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This is a safe minigame. If you die here, you will not lose your items.
The Great Orb Project
The Great Orb Project (often shortened to GOP) is a Runecrafting minigame located in the Runecrafting Guild. It is a research project which involves two teams gathering different orbs near various Runecrafting altars. To play this game, players must have at least level 50 Runecrafting, and have completed the Rune Mysteries quest. The official worlds for this minigame are 60 for members and 61 for free players. If you break any sort of wand, you will have to wait four minutes to play another game.



RuneScape uses the British convention for floor numbering: Ground floor, first floor (immediately above the ground floor), second floor, etc.

The minigame can be played from the Runecrafting Guild which can be accessed through a portal on the first floor of Wizard's Tower, found south of Draynor Village.

Different ways of reaching this area include:

  • Using a cabbage teleport from the Explorer's ring 3 reaching near Draynor Village.
  • Using an Amulet of Glory to quickly reach the Draynor marketplace.
  • Using the fairy ring code DIS to arrive behind the Wizard's tower.
  • Going through the East teleport on the second floor of the Wizards' Guild leading to the tower.
  • Using a Runecrafting guild teleport tablet directly leading inside the Guild. This teleport tablet may be purchased with tokens received from the minigame.




The objective of the game is for players to move as many orbs corresponding to their team colour as they can to the altars. The team with the most orbs when the timer runs out wins.

Starting the game

To join a game, players may talk to either Wizard Acantha (green team) or Wizard Vief (yellow team). A 1 minute timer starts after each team has at least two members. Wizard Elriss will then open a portal allowing players to enter the game. Players may also talk to wizards found within the Guild placing them on the least populated team. In order to join a team, players need to have at least 2 free inventory spaces and empty weapon and helmet slots.

There may be up to 5 players per team. Players may not join a team that already has an extra player than the other team. Also, the 1 minute timer will reset and stop running if a team has a two player advantage or there are not enough players on the teams.

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.


Three wands are given when players enroll to either one team, namely a Green/yellow attractor, a Green/yellow repeller, and a Green/yellow 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
File:Runecrafter hat y.PNGFile:Runecrafter hat g.png Runecrafter hat Helps identify team members, and opposition.
File:Yrepellerwand.pngFile:Repeller wand.gif Repeller wand Repels orbs away from the caster.
File:Yellow-attractor2.pngFile:Attractor wand.gif Attractor wand Attracts orbs towards the caster.
File:Ybarrierwand.pngFile:Barrier generator.gif Barrier generator Creates a barrier which creates a nuisance for players and blocks all orbs.

Other useful items

Here are other items that players might find useful to bring at the minigame:


There are 6 rounds for free players and 8 rounds for members, which are the following Runecrafting altars:

The Cosmic altar, Astral altar, Law altar, Death altar, and Blood altar are not included since they are quest-related altars.

Each round lasts 2 minutes, excluding a small break between each altar. There may also be a waiting period before starting a game. A complete F2P game lasts 15 minutes, while a P2P game lasts 20 minutes.

In the battle

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 which will spawn randomly around the altar. Orbs respawn once they touch the altar. There are 3 orbs of each colour at a time. Orbs can be moved in straight lines as well as diagonally. Note that it is also possible to attract or repel the opposing team's orbs until the last 30 seconds of the game.


At the same time, players can set up barriers at their position with the barrier generator which blocks the way of orbs and players. Orbs of both colours stop moving as they reach a barrier, and players are forced to click on it to pass normally. Barriers may not be placed directly next to the altar or the exiting portal.

Any player may destroy the barriers by simply choosing 'destroy' option without going near the barriers. Multiple players can try to remove the same barriers at the same time. A player can remove a barrier from his/her team with a single try, although destroying the opposite team's barriers may require a couple tries.

Each team member can only set one barrier each time. If a player has a barrier still up and tries to put another down, his/her original barrier will be removed while the new barrier is put in. If the player is already standing where the other team is going to put their barrier, they can later make a barrier on top of the other team's barrier, and then destroy it.

