Penguin Hide and Seek

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Penguin chathead.png
Looking for this week's penguins?
See this article for their types and locations.
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Penguin Hide and Seek, also known as Penguin Hunting, is one of the broadest extensions of Distractions and Diversions and can be used to earn money or experience in any skill. Penguin Hide and Seek was released with the original three Distractions and Diversions on 2 September 2008. The main objective of the D&D is to hunt down undercover penguin spies and report back to the Ardougne Zoo.

There are no skill or combat level requirements for participating in Penguin Hide and Seek.

A player spotting a penguin.
Audio options icon.png
You spot a penguin!
The jingle when finding a penguin.

Getting started[edit | edit source]

Larry chathead.png
A penguin in a cactus disguise

Each week, twelve disguised penguins can be found roaming around RuneScape, resetting every Wednesday at 00:00 UTC. Ten of these are available to everyone, with additional two unlocked with quests as described below. Spying on a disguised penguin awards players various amounts of Penguin Points, redeemable for experience rewards in any skill of choice or tradeable for coins. There are no requirements to get started. To learn more, players can speak with Larry, who can be found in the south-western portion of the Ardougne Zoo, near the penguin exhibit.

Larry gives the player a spy notebook which keeps track of how many penguins the player has spied that week and displays how many Penguin Points the player has. Keeping the book is optional. It can be reclaimed if destroyed.

After Hunt for Red Raktuber, the polar bear Chuck assists players instead of Larry. Chuck is located in the Polar Bear pen, east of where Larry was.

Spying[edit | edit source]

An exhaustive map displaying the hint given if a penguin can be found within; click to expand.

Penguins do not appear as dots on the mini-map, but make large amounts of noise alerting nearby players to their existence. Their volume can be controlled via the ambient sounds Sound effects slider.

Chuck and Larry offer hints to help locate penguins if requested by a player. Some of the hints are general areas, while other are more specific. If players receive more than twelve location hints, it may be because a penguin has recently crossed over into another hint's boundary. Hints may be given for the Shadow Realm penguin's location. In fact, if the player receives a hint for a penguin that is NOT one of the eleven visible penguins, this hint must be for the Shadow Realm penguin. This can be a neat way of spotting the Shadow Realm penguin. Chuck and Larry offer hints for all disguised penguins whether players have already spied on them or not that week. Hints are not given related to the polar bear agent or the sixth 2-point penguin.

Quick Chat[edit | edit source]

The PBJ polar bear agent

Players can use the Quick Chat code e→f→d→p→3 to check how many penguins they have spied, returning: Quick Chat icon.png I have found [AMOUNT] penguins this week.

  • The Quick Chat command includes the Shadow Realm penguin in its count, but does not include the polar bear.
  • The Quick Chat count resets each week after the player logs into the game after the weekly reset occurs (every Wednesday at 00:00 UTC), or after spying a new penguin.

Players can use the Quick Chat code e→f→4 to check how many Penguin Points they have, returning: Quick Chat icon.png I have [AMOUNT] Penguin Points.

Optional quest unlocks[edit | edit source]

The following quests unlock additional rewards within the Penguin Hide and Seek D&D, but are not requirements for participation:

Quest Reward
Hunt for Red Raktuber A Polar bear worth 1 Penguin Point may be found inside a well each week upon completion of the quest. A well containing the polar bear agent will have an "Inspect" option.
Some Like It Cold and Desert Treasure[1] An additional, invisible penguin, worth 3 Penguin Points may be spied each week. The Shadow Realm penguin teleports around the game periodically to a selection of penguin spawn points.

To see the Shadow Realm penguin, players must be wearing a ring of visibility, or have spoken to Sliske in the Empyrean Citadel after completing The General's Shadow miniquest, Ritual of the Mahjarrat, and Fate of the Gods.

Back to the Freezer An additional penguin worth 2 Penguin Points may be spied each week.
  1. ^ Completion of the Desert Treasure quest is not a requirement for spying the penguin, but the player must have progressed through the quest enough to unlock the ring of visibility.

