Runescape 3 vs OSRS - Which to play?

Runescape 3 vs Old School Runescape – Which To Play?

Should I Play Runescape 3 or OSRS? A Concise Comparison for Gamers

Deciding whether to play RuneScape 3 or Old School RuneScape (OSRS) can be a challenging choice for both new and returning players. As two distinct versions of the popular Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG), each offering unique features, visual style, and game mechanics, the choice ultimately depends on an individual’s personal preferences and gaming habits.

In this article, the key differences between RuneScape 3 and OSRS will be explored, to assist players in making an informed decision about which version to invest their time and energy into.

RuneScape 3 boasts improved graphics, a more extensive array of content and activities to engage in, and a faster progression rate, allowing players to delve into new content more quickly. With numerous quality-of-life updates, RS3 offers a more streamlined experience that could appeal to players seeking a less time-consuming grind.

In contrast, OSRS is well-known for its nostalgic aspects, featuring the old-school graphics and mechanics that many players fell in love with during the early days of RuneScape. This version of the game is often described as more of a grind, requiring dedication to complete menial tasks and level-up, but it comes with a unique sense of achievement and the thrill of old-school challenges.

Although OSRS may feel more tedious, it embraces its nostalgic elements with pride, targeting players who adored the original iteration and those who prefer a slower pace of gameplay. On the other hand, RuneScape 3 appeals to those who desire newer mechanics, better visuals, and a slightly more casual playstyle. Ultimately, the choice between the two versions is subjective and relies on the individual’s gaming preferences; some may find enjoyment in one, the other, or even both.

Gameplay Comparison

Combat System

In RuneScape 3 (RS3), the combat system employs the Evolution of Combat (EoC) style, which utilises abilities and hotkeys similar to other MMOs like World of Warcraft.

This approach provides a more dynamic and engaging combat experience. Old School RuneScape (OSRS), on the other hand, maintains a simple point-and-click combat system that relies on attack styles and timing. This offers a nostalgic experience for players who prefer a more straightforward combat approach.


Graphically, RS3 outshines OSRS with its contemporary visuals, smoother animations, and enhanced detail. RS3 provides an immersive experience for players who appreciate advanced graphics in modern games.

Conversely, OSRS intentionally retains the classic look and feel of RuneScape as it first launched, offering players a more retro graphical experience.

Grind and Skilling

Both RS3 and OSRS incorporate grinding for skills; however, RS3 affords a more relaxed and less time-consuming experience overall. Skilling metas are more ubiquitous and obtainable in RS3, making it a better choice for players who prefer a more casual approach.

In contrast, OSRS demands a greater time investment for skill training, appealing to players who enjoy a more challenging and grind-oriented experience.

Quests and Events

Quests and events in both versions of RuneScape offer unique experiences. RS3 presents a wider array of content, with more quests and events designed for a diverse range of player levels. Additionally, RS3’s modernised graphics create a more immersive environment during questing and events.

OSRS, while having fewer quests, exudes nostalgia with its old-school quest design. The simple graphics and mechanics stay true to the original RuneScape experience and may be more appealing to a player seeking that classic feeling.

Ultimately, when choosing between RS3 and OSRS, the decision will come down to individual preferences, be it complexity in combat, graphics designs or the level of grind involved in the game.

Community and Player Base

Player Count

The player base of both Runescape 3 and Old School Runescape (OSRS) is noteworthy. While OSRS has an active player base ranging between 70,000 and 100,000 on an average day, RS3 sees around 120,000 to 250,000 active players daily. RS3 also boasts of over 320,000,000 Runescape accounts created all time. These numbers show that both games have their dedicated player communities.

Social Interaction

Social interaction is an essential aspect of the Runescape experience. Both games offer a decent array of social features, such as in-game chat, friends lists, and player-run events.

