Old School RuneScape Faces Millions of Bot Accounts and the new ‘anti-cheat measures’ and Promises for More Leave a Lot to be Desired

Jagex's latest round of anti-cheat measures has players skeptical on its competency.

Old School RuneScape Faces Millions of Bot Accounts and the new ‘anti-cheat measures’ and Promises for More Leave a Lot to be Desired

SUMMARY

  • Jagex is introducing an anti-cheating strategy involving an Anti-Cheating Team, technology enhancements, and legal actions.
  • The company has acknowledged flaws in its systems, especially regarding banned accounts lingering on leaderboards.
  • Fans bring up concerns regarding impact on players and skepticism about the solution's effectiveness.
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Old School RuneScape (OSRS), beloved by millions of players for its nostalgic gameplay and vibrant community, grapples with the same issues that other gaming communities do—bots and cheating.

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Jagex, the game’s developers, recently announced a new plan to implement anti-cheat measures and curb the number of bots. However, players don’t seem to be sold on these measures and the company’s other promises.

Old School Runescape Gets a Multi-Pronged Anti-Cheating Strategy

Old School Runescape is plagued with bots and cheaters, severely affecting the player's experience
Old School Runescape is plagued with bots and cheaters, severely affecting the player’s experience

Bot accounts and cheaters have been a long-standing challenge for OSRS. Jagex’s new multi-pronged strategy involves an Anti-Cheating Team (ACT), game technology enhancements, data science, and legal takedowns—but fans aren’t convinced.

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In a new blog post, Jagex exclaimed that making content harder to bot is an option but it risks negatively impacting regular players. For example, past attempts at implementing teleport and logout delays were unpopular with the player base.

The company shared some statistics to reassure fans. In 2023, over 6.9 million accounts were banned, with an average of over 67,000 OSRS accounts facing bans each week in 2024. Around 1.5 trillion GP from RuneScape and 900 billion GP from OSRS is removed weekly from the game’s economy.

The company also addressed concerns about HiScores and how many players felt that several accounts on the leaderboards were bots. It mentioned that it boots about 2,800 accounts per week for suspected bot activity in boss-related content.

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Jagex clarifies that not all flagged accounts are bots; some are played manually, potentially by gold-farming alts supporting other characters. Others may be involved in real-world trading or illicit activities.

To add to this issue, the company admitted that its systems were falling behind a bit. Some banned accounts were still on the leaderboard, and the ACT is teaming up with the engineering crew to figure out a consistent and enforceable method to fix this issue.

The company acknowledged that, while mistakes happen, many posts on social media talking about being falsely banned were bad-faith actors. It added that so far, in 2024, only 38 accounts were banned incorrectly. It is introducing additional checks for account bans, reviewing bans daily, and re-evaluating the ban appeal system for transparency improvements to reduce this number.

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OSRS Fans Are Not Satisfied with the Proposed Measures

Fans claim that the anti-cheating statement completely misses the mark
Fans claim that the anti-cheating statement completely misses the mark

Players quickly weighed in on the topic and expressed their disappointment at the statement.

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One player felt that they were being shafted:

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Another shared the cold, hard truth behind the announcement:

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Needless to say, many players were unhappy with the statement and feel like the company could have done a better job of reassuring them of its efforts to curb cheating and botting.

Some expressed that the statement felt hopeless–that Jagex was essentially telling the community to deal with the bots because they wouldn’t be going anywhere. Others felt that the problem wasn’t just bots existing, but the sheer number that were disrupting the game.

What do you think is the right move in tackling this recurring problem? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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Written by Vibha Hegde

Articles Published: 154

Vibha is an avid gamer that has been in the content writing space for over three years. With a Bachelors in Computer Applications, Vibha chooses to explore their passion for pop culture and gaming. When not hunkered over a controller trying to beat the Demon of Hatred in Sekiro, you can find Vibha relaxing to jazz during a digital painting session.