Rune essence is a raw material used in the Runecrafting skill that can be crafted into low-level runes, namely air, mind, water, earth, fire, and body runes. Unlike runes, rune essence does not stack. Players need pure essence to craft any other type of rune, which can be bought at the Grand Exchange, or mined by anyone in the Rune Essence Mine. Rune essence is one of the most commonly traded items in RuneScape.
The Stone of Jas, mentioned in many texts and dialogues in the game, is what gave the rune essence its power.
A player mining in the Rune essence mines
Free players may mine rune essence in the Rune Essence mine. To reach these mines, players need to be teleported by one of several NPCs. Members will also mine rune essence here until they reach level 30 Mining when they will automatically mine pure essence on member worlds.
On free-to-play worlds, a number of rune essence is given to each player throughout The Great Orb Project activity depending on each round's scores. Free players may also buy rune essence as a reward from the activity at a cost of 1 Runecrafting Guild Token per rune essence.
To discourage Real world traders and macroers, Jagex introduced a Rune Essence adjustment update on 20 April 2006. As of then, rune essence was split separately into two different items: rune essence and pure essence (with an automatic conversion from rune to pure essence for members). Previously, rune essence could be used to craft all runes. However, since the update, the runes only craftable by members required pure essence, now it could only be mined on member worlds. Rune essence could still be used to craft the first six basic runes, however.
This measure was to try to stop macroers from making a huge profit by simply macroing rune essence, which was in high demand, especially by free players. However, due to this update, many rune essence macroers essentially became useless due to a large majority of them being F2P only. After the update, the Rune essence mined without membership would be worthless, since the majority of the buyers would need pure essence instead to runecraft high-level runes. This caused the demand and price of rune essence to drop significantly.
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!
- The maximum amount of rune essence a member can mine before automatically mining pure essence is 2673.
- In August 2008, the price of rune essence jumped from around 40 coins to 65 coins due to the release of the Runecrafting Guild and The Great Orb Project, which requires 50 Runecrafting to enter.
- After the Wilderness and Free Trade update, the price of rune essence suffered a sharp price drop due to botting and real world trading, as with most raw materials.
- If you use Rune Essence on the Wise Old Man he will respond with "I couldn't really say whether or not you'll need that", "Please remember that I cannot identify items from members-only quests" even though it is not a members-only item, nor an item obtained in a members-only quest. This is before an update allows the Wise Old Man to check for members quest items.
- During the release of the Runespan, a deposit box was added into the Wizard's tower, where Sedridor can teleport a player to the rune essence mine. If a player tries to bank their rune essence in the box, a message will appear telling the player that Sedridor does not want them banking the essence there. However this can still be exploited as there is no prevention from doing the same, but using the deposit box in the Runecrafting Guild.
- Previously a player would need to complete the Rune Mysteries (historical) quest to access the Rune Essence mine and Runecrafting skill. This is no longer the case.
- Prior to the Mining and Smithing rework, when mining both rune essence and pure essence each type of pickaxe appears to have a fixed rate of mining which is independent of mining level. Unexpectedly, a bronze pickaxe had the fastest mining rate: it mines 7 essence per 8 game ticks. An iron pickaxe mines 6 essence per 7 ticks, steel mines 5 essence per 6 ticks, mithril mines 4 essence per 5 ticks, adamant mines 3 essence per 4 ticks, and rune mines 2 essence per 3 ticks. Using a bronze pickaxe the player may gain around 26,000 Mining experience an hour from mining rune or pure essence, at any Mining level, while dropping the essence obtaining using their action bar. No matter what type of pickaxe is in one's tool belt, one may always wield a bronze pickaxe to force using it over the pickaxe on the tool belt.