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The member's icon

Members, pay-to-play or P2P, are players who have paid subscriptions or redeemed bonds to have access to the full version of RuneScape. The pay-to-play version of RuneScape was first announced on 4 October 2001, and fully instated on 27 February 2002.

Jagex, the company that owns RuneScape, introduced Membership as a way to cover the vast majority of the costs of RuneScape, such as in-game updates, extra staffing, server hosting, etc. As a benefit, members have many more privileges and usable features in the game and on the RuneScape website.

Many people's critiques of the game are due solely to the limitations of a non-member in the game, specifically at a higher level as content and areas become repetitive and dull. However, a large portion of the community do not see this as an issue, arguing that free players aren't entitled to the same benefits as paying customers.

Subscription[edit | edit source]

See Membership subscription for payment options

In order to become a member and access the pay-to-play version of RuneScape, players must first have a subscription. When players subscribe, they receive members credit which allows them to access the pay-to-play version of RuneScape. When you start a subscription by credit card, it will be paid monthly (every 30 days). Subscriptions through different payment methods may have varying lengths, although there is a minimum length of one month. Jagex is affiliated with several payment providers, each providing different subscription payment methods and prices. Different payment methods require different information to be given during a secure payment process.

Furthermore, players may use bonds, an in-game item that allows a player to pay for selected account-related and out-of-game benefits such as membership, RuneCoins and Treasure hunter keys with in-game resources.

Since these bonds may be purchased directly from the Grand Exchange or other players, this essentially means that players may instead opt to pay for their own memberships through coins, the in-game currency, rather than real world money.

Extra features[edit | edit source]

A player using the magic carpet transportation method.

Membership unlocks many features of RuneScape that are not available to free players: almost all recent updates to RuneScape have been for members, with the exception of a few major updates in the past months. There are very few quests available to free players, while new quests available to members are added at a rate of one or two a month. This is a condensed list of features unlocked with membership below:

These benefits will only be available if the member logs onto a members server. If a members-only item is on a non-members server it will not be usable.

Although if you go onto a free server while membership is activated, the bank space will still be increased beyond the normal free limit, and you may still place things in even if there isn't one already in there.

Members-only skills[edit | edit source]

There are 11 skills in RuneScape that are only available to members out of a total of 28 skills. The members-only skills are listed in alphabetical order below:

Agility Agility
Construction Construction
Divination Divination
Farming Farming
Herblore Herblore
Hunter Hunter
Invention Invention
Slayer Slayer
Summoning Summoning
Thieving Thieving
A player at a Small obelisk.

There are many benefits upon unlocking these skills. Many members quests have members skill requirements. Agility allows run energy to recharge faster, allows players to run for longer amounts of time, and allows entry to certain areas and use of many shortcuts. Archaeology allows you to explore the past of Gielinor's ancient civilizations, discovering artefacts and unlocking great powers in the form of relics. With Construction, players can build their own player-owned house and erect God statues across the map which then become altars to recharge prayer. Farming allows players to grow fruits, vegetables, herbs, and trees that only they will be able to cut. Herblore lets players make potions to aid them in combat and the training of other skills. Hunter is a great money maker, and items from it help train several other skills. Thieving allows entry into certain areas as well as being an easy money source. Slayer unlocks new monsters and items, as well as the Slayer Dart spell, Broad-tipped bolts, and Broad arrows. Summoning allows members to summon helpful beasts that can aid the player by holding items, boosting stats, helping in combat, restoring health, among other abilities. Some familiars have secondary abilities such as the pack yak can bank items and the bunyip can allow you to eat raw fish. Invention allows you to augment equipment.

Members-only areas[edit | edit source]

Free players have strictly limited access to the world of RuneScape. Free players can only access the kingdoms of Asgarnia and Misthalin, the north-eastern most point of Karamja, and the Wilderness. Membership allows full access to the entire world.

