Optimising RuneScape on Your PC

Recently we looked into the graphics settings and display modes typically used by RuneScape players, and some of the results surprised us. As you may know, there are three main display modes: DirectX, OpenGL and Software Mode (also known as SSE). Generally, DirectX and OpenGL provide the best performance by far.

What surprised us was that almost half of all players use Software Mode!

Display modes by percentage

Display mode by percentage of players

This stood out to us, because most users are likely to get the best performance while using DirectX. Let’s look at what the best settings are:

Windows PC + Dedicated Graphics: Use DirectX

If you’re playing on a Windows PC with a dedicated graphics card, then you will almost certainly benefit from playing in DirectX display mode.

We found that switching to DirectX display mode can typically improve your frame rate by 4 to 14 frames per second compared to Software Mode and by around 3 to 13 frames per second compared to OpenGL. You can see a typical example below.

FPS comparison of display modes

Average frames per second by display mode, 2.6 Ghz CPU

Windows PC, Integrated Graphics: Use DirectX or Software Mode

If you’re playing on a Windows PC with integrated graphics, or a PC over five years old you are still likely to benefit from moving to DirectX too, but it depends on your hardware. We recommend you try DirectX, but if you get poor performance, you should switch to Software Mode and compare. You may also find that DirectX mode is preferable with some specific graphics options turned off - see below.

Linux or Mac: Use OpenGL

If you’re playing on Linux or Mac, then your best option is to use OpenGL. You’ll almost certainly see an improvement in frame rate over Software Mode: typically around 5 frames per second. Note that in some versions of OSX it's best to use our downloadable client rather than your browser.

Balancing Frame Rate and Graphics Settings

If you’re running a powerful i5 or i7 with an awesome dedicated graphics card – great! I hope you’re enjoying RuneScape at 1920x1080 resolution with all settings maxed. However, if you are using a computer not intended for high-end gaming, that’s fine too. There are several ways to better balance visual quality vs frame rate.

First of all, make sure your graphics drivers are up to date. Then, you can check out the table below to see which options will make the most difference to your frame rate. You can turn these and many other settings on/off in-game by choosing ‘Custom’ from the display mode options. Why not experiment to see which gives you the best improvement?

Option Setting FPS Gain*
Character Shadows

Turn Off
From Medium to Low
Turn Off

Up to 14
Up to 12
Up to 12
Character Shadows

From Medium to Low
Turn Off
Turn Off

Up to 18
Up to 14
Up to 13
Software Mode

Turn Off

Up to 15

*Please note that these are only potential FPS gains, dependent on your hardware and other settings, and that they will not apply cumulatively.

Further Help

If you’d like more information about changing your display mode or customising your graphics settings, you’ll find plenty of helpful guides in our Tech Support Wiki and helpful FMods and PMods over in our Tech Support Forums. We also produce RuneScape Tech Support videos on our Official Jagex Support page over on YouTube to help you make changes step-by-step.

Useful links

The RuneScape Team

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