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Penguin Hide and Seek

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"Phas" redirects here. For the location, see Port Phasmatys.
Looking for this week's penguins? See Distractions and Diversions Locations/Penguin Hide and Seek for their locations.
Worlds Icon Various unofficial threads (and the worlds they operate on) for this activity may be found in the Distractions and Diversions section of the official RuneScape forums.
Penguin in Disguise

A penguin in disguise.

File:Rock penguin.gif

Penguin Hide and Seek, also known as Penguin Hunting (not to be confused with the Penguin Hunting Area found east of the Iceberg) (and also referred to by Larry as Operation Ice Spy, In Issue 35 of the Postbag from the Hedge), is one of the broadest extensions of Distractions and Diversions, and can be used to earn money or experience in any skill. Penguin Hide and Seek was released with the original three Distractions and Diversions on 2 September 2008.

Audio options icon
You spot a penguin!
The jingle when finding a penguin.

The devious KGP are plotting to take over RuneScape and the authorities are unwilling to accept Larry’s ramblings as true and take proper caution. Instead, he is taken to be paranoid and insane. He requires help to track down these conniving spies that have infiltrated even the farthest settlement, but he has a slight problem: if he went after them, who is going to watch those scheming penguins in the Ardougne Zoo? It is up to you to track down these sneaky spies and relay their movements to Larry!

Getting started

Our paranoid friend Larry is positioned near the south west side of the Ardougne Zoo, at a comfortably close proximity to the Penguin Exhibit. While the rest of RuneScape thinks he is insane, he alone realises the true threat the penguins pose and stands in faithful guardianship at the side of the Penguin enclosure!

  • Note: After Hunt for Red Raktuber, you will have to use the polar bear Chuck, instead of Larry. Chuck is located in the Polar Bear pen, east of where Larry was.
Penguin spying

A player spots a penguin.

File:Penguin barrel.png

Simply ask him about penguin hunting and he will decide he is able to trust the adventurer with the information required to get out and do the dirty work for him.

He will give you a Spy notebook that keeps track of how many penguins you have found that week and how many Penguin points you have that are ready to be spent. Please note that the book is completely optional, but handy nonetheless. If you happen to lose your spy book, talk to Larry and he will give you another after a slight scolding.

File:Penguins Wilderness.png
Chuck or Larry offers hints to help players locate penguins. Some of the hints are general areas, while other are more specific. If you receive more than ten location hints, it may be because a penguin has recently run over into another hint's area.

Chuck or Larry will give hints for all penguins—whether you have already spied on them or not!

Note: Every Wednesday (between 00:00 and 01:00 GMT ) the penguins reset so you can hunt them down again.


There are no skill or combat levels required, but if you are low-level, you may want to bring food if going to a dangerous place such as the Wilderness.

Optional quest requirements

There are four quests rewarding extra features for Penguin Hunting:

Polar bear well

The PBJ Polar Bear Agent.

  • Cold War - Once you complete Cold War, 5 of the 10 penguins will start rewarding two points instead of 1, therefore pushing the maximum amount of points up to 15 per week.
  • Hunt for Red Raktuber - Once you complete Hunt for Red Raktuber, you will be able to spy on a PBJ Polar Bear each week, therefore pushing the maximum amount of points a week up to 16.
  • Some Like It Cold & Desert Treasure - Once you complete Some Like It Cold and started Desert Treasure up to the point where you get the Ring of Visibility, you will be able to spy on the Invisible or Ghost Penguin. This penguin teleports around the game, periodically. It seems to teleport to various spawn points of the "normal" penguins. It is green and very hard to see even with a Ring of Visibility. The best way to hunt this penguin is to join a friends chat and ask if anyone has seen it. Spying on it gives 3 points, making the maximum weekly points 19. This penguin appeared on 8 August 2012.
File:Penguin hunting.png

Certain other quests may be required to get to the places where the penguins are, however, not all of them will need to be completed, you will only need to start some of them (note that other quests may be required to complete these quests):

Completed quests: These quests must be completed to be able to reach the new places.

Started quests: You only need to reach a certain point in these quests to reach the new places.


