Gwent Beta Guide - How to Enter the Beta, How to Unlock Cards, Brand New Story Mode - Everything We Know about this Witcher 3 Spin-off

Gwent Beta Guide - How to Enter the Beta, How to Unlock Cards, Brand New Story Mode - Everything We Know about this Witcher 3 Spin-off

GWENT, the spin-off card game from CD Projekt RED, originally featured in The Witcher 3, but has now become an entire game in itself.

CD Projekt RED first debuted Gwent back when The Witcher 3 released on consoles and PC in 2015. The virtual card game, thought up when one of the designers happened to be in the bath, took the world by storm, becoming an overnight hit.

As Gwent inches closer to the public beta phase, we've assembled a Gwent guides hub, aimed at explaining the game to newcomers, as well as detailing how to acquire the best cards in the game.

This post will tell you everything you need to know about gaining access to the Gwent Beta, as well as when the game itself eventually releases, on top of how to play the game. We'll be updating this post with additional information as soon as it releases, so make sure to bookmark this page.

Since the release of The Witcher 3, more Gwent cards were added via the expansions Hearts of Stone and Blood and Wine. Gwent became so popular it has now been turned into its own, standalone, game, which has been in Beta since 2016.

Gwent offers an addictive, strategic game to all participants, allowing you to unlock and earn your favourite characters from the entire Witcher series, as well as featuring some particularly obscure characters from the deepest depths of the books by Andrzej Sapkowski.

How to Enter the Live Gwent Beta

With entries to the Closed Beta having recently been brought to a close by CD Projekt RED, Gwent entered into Public/Open Beta on May 24. You don’t need to jump through any sign-up hoops to take part - simply download the Gwent Beta on your platform of choice (PS4, Xbox One or Windows PC).

CD Projekt RED hasn't currently revealed when the Public Beta for Gwent will end, or when the game itself will actually release.

New Gwent Cards Revealed

Appearing in a video on the official Gwent YouTube (see below) developers Marcin Momot and Jason Slama announced the addition of 20 new Gwent cards, that will be featured in the Beta.

Among these new cards are some standout characters, last seen in previous Witcher games, or even confined only to the novels. Saskia from The Witcher 2 will be receiving her very own Gwent card, as will the Unseen Elder Vampire from the Blood and Wine expansion for The Witcher 3. In addition to this, the infamous Witcher hunter that help Ciri captive, Leo Bonhart, will also be getting his own Gwent card.

Gwent Story Mode Revealed

CD Projekt RED has revealed a brand new story mode for Gwent, dubbed 'Thronebreaker', which will see Queen Meve, the ruler of two Northern Realms, uniting her people to fight off invading forces.

The developer explained that the Thronebreaker story mode would come with its own story quests and story battles, and although this campaign will take us to places of the Witcher world that we've never seen before, we unfortunately don't have anything else to go on right now for the new mode.

How to Play Gwent - The Basics

Gwent is a game played by two people, each with one faction of cards. These factions are the Northern Realms, Nilfgaardian Empire, Monsters, and Scoia'tael, and each faction has its own specific bonus, as well as its own Leader card.

Each player takes turns to place down a single card on the battlefield, with each card adding a certain number to the overall score that the player has. For example, playing Geralt would add 15 to the score of that player, as stipulated by the number on Geralt's card.

The two players continue taking turns and placing a single card at a time, until one person passes, effectively ending that round for them. At this point, the other player can continue placing cards without the other person, in an attempt to beat their score, or they can pass too, ending the round.

At the end of the round, the scores of both players are totalled up based on the total value of the cards on their side of the battlefield, and the winner is the person with the highest score. The other person then loses a life, and each player only has two lives. The first player to lose both their lives loses the game.

Leader and Weather cards can also be added to the mix, bringing new abilities to the battlefield. Weather cards can reduce the numerical values of certain cards, while different Leader powers can be used for things like enhancing or duplicating cards.

For more detailed help, head over to our Gwent Guide - Tips and Tricks, How to Play Gwent, The Best Decks to Use article.

How to Unlock Gwent Cards

When you first begin playing Gwent, you'll be given just enough cards in each faction (Northern Realms, Nilfgaardian Empire, Monsters, Scoia'tael) to form a basic deck. On top of this, you'll also be given the first Leader card for each faction, with the most basic ability, for example the base version of Foltest for the Northern Realms can play a Clear Skies card.

From here, you can earn and unlock additional cards for each faction, whenever you earn or purchase a Card Keg. You earn a Card Keg whenever your overall level goes up, but these can also be purchased (see the pricing structure below), and each Card Keg contains five cards, one of which will be either Rare, Epic, or Legendary.

Gwent Card Kegs Pricing:

  • 1 Card Keg - 100 Ore (in-game currency)
  • 2 Card Kegs - $2.99
  • 7 Card Kegs - $9.99
  • 15 Card Kegs - $19.99
  • 40 Card Kegs - $49.99
  • 60 Card Kegs - $69.99

Each Card Keg pack can give you a variety of cards for any faction. This ultimately means that you're rolling the dice every time you open one up, as if you were aiming for Ciri or Eredin, you could instead be left with a Nekker or a Poor Infantry.

Aside from this, we've also pinpointed the best possible Gwent decks to assemble, featuring both decks for players that are just starting out, as well as decks for higher level players.

Elsewhere on USGamer we’ve got pages dedicated to the best decks to build in Gwent.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Hirun Cryer

Staff Writer

Hirun Cryer is by far the most juvenile member of USgamer. He's so juvenile, that this is his first full-time job in the industry, unlike literally every other person featured on this page. He's written for The Guardian, Paste Magazine, and Kotaku, and he likes waking up when the sun rises and roaming the nearby woods with the bears and the wolves.

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