Character name

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The character names interface.
The character names interfaces ingame.
What happens if you try to change your name before a month has passed.

Display Name small icon.png An account's character name, also known as its display name, is the alternative name for a player's character that is displayed on all website features, including the game, on the forums and in the Hiscores. It is different from the player's username, which is used to log into these features - this cannot be changed.

As of 1 October 2009, RuneScape members are able to change their display name to something different from their username. This display name is the name which other players will see and know an account by. A player's username will always remain the same, regardless of any changes made to the display name. To log into any website features (including the game), a user must enter their username, not the display name. Before usernames were replaced with email adresses, everyone's initial display name was the same as their username.

Changing your display name[edit | edit source]

The ability to change display names is currently only available to members of either RuneScape. To change a display name, a player must visit the Account Management section of the RuneScape website and select 'Change your display name'. They can then choose a new display name for their character.

A player successfully changes their display name.

Limitations[edit | edit source]

There are certain restrictions on which display names may be chosen for a character. These are:

  • It may not be a display name currently used by another account.
  • It may not be a display name that is being held (see next section).
  • It must not be deemed offensive or deceptive.
  • It must not contain "mod" anywhere in the name.
  • The user must not have changed their name within 24 days. However, redeeming a Bond can bypass that.
  • It cannot exceed 12 characters. However, this may be changed in the future.
  • Punctuation characters such as @ are omitted from the display name when it is set. For example, "[email protected]" would actually be "RsPlayer".

If a display name is seen to be offensive or deceptive, Jagex can remove the name, and replace it with a temporary name (a random set of numbers). The player will be forced to change the name before being able to log in. If a user repeatedly chooses offensive names, they will lose the ability to change their name for one year and will be assigned one by a Jagex Moderator.

Held names[edit | edit source]

Once a user has chosen a new display name, their old one will be reserved for an amount of time. The name will be reserved for at least 35 days with exact length depending on the time the original name was held. For the first 28 of these it isn't possible to change the display name without using a bond, so they've got at least a week to return to their old name if they wish to do so. Once these days have passed, the old display name will no longer be on hold and can be taken by others.

Icon next to a friend who has changed their name (hovering over it reveals their old name).

When a player changes their display name, an icon will appear to the left of the name on the Friends list of any player who has them added as a friend. By hovering their cursors over the icon, players can see the old name of an account, so as to avoid any confusion. A similar update has not been made for the Clan Chat. The blue icon will disappear once the players previous name becomes available, confirmed by Mod Grantham.

Other information[edit | edit source]

A few other things can also be said about display names:

  • Display names are case sensitive. It will not capitalise the name and underscores are not replaced with spaces as they are in usernames. A display name may also contain dashes (-).
  • There is no way to swap names between accounts; Jagex wanted to discourage the possibility of 'name selling' by making it hard to transfer a name.[source needed]
  • Display names are used for almost everything, such as entering player-owned houses, clan chats, etc.
  • A player may enter the previous display name of a player to enter such places, provided the time limit for reclaiming the name has not expired.
  • If a player attempts to change their display name while banned it will fail with the message "You may not change your name while banned."
  • Attempting to change back to the previous name in the hero's tab would result in the message that it's still in use.
  • It should be noted that in order to redeem the previously held name that is reserved (if within the grace period) you must initiate the name change by logging into your account on the main Runescape website, not in-game in order to reclaim it.

Prior to release[edit | edit source]

Display name icon from the Game Guide.

The display name updates were known about by players for a long time prior to the release. A Developer's Blog was published on 27 August by Mod Duncan.

Display name change was leaked before the announcement was even made. Many players already changed their names before it was released.

It is also popular knowledge, due to a forum thread that stated that an update was not due on the week of release, that the update was accidental. Ironically, later that day, all players found themselves randomly disconnected from RuneScape on all worlds which could suggest that the last resort solution for Jagex had failed. This then forced Jagex into an early release of the subject.

Inactive users[edit | edit source]

If a user is inactive (has not been active in a while), their name will eventually become available as a display name if the following conditions are met[1]:

  • It hasn't been logged into in the last year
  • It hasn't been used to purchase any membership
  • It has no RuneScape skills of level 30 or above

This means free players will retain their character names if they have logged into their account in the past year, or if they have any skills over level 30

This is to free up names from inactive accounts for active users to be able to use for their account. Any players who choose to log into an inactive account that has had its name taken will be forced to change the name of the account before logging in.

The interface shown when one attempts to log in to an inactive account.

In the summer of 2014 Jagex announced that more character names will be freed up in batches of accounts that follow the following criteria[2]:

  • It has never had membership and it hasn't been logged into in the last 6 months or
  • It is a former member and it hasn't been logged into in the last 2 years

The first batch of names beginning with the letters A, B, and C was released on 5 August 2014.[3]

A second batch of name releases were done starting on 13 March 2017, beginning with letter A. Unlike the previous time, no level requirement was made when taking the names. Additionally, character names of some banned accounts have been released, except for those banned for Real-world trading.[4] A day later, a level requirement of 250 total was added after complaints.[5]

Update history[edit | edit source]

This information has been compiled as part of the update history project. Some updates may not be included - see here for how to help out!
  • patch 21 June 2021 (Update):
    • Fixed an issue that was preventing auto-generated names from being displayed.
  • patch 7 September 2020 (Update):
    • Players will no longer be able to put a '-' or a '_' at the front of their name when changing it.
  • patch 2 September 2019 (Update):
    • RuneScape Mobile:
      • Made text positioning changes on the name your character interface.
      • Made text use the correct skin colour on the Name your character interface.
  • hotfix 14 March 2017 (Update):
    • Prevented players with less than 250 total skill levels from changing their display name in game.
  • patch 25 July 2016 (Update):
    • Using bonds to change your name no longer prevents use of keybinds.
  • patch 3 May 2011 (Update):
    • Player character names will now appear correctly on login.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Accounts created on or later than 24 November 2010 use emails to log in rather than usernames. Prior to this, Character names were called Display names.
  • The top 10,000 players on overall hiscores at the time of the name changing system release had their login names protected by Jagex, binding those names to their accounts.
  • The authenticator cannot be enabled without having a character name set.
  • Character name appears to other players in white colour when they are right-clicked, unless the player has a prefix title, in which case the name appears in grey.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. ^ 24 November 2010
  2. ^ 7 July 2014
  3. ^ 4 August 2014
  4. ^ Mod Balance. Saw it coming. Reddit. 2017-3-13. (Archived from the original on 3 June 2021.)
  5. ^ RuneScape. We'll be introducing a 250 total level cap for today's #NameRelease (for RS or @OldSchoolRS).. Twitter. 2017-3-14. (Archived from the original on 3 June 2021.)