Do you have the heart of a spellcaster?

In OldSchool RuneScape, the key reagent in all magic spells is the rune. For years, the only source of runes was seasoned wizards and witches in magic shops, which isn’t exactly an efficient supply chain. 

Cue the Rune Mysteries quest. With the ancient mysteries of Runecrafting revealed to a new generation, any aspiring adventurer can take part in procuring runes for personal use or profit. 

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Sounds an awful lot like a skill, doesn’t it? 

The Runecrafting skill is notorious for being perhaps the most attention and time-intensive skill in all of RuneScape. But if your quest is to max your account — or stack coins crafting some of the highest velocity items in the world of Gielinor — reaching Level 99 Runecrafting is a crucial milestone on your quest. 

It’s time to make some magic. This is the High Ground Gaming 1-99 Runecrafting Guide OSRS F2P Edition. 

OSRS F2P Runecrafting Guide: Preparing to Make Magic

Runecrafting Guide 2
Mitch Gentry / High Ground Gaming

Completing the Rune Mysteries quest is imperative to begin your Runecrafting apprenticeship. Besides that, you’ll just need a pickaxe to mine your own rune essence from the Rune Essence mine. You can always buy rune essence, of course (or pure essence mined by members, depending on the going rate), but that will cost a pretty penny and eat into your profit margin. Ultimately it’s all about whether you wish to reach 99 fast or with financial stability. 

If you’re looking to mine your essence yourself, you’ll be spending some significant time at work in the eerie white land where runes come from. No, not Iceland — officially, it’s somewhere far to the North of the Kingdoms of Misthalin and Asgarnia. But that hardly matters to you in practice. Simply saunter up to your friendly neighborhood wizard and ask for a quick teleport. It’s like Uber for magical manual laborers!

A great asset to runecrafters at all skill levels is the tiara, made by bringing a plain tiara along with a talisman to its corresponding altar. Use the tiara on the altar to fuse it with the talisman. Now you can craft runes in style, freeing up an additional inventory slot and looking fashionable while you do it. 

Runecrafting Guide 4
Mitch Gentry / High Ground Gaming

Over time, that extra inventory slot will add up. One more rune essence means that much more XP. Multiply by one slot for thousands of trips, and you’ve got the makings of a FastPass to 99. Or perhaps you’ve simply got fewer trips in the long run. Regardless, you’re going to need a serious pile of rune essences to pull off the ol’ 99 here. 

But exactly how many rune essences will you need? It wouldn’t be a proper OSRS F2P Runecrafting Guide if we didn’t throw down some numbers. Break out your calculators — it’s time to perform some numerical sorcery. 

Making That Magic

Runecrafting Guide 7
Mitch Gentry / High Ground Gaming

Ready to start climbing? The party starts here. So put on your little party hat — I hear tiaras work — and get ready to make several million party favors. 

As we explore the route ahead, there will be a few zigs and zags along the way. Feel free to mix and match different approaches as desired. You could go for the pure rune route, which would leave you more runes to use in training Magic or sell on the Grand Exchange. 

Alternatively, crafting tiaras offers decent experience for a little extra cost. That cost can fluctuate with the whims of the player-driven economy, however — the enterprising runecrafter could keep a weather eye on the Exchange to see when it might make monetary sense to make some magical headwear. 

If you can say that five times fast, you should probably look into getting a Level 99 Speechcraft cape. 

First things first: in order to make the journey, you have to know where you’re going.

AltarLocationNearest Bank(s)
Air altarSouth of Falador, northwest of Port SarimFalador East
Mind altarNorth of Falador, west of Ice MountainFalador West/East
Water altarSouthwest of Lumbridge, south of Draynor ManorDraynor, Lumbridge Castle
Earth altarNortheast of Varrock, south of the SawmillVarrock East
Fire altarNortheast of Al Kharid, west of the Duel ArenaDuel Arena, Al Kharid
Body altarWest of Varrock, south of the MonasteryEdgeville

As a F2P player, these are the only altars you’ll need to concern yourself with. You’ll likely concentrate your time around just a few of them, but as always, the exact course is up to you.

Mitch Gentry / High Ground Gaming

Remember that rune essence and pure essence are interchangeable. While you can’t mine pure essence as an F2P player, you can still buy it from the GE and use it. Keep an eye on the prices and grab the essence that offers you the best value.

Also, remember that the best route can be subject to the whims of the market. Where a step encourages you to make tiaras, consider that some tiaras might offer more bang for your buck than others. We’ll generally encourage you to make the best cost/XP tiaras you can, but that’s open to your judgment calls. Likewise for runes — if you want to run some higher value runes for a time to earn some gold for future steps on the path, it’s your choice to make. 

The highest value runes will generally be body, fire, earth, and water, while the highest value tiaras tend to be water tiaras. You’ll be leaving some XP on the table if you anything but the best you can, but if you prefer profit over speed, it’s something to consider.

Target ItemTarget LevelXP Per ItemNumber to CraftRequirements
Air runes145xp422Air tiara, 422 essence
Fire runes207xp338Fire tiara, 338 essence
Body runes307.5xp1,186Body tiara, 1,186 essence
Earth tiaras4032.5xp735735 tiaras & earth talismans
Body runes507.5xp8,578Body tiara, 8,578 essence
Earth tiaras6032.5xp5,3055,305 tiaras & earth talismans
Body runes707.5xp61,852Body tiara, 61,852 essence
Earth tiaras8032.5xp38,41438,414 tiaras & earth talismans
Body runes907.5xp448,036Body tiara, 448,036 essence
Earth tiaras9532.5xp105,391105,391 tiaras & earth talismans
Body runes997.5xp568,384Body tiara, 568,384 essence

There really isn’t any way to sugarcoat it. Runecrafting has earned its reputation as the most intense skill to grind to 99 in OldSchool RuneScape. And any OSRS Runecrafting Guide F2P players hearken to that says otherwise is selling something. It’s high cost and demands much in the way of time and attention. But as a result, it’s as rare and prestigious a 99 as you’re likely to find. 

Wrapping Up the OSRS F2P Runecrafting Guide

Runecrafting Guide 1
Mitch Gentry / High Ground Gaming

So you’ve made it this far, which is further than most OldSchool RuneScape players will ever aspire to. You might notice that the fabled Level 99 hasn’t been mentioned yet. By merely undertaking the Runecrafting grind, you’ve set yourself apart as a RuneScape hero worth emulating. After all, sometimes the greatest dragon we can quest to slay is that of our own lack of self-discipline and short attention span.

…Too preachy? Apologies. Hopefully, you get the gist.

If you did walk the line to 99, words can’t adequately express the full measure of your victory. Where others faced the mountain and blinked, you trudged uphill both ways through proverbial sleet and hail to conquer the summit. And for that, we at High Ground Gaming applaud you. Send us a screenshot of your 99 Runecrafting sometime. We’d love to celebrate with you. 

Thank you for perusing our humble Runecrafting Guide OSRS F2P Edition. We hope it offered some new insights or at least a few friendly guideposts along the way, but the journey — every step, every triumph — belong solely to you. And that’s what playing OldSchool RuneScape is all about. 

We’ll see you in the next guide. 

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