Penguins can come in a variety of disguises that help them blend into their surroundings and go around unnoticed. The KGP went to great lengths to make sure the disguises are perfect, and indeed, they are near perfect! The only flaw is when the feathery spies are moving or looking around. The Feathery Bolshevik Investigations (FBI for short) had the sense to make their disguises common knowledge so that there will be little confusion on what is or is not a penguin spy

Penguins in disguises Other
Penguin in barrel Penguin in bush Penguin in cactus Penguin crate 100px
Barrel Bush Cactus Crate Polar bear
Penguin in rock Penguin in toadstool Penguin (invisible)
Rock Toadstool Invisible

The invisible penguin (also known as ghost penguin) can be seen using a ring of visibility from the Desert Treasure quest (no need to complete quest after getting ring). It teleports every few minutes to any one of 34 1-point penguin spawn locations around RuneScape. It is worth three points when spying after completing Some Like It Cold; however to see the penguin you do not need to have completed the quest, you just won't get any points. The invisible penguin moves a lot faster than the normal penguins.

The pumpkin penguin or pumpguins was first released during the 2008 Hallowe'en event and were also used during the 2009 Hallowe'en event, the 2010 Hallowe'en event and the 2011 Halloween event. This disguise is only seen during the Hallowe'en festivities.

X-mas Peng
The snowman penguin or snowpengs were first released during the 2009 Christmas Event and were also used during the 2010 Christmas event and 2011 Christmas event
Pumpkin penguin
. This disguise is only seen during the Christmas festivities.

Examine texts

  • Barrel - "What's black and white and smells like beer?"
  • Bush - "What's black and white and down to earth?"
  • Cactus - "What's black and white and covered in spines?"
  • Crate - "What's black and white and on a sneaking mission?"
  • Rock - "What's black and white and looks like a rock hopper?"
  • Toadstool - "What's black and white and covered in mushroom?"
  • Invisible - "Licensed to Chill."
  • Pumpkin - "What's black and white and smells of pumpkin?" (During Halloween 2008, 2009 and 2011, all penguins turned into pumpkins. During Halloween 2010, only 1-point penguins turned into pumpkins.)
  • Snowman - "What's black and white and covered in snow?" (During Christmas 2009, 2010 and 2011, all penguins turned into snowmen.)

Helpful hints

For a list of confirmed locations for current week, see Distractions and Diversions Locations/Penguin Hide and Seek.

Suggested items

  1. Clan Chat hunting and spying. The best world for this is World 60.
  2. Forum Thread based hunting and spying. The best world(s) for this is World 71 and/or World 99

Spellbook teleports

The general Magic teleportation spells are very useful for getting around to find the penguins quickly. Common locations include:

Several players like to use the Lunar Magic Spell book, as they can teleport to some uncommon but useful places while still being able to get clues from Larry or Chuck anywhere with the NPC Contact spell. Some Lunar teleportation locations include:

Not many use the Ancient Magicks spell book for this purpose, as the Ancient teleport spells are generally less convenient in getting around. But it is still an option. Some Ancients teleportation locations include:

The Lunar spellbook has a significant advantage for those with 96 magic as they can cast Spellbook Swap and make use of all teleport spells.

Note: If you are on Lunar or Ancients, or just have a low magic level, House Portals or Teleportation Tablets are other time-saving options!

Trapping penguins


It is possible to trap a penguin in one spot so that it can not move around by positioning players and the scenery around the penguin and boxing it in. When players are standing still, the penguin can't pass through them thus allowing the penguin to be trapped. The trap is broken when another player moves through that square, allowing the penguin to escape from the trap. It is therefore very important not to step on or run through trappers when spying a trapped penguin.

If a trapper is stepped on, they should wait until the other player moves off them and then move off the square and then back to their original spot quickly.

Tips on trapping

File:4 Penguins Rare.png
File:5 penguins.png
  1. If penguins are unable to move from the square they are standing on for approximately 7 minutes, then the penguin will "re-spawn" or teleport to its primary spawn point. Each penguin has one re-spawn point. So unless you’d like to go hunting all over again for that penguin, give it at least two squares to move around!
  2. If you want to help herd penguins, follow it until it is near a suitable location, then open doors in front of the penguin and close them behind it. This works better with 2 or more people.
  3. Try not to stand on people who are trapping a penguin; standing on and then stepping off a person allows the penguin to pass through them. Players should take the following precautions:
    1. Turn off run when approaching the penguin.
    2. Move to a square with a line of sight to the penguin before spying.
    3. Click away after spying. (Otherwise players may automatically walk towards the penguin).
    4. In the case of a door, walk up to the door before opening, open it, take a single step inside and close it behind you.
  4. If you can, spy over water, lava, fences, through windows, low walls, etc.
  5. There are a few pets such as a platypus or tooth creature which can help you trap penguins as they block them the same way players do.

