From the RuneScape Wiki, the wiki for all things RuneScape
- Also see free play.
Members, Pay-to-play or P2P, are players who have paid subscriptions to have access to the full version of RuneScape. The pay-to-play version of RuneScape was first introduced on 4 October 2001, and fully instated on 28 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 becomes repetitive and dull.
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. Subscriptions through different payment methods may have varying lengths, although there is a minimum length of one month (a full 31 days regardless of the month of the year). Jagex is affiliated with several payment providers, which each provide different subscription payment methods and prices. Different payment methods require different information to be given during a secure payment process. Subscriptions can also be cancelled and extended.
A player using a members-only transportation
system (this cut-scene has now been discontinued since the release of RuneScape HD).
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:
- Ability to use the Display Names feature.
- Nine extra skills.
- Ability to purchase skill capes when achieving level 99 in a skill.
- Higher capabilities in other skills.
- Use of several transportation systems.
- Ten times as much explorable map area.
- More accessible servers. (members can access free-to-play worlds and pay-to-play worlds, although they cannot access most members only features in free-to-play worlds)
- More Minigames.
- Better (and a more varied range of) equipment, such as Dragon, Barrows, and Crystal weapons and armour.
- More bank space. (Non-members have only 68 bank spaces whilst members have 496)
- More space for Grand Exchange offers. (Non-members have only 2 spaces and members have all 6)
- Members can create their own house using the POH system along with the Construction skill.
- A huge amount of members-only items.
- Many more quests.
- More music and sound effects.
- A few more emotes such as air guitar.
- More space on the Friend list and Ignore list. (Members get 200 spaces while non-members get 100)
- Ability to post on the RuneScape Official Forums regardless of their character's level/experience. (Only Non-members with an overall skill experience exceeding or equal to 12.5 million can post on the forums)
- Ability to vote in all polls on the RuneScape website. (Some also available to free players).
- More efficient ways to make money and thus merchant.
- The ability to access fullscreen mode on the main screen.
- The ability to take a photo using the Photo Booth feature for use on the forums as an avatar.
It is important to note that 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. The name of the items is replaced with "Members object" and the examine is "Login to a members server to use this."
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. Fullscreen mode is also available on free servers while membership is activated.
Currently there are nine skills in RuneScape that are only available to members out of a total of 24 skills. The members-only skills are listed in alphabetical order below:
There are many benefits upon unlocking these skills. Many members quests have members skill requirements. Agility allows run energy to recharge faster, and allows entry to certain areas and use of many shortcuts. With Construction, players can build their own player-owned house. 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 Magic Dart spell.
Because free players do not have access to these nine skills, they cannot be raised. This makes it difficult for free players to be listed on the hiscores, and makes them look less experienced overall. Members-only skills make up over a third of the total number of skills to train in RuneScape.
With Summoning, members can achieve a maximum combat level higher than that of free players. With 3 out of the 4 skills Attack, Strength, Defence, Hitpoints at 99 and the last at 98, 98 in Summoning and Prayer members can achieve a maximum combat level of 138. As Summoning is members only, members will still retain the maximum combat level of 126 regardless of any Summoning level if they are within a free-to-play world). The Summoning cape can be bought from Pikkupstix in Taverley.
Free players have very 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 most of the Wilderness. Membership allows full access to the entire world. Remember that these new lands bring with them new quests, people and activities to experience and explore.
Here is a short list of some, but not all of the lands reserved for members:
The gloomy outlook of the town of Witchaven.
Most of the minigames in RuneScape are members only. Mini-games are interactive competitions between players and usually require or involve cooperation and communication, however, some mini-games 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. Mini-games are arguably one of the most enjoyable aspects of RuneScape, and a common reason that impel many to become Members and most of them are restricted to members. Random events can also be considered a form of a mini-game, however, as given by their name, they are completely random and so the player cannot choose when to "play."
Here is an alphabetical list of the currently available members-only minigames, along with a short explanation:
- Burthorpe Games Room - A room where players can compete in various board games.
- 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. Complicated strategy and tactics have been developed as well!
- Champion Challenge - Engage the titans of eight different races of monsters in special rules battles! If you defeat them all, you can face the gnome champion!
