You can access the free-to-play version of OSRS without a membership subscription, but if you want to use the pay-to-play one you need to pay the fee. There are different time lenghts for a subscription, but the minimum time you can pay for is fourteen days.
Jagex provides various methods for payment for the subscription so you can pretty much always find one to your liking. Some memberships continue automatically unless you specifically cancel them, so you can just play uninterrupted and that’s a great option if you plan to stay in OSRS for a long time.
The last significant change in the price of membership OSRS took effect on the fourth of June 2018. The price of Bonds, Treasure Hunter keys and RuneCoins was raised as well.
Most of us were on OSRS before that and can remember the stir this caused. However, the new prices affect only the new members and those who remained unsubscriped for more than 14 days. Meaning, the old loyal dogs still got it cheap! Anyone who was a member at the time and didn’t lapse out for more than 14 days still kept their old rate of membership.
Jagex claim that the inflation of the membership price is necessary because of the continuing investigation to RuneScape and economic factors like Brexit that cause constant fluctuations in the currencies’ value. Many players see this as unnecessary since the game profits are higher now than they have ever been, and are annoyed they have to spend their money on membership when they can buy OSRS gold instead.
By the 4th of February 2019, the price for membership OSRS goes as follows:
1 Month – $10.99 / £6.99 / €9.49
3 Month – $29.99 / £18.99 / €25.99
6 Month – $54.99 / £34.99 / €47.99
12 Month – $99.99 / £62.99 / €88.99
For comparison, the prices of membership OSRS in February 2002 were originally $ 5.00 for 1 month subscription. The more significant changes happened in August 2008, when the prices were inflated to $ 5.95, then in January 2012 when they jumped to $7.95. The last inflation before June 2018 happened in March 2015 when the membership OSRS price went up to $ 9.49 for one month.
• Lifetime subsciption was rewarded for the first time to a player who revealed the mechanism behind the all-time popular Partyhat duplication glitch. Most of the players who abused it were banned permanently. There are competitions such as the Golden Path Challenge and RuneScape Machinima Competition that let you win a lifetime membership OSRS.
• Every new player since the 5th of July 2010 could take advantage of a promotion that lets you get up to 7 days of membership OSRS without paying anything. In case you don’t cancel your membership within the 7 free days, you get an automatic subscription for one month and the money you had deposited wer used for the fee. However this option was removed because players abused it by engaging in real-world trading.
• Penny membership is a promotion that ran in 2013 and 2014 on the first come, first served basis. Every player who used a PayPal account to purchase membership OSRS got 1 month for 1 penny.
• Open weekend lasted from 9 June 2017 to 12 June 2017 and all players were allowed to access for free the members’ worlds and content. This promotion was designed to encourage players to go around the freshly released city of Menaphos.
• Twitch Prime bundle started on the 26th of July 2018 and lasted til the 19 of September. it was a partnership between Jagex and Twitch and OSRS players could link their Twitch Prime account to their RuneScape account and got some nice features for free, as well as a free month of membership OSRS.