OSRS Guardians of the Rift Strategy Guide

01.12.2023 - 14:20:05
Game Guides , Runescape

OSRS Guardians of the Rift Strategy Guide

Aside from challenging boss fights and epic quests, there are lots of other things that you can do in OSRS. There's never a shortage on minigames as well and one that has a special place in the hearts of players is Guardians of the Rift. If you have the patience and skills to master this, you're in for a great treat.

This non-combative minigame is both rewarding and fun to do. Whether you're a completionist or just someone who's up for a new challenge, you need to try Guardians of the Rift. Let's first talk a bit about this mini-game in a short overview.

What Is Guardians Of The Rift?

This is a non-combat minigame that happens inside the Temple of the Eye. In this minigame, your goal is to assist The Great Guardian in closing an abyssal rift to the Scar - which is basically the most dangerous part of the Abyssal Space. You'll need to supply guardian stones to the Great Guardian while protecting it from abyssal creatures that are escaping through the rift.

Without the proper guide or strategy, the Guardians of the Rift can be very overwhelming. Next up, let's talk about how you can get to Guardians of the Rift.

How To Get To Guardians Of The Rift

To swiftly reach the portal for the Guardians of the Rift minigame in the basement of the Wizards' Tower, you can use any of the following methods:

  • Amulet of the Eye Teleport: Activate the teleport feature on your Amulet of the Eye.
  • Grouping Teleport: Utilize a grouping teleport to quickly arrive at the Wizards' Tower.
  • Necklace of Passage Teleport: Trigger the teleport option on your Necklace of Passage, directing you to the Wizards' Tower.
  • Fairy Ring Code DIS: Use the fairy ring code DIS for an instant teleport directly to the Wizards' Tower.
  • Amulet of Glory Teleport to Draynor Village: Teleport to Draynor Village using your Amulet of Glory and proceed south to the tower.
  • Lumbridge Home Teleport: Execute the Lumbridge Home Teleport and walk south-west to the Wizards' Tower.
  • Teleporting to The Scar via Ring of Shadows: If you have the Ring of Shadows, teleport to The Scar, an area unlocked with Desert Treasure II - The Fallen Empire.

For gear or inventory adjustments, make use of the bank chest located north of the portal. Whether you're engaged in the Scar essence mine or possess the Amulet of the Eye, this bank provides a convenient stop for efficient banking and a swift return.

Guardians Of The Rift Gameplay

In this minigame, the primary goal is to empower the Great Guardian in order to seal the rift from which Abyssal creatures emerge. The setting for this activity is the Temple of the Eye. Throughout the battle, you are tasked with several key objectives:

  1. Imbuing Essence: Acquire essence during the minigame and imbue it at runic altars to enhance the power of the Great Guardian.
  2. Creating Elemental and Catalytic Guardians: Generate elemental and catalytic guardians to engage in combat with the incoming Abyssal creatures. These guardians play a crucial role in defending against the invaders.
  3. Creating/Repairing Barriers: Construct and repair barriers to safeguard the Great Guardian from the onslaught of Abyssal creatures. These barriers act as a crucial line of defense.

To perform tasks such as imbuing essence and crafting rift guardians, you need to obtain guardian fragments. These fragments can be acquired from the remains of guardians found in the Temple. Guardian parts and regular remains are situated on the edges of the temple area. Larger remains, which yield guardian essence upon mining, are located beyond rubble in the mid-east section of the Temple. Accessing this area requires a minimum Agility level of 56 (not boostable).

Huge guardian remains, providing guardian essence, are situated in the mid-western part of the temple. While typically inaccessible, portals periodically appear, transporting players to this location. These portals spawn approximately every 2 minutes and remain active for around 25 seconds.

It's worth noting that certain mining enhancers, such as Varrock armour and charged celestial rings, exhibit a doubling effect when mining for guardian fragments and essence, enhancing the efficiency of the gathering process.

Let's discuss each of the objectives in detail.

