, either enter the red portal (for Zamorak, God of Chaos) or the blue portal (for Saradomin, God of Order). There is a possibility that the team you are trying to enter has too many people, so to keep the teams balanced you may not join it at that time. However, if you enter the green (for Guthix, God of Balance) portal, you join the team with the fewest number of players.
When you enter the portal, a Saradomin cloak or Zamorak cloak will be equipped automatically, with the type of the cape depending on your team, either red for Zamorak or blue for Saradomin. This cloak cannot be removed in game, as it serves as an indication of which team you're on.
Once you join a team, you have to wait in an underground cavern until the next game starts. The time remaining until the next game begins is displayed near the top of the screen in white text. The time to wait is always 5 minutes longer than the current game lasts, so if a game has 12 minutes left, the time to wait in the waiting area is 17 minutes. When a game has just finished, the next game will start in 2 minutes.
If you need to leave, you can do so through the portal of the god's colour located inside the waiting area.
If another player leaves an ongoing game, a window will appear asking if you wish to enter the game. The first player to answer yes will join the ongoing game.
If you wear an item associated with a particular god in the opposite god's room you will be turned into either a sheep (if entering Guthix), hare (if entering Saradomin) or imp (if entering Zamorak) for the duration of your stay in the waiting room, and you will be transformed back to your regular form when the game starts or if you leave via the exit portal. While in your respective form, the only action you can do is walk around, talk or use the portal. This means you cannot perform emotes or equip/unequip items.
There are a number of special items that players can pick up while playing Castle Wars. These items are free and respawn immediately; however, they disappear once the game you are playing is over. The only item that can be kept upon exiting the game is the tinderbox.
These can be picked up on one of the tables on the ground floor of the castles. Barricades can be placed in most places in the arena, and they are used to "block" the opposing team, hindering their ability to capture your standard. When somebody tries to walk around the barricade, the game will delay their character for about 3 seconds unless the player manually clicks around the barricade. If barricades are set up at the ends of the stairs, it will only allow one way direction transport; for example, if a player is going up the stairs and the other end is being blocked by a barricade, the player can still go up and will be stood on the barricade's square. However once the player moves off of this square, they will be unable to go back down the stairs unless the barricade has been destroyed.
Barricades can be destroyed by setting them on fire, by manually attacking them, or by using an explosive potion. It should be noted that a barricade is immune to explosive potions whilst on fire; some players take advantage of this by burning their own barricades to extend their lifespans by a few seconds. One of the downsides to setting up barricades is that a team can only set up 10 at a time and it also blocks the way of friendly forces. This is why it is important to place barricades strategically only to cripple your opponents' movements.
Barricades can be placed and destroyed by all players in a game, making them difficult to use. Players may destroy barricades that are useful for their team, and inexperienced players may set them up in illogical places like stairways and doors to block everyone, including their own team. Additionally, the limit of 10 barricades at once per team may prevent a player from using them strategically on the battlefield.
Other useful tools
Other tools which can be outside Castle Wars or can be obtained in Castle Wars are:
- Bandages - Heal 10 percent (15 percent with a Castlewars bracelet) of your total amount of life points (for example if you have 7500 total life points, you will be healed for 750 per bandage), cure poison, and increase energy by 30%. These can be used on other players of the same team (except flag-holding players with your own flag). Players may stock up on these greatly and become "medics" or "clerics" for their team, breaking off and hiding near where they might be needed.
- Climbing rope - Used to scale the battlements on the other team's castle. These ropes are one-way and can only be climbed up, not down. A player can sabotage the other team's wall by getting a full inventory of ropes and running to the other team's wall. They will try and set up as many ropes as they can on the wall before being attacked and killed. Players can more easily attack the enemy's catapult by setting up a rope at the wall directly next to it. The ropes cannot be removed by players, but they will disappear after a period of time.
- Bronze pickaxe - For collapsing the underground cave walls to block the enemy. They are also used to clear the way through the collapsed walls. Players typically wait at the rocks and try to time their collapse perfectly as to hit a player trying to run through, although this is easier with explosive potions. Barricades may be used in combination with the walls to guarantee the player will have difficulty getting through. Some people bring their own pickaxe, like rune, to clear rocks/collapse tunnels faster.
- Tinderbox - For setting fire to barricades and catapults. The fires can be put out by buckets of water.
- Bucket- Fill them with water at the tap in the supply room. A bucket of water can put out anything that is on fire. Players cannot immediately relight extinguished barricades, so these can be used to put out fires for explosive potions to work.
- Toolkit - Used to repair broken catapults or doors.
- Flare - Used to help signal where to launch rocks from the catapult.
