4 Best Minigames In Open-World RPGs – TheFantasyTimes

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By Nikita Gambhir

4 Best Minigames In Open-World RPGs

In the realm of open-world RPGs, there exists a multitude of possibilities that captivate players beyond the main storyline. These captivating elements include scattered side quests, the art of grinding and leveling up for those who seek to vanquish bosses effortlessly, and the rewarding experience of exploration. Furthermore, mini-games serve as an additional method to divert and entertain players within the vast landscapes of open-world RPG games. These mini-games provide a unique respite amidst the chaos, allowing players to unwind and engage in activities such as card games or more daring adventures.

One prominent mini-game that immediately springs to mind is Gwent from The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Gwent has garnered immense popularity, to the extent that it has become a standalone card game. This mini-game offers joy and competitiveness to players worldwide while providing a much-needed break for the wearied and battle-scarred Witcher, Geralt. Gwent is a collectible card game wherein players can engage in rounds with various non-playable characters who possess their own card decks. The game revolves around strategically placing four distinct types of cards on the table, which ultimately determine the player’s strength at the end of each round. Certain cards possess the ability to boost units within a line, while others, such as weather cards, can weaken subsequent units, rendering them ineffective. Players are encouraged to enhance their deck-building skills through unconventional means, such as enduring belittlement and insults from innkeepers when they suffer defeat in a game of Gwent. Gwent cards can be discovered and added to the player’s deck in nearly every settlement, and players are also provided with several basic cards as a foundation for their mighty deck-building endeavors.

In Fallout: New Vegas, the Caravan mini-game presents a challenging experience for those unfamiliar with its intricacies. Similar to Gwent, Caravan is a card game; however, it relies more heavily on luck. Players are likely to encounter this mini-game early in their journey, as it is introduced by Ringo in Goodsprings, who aids players in their quest to uncover the identity of their assailant. Caravan is played with a standard deck of 52 cards and requires players to construct two out of three possible caravans before their opponent. The player must draw and play cards on a table divided into three distinct sections, each representing a caravan. Participants strive to outsmart their opponents by utilizing cards that impede their progress in building a caravan, employing jokers to manipulate the cards on the board, and strategically incorporating cards of varying suits and values to reach a total between 21 and 25, thereby forming a caravan. Players can acquire a diverse range of cards to expand their decks throughout the game world, whether it be from a merchant in a long-forgotten settlement or from the pockets of deceased survivors who succumbed to the perils of the post-apocalyptic world.

Mount and Blade 2: Bannerlord offers players an entire continent to conquer, inhabited by diverse civilizations with their own distinct cultures, each shining in a unique manner. Players can embark on a holy crusade to eradicate infidels, become beloved bandit hunters among villagers, or simply assume the role of a merchant with loyal sellswords guarding their precious caravans. Regardless of their chosen path, players will inevitably find themselves seated in a tavern, where they may encounter a solitary individual engrossed in a board game, with a cup of ale and a board before them. These non-playable characters will eagerly invite players to engage in a board game representative of their respective cultures, readily explaining the rules if requested, without any financial obligations. One such board game is Bagh-Chal, originating from the skilled archers of the woods, known as Battanians. This intriguing game employs an odd number of pawns and features sides with distinct objectives. The game consists of two factions: the sheep and the wolves. The sheep outnumber the wolves, but the wolves possess superior mobility and the ability to move diagonally when feasible. The objective for the wolves is to eliminate all the sheep, while the sheep strive to trap or obstruct the movements of the wolves. Once either side accomplishes its goal, the game concludes. Novice players are encouraged to commence their Bagh-Chal journey by assuming the role of the sheep, as it offers a slightly easier introduction and provides insight into the capabilities of the wolves.

Lastly, the beloved Final Fantasy 14 introduces a mini-game that leans more towards the arcade genre compared to others on this list. In this game, players have the opportunity to train and breed their own Chocobos, engaging in thrilling races against fellow players. Chocobos can be honed in various attributes, including endurance, speed, and acceleration. Furthermore, players have the option to customize their Chocobos, further enhancing their respective attributes. Engaging in these races allows players to partake in events tailored to different playstyles and the unique attributes of their resilient companions.

