Also see the page on free-to-play.

Pay-to-play or Members are players who have paid subscriptions to have access to the full version of RuneScape, and are sometimes referred to as "mems" or "p2p". The pay-to-play version of RuneScape was first announced on 4 October 2001 and launched on 28 February 2002. Most updates to RuneScape only concern members. Members have many more privileges and usable features in the game and on the RuneScape website. Jagex reached the 1 million member count mark on 4 May 2007. [1].


See Membership subscription for payment options

In order to become a member and access the pay-to-play version of RuneScape, players must first have a subscription. When players subscribe, they receive members credit which allows them to access the pay-to-play version of RuneScape. When you start a subscription by credit card, it will be paid monthly. Subscriptions through different payment methods may have varying lengths, although there is a minimum length of one month. Jagex is affiliated with several payment providers which each provide different subscription payment methods and prices. Different payment methods require different information to be given during a secure payment process. Subscriptions can also be cancelled and extended.

Extra features

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A player using a members-only transportation system (this cut-scene has now been discontinued since the release of Runescape HD).

Membership unlocks many features of RuneScape that are not available to free players. Almost all recent updates to RuneScape are available to members, but not to free players. There are very few quests available to free players, while new quests available to members are added at a rate of 1-2 a month. There is a condensed list of features unlocked with membership below:

  • Nine extra skills
  • Higher capabilities in other skills
  • Use of several transportation systems
  • Ten times as much explorable map area
  • More random events
  • More accessible servers (members can access free-to-play worlds and pay-to-play worlds, although they cannot access most members only features in free-to-play worlds)
  • More Minigames
  • Better equipment, such as Dragon, Barrows, and Crystal weapons and armour
  • More bank space (Non-members have only 68 bank spaces while members have 496)
  • More space for Grand Exchange offers (Non-members have only 2 spaces and members have all 6)
  • Members can create their own house.
  • A huge amount of members' items
  • Many more quests
  • More music and sound effects
  • More space on the Friend list and Ignore list (Members get 200 spaces while non-members get 100)
  • Ability to post on the RuneScape Official Forums regardless of their character's level/experience.
  • Ability to vote in most polls on the RuneScape website (some available to free players)
  • More efficient ways to get money
  • The ability to access fullscreen mode on the main screen

It is important to note that these benefits will only be available if the member logs onto a members server. If a members-only item is on a non-members server it will not be usable. The name of the items is replaced with "Members object" and the examine is "Login to a members server to use this."

Although if you go onto a free server while membership is activated, the bank space will still be increased beyond the normal free limit, and you may still place things in even if there isn't one already in there.

Members-only skills

Currently there are nine skills in RuneScape that are only available to members out of a total of 24 skills. The members-only skills are listed in alphabetical order below:

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A player at a Summoning obelisk.

There are many benefits upon unlocking these skills. Many members quests have members skill requirements. Agility allows run energy to recharge faster, and allows entry to certain areas and use of many shortcuts. With Construction, players can build their own player-owned house. Farming allows players to grow fruits, vegetables, herbs, and trees that only they will be able to cut. Herblore lets players make potions to aid them in combat and the training of other skills. Hunter is a great money maker, and items from it help train several other skills. Thieving allows entry into certain areas as well as being an easy money source. Slayer unlocks new monsters and items, as well as the Magic Dart spell.

Because free players do not have access to these nine skills, they cannot be raised. This makes it difficult for free players to be listed on the hiscores, and makes them look less experienced overall. Members-only skills make up over a third of the total number of skills to train in RuneScape.


With Summoning, members can achieve a maximum combat level higher than that of free players. With Attack, Strength, Defence, Hitpoints, Prayer, Magic, Ranging and then, Summoning, all at level 99, members can achieve a maximum combat level of 138. As Summoning is members only, free players will still retain the maximum combat level of 126 (Note that a level 138 member who enters a non-member world will appear as a level 126). The Summoning cape can be bought from Pikkupstix in Taverley.

Members-only areas

Free players have very limited access to the world of RuneScape. Free players can only access the kingdoms of Asgarnia and Misthalin, the north-eastern most point of Karamja, and most of the Wilderness. Membership allows full access to the entire world. Remember that these new lands bring with them new quests, people and activities to experience and explore.

Here is a short list of some, but not all of the lands reserved for members (Regions and cities/towns/notable features included):

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A player navigating through Meiyerditch.

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A player using a Spirit tree to teleport to the Grand Tree.

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A player playing an Enchanted lyre, to teleport to Rellekka.


Most of the minigames in RuneScape are members only. Minigames are cooperative competitions between players and other players or just a game players can play on their own or in teams. Minigames can be good methods to gain experience in combat or non-combat skills, or just fun competition between players. Minigames are one of the most enjoyable aspects of RuneScape, and most of them are restricted to members.