Here is a list of some, but not all of the lands reserved for members:

Minigames[edit | edit source]

Most of the minigames in RuneScape are members only. Minigames are interactive competitions between players and usually require or involve cooperation and communication. However, some minigames are just for players to play on their own. Minigames can also be good methods to gain experience in combat or non-combat skills, or to just invoke fun competition. Minigames are arguably one of the most enjoyable aspects of RuneScape, and a common reason that impel many to become Members as most of them are restricted to members.

Here is an alphabetical list of the currently available members-only minigames, along with a short explanation:

  • Agility Pyramid - Another way for players to quickly train Agility, as well as a decent source of money.
  • Barbarian Assault - A fun team combat minigame which unlocks new armour.
  • Barrows - A single player combat minigame with valuable rewards, including Barrows equipment
  • Blast Furnace - A way to smelt bars of metal.
  • Brimhaven Agility Arena - A great Agility trainer for players with moderately high Agility levels.
  • Castle Wars - An extremely popular competitive game of combat Capture the Flag, in which two teams infiltrate each the enemy castle and fight to score. Tickets rewarded to the winners can be exchanged for decorative Castle Wars armour and capes.
  • Champion's Challenge - Fight champions of various races for an XP reward
  • Conquest - A turn-based strategy game where two players command a squad of Void Knights and try to eliminate their opponent.
  • Dominion Tower - Refight past quests bosses for Xp books
  • Fight Cauldron - Kill TokHaar creatures for shards to create Obsidian equipment
  • Fight Kiln - Win Uncut onyxes that can be sold for 1,067,895
  • Fishing Trawler - A fishing minigame in which players sail along the sea trying to keep a leaking ship afloat while they fix their net and catch some fish. Rewards scale to the player's fishing level/
  • Flash Powder Factory - Players show their deft abilities as they navigate this tricky maze filled with traps and obstacles. Players earn Brianpoints that can be exchanged for Agility and Thieving experience as well as Factory outfit that helps in Herblore.
  • Gnome Ball - A challenging Agility minigame where players try to pass and charge with a small ball towards a hoop to score a goal, while defending gnomes attempt to tackle them before they can throw it. Players earn both Agility and Ranged experience.
  • Gnome Restaurant - Players try their hand at delivering food to NPCs. A variety of unique items and other rewards are available.
  • Heist - Earn points that can be exchanged for Thieving bonus experience
  • Mage Arena - Learn the Divine Storm and earn god capes and god staves.
  • Mage Training Arena - One of the fastest ways to earn Magic experience; the Arena offers four different minigames each involving a different type of magic. Players can earn Pizazz points to exchange for runes or the valued Infinity Robes
  • Pest Control - This immensely popular team combat minigame involves protecting the vulnerable Void Knight while you fight incoming monsters. Commendation Points which can be exchanged for experience in any combat skill as well as a selection of items are rewarded to successful teams.
  • Player-owned port - Get a free lamp from Meg once a week, along with sailing for resources that can be made into level 85 gear
  • Pyramid Plunder - A source of extremely fast Thieving experience.
  • Ranging Guild minigames - A fast way to train Ranged. Players can even exchange tickets earned as rewards for rune arrows.
A player juggling balls, in Balthazar Beauregard's Big Top Bonanza.

Unlockable capabilities in skills[edit | edit source]

Free players are limited in their access to the skills available in RuneScape. Since areas and training methods are also limited, it can be difficult for free players to obtain high levels in much of the free-to-play skills. Free players cannot use members items for combat and cannot use some of the abilities or items reached at higher levels in the free skills. Many guilds are also located in members only areas. Membership brings full access to not only several members skills, but also the free skills. Prior to the Evolution of Combat update, it also gave special attacks to specific weaponry.

Members-only quests[edit | edit source]

The vast majority of quests in RuneScape are restricted to members. These quests unlock many important features, new areas, various transportation systems, and many new methods to train skills. There are currently 35 free-to-play quests and 180 members-only quests. A complete list of members quests is found here.