Clans and clan chats

There are a number of clans and clan chats which will help players find their weekly penguins. Some of these clans have threads in the Distractions and Diversions Board of the RuneScape official forums. Posted on the threads are general locations of each of the 10 penguins and the polar bear well for each weekly update. Updates with more recent locations can be found in friends chat or on forums depending on the clan.

Other hints and tips

  • Wilderness penguins can trap themselves just south of the South Western building in the ruins west of the bandit camp around level 20.
  • Since penguins do not appear as dots on the mini-map, turn music off and volume up. Penguins are noisy spies and can be generally heard if they are visible on your screen. It is sort of a mechanical chugging sound, interspersed with the penguin's pops and whistles.
  • Look for the polar bear. They can't move, are always in wells, and give one extra penguin point. Players must have completed Hunt for Red Raktuber quest to be able to spot them.
  • Don't be afraid to ask other players if they have recently seen a penguin.
  • If players are in a penguin clan chat, it would be wisest to first find the penguins that are harder to trap, e.g., the desert penguins. If these penguins escape, it could take a very long time to find them.

Spawn Locations and Roam Areas

There are 67 penguin spawn locations and 6 polar bear locations. See Penguin Hide and Seek/Spawn Locations.

For current locations, see Distractions and Diversions Locations/Penguin Hide and Seek.

For previous locations, see Penguin Hide and Seek/Previous Locations.


Players may earn a maximum of 10 points per week if no penguin quests have been completed, 15 points per week if the Cold War quest is completed, 16 points per week if the Hunt for Red Raktuber quest is completed, and 19 points per week if the Some Like It Cold quest is completed.

  • The penguins in the easier locations are always worth one point each.
  • The penguins in more difficult locations (such as areas that require a quest) are worth one point. A bonus point is awarded for these penguins after the completion of the Cold War quest, for a total of two.
  • If the quest Hunt for Red Raktuber has been completed, players may also spy on a Polar Bear once a week for an additional penguin point.
  • If the quest Some Like It Cold has been completed, players may also spy an invisible penguin once a week for an additional 3 points.

Note: Penguins worth two points will only provide their bonus point after Cold War is complete. Spying a "two-point" penguin without finishing Cold War will only earn one point. The PBJ agent from the Hunt for Red Raktuber quest cannot be spied until that quest is complete.

Penguin points can be redeemed by talking with Chuck or Larry. Players may choose either a coin reward or an experience reward. The player will be rewarded for as many points as they have at the time of speaking and will not be asked how many points to redeem. Keep this in mind if you wish to use penguin points for multiple skills.

  • If coins are chosen, the player will receive 6,500 coins per point.
  • If experience is chosen, the amount of experience gained is dependent on the player's current level in the chosen skill. The formula for determining the amount of experience gained is:
    • Level of skill choice x 25 = amount of experience per point. There is no bonus for spending more points at a time. For instance, spending 1 point a week will return the same experience as spending 10 all at once (also see levelling note below).
      • i.e. if your Summoning is level 16 and you trade in 11 points, you will receive 4400 experience in total. 25x16x11 = 4400

Even if the skill level increases in the process of spending points, the "Skill level" in the above formula does not change. For example, if a player needs 1000 experience to get to level 41, spending 2 points would only earn 2000 experience. Because of this, its recommended to spend points one at a time so that additional points spent will maximise any levelling up from gained experience. This means that, assuming a skill is only trained using 16 Penguin Hide and Seek reward points per week, a level-up is guaranteed up until level 60.

