Bonus XP Weekends are events where players receive bonus experience when training skills. Bonus XP Weekends generally start on a Friday and end on the following Monday (three days later). The bonus experience is gained when performing most normal training activities, but does not apply to things like quest rewards, random event rewards, or D&D rewards. The experience rate during a Bonus XP Weekend is 2 times higher than normal. Although Jagex has indicated that non-members may be able to participate in the future, these events have been members only until 11 October 2012 Jagex announced a Halloween Bonus XP Weekend for everyone. Many players choose to gather as many skill training supplies as they can in the days leading up to a Bonus XP Weekend, so they can train their skills during the weekend. This causes the price of a lot of supplies to rise during that period. When the Bonus XP Weekend is over, the price of most supplies will usually go down to their former price again. Finished products like potions often drop drastically after the weekend but usually recover in the following weeks or months.
This is also known as the decaying bonus experience formula. It was not used during the October 2012 event and the October 2014 event, the bonus multiplier of 2 for members and 1.2 for free-players occurred during the entire Bonus XP Weekend.
|Game time (mins)||XP Multiplier||Average multiplier over full period|
|0-30||x 2.7||x 2.7|
|30-60||x 2.55||x 2.625|
|60-90||x 2.4||x 2.55|
|90-120||x 2.25||x 2.475|
|120-150||x 2.1||x 2.4|
|150-180||x 2.0||x 2.3|
|180-210||x 1.9||x 2.27|
|210-240||x 1.8||x 2.2125|
|240-270||x 1.7||x 2.155|
|270-300||x 1.6||x 2.1|
|300-330||x 1.5||x 2.04|
|330-360||x 1.45||x 1.99|
|360-390||x 1.4||x 1.95|
|390-420||x 1.35||x 1.9|
|420-450||x 1.3||x 1.86|
|450-480||x 1.25||x 1.82|
|480-510||x 1.2||x 1.79|
|510-540||x 1.175||x 1.75|
|540-570||x 1.15||x 1.725|
|570-600||x 1.125||x 1.695|
|600+||x 1.1||x 1.66*|
*As 1.1 lasts indefinitely the given average assumes only a half hour period and will decline further at a longer duration.
To date, Jagex has scheduled the following Bonus XP Weekends, with each one (except for the most recent one) being roughly six months after the previous one.
Originally, Jagex released an equation that gave the XP multiplier as a function of time, and it was stated that the multiplier would be recalculated on every XP event, accurate to one minute. The intended multiplier was for the first 10 hours, and a constant 1.1 after that, where is the number of hours played. This is shown in the graph on the right, which was also released with the formula.
However, when the event started, players noticed that the bonus xp multiplier was lower than expected; it only changed every 45 minutes, and was always a multiple of 0.1. This was due to intermediate rounding. The above formula and graph were then deleted from the developer blog and Mod Fnord said that the mistake would not be corrected.
Effect on marketEdit
The Grand Exchange market mechanisms were not able to respond quickly enough to the massive surge in demand for precursor items.
Consequently the market sold out of many items, such as magic, yew and eucalyptus logs, most tertiary summoning components (such as tinderboxes, raw beef, uncooked bird meat), however more easily produced items such as steel bars were still available), and many other items. The prices of many of these items rose sharply.
Many of the items relating to less popular skills to train during the weekend went down, notably expensive weapons. For example, dragon claws dropped 1.5m in one day. However, they recovered rather quickly; dragon claws rose about 400k the day after it dropped 1.5m.
Moreover a glut of product meant that pouches for example were likely to drop in price.
- In the article on Bonus XP Weekend found on the front page on the Runescape website, it was said that one's XP counter would reach 1.1x after 10 hours of gameplay. Players were disappointed to find out that it actually hit 1.1x after 7 hours of gameplay.
- No bonus XP was given to Barbarian Fishing at all, in either Fishing, Strength or Agility, while other skills that receive multiple XP such as Slayer did receive the XP bonus.
- No bonus XP was given to lighting fires in the beacon network.
- Summoning was by far the most popular skill to train during the weekend, using the kyatt and Castle Wars method players could earn extremely high amounts of experience very fast.
- The bonus experience counter in the XP+ interface would reset to zero when a player exited the world they were on.
- The modifier went down 0.2 each time (2.7, 2.5, 2.3, etc.), but went down only 0.1 after it reached 1.5 (1.5, 1.4, 1.3, etc.).
- When opening any shop interface, the little ribbon would appear adding the same amount of XP you last got before opening the shop. However, this fake XP would not be added up to the counter nor would the player gain it in any skill.
