|Release||27th February 2008|
- This page is for objective, encyclopaedic content. There is a separate forum page to discuss tactics and strategy.
Arcanists is a turn-based strategy game. Players take turns to utilise one of sixteen spells, chosen by the player beforehand, in order to defeat their opponents. Members have many more spells, clothing and abilities than free players. Arcanists can also be played at www.arcanists.com, although account management and server switching is still done via the main FunOrb site.
You play as a wizard who can deploy various spells, most of which deal damage, protect you, or summon minions which you can then command. Each player starts with 250 health and, unless they have used a special ability (Soul Jar), will die when it hits zero. After the player dies, he/she may still spectate the game. After each player has had 60 turns, the game will automatically draw, saying the game was out of time. Some players stall in order for this to happen. Playing the tutorial will help you to get the hang of movement, aiming, and firing, and is recommended before joining a multiplayer game. It is worth noting that you can customise your spell book: non-members, new players, and new members won't have access to the full range of spells, but can still benefit from examining the options available. You can also customise your appearance and unlock more clothing items by completing achievements or purchasing them with orb coins on the Orb Downloads section of the FunOrb website.
Movement and Direction
All of the basic movement actions have alternative keys. Note that these vary between the localised FunOrb sites, as assumptions are made about the keyboard layouts players on each site will be using. This table documents the keys for the English-language version:
|Move||Key 1||Key 2|
Down (while flying)
Up (while flying)
The mouse is used to target and fire most weapons.
The cursor keys are used to look around the battlefield, although this will cause the camera to stop automatically following the active player or minion. On your turn N and C will loop through your team's minions and your Arcanist; on someone else's turn, N and C will centre on the active player and return the camera to auto-follow mode. Pressing Q on your turn will skip the current go and move on to the next player without you doing any action.
Under certain circumstances, you may find yourself with the ability to fly, or controlling a flying minion. In this case high jump becomes movement upwards, and long jump becomes movement downwards. If your Arcanist has mounted a minion, you have to control the minion rather than the Arcanist. Something important that you must remember is that you cannot attack while mounted on a minion, you can attack but any attack WILL hit the minion, even a bomb will get stuck on it.
Sometimes, it can be difficult to jump from one location to the next if your character is facing the wrong way, as turning around may mean you fall from where you are standing. To change direction without moving, choose a weapon and target it in the direction you wish to face.
- Main article: Arcanists/Spells
Arcanists features 9 distinct maps to fight in: one for beginners, and one each for every spellbook except Seas and Cogs. All the maps except Grassy Hills contain an Armageddon spell that starts firing and continues firing from both sides of the map while slowly converging inwards after all the players have moved 10 times.
| Grassy Hills|
These green slopes are where all young Arcanists train to become great mages. All that can be found here is a clean battleground in which to test your skills.
Armageddon Spell: None
| Giants' Mountains|
Steep slopes and rugged terrain. Stay here too long and the volcanoes will erupt!
Armageddon Spell: Volcano
The volcano's power is affected by the current turn's player's familiar.
| Elven Isles|
These living islands offer much in the way of places to hide, but watch out, as the ancient magics guarding the area will start raining comets down!
Armageddon Spell: Comet
| Goblin Caves|
The dank caves of the goblins are a common battleground. Intense mining has disturbed the deep and the ground is liable to erupt from under your feet!
Armageddon Spell: Fissure
| Murky Swamp|
Amid the witches' huts and rotten trees, Arcanists battle to control the arcane sources of magic within the swamp. Keep hidden, as the high concentration of power draws storms in from afar.
Armageddon Spell: Storm
The gentle slopes of the graveyard are covered with the remains of past Arcanists who have failed in this arena. Evil spirits haunt this place, sending bolts of pure chaos down onto anyone who disturbs them.
Armageddon Spell: Rain of Chaos
| Sky Castles|
The angels of the sky have opened their heavenly gates to allow Arcanists to engage in battle between their castles in the clouds. Choose your tower and allies carefully to achieve victory in this realm.
This map might be based on the Castle Wars minigame in RuneScape.
Armageddon Spell: Sky Ray
| Mos Le'Harmless|
Make your way to the islands of Mos Le'Harmless to get your hands on some 'rum', but watch out for the monkeys - they might just rain on your parade.
This map is based on an island in RuneScape of the same name, and shares its theme tune, Life is a beach!, with RuneScape.
