Posted on 01 May 2019
Runecrafting is notorious for being the slowest and generally most hated skill in Oldschool RuneScape. Understandably so, due to even high level XP rates hovering around 50k per hour, which may feel like an underwhelming reward for many players, because of the high click-intensity and focus required whilst training this skill. Runecrafting is often about finding a balance between higher XP rates and higher profitability. In this guide, I will discuss various viable methods for obtaining 99, the expected XP rates, expected profitability and more.
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Despite the grindy nature of the skill, there are an array of benefits for achieving a high Runecrafting level, so all of that effort isn’t exactly in vain. Some of the more notable benefits are as follows:
There are a few quests with Runecrafting level requirements which may act as incentives to partially level up the skill. The level requirements for these quests are as follows:
Level 13 - The Eyes of Glouphrie
Level 30 - Slug Menace
Level 35 - What Lies Below
Level 50 - Devious Minds
Alongside the quest requirements, there are also various Achievement Diary requirements for Runecrafting. Achievement diaries in OSRS contain many highly desirable rewards, especially the Elite diaries. As such, this may provide a large incentive to train Runecrafting, particularly towards the high levels. The requirements needed are as follows:
|5||Lumbridge & Draynor||Easy||Craft some Water runes|
|9||Varrock||Easy||Craft some Earth runes|
|23||Lumbridge & Draynor||Medium||Craft some Lava runes at the Fire altar|
|44||Karamja||Hard||Craft some Nature runes|
|56||Falador||Hard||Craft 140 Mind runes simultaneously|
|59||Lumbridge & Draynor||Hard||Craft 56 Cosmic runes simultaneously|
|65||Ardougne||Hard||Craft some Death runes|
|76||Lumbridge & Draynor||Elite||Craft 140 or more Water runes at once|
|77||Kourend & Kebos||Elite||Craft one or more blood runes|
|78||Varrock||Elite||Craft 100 or more Earth runes simultaneously|
|82||Fremennik||Elite||Craft 56 Astral runes at once|
|88||Falador||Elite||Craft 252 Air runes at once|
|91||Karamja||Elite||Craft 56 Nature runes at once|
A big incentive for many players to train Runecrafting is the immense profitability at higher levels. Runecrafting is the most profitable skill in OSRS, falling short only to alternative options such as PvM and boss hunting for money making purposes. Profit rates close to 1.5M per hour are realistic from Level 91, whereby you’ll unlock the ability to craft double Nature Runes. Prior to this, crafting double Astral Runes from Level 82 can yield approximately 1M per hour depending on market prices. This profit stacks up considerably throughout the levels, as the number of Runes needed to be crafted for 99 is pretty ludicrous.
Runecrafting involves a LOT of running. You’ll be returning to a nearby bank after every inventory of runes crafted, therefore it pays to know how the run mechanic can be influenced. There are a few things you should know about run energy
Weight - Every item in Oldschool RuneScape has weight. Your current ‘weight’ can be checked my clicking on the armour tab and clicking the icon to view your equipment. Your current weight will be displayed at the bottom.
The rate at which energy depletes scales linearly between 0 kg weight and 64 kg weight, where having 0 kg weight will deplete a player's run energy at the normal rate, and having 64 kg weight will deplete a player's run energy at exactly twice the normal rate. Having a weight outside the range of 0 kg to 64 kg will have no additional effect, negative or positive.
Therefore, the general rule of thumb is to keep weight as low as possible. This means removing any unnecessary armour, and making use of weight reducing armour such as the Graceful Outfit, Boots of Lightness, Spotted/Spottier Cape or the Penance Gloves. You should use the best weight-reducing items available to you, usually this is the full Graceful Outfit.
Agility - The amount of run restored per minute depends on your Agility level, which can be boosted by 30% if a full Graceful outfit is worn. The table below presents the restoration rate per minute and the amount of time in seconds it takes to restore 1% of run energy without a full outfit. Contrary to popular belief, a player's Agility level does not contribute to how quickly the player's run energy is depleted, only how quickly run energy is regenerated. The only factor that contributes to how quickly run energy is depleted is weight.
|Level||Seconds Per 1%||% Of Energy Per Minute|
Essentially, a higher Agility level means that your run will restore faster. This will save you money on Stamina Potions in the long run, and may be worth training before Runecrafting, depending on your goals.
Stamina Potions - Stamina Potions are incredibly useful and should be used at all Runecrafting levels as appropriate. A Stamina Potion restores 20% of the player's run energy per dose and reduces the rate that run energy depletes while running by 70% for 2 minutes. This will allow you to run at all times while Runecrafting, maximizing XP gains/profit.
Rune Pouches are bags that hold varying amounts of Pure Essence. These are strongly recommended after Level 50, whereby you’ll unlock the Large Pouch. The levels required for each pouch are as follows:
Whilst you can technically use pouches from Level 1, the capacity is very small and therefore the time spent at the bank filling pouches is not worthwhile. I would recommend using pouches from Level 50, whereby you’ll have access to the first 3 pouches. For methods such as Lava Runes, some players will prefer to use only the two biggest pouches available to them, to minimize banking times and to make the skill slightly more relaxing.
