The Great Orb Project

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Bandages (Fist of Guthix).png
This is a safe minigame.
If you die, you will not lose any of your items.
Invasion plans.png
This article has a strategy guide.
All information on mechanics, setups, and tactics is on the subpage.

The Great Orb Project is a Runecrafting minigame located in the Runecrafting Guild. The Great Orb Project was originally created as a research project by Runecrafting wizards which involves two teams gathering different orbs near various Runecrafting altars. To play this game, players must have at least level 50 Runecrafting.

Location[edit | edit source]

Runecrafting guild world map.png

The minigame is accessed through a portal in the Runecrafting Guild located on the top floor of the Wizards' Tower.

Different ways of reaching this area include:

Gameplay[edit | edit source]

Objective[edit | edit source]

The objective of the game is for players to move as many orbs corresponding to their team colour as they can to the altars. They must also keep orbs of the opposite team away from the altar. The team with the most orbs deposited in the altar when the timer runs out wins the round.

Starting the game[edit | edit source]

Great orb project portal.png

To join a game, players may talk to Wizard Acantha to join the green team, Wizard Vief to join a yellow team, or other Wizards found in the guild to join a random colour team. A timer starts after each team has at least two members. The timer lasts for one minute, after which a portal opens in the north end of the room allowing players to enter the game. In order to join a team, players need to have at least 2 free inventory spaces and empty weapon and helmet slots. In addition, the player must deactivate any head override in order to play.

There may be 2 to 5 players per team, but the timer will not run unless:

  • There are at least 2 players on each team,
  • The number of members on the two teams differ by no more than 1.

Players may not join a team that already has more players than the other team.

To leave a team before the start of the minigame (before the portal has opened), players can simply destroy any of the given wands or speak to any wizard in the Guild to leave a team. Doing this will not result in any penalty (see the section on Abandoning the game).

Equipment[edit | edit source]

Upon joining a team, players receive an Attractor wand, a Repeller wand, and a Barrier generator. A Runecrafter hat is also given to distinguish which team players are on. The hat and attractor wand are equipped automatically.

Image Name Use
Runecrafter hat (The Great Orb Project, yellow).png Runecrafter hat (The Great Orb Project, green).png Runecrafter hat Helps identify team members, and other players.
Green attractor.png Yellow attractor.png Attractor wand Attracts orbs that are up to 10 tiles away from the player.
Green repeller.png Yellow repeller.png Repeller wand Repels orbs that are up to 8 tiles away from the player.
Green barrier generator.png Yellow barrier generator.png Barrier generator Creates a barrier which blocks all orbs and players trying to go through it. Only one barrier per player can be made. Destroying another team's barrier may take several tries, but only one try is required for barriers from the player's own team. Right-click it for the option to destroy it.

Altars[edit | edit source]

There are 6 altars for free players and 8 altars for members:

  1. Air altar
  2. Mind altar
  3. Water altar
  4. Earth altar
  5. Fire altar
  6. Body altar
  7. Chaos altar P2P icon.png
  8. Nature altar P2P icon.png

The rest of the altars are not included in the minigame.

Each altar lasts 2 minutes (200 ticks) with a small break of 15 seconds between each altar. A complete F2P game lasts 13 minutes 30 seconds, while a P2P game lasts 18 minutes.

In the battle[edit | edit source]

Audio options icon.png
Your team has claimed the altar!

Audio options icon.png
Your team has lost the altar.

To score points, the team's orbs must be led to the 1-grid square around the altar with an appropriate wand, by either attracting or repelling the orbs. The orbs will spawn randomly in one of the 200 fixed spawn-points per altar. The orbs will respawn once they touch the altar. There are 3 orbs of each colour at a time. Note that it is also possible to attract or repel the opposing team's orbs until the last 30 seconds of the game.

Activity bar[edit | edit source]

During the minigame, an activity bar is present next to current score indicator which shows how active the player is. This bar gradually depletes over time. Once a player's bar reaches the bottom, the player will be removed from the minigame and sent back to the Guild. In order to keep the bar up and to stay in game, players must attract/repel orbs or create/destroy barriers which will fill a portion of the bar. The bar is reset and pauses at each break between altars.

GOP Activity.png

End of an altar[edit | edit source]

After each round, players will receive a number of Rune essences (or Pure essences for members) equal to their team's score minus half the other team's score, plus 1. If this number is below 1, the player still gets 1 essence. If players' inventories are full, the extra essences will be left on the ground. Players can then choose to craft them into runes at that altar or to keep them for later use.

Runes crafted during a game of GOP award twice the normal experience for each essence. Runecrafting gloves or Bonus experience will double the base amount of experience received. So, if a player wins an altar and uses runecrafting gloves or bonus experience, they will get three times the regular rate. The Explorer's rings (2, 3, or 4) can be used to craft additional runes at the elemental altars.