Armageddon Spell: Monkey (not a spell from any spellbook, but based on the Book of Nature)
When the Armageddon starts, each player will in turn have a monkey summoned and placed in one of their minion spaces. These monkeys are controllable, but have a pathetic jump height, and will refuse to walk into water. On the "owner's" turn, the monkeys will all fire thorn balls at him or her. The monkeys can be zombified, in which case the zombifying players gain ownership of them, and therefore extra thorn balls thrown at them on their turn.
This map will provide a very different style of gameplay; imps will surely find their home there...
This is a members-only map. It has unique dimensions — it is half as tall and twice as wide as the other maps. To accommodate the wider mini-map it rearranges the spell book layout.
Armageddon Spell: Variant of Arcane Arrows
The Armageddon Arcane Arrows fires considerably more arrows than the normal Arcane Arrows, and it fires them from below the waterline. The target is initially random, however the server may later begin to target the player whose turn is starting. The arrows, dealing Arcane damage, do not damage the player whose turn was starting when the spell was cast.
There are two styles of game: team and free-for-all (FFA). A team game requires an even number of players: the top half of the list of players form the red team and the bottom half form the blue team. The host of an unrated game cannot start a team game with an odd number of players. In rated games, however, the teams are divided by who waits the longest and shortest for the game to start.
Although nothing prevents people from forming informal teams in an FFA game, the handling of turn order between the two styles has an important difference. In FFA the turn cycles through the players, but in team games it alternates between the teams and so offsets a lot of the advantage which would otherwise be gained by eliminating a player from the opposing team. In a 2 v. 2 team game, if one person dies, their teammate gets double turns to even the difference. In a 3 v. 3 team game, if two people of the same team die, their surviving teammate gets triple turns.
- Main article: Rating
At the end of a game, certain awards are given out to the players who did certain things during the match. In a rated game, players who get awards usually get wands; however the number of wands gained seems to vary greatly. It may depend on you, your team's, and your opponents' ratings; how many awards you each received; and whether or not the average rating of the game is less than the level for your prestige hat. As a general rule, more awards are given in games with multiple opponents and many turns.
Note that the meaning of the awards has not been officially published, and so is intelligent speculation for the most part.
|Most Damage||The player who caused the most damage.|
|Most Powerful||The player who used their spells most powerfully.|
|Most Minions||The player who summoned the most minions.|
|Most Kills||The player who killed the greatest number of people during the match.|
|Most Skillful||The player with the most successful hits.|
|Minion Master||The player who used their minions most powerfully.|
|Most Wet||The player who fell into the water the most times. (Minimum - 2 times)|
|Most Useless||The player who caused the least damage to their opponents, and healed themselves the least.|
|Most Resilient||The player who moved across the map more often from one side to the other.|
|Most Cruel||The player who caused the most damage to themselves or their team.|
|Most Honourable||The player who caused the least damage to themselves or their team.|
|Most Annoying||The player who repeatedly used the same spell.|
|Most Fit||The player who moved around the most.|
|Most Bouncy||The player who jumped around the most and who bounced the most.|
|Dragon Master||The player who used their dragon most powerfully.|
|Imp Master||The player who used imps most powerfully.|
|Zombie Monkey Killer||The player who killed the most zombie monkeys on the Mos Le'Harmless map. Only available during Halloween.|
Wandsawards. However, players with prestige hats can only win wands while the match's average rating is above a certain number, and players who leave the game before the end will not only lose rating but also fail to receive their wands.
Prestige hats are an optional series of icons which players can earn after purchasing all spells (or getting enough wands that would allow them to do so). The spells are traded in for a prestige hat, and the player is left with the initial spell sets (most of the arcane and flame books) and the Book of Cogs, which is only unlocked by obtaining a prestige hat. They have to repurchase the lost spells with more wands. Each Prestige hat makes gaining wands more difficult. To make sure players don't accidentally buy prestige hats and lose all their spells, you must hold 'CTRL' and then click the buy button (right) before you can actually buy the hat. Gaining the first five prestige hats will unlock the Lord of Wands achievement. Gaining all ten prestige hats takes time and persistence but is a huge milestone, and gives you the Wand Hoarder achievement.