Some quests granting useful abilities are listed below:

Low difficulty[edit | edit source]

A Members-only ranged weapon, the Dwarf multicannon.

Medium difficulty[edit | edit source]

These quests are highly recommended to finish, as this allows access to a larger variety of weaponry and armour and just as important, faster and easier transportation.

High difficulty[edit | edit source]

Achievements[edit | edit source]

When you become a member, some of the first things you should do are the "Easy" achievements. The rewards are listed below:

Other notable tasks include:

Extra servers[edit | edit source]

Members can access and log into servers reserved for the pay-to-play version of RuneScape. If members wish to, they may also log into free-to-play worlds, although on these servers they can't use any in-game features that are accessible only in pay-to-play worlds. There are 86 members-only worlds out of a total of 171 worlds.

Additional website features[edit | edit source]

Players who opt for pay-to-play are given access to a few sections of the RuneScape website that are unavailable to free players:

  • The forums - Free players may use the official forums if they have more than 2.5 million experience or a skill total of 350+. This makes it more difficult to use a valuable method of communication, which can limit contact with other players in the Marketplace, Game, RS-Classic, and Community forum sections for trading, clan recruitment, clan discussion, game discussion, or other reasons, as well as removing the only easy way to contact Jagex: the Support section of the forums, which allows for suggestion of updates, rants, complaints and feedback.
  • The Adventurer's Log
  • The Hiscores (Previously members and free players could use this. After 31 March 2014 by the power to player, it is open again to free players.)

Membership strategy[edit | edit source]

In order to save money, some players will pay for a few months of membership and then cancel or end payments. Before becoming a member, they will prepare for the new features by obtaining items that will allow them to quickly train members only skills and do members only quests. After they have completed their desired goals, they will cancel their membership and begin preparation again. While most members do not choose to switch like this, it is a good idea to obtain items that new members will need in large amounts before beginning membership.

Soon-to-be member checklist:

  • Food such as cakes or lobsters to train Agility and/or Thieving with less chance of dying.
  • Vials and secondary ingredients for Herblore (such as Red spider's eggs and Limpwurt root).
  • Enough coins to pay for all the equipment and skill items that you plan to buy once you are a member (this may seem difficult due to the limiting method and efficiency of making money in F2P).
  • Some levels for following member's Money making guides to buy another bond for 2 more weeks of subscription.
  • Items to utilise new capabilities in free skills that come with membership.
  • Items required to do basic member quests you plan to complete.
  • Moderately high levels, as this removes possible time wasted while training F2P skills in Member's worlds as you could have trained these without a subscription.

Recommended members quests[edit | edit source]

If you plan to do members quests, it is a good idea to get any free player levels before you become a member, so you can spend more time doing members-only quests or skills without wasting membership credit for something you could do in free player worlds.

Immediate quests (these quests are short and unlock useful areas/items and/or give good experience):

Short term quest goals (these will unlock new features and build your list of completed quests) - some items should be gathered:

  • The Dig Site - unlocks 3 threshold abilities
  • The World Wakes - The beginning of the Sixth Age, and explains world events. The rewards include several new combat abilities as well as a massive amount of experience. Players will need to defeat several fairly strong bosses.

Development quests (these will expand your members knowledge and prepare you for further questing) - build on quests completed previously:

Long-term quests (these are where you begin to become a strong player):

Transportation quests

These are easy quests that can be done for 2 key tokens

Preparing for an ending membership[edit | edit source]

When going from Pay-to-play to Free-to-play, there are many things you want to consider before your membership ends. Along with being restricted by the smaller free world area and limited to the free skills, bank space is an important aspect to consider. Non-members are mostly limited to 170 bank spaces whereas Members have 500 extra bank spaces (for a total of 670 bank spaces).