- Duel Tournaments - Members can head under the Duel Arena to compete for millions of coins in tournaments.
- Fishing Trawler - An interesting 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 are fish up to your fishing level, so the higher the better!
- 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 Ranging experience if they're successful!
- Gnome Restaurant - Players try their hand at delivering food to hungry customers in record speed! A variety of unique items and other rewards are available.
- Mage Arena - Learn the legendary God Spells and earn your God Cape and God Staff! These spells powerful additions to any magic user's arsenal.
- 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. If you are successful in these games, you can earn Pizzazz 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.
- Pyramid Plunder - A source of extremely fast Thieving experience. Combat is interestingly integrated into the game.
- Ranging Minigame - A fast way to train Ranging which can even be profitable! Players can even exchange tickets earned as rewards for coveted rune arrows.
- Rat Pits - Players can train their cats to be a fierce hellcat or a clever Wily cat in these arenas of battle between cat and mouse, then show off their fully trained cats to their friends!
- Rogue's Den - Players show their deft abilities as they navigate this tricky maze filled with traps and obstacles. Fail and be teleported out! Depending on success, players earn fair amounts of Agility and Thieving experience as well as Rogue Armour displaying their skill.
- Shades of Mort'ton - Build up a temple and defend it from attacking evil spirits! One of the best ways to train Crafting, a good source of Firemaking experience, or a good way for players to test their prowess in combat and see how long they can last against the shades while they train up their combat skills!
- Sorceress's Garden - Players attempt to sneak around watchful elementals guarding their gardens to get the a Sq'irk Tree to pick Sq'irk fruits. If caught, they are teleported out! Excellent Thieving experience.
- Soul Wars - A challenging minigame where you kill avatars with your team. Rewards combat experience and pets.
- Tai Bwo Wannai Cleanup - Help clean up the village of Tai Bwo Wannai. Beware, as players may encounter dangerous Bush Snakes and Broodoo victims! Players earn the village currency of trading sticks for a reward.
- Tears of Guthix - Collect the tears of the God of Balance in a sacred cave guarded by his faithful snake servant Juna. The tears give the best reward of all - experience in the players' worst skill.
- Temple Trekking - Escort citizens through the dangerous Mort Myre Swamp in Morytania to a temple on the River Salve. If successful, players earn tokens exchangeable for a random reward, including resources such as herbs or ores, or tomes exchangeable for experience in specific skills!
- Treasure Trail - Players follow cryptic clues on wild chases to valuable rewards. Rewards include runes, God pages, Ornamental armour, Rune god armour, Third age armour, and others.
- Trouble Brewing - Two teams compete as each try to brew the most bottles of rum! Experience in a variety of skills can be earned for performing the many complicated tasks needed in the process of rum production.
- TzHaar Fight Cave - Players fight alone against an army of Tzhaar monsters! If they can withstand the masses, and defeat the dreaded TzTok-Jad, the third most powerful monster in the game, they can earn the coveted Fire cape! Winners as well as less fortunate participants earn varied amounts of the Tzhaar currency of Tokkul.
- TzHaar Fight Pit - Players are thrown into pits where they fight an every-man-for-himself battle to the death! Deadly alliances and betrayals are all a part of the game. Tokkul is rewarded to the winner of each round
It's highly recommended that if a Member were to ever be bored or not happy with the current Membership, they should at least try out various minigames just for the fun of it.
Unlockable capabilities in skills
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. It also gives special attacks to specific weaponry.
Here is a list of some capabilities in free skills available to only members:
- Ability to wield salamanders (also have Attack and Magic requirements)
- Use of poisoned arrows
- Use of thrown weapons including darts, throwing knives, throwing axes, javelins, Chinchompas, and Red chinchompas
- Use of metal (past bronze), special, gem-tipped, and enchanted bolts
- Ability to wield metal crossbows (apart from the Crossbow and the Phoenix crossbow)
- Dorgeshuun crossbows can be wielded at level 28
- Hunter's crossbows can be wielded at level 50
- Magic longbows and Magic shortbows can be wielded at level 50
- Blue, Red, and Black dragonhide armour can be worn at levels 50, 60, and 70 respectively
- Crystal bow can be wielded at level 70
- Karil's crossbow and Karil's armour can be equipped at level 70
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 skills. There are currently 18 free-to-play quests, 140 members-only quests and 1 tutorial quest. A complete list of members quests is found here.