After a few seconds, a purple portal will appear in the altar. Players will need to step into it to be teleported to the next altar in the next round. Players who stay behind at the altar will be dragged into the next round 30 seconds after it begins. After the final altar, the portal will teleport players back to the Wizards' Guild.

A game will also abruptly end if members of either team quit the game which may send all players back to the Guild if there are not enough players to keep the game in session.

Abandoning a game[edit | edit source]

If the player leaves an on-going game, they will be sent back to the Runecrafting Guild. Some ways a player can achieve this is by destroying any of the wands, letting their activity bar deplete, or losing connection. Abandoning the game at the beginning will result in a 10-minute time penalty for F2P and 15-minute penalty for P2P preventing players from joining a new game. This penalty will decrease to a minimum of 1 minute as the game progresses through the altars.

Strategies[edit | edit source]

In order for a player to gain tokens at a decent rate when playing against a random sample of players in GOP, they need to learn basic strategies for playing efficiently. For guaranteed game wins, a player may join a "50/50 Game" where each team wins half of the altars. Advanced strategies are available for players interested in playing GOP in a competitive way (i.e. going for high scores and participating in tournaments). See The Great Orb Project/Strategies for some guidance on how to play GOP effectively.

Rewards[edit | edit source]

Audio options icon.png
Your team was victorious!

Audio options icon.png
Your team was beaten...

In addition to the essence received after each round, Runecrafting guild tokens will be awarded at the end of each game. For each altar that a team wins, each player on that team receives 100 tokens. For each altar lost, players receive 10 tokens. For each tied altar, players receive 25 tokens. An additional 200 tokens for members, or 150 tokens for free players, are awarded to players on the team that won the most altars. If both teams win the same number of altars then the majority bonus is split evenly between both teams. The maximum number of tokens members can receive is 1,000, while for free players it is 750.

To receive tokens for a given altar, players must attract/repel at least one of either team's orbs. Simply creating barriers will not allow you to receive tokens for that altar.

These tokens can be traded with Wizard Elriss at the entry of the Guild for robes, teleportation tablets, essence, talismans, and staves. All of these rewards are untradeable except for the essence and talismans. Ironmen are unable to purchase any rewards excluding cosmetic rewards, a single Blood altar teleport, and the Master Runecrafter robes[1].

Runecrafter robes[edit | edit source]

Image Name Tokens
Runecrafter hat (green, goggles off).png Runecrafter hat (blue, goggles off).png Runecrafter hat (yellow, goggles off).png Runecrafter hat 1,000
Runecrafter robe (green).png Runecrafter robe (blue).png Runecrafter robe (yellow).png Runecrafter robe 1,000
Runecrafter skirt (green).png Runecrafter skirt (blue).png Runecrafter skirt (yellow).png Runecrafter skirt 1,000
Runecrafter gloves (green).png Runecrafter gloves (blue).png Runecrafter gloves (yellow).png Runecrafter gloves 1,000


  • All three sets may be stored in the Magic wardrobe of a Costume Room.
  • They do not provide any bonus to Runecrafting levels either in or out of the minigame.
  • The goggles on the Runecrafter hats can be flipped up or down.

Master runecrafter robes[edit | edit source]

Image Name Tokens
Master runecrafter hat Master runecrafter hat 15,000
Master runecrafter body Master runecrafter body 15,000
Master runecrafter skirt Master runecrafter skirt 15,000
Master runecrafter boots Master runecrafter boots 15,000


  • These are members only.
  • Each piece of Master Runecrafter robes provide a +1% experience boost when Runecrafting. When all four pieces are worn, this experience boost is raised to +5%.
  • At 405 tokens per F2P game it will take 148.2 games to earn the full Master Runecrafter robe set. At 540 tokens per P2P game it will take 111.1 games. Since a 50/50 split of altars will reward at the same rate of tokens per hourly rate in both F2P and P2P, it will take 33.33 hours to obtain the full set.

Talismans[edit | edit source]

All talismans except for death, blood and soul talismans can be purchased with Runecrafting Guild tokens. Free-to-play talismans cost 50 tokens each, and pay-to-play talismans each cost 125 tokens.

Runecrafting staff[edit | edit source]

The price of a Runecrafting staff is 10,000 Runecrafting guild tokens. Binding a talisman to the staff (by using either of them on the appropriate altar) creates the corresponding talisman staff. Once wielded, this allows players to enter the designated altar through the mysterious ruins. The staff will also distract the eyes in the Abyss, allowing the player to sneak past. Once a talisman is attached to a staff, it cannot be disassembled.


Teleport tablets[edit | edit source]

Runecrafting teleport tablets are stackable, single-use teleporting devices (similar to teleport tablets made in a player-owned house) that teleport the player outside the specific altar. Players still require a talisman, tiara, or Runecrafting staff to enter the altar. Runecrafting teleport tablets are also the only teleport tablets available to free players.