Below is a chart showing the average game rating needed to gain wands at the normal rate. For example: If you have the fifth prestige hat, you don't need 1250 rating to gain the normal wand rate, instead the average of all players' rating in the game needs to be equal to or greater than 1250. This means that if you're fighting someone with a rating of 100 and your rating is 1600 you would not get the normal wand rate if you win because the average of 100 and 1600 is only 850 but if you're fighting someone with a rating of 1050 and your rating is 1600 you would get the normal wand rate because the average of 1050 and 1600 is 1325.
|Average Game Rating Needed
for Normal Wand Gain
- In total it takes 153 wands to buy a prestige hat, meaning it will take 1.530 wands to buy all prestige hats, and 1.683 wands to earn all prestige hats and all spells.
- You will NOT gain any more wands if you have bought all the spells, unless you buy another prestige hat.
|Image||Name||Requirement||Orb Points||Orb Coins||Members?||Sorter|
Kill a player using an arcane portal to circumnavigate their defences
Win 20 Rated games
|An Average Summer's Day||
Win a Rated game having controlled the weather blocking out the sun
Win 5 Rated games
Obtain a Rating of 4000 after winning 50 Rated games
|Axing for Trouble||
Insta-Kill with the Dark Knight
Destroy an enemy with the ultimate weapon of light
|Block out the sun||
Use Flurry with at least four Elves at maximum power in a Rated game
Win a Rated game in which you exhibit great celestial control
|Champion of Magic||
Win a rated game, over 3000 rating, with any full spellbook.
|Circle of Death||
Kill a player while holding the remnants of his feeble attempt to destroy the world
Win a Rated game, over 2000 rating, taking no towers
Win a rated game, over 3000 rating, with the Alarm Clock familiar.
|Come With Me||
Zombify the mount another Arcanist is riding.
Deal 25,000 damage to your enemies in Rated games
Win a Rated game using only bombs
Deal 250 damage in one attack, during a Rated game.
Show how well you use your Beasts of Burden to shield you from enemy attack
Win a Rated game because the environment aided you
|Cyclone of Pain||
Deal excessive damage with control of nature
|Didn't see that coming||
Sacrifice your windy minion and laugh at the consequences
Win a Free-For-All Rated game with over 4 players
Win a Rated game in which you cause great rifts in the world
Kill a player with a drop arrow
|Dust to Dust||
Deal excessive damage using the staff of the storm
Win a Rated game
Win a Rated game with an army of at least four Hard Water Trolls.
|Finally Did It||
Win a game at the last possible moment
Deal 1,000,000 damage to your enemies in Rated games
Win a Rated game, over 1500 rating, using a Harpy Flame familiar
Win a Rated game, over 1500 rating, using a Frost Sprite familiar
|Guardian of Souls||
Destroy an enemy's Soul Jar
|Hangin' with my friends||
Only deal damage with minions and win a Rated game
Obtain a Rating of 2000 after winning 50 Rated games
Kill a player with the power of plants
Win a Rated game having summoned forth the greatest foes
Win a Rated game using no direct fire spells (balls, bombs or arrows)
Win a Rated game ending as a Lich with a Zombie Dragon
|Just a Flesh Wound||
Win a Rated game with 1 health remaining.
|Lord of Dragons||
Prove yourself the lord of dragons in a six player free-for-all fight
|Lord of Wands||
Get the fifth level prestige hat.
|Lord of the Castle||
Show your superiority of tower ownership
Win 50 Rated games
|Mark of Fame||
Defeat an Arcane Master Moderator in an epic battle of skill and arcane cunning!
Win a Free-For-All Rated game, over 2000 rating, with 4+ players
|Master Team Leader||
Win a Rated team game, over 2000 rating, taking no losses to your team
|Master of Arcanists||
Win Rated games on every map without changing your spellbook
|Master of Cogs||
Win a rated game with the full Book of Cogs
|Master of Darkness||
Win a Rated game with the full Book of Underdark
|Master of Familiars||
Prove mastery of your familiar in a six player game, in which all choose a different path
|Master of Flame||
Win a Rated game with the full Book of Flame
|Master of Frost||
Win a Rated game with the full Book of Frost
|Master of Imps||
Having 3000 rating or over, win a rated game using the Full Arcane Spellbook
|Master of Light||
Win a Rated game with the full Book of Overlight
|Master of Minions||
Win a Rated game with 10 minion spells in your spell book
|Master of Monkeys||
Play a Rated game and earn the most Zombie Monkey kills in the Mos Le'Harmless arena during the Hallow'een holiday
|Master of Nature||
Win a Rated game with the full Book of Nature
|Master of Seas||
Win a Rated game with the full Book of Seas
|Master of Stone||
Win a Rated game with the full Book of Stone
|Master of Storm||
Win a Rated game with the full Book of Storm
Deal excessive damage by pulling all minions into the darkness
Show your mastery of Flash or Vine Whip
Win a rated game, over 2500 rating, with the Fungus familiar
Win a rated game, over 2000 rating, with the Cherub familiar
Win a Rated game where you show mastery of your whole spell book
Win a Rated game in resizable mode
Win a Rated game with a very weak attack.
