Ironman Mode

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Ironman Mode and Hardcore Ironman Mode are account-types that encourage the player to be entirely self-sufficient. Both types of Ironman mode are locked out of most forms of interactions with other players such as trading, the Grand Exchange, most group minigames, PvP, Treasure Hunter and almost all other group activities. The modes were released on 13 October 2014. They are accessible only via the Play Mode button on the character creation screen.

Once character creation is complete, these modes may only be turned off using in-game items such as the jar of divine light and the book of diplomacy, to turn off Hardcore and regular Ironman modes respectively. Both items are sold by Mr Ex, and neither action can be undone. He also offers the option to never sell the book to the player, which effectively makes ironman mode permanent.

The place for Hardcore Ironmen to find how many lives they have left in the Items Kept on Death menu. This player bought one divine coin and did not die, resulting in two lives.

Hardcore players have the added challenge of only having one "life". As soon as they die, their account is switched to normal Ironman Mode. There is also an option to buy an extra life (divine coin) at total levels 1000 and 1600 for 100,000 and 10,000,000 coins respectively. This is so that people who have already progressed far into the game are able to avoid becoming a regular Ironman Mode player due to lag, bugs, etc. The number of lives the player has left can be checked in the Items Kept on Death menu by clicking on the 'Death Information' button on the lower right.

Hardcore Ironmen deaths do not affect the Old School RuneScape game in any way.

An update on 13 July 2020 changed the way Hardcore Ironman deaths work. Previously, a Hardcore Ironman mode player that died on their last life would have their account locked and would only be able to access the in-game lobby. After this update, their accounts switch to normal Ironman mode, regardless of whether they bought a jar of divine light.

Benefits[edit | edit source]

Ironmen 'benefits' are entirely cosmetic in nature, or otherwise don't impact gameplay directly. A few are quality-of-life focused.

Examining a tradeable item while in Ironman Mode will display the high alchemy price instead of its Grand Exchange value. The price checker will also function this way, however loot beams are still based on Grand Exchange value.

Ironmen are identifiable by a dark grey dumbbell chat badge (Ironman badge.png) and Hardcore Ironmen are identified by a red skull chat badge (Hardcore Ironman badge.png). These cannot be disabled and the Premier club chat badge cannot be enabled, the Player moderator crown, however, will override the chat badge and disable ironman and hardcore ironman specific broadcasts for an account, regular broadcasts will appear without the skull in front of their name.

Ironmen have access to the titles:

Hardcore Ironmen can use the titles:

Ironmen and Hardcore Ironmen affected by the 2021 server login issues can use the titles:

These can be changed to any other unlocked title, however.

Two separate hiscores exist, one for each of the two types of ironman. When a hardcore ironman account loses its hardcore status, that account is not removed from the hardcore hiscores. Rather, their hiscores at the time of downgrading are kept, and their name is struck out with a tooltip message displaying how they died.

A global announcement is broadcast whenever a hardcore ironman dies with a total level of at least 1000.

Ironmen have access to the Ironman Armour override, and hardcore ironmen to the Ironman (Hardcore) armour override. A gold-trimmed variant can be unlocked five years after account creation by talking to Mr Ex.

Ironman mode restrictions[edit | edit source]

Both Ironman and Hardcore Ironman modes restrict mainly player-to-player interaction in the following ways:

Minigames[edit | edit source]

Achievements[edit | edit source]

Several achievements are replaced with ironman-only versions, as they involve content that ironmen cannot access:

There are also a few achievements that only award RuneScore, but cannot be completed and have no alternatives:

  • Cops and Robbers (RuneScore.png 20) – Unlock all perks in Heist.
    • Cannot be completed because ironmen cannot participate in Heist.
  • Going Down With the Ship (RuneScore.png 15) – Let the ship take on 8 leaks before patching them up fully and successfully completing Fishing Trawler.
  • Died by the Blade! (RuneScore.png 20) – Die by the blade!
    • Can only be completed by hardcore ironmen by losing a hardcore life.

Additionally, some free-to-play achievements are not available to free-to-play ironmen:

Combat and bosses[edit | edit source]

Microtransactions[edit | edit source]

Hardcore deaths[edit | edit source]

Items kept on death[edit | edit source]

Hardcore Ironmen keep their three most valuable items when dying. Other items carried will be lost permanently without a gravestone or option to reclaim from Death. Items in the Bank are not lost on death.