Note: Chuck or Larry will only keep track of up to 50 points per player. Any points earned beyond 50 will be lost.

template = Template:Penguin points calc
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param = 1|Number of Points|0|int|1-50
param = 2|Skill Level|1|int|1-120
Penguin Points Calculator
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0 Experience Points or 0 Coins
Level 10 pts 15 pts 16 pts 19 pts Level 10 pts 15 pts 16 pts 19 pts Level 10 pts 15 pts 16 pts 19 pts Level 10 pts 15 pts 16 pts 19 pts
1250375400475 317,75011,62512,40014,725 6115,25022,87524,40028,975 9122,75034,12536,40043,225
2500750800950 328,00012,00012,80015,200 6215,50023,25024,80029,450 9223,00034,50036,80043,700
37501,1251,2001,425 338,25012,37513,20015,675 6315,75023,62525,20029,925 9323,25034,87537,20044,175
41,0001,5001,6001,900 348,50012,75013,60016,150 6416,00024,00025,60030,400 9423,50035,25037,60044,650
51,2501,8752,0002,375 358,75013,12514,00016,625 6516,25024,37526,00030,875 9523,75035,62538,00045,125
61,5002,2502,4002,850 369,00013,50014,40017,100 6616,50024,75026,40031,350 9624,00036,00038,40045,600
71,7502,6252,8003,325 379,25013,87514,80017,575 6716,75025,12526,80031,825 9724,25036,37538,80046,075
82,0003,0003,2003,800 389,50014,25015,20018,050 6817,00025,50027,20032,300 9824,50036,75039,20046,550
92,2503,3753,6004,275 399,75014,62515,60018,525 6917,25025,87527,60032,775 9924,75037,12539,60047,025
102,5003,7504,0004,750 4010,00015,00016,00019,000 7017,50026,25028,00033,250 10025,00037,50040,00047,500
112,7504,1254,4005,225 4110,25015,37516,40019,475 7117,75026,62528,40033,725 10125,25037,87540,40047,975
123,0004,5004,8005,700 4210,50015,75016,80019,950 7218,00027,00028,80034,200 10225,50038,25040,80048,450
133,2504,8755,2006,175 4310,75016,12517,20020,425 7318,25027,37529,20034,675 10325,75038,62541,20048,925
143,5005,2505,6006,650 4411,00016,50017,60020,900 7418,50027,75029,60035,150 10426,00039,00041,60049,400
153,7505,6256,0007,125 4511,25016,87518,00021,375 7518,75028,12530,00035,625 10526,25039,37542,00049,875
164,0006,0006,4007,600 4611,50017,25018,40021,850 7619,00028,50030,40036,100 10626,50039,75042,40050,350
174,2506,3756,8008,075 4711,75017,62518,80022,325 7719,25028,87530,80036,575 10726,75040,12542,80050,825
184,5006,7507,2008,550 4812,00018,00019,20022,800 7819,50029,25031,20037,050 10827,00040,50043,20051,300
194,7507,1257,6009,025 4912,25018,37519,60023,275 7919,75029,62531,60037,525 10927,25040,87543,60051,775
205,0007,5008,0009,500 5012,50018,75020,00023,750 8020,00030,00032,00038,000 11027,50041,25044,00052,250
215,2507,8758,4009,975 5112,75019,12520,40024,225 8120,25030,37532,40038,475 11127,75041,62544,40052,725
225,5008,2508,80010,450 5213,00019,50020,80024,700 8220,50030,75032,80038,950 11228,00042,00044,80053,200
235,7508,6259,20010,925 5313,25019,87521,20025,175 8320,75031,12533,20039,425 11328,25042,37545,20053,675
246,0009,0009,60011,400 5413,50020,25021,60025,650 8421,00031,50033,60039,900 11428,50042,75045,60054,150
256,2509,37510,00011,875 5513,75020,62522,00026,125 8521,25031,87534,00040,375 11528,75043,12546,00054,625
266,5009,75010,40012,350 5614,00021,00022,40026,600 8621,50032,25034,40040,850 11629,00043,50046,40055,100
276,75010,12510,80012,825 5714,25021,37522,80027,075 8721,75032,62534,80041,325 11729,25043,87546,80055,575
287,00010,50011,20013,300 5814,50021,75023,20027,550 8822,00033,00035,20041,800 11829,50044,25047,20056,050
297,25010,87511,60013,775 5914,75022,12523,60028,025 8922,25033,37535,60042,275 11929,75044,62547,60056,525
307,50011,25012,00014,250 6015,00022,50024,00028,500 9022,50033,75036,00042,750 12030,00045,00048,00057,000

Squeal of Fortune spins

On 2 April 2012 the Squeal of Fortune gained an update allowing players to obtain spin tickets. These tickets can only be received when the Penguin Hide and Seek D&D is the designated D&D of the week.


