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OSRS Beginner's Guide

OSRS Beginner's Guide

For a game that's been around since the early 2000s, Old School RuneScape still boasts an impressive player base – and more are joining all the time. The player base has peaked at 700,000 recently. With the launch of OSRS Mobile, this number has crept even higher, albeit segregated on a different platform.

The onslaught of new players means that some of you have never played RuneScape before and aren't sure where to go to get started. Well, good news! We've got a wealth of RuneScape knowledge to share, so strap in. In the OSRS Beginners Guide, we'll cover the basics of money-making, Skilling, time-wasting, memberships, and more!

I Just Started My Character. Now What?

You might feel adrift after you complete Tutorial Island and get dropped into Lumbridge. What do I do? Where do I go? Who do I talk to?

A lot is going on, and there are countless ways to play RuneScape, but I recommend you start with the beginner quests. Questing is a great way to get acclimated to the world of RuneScape, the nature of NPCs, and to get comfortable exploring the open world.

In Lumbridge, you can get started with The Restless Ghost and Cook's Assistant. While completing the Restless Ghost, you can pick up Imp Catcher from the wizard in the wizard's tower. The goal quest for new players is Dragon Slayer – if you can beat that, you'll have genuinely achieved some stats worth bragging about.

Otherwise, you can opt-in for the Adventure Path by saying you're new to the Gielinor Guide. The path will give you beginner tasks to do when you feel lost. It has two branches, a Combat Path, and a Gatherer Path. Both will introduce you to the relevant mechanics, though the Combat one has more tasks than the other. This is an optional feature you can turn off if you want to set goals for yourself.

Another thing you can look at for something to do is the Steam Achievements if you're playing through the Steam client. They can be a good indicator of what you can do at the start of your run.

One perk of questing is that it's a much faster route to be able to use the Grand Exchange. Otherwise, it will require you to have at least 24 in-game hours played. Speaking of which:

What's the Grand Exchange?

What's the Grand Exchange? It's more or less a marketplace for players across all worlds of RuneScape to buy and sell items with one another. If you're a seller, you offer up an item for a price. Some are suggested based on market rates, or you can pick your price. If someone else in the world places a buy order for that item at the price you offer it for, they purchase it from you at the price you specified!

It is a great way for low-level players to get their hands on items that would otherwise take a lot of time. With the GE, they can also make a good amount of gold by selling raw materials they've collected or items received.

The Grand Exchange is quite a complex marketplace, and some people use it as something akin to a stock market by "flipping" items. That's buying them at lower prices and selling them at higher prices, but that's a guide for another day.

What's the Best Way to Make Money?

When you're adventuring or leveling up your skills, you're likely to run into many occasions when you need gold to buy items. How do some players acquire items worth hundreds of millions of GP?

Well, most people get started making substantial amounts of money by Skilling. That is leveling specific skills that help them make more money. The biggest skills for this are Woodcutting, Mining, and (for members) Slayer or Thieving.

The easiest one to get started with is Woodcutting – you cut trees, save your logs, and sell them on the Grand Exchange. The downside to this method and other skilling methods is that they take a long time before becoming substantially profitable. If you're looking for some quick gold, you're better off killing monsters – like cows – and collecting the items they drop – like cowhides.

Quests will sometimes provide small sums of gold as well, but this is a much slower a method. If you're not trying to get rich, though, it can be fun to quest to earn rewards!

What's the Deal with Skilling?

RuneScape has a reputation for being a very "grind-y" game, that is to say, you can spend a lot of your time doing repetitive tasks to achieve skill levels. For me, that only means this game has the best skilling progression out there.

Truly achieving skill mastery in OSRS is crazy hard, with some skills taking thousands of hours of play to achieve level 99. However, along the way, there are so many incremental milestones and benefits you earn for putting in the work it makes it all feel worthwhile.

For new players, pick your core combat stats (attack, strength, defense, range, or magic) and some money-making skills and spend your time focusing on those. There's no need to go "all-in" on skills right away.

I recommend spending your early gameplay questing and leveling your skills only to aid your questing abilities. Once you've gotten familiar with the game and your own goals, you'll be able to dive headfirst into the skills of your choice.

Should I Buy Membership?

There are two tiers to RuneScape players: Free-to-Play (F2P) and Membership. As you might guess, membership costs a fee ($11 for 4 weeks). I always recommend playing for F2P for as long as possible before you start to get interested in members-only content.

Old School RuneScape is an awesome MMORPG for many reasons, not least of which is how much you can do as a Free-to-Play player. It's a better investment of your dollar and time to get the feel for the game and make the most of the F2P content. Afterward, splurge on a membership. Otherwise, you'll likely spend most of your low-level playtime doing things you could have done for free.

No matter when you do decide to make the jump to membership, a world of possibilities opens up to you. Over 2/3rds of the game's content is gated behind members-only options, including new skilling areas, minigames, quests, and bosses. Most of this content is best experienced in the late game when you have the skills and prerequisites you'll need to access it. As a new player, you should focus mainly on leveling your skills and completing quests.

Also, you don't have to fork out cash to get a membership. Bonds can be sold on the Grand Exchange for OSRS gold. If you keep at the money-making methods for F2P players, you can eventually have enough to buy a bond and get a membership. Of course, buying it with real money is faster, but at least those without the means still have a chance to get it.

What Else Can I do?

Old School RuneScape is a sandbox open-world game, which means you have the power to pick what to do. Aside from questing and Skilling, some players also role-play or use the game to meet new people. Clans (the equivalent to guilds in other games) might arrange some events for their members and others go PvPing in the Wilderness.

Gielinor is your oyster, and creating a character is just the beginning of your journey. Hopefully, this OSRS Beginners Guide helped to some degree. The most important thing is to have fun playing the game!

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