Punch, Bash or Whip your enemies far and wide
Exhibit your skill of sanctification
Win a rated game, over 2500 rating, with the Seahorse familiar
|Shake n' Quake||
Shake the world causing the drowning of many foes.
Kill a player with a skimming throw across the water
Kill an Arcanist in a rated game with a ball, bomb or bolt spell... from the opposite side of the map.
Heal excessively using the greatest powers of darkness
Win a rated game, over 1500 rating, with the Pet Rock familiar
Win a Rated game, over 1500 rating, using a Storm Cloud familiar
Deal 5,000 damage to your enemies in Rated games
Subvert the ultimate weapon of light.
Win a rated game using a teammate's minion to kill the last enemy
Kill at least 2 enemies using bombs thrown from the ground
|Trainee Team Leader||
Win a Rated team game taking no losses to your team
Win a rated game, over 2000 rating, with the Soul Jar familiar
|Up, Up and Up some more||
Launch yourself into space!
Deal 250,000 damage to your enemies in Rated games
Purchase the tenth (and final) prestige hat for your Arcanist
|Whiter than White||
Wash your enemy's shields off for him
Win 5 Rated games in a row during one session
Win 2 Rated games in a row during one session
|With the Fishies||
Win a Rated game by knocking your opponent into the water
Deal 1,000 damage to your enemies in Rated games
|You got the Touch||
Kill three or more Arcanists in the final turn within a rated game
- During the 2008 Christmas season, the Grassy Hills theme was covered with snow, with castles and trees having Christmas decorations.
- During the 2009 Halloween season, the Mos Le' Harmless stage had the monkeys dropping from the first turn as zombies that shot thorn bombs, which were affected by the nature familiar.
- On 5th August 2010, the first f2p achievements (15 of them) aside from "mark of fame" were released in an update alongside 17+ members-only achievements (and one hidden members-only achievement).
- Arcanists is currently the #1 most played game on FunOrb, and has for a long time remained such. Only for a short period of time was it passed by Armies of Gielinor.
- Arcanists was voted players' favourite FunOrb game in a RuneScape Poll.
- Once a player has played 500 games the ratings menu will no longer accurately count; it will instead say 500+.
- The Arch mage achievement was previously obtained by achieving a ranking of 5000 after winning 50 rated games, but it has now been lowered to 4000 because Jagex felt that a 5000 rating was too hard for even some of the best legitimate Arcanists players to get (and as a result the previous requirement of 5000 rating encouraged illegal transferring of rating).
- The flame familiar Harpy flame graphics are reused from the Wizard Run Harpy king boss.
- The Cuckoo clock spell sound is reused from Torquing! collecting hourglass power-up.
- The Block out the sun achievement is a reference (possibly indirectly through reference to a modern adaptation) to an incident mentioned by Herodotus in the context of the Battle of Thermopylae, or a line in the movie 300.
- On Mos Le'Harmless, you can make your monkey minions fall off without using a spell. Bring one of the monkeys to the edge of the stage, put the other monkey on top as close to the edge as possible, and simply move the bottom monkey away from the edge to make the top one fall. Normally the monkeys cannot be walked off into the water.
- The Frost Giant's appearance may be a reference to Marvin the robot from the film version of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
- If you try to Zombify a paladin, you will get a dark knight instead of a zombie paladin.
- You can get 6250 hp by playing in a 6 player match as a lich and zombify everyone's minions and use the dark defence to give them the damage, meaning that no spell can actualy kill YOU while the minions are alive, but doing this would be close to impossible as you'd have to hide 24 creatures.