Friends Chat is available to everyone, and was released in the Clan Chat update on 6 August 2007. Players do not need to set up their own channel in order to use someone else's. Later, on 12 April 2011, another Clan Chat was released, with the former Clan Chat renamed to Friends Chat.
Players in a Friends Chat channel send messages in the same way as with public chat, except using a slash (/) at the beginning of every line. The slash does not appear when the message is displayed. As with private chat, the other players can be logged into any server. Selecting the Friends Chat option at the bottom of the screen eliminates the need of using a slash (/). A leading slash will not be removed if the Friends Chat channel is accessed through the Lobby.
Creating a channel
Any player can create their own channel, using the "Friends Chat settings" button in the Friends Chat interface:
The player will then be presented with an interface that allows them to set ranks for people on their Friends List and control who can enter, talk, and kick other players from the channel. They can also set a channel name of up to twelve characters, which will appear on the side of the chat box to indicate something said on that channel. Censorship still applies to the channel name, and Jagex has made it so the word "mod" cannot be included in the name either (e.g. "I Am A Mod" or even "Gamemode"). The words Staff, and Admin are included in this censor.
Players that have the rank required to kick others in the channel can only kick those with rank lower than theirs, for example, a general with kick power cannot kick other generals. They are free to kick those at captain rank or below, however, the channel owner may disapprove (and can lower their rank). Players kicked from a channel cannot re-enter for an hour; in addition, those on the channel owner's ignore list cannot enter a channel at any time.
If a channel reaches the player limit (100) and any ranked player tries to join, another player with a lower rank than the one entering will be kicked to make room. Otherwise, any other person will be told "This chat is currently full", and will have to wait until someone leaves to rejoin.
A Jagex Moderator can always join a chat, will always be able to chat on it, and can kick any player off the chat, including the owner, irrespective of any rank given by the owner of the Friends Chat.
Using a channel
To enter a Friends Chat channel, players simply click on the "Join/leave a Friends Chat channel" button in the Friends Chat interface. The name of the player hosting the channel must be entered in the message box. Once this is done, the player is able to send messages to other players in the channel by writing messages in the public chat box with a slash before them.
The Friends Chat interface shows the name and creator of the channel the player is currently chatting on. In addition, each player in the channel (up to 100) is shown on a list, along with their channel rank and current world.
Players not on the channel owner's friends list do not have a rank icon; players on the owner's friends list but not assigned any other rank have a friend icon; and each of the other ranks (except channel owner) are assigned by the owner to other players on his/her friends list.
If a player is kicked from the chat, the player will be able to rejoin after one hour. Alternatively, the chat is reset if it is emptied and those kicked can rejoin then.
The owner can limit the accessibility of the Friends Chat by adjusting the "Who can enter chat?" or the "Who can talk on chat?" options.
The interface also contains a button for players to enter or leave a channel. Jagex moderators have powers equivalent to a channel owner if they join a channel.
Players who are breaking rules in chat channels can be reported using the report abuse button as normal.
When attempting to join a friend chat channel, the player may receive one of the following error messages and fail to join the channel. See the table below for information about the message and how to resolve it.
|Message||Description||How to resolve|
|The channel you tried to join does not exist.||Either no player exists with the provided player name, or the player has not set up a friend chat channel.||Make sure you have typed the player's name correctly. If the player has not set up a channel yet, they can do so using the "Creating a channel" guide above.|
|Error joining friends chat channel - please try again later!||A bug prevented the player from joining the channel.||As this is caused by a game error, there is little a player can do. Waiting a minute then trying to join can sometimes help, as can swapping to a different game world.|
|The channel you tried to join is currently full.||The channel has reached its capacity of 100 users.||Wait a minute before trying to join again. The player could also contact the channel owner or a member with the ability to kick, who can remove inactive players to create free space.|
|You are temporarily blocked from joining channels - please try again later!||Occurs after trying to join a full channel multiple times.||Try again after a few minutes.|
|You do not have a high enough rank to join this friends chat channel.||The channel owner has restricted who can join their channel, and the player's rank is lower than the "Who can join" rank specified.||Contact the channel owner and request access to the channel.|
|You are temporarily banned from this friends chat channel.||The player was recently kicked from the channel and a temporary ban is still in place.||Wait for the ban to expire - this usually takes 60 minutes from the time the player was kicked.|
|You are not allowed to join this user's friends chat channel.||The player is on the channel owner's ignore list, and is therefore unable to join the channel.||Contact a ranked member of the channel and request the ban be lifted. The channel owner will not see messages from the player as the player is on the owner's ignore list.|
On 10 January 2011 an update was added which introduced a manual "kick/ban" button beside the "toggle-LootShare" button, in addition a new ability to kick players from the chat, using the chat window. The ability to "refresh" a temporary ban using the manual kick button was also added, which resets the temporary ban to 1 hour when someone's name is added who is already banned.
