Our Artifact Gauntlet guide covers Casual and Expert Gauntlets, with details of costs and rewards for taking part in the mode.
One of the game modes that's going to feature heavily in Artifact is called Gauntlet, and as we get ever-closer to the launch of the game we're learning a great deal more about how this system actually works.
At first glance Gauntlet can seem a little complicated, as there are free and premium versions to choose from, and they're also highly modular in terms of their structure, their rules and their rewards.
To help you make sense of the whole thing, we've put together a step by step guide that walks you through every aspect of Gauntlet gameplay.
When the game enters beta we're going to update this guide significantly with resources to help you get better at this side of the game. Check back soon for more updates. In the meantime, our core Artifact guide will get you up to speed on the game.
What are Gauntlets?
In the broadest sense, Gauntlets are challenges that require you to reach certain milestones with the deck that you're currently piloting. A standard example cited by Valve has you attempting to win five games before you lose two.
Individual Gauntlets don't last forever though, and they'll cycle in and out of the game. New Gauntlets will have different formats and structures to help keep the experience fresh for the playerbase.
How do Casual and Expert Gauntlets work?
There are two different kinds of Gauntlets available at launch: free and premium. As you'd expect, the free - Casual - Gauntlets can be enjoyed by anyone without any cost involved whatsoever, while premium - or Expert - Gauntlets require an entry fee (see the next section after this for more detail on costs).
When Artifact launches at the end of November, there'll be two free Gauntlets available:
- Call to Arms Preconstructed - This allows you to choose from one of the six decks that were designed for players to explore the game with at PAX. The idea is to take your chosen deck on the longest win-streak you can achieve, but you'll end your run as soon as you lose a game.
- Casual Constructed - In this mode you'll be able to take your own personal deck creations into the matchmaking pool, and play against players who have their own unique creations. In this Gauntlet - like all others - the goal is to achieve five wins before you incur two losses.
If you're interested in the post-purchase free play of the game, make sure you take a look at our comprehensive Artifact: Call to Arms guide for in-depth detail on all the free content.
If you want to participate in an Expert Gauntlet, you'll need to buy items known as Event Tickets. These cost $4.95 for a pack of five, and you'll receive one of these bundles with the $20 Artifact preorder pack.
The following Expert Gauntlets will be available for launch:
- Expert Constructed - Take the decks you've refined and mastered in Casual Constructed and compete for prizes.
- Phantom Draft - Choose cards from a series of decks presented to you. You do not get to keep the cards you've picked at the end of your run.
- Keeper Draft - Like Phantom Draft, except you get to keep all the cards you drafted when when your run is over.
How much do Expert Gauntlets cost?
Valve recently confirmed the entry cost and rewards structure for taking part in Expert Gauntlets.
Here's what you'll have to stump up to participate in them, and what you'll take home for reaching certain milestones with your deck:
Expert Constructed and Phantom Draft
Cost: 1 Entry Ticket
- 3 Wins = 1 Event Ticket
- 4 Wins = 1 Event Ticket, 1 Pack
- 5 Wins = 1 Event Ticket, 2 Packs
Cost: 2 Entry Tickets, 5 Packs
- 3 Wins = 2 Event Tickets, 1 Pack
- 4 Wins = 2 Event Tickets, 2 Packs
- 5 Wins = 2 Event Tickets, 3 Packs
Keeper Draft is more expensive because you get to keep the cards that you draft during the deck creation process. If you can truly master this side of the game, however, you stand to make greater rewards.
How does Gauntlet matchmaking work?
To maintain a level playing field, Valve will first of all sort players by the number of wins they've accrued on their current run.
From there, you'll be matched with more finesse by your general Artifact Match Making Rating (or MMR).
This should hopefully help to ensure that zero-win players at the start of any given run are given a fair chance to succeed among the overall pool of player skill.