While OSRS focuses on gameplay simplicity and nostalgia, RS3 boasts a more enriched interface and more engaging boss encounters that require teamwork from players. Even though both games provide ample opportunities for socializing, individual preferences will dictate which game offers a more fulfilling social experience.

Economy and Marketplace

The economy in Runescape (both RS3 and OSRS) revolves around trading items and services between players. The Grand Exchange is the focal point of this economy, functioning as an automated trading system where players can buy and sell items with ease.

Notably, the OSRS and RS3 economies are vastly different from one another. RS3 has more gold in circulation, which explains the gold’s lower value compared to OSRS gold. The difference in gold valuation can be seen in gold selling sites like Probemas.

In terms of subscription costs and membership benefits, players can access a more extensive range of content with a membership plan. This more content-rich experience is available across both OSRS and RS3 for the same subscription fee. The existence of bonds, an in-game item that can be bought using real-life currency and traded for in-game services, can further supplement players’ strategies to finance their gameplay.

Overall, both games provide unique experiences in terms of player base, social interaction, and economy. Ultimately, the decision to play RS3 or OSRS will depend on personal preferences, whether it be nostalgia, graphics, gameplay, or community.

Features and Mechanics

1. Skills and Experience

In both RuneScape 3 and Old School RuneScape (OSRS), players can train various skills to gain experience and level up. RuneScape 3 boasts more skills overall, with additional ones such as Summoning, Dungeoneering, Divination, Invention, Archaeology and more recently, Necromancy that are not found in OSRS.

Players can enjoy a mix of combat, gathering, and artisan skills to explore different gameplay aspects. Experience rates are comparatively faster in RuneScape 3, which facilitates quicker progression.

2. Evolution of Combat and Abilities

One of the significant differences between the two games is their combat system. OSRS adheres to a more simplistic, “click-and-wait” combat style, while RuneScape 3 has incorporated the Evolution of Combat (EoC) system.

EoC introduces abilities, providing a more interactive and complex combat experience. Players who prefer updated mechanics, versatility, and strategic gameplay may lean towards RuneScape 3.

3. Unique Game Modes

Both games offer unique game modes for players seeking additional challenges. Ironman Mode is available in both RuneScape 3 and OSRS, where players must be completely self-sufficient, restricting trading, and group activities. Another example is OSRS’s Deadman Mode, a seasonal, Player-versus-Player (PvP) focused variant with high-stakes gameplay.

4. In-Game Systems and Rewards

RuneScape 3 features more in-depth and diverse in-game systems, including different minigames, frequent updates, and a plethora of rewards for players to pursue. The game’s graphics are also more advanced, enhancing the overall visual experience.

In contrast, OSRS stays true to its nostalgic roots, favouring a “core RuneScape” experience. Players who appreciate the simplicity of older mechanics, visuals, and content may find OSRS more appealing.

Bonds, an in-game item that can be exchanged for membership and other services, are accessible in both RuneScape 3 and OSRS. This provides an opportunity to earn in-game currency to cover membership costs.

Overall, the decision between RuneScape 3 and Old School RuneScape depends on personal preferences. Players should consider the unique features and mechanics of each game to determine which version aligns best with their gaming style and interests.

Microtransactions and Membership

Impact on Gameplay

Microtransactions in RuneScape 3 (RS3) and Old School RuneScape (OSRS) have different approaches and impacts on gameplay. RS3 includes promotional items and microtransactions, which can offer advantages to players who choose to invest in them. It can be considered quite powerful for those who invest heavily, but for mid-range levels, it is less intrusive and not necessarily overpowered.

On the other hand, OSRS only supports bonds as a form of microtransaction. This has a limited impact on gameplay and does not provide significant advantages to players who decide to purchase or use them.

Alternative Payment Options

Both RuneScape 3 and Old School RuneScape offer alternative payment options. In both games, players can become paid members, which grants access to more skills, locations, equipment, and overall content than free-to-play (F2P) players. Additionally, membership is shared between both games on the same account, allowing players to switch between RS3 and OSRS as desired.