  • Even if you are planning on becoming a member again you will have to sell most of the items. If you still have more than 83 (or 103) non-member items in the bank after your membership ends, the extra items will still be in the bank, but you cannot deposit anymore items unless duplicate of the item is already there. To see how many extra F2P items you have in your bank move your mouse cursor over the number that indicates how many members items you hold in your bank.
  • Member items are not usable and equipable in the Free-to-play servers, but you may keep them in the bank. You may consider selling every valuable P2P items if you are not willing to become a member again. Less expensive ones and some quest-related items are more worthy to be kept, and more importantly, don't take up F2P bank space. These cheaper items may quicken your process if you subscribe again.
  • Using bank tagging is useful for sorting out the items, you may also see some convenient tools like Pot, which is barely useful inside F2P playing. Disposal of these cheap items would lead to efficient bank sorting.
  • When the membership ends and you still have members armour equipped, you will still be wielding the armour, weapons, shields, etc., but they will have the special abilities & stats disabled. You cannot train Dungeoneering if you wish to keep these items equipped. Once unequipped you cannot reequip them until you log into a members world. For skill cape wearers (including Max cape), dropping and selling all other capes will lessen the hazard of accidentally unequipping the cape. A Quest Cape is not recommended, as it will unequip when the next quest is released. Also, a completionist cape (or even trimmed) is strongly NOT recommended as it will unequip when new content is released.
  • Players can only initiate a trading request on top-left and top-middle slots in Grand Exchange inside free worlds. However, transactions can be completed in all slots even if a player has terminated subscription.

Other RuneScape servers[edit | edit source]

The membership of an account also applies to Old School RuneScape.

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 19 July 2021 (Update):
    • The Membership Upgrade button has been removed from the PC version of the game.
  • patch 17 May 2021 (Update):
    • Players no longer become cursed after upgrading their membership and logging into RuneScape. (New players will no longer get a "The sap or leech curses currently affecting your stats reduce a little" message on their second login into a members world.)
  • patch 9 December 2019 (Update):
    • Yak Track tasks will now no longer scale down when a member swaps into a free-to-play world.
  • patch 14 October 2019 (Update):
    • Upgrading a favourited aura will now remove the older version from the favourited mini menu list.
  • ninja 9 July 2018 (Update):
    • Attempting to reclaim member's only items on a non-member's world will now show an extra confirmation warning with lots of red text.
  • patch 9 November 2010 (Update):
    • The Ranged guide's ‘Other’ section is no longer listed as members-only.
  • update 18 March 2002 (Update):
    • The following members features are now online:
  • update 27 February 2002 (Update):
    • RuneScape members is online!!!
  • update 5 October 2001 (Update):
    • Due to much demand we are planning on launching a new premium RuneScape service soon.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • RuneScape reached the one million member count mark on 4 May 2007.[1]
  • If you train combat and you are wielding a members' item on a free to play world in the weapon slot, this will result in 'you are wearing an item which prevents you from attacking' and you cannot fight unless you unequip it. When the free version of RuneScape Classic existed, members' weapons would automatically become unequipped when the player logs in to a free world.
  • In the God letters, members were referred to as 'nobility' while free players were peasants. It was also said that they paid taxes to the counsel.
  • Paul Gower stated that the first members benefit was being able to login any time players wanted.[2]
  • Members will have all their members' skills drained to 5 on a free world, and instantly recover on a member's world.
  • A player whose membership expires will not be automatically logged out of members worlds.
  • If a player is in a members area when their membership ends, they will be teleported to Lumbridge the next time they log into a free world.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. ^ Andrew Gower, Paul Gower, Constant Tedder. "RuneScape reaches one million members!." 4 May 2007. RuneScape News.
  2. ^ Jagex. RuneFest's Twitter account. 28 August 2010. (Archived from the original on 25 December 2012.) RuneFest: "the first members benefit was being able to log in anytime you wanted - Paul Gower"

External links[edit | edit source]