Completion of some quests grant access the locations penguins roam:

Requires completion
Quest Reward
Cabin Fever Access to Mos Le'Harmless
Death to the Dorgeshuun Access to Dorgesh-Kaan
Lost City Access to Zanaris
Ghosts Ahoy Free admittance to Port Phasmatys[1]
Requires partial completion
Quest Reward
The Fremennik Isles Access to Neitiznot and Jatizso
The Fremennik Trials Access to Miscellania and Etceteria
The Giant Dwarf Access to the Mine cart to Keldagrim[2]
Icthlarin's Little Helper Access to Sophanem[3]
Lunar Diplomacy Access to Lunar Isle
Monkey Madness Access to Ape Atoll
Regicide Access to the Elven lands
Mourning's End Part I or
The Prisoner of Glouphrie
Access to Lletya
  1. ^ Ghosts Ahoy is not required to enter Port Phasmatys, only to make admittance free.
  2. ^ Entering Keldagrim from the caves automatically starts the quest.
  3. ^ A charged Pharaoh's sceptre may also be used to teleport to the pyramid.

Disguises[edit | edit source]

The penguin spies hide in a variety of disguises that help to blend into the surroundings:

Penguin disguises
Barrel (Penguin Hide and Seek).png Bush (Penguin Hide and Seek).png Cactus (Penguin Hide and Seek).png Crate (Penguin Hide and Seek).png Rock (Penguin Hide and Seek).png Toadstool (Penguin Hide and Seek).png Pumpkin (Penguin Hide and Seek).png Snowman (Penguin Hide and Seek).png
Barrel Bush Cactus Crate Rock Toadstool Pumpkin[1] Snowman[2]
PBJ Agent.png Penguin (invisible).png
Polar bear Shadow Realm
  1. ^ Pumpkin penguins were released during the 2008 Halloween event. All 1 and 2-point penguins don this disguise during October after their first respawn, and revert back to normal after the first respawn after the beginning of 1 November.
  2. ^ Snowman penguin were released during the 2009 Christmas Event. All 1 and 2-point penguins don this disguise during December after their first respawn, and revert back to normal after the first respawn after the beginning of 1 January.

Agents[edit | edit source]

A penguin secret agent

In addition to the disguised penguin spies, numbered penguin agents spawn in random locations. Spying on them yields Treasure Trails reward caskets of random tier, causing the agent to despawn. They do not appear on the minimap and despawn after staying for about two minutes. Agents 001, 002, 003, 004, 005, and 006 are visible to all players, while Agent 007 will only appear for one player after they spot a penguin spy. Like the disguised spies, the agents can apparently wander around to a substantial radius, subject to natural terrestrial barriers. Unlike with normal penguins, players do not need to first speak to Larry to spy on agents. If they are spied whilst the player has a full inventory, the casket is sent to the player's bank.

Agents 001-006[edit | edit source]

Agents 001 to 006 appear as regular penguins bearing suitcases, looking identical to agent 007. They can be seen by all players, but will despawn as soon as a single player spies on them, or after two minutes, if no player spots them.

A maximum of ten agents can be spied upon per week, resetting along with the rest of the penguins. This count is a separate one from the penguin spies.

These agents spawn randomly at any of several spawn points, which, as opposed to the Shadow Realm penguin, are not limited to the main continent of Gielinor. World-hopping at a spawn point may aid in finding a penguin agent. Known spawn points include:

Agent 007[edit | edit source]

Agent 007 is a unique penguin agent which has a rare chance to spawn when a player spies upon a regular penguin after completion of Back to the Freezer. Distinct from Agents 001 to 006, Agent 007 will only appear to a single player, generally within their viewing range, rather than at a specific spawn point. This randomly generated location may be in another room away from where a player is standing, or beyond a barrier such as a wall or fence.