In conclusion, open-world RPGs offer a plethora of engaging possibilities that extend beyond the main narrative. Mini-games serve as a means to captivate and entertain players, allowing them to momentarily escape the chaos surrounding them. From the strategic card game Gwent to the luck-based Caravan, and from the cunning board game Bagh-Chal to the thrilling Chocobo races, these mini-games provide players with unforgettable and diverse experiences within the expansive worlds of RPGs.

There are a lot of possibilities in open-world RPGs that keep the player busy outside of the main story. These include side quests that are scattered throughout the world, grinding and leveling for those who prefer to take out a boss in a single blow or to simply reward those that seek exploration.

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One other method used to distract and entertain players in open-world RPG games is mini-games. The following mini-games are what makes the games they are in a unique experience, allowing the player to catch their breath with all the events taking place around them, and sit back with a deck of cards, or something more adventurous.

4 Gwent (The Witcher 3)

Witcher 3 Gwent deck

It is with no doubt that The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt mini-game Gwent is the first to come to mind, which is more than fair considering that Gwent went on to become its own spin-off card game. Gwent gained the joy and competitiveness of players all around the world and provided a respite for the weary, blood-stained Witcher, Geralt.

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Gwent is a collectible card game in that the player can have a round or two with any other NPC that happens to have a deck of their own as well. The game revolves around placing four kinds of cards on the table, which make up the player’s strength at the end of the round. Some cards can boost all the units in a line, while some other cards, like weather cards, can weaken and reduce the strength of all subsequent units to make them obsolete.

Players are encouraged to level up their deck-building abilities by rather strange means, such as innkeepers belittling and insulting when players lose a game of Gwent to them. Players can find Gwent cards to include in their deck in almost every settlement, also they are given several simple cards to make a foundation for their almighty deck in the future.

3 Caravan (Fallout: New Vegas)

Fallout New Vegas Caravan card game

The Caravan mini-game from Fallout: New Vegas might be a frustrating experience for those that don’t know how to play it. Similar to Gwent, Caravan is a card game, nonetheless a more luck-based one. Players will likely hear about this mini-game from Ringo in Goodsprings, quite early on their journey to find out who shot them in the head.

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Caravan is played with a deck of 52 cards, and the player has to form two of three possible caravans before their opponent does. The player has to draw and place a card on the table, which is divided into three separate sections, each one representing a caravan.

Participants will try to outwit their opponent by using cards that hinder their opponent in building their caravan, using jokers to manipulate the cards on the board, all while adding cards of different suits and values to reach a number between 21 and 25, therefore forming a caravan.

Players can find all kinds of cards to include in their deck around the world, be it from a merchant of a long-forgotten settlement, or in the pocket of a deceased survivor that failed to stand against the dangers of the post-apocalyptic world.

2 Bagh-Chal (Mount And Blade 2: Bannerlord)

game host at a tavern playing Battania game

Mount and Blade 2: Bannerlord has given players a whole continent to conquer, inhabiting many civilizations with their own cultures that shine ever brighter than others in different ways. Players can take on a holy crusade to rid the world of infidels, be bandit hunters loved by all the villagers, or simply be a merchant with sellswords on their side to protect their caravan.


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Whatever players plan to do, all players will have a seat at a tavern they stop by, and that is where they will see a lonely man sitting on a table with a board and a cup of ale in front of him. When interacted with, these NPCs will invite the player to play a board game from their culture with them, and will kindly explain the rules if asked, regardless of coin.

Bagh-Chal is the board game of the skilled archers of the woods, Battanians. This board game is interesting as it is played with odd numbers of pawns and sides with different objectives. There are two sides, the sheep and the wolves, the sheep are greater in terms of number, while wolves are more mobile and able to move diagonally when possible.

The wolves try to eliminate all the sheep and the sheep try to trap or block the wolves from moving, whenever either side reaches their goal, the game ends. Players are advised to begin learning the basics of the game as the sheep, as it is a little easier and will let them see what the wolves are capable of.

1 Chocobo Racing (Final Fantasy 14)

Final Fantasy 14 Ceremony of Eternal Bonding ceremonial chocobo

Another mini-game comes from the beloved Final Fantasy 14and it is more of an arcade mini-game when compared to others on the list. In the game, players can train and breed their own Chocobos and compete in races against other players.

Chocobos can be trained in various stats like endurance, speed, and acceleration. They can also be customized to enhance these stats even more. Players who take part in these races will be able to attend races that cater to different playstyles and attributes of their sturdy companions.


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