Runescape’s 28th skill, archaeology, releases today, and with it comes a heap of new items, summoning familiars, and locations throughout the world of Gielinor. To unlock this content, you have to know where to start and what to expect, of course. So read on to find out everything you need to know about the release of archaeology in Runescape.
Starting off with archaeology
To begin training Runescape’s first new skill in more than four years, head east of Varrock to the Varrock Dig Site. Upon logging in for the first time post-update, you’ll receive a pop-up offering a free teleport to this location. It’s been a long time since this area of the map has really been used, but from now on it’s the headquarters of the Archaeology Guild.
Here, you’ll get started by talking to Acting Guildmaster Reiniger. Complete the tutorial, learning the basics of archaeology and gaining a few levels, and you’ll quickly be on your way to your first full dig site.
It’s worth noting free-to-play players will be able to participate in archaeology up to level 20.
At level five, you’ll head just south of the Duel Arena to really get started with the skill. Specifically, you’ll want to go to Kharid-Et, the first of five new dig sites you’ll spend time at training archaeology. Here, you’ll explore the ruins of an ancient Zarosian fort using your new excavating tool, the mattock.
While exploring dig sites, you’ll find excavation spots where you can gather resources. These resources include damaged artifacts, materials, and soil. Let’s delve into what those are.
While excavating, a progress bar will start filling up above your head. When it reaches completion you’ll find a damaged artifact. Around these excavation spots, you’ll notice a wisp, called a Time Sprite, floating around different spots. If you actively follow the Time Sprite and excavate the spot it floats too, you’ll receive a boost to experience points and materials earned. Alternatively, you can take a more relaxed, away from keyboard, route and just stick with excavating one spot.
As a gathering skill, similar to woodcutting or mining, the materials you collect while excavating do not stack in your inventory. So prepare to make plenty of trips to a bank or material storage container. For your convenience, each dig site comes with one of each.
As you level up, you’ll be able to access and explore new places within each dig site as well as entirely new dig sites themselves. So when you get to Kharid-Et, don’t be disappointed by how small it is, it opens up quite a bit as you level up and explore.
Restoring damaged artifacts is how you’ll gain a lot of experience points while training archaeology. To do this, click on the damaged artifact to determine the materials you’ll need.
If you’re missing any needed materials, there are two ways to get more besides excavation. Firstly, you can screen soil found while excavating, potentially finding more material. To do this, return to the Archaeology Guild. Secondly, throughout the world are material caches. These material caches can be depleted by players. If that happens you’ll have to wait for them to respawn, similar to woodcutting.
At each dig site, you’ll see a material storage container. This not only allows you to store materials without using precious bank space, but it’s also able to be directly accessed while restoring artifacts. This means materials don’t need to be in your inventory while restoring artifacts.
With the required materials ready and the damaged artifact in hand, head to an archaeologist’s workbench, located at each dig site, to restore the artifact to its original glory.
What’s in archaeology for me?
You’ve got a number of options for what to do with these artifacts. Gifting them to the Varrock Museum or selling them to a private collector with the item on their wish list will both reward you with Chronotes. Finishing a collector’s wish list will also reward you with relics.
Relics are a new type of item in Runescape that unlock a passive buff. You can have up to three relics active at the same time. Alongside giving artifacts to collectors, you can get new relics by exploring dig sites and interacting with other NPCs. You’ll also be limited by your total relic power, which increases as you level up archaeology. Each relic uses a different amount of relic power based on how powerful it is. So as you level up, you’ll be able to have more powerful relics active at the same time.
To change one active relic out for another, you have to spend Chronotes at the mysterious monolith near the Archaeology Guild. An alternative use for Chronotes is to use them at the Archaeology Guild Shop. Here you can buy things like higher level mattocks for faster excavating and temporary experience point boosts.
When you reach level 68 archaeology, you’ll also unlock ancient summoning. This extension of the summoning skill allows you to bind certain demons to you by defeating them in combat. This means new creatures will be available to summon, each with a unique effect. Best of all, these summoning creatures will be tradeable, allowing those without the required skill level to purchase them, and others to make gold selling them.
Archaeology also expands upon the invention skill, with the introduction of ancient invention. Starting at level 70, this will allow for the creation of new items and tools, as well as new perk tiers allowing for more powerful perks than ever before.
Exploring dig sites will also reveal more of Gielinor’s past, allowing you to learn more about the lore of Runescape.
Jagex has been clear that they hope to continue expanding upon archaeology in the coming years. This means we may see new relics, dig sites, and ancient summoning creatures as time goes on.
If you’re in quarantine thanks to coronavirus, now may be a great time to hop back into Runescape to check out this new skill. Of course, there are plenty of other games to play right now as well, so keep an eye on NerdStash to stay up to date with the latest gaming news.
George is a freelance writer based in California who likes to focus on video games. In his free time he likes to bake, go to Disneyland, and unironically take long walks on the beach now that he’s out of the Midwest. A Mizzou journalism grad, George hails from Minnesota and will remind you it’s better than where you’re from until his dying breath, despite being perpetually disappointed by its sports teams.