Starting the gameTo start a game of Book Herding, players should go to the back alley of Diagon Alley. There, the closed gate can be interacted with to start a game of Book Herding.
The goal of Book Herding is to get all 10 books of the players' colour into his or her cage. The cages are in the corners of the square area; one per player. The player is assigned a colour at the beginning of the game. The colours are Green, Blue, Orange and Purple/Pink.
The books are herded by moving to them. When the player approaches, the books will move away from the player. By moving in the right direction, the books can be manipulated to move towards the cage.
When a player has herded all ten books of his colour into the cage, the game ends. If three or four people were playing, the game continues until there is only one player left with books outside of the cage.
Books react to both the player and the opponents. A rarely used tactic is to move the other players' books away from their cages as much as possible.
Items and Spells
During the game, the player can use items and spells to impede the progess of the other players. The items appear randomly on the field and can be activated by moving over them. The player also starts with three Dungbombs. Icons stay around for 10 seconds, during which time anyone can activate them. Once activated, the icon disappears. It takes at least 5 seconds for a new icon to appear.
A player can be affected by multiple spells at the same time; so if a Smokescreen spell is active on the player, he can also be slowed down with an Impediment Jinx, for instance.
Dungbombs can be used by pressing X. When dropped, books will move away from the Dungbomb. This is very useful to move multiple books at the same time, or to make a book move faster. Players start out with three Dungbombs in their possession. More can be picked up when they appear on the field by moving over the icon.
Flobberworm Mucus is used as soon as the player moves over the icon. When activated, splashes of sticky mucus appear on the field. Books will stick to the mucus. It disappears after 20 seconds, releasing the books that were stuck to it. It affects all the players, even the player who activated it.
A common tactic is to quickly move the opponents' books into the mucus.
The Impediment Jinx (Impedimenta) slows down the movements of the other players. Normally the players run over the field. When the Jinx is active, they will walk for 5 seconds, slowing them down significantly.
The Confundus Charm (Confundo) confuses the other players. The controls will reverse and the screen turns upside down for 5 seconds. Players will either have to adjust to the change very quickly, or stand still until the effects are undone.
The Smokescreen Spell (Fumos) clouds the other players in a haze of smoke. The smoke is several times larger than the player's avatar, obscuring books from view and making it very difficult to see what is going on.
The Smokescreen spell lasts 10 seconds.
The Unlocking Charm (Alohomora) opens the cages of the other players, releasing all books that were already captured. The books will stay around the cage unless herded away. Players often choose to move these books back into the cage before continuing to capture the other books, to avoid the other players moving the books away from the cage.
While there is no guarantee of a reward, the winning player is sometimes rewarded with a random Pottermore Card. There has been no report of rewards other than the Cards.