Welcome to Gielinor
The fantastical world of Gielinor awaits you! You are a hero freshly made and ready to step into the wider world around you. What do you want to do? The whole world is at your fingertips. If you prefer the classical fare, take up arms and quest after foul monsters and epic treasures. If you want to make a living instead, you're free to go fishing, chop wood, mine or cook over fires you light yourself. Explore the world, fight monsters and live a fantasy life in RuneScape!
Check out some of the improvements launched in the Runescape 3 update
The History of RuneScape
Official video that tells the origins of game world
In the First Age of RuneScape, the Gods created the world. They created life and land, and they brought in sentient beings from another world to populate their own. When the world was finished, the Gods fell into a deep slumber.
In the Second Age, other gods appeared, and these deities interacted with the prehistoric peoples of Gielinor, raising them up and assisting in the creation of civilization. This age lasted for two thousand years.
The Third Age saw dispute and conflict between the gods, old and new. For four thousand years, great gods and beings fought across the land. Humans and the other civilized races could do nothing but cling to survival. Finally, the three great old Gods formed a pact to step away from the world, maintaining influence only through their followers.
The Fourth Age was one of rebuilding and conflict, as the sentient races fought for resources and control. Humans, elves, dwarves, goblins, gnomes and other races vie for the land and the resources necessary to survive. This would have continued to this very day if not for the discovery of rune essence. Rune essence allowed normal humans to learn magic, and thus began the age of man.
The Fifth Age is the modern day. Humanity has grown dominant and expands throughout the world, building great cities and sprawling civilizations. The greatest of wizards were betrayed and destroyed, and humanity recoiled to their cities to stabilize. The year is now 169 of the Fifth Age. Threats assail humanity from all sides. What will you do to ensure the continuation of the great human civilization?
What is RuneScape?
RuneScape is a free to play MMO with a wide range of features available to paying members. It is, at its heart, a massive online role-playing game, and it takes the genre literally. You are free to play as the typical warrior, questing to defeat monsters and earn treasures. You're just as free to spend your time as a humble trader, mining for ore and playing the market for a profit.
RuneScape is one of the oldest games in the genre to still be massively popular. Before even World of Warcraft, RuneScape was enthralling millions. Part of the secret to its success is the complete lack of installation. The game runs entirely in the web browser, with all relevant data stored on remote servers. You are free to log in anywhere, at any time, and your data will be waiting for you.
RuneScape isn't an action game. Combat involves clicking a player or monster to attack and letting your comparative stats and equipment fight it out. There is an element of strategy, more than action, with the combat system. Everything else in the game is equally slow paced, making it a game you invest significant time into. You truly work for your progress, in a satisfying way.
Creating an Avatar
The character creation screen is almost entirely cosmetic. You select a gender and appearance, with a wide range of customization options available. Once you've created the look of your avatar, you select a name. That's it! Your character is ready to go. There are no classes or character archetypes to choose from. Instead, there are 25 different skills to use and level up. There are no restrictions on which skills you can level up at any given time, save for the fact that some of them are for paying members only. Any paying member can rank all 25 skills up to level 99, if the invest the time.
Here are the skills:
Free Skills - These skills are available to any player.
- Attack. This skill is required for many weapons, and grants your weapons a higher accuracy. This means your melee attacks hit more often, resulting in a higher damage per minute.
- Strength. This skill is also required for many weapons, and it makes each of your attacks hit harder. More damage per attack is essential for melee focused characters.
- Defense. This skill is required for many armors. IT decreases the chance of being hit, but does not decrease damage from attacks. Stronger armor, however, decreases damage more. Being hit less often is essential to survival.
- Ranged. This is the necessary skill for using projectile weapons for ranged combat, such as bows, throwing knives and other weapons. Melee, ranged and magic form a combat triangle of effectiveness.
- Prayer. This skill allows the player to pray for certain buffs in combat, such as stat boosts or temporary sanctuary from attacks. It also has a number of tertiary side effects, including the ability to wear priestly robes.
- Magic. This is the essential skill for magical combat, as well as other useful spells like teleportation and enchantments. It functions as a combination of Attack, Strength and Defense for magical attacks.
- Constitution. This skill is leveled up as combat skills level, and it grants more hit points to your player. Absolutely necessary to survive higher level encounters.
- Crafting. This general all-purpose skill allows you to create everything from armor to pottery to jewelry. Many players focus their characters around crafting and the related skills.
- Mining. You are able to mine ores and gemstones from certain rocks, which are useful for crafting and smithing. One of the essential money-making skills.
- Smithing. This skill allows you to turn ores into bars, and turn bars into weapons, armor and other items you might be able to use or sell.
- Fishing. This skill allows you to fish. You can sell fish, or cook and eat them for healing.
- Cooking. This skill requires a cookfire and food to cook, but you are able to create food to heal yourself.