Some quests granting useful abilities are listed below:
A fearsome dwarf multi-cannon after being loaded!
When you become a member, some of the first things you should do are the "Easy" parts of the Achievement Diaries. The rewards are listed below:
- Varrock: Easy - Possibility to mine 2 ores and smith 2 bars instead of one, access to the Edgeville Furnace, and the ability to buy 16 Battlestaves from Zaff.
- Karamja: Easy - Lowers boat trip costs from Port Sarim - Musa Point and Ardougne - Brimhaven from 30 coins to 15. Dell Monti will give 40 pineapples to the wearer daily.
- Falador: Easy - Shield restores 25% of Prayer daily and gives +3 Prayer boost.
- Ardougne: Easy - Unlimited Monastery teleport, better chance at Thieving in Ardougne, twice as many Death Runes when selling a cat to a citizen in West Ardougne, more noted drops in the Tower of Life and a 10% Prayer boost upon entering Castle Wars.
- Fremennik Province: Easy - Peer The Seer works as a Bank Deposit Box, you can talk to the Fossegrimen via the boots to charge your Enchanted Lyre, and the Fossegrimen will give extra charges when charging in person.
- Seers' Village: Easy - Works as a dull Light Source, 30 free Flax from Geoffrey in the Flax field, an extra log cutting normal Trees anywhere, and the Coal Trucks now hold 140 coal.
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 many 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
Players who opt for pay-to-play are given access to a few sections of the RuneScape website that are unavailable to free players. Two are partially available:
- The forums - Free players may use the official forums if they have more than 12.5 million xp. 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.
- Polls - Free players also cannot vote in most polls. Polls are important because they are a main method of receiving feedback for Jagex. Poll results often affect future updates. (From April 2007, non-members can vote in at least some polls.)
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:
- Regular, oak, and willow logs to quickly train Fletching.
- Food such as cakes or lobsters to train Agility quickly.
- Vials and secondary ingredients for Herblore .
- Coal and other ores to take advantage of Blast Furnace for Smithing.
- Enough coins to pay for all the equipment and skill items that you plan to buy once you are a member.
- 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 Members when you could be questing. A short guide on what levels are suggested can be found here.
Recommended members quests
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 open the members world to you):
- Short term quest goals (these will unlock new features and build your list of completed quests) - some items should be gathered:
- 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
Preparing for an ending membership
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 limited to 68 bank spaces whereas Members have 496 bank spaces. When you become a free player again, your members-only items will be stored in a part of the bank where only members-only items are placed, so that you can still use the bank normally as if you have no members items in it. However, you might consider doing some of the following things:
- Member items are not usable in the Free-to-play servers. You may keep member items in the bank, but you will not be able to use them. It may be a good idea to sell member items before the membership ends, unless you plan on starting a new membership again soon, so that you can get some money back to properly play as a free player. Of course, you could always keep the items in case you might want to resubscribe in the future.
- If you are not planning to be a member again, it would be wise to sell all your tradeable members items before you cancel your subscription. This will make you a huge sum of cash (if you had expensive members only equipment). It is not recommended to drop all your equipments in the Falador Party Room as you may want to come back to the game later.
- If you are not planning to be a member for a while, it is wise to sell your members objects and buy at least two free-to-play objects you think you might need. This allows you to store those items in the bank.
- If you have a skillcape once you become a non-member you cannot equip it again. If planning to have it equipped the time you spend as a non-member it is wise to drop all free-to-play capes to avoid wearing those capes over your skillcape.
Or, if you'd rather keep your hard-earned Member's items, you could do the following:
- Keep all your existing members items (that are wanted/needed) in your bank. However, get 2+ of every non-member item you think you'll need to store after your membership ends, like skilling items (ex Armour, Runes, fish, keys, logs). That way, you can keep your member items in your bank and still have access to needed non-members items.
- Jagex reached the one million member count mark on 4 May 2007.