For OSRS, it is possible to obtain bonds without directly paying for them. Players can farm enough OSRS gold in-game or choose to buy OSRS gold from other players to purchase bonds. In RS3, similar options of earning RS3 gold in-game or buying runescape gold from other players exist, offering alternative ways of obtaining membership or additional in-game advantages.

Future of the Games

As for the future of both games, there are certain factors to consider. OSRS has a larger player population and fewer microtransactions which can impact gameplay, whereas RS3 features the Evolution of Combat system, divination, invention, and other more modern additions. Both games have experienced content droughts, leading developers to focus on updating and improving each game’s offering to ensure continued player engagement and satisfaction. However, the popularity of each game is impacted by individual preferences when it comes to gameplay, graphics, and in-game experiences. In conclusion, it is advised to try both games and determine which one aligns best with your personal preferences.

Nostalgia and Personal Preference

When considering whether to play Runescape 3 or Old School Runescape (OSRS), nostalgia and personal preference play a significant role. Runescape has been a popular MMORPG for many years, and players who have experienced its different iterations may have a fondness for the version they first encountered.

For some gamers, OSRS sparks a certain sense of nostalgia, bringing back memories of their early days in the world of online gaming. OSRS stays true to the original mechanics and take them back to a time when the game was simpler and slower-paced. This familiarity can evoke strong emotions in players who enjoy the look, feel, and gameplay of the classic game.

On the other hand, Runescape 3 offers a more modern gaming experience, with improved graphics, interface, and additional content. This version caters to players who value a smoother, more technologically advanced game with a plethora of features. While some players appreciate these developments, others may view them as too much of a departure from the original game, alienating those who prefer a traditional Runescape experience.

Like Runescape, World of Warcraft (WoW) also has experienced drastic changes over the years, with its updated version, WoW Classic, appealing to those longing for the golden days of the game. Whether it’s Runescape or WoW, both have their benefits, and the decision to play one version or the other often boils down to personal preference.

It is important for potential players to remember that neither version is inherently superior; rather, each offers a distinct experience tailored to different preferences. Some players may enjoy both versions, as each has its unique merits and challenges. Deciding on whether to play Runescape 3 or OSRS ultimately depends on one’s individual connection with the game and the type of experience they wish to have.

To summarise, when selecting between Runescape 3 and OSRS, one must consider their own preferences and nostalgic attachments to the game. Although both versions have their merits, the decision is ultimately dependent on individual playstyle and desires.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the key differences?

Runescape 3 and Old School Runescape (OSRS) are two separate games developed by Jagex. Runescape 3 features faster game progression, a deeper pool of end-game content, and extremely modular interfaces. On the other hand, Old School Runescape (OSRS) has a more nostalgic appeal with a simpler gameplay experience and more focus on grinding.

Which has a bigger player base?

Runescape 3 has a more populated and popular player base compared to OSRS. However, this should not discourage anyone from trying out and enjoying OSRS.

How do F2P experiences compare?

Both Runescape 3 and OSRS offer free-to-play options, but OSRS is considered to have a better F2P experience, especially for players who enjoy its nostalgia and simplicity. Runescape 3, however, has more content and a wider variety of activities for F2P players.

Which is better for mobile gaming?

Both Runescape 3 and OSRS have mobile applications, but OSRS Mobile is generally more popular due to its simple and nostalgic gameplay, making it more suitable for mobile gaming.

What does the community prefer?

The community preference between the two games is quite subjective. Some players enjoy the simplicity and nostalgia of OSRS, while others prefer the modern features and gameplay of Runescape 3. It is highly recommended to try both games and decide which suits your preferences.

Which offers more challenging gameplay?

Runescape 3 is said to offer more challenging gameplay, particularly in the PvM (Player vs Monster) aspect, with a greater variety of abilities to master compared to OSRS. However, both games have their unique challenges, and the perceived difficulty depends on individual player preferences.

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