- The Bonus XP Weekend has been subject of much controversy amongst players. In fact, many threads have been created on the forums discussing the matter by both those for and against it.
- Skills already being boosted, such as through the use of Morphic items, were not boosted further.
The second Bonus XP Weekend was held from 3 September 2010, 12:00 BST (11:00 UTC) to 7 September 2010, 12:00 BST. It was very similar to the first Bonus XP Weekend. This event coincided with the US Labor Day weekend. When logged in, players could check their bonus XP, time elapsed, and bonus modifier by hovering the mouse over the XP Counter.
- When the event first started, players training Dungeoneering did not receive bonus XP. Jagex then reset everyone's timers, thus giving some people 2.7x xp twice after 1 hour 36 minutes of the event's start (13:36 BST).
- On the first day of the Bonus XP Weekend, many people were having problems with the growth of their trees due to a bug.
- When the player logged off, their bonus XP counter showing the extra experience they received reset, much to the dismay of players who wanted to find out how much bonus XP they earned throughout the weekend.
- If a player hovered over the Experience Counter, the game showed the player's Current Modifier and the Experience they had gained since log-in, but there was a glitch in which the part which showed them their Current Modifier was obstructed by the Experience Counter, and the player could only see some of it. As of Monday the 6th of September, this glitch was still in the game.
- If a player ran out of membership during the Bonus XP weekend at 1.1 multiplier and then they renewed their membership, the multiplier would go back to 2.7.
- Originally Jagex stated the event would last from 3 September to 6 September, but a message shown in the lobby said differently.The bonus weekend did not end until 12:00PM (GMT) on Tuesday 7 September.
The third Bonus XP Weekend of March 2011 was held from 11 to 14 March 2011. The mechanics of the weekend were the same as the last bonus XP weekend: players started with a 2.7x multiplier which (with a few notable exceptions) amplified all experience received. This multiplier decreased once every 30 minutes for 10 hours, thereafter providing a 1.1x multiplier for the remainder of the bonus XP weekend.
Initially, there was some confusion among players due to three inaccuracies in the Developer Blog that detailed the upcoming event. Jagex appeared to have copied the entirety of the second bonus XP weekend's Developer Blog, made small adjustments (changing the dates, changing hitpoints to constitution, and other minor rewordings), and reused it for the third one. Consequently the following issues arose:
- The developer blog stated that the event would start at 12 noon British Summer Time (BST), which was the time zone that the UK (where Jagex is based) was using at the time of the second bonus XP weekend. However, the UK was in Grenwich Mean Time (GMT) at the time of the third one, leading to some people logging in an hour early. Jagex edited the blog a few minutes before the start to say 12 noon GMT instead.
- Although the developer blog stated the XP button near the minimap would change to an XP+ button like in the first bonus XP weekend, it behaved the same as it did in the second weekend and remained totally unchanged; the only indication that the event had started was the message "Bonus XP weekend is active!" in the chat window. This lead to many people at highly populated areas such as the Grand Exchange missing the start completely as that message was rapidly moved out of the view by player chat.
- The developer blog also stated that the Circus would earn bonus experience as it had in previous bonus XP weekends. After a few people started posting on the forums that they hadn't gained Circus experience at the 2.7x multiplier, Jagex realised it didn't any more and edited the blog again to reflect this.
- There was a bug in the fly-over xp multiplier display. Sometimes it appeared behind the XP meter.
- There was a bug that if a player lost membership or ended their subscription, their bonus XP multiplier was reset to 2.7x.
The first to break with a semi-established tradition of making a Bonus XP Weekend six months after the previous one, the October 2012 Bonus XP Weekend was announced in the update Hallowe'en Treat: Scary Bonus XP Weekend!. It is also the first Bonus XP Weekend that allowed free-players to get bonus experience.
During this particular Bonus XP Weekend, the decaying bonus experience formula was not used, instead granting a stable bonus multiplier of 2 for members and 1.2 for free players during the entire Bonus XP Weekend. The multiplier for Summoning was not reduced to 1.1, granting the full double bonus multiplier.
The following experience-boosting items worked during this weekend:
- Pumpkin amulet
- Experience-boosting clothing including but not limited to the Lumberjack outfit, Constructor's outfit, Black Ibis outfit, Master runecrafter robes and Artisan's outfit and Sous chef's outfit.
- Pendants and prized pendants of skill.
- Brawling gloves.
- Members Loyalty Programme auras that give a percentage XP bonus, such as Salvation, Corruption, Harmony, Five-finger discount and Tracker.
The following experience bonuses did not work during this weekend:
- Filled penance horns.
- Offering bones on a gilded altar or the ectofuntus.
