Celestial Challenge is a GW2 Lunar New Year group activity which moves fast and nets you a ton of loot in a relatively short amount of time. What’s not to love? Learn the mechanics and best strategy for each phase of this festival activity.
Celestial Challenge is a series of challenges named for the animals of the Chinese zodiac. Each time you participate in a challenge, you earn a stack of the Lucky Aura effect.
At the end of the round, 12 small Chests of Fortune plus 1 large Chest of the New Year appears. You can open the Chest of the New Year, plus one chest for each stack of Lucky Aura effect you earned.
Note: All your stacks of Lucky Aura are removed when you leave the Celestial Challenge instance.
Special Action Key Skills
Each challenge has its own special action skill to help you with the challenge. Use the special action key whenever possible.
By default, the special action key is the – key (right of zero at the top of your keyboard). You can rebind this to another key in the Options menu if you prefer.
As a general rule, don’t engage with hostile mobs during Celestial Challenge unless the challenge specifies it. Whenever possible, run past enemies or use the special action skill to avoid them.
Enter Celestial Challenge
Head directly west (downstairs) from the Crown Pavilion Waypoint in Divinity’s Reach. The Celestial Challenge Attendant is located inside a big fancy Lunar New Year structure placed up against the edge of the pavilion.
Characters are automatically up-leveled to 80 when they enter Celestial Challenge. This means you can play with any level character.
The Celestial Challenges
This fast-paced game can often seem chaotic. Each challenge has a time limit, and when you’re first starting out, you may run out of time before you figure out how to play the challenge. Don’t worry – everyone has to start somewhere!
Rat’s Challenge: Deliver the celestial tributes
Celestial tributes shaped like a wedge of cheese appear on the map. Interact with one to pick it up, and carry it to the collection point. The collection point is a circular AOE which is marked with an orange basket on the mini-map. When you enter the collection point, the tribute is automatically deposited, so you don’t have to stop to do anything. Just keep running.
Special action skill: Rat Race. Dash forward in a straight line. Be careful to time your action key, this is a little like hitting the speed boost on a roller beetle. It’s easy to overshoot your target or accidentally get stuck up against a pillar.
Ox’s Challenge: Defeat the swarming enemies
Attack the mobs of enemies which appear. These mobs can quickly overwhelm a solo player, so it’s best to run around until you find at least one other player before you start attacking.
Special action skill: Ox’s March. Gain several boons. Lukewarm helpful, I guess.
Tiger’s Challenge: Defeat the powerful enemies
Three champs appear. Kill them before the time runs out. The most effective strategy is for everyone to attack the same champ at once, then move on to the next. There isn’t much time to coordinate, so try to quickly find the largest group of players. Don’t try to solo a champ, it’s not a good use of your limited time.
Special action skill: Tiger’s Claw. This is a powerful melee attack designed as a CC to break the champ’s breakbar. In practice, I don’t think I have ever managed to land this attack correctly.
Rabbit’s Challenge: Race to the gates
This is a typical GW2 race mechanic. Join the other players in the starting area and wait for the race to start. Most of the gates in this race will be up high atop pillars and bushes. Use your special action key to jump up to them.
Special action skill: Leap. A vertical jump. Luckily, there is no falling damage during this challenge.
Dragon’s Challenge: Jump to the motes
Like Rabbit’s challenge, this is a vertical challenge. Use the special action skill to target your jump, and leap around to collect motes. You don’t need to turn the motes in anywhere, just touch as many of them as possible before time runs out.
Special action skill: Dragon’s Pounce. A targeted leap which can be tricky to aim. Luckily, there is no falling damage during this challenge.
Snake’s Challenge: Run to the motes
This is like a combination of Rabbit’s and Dragon’s challenges.
Special action skill: Snake’s Tunnel. This special action skill shadowsteps to the target, but it’s not really necessary. You can just run around and get motes.
Horse’s Challenge: Race to the gates
All the gates for this race are on the ground level, so you don’t need to leap around. However, most of them are guarded by a hostile tornado which knocks you into the air on contact. Wait for the tornado to pass and run behind it.
Special action skill: Horse’s Gallop. This is a dash which lasts as long as you’re holding down the key. This dash can dodge you safely through a tornado, but it’s tricky to get the timing right.
Ram’s Challenge: Break the targets
Break targets in the area. (In all the rounds of Celestial Challenge I’ve played so far, I haven’t gotten this one yet. Is it bugged? I will update this article as soon as possible.)
Special action skill: Ram’s Advance. Charge forward and damage targets.
Monkey’s Challenge: Break the targets
Attack the targets to break them, but it’s faster to use your…
Special action skill: Monkey’s Firework. Shoot a firework that does manjor damage to targets.
Rooster’s Challenge: Capture the points
The hardest part of this challenge is finding and catching up with the chicken. Each chicken is the center of a moving capture point. Stay inside the blue AOE to capture the point. It’s tricky to keep up with the chicken. Whenever possible, ignore enemies and stay on the chicken.
Special action skill: Rooster’s Call. A speed buff. You’ll need it.
Dog’s Challenge: Capture the points
This time the blue AOE points are stationary. Each point is mobbed with waves of enemies. Don’t bother trying to attack the enemies, just wait for your special action skill to recharge and use that instead.
Special action skill: Dog’s Howl. Fear enemies out of the AOE point.
Boar’s Challenge: Deliver the celestial tributes
This is almost identical to Rat’s Challenge. Interact with a celestial tribute to pick it up and take it to the collection point. Don’t rely on the special action skill, just try to run past and avoid enemies as much as possible.
Special action skill: Boar’s Resilience. A stunbreak that never works as well as you think it will.