Rune essence[edit | edit source]

The last reward a player may buy with their Runecrafting guild tokens is essence. Although the reward screen says "Rune Essence" on both free worlds and members worlds, the type of essence received actually depends on which type of world the player is on. Players on free worlds will obtain Rune essence, while players on members worlds will obtain Pure essence. Players can specify the amount of essence to buy with a Buy X option. The essence is automatically noted.

Money making[edit | edit source]

The best money making method for free players is to buy talismans with their reward points.

Free players may earn up to 750 tokens each game, equating to 15 water talismans in 14 minutes and 30 seconds. Free players are able to potentially earn up to 38,000 coins per hour.

Members may earn up to 1,000 tokens per game, equating to 20 water talismans in 19 minutes. Members can potentially earn up to 39,000 coins per hour. Because demand for the talismans is driven by its use in Geyser Titan pouches, the price fluctuates more rapidly than other talismans.

Alternatively, members may purchase pure essence, up to 1,000 pure essence per game, potentially resulting in 398,000 coins per hour.

Another great way to make money is by purchasing Teleportation tabs as they can be useful for Runecrafting runs. One can expect altar runs to be reduced to 20 seconds each, consuming around 180 tablets per hour.

Achievement[edit | edit source]

  • Altar Explorer (RuneScore.png 10) – Play a round of Great Orb Project on each different altar map.

Update history[edit | edit source]

This information has been compiled as part of the update history project. Some updates may not be included - see here for how to help out!
  • patch 5 January 2015 (Update):
    • Ironman characters may now play The Great Orb Project. Rewards are restricted to the cosmetic outfits and a single Blood Altar teleport.
  • patch 13 January 2014 (Update):
    • Players are now warned before leaving the Runecrafting Guild via the portal if they are on a Great Orb Project team.
  • patch 22 July 2013 (Update):
    • Players are warned if they have a customisation override active when joining the Great Orb Project.
  • patch 22 November 2011 (Update):
    • The Great Orb Project now has a minimap "minigame" icon.
    • The Living on Borrowed Time emote can no longer be used whilst waiting for a Great Orb Project game to start.
  • patch 31 August 2011 (Update):
    • The mouse-over on the reward interface now states the correct items on the master runecrafter gear.
  • patch 2 November 2010 (Update):
    • Great Orb Project barriers will no longer send players into walls, and can no longer be placed next to the altar by running.
  • patch 6 October 2010 (Update):
    • Adjusted the inventory check when purchasing teletabs in the Runecrafting Guild.
  • patch 7 September 2010 (Update):
    • Female robes from the Great Orb Project have been adjusted to resemble the male version.
  • patch 25 May 2010 (Update):
    • Re-modelled some of the scenery in the Great Orb Project area.
  • patch 9 November 2009 (Update):
    • Altered the render order of some of the scenery in the Great Orb Project waiting area.
  • patch 13 October 2009 (Update):
    • Fixed an issue with the Great Orb Project waiting room.
  • patch 2 September 2009 (Update):
    • If you place a barrier in the Great Orb Project while you're moving, it should stay where you put it instead of trying to follow you.
  • patch 8 July 2009 (Update):
    • Great Orb Project: free players who can't take part in the members-only altars are no longer penalised for their lack of contribution.
  • patch 25 February 2009 (Update):
    • You can no longer block people from leaving Runecrafting altars by building barriers around the exit portal during the Great Orb Project minigame.
  • patch 2 September 2008 (Update):
    • Two worlds (60 and 61) have been designated as suggested 'Great Orb Project' worlds.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The Great Orb Project includes references to the game Portal. Examining the exit portals, even as an observer, reads: "Look at you, examining things when there's Runecrafting to do!" A similar line in Portal appears in the song "Still Alive" where GLaDOS sings: "Look at me still talking, when there's science to do." Another reference to the lyric is after failing a match without getting a single altar win. Wizard Vief will say "This was a disaster! I'm making a note here: HUGE FAILURE", instead of "This was a triumph. I'm making a note here: HUGE SUCCESS."
  • If you try to perform the emotes "Give Thanks" and "Seal of Approval" it says "The magic of the orbs prevent you from doing this emote." however when trying to perform the "Skillcape" emote the word becomes "prevents."
  • You can gain faster tokens playing on P2P worlds. This is due to having two extra altars before having to wait 1 minute for the game to start again. The difference makes gaining tokens in a P2P world 1.75% faster than a F2P world.
  • The theoretical maximum score for someone soloing is 98 for air altar and 48 for mind altar. This is calculated from attracting orbs that constantly spawn on the closest spawnpoints, knowing that there are only 199 playable ticks in each altar, and that orbs move at a rate of one tile per tick. The likelihood of orbs constantly spawning there, though, is extremely unlikely.
  • Prior to RuneTek 5 there were different mechanics that would follow into different responses to "taps" or "angles" within a game.
  • There was a glitch where you couldn't deposit when the Wizard Tower graphics update was implemented. This has been fixed.
  • Before 28 November 2012 (Wizard Tower graphics update) players could follow each other simultaneously while having (run on) around the portal. This no longer can be done.