- Sacred Clay items.
- Rewards from the All Fired Up minigame.
- Quest experience rewards, including Early Bird bonuses.
- Any items that directly give experience, e.g. ancient effigies, handing in strange rocks, genie lamps, tomes of experience, books of knowledge, goldsmith's gauntlets.
- Minigame and D&D rewards (e.g. Tears of Guthix, handing in Zeal at Soul Wars, handing in Commendations at Pest Control, killing the wild jade vine, killing the skeletal horror, handing in sq'irk juice after the Sorceress's Garden minigame.
- Anything which allows points to be exchanged for experience, e.g. Dungeoneering tokens, penguin points, Brimhaven Agility Arena tickets, Slayer reward points, Mrs Winkin's World of Seeds shop from Vinesweeper, the Dominion Tower item exchange, etc).
- Any experience earned through the Assist System.
- Clan Avatar experience boosts.
- Bonus experience from the Refer a Friend Programme.
- Bonus experience from the Festival of the Dead.
Lag & login issuesEdit
During the October 2012 Bonus XP Weekend, the RuneScape servers were overloaded by an extremely high number of players logging in to play. The massive number of players slowed down the game servers to the point that virtually all players logged into RuneScape experienced mild to severe connection lag. Some activities, such as combat, were slowed down substantially as a result of the servers losing game ticks. As Clan Citadel worlds were not overwhelmed with connections, players were able to train skills in Clan Citadels without excessive lag.
In addition to in-game lag, many players experienced difficulty logging into the game from the lobby, with login attempts often resulting in the infamous "Your account has not logged out from its last session." error message. While this message, the presence of which has often been viewed as a bug, would sometimes appear to players under normal circumstances, it was exceptionally prevalent during the Bonus XP Weekend, with some players seeing it dozens of times in a row and some players being completely unable to login at all.
In the Tech Support forum, Mod Alex posted a locked sticky explaining that the login issues were caused by the unusually high traffic the servers were receiving as a result of the Bonus XP Weekend. Aside from a suggestion to switch worlds, no advice was given on how to deal with the login issues. Because players were unable to post new threads in Tech Support, many players posted complaints about the server issues in Mod Bro's "Connection Issues & Lag" sticky.
A double experience weekend ran from 21 until 24 February 2014, starting at 12:00 UTC and ending at 14:00 UTC. This event, as voted for by players, was in support of the Gameblast charity weekend, raising money for the Special Effect charity.
In conjunction with the double experience, which was applied to all skills, including Summoning, there was a 24-hour long livestream running on RuneScape's official Twitch channel, starting at 1pm UTC on Friday 21 February. There is also a JustGiving page set up for direct donations to the charity, as well as a limited time tunic available from Solomon's General Store, the proceeds of which were also donated. The Well of Goodwill was also reopened for the weekend.
In a departure from previous bonus events, skill outfit and refer-a-friend bonuses stack with the weekend's bonus. However, any bonus XP already on a skill is frozen at the amount held at the beginning of the weekend, and the bonus from sources such as the ectofuntus, clan avatars and gilded altars are not functional.
A second double experience weekend is scheduled for 1st of November to the 2nd of November. The weekend start on Friday 12:00 PM GMT 
During this double experience weekend, any bonus XP that is already on a skill stacks with the weekend bonus to give triple experience for eligible activities until the relevant skill's bonus XP runs out.
Normal training activities earned bonus XP. Every fight, log cut or hunter trap laid granted a multiple of the XP it would normally give.
Typical training activities for each skill (not an exhaustive list):
- Attack and Strength - melee combat
- Ranged - ranged combat
- Magic - magic combat and other spell casting (e.g. enchanting jewellery, alchemy, teleporting)
- Defence and Constitution - from all forms of combat
- Agility - completing courses, using shortcuts
- Construction - building furniture in your POH
- Cooking - cooking food on range/fire/spit
- Crafting - crafting pots, armour, jewellery, battlestaves, blowing glass
- Dungeoneering - completing dungeons
- Farming - weeding, planting/harvesting crops, checking tree health (even on trees grown before Bonus XP Weekend)
- Firemaking - burning curly roots within the Jadinko Lair, lighting fires, burning Evil tree roots, burning Shades
- Fishing - catching fish
- Fletching - fletching bows/arrows/crossbows/bolts, etc.