  • During Thanksgiving 2008, free players could spot 10 Hidden Turkeys. This was similar to Penguin Hide and Seek.
  • Players used to be able to spot all the penguins twice in a week. If a player spotted all penguins within the first few hours of the penguins resetting, later that week they could be spotted again. Jagex has fixed this bug.
  • On 28 January 2009, there was a glitch where players were able to spy on the same penguin over and over again. This led to masses of players abusing the glitch, allowing them to gain points quickly and receiving massive amounts of experience or coins in a short time. On 3 February, Paul Gower posted a thread in the Recent Updates forum, saying that 159 players have been permanently banned and a number of players involved were given temporary bans for breaking the then Rule 4.
  • After Hunt for Red Raktuber, players could continue to contact Larry through the NPC Contact spell in the Lunar spellbook and receive hints, even though Larry had been taken to the Motherland. This is now fixed, so you can only contact Chuck.
  • The examine text for the rock disguised penguin is a play on rockhopper, a species of penguin.
  • When exchanging points for money, the text says "show me the money", a catch phrase from the movie, 'Jerry Maguire'.
  • A glitch can happen if a player spots a penguin that is inside a house from outside and quickly closes the door before they are finished with the spotting, they walk through the door like a ghost.
  • When you spy on a penguin, you do what appears to be a cheer emote at the end. This is not the case, as it is almost double the speed of a normal Cheer emote and you only raise both hands in the air twice and then one in the air once. The regular emote consists of three both hand lifts, and then one hand lift.
  • You would need approximately 6,025 penguins points, or roughly 377 weeks or 7.23 years (after Hunt for Red Raktuber), to get from 1 to 99. If you decided to trade these in for coins, this would grant 39,162,500 coins.
  • The examine text for the crate disguised penguin could be a reference to the famous tactical espionage video game series, Metal Gear Solid. In every installment, almost all of the game is a sneaking mission, and players can find and use various boxes to disguise themselves from enemies.
  • For some reason, when players went to Larry, and right clicked on him and selected "Hide-n-Seek", it would say in the chatbox "nothing interesting happens". Jagex has fixed this.
  • Long before the event was released, the penguins in the Lumbridge Sheep field existed, and were possibly hinting the mischief that penguins would later use in this event.
  • Players sometimes use marker plants to show other players where the penguins are located
  • Penguins do not show up as a yellow dot on your minimap like other NPC's. You can only notice/acknowledge them by seeing them on your screen, or hearing them walk by.
  • On 10 February 2012, the mindspike staff glitch allowed players to kill any NPC, resulting in missing penguins and duplicate penguins in Al Kharid.
  • In Chase the Monkey as part of Jagex's Wild Weekends (26 May to 28 May 2012), players were able to spy 10 monkeys in disguises in a similar way to the penguins. However, unlike the penguins, these monkeys were able to move away from the player and blocking the monkeys was not possible. There was also no NPC giving hints about their locations, and the locations were different on every world, making them much harder to find.
  • The Invisible penguins examine text ("Licensed to Chill.") may be refered to a 1989 James Bond film "Licence to Kill".
  • The Invisible penguin was introduced 8 August 2012; however if a player spied the regular 10 penguins and not the Invisible penguin, the message "You've spotted all the penguin spies this week!" appeared if you have not completed the required quest Some Like It Cold even though you might have seen the Invisible penguin wearing the Ring of Visibility.

Double points day

  • On 27 October 2011 in celebration of bot nuke day double points were awarded for Penguin Hide and Seek.
  • At 00:00 game time the penguins and points reset.
  • At 00:03 game time the queue for World 60 was over 1500.
  • At 00:28 game time the queue for World 60 was 1997. Afterwards, players got a message saying that the world was full, indicating that both the world and its queue were full at 2000 players each.

See also

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