2001 was the starting year for RuneScape Classic, with the core updates of the game occurring this year.
- 2 January: New skill: Mining
- 2 January: New skill: Smithing
- 3 January: Made Smithing and Mining more difficult
- 4 January: RuneScape was launched on Thursday.
- 21 January: Newsletter 1 was released, along with the Ernest the Chicken quest. Banks were released, along with Draynor Manor.
- 28 January: Vampire Slayer quest was released.
- 6 April: The Kingdom of Asgarnia was opened on Friday. Black Knights' Fortress, Doric's Quest, Witch's Potion and The Knight's Sword quests were released.
- 8 May: Goblin Diplomacy quest was released. Making jewellery and pottery was introduced. This server was added.
- 24 May:
- Good Magic and Evil magic were converted into the Magic skill.
- Jagex removed pop-up windows from their website.
- 25 May: Fourth server was added.
- 26 May: Jagex updated prayers so they last 50% longer.
- 11 June:
- 23 June: Tailoring was introduced to Crafting skill.
- 12 July: The Black Hole Experience, which requires the now discontinued Disk of Returning to exit, and the Monastery was opened on Thursday.
- 12 July: Silver ore and rocks released.
- 17 July: 5th RuneScape server online.
- 26 July: The Bank of RuneScape was updated on Sunday, so that players are able to store up to 48 items instead of just Coins. Runite weapons and armour were also released on this date. Player-owned houses removed due to lack of space. Runite was originally purple.
- 13 August:
- 8 December: The Draynor Village Market, certificates, Black weapons, Defence and Attack requirements to wield weapons and armour, and capes were released on Sunday.
- 25 December: Christmas crackers, which contain Partyhats, were dropped on Christmas Day, Tuesday.
The first 4 skill master-ships were achieved in this year with these players taking the top ranks:
- Woodcutting - Everdred
- Magic - Bluerose13x
- Smithing - Bluerose13x
- Cooking - Tks