- Explosive potion - Used to blow up barricades and destroy the other team's catapult. Unlike a tinderbox, each explosive potion can only be used once. They are also used to collapse the cave walls instantly, killing any person running under. If dropped, this potion explodes and deals 150 life points to the player who dropped it. Players on low health may utilise this to respawn with full life points or prayer points.
- Rock - Ammunition for the catapult. One rock is needed each time the catapult is fired.
- Castle wars brace - Made by enchanting an emerald bracelet. The wielder will do an extra 20% of damage against a bearer of a standard. Castle Wars bandages also heal 50% more to wielders of the bracelet (15% of health instead of 10%).
- Ardougne cloak 1 - From Ardougne Tasks, increases prayer when you enter the game. While in the game, you can quickly log out and back in to get this prayer boost again. (You do not need to bring the cape into the game to get the bonus, you just need to have completed the first part of the task set.)
Red - Taken, which means someone has the standard,
Yellow - Dropped (on the ground),
Green - Safe, in proper area.
As should be found on the top left corner of the screen in the game.
Players may purchase various items with these tickets, such as the Saradomin and Zamorak team capes and hoods. Anything bought by using Castle Wars tickets cannot be traded to another player, but can be sold back for the same number of tickets it can be bought for. Four armour sets are available which give attack bonuses to the wearer.
- Wearing the basic platebody, platelegs and shield during a Castle Wars match gives you +10% damage against the enemy team. (costs 20 silver tickets)
- Wearing the detailed platebody, platelegs and shield during a Castle Wars match gives you +15% damage against the enemy team, and +10% damage against barricades/ballistae. (costs 200 gold tickets)
- Wearing the intricate platebody, platelegs and shield during a Castle Wars match gives you +20% damage against the enemy team, +10% damage against barricades/ballistae, and immunity from catapult damage. (costs 2000 gold tickets)
- Wearing the profound platebody, platelegs and shield during a Castle Wars match gives you +25% damage against the enemy team, +10% damage against barricades/ballistae, and immunity from catapult/ballista damage (costs 2700 gold tickets)
- The full set is not required to receive the damage bonus. Three pieces out of the legs, body and shield give the full bonus, two pieces give 60% of the full bonus and one piece gives 40% of the full bonus e.g. two pieces of profound armour will give a 15% damage bonus.
- Guthix halo reduces the drain rate of the prayers Clarity of Thought, Improved Reflexes, Incredible Reflexes, Chivalry, and Piety.
- Saradomin halo reduces the drain rate of Thick Skin, Rock Skin, Steel Skin, Chivalry, and Piety.
- Zamorak halo reduces the drain rate of Burst of Strength, Superhuman Strength, Ultimate Strength, Chivalry, and Piety.
There are five Castle Wars reward capes to collect, each with a specific requirement in order to obtain them:
- Flag cape - Capture the most flags in a match.
- Kills cape - Kill the most players in a match.
- Hobbyist cape - Complete 500 matches.
- Enthusiast cape - Complete 1,000 matches.
- Professional cape - Complete 5,000 matches.
A trimmed Completionist cape requires players to possess a full set of profound decorative armour, which takes 4150 total tickets to purchase. Assuming 2 gold tickets per win this requires 2075 wins to achieve. If you win/lose at a 50/50 rate it would take 4150 total games to meet this requirement.
Ballistae can also be bought. You must purchase the four parts as well as the ballista ammo to use them. Any amount of ballista parts may be brought in to the arena, and you must have at least one of each to use it.
Additionally, players can obtain helms for the Hybrid armour sets, which receive a damage boost when used in playing Castle Wars. These are only received occasionally when winning a game Castle Wars. They become more common to players who have won more games, and a player requires about 60-80 wins to obtain their first helm.
Another reward is the Castlewars chinchompa. This can only be used within a Castle Wars game. It can be set on the floor or released on a timer, and will explode when players get near it or when the timer runs out.
To get one of every item, winning each game it would take 1,726 hours, or 72 days of non-stop 24-hour game-play (4,118 winning games), not including losses or draws.