A pop-up and chat notification is provided when Agent 007 spawns for a player; You sense that penguin agent 007 is nearby. If unspied after 1 minute, Agent 007 will despawn; You no longer sense the agent nearby.

Suggested items[edit | edit source]

Trapping penguins[edit | edit source]

5 penguins trapped in the Yanille wall.

It is possible for penguins to become trapped in locations, preventing their escape. Penguins cannot pass through stationary players or objects, such as doors. Traps can however become broken if a player moves through a game square another player is occupying to create a trap, allowing a penguin to pass freely. If moved over by another player, stepping off that game square, then back resets the player's occupation state on the game square.

Tips on trapping penguins
  • If a penguin is unable to move from a game square for approximately 7 minutes, they teleport back to their initial spawn point for that week.
  • Players are generally able to spy over water, lava, fences, low walls, and through some windows, allowing for penguins to be trapped in locations difficult for escape, but easily accessible to spy.
  • The platypus and tooth creature pets can help trap penguins, blocking game squares the same way players do.

Locations[edit | edit source]

Spawn locations[edit | edit source]

A map of penguin spawn locations (click to expand)

Hints[edit | edit source]

The areas accessible by penguin spies is divided into distinct hint areas. Hints can be gotten from Larry, Chuck and the penguin spy device. Hints from Larry and Chuck are giving randomly and they can repeat the same hint multiple times. For this reason it is better to obtain hints from the spy device as it will specify which hint belongs to each penguin spy. When a hint is requested one of the following hints is shown. All hints from Larry and Chuck are prefixed with "I've heard there's a penguin located..." and all spy device hints are prefixed with "Penguin [number] located..."

  • "...around a village between a great tower and a vampyre's manor."
  • "...around Ardougne."
  • "...around Feldip Hills, near Gu'Tanoth."
  • "...around the Al Kharid region, north of Shantay Pass."
  • "...around the Ice Mountain region."
  • "...between Fremennik and barbarians."
  • "...deep in the jungle."
  • "...east of the Mage Training Arena."
  • " a city of plagues within the desert."
  • " a town of druids."
  • " or around Falador"
  • " the east of the kingdom of Kandarin."
  • " the fairy realm."
  • " the frozen wastes."
  • " the north of the kingdom of Misthalin."
  • " the south of the kingdom of Misthalin."
  • " the north of the Kharidian desert."
  • " the south of the Kharidian desert."
  • " the west of the kingdom of Kandarin."
  • " the Wilderness."
  • "...near a big tree surrounded by short people."
  • "...near a mountain of wolves."
  • "...near a tainted swamp."
  • "...near a town of werewolves."
  • "...near some ogres in South Feldip Hills."
  • "...near the Barbarian Outpost."
  • "...near the bees and flax."
  • "...near the Castle of Arthur."
  • "...near the city of ghosts."
  • "...near the coast, east of Ardougne."
  • "...near the island of Dragontooth."
  • "...near the pointy-eared ones."
  • "...near Port Sarim."
  • "...near the mudskippers."
  • "...near where they see."
  • "...north of Ardougne."
  • "...on a large crescent island."
  • "...on an island, etc."
  • "...on islands where brothers quarrel."
  • "...somewhere beyond detection."
  • "...south of Ardougne."
  • "...west of Ardougne, in the hills."
  • "...west of Varrock."
  • "...where banana smugglers dwell."
  • "...where bloodsuckers rule."
  • "...where eagles fly."
  • "...where fishers colonise."
  • "...where monkeys rule."
  • "...where no weapons may go."
  • "...where pirates feel mostly harmless."
  • "...where the big-eyed goblins dwell."
  • "...where dwarves dig deep."
  • "...where the Fremennik 'heim' and seek."
  • "...where the Imperial Guard train."
  • "...where wizards study."

The hints update accordingly as the penguins wander around.

Rewards[edit | edit source]

Penguin points.png

Penguin points can be redeemed using the Spy Club shop, opened by talking with Chuck or Larry at the Ardougne Zoo. The limit of points that can be stored is 250.

