How To Play Gwent In The Witcher 3

Master the game within the game by learning the rules of Gwent.

Gwent is a mini-game in The Witcher 3 that plays a bit like Hearthstone, where you have a deck of special creatures or character cards that battle it out. Geralt first learns to play Gwent in the small village of White Orchard. You can play Gwent against numerous NPCs in The Witcher 3. Pretty much every vendor or merchant in the game gives you the option to play Gwent.


Since The Witcher 3 is a singleplayer game, you will exclusively be playing Gwent against NPCs. There is no way to play Gwent online. To play online, you will need to download Gwent: The Witcher Card Game, a standalone PvP title that has now reached the end of official support.

Gwent General Tips

Once you find the person who is willing to play a game of Gwent with you, place your bet. As mentioned before, pretty much every merchant is a potential Gwent player. On top of that, unique NPCs like Roche, Shani, Crach an Craite, and more also give you a chance to play Gwent against them in TW3.

At this point, select your deck and make any changes to it if you need to. Then, a coin is tossed, which chooses the player who will play their card first. Each player gets 10 cards out of which they place cards on the board until one of them is out of cards.

The board or field where the cards are placed, has some rules which explain how the game would be played. There are three rows towards each player, and they are for specific units of Close Combat, Ranged, and Seige. After all the cards are placed accordingly, the total points of each row are calculated and mentioned.

In the beginning, play a Unit card in the Close Combat row, which would affect the ability of the Unit Card, and they would be able to play accordingly. Putting down the unit cards would determine the total score, which can compete against the score of their opponent.

For example, if your opponent has a 4 or 5-point unit card and you put a 3-point unit card in their attacking row, your card would be discarded. Keep putting down cards until you have either finished your cards or one person gives a pass, and the other has more points at that point.

In summary, to play Gwent in The Witcher 3 you need to keep the following in mind:

  • The first player turn is decided by a coin toss
  • The player to win the first two rounds wins the entire game
  • Each player draws 10 random cards from their deck, followed by discarding two cards and replacing them with others
  • The game continues until all cards are exhausted or a player’s strength outmatches his or her opponent’s strength
  • Once the game starts, a player places a Unit Card on the game board (one card per turn)
  • Each Unit Card has certain strength points which add to make up a player’s total strength

Can’t start the Gwent against a character?

It’s not unusual to experience some bugs in a large game, and the same is the problem here in The Witcher 3. There are several NPCs that you can play against, and if you are on a mission to play with all the people that you can, you might find some unavailable for this game frustrating. This bug sometimes prevents usual players from not giving you the option of playing the game.

To solve this, it’s better to look for a quest connecting them to the game. This may bring back the option of playing Gwent. For example, if you can’t play against Thaler, go and find Zoltan at Dandelion’s Inn and challenge him for a game. Win against him to start a quest called Gwent: Old Pals quest. This includes Thaler as one of the Gwent players in the quest, which would then fix the issue.

Types of Gwent Card Decks

There are a total of 4 decks in Gwent comprising Unit Cards, Leader Cards, Weather Cards, and Special Cards:

  • The Northern Realms
  • The Nilfgaardian Empire
  • The Scoia’tael
  • Monsters

Below, you’ll find everything you need to know about different cards in a deck:

Leader Cards

The Leader Cards have special abilities that can be put to use during a player’s turn – only once per match. Moreover, a Leader Card has different variants which can be earned, purchased, or found; each one with unique special abilities.

Unit Cards

The Unit Cards are a player’s primary means of earning points in Gwent. There are a total of 3 types of Unit Cards, which are Closed, Ranged, and Siege. Like Leader Cards, Unit Cards also possess special abilities that can be used to turn tides during a match.

Special Cards

The Special Cards allow a player to inflict a wide array of effects during a match. These cards provide a player’s Unit Cards to come up with additional responses to deal with the opponent’s moves. A common example of a Special Card is a Weather Card.

Furthermore, a Weather Card can deplete the Strength of all cards at a player’s and his or her opponent’s disposal. In addition to this, there are certain special Weather Cards that negate all other Weather Cards in a match. Lastly, there are a total of 3 types of Weather Cards which affect different Unit Cards:

  • Snow Weather Cards affect Closed Combat Cards
  • Fog Weather Cards affect Ranged Combat Cards
  • Rain Weather Cards affect Siege Combat Cards

Hero Cards and Neutral Cards

The Hero Cards are always stronger than regular Unit Cards and are immune to Special Cards which gives the players with these cards a huge advantage. The Neutral Cards, on the other hand, don’t belong to any specific decks such as Special Cards or Unit Cards.

These cards possess special abilities which enhance the effects of other cards. The Neutral Cards include Geralt of Rivia, Yennefer of Vengerberg, and Ciri.

How to win Gwent matches in The Witcher 3

Since a player can only draw 10 cards, it’s recommended NOT to use these cards too early.

A player needs to win 2 rounds to win a match, so always be careful with them. There is no shame in passing a turn if you think your opponent’s card is too strong for your card. Furthermore, passing a turn doesn’t mean quitting the game.

Aside from certain early opponents, you need to possess a strong deck to defeat high-level Gwent players.

Remember that you can always buy new cards from the Inn at the White Orchard – the same place where you first learn to play the game. Moreover, add strong cards to your deck as soon as you get them.

Always be careful with the Weather Cards. Since these cards affect the cards of both players, only use them when you’re sure that they’ll affect the opponent’s card more than your own cards. Lastly, Geralt will come across a number of Gwent players during certain side-quests.

These players sometimes possess the best cards out there, so if you have an interest in collecting them all, challenge them! There are a total of 197 Gwent Cards in The Witcher 3, and this is one of the ways to acquire some of them.

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