A few visitors to the site have told us that they aren’t familiar with the concept of gold swapping. I thought it might be a good idea to explain what swapping is and how it works in this blog post, for those who don’t know. In doing that, we can also go into the history of gold swapping: how it started, why people swap, how to swap and the major events in swapping’s timeline.
How did Swapping Begin?
Gold swapping is the transfer of gold between different versions of Runescape. When swapping, players will trade a sum of gold from RS3 or 07, in exchange for an agreed-upon amount in the other game. The rates are determined by supply and demand; sometimes people expect swap rates to be 1:1, but this isn’t the case. Runescape 3 and Oldschool may be similar, but they’re unconnected games with different economies. There is no way to “automatically” swap gold, so every swap requires the trust that you will be paid what you’re owed. Needless to say, many people have been scammed by shady swapping clans who build up a superficial level of trustworthiness, before taking people’s gold and disappearing. I think a lot of the criticism that swapping gets is due to this trust factor. This is part of the reason why we started RSComparison: to provide list of reliable swapping services that are here to stay. It should be noted that swapping is completely legal and fully allowed by Jagex. At times, people get the idea that swapping is comparable to real world trading in some way. This is inaccurate. A gold swap is a transaction that stays entirely within the game at both ends, while real world trading involves a payment outside the world of Runescape. Swapping never ventures outside this boundary, and we never accept offers to swap for anything other than Runescape gold.
How to swap Runescape gold?
Swapping is a relatively recent activity in Runescape, which showed up almost immediately after the release of OSRS in 2013. It didn’t take long for people to realize that, in the early days of Oldschool Runescape, swapping some wealth from RS3 was a great way to save time and get an advantage over other players. Swap rates were very steep at the beginning, with 07 gp being worth hundreds of times the value of RS3 gp. It wasn’t a bad deal though, as even 100K 07 gp was enough to get you started with runes, food, quest supplies, and so forth. As OSRS developed over the next few months, rates normalized; 07 gold started coming into the game in mass amounts through high alchemy, and the initial hype died down as well. Rates gradually went into the dozens, and by early 2015 they settled at around 8M RS3 gp per 1M 07 gp. By the start of 2016, the value of Oldschool gold slid down to about 5M RS3 gp per 1M 07. 3 years after release, OSRS has begun to mature as a game, so naturally gold is more available.
Initial Days of Swapping
In the beginning, one might have imagined that people would only swap gold to get a head start in Oldschool, and then they wouldn’t need to swap anymore. Instead, goldswapping has grown into an active and prosperous economy that shows no sign of slowing down. Many different people have opened up their own swapping services with clan chats, live streams, and entire websites. Countless billions of gp per day are swapped, in trades large and small.
How Does Swapping Works?
But what’s driving all this market activity? Why do people swap anyway? We all know that Oldschool Runescape released membership bonds a while ago, so that can’t be the reason. I think there are a few main factors that explain swapping’s current popularity. Firstly, both OSRS and RS3 are frequently coming out with unique new updates. While most people only play one version of the game, I suspect that a large segment of the player base still wants to try out new updates on the other server. If that update happens to be a new skill, or a boss, or a new weapon/piece of armor, then you’ll need some cash to try it out. Another factor which I think causes people to swap is gambling; both Oldschool and RS3 offer unique staking experiences, so even if you only play one server, you might be inclined to swap your gold and gamble on the other. Maxed whip staking in 07, for example, is extremely safe. It’s almost impossible to get scammed, and the odds are exactly 50-50. RS3 of course has polypore staking, which offers a similar risk profile but also tends to be more complex. Ultimately it depends on each player’s preference, but it’s perfectly feasible to play one server and gamble on the other. Lastly, I think Legacy Mode on Runescape 3 contributes to a lot of the gold swapping that goes on today. With some relatively minor differences, Legacy pking has a lot in common with OSRS pking, but it’s attached to RS3 and therefore relies on RS3’s economy. I’m sure that a lot of people prefer Oldschool Runescape, but tend to frequently PK on Legacy because it resembles 2012-era Runescape, before the introduction of EOC. There is then an incentive to swap gold to Legacy for gear and PKing supplies, and then swap profits back to 07.
Whatever the reason may be, swapping is here to stay until Runescape stays