Players can purchase either coins (10,000 coins per point) or XP lamps from the shop. Small, medium, large, and huge lamps are available for 1, 2, 4, and 8 points each respectively. The experience-to-point ratio is the same for all sizes. The experience earned is the same as a Treasure Hunter lamp of that size.

Achievements[edit | edit source]

  • Ultimate Birdwatcher (RuneScore.png 40) – Have at least 50 Penguin Points at once.
  • I C U K G P (RuneScore.png 40) – Find 12 penguin spies and the polar bear in a single week and report your findings.
  • From Ardougne with Love (RuneScore.png 20) – Fully upgrade the penguin spy device by tracking penguin spies around the world.
  • Penguin Adoption Agency (RuneScore.png 30) – Adopt Sheldon the penguin by tracking penguin spies around the world.

D&D of the week[edit | edit source]

Featured D&D
Shooting Star

For the week of 25 January–31 January.

If this information seems incorrect, click here to force an update.

A different distraction and diversion is chosen each week to give the player a Key token for simply participating. Once every 4 weeks, the player may gain a key token for claiming a reward with their Penguin Points. Key tokens can only be received when the Penguin Hide and Seek D&D is the designated D&D of the week.

Special events[edit | edit source]

Holiday disguises[edit | edit source]

  • For the month of October, penguins which have been reset don a pumpkin costume in place of their original disguise. This was first introduced during the 2008 Halloween event and has continued each year since.
  • For the month of December, penguins which have been reset don a snowman costume in place of their original disguise. This was first introduced during the 2009 Christmas event and has continued each year since.

Double points day[edit | edit source]

On Thursday, 27 October 2011, to celebrate Bot Nuke Day, double points were awarded for spying penguins.

  • At 00:00 UTC players' spying status reset, although penguins stayed where they were. Players who had spied penguins on Wednesday for normal points could spy them again, potentially for triple points that week.
  • By 00:03 UTC the queue for World 60 was over 1500.
  • By 00:28 UTC the queue for World 60 was full. Afterwards, players attempting to join the queue for World 60 were notified the world was full, indicating that both the world and its queue were full, containing 2,000 players each.
  • At 24:00 UTC, penguins returned to awarding normal points for spying.

Wild Weekend[edit | edit source]

Starting Saturday, 26 May 2012, until 28 May 2012, players could hunt a total of ten monkeys in Chase the Monkey. The monkey disguises were patterned after the penguin disguises. Instead of earning experience or money, players could obtain a monkey cape if all ten monkeys were spied.

Penguin Celebration Bonus[edit | edit source]

Following the rework of the activity on 14 September 2020 and lasting to 27 September 2020, the agents 001–006 spawned more frequently and the first spied penguin rewarded the player with a D&D token (penguin hide and seek).

Gallery[edit | edit source]