Some items and abilities can be used to further increase items kept (e.g. the Protect Item prayer and Portent of item protection).

It's important to note that items kept on death may differ from ones that are shown as protected in Items Kept on Death dialogue.

Death announcements[edit | edit source]

The former Hardcore death notification

If a Hardcore account has at least a total level of 1,000, a description of their cause of death is globally broadcasted when they have no lives left. The message is different depending on whether or not the player bought a jar of divine light.

Hardcore death icon.png [NAME] just died in Hardcore Ironman mode with a skill total of [TOTAL LEVEL] [CAUSE OF DEATH].

Hardcore death icon.png [NAME] just died Hardcore Ironman badge.pngfor the last timeHardcore Ironman badge.png in Hardcore Ironman mode with a skill total of [TOTAL LEVEL] [CAUSE OF DEATH].

Message Cause of death
to an unknown power Default message, for any reason besides the ones listed below
burnt by dragonfire From Gorvek's fire, being flambeed during Recipe for Disaster, fireballs on Mos Le'Harmless during Ritual of the Mahjarrat
by breaking the rules of Ironman mode Killed by a Jagex Moderator for rule breaking
by failing at Agility Killed by failing a regular agility course obstacle
by failing to swim Killed by failing a water agility shortcut (e.g. stepping stones)
by insulting the elder god Jas Killed by Jas after insulting her via dialogue choices during Sliske's Endgame
by playing with fireworks Dying via Smoke Tendrils self-damage at training dummies in Lumbridge
by provoking some bees Beehives near Seers' Village
by standing in the fire Being caught in the flames during The World Wakes
by succumbing to poison Killed by poison
by succumbing to the power of Yakamaru Being reflected damage during the stun pool or triggering the attack when going out of combat during the fight
by trusting Zamorak By taking most of the damage from Zamorak brews
falling victim to ghasts Killed by damage from ghasts, by not having Druid pouches or an Ouroboros pouch
fighting against: [NAME OF NPC] Killed in combat by an NPC
in a PVP battle with [NAME OF KILLER] Killed in the Wilderness by another player
in a train cart Killed during Haunted Mine
playing with fire Killed during Heart of Stone in the Ful chamber in Karamja Volcano
setting off a trap Killed by traps in Tirannwn, thieving traps (such as chests), etc.
standing too close to an exploding boiler Killed by an exploding boiler in the Lava Flow Mine
succumbing to the heat of the desert Killed by the desert heat effect
to skittering insects in the dark Killed by having no light source in a dark location
via electrocution Killed by a lightning strike on Freneskae, killed by the electrified water during The Curse of Arrav
with their hand in someone else's pocket Killed by failing a pickpocket
falling to swamp decay Killed by decay in Mort Myre Swamp

Default message includes deaths from Vengeance, Shadow Tendrils self-damage, The Sanctum Guardian attack(s)[source needed], and many other sources.

"Safe" Deaths in Hardcore Mode[edit | edit source]

Deaths will not remove a player's Hardcore status if they are counted as "safe death" in the regular game. In general, if the player would keep all of their items as a non-hardcore account, the death is safe for hardcore ironmen. After an update, the ring of death now works as it would on a regular ironman account, granting the ability to revive with full health but applying a damage over time effect.

Examples include:

High risk situations in Hardcore mode[edit | edit source]

Some areas or events prevent teleportation or the use of portents (sign of life, portent of life, etc.). The player must be aware of the risks involved in entering these areas or events.

  • Some bosses prevent the player from teleporting out, forcing them to complete the kill or be killed by the boss. This currently includes Telos, the Warden and the Arch-Glacor in hard mode.
  • The boss Lol, fought during The Mighty Fall, prevents the use of armour, auras, pocket items, and jewellery. Non-combat items are also forbidden. Teleportation runes however are allowed. The boss also has the potential to 1-hit the player with his special attack.
  • When fighting Kamil during the Desert Treasure quest, stats are constantly drained by the freezing cold. As a result teleportation might not be available. In addition, Kamil's magic attacks can periodically stun the player, preventing both teleportation and consumption of food. It is recommended to have a one-click teleport such as an ectophial or teletabs.
  • Glarial's Tomb has restrictions for armour, runes, and weapons. Low level players must be wary when entering the tomb.
  • Acheron mammoths have a "dishonourable conduct" mechanic, which on rare occasions can stack three times resulting in instant death.
  • During the "Aftermath" section at the end of The World Wakes. In this location there are many ways to receive high damage that must be physically dodged, however you may be frozen in place and be unable escape the damage. Teleports (including the ring of life) do not work during this part of the quest.
  • During the Children of Mah quest, many instances of unsafe deaths are present such as traversing down the lava with no access to player inventory.