Imbuing Essence

To engage in the Guardians of the Rift minigame effectively, follow these expert tips:

  1. Guardian Essence Conversion: Convert guardian fragments into guardian essence, which can be conveniently stored in essence pouches.
  2. Imbuing Process: Head to runic altars to imbue guardian essence by entering Portal Guardians located around the Temple's center. Note that only two portals are active simultaneously—one elemental and one catalytic. Imbuing requires the same Runecraft level as regular crafting in the corresponding altar. Crafting on runic altars during the minigame won't grant the rift guardian pet.
  3. Portal Talisman Chance: For every crafted guardian essence, there's a rare 1/250 chance to obtain a portal talisman. Use these talismans on Portal Guardians to return to the previously used runic altar, even if the portal is closed. Remember, these talismans can't be kept after the minigame ends, so use them strategically. Toggle talisman types by right-clicking "Toggle-talisman" on a Portal Guardian.
  4. Guardian Stone Imbuing: Imbue essence into either an elemental or catalytic guardian stone. Return to the Temple to power up the Great Guardian. Crafting combination runes yields polyelemental guardian stones, providing three elemental energy when used on the Great Guardian.
  5. Powering Up the Great Guardian: The number of guardian stones needed to fully charge the Great Guardian depends on player count. To reach 100%, 250 guardian stones are required per player inside the temple.
  6. Run Energy Restoration: While powering up the Great Guardian, each guardian stone restores 1% run energy. Additionally, a bonus amount is restored based on the player's special attack energy, ranging from 1% with a depleted special energy bar to 11% with a full special bar.

Keep in mind that completing specific quests is necessary to enter certain Portal Guardians:

  • Guardian of Cosmic: Lost City
  • Guardian of Law: Troll Stronghold
  • Guardian of Death: Mourning's End Part II
  • Guardian of Blood: Sins of the Father

Charging Cells

When engaging in the Guardians of the Rift minigame, understanding the use of charged cells is crucial.

Uncharged cells, obtained from a container near the entry barrier, can be charged similarly to guardian essence. Players can only carry up to ten uncharged cells and are limited to one charged cell at a time.

To create rift guardians, use a chisel on the essence piles near the tables in the south. Rift guardians can be either elemental (east) or catalytic (west), following the guides in the outer ring. Keep in mind that only ten rift guardians can be active simultaneously.

Barriers are erected by using charged cells on the cell tiles at the front-center. Strengthen barriers by using increasingly higher tiers of cells (e.g., medium to strong cells). Conversely, using lesser charged cells (e.g., a strong cell on an overcharged barrier) will recharge the barriers. If a barrier breaks, repair the cell tile with ten guardian essence.

Standard Runes
Runecrafting LevelTypeTierAlignment
Combination Runes
Runecrafting LevelTypeAlignment

Gaining Energy

There are three ways to gain energy:

  1. Cell Utilization: You can use cells for different purposes, such as building, recharging, strengthening barriers, or creating guardians. Keep in mind that higher-level cells yield more energy, except when building barriers, which consistently provides 2 energy in both elemental and catalytic types.
  2. Guardian Stones: By using guardian stones on the Great Guardian, you can earn energy. Each stone usage grants you 5 Runecraft experience and two energy in elemental or catalytic forms, depending on the type of essence used. If you're crafting combination runes, you'll receive a polyelemental guardian stone, providing three elemental energy.
  3. Barrier Repair: When you repair a barrier with ten essence, you'll gain 25 energy in both elemental and catalytic types.

Each method has its own benefits but sticking to one isn't recommended. Be ready to adjust how you generate energy as the minigame progresses.

Phases Of The Minigame

For newcomers, joining the Guardians of the Rift entails a time-sensitive entry process. Once the initial 120-second countdown concludes, new players are unable to join, marking the beginning of the battle with the emergence of enemies and the opening of altar portals.

The battle unfolds in three distinct phases:

  • First Phase (Preparation): A brief two-minute window is provided for players to prepare. During this time, the focus is on acquiring guardian essence and uncharged cells to create and power up guardians. Initial weak cells are strategically employed to construct barriers at the onset of the battle.
  • Second Phase (Enemy Spawning): Following the preparatory phase, abyssal creatures, predominantly abyssal leeches and guardians with a few walkers, start spawning from the rift. These creatures actively target the Great Guardian, draining its energy with their attacks. While barriers and rift guardians may also be attacked, retaliation only occurs for the latter. If the Great Guardian's energy depletes to 0%, the encounter ends in failure.
  • Third Phase (Rift Sealing): As the guardian achieves a 60% charge, the temple rumbles, intensifying the rift's glow. This damages all active barriers collectively by 50 health and results in the spawning of additional guardians and walkers compared to leeches. Players need to promptly heal barriers and create more rift guardians if needed. Upon reaching 100% charge, the guardian seals the rift, causing all abyssal creatures and rift guardians to perish. A brief respite allows players to reposition or exit.