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 23 January 2023 (Update):
    • Updated the penguin hint for the Wilderness penguin to include new land added around the volcano.
  • patch 23 November 2020 (Update):
    • Hide and Seek penguins have been updated with their Christmas models, which will appear in-game from December 2nd.
  • patch 2 November 2020 (Update):
    • Penguins spotted while you have max Penguin Points will now count towards your total penguins spotted that week.
  • update 14 September 2020 (Update):
    • Existing rewards have been rebalanced and new ones added.
    • Agents 001–007 have been added.
    • Some hints have been made more accurate.
    • Graphics of the penguin spies have been updated.
    • The cap of 50 penguin points has been increased to 250.
  • patch 16 April 2018 (Update):
    • A message showing your total penguin points has been added to the chatbox output when spying a polar bear agent, to keep you updated on your penguin points total.
  • patch 29 June 2015 (Update):
    • An issue where some players were unable to spot the PBJ polar bear agent if they logged into a free world to perform their weekly reset has been fixed.
  • patch 8 December 2014 (Update):
    • A particularly skilled penguin spy who could hide in a blocked area of Isafdar now spawns in a more suitable location.
  • ninja 7 July 2014 (Update):
    • The amount of penguins found in the current week and total penguin points is output when spying on them.
  • patch 24 October 2012 (Update):
    • Penguins disguised as pumpkins now have sounds attached to their ready animation.
  • update 7 August 2012 (Update):
    • Shadow Realm Penguin added to game.
  • patch 28 September 2011 (Update):
    • Hide and Seek penguins east of Meiyerditch are now recognised when giving a hint.
  • patch 9 November 2010 (Update):
    • Larry's right-click Hide and Seek option now works.
  • patch 10 August 2010 (Update):
    • Added some quick options for Hide 'n' Seek to Larry and Chuck.
    • Clarified some chat when talking to Larry and Chuck about penguins.
  • patch 8 February 2010 (Update):
    • Corrected a problem when trying to spy on penguins in a certain area.
  • update 21 December 2009 (Update):
    • Snowman costumes for Penguins added to game.
  • patch 1 April 2009 (Update):
    • Updated some of the code to give you hints about where the penguin spies are located. Occasionally even we lose those sneaky penguins!
  • patch 17 March 2009 (Update):
    • The hints to penguin locations have been adjusted slightly, to help you catch the penguins in more cases.
  • patch 20 January 2009 (Update):
    • Penguins no longer have slightly squished heads during their hiding animations for the Hide and Seek distraction and diversion.
    • Certain penguins from the Hide and Seek distraction and diversion were wandering a bit further than we thought – those sneaky penguins!
  • update 28 October 2008 (Update):
    • Pumpkin costumes for Penguins added to game.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • When exchanging Penguin Points for coins, players must select the dialogue option "Show me the money!", potentially a reference to the movie Jerry Maguire.
  • The Shadow Realm penguin's examine text, "Licensed to Chill", is a reference to 00 Agents in Ian Fleming's James Bond novels; each agent having a Licence to kill. Licence to Kill is also the sixteenth film in the James Bond film series.
  • Shortly after the release of Penguin Hide and Seek, players were once able to spy each penguin twice within a week. If a player spied a penguin within the first few hours after a weekly reset, that penguin could be spied on again for Penguin Points later that same week. This bug has since been fixed.
  • On 28 January 2009, a Penguin Hide and Seek glitch allowed players to spy on the same penguin repeatedly, obtaining Penguin Points each time. Players abusing the glitch were able to amass Penguin Points quickly, potentially exchanging the points for experience or coins. On 3 February 2009 Paul Gower posted a thread in the Recent Updates section of the RuneScape Forums stating 159 players had been permanently banned for abusing the glitch, and a number of players involved were given temporary bans for breaking Rule 4 of the Rules of RuneScape.
  • After the release of the Hunt for Red Raktuber quest, players who had completed it were able continue to contact Larry via the NPC Contact spell. This has since been corrected.
  • On 10 February 2012, a glitch involving the mindspike allowed players to attack and kill any non-player character of their choosing. Hide and Seek penguins which were killed respawned in Al Kharid.
  • On 30 March 2015 Penguin Hide and Seek, along with other weekly resetting Distractions and Diversions, were updated to reset a 00:00 UTC on Wednesdays, correcting a syncing error where D&Ds could have delayed resets of up to an hour.[1]
  • Prior to 27 February 2017, Chuck did not provide hints to the location of the Shadow Realm penguin. This was added via a hidden update with the release of Back to the Freezer.
  • Prior to 14 September 2020, completion of the Cold War quest was required for 5 of the 10 penguins to reward 2 Penguin Points upon spying. This was rebalanced as part of the Penguins Rework.
  • On 25 January 2021, Agent 007's model was graphically updated via a hidden update, now sharing a common model between the other 00 Agents. Prior, Agent 007 shared a model with KGP Agents.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. ^ Mod Jon. "Patch Notes - Archive." 7 April 2015. General Forums.