First to achievements[edit | edit source]

Global announcements are broadcast for various firsts, including the first hardcore death, the first to achieve a total level of 500 and 1000, the first to reach level 99 in a skill, and the first to complete various quests. Players can check some of these achievements at the Ironman plaque in Edgeville.

Beta[edit | edit source]

The invitation sent to participants of the Ironman beta.

On 30 September 2014, Jagex launched a trial run of the Ironman mode prior to its release. Around 130 players were selected to participate, either by applying on the Forums or through certain competitions.

The invited players received invitations in their message center between September 26th and October 1st, including a username login in the format "irontrial###" ranging from 1 to 130; however, all players were allowed to change their in-game display name.

The accounts would not appear on the Hiscores, and would be ineligible for Ironman firsts. Participants were also able to select between normal Ironman mode and Hardcore ironman mode by contacting a Jagex moderator through the beta forums; although if your account died in Hardcore mode during the beta, it wouldn't be revived.

After the beta, the accounts were still playable and would remain under the same conditions as during the beta.

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 29 August 2023 (Update):
    • Made changes to how Hardcore Ironman deaths work:
      • Hardcore Iron players will no longer drop all their items on death - they instead follow the exact same rules as normal deaths. Hardcore Irons will now be sent to Death's Office along with all their items, which can be reclaimed for the standard fee.
      • Lives will still be lost.
      • Items will no longer drop to the floor on death.
    • Boulder Pet and Running Scared Walk Override tokens can now be purchased on the Grand Exchange by Ironman accounts.
  • patch 6 February 2023 (Update):
    • Made some minor changes to the duel system and PvP so that dying in a duel outside of the Wilderness should consistently result in a safe death.
  • patch 16 January 2023 (Update):
    • Hardcore Ironman players will once again retain their protected items on death
  • patch 17 October 2022 (Update):
    • It's now possible to trade FSW Halos, Familiar Halo appearance tokens and Inverted Skillcape tokens with Iron accounts.
  • update 20 September 2022 (Update):
    • Removed combat restrictions for Ironman accounts interacting with normal ones:
    • Iron accounts can now enter boss instances alongside regular accounts.
    • Iron accounts will now be awarded drops in the same manner as normal accounts, including via Lootshare.
    • Removed grouping and matchmaking restrictions between account types for bosses.
    • Iron accounts are no longer required to use instances for bosses where an uninstanced version is available.
    • In line with the above, we have also removed the Iron discount for instances.
  • ninja 18 July 2022 (Update):
    • Ironmen are now included when sharing drops via group lootshare.
  • ninja 16 May 2022 (Update):
    • Ironman players can now join teams with other ironman players and train together in Dungeoneering.
  • ninja 12 July 2021 (Update):
    • The terminology used for the entrances to boss fights is now more consistent and will be labelled either 'instanced encounter' or 'uninstanced encounter'.
      • The term 'custom encounter' has been removed.
      • Messaging has been added to various places informing Ironmen that they may only enter an instanced encounter.
  • patch 8 February 2021 (Update):
    • Ironman players can no longer convert any of the weapons bought from the Oddments Store above Tier 1 stats. Any higher-tiered variants will be automatically converted back To Tier 1.
  • patch 21 September 2020 (Update):
    • Ironman accounts that have been invited to become a player moderator will now correctly show their respective ironman icons in broadcasts.
  • patch 13 July 2020 (Update):
    • Hardcore Ironman accounts will automatically be downgraded to Ironman accounts upon death. This will happen regardless of whether the account owns additional life items, such as the Jar of Divine Light.
  • patch 21 October 2019 (Update):
    • Fixed an issue with the chat where ironman players weren't being informed that they can't pick up certain items.
  • patch 14 October 2019 (Update):
    • Exchanging more than 69 zeal on any xp with trader Zanik, now works correctly with the player being informed "you may only spend another 69 zeal on XP or charms rewards in Ironman mode" and no zeal being deducted.
  • patch 7 October 2019 (Update):
