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How to Make Money Mining in Runescape
So You Want to Make Money Mining
Runescape mining is one of the most competitive skills in all the game. It can also be one of the most profitable, if you develop your skills. This tutorial is for newer players with lower mining levels. A tutorial for higher-level players will be posted later.
Making money mining is actually quite simple, once you get a handle on the game rythm. For every respawning item, there is a formula for the amount of time it will take before it respawns. The time depends on the amount of players on your server. If there are 2000 players on a server, the respawn time will be half of what it would be if there were 0 players on the server.
Obviously, the more valuable or rare items will take more time to respawn than common items. For example, when you kill a man in Lumbridge, it takes less time for the man to regenerate than it would take for the giant mole under Falador.
It is important to learn the rythm of the game if you want to succeed in mining, because it's a very competitive skill and other players can steal the ore you've had your eye on if your timing is off.
Now, you can spend a lot of time and effort trying to learn the game tick formula, or you can do what I do. You can measure time within the context of the game.
Time Within the Context of the Game (And How to Relate it to Mining)
The picture to the right is of the mining area just south of Varrock. It's one of the best places to mine for newer players, because it's close to both the forge and the Grand Exchange. In this article we'll be dealing with three ores in this mining spot: silver, iron, and tin. (You'll need level 20 mining to work with silver).
Now, look back to the picture and find the player with the yellow cape. Note where they are standing because this is one of the most strategic places to stand while mining. To the player's right is a tin rock. To the player's left is an iron rock.
In the time it takes for the iron rock to respawn an ore, the player will have just enough time to turn, mine an ore from the tin rock (there is very little competiton for tin ore), drop the tin ore and turn back to the iron rock.
So, in effect one iron respawn = one mined tin ore.
To maximize time and experience, I highly recommend you stand in that spot and, while waiting for the iron to respawn, mine a tin ore and drop it. So instead of just earning 35 experience points from mining the iron, you can earn points from both iron and tin (making it 52 points) in the same amount of time.
And one silver respawn (the silver rocks are farther left) = 4/5 cycles of tin and iron.
Iron is competitive but silver is even more competitive, and since it's respawn time is so long, it's important to mine it as often as possible. You gain 40 experience points every time you mine a sivler ore. You should always give up an opportunity for an iron ore to gain an opportunity for a silver ore.
You will be mining tin, iron, and silver, but you will only keep the iron and silver. Tin has very little value when compared to iron and silver, and it only takes up inventory space that could be holding a higher-value item.
Whether you want more iron or more silver in your inventory is up to you. Just remember that it will take a lot longer to have a majority of silver.
The Bar Decision
Once your inventory is full, it's time to make a decision. You can
A. Go to the Grand Exchange and sell the ores you have mined.
B. Go to the forge in Lumbridge and make your ores into bars. Bars, especially silver ones, sell for a much higher price than the ores.
One thing you must consider when smelting ores into bars is that not all iron ores will become bars. The game automatically takes away some of your iron ore because of iron's impurities. You can use items that will give you a 100% success rate with iron as well, but even without these items, more than half of your ores will tranlate to bars.
It's up to you to decide.
Usually, I Sell the Bars
It gets me a little bit more money, and I can work on my smithing skills in the process. But in the end, it doesn't matter how you make money, as long as you have fun in the process.