Guild Wars 2 Hub

Your Source for Original GW2 Guides and Features

Norn Keg Brawl Guide

Around the Web

August 8, 2012 - 6:43am -- jeffprime
guild wars 2 guide to keg brawl

Forget namby-pamby games like football and focus instead upon the most brutal Guild Wars 2 mini-game played upon a real frozen tundra - Keg Brawl! The hellacious game where bones are broken, throwing a punch is part of the rules, and precious ale is poured onto the ice in order to gain victory. Rugby? For wimps. Football? Put on a tutu. Soccer? Don't make me laugh. To prepare you for this brawl in the blizzard, we've put together this guide to the joint-shattering mini-game of Keg Brawl.

If offering multiple ways to gain xp or engaging in some World-versus-World doesn't do enough for you, Guild Wars 2 offers some mini-games to offer an entertaining diversion. One of the mini-games that will most likely be extremely popular will be Keg Brawl. This crazy, violent game pits two teams of five players against each other while kegs of ale serve as the scoring object.

Where to Play Keg Brawl

guild wars 2 guide to keg brawlTo play Keg Brawl, you'll have to head to the Norn city of Hoelbrak. The icy lake where you'll play the mini-game is found in the northwest section of the city, just east of the Biergarten waypoint. Just run out on the frozen lake and you'll come across the Brewer, an NPC who'll introduce you to Keg Brawl. The Brewer is marked with crossed flags (red and purple) on your map. Talk to him and he'll give you the option to either jump straight into the action or practice a bit first. If you choose to practice, you'll play against computer opponents and can choose whether or not to carry a keg. If you decide to play for real, then you'll head straight into a match. You can always choose to leave a game in progress by talking to the Brewer again on the sideline.

guild wars 2 guide to keg brawl

How to Play Keg Brawl

Keg Brawl is a fine example of the bundle system in Guild Wars 2 where your normal hotbar actions are replaced with new abilities. Keg Brawl is played between two teams of five players. Kegs will appear in the center of the playing area, and there can be more than one keg. The goal is to grab the keg and carry it back to your ale collector, which results in a point. The first team to 11 points is the winner or until time runs out. Each player gets abilities to play the game, but the abilities vary by whether you're carrying the keg or not.

If you're not carrying the keg, you get the Swiftness boon. This means that if you're carrying the keg, everybody else is moving faster than you. If you're not carrying the keg, you gain the following abilities:

Abilities When Not Carrying a Keg


Punch your competitor to Daze them. 4 second cooldown.


Smash your target to knock the barrel from their hands. 4 second cooldown.

Dive Roll

Dive forward to close distance or evade attacks. 12 second cooldown


Rush at an opponent and kick them; be careful not to miss. 20 second cooldown.


Stomp the ground to launch opponents. 90 second cooldown

If your team has the keg, you goal is to prevent the other team's players from hitting your keg carrier and getting the keg. Your main job is to run interference for your keg carrier. If the other team has the keg, then your obvious goal is to stop them from scoring by getting the keg. You can make the opposing team drop the keg by hitting the carrier or intercepting the keg if they're throwing it.

When you pick up the keg, then your abilities change and you no longer have the Swiftness boon. While carrying a keg, you'll have the following abilities:

Abilities When Carrying a Keg


A short, quick throw that is easily intercepted.


Lob the keg. Less accurate, but longer range and hard to intercept.

Dive Roll

Dive forward to avoid attacks. 10 second cooldown.

Head Crack

Hit your opponent with the keg to stun them. 18 second cooldown.

Pour Ale

Dump out some ale, freezing the ground around your location. 90 second cooldown.

Strategy for Keg Brawl

If the opposing team has the keg, you'll want to disrupt their carrier by using your abilities. The more powerful abilities, such as Stomp, have a longer cooldown. Disarm is your guaranteed method to force the carrier to drop the keg. Plus, it's a lot of fun to see your character wind up and attempt to punch the keg carrier in the head. Honestly, I never got tired of it.

If your team has the keg, then you'll want to run interference for your keg carrier. Punching the opposing players will daze them. Stomp is really effective for launching players into the air and knocking them back. Charge also does a knockdown, but you'll do nothing if you time it wrong. Be prepared to switch from offense to defense and vice-versa as the game has an extremely quick pace as the keg bounces from one team to another.

guild wars 2 guide to keg brawl


If you have the keg, your goal is to get to your team's ale collector (you interact with him normally using the [F] key). You will want to avoid attacks from the opposing team using Dive Roll. You can also evade attacks by dodging normally as well. You can smack other players with Head Crack, which will stun them. Pour Ale is exactly what it says: you pour some ale on the ground causing an ice slick. If the other team runs over it, they'll be knocked down. This is a great way to give yourself some breathing room, but the cooldown is pretty high. You can also pass the keg with two different passes. Throw is a shorter pass and is more easily intercepted. To be honest, I really sucked at passing the keg.

