Released in 2013, Old School RuneScape was created from a 2007 backup of RuneScape so that traditionalists could return to the classic version of this popular MMORPG. Fans had been asking for a way to play Old School RuneScape for years and Jagex absolutely delivered: the entirety of the old game was made available to play all over again.
Since then the smaller, but no less dedicated, Old School team has been developing and expanding this version into its own separate branch of RuneScape – essentially creating an alternative timeline in which the MMO evolved in a different direction to its younger sibling. Engine upgrades, quality of life changes, and even entirely new content have seen the game transform. But not too much, don’t worry.
This guide will walk you through the ins and outs of creating an account for Old School RuneScape, and – because we’re extremely generous – we’ll also throw in some tips on where you should go and what you should do at the start of your adventure in Gielinor.
CREATING AN ACCOUNT
Don’t fret, creating an account is easy. Simply head to the Old School RuneScape website and click ‘New User’. This will lead to the sign up page where all you need is a valid email address, your date of birth, and a display name. Once you’ve created your account there are only two more tasks to complete before you can start playing.
DOWNLOAD AND LOGIN
First, check to see if your computer is running the latest version of Java. To do this head to the Java website and verify which version you have installed. If it is out of date then you’ll be prompted to download the latest update. Next, you need to download the Old School RuneScape client.
Make sure you’re in a free-to-play world before logging in to Old School RuneScape. You do this by clicking on the button in the bottom-left corner to open the world select screen. Worlds with a silver star next to them are free-to-play, while those with gold stars are for paying members only. After choosing a world, click on ‘Existing User’, and enter your email address and password. That’s it, you’re now in the club.
Once you’ve customised your avatar’s appearance your next destination will be Tutorial Island. Sure, it wouldn’t be our first choice for a holiday either, but there’s plenty to be gained from spending a little time here.
A variety of local tutors will walk you through the basics of gameplay, including the combat system and a few of the skills, as well as various interface functions like the friends list. Throughout the tutorial you’ll also amass a set of basic combat and survival equipment. Once you’ve graduated from Tutorial Island, you’ll be teleported to Lumbridge – the pastoral-sounding home of new players. If you still have questions about the combat and skills there are tutors around this area that can help you. And you’ll also have the opportunity to play using one of the Ironman Modes – we wouldn’t recommended them for new players, but if you’re feeling brave seek out an Ironman tutor here.
One task you should definitely do before anything else is set a bank pin. This will protect your stored items if your account is ever compromised. Head to the bank on the top floor of Lumbridge Castle and pick the ‘PIN settings’ option when talking to the bank teller.
Now the world of Gielinor is at your feet and what you do next is completely up to you.
Non-member Old School RuneScape players have access to 15 skills, ranging from Woodcutting to Magic. Hovering your cursor over a skill will tell you how much experience you need to reach its next level, while clicking on it will open a guide that details which items and abilities each new level unlocks.
For your first dungeon venture west from Varrock to the Barbarian Village, there you will find the Stronghold of Security. Themed around the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, this dungeon is divided into four floors and contains monsters ranging from level five goblins to level 159 shades; ensuring there is always a challenging fight, no matter what your combat level is. Be prepared to have your knowledge on account security tested too! Hidden on each level is a reward room, where you will unlock a new emote and receive a one-time cash prize, totalling 10,000 coins. If you find the fourth and final reward room, you will also get the choice between either a pair of fancy boots or combat boots.
If you’re more interested in combat then head east, across the River Lum, to find a goblin-infested field. Here, you can easily practice melee, ranged, and magical combat without the fear of being overwhelmed – other than by your own magnificence.
Quests are a great way to explore the world and gain experience. Lumbridge is home to variety of good beginner quests, including Sheep Shearer, which is an introduction to the Crafting skill. You can start it by talking to Fred the Farmer at the farm northwest of Lumbridge Castle.
Rune Mysteries is an essential quest to undertake as it unlocks the Runecrafting skill. Once you get that, you’ll be able to create the runes that are used to perform spells. You can kick this one off by talking to Duke Horacio on the second floor of Lumbridge Castle.
If you get stuck on a quest, open its journal by clicking on the quest name in the Quest Log. This will recount everything you have done in the quest so far and give you a hint at what to do next. These journals also list the specific level requirements for each quest and may hint at any high-level monsters you might encounter. Alternatively, you can head over to the Old School RuneScape Wikia for more information.
So you’ve completed some quests and levelled up a couple skills, but now you’re starting to feel a little lonely. Looks like it’s time to make some friends. The easiest way to do this is to head to a popular area and start talking to other players. Lumbridge is always full of newcomers, while Varrock is a social hub for both trading – thanks to the Grand Exchange – and questing.
The best way to make friends, however, is by joining a clan. You can do this by heading to the ‘Old School Clans’ forums. Here you’ll find a ‘Looking for a Clan’ thread where you can post a little advert about yourself and what kind of clan you are looking for.
If you want to take a more active approach, you might want to take a look in the ‘Clan Directory’, which lists clans alongside a short description of the kinds of activities they’re involved in. Some clans are purely for socialising, for example, while others focus on PvP or levelling skills. Take your time to find the clan that suits your interests in Old School RuneScape and you’ll soon be making new friends.
If you get stuck on a quest then the Old School RuneScape Wiki has all the information you could ever need. Consider upgrading to a membership (you can take this for a test drive with the RuneScape Twitch Prime bundle) so that you have access to the full range of skills and quests. Now go forth, brave adventurer.