Activity bar

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 or repel orbs or create barriers which will boost the bar back up. The bar is reset and pauses at each breaks between altars, to start back at the start of the next altar.

End of a round

After each round, players will receive a number of Rune essences (or Pure essences for members) based on both teams' scores. 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.

While Runecrafting in the minigame, a player will receive twice the normal xp for each essence (with the usual multiple runes based on his/her Runecrafting level). The Explorer's ring's (2 or 3) bonus also apply. While wearing Runecrafting gloves, the experience received is three times the normal amount. For example, players normally gain 5 experience for crafting Air runes, but when crafting Air runes in the minigame, they will receive 10 xp. And if they are wearing Air runecrafting gloves, they will receive 15 xp. The 10% possibility of 5 extra experience (and an extra rune) per essence from the ring applies to any of these cases on elemental runes.

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 for the next round. People who stay behind at the altar will be dragged into the next round 30 seconds after its start. After the final round, the portal will teleport players back to the Guild.

A game can also abruptly end if members of either team quit the game which may send all players back to the Guild.

Abandoning a game

Abandoning the game will result in a 10-minute time penalty where players will be unable to play the next game until the penalty expires. This penalty will progressively decrease to a minimum of 1 minute as the game progresses through the rounds. There are a number of ways that players may leave an on-going game:

  • Getting disconnected.
  • Getting sent back to the Guild after the activity bar reaches the bottom.
  • Leaving an altar via the altar exit portal, rather than the portal created by Wizard Elriss.
  • Destroying any of the wands given before the game.
  • Teleporting.
  • Climbing up any of the ladders in the Chaos altar.

Abandoning a game other than by teleporting will return the player back to the Guild.


Here are a few tips to consider while playing the minigame:

  • Always have at least 6 (or 8 for members) inventory spaces reserved for carrying the crafted runes. This eliminates the need of banking runes after each game.
  • Keeping some essence for later rounds for better xp and value, such as:
    • Keeping essence for the last members round, where Nature runes may be crafted. This is because Nature runes are the most profitable runes craftable in the minigame, selling for around 232 coins each.
    • Keeping essence from the mind round for the water round, as these give more experience and are more valuable runes. The use of Water runecrafting gloves further increases the experience generated.
    • For free players, keeping essence from the body round to make Air runes at the beginning of the next game in conjunction with Air runecrafting gloves for better value and xp.
  • Organise the team so that some team members are "anchors", "scouts" (or "feeders") or "defenders". Anchors usually stay close to the altar converting orbs into points for the team. Scouts generally lookout for new orbs to appear, and stray further away from the altar, bringing orbs closer to the altar. Defenders generate barriers and keep enemy orbs away from the altar.
  • Similarly, divide the team so that players stands at each side of the altar to attract orbs spawning at any side easier and faster.
  • When orbs are stuck behind a pillar, try standing diagonal to the orbs before attracting the orbs. This way the orbs will go through the Pi-shaped pillars. If the orb is between the Pi-shaped pillar, try attracting it from BEHIND the Runecrafting altar.
  • Repelling the orbs by standing behind them is often more effective when threading them through the corners.
  • Avoid attracting orbs from team members, especially when team members are facing each other. Doing this will often make the orb harder to score since both people are trying to do different things with it and are getting in the way of each other.
  • Tapping is useful when playing in large groups. This is when players just click on the orb and then on another, this allows the orbs to be pulled towards the altar quickly. Team mates can then pull the orbs to the altar from a better position. This allows many orbs to be pulled at once, often giving 40-50 orbs an altar.
  • Resting is a useful action for one to do when one is waiting for the game to start or to be put into a team. Agility levels are also important to let players run for a longer period of time.