Here is an alphabetical list of the currently available members-only minigames, along with a short explanation:

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A player playing Stealing Creation.

  • Burthorpe Games Room - A room where players can compete in various board games.
  • Castle Wars - An extremely popular competitive game of combat Capture the Flag, in which two teams infiltrate each the enemy castle and fight to score. Tickets rewarded to the winners can be exchanged for decorative Castle Wars armour and capes. Complicated strategy and tactics have been developed as well!
  • Champion Challenge - Engage the titans of eight different races of monsters in special rules battles! If you defeat them all, you can face the human champion!
  • Duel Tournaments - Members can head under the Duel Arena to compete for millions of coins in tournaments.
  • Fishing Trawler - An interesting fishing minigame in which players sail along the sea trying to keep a leaking ship afloat while they fix their net and catch some fish! Rewards are fish up to your fishing level, so the higher the better!
  • Gnome Ball - A challenging Agility minigame where players try to pass and charge with a small ball towards a hoop to score a goal, while defending gnomes attempt to tackle them before they can throw it. Players earn both Agility and Ranging experience if they're successful!
  • Gnome Restaurant - Players try their hand at delivering food to hungry customers in record speed! A variety of unique items and other rewards are available.
  • Mage Arena - Learn the legendary God Spells and earn your God Cape and God Staff! These spells powerful additions to any magic user's arsenal.
  • Mage Training Arena - One of the fastest ways to earn Magic experience; the Arena offers four different minigames each involving a different type of magic. If you are successful in these games, you can earn Pizzazz points to exchange for runes or the valued Infinity Robes!
  • Pest Control - This immensely popular team combat minigame involves protecting the vulnerable Void Knight while you fight incoming monsters. Commendation Points which can be exchanged for experience in any combat skill as well as a selection of items are rewarded to successful teams.
  • Pyramid Plunder - A source of extremely fast Thieving experience. Combat is interestingly integrated into the game.
  • Ranging Minigame - A fast way to train Ranging which can even be profitable! Players can even exchange tickets earned as rewards for coveted rune arrows.
  • Rat Pits - Players can train their cats to be a fierce hellcat or a clever Wily cat in these arenas of battle between cat and mouse, then show off their fully trained cats to their friends!
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A player juggling balls, in Balthazar Beauregard's Big Top Bonanza.

  • Rogue's Den - Players show their deft abilities as they navigate this tricky maze filled with traps and obstacles. Fail and be teleported out! Depending on success, players earn fair amounts of Agility and Thieving experience as well as Rogue Armour displaying their skill.
  • Shades of Mort'ton - Build up a temple and defend it from attacking evil spirits! One of the best ways to train Crafting, a good source of Firemaking experience, or a good way for players to test their prowess in combat and see how long they can last against the shades while they train up their combat skills!
  • Sorceress's Garden - Players attempt to sneak around watchful elementals guarding their gardens to get the a Sq'irk Tree to pick Sq'irk fruits. If caught, they are teleported out! Excellent Thieving experience.
  • Soul Wars - A challenging minigame where you kill avatars with your team. Rewards combat experience and pets.
  • Tai Bwo Wannai Cleanup - Help clean up the village of Tai Bwo Wannai. Beware, as players may encounter dangerous Bush Snakes and Broodoo victims! Players earn the village currency of trading sticks for a reward.
  • Tears of Guthix - Collect the tears of the God of Balance in a sacred cave guarded by his faithful snake servant Juna. The tears give the best reward of all - experience in the players' worst skill.
  • Temple Trekking - Escort citizens through the dangerous Mort Myre Swamp in Morytania to a temple on the River Salve. If successful, players earn tokens exchangeable for a random reward, including resources such as herbs or ores, or tomes exchangeable for experience in specific skills!
  • Treasure Trail - Players follow cryptic clues on wild chases to valuable rewards. Rewards include runes, Holy Book pages, Trimmed Armour, God Armour, Third Age Armour, and much more!
  • Trouble Brewing - Two teams compete as each try to brew the most bottles of rum! Experience in a variety of skills can be earned for performing the many complicated tasks needed in the process of rum production.
  • TzHaar Fight Cave - Players fight alone against an army of Tzhaar monsters! If they can withstand the masses, and defeat the dreaded TzTok-Jad, the second most powerful monster in the game, they can earn the coveted Fire cape! Winners as well as less fortunate participants earn varied amounts of the Tzhaar currency of Tokkul.
  • TzHaar Fight Pit - Players are thrown into pits where they fight an every-man-for-himself battle to the death! Deadly alliances and betrayals are all a part of the game. Tokkul is rewarded to the winner of each round

Most members would try out all the minigames at least once, if possible. Many of them are enjoyable, and some of them have excellent rewards.