Keg Brawl is a hell of a lot of fun to play. The game is brutal, quick-paced, and provides a nice alternative to normal gameplay of PvP or PvE. Guild Wars 2 is really giving players a lot to do in the game and the various mini-games will definitely garner a lot of interest. Keg Brawl promises to be an extremely popular mini-game full of action and good old-fashioned violence. Head on over to Hoelbrak and play the most bone-crushing game on a real frozen tundra.


Wedge7's picture
Submitted by Wedge7 on

I didn't realise the closest waypoint was called Biergarten! German for beer garden; very apt! 

I only had time to play a few matches of Keg Brawl, but really enjoyed it. Reminds me a lot of Bloodbowl, an awesome game. 

As a side note, as well as using Dive Roll, you can also evade attacks by dodging normally. This basically provides you with 3 chances to dodge attacks. It's definitely worthwhile learning the animations of the punches, so you can dodge in time to avoid the hits. 

Also, anyone know if traits are disabled during Keg Brawl? I'm mainly thinking of traits that increase endurance regen (like thieves have), as that would provide them an unfair advantage. 

jeffprime's picture
Submitted by jeffprime on

I thought quite a bit about Blood Bowl too when I was playing it. I've been a fan of BB since the original box set. In fact, I think I still have my Judge Dredd fattie team that came in an old issue of Whie Dwarf.

I forgot about normal dodging. Thanks for the heads up. I'll put it in.

MokiCzech's picture
Submitted by MokiCzech on

That looks pretty awesome, I read that they are adding it, but I did not know it is such a crazy game. Totally going to try this out when the game is out. Are there any rewards/XP for winning?

I'm a master baiter!

Wedge7's picture
Submitted by Wedge7 on

I think you get Glory by participating, just like an sPvP match. At least, that's all I remember getting. 

whoresbane's picture
Submitted by whoresbane on

Sounds like a blast indeed. If this involves some amount of skill to get good at it might become something i will do to pass time ingame. 


Btw off-topic here guys, what do you think about the day night cycle only being 2 hours long? i for one enjoy realtime cycles, im disapointed that gw2 wont have that.

"The individual is handicapped by coming face to face with a conspiracy so monstrous he cannot believe it exists."

MokiCzech's picture
Submitted by MokiCzech on

That seems fine to me, to be honest. I am not sure if I am not mistaken, but in WoW, was it dependant on server time? Because some people play really just at night (after work etc.), and they would never enjoy the lovely sunshine. What is weird though, I do not remember playing at night in BWE 3 (and I played like 8 hours straight, lol). 

So, in GW2, night/day takes 2 hours? (like, 2 hour night, 2 hour day = 4 hours total?). 

Seems like that planet is turning a bit faster than Earth does, hehe.

I'm a master baiter!

whoresbane's picture
Submitted by whoresbane on

In wow it was based on server time yes. I heard somewhere that in gw2 the full cycle together takes 2 hours. I dont remember where i heard it, might have been a video. 

Edit: apparently it consists of 80 minutes day and 40 night. This is subject to change though.

"The individual is handicapped by coming face to face with a conspiracy so monstrous he cannot believe it exists."

Sardu's picture
Submitted by Sardu on

I go back and forth about games using real time day / night cycles. Part of me enjoys having the cycles in-game last longer because it can get a bit funky to keep seeing the sun rise / set over and over and over and over....

On the flip side, real world cycles can also be a bit funky. A perfect example would be when WoW first launched. Because I tend to be a vampire a lot of the time, it meant I was always playing the game at night, and never actually saw what the game looked like during daytime for the first year or so. The first time I saw it I actually thought that my gamma settings were messed up, or I was having some kind of graphics driver issues. >.<

whoresbane's picture
Submitted by whoresbane on

In my wow days i rarely played in the late hours so i never got to see the world at night. Some times i would loggon really early and play at night, so when i did see the world at night it felt very refreshing.

"The individual is handicapped by coming face to face with a conspiracy so monstrous he cannot believe it exists."

Ayelet's picture
Submitted by Ayelet on

This looks like crazy fun.  Can I team with friends or is it just random arena style?

jeffprime's picture
Submitted by jeffprime on

I do not know. I was playing it solo as everyone was running around trying to grab all the info we could on various topics in the very short time we had in the BWE. I was hoping for some of the other mini-games to be available, but alas.

sylvinstar's picture
Submitted by sylvinstar on

I'll be trying this out at some point - it looks like fun and actually looks like there is room for decent use of strategy.

As far as day/night cycles I like them to be a bit longer, but not as long as an actual day/night cycle.

oneeyered's picture
Submitted by oneeyered on

How the heck did I miss this?!? I am so game to do some head crackin'!

Its a simple world for complicated people