Runescape bot nuking event bans 1.5 million bots in one day

At this year's Runefest event, Jagex revealed a number of alarming statistics regarding the number of bot accounts and gold farmers the devs have recently booted out of Runescape. The figures, picked out by Massively , suggest that between 100,000 and 200,000 bot accounts are created in Runescape every day.

Jagex released the figures to celebrate "bot nuking day," in which they launched new anti-bot measures that they estimate to have removed 98% of the bot accounts in Runescape. At the height of the nuking process, 9,000 bot accounts were being banned every minute. By the end of the day, 1,500,000 bots were gone.

These enormous figures give us a surprising insight into the size of the bot problem in Runescape. It would be fascinating to know whether these figures are similar among other free to play MMOs, or even mammoth subscription ones like World of Warcraft.

Jagex CEO explains why the developers decided to come down so hard on botting. "It breaks the game. How does it break the game? Well, it's not just the balancing, the economy and the inflation and the deflation, which obviously a lot of you feel so acutely, but it fundamentally changes the nature of the game. It takes it away from what is a multiplayer, social experience to a single player, anti-social experience."

"We don't want your computer to play with our computer, we want you to have fun with our community," he said, adding "I want to know that if I'm putting in 30 minutes this evening, that that 30 minutes is equal to everyone else's 30 minutes."

Here are the figures Massively picked out of the presentation:

  • New botting accounts created every day: 100,000 - 200,000

  • Gold-farming accounts banned on bot-nuking day: 1,500,000

  • Accounts being banned per minute right now: 9,000

  • Gold farming accounts banned since Tuesday: 7,700,000

  • Accounts created from China and Korea per week Old: 173,000, New: 953

  • Decrease in player activity since bot-nuking day: 60%

  • Banned accounts that were paid members: 10%

  • Bots estimated to have been rendered ineffective: 98%

Tom Senior

Part of the UK team, Tom was with PC Gamer at the very beginning of the website's launch—first as a news writer, and then as online editor until his departure in 2020. His specialties are strategy games, action RPGs, hack ‘n slash games, digital card games… basically anything that he can fit on a hard drive. His final boss form is Deckard Cain.