Unlockable capabilities in skills

Free players are limited in their access to free-to-play skills. Since areas and training methods are also limited, it can be difficult for free players to obtain high levels in these skills. Free players cannot use members items for combat and use some of the capabilities reached at higher levels in the free skills. Many guilds are located in members only areas. Membership brings full access to not only several members skills, but also the free skills. It also gives special attacks to specific weaponry.

Here is a list of some capabilities in free skills available to only members:

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A player using the Special attack "Sunder" from the Barrelchest anchor.

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A player placing bones on a Prayer altar.

A player cutting trees.

Members-only quests

The vast majority of quests in RuneScape are restricted to members. These quests unlock important features, new areas, new transportation systems, and new skills. There are currently 19 free quests, and 132 members only quests. A complete list of members quests is found here.

Some quests granting useful abilities are listed below:

Low difficulty

Medium difficulty

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A player communicating using emotes, in Spirit of Summer.

High difficulty

Extra servers

Members can access and log into servers reserved for the pay-to-play version of RuneScape. If members wish to, they may also log into free-to-play worlds, although on these servers they can't use many in-game features that are accessible only in pay-to-play worlds. There are 85 members-only worlds out of a total of 169 worlds.

Additional website features

Players who opt for pay-to-play are given access to a few sections of the RuneScape website that are unavailable to free players. Two are partially available:

  • The forums - Free players may use the official forums if they have more then 12.5 million xp. This makes it more difficult to use a valuable method of communication, which can limit contact with other players in the Marketplace, Game, RS-Classic, and Community forum sections for trading, clan recruitment, clan discussion, game discussion, or other reasons, as well as removing the only easy way to contact Jagex: the Support section of the forums, which allows for suggestion of updates, rants, complaints and feedback.
  • Polls - Free players also cannot vote in most polls. Polls are important because they are a main method of receiving feedback for Jagex. Poll results often affect future updates. (From April 2007, non-members can vote in at least some polls.)

Membership Strategy

In order to save money, some players will pay for a few months of membership and then cancel or end payments. Before becoming a member, they will prepare for the new features by obtaining items that will allow them to quickly train members only skills and do members only quests. After they have completed their desired goals, they will cancel their membership and begin preparation again. While most members do not choose to switch like this, it is a good idea to obtain items that new members will need in large amounts before beginning membership.

Soon-to-be member checklist:

  • Regular, oak, and willow logs to quickly train Fletching
  • Food such as cakes or lobsters to train Agility quickly
  • Vials and secondary ingredients for Herblore
  • Coal and other ores to take advantage of Blast Furnace for Smithing
  • Enough coins to pay for all the equipment and skill items that you plan to buy once you are a member
  • Items to utilize new capabilities in free skills that come with membership
  • Items required to do basic member quests you plan to complete

Recommended Members Quests

If you plan to do members quests, it is a good idea to get any Free Player levels before you become a member, so you can spend more time doing members-only quests or skills without wasting membership credit for something you could do in free player worlds.

Preparing for an Ending Membership

When going from Pay-to-play to Free-to-play, there are many things you want to consider before your membership ends. Along with being restricted by the smaller free world area and limited to the free skills, bank space is an important aspect to consider. Non-members are limited to 68 bank spaces whereas Members have 496 bank spaces. If you have fewer than 68 items in your bank when the membership ends, you have nothing to worry about. For players who have well over 68 items in their bank, they want to consider the following:

  • Member items are not usable in the Free-to-play servers. You may keep member items in the bank, but they will be taking up space. It may be a good idea to sell member items before the membership ends, unless you plan on starting a new membership again soon.
  • When the membership expires, all items that were in the bank will still remain there, even if you had over 68 items. The problem is you will now be restricted to the non-member bank space. New items cannot be added to a bank containing over the 68 item limit. Items can only be added if they already exist in the bank. Problems arise when you remove all of one item from your bank and you are over 68 items. To avoid issues with bank size restrictions, a good strategy may be to have more than one of each item you will be using in the free worlds. By doing this, you will be able to remove one of the items to use and be able to deposit it back into the bank when you are done. Thus, you will be able to keep all of the items in your bank and still function properly. Again, you will not be able to add anything new you receive in the free world to your bank, unless it exists there already. Use of the "remove-all-but-one" feature is much safer here than use of "remove all"
  • If you are not planning to be a member again, it would be wise to sell all your tradable members items before you cancel your subscription. This will make you a huge sum of cash (if you had many expensive member's equipments) and prepare your bank for F2p. It is not recommended to drop all your equipments in the Falador Party Room as you may want to come back to the game later.

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