    • The tooltips for Ironman-Only achievements whilst in Ironman mode will now display the correct information.
  • patch 9 September 2019 (Update):
    • Upon dying as a Hardcore Ironman above 1,000 total level a broadcast will now fire out informing all players if the account was lost forever or just downgraded to Ironman status.
  • patch 5 February 2018 (Update):
    • The Ironman achievements board has been updated to contain the latest achievements attained by some legendary Ironmen. Btw.
  • hotfix 17 January 2018 (Update):
    • Ironmen no longer receive a login message about Vic.
  • patch 19 June 2017 (Update):
    • Mr Ex has taken all Hardcore players' jars of divine light for safekeeping. He will continue to open the jar upon death as before. He will also allow you to open it by speaking to him.
  • patch 24 October 2016 (Update):
    • Ironman legs will no longer stretch when performing certain animations.
  • patch 19 September 2016 (Update):
    • Fixed an issue allowing Ironmen to prune other players' plants.
  • patch 7 March 2016 (Update):
    • Ironmen can no longer enter a non-instanced version of Nex.
  • patch 6 July 2015 (Update):
    • Mr Ex now offers players an option to never remove Ironman mode.
    • Players now need to wait 7 days to remove Ironman mode, in case a player has been hijacked. This can be bypassed by registering an authenticator to the account.
  • patch 22 June 2015 (Update):
    • Hardcore Ironman deaths will now broadcast only for total level of 1000 or greater.
    • Updated the @JagexAuto feed to include how Hardcore Ironman accounts die.
  • patch 15 June 2015 (Update):
    • A typo displayed when Ironman accounts attempted to mine meteors has been fixed.
  • patch 10 November 2014 (Update):
    • Ironman drops can now be picked up when a matching item owned by someone else is on the same spot.
  • patch 24 November 2014 (Update):
    • Players dying in Hardcore mode will now have their cause of death broadcasted and saved in the Hardcore hiscore table.
  • patch 20 October 2014 (Update):
    • A typo in the warning text when making Hardcore Ironman accounts has been fixed.
    • The Hardcore Ironman authenticator warning has been altered to have a single 'Continue' button, as players were clicking 'no' and not realising that this creates a non-Ironman account.
  • patch 6 October 2014 (Update):
    • Ironman Quickchat icons have been fixed.
  • patch 29 September 2014 (Update):
    • Support has been added to the game engine for the new ironman feature.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • There is currently a glitch where the armour dropped by revenants (such as corrupt dragon equipment and Ancient Warriors' equipment), when degraded, will refund the player with the Grand Exchange price instead of the High Level Alchemy price.
  • The warning for when you are about to drop an item worth over 500,000 coins is still based on the Grand Exchange price.
  • It is possible for Ironman and Hardcore Ironman accounts to receive a 10 year or 15 year veteran cape but only if the character creation process was never completed in the past.
  • Since 13 October 2019, it is now possible for Ironman to receive a 5 year cape.
  • It will be possible for Ironman and Hardcore Ironman accounts to get a 10 year and a 15 year cape on 13 October 2024 and 13 October 2029 respectively.
  • On 25 September 2017, quick chat messages for "I am a (Hardcore) Ironman" and "I am a (Hardcore) Ironman btw" were added with that day's Patch Notes. Latter referring to the ironman community often noting their achievements as more worthy due to their Ironman mode status.
  • Prior to the 13 July 2020 update, permanent Hardcore Ironman deaths broadcast the message: Hardcore death icon.png [NAME] just Hardcore Ironman badge.pngpermanentlyHardcore Ironman badge.png died in Hardcore Ironman mode with a skill total of [TOTAL LEVEL] [CAUSE OF DEATH].
  • Prior to an update on 20 September 2022, Ironman accounts were limited to boss instances only with other ironman accounts and were forced to use an instance where an instance was available for the boss. As they were forced to use an instance, they were able to enter instances for free when set to standard spawn speed.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. ^ Jagex. "Elder God Wars Dungeon: The Glacor Front Survival Guide." 27 August 2021. RuneScape News.
  2. ^ Jagex. Mod Luma's Twitter account. 27 July 2021. (Archived from the original on 27 July 2021.) Mod Luma: "Ironmen will now get Slayer XP, KC, and loot when using abandoned siege engines. Everyone will now also get combat XP. Loot from Nodon will no longer drop under siege engines (causing loot to be unobtainable in specific cases)"