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OSRS Economy and Grand Exchange Guide

OSRS Economy and Grand Exchange



As with any other MMORPG, Old School RuneScape and RuneScape both have economies that reflect real life. Although Jagex has the power to add or remove gold, they have mostly left it up to the players to decide on prices based on supply & demand, and gold naturally makes its way into the game through skilling. Then there’s also the Grand Exchange. The introduction of the Grand Exchange came with a bit of controversy as it went against the “old school” model of the game, but it was necessary for longevity. This open market allowed players to buy and sell items conveniently, and it became a means for them to make money by flipping on the side. Through this guide, you will understand the nuances behind what drives pricing in the game to get better ideas for making and using your money.

What is the Grand Exchange?

The Grand Exchange is the central hub for Old School RuneScape's BnS marketplace. This is the most significant update to the OSRS economy. It provides players with an easy-to-use, convenient system to search for items, check prices, buy, and sell. The GE plays a vital role in the game's economy and is extremely important in money-making. It’s also comparable to “auction houses” in other MMORPG titles. The GE has also enabled the consolidation of prices for highly-traded goods and has made otherwise sparsely-traded items more popular. Aside from wasting more time, the original trading system had made common trade goods much more expensive and the supply poorly distributed among players.

The Grand Exchange had also made the practice of arbitrage even more viable, including items that aren’t necessarily in high demand. This usually entails buying items from a specific shop in the game and selling them at a higher margin on the exchange. The more distant and hard-to-reach the item, the higher the price will generally be—especially when it comes to items needed for quests.

Teleporting to the Grand Exchange

There are only two ways to teleport to the Grand Exchange directly: using a Varrock Teleport while having the Medium Varrock diary completed or with a charged Ring of Wealth. Otherwise, you can teleport near there with a Glory Amulet and use the agility shortcut to get into the area relatively quickly.

Gold: The Key to OSRS & Economy

Gold coins are the primary currency in OSRS and are used for direct trades between players, buying items at shops, and the Grand Exchange. It’s generated by killing monsters, selling items to shops, and converting items to gold via high-level alchemy (the most significant source).

In both RuneScape 3 and OSRS, gold is devalued over time as more of it is introduced to the game, in which its price in real-life money slowly declines. Jagex tries to combat inflation by adding more activities that cost money or implementing a tax to the Duel Arena.

Understanding Supply and Demand

Like in real life or other games, prices in OSRS are determined through the principles of supply & demand. If an item happens to be scarce (like drops from challenging bosses), you can bet the price will be steep and only grow further. If Jagex updates the game to make an item easier to obtain, the price will generally crash on the market.

Some items are stuck in perpetual equilibrium where the price barely moves yet has stable demand. This may include essential skilling items (like logs or fish) where players regularly put them into the exchange and are regularly bought at the median market price without much adjustment.

In the case of items that are no longer available in the game (known as “rares”), the item steadily appreciates over time, especially if it’s a cosmetic item with plenty of demand. One perfect example in RuneScape 3 is Party hats, but there are seldom rares in OSRS due to yearly holiday items reintroduced to the game.

The Limits of the Grand Exchange

If you want to learn how to flip items, it’s vital to familiarize yourself with the current Grand Exchange limits. Jagex has limited certain items to prevent hoarders from buying up the market on one account to prevent mass scalping for essential items. As a result, completing mass orders may take multiple days. You may also create alt accounts for buying goods (like runes or F2P items).

Note-worthy OSRS buy limits include (but are not limited to):

  • Ammunition: 11,000 per 4 hours
  • Rune weapons & armor: 70 per 4 hours
  • Elemental runes: 20,000 per 4 hours
  • High-level herbs: 2,000 per 4 hours
  • Any holiday item: 5 per 4 hours
  • Yew logs: 12, 0000 per 4 hours
  • Any god sword: 8 per 4 hours
  • Robin Hood hat: 8 per 4 hours

The Basics of Flipping

Flipping isn’t an overly complicated practice as you buy items below their traded value and sell them for slightly higher. It’s dynamic and can be done with any item with varying profitability rates. Since OSRS Grand Exchange rates are pretty slow at keeping up with real-time market values, you will have to use a third-party price tracker to be a competitive flipper. GE-tracker and OSbudddy, among others, are good places to start.

A basic way to flip is to buy Fire Runes at 1 GP below the current traded value for the maximum trade limit. Once bought (which may take days), you can list them at the market value and they should sell rather quickly. You just profited several thousand GP by basically doing nothing, and best of all, this can be emulated on multiple accounts at once. With big-ticket items, the profit margins are higher but so are the risks. A Twisted Bow may be bought for slightly under the going rate yet resold for several million gold above to an impatient player. The type of player that overpays for these items are usually players using purchased gold to upgrade their character.

When a new boss or minigame is released, new items that come along with it often become the hottest on the Grand Exchange. If you get lucky early or are willing to risk gold investing on the first day, you have a chance at making some serious OSRS gold.

Trading Bonds in OSRS

Besides flipping, players can also trade their bonds. Bonds were introduced to the game as a means to buy gold directly from Jagex and for players to purchase membership upgrades. When buying bonds from the GE, it should be noted that your OSRS bond will become untradable once a transaction is complete. One bond can be spent on 14 days of in-game membership. Fluctuating gold prices in marketplaces can result in a cheaper rate than paying for membership directly. Players who flip bonds tend to advertise to players in F2P worlds to appeal to impatient players who don’t want to wait for their GE orders. Doing so means a bond can be sold on the spot, rather than investing gold and re-listing it on the Exchange.

OSRS and RuneScape 3: How Do Their Economies Compare?

Considering that OSRS and RS3 both have the Grand Exchange, both economies are relatively similar. The main difference is that RS3 has a much more expansive list of items, and demands for certain goods are shifted differently due to skill updates. Also, since new weapons and armor are in the game, there is a lot of “dead content” where prices crashed and got a chance to recover. There is such a high availability for older items in RuneScape 3 that even hard-to-obtain ones are pretty low in price. The Abyssal Whip is a perfect example as it is just as cheap as beginner rune gear, even though it requires a high Slayer level. In OSRS, there is still a stable level of supply and demand since it is young, and changes are seldom made to the base of the game.


Figuring out the OSRS Economy isn’t rocket science, but you need to keep up with current trends and updates if you ever wish to become wealthy in the game. Now that you know more about the OSRS Grand Exchange, your RuneScape journey should get much more manageable. Just as with selling items on any other MMORPG, you should have patience when buying or selling items to get the best deal possible. Feel free to train skills, kill bosses, and enjoy the game while your orders passively do the work within the Grand Exchange.

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