On 1 March 2011 an update made it so a notice is shown whenever someone attempts to kick/ban another player in a Friends Chat. The notice displays to everyone in the channel who is attempting to kick whom. It has brought about controversy in larger channels, since it can easily spam large chats where kicks occur quite regularly.
A hidden update was added on 4 April 2011 which renamed the Friends Chat from its original name of "Clan Chat", according to the messages "Now talking in friends chat channel [channel name]” and “Changes will take effect on your friends chat in the next 60 seconds”, as well as the tooltip displayed when a player hovers over the friends chat tab on the runescape interface.
On 12 April 2011, a new Clan Chat was introduced and the old Clan Chat was renamed to 'Friends Chat'. The interface was redesigned so that 'clan setup' and 'join chat/leave chat' buttons were moved to the top-left corner of the interface, the 'kick/ban user' and the 'toggle-LootShare' buttons were placed in the bottom-right corner of the interface and the rank symbols were made smaller.
LootShare is another feature that Jagex added to the Friends Chat in the LootShare update of the 16 October 2007. When LootShare is active, all players within a 16-square radius of a fallen monster have a chance to get the drop. There is an additional message in the chat box that informs the clan who received the drop, and what the drop was. Furthermore, receiving substandard drops or none at all increases the chances that a player will get a more valuable drop the next time.
To activate LootShare, the owner of the clan must enable it through the Clan Setup menu, then each member of the clan must activate it as well. The minimum clan rank needed to engage in LootShare is "Friend." In addition, when LootShare is activated it requires 2 minutes to begin working.
LootShare is only available in certain worlds, noted by the world select screen. LootShare does not work for player-killing.
The Chat Directory sticky
If players are looking for a Friends Chat channel to join, they may try looking in the Chat Directory Sticky in the RuneScape Forums. Sometimes a player may come across an unoccupied channel, but a few of them are popular.
Members may also advertise their Friends Chat there. Players are only allowed to advertise the chat channel relating to the username who posted it.
- A glitch occasionally causes players to appear multiple times in a Friends Chat channel.
- When the Kick button was first added to the Friends Chat interface, a player could 'kick' themselves from their own channel by entering their previous display name. This glitch has been fixed, and players correctly receive the error message "You cannot kick or ban yourself." instead.
- On 8 July 2009, when the interface was updated, players were temporarily able to add themselves to their ignore list. Consequently, anyone with their own name on their ignore list was rendered unable to enter his or her own Friends Chat for as long as the name remained on their ignore list. Furthermore, if players added themselves to their friends lists, they could give themselves a different rank in their own Friends Chat channels. This did not affect any in-clan functions, however, and the person retained the "owner" rank.
- On the day of the "Fish Flinger" update, several worlds would not allow friends chat to function properly. In World 100 , for instance, you could type something to the clan, but nothing would show up on your screen. In 50% of the cases, some could see your text, some could not. Other people may entirely not be able to read or see chat. This has since been fixed.
- Since 9 June 2010, there was a bug for some people with friends chat, giving users affected the message 'Error connecting to Chat Channel. Please try again later!' This issue appears not to affect everyone, but has affected several players. Jagex is currently looking into the issue. Please see this post by Mod AC for more information. This may be the same as the "error joining friends chat channel - please try again later!" error.
- Since 22 July, there has been a glitch where few or no players show up on the friends chat interface. Jagex is currently fixing this problem.
- If you are muted and attempt to kick someone from a Friends Chat, the automated message will not appear.
- There has been a glitch where if your Friends Chat text was changed to another colour and if you enter a player-owned house (POH), then the text in the Friends Chat will turn default while the Home Sweet Home picture is displayed. This has not been fixed yet.
- On 10 January 2011, about 2 minutes before the system update, a glitch caused every player to be 'kicked' from all chats, and everybody received the message "You leave the channel". There was no waiting time to get back into the Friends chats, and the cause of this glitch was unknown.
- Since 10 January 2011, there has been a glitch where a player or players will be randomly banned from a Friends Chat for an hour for absolutely no reason. It is said to be a problem from when Jagex fixed the kicking bug that happened on the day that this bug was reported to start. This caused controversy as people in Friends Chats blamed each other.