Gameplay mechanics

  • 'Tapping' on an orb moves it by 2 squares. This consists of simply attracting or repelling an orb and letting go by clicking somewhere else.
  • The first player to touch an orb of his colour controls the orb. As long as that player is still controlling the orb, the orb will not respond to attempts by other players on his team to attract or repel that orb, until the first player releases hold of that orb. If a player holds an orb too long, another player on the same team may then be able to take control of it.
  • If a player pushes an orb very far out of the water altar stage, the orb will come back one step from the boundaries of the minigame.
  • It is possible to repel an orb far enough that it cannot be accessed by any player (commonly referred to as "dead orb" or "outed"), but this only occurs on water, fire and chaos altars.


In addition to the essence received after each round, Runecrafting guild tokens will be awarded at the end of the 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 (100 tokens for members and 75 for free players). Therefore, the maximum number of tokens members can receive is 1,000, while for free players it is 750.

Note: To receive tokens for a given altar, players must participate at it. Participation consists here of attracting/repelling at least one coloured orb. Simply creating barriers will not count towards this participation (as opposed to the activity bar where it does count).

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.

Runecrafter Robes

Main article: Runecrafter Robes
A player wearing the blue Runecrafter Outfit.
Image Name Tokens
File:Runecrafter hat g.pngFile:Runecrafter hat.gifFile:runecrafter hat y.PNG Runecrafter hat 1,000
File:Runecrafter robe g.pngFile:Runecrafter robe.gifFile:Runecrafter robe y.png Runecrafter robe 1,000
File:Runecrafter skirt g.pngFile:Runecrafter skirt.gifFile:Runecrafter skirt y.png Runecrafter skirt 1,000
File:Runecrafter gloves g.pngFile:Runecrafter gloves.gifFile:runecrafter gloves y.PNG Runecrafter gloves 1,000


In-game Runecrafting bonuses:

The bonus provided by this clothing, added to the player's Runecrafting level, determines the speed at which the player is able to attract or repel the orbs, as well as the distance from which he/she is able to attract them. This boost does not affect the actual Runecrafting level, therefore a player cannot suddenly craft a new set of multiple runes they weren't able to before.


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

Runecrafting staff

Main article: Talisman staff

Buying a Runecrafting staff costs 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, as well as distracting the eyes in the Abyss to help them sneak past. Once a talisman is attached to a staff, it cannot be disassembled.


Runecrafting Teleport Tablets

Runecrafting Teleport Tablets are a stackable single-use teleporting devices (similar to teleport tablets made in a player-owned house) that teleport the player outside the specific altar. Thus, players require a talisman, tiara, or Runecrafting staff to enter the altar. They are also the only teleport tablets available to free players. See the main article for each tablet's cost.

It can be argued that these tablets do not save much time while runecrafting, as it takes time to collect the points required for these tablets. Some runecrafters believe conventional runecrafting through the Abyss is just as fast as using the tablets, given the amount of time to collect these.

Rune Essence

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, both costing 1 token per essence. Players on free worlds obtain Rune essence, while players on members worlds obtain Pure essence. Players can specify the amount of essence to buy with a 'Buy X' option. The essence are noted for convenience.

Cooperative play

In cooperative games, each team agrees to evenly share altars and not play competitively. These games require less effort than competitive games, and for this reason they are sometimes criticized as being unfair to the players who must struggle in competitive games. A disadvantage of these games is potentially receiving less tokens than one would be able to winning most games on an official world.

To stay in game by keeping the activity bar up, players participating in cooperative games often generate barriers or constantly attract or repel their team's orbs. Cooperative games are also vulnerable to "crashers" who intentionally attempt to win more altars than they had agreed to. However, crashers usually fail when their own teammates repel their orbs.

Jagex have said that this activity goes against 'the spirit of the game' since the outcome is fixed in advance.