It's crucial to note that at the start of each new game, all acquired guardian fragments, essence, and portal talismans are removed from the player's possession, including when leaving the minigame area. Stay vigilant and strategic to ensure success in the Guardians of the Rift.

Recommended Gear

While this isn't a combat-heavy minigame, you'd still want to have the right gear for the job. This will help make things easier once you do Guardians of the Rift. Here's a list of the gear for each slot from most to least effective.

Here's a breakdown of the items from most effective to least effective for each slot:

  • Hat of the eye
  • Graceful hood (Note 1)
  • Prospector helmet (Note 2)
  • Binding necklace (Note 3)
  • Max cape/Runecraft cape
  • Mining cape (Note 4)
  • Graceful cape (Note 1)
  • Spottier cape/Spotted cape
  • Robe top of the eye
  • Varrock armour (Note 5)
  • Graceful top (Note 1)
  • Prospector jacket (Note 2)
  • Robe bottoms of the eye
  • Graceful legs (Note 1)
  • Prospector legs (Note 2)
  • Crystal pickaxe (Note 6)
  • Dragon pickaxe
  • Rune pickaxe
  • Adamant pickaxe
  • Abyssal lantern (redwood logs) (Note 7)
  • Abyssal lantern (yew logs)/Abyssal lantern (oak logs) (Note 8)
  • Abyssal lantern (magic logs)/Abyssal lantern (blisterwood logs) (Note 9/10)
  • Tome of fire (Note 11)
  • Graceful gloves (Note 1)
  • Penance gloves
  • Boots of the eye
  • Graceful boots (Note 1)
  • Prospector boots (Note 2)
  • Boots of lightness
  • Celestial ring/Celestial signet (Note 12)
  • Lightbearer (Note 13)

Guardians Of The Rift Strategy Guide

This minigame is challenging in many ways. As such, here's a step-by-step guide on how to best navigate it.

  1. Preparation:
  • Before the round begins, obtain a weak cell and gather 5-10 uncharged cells.
  • Create barriers if necessary, or contribute to creating a guardian if others are working on cell tiles.
  1. Initial Actions:
  • Run down the east slope to the large remains.
  • Mine between 140-180 fragments.
  • Craft essence until the second altar rotation, then use an altar.
  1. Portal Phase:
  • Go through the portal and mine your maximum number of fragments.
  • Redeem your stones and charged cell.
  1. Resource Management:
  • Use an altar, redeem stones/cell, and deposit runes.
  • Craft approximately 40 essence, then use another altar.
  1. Repeat:
  • Repeat the steps until the round is complete.


  • Take runes from the bank to cast NPC Contact and repair your pouches as needed.
  • Players with a lantern lit with redwood logs or without any pouches can remain inside the barrier.
  • Alternatively, a rune pouch with the necessary runes can achieve the same result, albeit at the cost of an inventory slot.

Rune Combination Tips For Guardians Of The Rift

To maximize points in the Guardians of the Rift minigame, consider crafting combination runes for additional polyelemental guardian stones. Here's an advanced strategy that involves Magic Imbue, binding necklaces, and rune pouches:

  1. Polyelemental Guardian Stones:

Crafting combination runes produces polyelemental guardian stones, yielding an extra elemental point per essence. This method can result in up to 50% more elemental points.

  1. Magic Imbue and Binding Necklaces:

Use Magic Imbue and binding necklaces to optimize points. This strategy requires attention, the preceding requirements, and some inventory space.

  1. Air Rune Strategy:

Bring a stack of air runes and cast Magic Imbue before using them on another elemental altar. Craft catalytic runes when the air portal is active, as air produces the weakest cell. Be careful when depositing runes to retain the air rune stack.

  1. Rune Pouch Efficiency:

If using a rune pouch, fill it with cosmic, astral, and steam runes. This setup allows for casting both Magic Imbue and NPC Contact without needing extra inventory space and can store crafted steam runes. Each binding necklace should last for 2 rounds.

  1. Spare Binding Necklace:

Consider bringing a spare binding necklace in case it breaks mid-round. Alternatively, craft runes normally until obtaining a fresh one.