|Item||Equivalent||Cost||Time (Win + Lobby)|
|Basic decorative helm||Full slayer helmet||4|| 92 min
(1 hour 32 min)
|Basic decorative shield||Iron kiteshield with All class||6||138 min
(2 hours 18 min)
|Basic decorative platelegs||Iron platelegs with All class||6||138 min
(2 hours 18 min)
|Basic decorative platebody||Iron platebody with All class||8||184 min
(3 hours 4 min)
|Basic decorative sword||Bronze longsword||5||115 min
(1 hour 55 min)
|Detailed decorative helm||Mithril full helm with All class||40||460 min
(7 hours 40 min)
|Detailed decorative shield||Mithril kiteshield with All class||60||690 min
(11 hours 30 min)
|Detailed decorative platelegs||Mithril platelegs with All class||60||690 min
(11 hours 30 min)
|Detailed decorative platebody||Mithril platebody with All class||80||920 min
(15 hours 20 min)
|Detailed decorative sword||Steel longsword||50||575 min
(9 hours 45 min)
|Intricate decorative helm||Rune helm with All class||400||4600 min
(76 hours 40 min)
|Intricate decorative shield||Rune kiteshield with All class||600||6900 min
|Intricate decorative platelegs||Rune platelegs with All class||600||6900 min
|Intricate decorative platebody||Rune platebody with All class||800||9200 min
(153hours 20 min)
|Intricate decorative sword||Mithril longsword||500||5750 min
(95 hours 50 min)
|Profound decorative helm||Mighty slayer helmet||650||7475 min
(124hours 35 min)
|Profound decorative platebody||Torag's platebody with All class||1100||12650 min
(210hours 50 min)
|Profound decorative platelegs||Torag's platelegs with All class||800||9200 min
(153hours 20 min)
|Profound decorative shield||Dragonfire shield with All class||800||9200 min
(153hours 20 min)
|Profound decorative sword||Adamant longsword||800||9200 min
(153hours 20 min)
|Faithful shield||Adamant kiteshield with a prayer bonus||200||2300 min
(38 hours 20 min)
|Guthix halo||N/A||300||3450 min
(57 hours 30 min)
|Saradomin halo||N/A||300||3450 min
(57 hours 30 min)
|Zamorak halo||N/A||300||3450 min
(57 hours 30 min)
|Hybrid armour helmet||N/A||Free: Random reward|
after a match is won,
is obtained through
a separate interface.
|Item||Equivalent||Cost||Time (Win + Lobby)|
|Castle wars flag cape||Normal cape||2||46 min (with most captures)|
|Castle wars kills cape||2||46 min (with most kills)|
|Castle wars hobbyist cape||2||11500 min (500 win/lose games)|
|Castle wars enthusiast cape||2||23000 min (1,000 win/lose games)|
|Castle wars professional cape||2||115000 min (5,000 win/lose games)|
|Saradomin hood||-||10||230 min|
|Saradomin cloak||Normal cape||10||230 min|
|Zamorak hood||-||10||230 min|
|Zamorak cloak||Normal cape||10||230 min|
|Item||Equivalent||Cost||Time (Win + Lobby)|
|Ballista base||N/A||2||46 min|
|Ballista bolt stack||N/A||2||46 min|
|Ballista bow||N/A||2||46 min|
|Ballista chamber||N/A||2||46 min|
|Ballista ammo||N/A||4||92 min|
|Melee potion set||1 Super attack, 1 Super strength,|
1 Super defence, 1 Super energy
|Magic potion set||1 Super magic potion,|
1 Super Defence, 1 Super Energy
|Ranged potion set||1 Super range potion,|
1 Super Defence, 1 Super Energy
|Castlewars chinchompa||N/A||1 |
|Castle Wars Handbook||N/A||Free||Free|
Castle Wars tickets, armour, and weapons are untradeable. Castle Wars prizes are often criticised for their immensely high costs in proportion to the time taken to get them - it can be very difficult to earn gold tickets as 1 win only gives 2 gold tickets. If you tie, you are awarded 1 gold ticket, and losing gives you none. Even if a player won every single game, it would take around 796 hours to get a full set of profound decorative armour.
- How Many Games? ( 70) - Show a full set of profound armour to Lanthus.
- No Time to Lose ( 5) - Use a ring of duelling to teleport to Castle Wars by choosing the Castle Wars option on the ring.
- What Year Is It? ( 20) - Cast Ice Barrage 99 times in Castle Wars.
Many players have lag issues when playing Castle Wars. Immediately after getting out of the waiting room, if there are high numbers of players, players with low-powered computers may log out due to lag-related computer issues. However if you are logged out you will automatically re-enter when you log back in and if you finished easy Ardougne tasks you will also get the prayer point bonus again.
- To prevent this, players have several options:
- Wait a while until the people that log out come back in.
- Climb up the ladder that leads to the second floor, then go back down using the staircase after several moments.
- The table that holds bandages was once located on the ground floor, in the room that you get explosives and barricades from, but was later moved into the spawn because flag-holders would camp at the table and reheal themselves for the whole game.
- On 26 October 2011, Jagex hosted a 'triple tickets' event for Castle Wars to celebrate bot-nuking-day.
- There used to be an extra stretch of the river outside of the Castle Wars area, but this was later removed in a hidden update some time between 12 December 2012 and 20 June 2013, possibly to make the area more accessible.