So you want to train Runecrafting? The first thing you’ll need to do is complete the Rune Mysteries quest. This is a very short quest which will unlock the Runecrafting skill. After this, you’ll want to stock up on Pure Essence (Rune Essence can be used for low-level runes, however, Pure Essence is always cheaper), some Stamina Potions, and a whole lot of patience.
The Air Altar is located just South of Falador, with Falador East bank being the nearest bank. These levels shouldn’t take long, crafting Air Runes grants 5XP per craft, meaning that 194 Pure Essence needs to be crafted into Air Runes to reach Level 9. You should expect to make 7 full inventories of Air Runes to achieve Level 9.
The Earth Altar is located just East of Varrock, with Varrock East bank being the closest bank. Crafting Earth Runes grants 6.5XP per craft, meaning that 176 Pure Essence needs to be crafted into Earth Runes to reach Level 14. You should expect to make 7 full inventories of Air Runes to achieve Level 14.
The Fire Altar is located just West of the Duelling Arena. Banking is slightly different with this method. You’ll want to stock up on Rings of Duelling, which allow you to teleport to both the Duel Arena and Castle Wars. This is perfect, as the Ring of Duelling teleport spot is a very short walk away from the Fire Altar, whilst the Castle Wars teleport spawns you almost exactly next to a bank chest.
Crafting Fire Runes grants 7XP per craft, meaning that 598 Pure Essence needs to be crafted into Fire Runes to reach Level 23. You should expect to make 22 full inventories of Fire Runes to achieve Level 23.
At Level 23, you’ll unlock the ability to craft Lava Runes. This is where your XP gains will dramatically increase, however this is also the place you’ll be spending most of your time Runecrafting at. Perhaps this is the reason that Runecrafting is so universally hated, due to the dull and repetitive nature of this method.
XP rates range from 25K per hour (from low levels, no pouches) up to 70K per hour (all pouches, very fast banking). Note that hourly XP is very much dependant on banking speed. The rate at which you can refill your bags (and pouches) with essence and get back to the Altar will effectively determine your XP rates. This is something that comes with practice and is dependant on your level of focus, your click accuracy will improve over time and therefore so should XP rates.
For the best efficiency, you will need level 82 Magic and completion of Lunar Diplomacy to cast the spell Magic Imbue, which negates the need for a talisman in combination Runecrafting. You should use a ring of dueling and binding necklace to teleport close to the fire altar and ensuring lava runes are crafted 100% of the time. If you don’t have access to the Magic Imbue spell, you’ll need 1 Earth Talisman for each inventory of essence required, i.e. 1 talisman without pouches, 2 talismans if pouches are being used.
The level goal using this method depends entirely on your goals. If XP is the absolute priority, and profit is not a consideration, it would be recommended to craft Lava runes all the way to 99. However, very few players have the patience and tolerance for this, therefore a good compromise would be to switch to crafting Blood Runes at level 77.
This is a very different method of Runecrafting, which was introduced with the Zeah update. You will need 100% Favour with the Arceuus House in Great Kourend to use this method. You will mine Dense Essence Blocks from the Arceuus Essence Mine, use the blocks on the Dark Altar, chisel the Dark Essence Blocks into Dark Essence Fragments, and then use the fragments on the Blood Altar.
XP rates up to 40K per hour are achievable using this method. A modest amount of Mining and Crafting XP will also be gained whilst using this method, totalling up to over 1M XP in each skill if crafting Blood Runes to 99, which is a nice bonus. Profitability is also reasonably desirable, with profit rates of 300-500K per hour average, which is an additional bonus to all the XP gained.
If you’d like to continue traditional Runecrafting, but Lava Runes aren’t cutting it, Astral Runes are a good alternative to explore. At Level 82, you’ll be able to craft Double Astral Runes which are quite lucrative, but offer reduced XP rates when compared to Lava Runes. It could also be argued that crafting Astral Runes is slightly more relaxing, as the time between banking is longer and therefore less intensive.
You can expect to achieve up to 35K XP per hour with this method, with profits ranging from 700K-1M per hour. Obtaining Level 99 with this method, at current prices, would yield approximately 335M profit. A huge amount of profit, however do be aware that the amount of time required is immense and is likely to take months of grinding to achieve.
Double Nature Runes are historically the most profitable method of Runecrafting, overshadowed only at Level 99 when crafting Double Death Runes becomes available. The 2 best methods for this process are via the Abyss, or by using the Fairy Ring CKR which will teleport you to Karamja, just West of the Nature Altar.
XP rates vary based on your speed, usually between 20K-30K per hour. However, you’ll also obtain excellent profitability, ranging from 1M-1.7M GP per hour. This is a really effective way of making money, debatably the most effective money making method purely through skilling, making 91 Runecrafting highly desirable for many players. Achieving Level 99 from Level 91 whilst using this method, you can expect to profit approximately 340M at current prices.