  1. Water Rune Alternative:

Crafting combination runes from water runes produces more valuable runes on average. Replace steam runes with smoke runes inside a rune pouch, requiring no additional inventory space. Craft catalytic runes when water or air portals are active.

  1. Earth and Fire Altar Focus:

When crafting only at the earth and fire altars, and crafting catalytic runes during water or air portal activity, the average cell strength remains consistent. This approach facilitates achieving an even point distribution per round.

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General Tips For Guardians Of The Rift

  1. Barrier Maintenance

Repair broken barriers immediately to prevent a rapid drop in the Great Guardian's power, especially in later stages. Use 10 guardian essence per barrier for repairs, prioritizing this over crafting runes.

  1. Grace Portal Advantage

If a round enters its grace period more than 95 seconds after the last portal spawned, an additional portal will appear during the grace period. This 'grace portal' allows for early essence mining in the next round, enhancing efficiency. To maximize this, wait to redeem your final set of guardian stones until 95 seconds or redeem during the grace period if the timer is not available.

  1. Guardian Management

Start each round with 2-4 guardians to prevent abyssal creatures from overwhelming and destroying barriers.

  1. Cell Contribution Strategy

Avoid contributing weaker cells to the guardian cap after the first phase, as this limits the damage output of guardians. Weaker cells are better spent healing barriers since barrier contributions stack, while guardian constructions do not.

  1. Building Barriers Technique

When building a barrier at the start of a game, stand on the barrier side of the cell tile. This will move your character through the barrier after construction, providing a head start when running to a mining spot.

  1. Essence Crafting Efficiency

Points and experience are based on the amount of essence crafted, not the tier of the altar. It's not efficient to wait for specific altars to become active.

  1. Mining Level Impact

Mining level directly influences the number of shards obtained per swing. Higher mining levels, such as 99 Mining, result in approximately 25% more shards compared to 41 Mining.

  1. Lower Level Player Strategy

Lower-level players can spend the time between rounds crafting guardians for additional experience.

Guardians Of The Rift Rewards

The best part of the minigame are of course, the rewards that you get for beating it. Here's a look at what you can get.

Abyssal pearlsUsed to purchase items from the Temple Supplies shop.
Intricate pouchCan give a tarnished locket or a lost bag. Grants a random amount of runes or one of several dragon items. Also has a chance at granting a hard clue.
Atlax's diaryAn old diary of someone's experiences at the Temple of the Eye.
Elemental talismanGrants access to all elemental runic altars.
Catalytic talismanGrants access to all catalytic runic altars, provided the player has completed the quests to access those that require it.
Abyssal needleCombines all essence pouches into one colossal pouch (requiring 85 Runecraft and 56 Crafting to use). If the colossal pouch is lost, players may simply use a normal needle on the Rewards Guardian to obtain another Abyssal needle.
Abyssal lanternGives various benefits within the minigame depending on the type of logs used to light it.
Abyssal dyesRecolours the raiments of the eye, lost bag, and amulet of the eye. Comes in red, green, and blue.
Abyssal protectorAn abyssal creature pet, similar to an abyssal guardian.

Additionally, you can also get other items from the rewards shop. You can get these with the help of Abyssal pearls that you can get from the Rewards Guardian.

ItemInfoPearls required
Raiments of the EyeEach piece grants the wearer 10% more runes (up to a maximum of 60% when the full set is equipped).400 (Hat),
350 (Top and bottoms),
250 (Boots)
Ring of the elementsTeleports players near the elemental runic altars. Charged with one of each elemental rune and one law rune.400
Guardian's eyeWhen used on the rift guardian pet, will allow it to transform to a Greatish guardian.3,000
TalismansUsed to create tiaras and enter runic altars. Elemental, catalytic, and wrath talismans are not sold. Blood talismans are exclusively sold here.10 (Air, Water, Earth, Fire, Mind, Body),
30 (Chaos, Cosmic),
50 (Nature, Law),
80 (Death),
100 (Blood)

Can You Protect The Rift?

While challenging at first, the Guardians of the Rift in OSRS is actually doable as long as you have the right strategy prepared. Don't be overwhelmed by this challenge as completing it is mainly about knowing what to do at the right time. With this guide and some practice, you'll get it done in no time.

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