How to play HD Old School Runescape (OSRS)
Runescape can be confusing for those who don’t know much about the series, and even then it can still be difficult to understand. Even if you’re an active gamer, there’s a lot you might not know about the game. Fans of the series, however, will almost universally tell you that Runescape is an old, old game with graphics outdated by a PS2 or PS3 game, depending on the version of Runescape You play. However, there is more to the story: you can play Old School Runescape in HD right now, so in this article we’ll tell you how it all works.
What is Runescape HD?
Runescape started as a browser game and eventually evolved into a real application that you run locally on your own computer, relying on your own hardware to render the game’s graphics rather than on a server. In 2008, Runescape received an HD (or Highly Detailed) update during the height of the “HD era” when mainstream games were released with dynamic lighting, realistic shadows, and high definition textures.
UI elements have been updated, higher resolution textures have been added, and overall world detail has been significantly increased. This change laid the foundation for the next 14 years of Runescapethe world only getting more detailed and graphically complex over the years.
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Old School Runescape started as a save game state in 2007 before the HD update, and since then the game has grown well beyond that original 2007 code, but there has been no official graphics update. When people talk about HD Old School Runescape they usually talk about Old School Runescape looking more like it was in 2008 after the HD update.
Imagine the same old game with the same art style, layout and everything else, but with higher resolution textures, better mixing between tiles, water effects, shadows, dynamic lights, ambient occlusion, blooming, and realistic skyboxes. Finally, HD Old school would work like how indie games often work today.
Many indie developers create games that have the aesthetics of older games while using a wide variety of advanced tools and features enabled by modern game engines. This is what is usually meant by HD Old school: A game that looks and feels like Old school with some more modern graphical features and effects.
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How to play HD Old School Runescape
Jagex does not have official HD support. Old School Runescape. There is nothing developed by Jagex that you can download to do Old school look or work better than on the official client. However, this is partly because the community already supports these features on third-party clients not developed by Jagex.
With the very popular Runes Lite customer for Old School Runescapeplayers can activate the GPU or 117 HD plugins. The GPU plugin, naturally, forces Old school to use your computer’s graphics card rather than its integrated graphics chip, exponentially increasing performance.
You can also extend Runescape render distance alongside a suite of other graphical tweaks, like unlocking FPS, brightening textures, and more. This plugin has a lot of technical and HD upgrades Runescape would have, but the plugin stops before higher resolution textures, advanced effects like dynamic shadows and lights, etc.
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That’s where 117’s HD plugin comes in. This plugin does the same things as the GPU plugin while increasing the level of detail in the world, adding higher resolution textures, and implementing dynamic shadows and light sources in the game. This plugin is the most Old school gamers think when they think HD Old School Runescape.
This plugin, in fact, was initially blocked by Jagex because the company was apparently working on its own similar HD client for Old school, but after a quick and intense community response, Jagex allowed the plugin to be released. So, 117’s HD plugin for RuneLite is currently the closest thing to it. Old School Runescape owes to an official HD customer.
Unfortunately, the plugin has some issues. For one, it’s still in beta, so you can expect some graphical glitches and bugs. But more importantly, performance is a huge issue with the plugin. Even with a monstrous PC, many areas of the game will run at 60 FPS or less, and stuttering is common.
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RuneLite itself, known for delivering the best performance for Old schoolstill struggling to maintain consistently high FPS in Old school, even with a good connection to a server and a powerful platform. Ultimately, Old School Runescape was never designed to run at hundreds of FPS on modern hardware, so even with all the tweaks in the world, the game will never run well without a total code rewrite.
This is what happened to the main game, regular Runescapeand this game’s long list of major changes is precisely why the game’s popularity plummeted and prompted Jagex to introduce Old School Runescape. So don’t hold your breath expecting history to repeat itself through another major engine overhaul. Old school launched 9 years ago in 2013, and there has not been an engine overhaul yet.
More ways to play HD OSRS
While the RuneLite plugin is the most popular and feature rich way to play Old School Runescape in HD right now, that’s not the only option.
There are others Old school clients like HDOS that are completely built around redesign The old school graphics without focusing on a wide variety of different plugins offered by RuneLite. And then there are even crazier reinterpretations of Old School Runescape.
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Remastered operating system is another third-party HD client project, but this renders the game in Unity, running Old school in a totally modern fully 3D game with all the familiar graphical effects of any mainstream open-world RPG. It’s an exciting idea, but it’s only being worked on by a single developer, and there hasn’t been an update on the project released for months at the time of writing.
In conclusion, the demand for HD Old School Runescape is alive and well, and if you want to upgrade The old school visuals, there are plenty of options to consider today. However, there is no official Jagex support for HD versions of Old school.
And if you want a high-performance total overhaul of The old school graphics, unfortunately you can’t have the best of all worlds right now. But considering how much loved Runescape is mostly Old schoolit’s not crazy to imagine that there may be future customers who do even more than is possible today.
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