Runecrafting in WildStar is a weird one. It’s absolutely fundamental to maximising your attributes (primary and secondary) and incredibly costly. Sadly, many players don’t seem understand it and don’t know where to begin. There are a total of 7 different Rune types:

  • Air
  • Earth
  • Life
  • Logic
  • Fire
  • Fusion
  • Water

For you to be able to equip a Rune in an item you have, it will need to have the matching Rune slot. The exception to this is that Omni Rune slots can accept any Rune types. For example, Air Runes have to go in Air Rune Slots or an Omni slot but they cannot go into a Fire Rune slot.

On some items Rune slots are “Open” by default, meaning you can equip a Rune into them straight away while some are “Locked”. You have to pay gold to unlock locked Runes and you can do this at the Engraving Station in your capital city.

Before you decide what Runes you want to equip into your items you’ll need to forge them and unlike other tradeskills, everyone can craft Runes at any time and it doesn’t require any leveling to make the best Runes. I’d strongly recommend you never purchase “finished” Runes on the Trading Post and instead, craft all your own as this works out considerably cheaper.

Crafting Runes

If you didn’t take up the Runecrafting quest at level 15 you’ll need to visit an Engraving Station. These are situated in each faction's capital city (Luminous Gardens for Exile and Tradeskill District for Dominion). Once you’ve found the station you’ll need to right-click it which results in the Runecrafting menu appearing (see image below).
The two options available to you are “Create Runes” and “Equip Runes”. As the name suggests, Create Runes allows you to crate a variety of Runes across all the Rune types while selecting Equip Runes allows you place already crafted Runes into your open item slots.

When crafting a Rune simply click on Create Runes and determine which Rune Type you want to create. If you’ve only got an Air slot on your item, you’ll want to select that (unless you have an Omni slot, at which point you can choose anything). You can further refine your Rune choices by selecting “Show Only Craftable” which lists only the Runes you have the ingrediants for or “Show All Runes” that provides a list of every Rune recipie in the game.  

If you want to know what a specific Rune does under each element all you need to do is hover your mouse over it and the game will display what attributes it provides. Once you’ve chosen a Rune you want to craft, selecting it will provide you with a list of what materials you need to craft it. If you have the materials already simply press “Craft”. If you don’t, I’d recommend you write down what you need and place Buy Orders on the Auction House.

Placing Runes In Slots

Once you’ve crafted your Rune you’ll need to equip it onto your item: to do this select “Equip Runes. On the Equip Runes screen you’ll see a list of all your items currently equiped and the available Rune slots. As mentioned previously, some of the Rune slots on items will be locked (slots 2 and higher). If you have the funds and you want to make use of additional slots, you can unlock them but they have to be unlocked in order.To unlock a Rune you click on the locked slot and accept the cost to unlock it. You should be aware that the cost to unlock Rune slots increases per unlock and can cost considerable amounts at level 50.

Once you have your crafted Rune and have unlocked all the slots you want to equip your Rune you just need to select the Open slot of your choice and choose the Rune. A pop-up will appear asking for confirmation and if you do so the Rune will be added.

One of the most common mistakes players make when it comes to Runecrafting is the fact that they find a Rune which gives them plenty of an attribute they want, see they have several of those element slots on one piece of gear (say 3 Water) and try to equip all 3 onto the same item. Unfortunately this isn’t possible: you can only equip one unique Rune on each item, for each element.

If you wish to replace a Rune once it is equipped you will need to destroy it before adding another. Lastly, to view all the attribute bonuses you are currently acquiring from Runes you need to select “View Stats”.

Rune Sets and Types

Rune Sets are arguably the most sought after and most expensive to create. A Rune Set provides a set amount of bonus when a certain amount of those Runes are equipped. Bonuses come in the following combinations:

  • 4/8 Runes
  • 6/11/15 Runes
  • 8/12/20 Runes

To make these Rune Sets you’ll have to acquire the Rune Fragment that is linked specifically to it. With 31 Rune Sets in the game a large amount are linked directly to classes. You can wear any number of Rune Sets but your primary aim will be to reach the milestones to acquire the bonuses. As you might now be wondering, based on the fact you can only equip one type of the same Rune on an item, it would be incredibly difficult to reach 20 Runes across all your items (if not impossible). The reason why this can be achieved is because certain Rune Sets can be crafted across different elements.

For example:

Assassin Rune of Critical

  • (4) Assassin: Increases your Assault power by 16 and grants a 25% chance to deal an additional 20 physical damage when landing a hit on a foe below 30% health.
  • (8) Assassin: Increases your Assault power by 24 and grants a 25% chance to deal an additional 20 physical damage when landing a hit on a foe below 30% health.
  • (12) Assassin: Increases your Assault power by 32 and grants a 25% chance to deal an additional 20 physical damage when landing a hit on a foe below 30% health.

For the highest Assassin Rune of Critical bonus you would require 12 of the Runes to be equipped, which need any of the following Rune elements:

  • Logic Rune
  • Life Rune
  • Fire Rune

On that basis, you could equip 3 Assassin Rune of Critical onto one item as long as it has open Logic, Life and Fire slots. With the right gear, with the right Rune slots, it’s fairly easy to reach the upper limits of the most powerful Rune Sets.

What Runes Are Right For Me?

Depending on your class will depend entirely on what Runes you should choose. The easiest answer to the question is to simply determine your specialisation: Are you DPS, Healing or Tanking? If you know the answer to that, it should steer your choices for Runes fairly easily.

For example, my Medic is DPS specialised and requires Tech to obtain Assault Power. My entire focus to maximise his damage output is to obtain Assault Power and Tech based Runes across any of the elements. The primary Rune Set I’m aiming for is 12/12 Full Charge Rune of Critical because it provides additional Assault Power when I Energize, while my other runes will be entirely Tech based. The beauty of the Rune system is the fact anyone can do it and the very best Runes are available straight away. I will reiterate however that to become fully “Runed up” you’re going to need a significant quantity of money. For the very best setup you’ll be looking at around 8 Platinum.

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Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

About The Author

Lewis is currently playing The Division 2, having covered a variety of genres for many years.


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