Website review by
Jean Armour Polly, Common Sense Media
RuneScape Website Poster Image
Popular with kids
Medieval multiplayer game isn't for all kids.

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 102 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 310 reviews

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Overall, this is a supportive community whose passion for the game can verge on the fanatical. The site makes a real effort to ban abusive behavior and to encourage families to play together.


The game involves combat between monsters and other players.


Occasional mild swearing could come up on the forums, but mostly this passionate community is interested in playing and discussing the game, not trash talking. Swearing during gameplay is bleeped out by a filter. Offenders are banned.


There are ads on the site, but its main support comes through subscriptions -- although you can play for free. An online store sells RuneScape T-shirts, but the link is not prominently displayed.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Ale, stout, wine...but drinking does affect your combat skills.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that RuneScape discussion forums can be read by anyone, but only paying members can post messages. Some of the topics contain barely disguised vulgarities and sexual references, though there are moderators who keep an eye on things and who can ban users who get too out of line. Under the terms and conditions agreed to at sign-up, players must use the chat feature only as an extension of their role-playing activities. The terms and conditions document warns against inappropriate behavior, and extensive instructions are given to help the user block unwanted communications using the built-in game functions. Combat and dueling is an important part of the game; however, according to passionate discussions in the forum, there is a lot of cold-blooded murder going on, too.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bykdakj2 January 7, 2012

Runescape sucks because of the scammers in it.

Too many scammers. If you want to play the game, play only with the people you know and don't socialize. I've only gotten scammed whenever I socialize...
Adult Written byAaron T. August 17, 2016

Why I believe Runescape is a waste of your time

I'll split this up in two parts: parent advice and child advice.
first parent advice.
In this game, you have two ways to play, Freely and members. As a pa... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old September 15, 2021

Jesus people it was made in 2001.

I’ve played this for a while (since i was a little kid). I love this game. Ok yeah, the graphics are no where as near as good as games now, but I still enjoy it... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old May 14, 2020

Perfect for 6th Graders!

This game is really old, but there's a new one that you can play too! This game is perfect for 6th graders because it fits them so perfectly! You can talk... Continue reading

What's it about?

Before you enter RuneScape's virtual world, you'll have to be trained on Tutorial Island, where you learn a few essential skills such as fire making, fishing, cooking, mining, slaying monsters, and throwing spells. Once you've completed the tutorial phase, you're free to wander anywhere you like. You may be sent on a quest to find ingredients for a cake, or you may be asked to go on a spy mission. Successful completion of a quest brings a reward. Two versions of RuneScape are offered: one is free, while the other requires a paid subscription of a few dollars per month. Paid members get access to additional lands, skills, and quests. In the game, avatars represent players. You choose your avatar's appearance from a limited selection. As you watch the movements of other players' avatars, you'll notice many have rich clothing or heavy armor. Items can be won, bought, or traded with other players.

Is it any good?

Teens and tweens, especially boys, will be fascinated by this role-playing game. But parents should look over their shoulders and see what's really going on. Is the player slaying dragons or other humans? It is possible to play this fascinating game without the murder and mayhem, so RuneScape gets a cautionary yellow for "know your kid."

Online interaction: There's lots of online interaction in this immensely popular, global massively multiplayer online role-playing game. Swearing is discouraged, if not outright forbidden. The interactions can be impassioned -- borne of a love of the game -- but aren't mean-spirited.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the pros and cons of this game. What do you learn that may be valuable in the real world? How do you feel about the violent aspects of the game?

  • Families can also talk about online chat. Should parents give kids under age 13 permission to use the site's full chat features? Why or why not?

Website details

  • Genre: Gaming
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Last updated: March 27, 2021

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate