Much of contemporary nerd culture is imbued with nostalgia. As such, it’s hardly surprising that Jagex’s Old School RuneScape, a retro version of RuneScape 3, maintains an active base of both players and content creators. OSRS sets players loose in Gielinor as they train their skills to unlock new areas, quests, and items. Along the way, they’ll slay dragons, find lost cats, and venture into the dangerous God Wars Dungeon.
Old School RuneScape’s various minigames let players take a break from saving the world or grinding out skills. The experiences offered are diverse, from fighting other players to delivering food to faraway gnomes within a limited time. The minigames are certainly not a waste of effort, as many offer XP rewards that can outstrip the usual methods, in addition to unique and valuable items.10 Temple Trekking (Various)
The swampiest of Gielinor’s many regions, Morytania is home to vampires, werewolves, and giant snails. Small wonder, then, that NPC travelers are willing to reward the player for escorting them through this dangerous land. Following completion of the “In Aid of the Myreque” quest, the Temple Trekking minigame sees players brave monster encounters and puzzles as they guide NPCs to the safe haven of the Paterdomus Temple.
As well as improving their combat stats by vanquishing their foes, players can receive Agility, Firemaking, Fishing, Mining, Woodcutting, or Slayer experience as a reward for completing their expeditions. Although the XP per hour is not especially high, the activity offers a change of pace from mining ores or making lines of fires through Varrock.9 Fishing Trawler (Fishing)
Popularly played in World 315 and setting sail from Port Khazard, Captain Murphy’s Fishing Trawler is not for those without their sea legs. Players work cooperatively to help the trawler make its way through the choppy seas of Gielinor.
Despite its fishy focus, players can gain experience in several different skills. Whether gamers choose to train their Woodcutting by taking an axe to a tentacled beastie, get better at Crafting by fixing the nets, or improve their Construction by plugging holes in the leaky ship, they’ll return to port and get their rewards: the catch of the day, Fishing XP, and perhaps a rare piece of the angler’s outfit.8 Tears of Guthix (Various)
The training styles of OSRS’s 23 skills can differ drastically, meaning that gamers are likely to enjoy some skills more than others. These subjectively less enjoyable skills can remain at low levels for disinterested players—unless they visit the Tears of Guthix minigame.
Located in Lumbridge Swamp, Tears of Guthix rewards players with experience in their lowest skill. This makes the game unsuitable for some account builds, but regular players can collect magical liquid to train the skills they’d rather forget. The minigame requires the completion of a short quest (“Tears of Guthix”) and can only be completed once a week (additionally, players must have earned at least 100,000 XP or 1 quest point since last completing the game).7 Pyramid Plunder (Thieving)
As any self-respecting treasure hunter knows, the line between archeology and grave robbing is vanishingly thin. Trainee thieves who are tired of looting stalls or picking pockets can take a magic carpet to Sophanem, deep in the scorching Kharidian Desert. From there, they’ll enter the Jalsavrah Pyramid, braving traps and irate mummies in return for an excellent Thieving experience—as well as a chance at the Pharoah’s Sceptre, a valuable teleport item.
Gamers looking for a pharaonic payout congregate in World 493. However, any would-be Indiana Joneses should aim to complete the “Icthlarin’s Little Helper” and “Contact” quests first, giving easy access to Sophanem and to a nearby bank.6 Volcanic Mine (Mining)
That the Volcanic Mine offers excellent experience rates is undeniable. It also gives players the chance to purchase items from Petrified Pete’s Ore Shop by spending points earned while braving the erupting volcano.
Yet the fact remains that gaining access to the Volcanic Mini minigame can be a chore. As well as requiring at least 50 Mining, adventurers will need to have received 150 Kudos from the Varrock Museum and helped to renovate the Museum Camp on Fossil Island. Even after unlocking the mine, 30 numelites (a Fossil Island-specific currency) need to be spent to start the game. This means that the Volcanic Mine is suitable for dedicated diggers only.
Smithing is very profitable at high levels, but training can feel painfully slow. Indeed, Jagex clearly recognizes the tedious nature of smelting ores and hammering bars, as the skill was heavily revised in RuneScape 3. Old School, on the other hand, retains the slightly clunky system that was first implemented over 20 years ago.
Unlocked following the completion of the “Sleeping Giants” quest, the Giant’s Foundry minigame sees played tasked with creating massive weapons for a friendly giant, Kovac. As well as gaining Smithing experience, gamers can earn special items and clothing to help with the skill, including the Double Ammo Mould.4 Mahogany Homes (Construction)
Construction allows players to build large homes full of useful equipment, like convenient teleport options and storage systems. These are especially handy for ironmen and other restricted accounts. Adventurers transform their residence from a wooden shack to a party palace as they progress. However, Construction has a reputation as an arduous skill to train.
The Mahogany Homes minigame (initially based in Falador) lets players take on various contracts to renovate NPC homes around Gielinor, from Varrock to Hosidius. Contracted builders are rewarded with experience and points to buy Construction-related items—not to mention a nice cup of tea.3 Tithe Farm (Farming)
A good reputation can come in handy—players with 100% Hosidius favor can access Tithe Farm, a Farming minigame located to the south of the continent of Zeah. Adventurers enter the massive greenhouse of Farmer Gricoller and engage in extended seed planting and harvesting sessions. It may not sound like pulse-pounding action (except to fans of farming games), but it’s a welcome break from walking halfway across the map only to find a patch of dead crops.
The minigame’s 100% favor requirement, coupled with the fact that it requires at least 34 Farming and several quests, means that players will have to work to unlock it. However, once they do, Tithe Farm offers great XP rates, as well as points that can be used to buy a number of useful Farming items.2 Guardians of the Rift (Runecrafting)
Runes are an essential part of training Magic, but many players prefer to buy them rather than crafting the runes themselves. This is understandable, as Runecrafting, which is trained by mining rune essence and then taking it to different magical altars, can be a time-consuming skill to train. However, earning potential at high levels is a good incentive.
Unlocked following completion of the “Temple of the Eye” quest, Guardians of the Rift is a team-based minigame during which players assist the Great Guardian by creating rune-based guardians and barriers. They can also charge up the Guardian by imbuing him with essence, better allowing him to survive the attacks of abyssal creatures. Like the Runecrafting skill, the minigame involves both Mining and Runecrafting but offers a dynamic context for both and rewards players with rewards and XP dependent upon a player’s level.1 Pest Control (Combat)
Accessed by taking a boat from Port Sarim, Pest Control is a combat-focused minigame that pits a team of players against monsters invading the world through portals. Adventurers must work together to repel the invaders, destroy the portals, and defend an NPC Void Knight from enemy attacks. Pest Control provides an excellent goal-focused environment in which to train Attack, Strength, Defence, Ranged, and Magic.
Pest Control, typically played on World 344, also offers good rewards. Players can spend the points they earn on additional experience or on a range of armor, weapons, and supplies. It should be noted, however, that a minimum combat level of 40 is required to play the minigame, making it inaccessible to new players.
Old School RuneScapeis currently available on PC, Android, and iOS.