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Party Hats are ‘pivotal’ to the RuneScape economy, and new hats are being given out for the first time in 20 years

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RuneScape player 120King says they started cooking sailfish at 6:40 am on Monday. Four hours and “roughly” 4,000 cooked sailfish later, they acquired one of eight shards needed to earn a Golden Party Hat, a piece of gear which grants its wearer zero stat benefits. They have until January 3 to acquire the other seven shards they need to get a hat that does nothing, but may someday make them RuneScape rich.

The last time Party Hats were up for grabs was 20 years ago. Those originals, which also grant wearers absolutely nothing, are now worth over 2.1 billion gold, making them RuneScape’s most valuable items. Black Friday deals: see all the best early offers right here.

It’s a classic example of videogame economy logic: The original Party Hats are valuable because they’re useless. When the “partyhat” items were first given out during 2001’s Christmas event, they were “intended to be worthless and disposable,” says RuneScape developer Jagex. There are no benefits to wearing them except looking festive—they resemble the paper crowns found in Christmas crackers —and so many players trashed them after the event.

Jagex didn’t reissue the hats the next year, or ever again. As time went on, […]

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