Herald capes show allegiance to Falador, Lumbridge or Varrock and are obtained from the location's respective herald. The design of the capes is customisable and customisation options increase as a player completes tasks or quests related to the area the cape represents. By default the capes are all identical except the sigil in the middle, which is an animal associated with the location being represented. Selecting a location for the herald cape is reversible, as capes can be switched freely at heralds. All design customisation are lost upon switching to a different herald cape.
Players can also add their chosen 'crest' to the top of their cape. In addition, the cape can be placed on a cape rack in a player-owned house.
The design of the herald cape can be customised by speaking with the relevant herald or by using the right-click "Customise" option.
When all the above requirements are met, players can choose from 5 different trims and 5 different crests (applied to the bottom and top halves of the cape, respectively). The colours for the cape's background, the background of the heraldic sigil, and the trim/crest can also be customised. There is no pre-defined set of colours, instead a colour selection tool allows players to select the colours freely. If players change the cape's background colour to the default white, parts of the background will turn to the heraldic colour.
The selected design can be modified any time by revisiting the herald. The heralds seem to remember the last design players made at them, even after players have switched to another city cape and then returned.
If King Roald, Sir Amik Varze or Duke Horacio are spoken to while wearing a herald cape of a different city, they will snap and say "Consider wearing a less shabby Herald Cape next time." If spoken to while wearing a herald cape of their city, they'll compliment the player.
The herald cape received a hidden update in 2012, where the cape's shape became curved for all male characters. For female characters, the shape stayed the same (this happened with other capes, e.g. the clan cloak). However, a bug occurred where the herald cape for male characters could not have its background colour changed from blue. This was said to have been fixed in September 2013.
In the news post from 26 July2011, Jagex stated that herald capes were created because they had decided that the clan cloaks of players who were in a clan of 4 players or less would revert to the default design. The herald capes were meant to provide a new customisable cape to all players, including those whose clan capes were affected by the change.