RuneScape packet loss: What is it and how to fix it?

Vlad Constantinescu
by Vlad Constantinescu
VPN Expert & Privacy Advocate
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  • RuneScape is an awesome, popular, old-school game that gained a lot of popularity since its initial release in 2001.
  • Like many other online games, RuneScape is subject to various connectivity issues, including but not limited to high ping, jitter, and the dreaded packet loss.
  • Check out our best VPNs that can reduce packet loss.
  • Visit the Gaming Hub to discover more awesome guides, reviews, and tips. 
RuneScape packet loss

RuneScape is an awesome, popular, old-school game that gained a lot of popularity since its initial release in 2001. That’s almost two decades ago, and the game is still enjoyed by many players today.

The fact that the game was and still is free to play made it even more appealing to lots of fans. It was first released as a Java-based browser game, which meant you didn’t have to install it on your PC.

In 2016, the game was upgraded and received a standalone client. Guinness World Records still recognizes RuneScape as the world’s widest free MMORPG that received the most updates in the meantime.

Anyway, you got the point: it’s an online game. And like any other online game available on the market, RuneScape is subject to a wide range of technical issues, mostly regarding connectivity.

One of the most frequent connectivity issues is the (in)famous packet loss. The reason packet loss is among the most dreaded issues is that there’s no immediate fix that can solve it each time it occurs.

What is packet loss in RuneScape?

Regardless of where you may spot it, packet loss is absolutely the same. It happens whenever data packets that you transmit throughout your connection never make it to their destination.

As a result, you lose large amounts of data on the way, which your connection tries to patch up by artificially inserting delay, waiting indefinitely for data to arrive (which increases ping), or even dropping your connection.

With RuneScape, there’s absolutely no difference. Your connection leaks packets, and you start experiencing certain issues with the game, such as jitter, rubberbanding, unresponsive menus, or even sudden disconnections from the game.

What causes packet loss in RuneScape?

When it comes to packet loss, there’s a lot of possible causes. Since there’s no immediate fix for packet loss, we can justify the lack of an immediate reason on the same basis.

To be fair, there’s one reason why packet loss occurs and it almost never fails to deliver: network congestion. Whenever there’s an overloaded network on the table, packet loss is more often than not there as well.

Network congestion usually spells bad news, since it can’t be fixed right away. It involves a lot of users on one or more servers that can’t balance the resources properly, so all connections have to suffer as a result.

However, don’t fool yourself into thinking that network congestion is the sole culprit when it comes to packet loss. In fact, there are several possible causes that can trigger this unfortunate issue.

For instance, you can encounter packet loss if you have outdated network adapter drivers installed on your PC. You can also experience it because of poor-quality Ethernet cables, using WiFi instead of wired connections, or improper ISP routing.

How to detect packet loss in RuneScape?

  1. Hit the Win key on your keyboard
  2. Launch an elevated (admin rights) instance of the CMD
    1. For modern RuneScape servers
      1. Type tracert world#.runescape.com (where # is the number of the world you’re playing on)
      2. Wait for the results
    2. For old-school RuneScape servers
      1. Type tracert oldschool#.runescape.com (where # is the number of the world you want to test)
      2. Wait for the results
  3. Note down the IP address of the RuneScape server (either old-school or modern)
  4. In CMD, type pathping x.x.x.x (replace x.x.x.x with the address of the server you want to test)
  5. Take a look at the results
  6. Check if any node shows any sign of packet loss

The pathping test should help you identify the location of the packet loss issue. The test results should look similar to the screenshot below. Pay no mind to the interface, we just saved the output of the test to an external TXT file on our PC.

Results of pathping

If the packet loss occurs on the first node, then your main device is definitely the culprit. If you notice packet loss on the other end of the connection, then the issue is on the game server’s side.

If pathping is just too complicated, you can turn to third-party software. One of the most effective tools is LiveTcpUdpWatch. However, if you’re using the browser version of RuneScape, it won’t work as intended.

How to fix packet loss in RuneScape?

1. Use a trustworthy VPN service

  1. Purchase a Private Internet Access subscription planPIA RuneScape
  2. Download the VPN client on your computer
  3. Install PIA
  4. Launch the VPN client
  5. Log into your PIA account
  6. Connect to the server of your choice
  7. Launch RuneScape
  8. Check if the packet loss issue still persists

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Furthermore, a VPN such as PIA can also help you reduce packet loss, improve in-game ping, and bypass geo-restriction.

However, note that VPNs can only help you reduce packet loss if your ISP limits your connection by providing you with improper routing or throttling your bandwidth.

2. Troubleshoot your connection manually

  • Restart your computer, modem, and/or router
  • Check your network for any malfunctioning components, including your PC, drivers, cables, router, or modem
  • Repair or replace any troublesome component you discover during your network assessment
  • Use wired connections instead of WiFi whenever possible (WiFi packet loss occurs more often than wired packet loss)
  • Make sure your drivers are up-to-date (using their latest version)
  • Check if your router runs on the latest firmware version and update it if it isn’t
  • Avoid peak hours to bypass network congestion as effectively as possible, if you can
  • Ask your Internet provider if they can look into the matter and maybe even fix it
  • Contact the RuneScape customer support if you notice anything wrong on their side of the connection
  • Flush your DNS

We’ve already told you that packet loss has no sure fix and for that reason, we can’t vouch that even using all the steps above will fix your issue. More often than not, packet loss comes and goes by itself, even in RuneScape.

However, the fixes we’ve suggested above are great to use for keeping your online connection healthy. If you don’t fully understand the necessity of performing a suggested fix, we advise you to perform a bit of research before doing it.

RuneScape packet loss is annoying

To sum it up, we can all agree that encountering packet loss, even in RuneScape, can be downright frustrating. However, we’ve gathered a bit of knowledge on what causes it and how to fix it and we’re sharing it with you.

Sure enough, the best and quickest fix would be using a VPN. On the downside, if the issue isn’t caused by your ISP by either improper routing or bandwidth throttling, a VPN would be useless.

If that’s the case, you could try our manual troubleshooting suggestions, given that packet loss has no precise reason and no sure fix.

FAQ: Learn more about RuneScape packet loss

  • Can VPN fix packet loss?

Yes, you can use a VPN to attempt to fix packet loss, even while playing RuneScape. However, note that using a VPN will only work if your ISP is the one limiting your connection and trigger the occurrence of leaking packets.

  • What is pathping?

Pathping is a great tool you can use to check if there’s any packet loss throughout a connection and which node it occurs on. Pathping runs a traceroute and ping/packet loss test at the same time.

  • Can VPN improve game ping?

Yes, using a VPN can improve in-game ping. However, note that if you’re planning to use a VPN to improve your latency, this fix will only work if your ISP is limiting your connection by throttling your bandwidth or using bad routing.