Game controls in RuneScape are quite basic, being mostly mouse driven, with occasional use of the keyboard. Familiarity with the game interface should be achieved during the introduction at Tutorial Island.
Mouse click (primary)
Clicking the primary (normally left) mouse button results in the default action for the situation.
A few examples:
- On the main view or minimap (radar): Walk to the position.
- On a character that can be attacked, and is not a red level: Attack the character.
- On an NPC: Talk to.
- On an item in your inventory: Wear, wield or eat it, or "use with" if no other action applies.
- On an item on the ground: Take the most expensive (in shop value) item from the pile.
- In the bank, on the bank screen or inventory: Transfer one item.
If there are many characters or items in one spot, the default action may not select the object you want, a particular example being someone standing in a fire, when you try to cook fish.
Mouse click (secondary)
Clicking the secondary (normally right) mouse button offers a list of all possible targets that can be selected, or options to deal with more than one item.
In the example above, you would click the fish you have, then secondary click the player and fire, choosing "use with fire".
In the bank, you can avoid the usual dialog by using secondary click and "use quickly".
Another time you must secondary click, is when combining two food items which are both edible, and a couple of other situations where you would otherwise eat or drink an item instead of handing it over.
If your mouse only has one button, you can set the Mouse Buttons option to One, so that every mouse click will be treated as a secondary mouse click.
Holding the CTRL key with any mouse click target means you will run to it, useful for running to take an item, or to escape. Running may also be selected using a panel option, but all movement will be made at a run until walking is selected again, or your run energy falls to zero.
The arrow keys are used to pan the main view and minimap, rotating or raising and lowering the viewpoint, though if close to a hill, it may not be possible to lower the viewpoint.
The middle mouse button can also be used to pan, as well as moving the mouse while having Alt and left-click held down.
While it can be useful to see items on the main view by rotating the map, holding the map centred north while trying to navigate is highly recommended, as it is easy to forget the map angle and set off in completely the wrong direction.
The keyboard is used to enter amounts, particularly of coins. Using the 5, 10 or all options for other items is quicker, even if you have less, or don't have room to carry all.
As of 26 June, 2007, the Escape key and F1 t/m F12 can be used to quickly select one of the panels of the Control Panel. Escape selects the inventory, F1 t/m F12 select, in order: Fighting Mode, Statistics, Quests, Equipment, Prayer, Magic, Friends list, Ignore list, Log out, Game Options, Emotes and finally Music.
The keyboard can also be used for chat with other players. It is not used to talk to NPCs in the game, as any responses are selected from a menu. You can use the spacebar instead of pressing "click here to continue", and you can use a number key instead of selecting the response with your mouse.
In the chat box, you can type a word that changes the colour or movement of your text.
- purple: Colours your text purple.
- red: Colours your text red.
- green: Colours your text green.
- white: Colours your text white.
- cyan: Colours your text cyan (light blue).
- yellow: No effect, text is already yellow.
- flash1:, flash2:, flash3: Your text flashes different colours.
- glow1:, glow2:, glow3: Your text glows different colours.
- wave:, wave2: Your text makes a wavy action.
- scroll: Your text scrolls from right to left.
- slide: Your text slides in from the top and slides out to the bottom.
- shake: Your text shakes.
You can also combine a colour and an effect, for example:
purple:wave:this text will turn purple and wave
Note that if you combine a colour and an effect you always must insert the colour first or else it will not work.