For the emote, see Begging (emote)
Begging is the practice of asking other players for free coins or items. Players who do this are commonly referred to as beggars. Begging itself is not against the rules, nor is giving money to beggars. Beggars sometimes break rules in order to get money, such as using offensive language or spamming. The Lumbridge Guide advises new players: "Please don't try to get money by begging off other players. It will make you unpopular. Nobody likes a beggar. It is very irritating to have other players asking for your hard-earned cash." It is also a general consensus amongst players (especially paying members) that begging is not a positive thing to contribute to the game of RuneScape because it may bother other players and it isn't productive. Despite this, it is very popular, especially among low-level players in Free to Play worlds.
Players will often beg because they're too inexperienced to make their own money using skills or do not like them. These people will instead beg people for money or items as their source of income. Begging very rarely gains much cash or any valuable items, however.
Sometimes beggars can be helpful for other players. For example, players harpoon fishing may not wish to bother with Tuna, and giving all Tuna away to another player requires less time and clicks than dropping them. Beggars may also be able to pick up Tuna which is already dropped on the ground. The same principle applies to Power levellers who do not wish to bank or drop their supplies.
Spamming is the most common form of begging and is simply asking for things over and over. It can be in a crowded area and not directed at anyone, or it can be directed at one person either through private chat or by following them. Spammers are breaking the rules however, and risk having offenses applied to their account or being muted. They are very easy to deal with, as they can simply be ignored. Players can deal with followers by switching worlds or teleporting away.
Some players resort to lying to gain more coins. The most popular lies are that they have just died, were just scammed, or that they were hacked and they also may pretend to be female. However the lies may also pertain to real-life tragedies to evoke sympathy for the beggar.
Another form of begging arose after the release of the Lending feature. Some players beg to borrow items such as Godswords, Dragon hatchets, and Claws, and Discontinued items for free. However, this is rarely successful, since most players will not lend out their items to strangers unless they are willing to pay a large sum of cash to borrow said item.
Players sometimes go into a crowded area and do emotes while asking for money in a RuneScape form of "street performing". They often spam less because the amount of clicking required to do emotes over and over. They can also be easily ignored.
There is also an emote called Begging that can only be used in a Clan Citadel's theatre.
- Ali the Snake Charmer - a non-player character in Pollnivneach to whom players can donate coins.
- Charlie the Tramp - a non-player character in Varrock to whom players can donate coins.
- Lachtopher, a non-player character who begs in a way similar to some players.
- Tramp - a non-player character who asks players for money, and tells the player they are stingy if they refuse. If you talk to him and do not give him coins, he'll say, "Don't give money to______, he's/she's too stingy!"
- The Fremennik Isles - this is parodied at one point in the quest.
- Swan Song - where the player begs at the end of the quest.