- Herblore - cleaning herbs, mixing potions (including finishing off unfinished potions)
- Hunter - setting/checking traps, butterfly/bird/impling catching, falconry
- Mining - mining ores/gems, mining Shooting stars
- Prayer - burying bones, burning shades, burying Ancient Bones from the Restless Ghost quest
- Runecrafting - crafting runes at any altar (including ZMI/Ourania Altar), combination runes, crafting tiaras
- Slayer - doing Slayer tasks
- Smithing - smelting ores, smithing metal bars
- Summoning - infusing pouches, summoning familiars
- Thieving - pickpocketing, thieving from chests/stalls, Pyramid Plunder
- Woodcutting - cutting trees/Evil trees
These actions did NOT earn bonus experience:
- Quest Experience rewards
- Items/locations that already give bonus experience, for example:
- Experience rewards at the end of activities/distractions, for example:
- Anything which allows points to be exchanged for experience, for example:
- Any XP earned through the Assist system
To optimise the benefit, the basic strategy is to prepare items in advance - acquiring ores, bars, tertiary ingredients, charms and so forth, and then processing these as fast as possible. Detail depends on the player's preferences, for example:
- Achieving a particular XP/level goal in some skill or skills
- Optimising net XP earned
- Minimising a disliked task
- Saving money
- Saving time
If overall gain (towards all 99's, say) is the goal, benefit from individual activities is better measured in time saved rather than in XP:
On this basis summoning is the optimal skill to train since its preparation ratio is largest, and not buyable. After the first Bonus XP Weekend the multiplier became a constant 1.1x until October 2012. Since then the multiplier is set at 2x, the same as with other skills.
To gain maximum XP however by boosting farming one might:
- Log on 12:00 Friday, check, cut and replant all trees, log off
- Log on 12:00 Saturday, check, cut and replant all trees, log off
- Log on 12:00 Sunday, check all trees. (Continue with any other tasks having used a fairly small amount of the time.)
This could provide hundreds of thousands of xp, but the time saving is fairly minimal. On the other hand double value has been had from potentially expensive seeds, saving maybe millions of coins.
Prayer is pretty much cheaper and faster at a player owned house without the bonus XP than normal burying. However players who have not spoken to Father Aereck in Lumbridge Church since December 2009 can obtain Ancient Bones (requires completing the Restless Ghost quest if not already completed) which are worth 1000 XP when buried and cannot be used with POH altars or the Ectofuntus, therefore it makes sense to bury these during the Bonus XP Weekend for higher XP.
Slayer is an apparent candidate skill because both slayer and combat skills will offer bonuses. However this benefit is illusory, the saving is purely in time and as slayer generally yields money, time would be better spent in loss making skills.
For Herblore, the best method is to make the highest potions possible and regress to lower potions as supplies deplete. Making a potion high or low level takes the same amount of time the only difference being how much xp gained. Since the Weekend Bonus will eventually go down, making the better potion first will yield the better bonus. Keep in mind that by gaining levels more potions may be unlocked for herbs.
Half- or pre-potting the primary item in advance will greatly affect experience gained.
For high-level Runecrafting since ZMI and Graahk methods have conflicting benefits normally, ZMI generally reckoned to be superior in XP, Graahk clearly the leader in coins, players who use both should dedicate this time to ZMI to maximize the XP benefit. Players who runecraft other than at ZMI might also consider playing the Great Orb Project and spending their reward on Runecrafting Teletabs, effectively changing about half their Runecrafting time into 'prep time' that can be carried out in advance. Similarly woodcutters who mix Ivy and tree cutting, should choose this time for Ivy cutting, however if they are also fire-makers they would do better still by considering burning logs which would normally be considered too expensive for the XP gained.
- The first Bonus XP Weekend showed the first appearance of the XP Counter, located next to the minimap. The XP Counter was later released to all players on 12 April 2010.
- Summoning gave 2.7x experience for the first weekend only, in following Bonus XP Weekends this was changed to 1.1x. This was due to the bulk of the time spent being in the collecting of the charms rather than creating pouches. Then during that bonus XP weekend players made pouches and received rapid experience in a short amount of time as well as cutting down on the amount of charms they would have needed to reach that summoning level normally. However since October 2012 the multiplier for the summoning skill was set to 2.0x, the same as with other skills.
- ^ a b Mod Knox. "Bonus XP Weekend: Save the Date!".26 February 2010. Developers' Blogs.
- ^ Bonus XP Weekend (05-Mar-2010). 2010-03-05.*
- ^ Update:Scary Bonus XP Weekend: the Details!
- ^ a b Mod Mark (2012-10-17). RuneScape Forums: Bonus XP Weekend FAQ. Archived from the original on 2012-10-17. Retrieved on October 17, 2012.
- ^ Mod William. "Bonus XP Weekend: Save the Date!". 12 September 2014. RuneScape News.