50/50 format

50/50 or altar sharing games are overall a more efficient method of playing if you are in the game for tokens and have difficulty winning in a normal game. If you want to play this game for the challenge and competition, this method is not recommended. This type of game involves each team winning an equal number of games. While one team wins an altar, members of the opposing team simply do nothing. The fairest way of winning has been shown to be 4-4 whereby yellow team wins 4 games, the green wins the next 4. This method may seem risky as it is possible that an opposing team-member may not adhere to the arrangement over the course of the game. The less risky method is 1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1 whereby yellow wins 1 game, then green wins the next, then yellow again, and so on. Typically yellow always plays first, though this is dependent on the game. Member players play also the 3-3-1-1 method, where one team wins 3 altars, second - next 3, then the first team wins next and second team wins the last altar. World 99 is the unofficial 3-3-1-1 world. It gives the confidence of getting equal number of tokens. However, the outcome of the game is rarely affected unless an entire group of people rebel. These arrangements tend to win every player around 540 tokens (see how rewards work below). There is also a F2P version where they play 3-3 which is in worlds 155 and 152. First 3 altars are for yellow next 3 are for green (405 tokens per game). 50/50 should earn around 1167 tokens per hour on F2P servers and 1800 per hour on P2P servers.

100/0 format

One team wins 100% of the altars and the other team wins 0%. After each game, the players switch teams in a rotating way. The optimal version of this format is having 5 players where the winning team always has 3 players and the losing team has 2.

Round Green Yellow
1 Player 1, Player 2, Player 3 Player 4, Player 5
2 Player 4, Player 5, Player 1 Player 2, Player 3
3 Player 2, Player 3, Player 4 Player 5, Player 1
4 Player 5, Player 1, Player 2 Player 3, Player 4
5 Player 3, Player 4, Player 5 Player 1, Player 2

In order for all five players to receive the same amount of tokens, they should rotate for five games as shown in the table above. After which, free players receive an average of 494 tokens (for 75 minutes) in while members receive an average of 632 tokens per game (for 100 minutes).

Despite more tokens received per game, the 50/50 format is much more convenient and safer: convenient because any number of players will do and matches may be shorter, and safer because it requires less trust among strangers.

Money making


For free players, the best money-making method from playing The Great Orb Project is to buy Water talismans, which are usually the most expensive free-to-play talisman at 6,470 coins each. As free players can obtain a maximum of 750 tokens each game, these tokens can be used to buy 15 water talismans (at 50 tokens each), for a value of 97,050 coins for every game played. Since each game lasts 15 minutes, free players can potentially earn up to 388,200 coins per hour (not including the time to bank them). Also, free players may buy Rune essence at 1 token each and then sell on the market for 60 coins each, earning up to 180,000 coins per hour.


For members, purchasing Pure essence is a better alternative, as they sell for 126 coins and can be bought at 1 token each. As members can earn a maximum of 1,000 tokens each game, these tokens can then be used to buy 1,000 pure essence, for a total of 126,000 coins for every game played. Since each game lasts 20 minutes, members can potentially earn up to 378,000 coins per hour. Of course, these calculations are considering ideal token-earning situations which may likely not happen in-game.



  • This minigame is the first skill-related minigame that free players can play.
  • The Great Orb Project includes references to the game Portal. Examining the exit portals reads: "Look at you, examining things when there's Runecrafting to do!" A similar line in Portal appears in the song "Still Alive" and reads: "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 "triumph" and "Success".
  • Players in Runecrafting altars but not participating in the minigame can sometimes see players playing The Great Orb Project. Additionally, there may be a couple games held simultaneously at the same altar in the same world. One can be at the actual altar (visible to runecrafters not taking part in the minigame), while the other may be at a 'copy' of the altar.
  • Creating a barrier over a fire in the Fire altar will make it go out.
  • Tiaras can be combined with talismans while playing the minigame. However no additional experience is received for doing so.
  • Players may find Co-ord helpful, when four players surround the altar at the North, East, South, and West parts,to easily attract orbs. However, this may be hard on the Mind altar and Earth altar.


This article uses material from the "The Great Orb Project" article on the Runescape wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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