- Firemaking. A self-explanatory skill, you are able to start fires, light lanterns and perform other such actions.
- Woodcutting. You can cut down trees to obtain logs for use or sale, as well as create canoes with this skill.
- Runecrafting. Runes are essential for magic use and for using special altars around the world. They are also essential for magical talismans or staffs. Runecrafting is a general magic skill that is essential to many characters.
- Dungeoneering. This unique skill allows players to delve the depths of various dungeons around the world, which gets you special weapons and treasures. In free play, it only considers free skills, while paid players take advantage of all skills in the dungeons.
Paid Skills - These skills are only available to paying members.
- Agility. This skill increases energy regeneration, and allows various movement shortcuts to be used. Some special items require agility, and the skill enhances other skills. For example, fishermen can pull in more than one fish per line with agility.
- Herblore. This skill allows you to create potions with various useful effects, from skill boosts to protection from dragonfire.
- Thieving. This skill allows the player to open locked doors, steal from chests and raid market stalls. It cannot be used on other players.
- Fletching. This skill is a crafting skill, allowing you to make arrows, darts and other ranged ammunition.
- Slayer. This skill enables certain useful combat tricks, allowing you to kill monsters in unique ways. Sometimes this allows rare drops to appear. It also has an effect in minigames.
- Farming. Farming is the source of many of the herbs necessary for herblore.
- Construction. This skill allows a player to construct a house and furnishings, which gives them their own special instanced area. Houses have a variety of useful features for any player.
- Hunter. This skill allows you to set traps, track animals and skin them for hides and treasures. Some animals can even be used as weapons.
- Summoning. This kill lets you summon pets and familiars to hold items and fight for you.
What to Do in RuneScape?
The main goals in RuneScape are to level up your skills and to put those skills to use. You can set your own goals. If you want to become one of the best players in potion-making or crafting, you can do so. If you want to raid high level dungeons with maxed combat skills, you can do that as well. You can spend your days making money from your crafting to become the richest person around. You can also attack other players for fun and profit. The choice is entirely yours.
Playing Solo or Playing Social
You are perfectly capable of playing the game solo -- in fact, many people log on only for a few minutes at a time and never do anything that involves other players. The meat of the game, however, comes from social interaction.
An example of the beautiful graphical upgrades you can experience in Runescape 3
The heart of the crafting systems, for example, requires other players to purchase your items from you. Whether you're mining and selling the raw materials, or you're fishing and selling the fish, you need buyers who will pay more than the vendors will. Some players can even play the market entirely without ever investing in a crafting skill themselves.
For raiding dungeons, a party of powerful warriors with different combat specializations are necessary. If you focus entirely on magic and come up against a boss that resists spells, you would be well advised to have a physical fighter on your side. These sorts of fights are common occurrences in high-level areas.
Player versus player combat is available as well, and for some low level areas, it is a deathtrap to step outside the city walls. Duels can be created and sanctioned, or players can prey upon those weaker than themselves. RuneScape took a lot of heat for their PvP system in the early days, but it has improved a great deal since then.
Why is RuneScape so Popular?
Many players like RuneScape for two main reasons. First, there is an immense wealth of things to do in the game. Players can spend months or years working on their skills, building their characters just how they want to. It can be incredibly immersive, not to mention rewarding when you accomplish your goals.
The second major factor is how easy the game is to play. There is no download, no installation and very little in the way of system requirements. You simply register, log in and play.
RuneScape is in a constant state of improvement, as well. Players of World of Warcraft have to wait for expansions, and buy them before they get significant new content. RuneScape players see constant content updates for free. This has been going on for over a decade, and the early game looks nothing like the game currently available.
In 2013, Jagex launched a huge update to the game called Runescape 3. The graphics, sound, and user interface were all improved in a significant way all the while still playable in a web browser.
Tech Platforms and Accessibility
RuneScape is a browser based MMO. Much like a Facebook game, it can be played anywhere a computer can access the Internet. While a machine from 1991 with MS-DOS might not be able to play it, no modern machine -- PC or Mac -- will have any trouble.
RuneScape for Pay
RuneScape is a sorely limited game for free users, but it is still playable. As seen above, the core skills are available to every player. Many of the pay skills are enhancements to the game. Likewise, paid players gain other enhancements.
- Name changes
- Larger explorable areas
- Pay-only server access
- Minigame access
- A huge number of items and quests
- More monsters to kill for exp and money
- Much more
RuneScape is one of the oldest MMOs still running today, and it is immensely popular for a reason. It is very addicting and offers a lot to do, even though it tends to withhold much of that for paid members. Millions of active players after over a decade means the game must be doing something right.
Video showing some of the highlights and milestones from Runescape's 15 year history
- Getting Started Guides - a series of official guides that help you with account and character creation as well as doing the opening tasks in the first area of the game