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Item Basics | Normal Items | Exceptional Items | Elite Items | Socketed Items | Gems | Jewels | Runes | Rune Words | Magic Items | Magic Prefixes and Suffixes | Crafted Items | Set Items | Unique Items | Charms | The Horadric Cube | Items Index

Rune Words

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If the player puts certain combinations of Runes in the correct order into an item with exactly that number of sockets and of the correct item type, the item's name will change into a "unique" name, displayed in gold, and the item will acquire extra powers, depending on the "rune word" that was used. The benefits of using a Rune Word is that you can make the Rune Word's magical bonuses apply to any type of item allowed with the proper number of sockets. You could, for example, use an Elite Socketed sword or an Exceptional Socketed sword, and you can also pick which type of sword is used. Uniques, in comparison, use the same item type such as short sword, and are always the same quality (Normal/Exceptional/Elite). You can continue to find better Socketed weapons or armor and, with the proper Runes, continue to have this Rune Word bonus applied to better and better Socketed items as you find them.

Rune Words are an advanced feature for experienced users. However, anyone can create a Rune Word if they take the time to read/learn enough about them to assemble the Rune Words properly.

Rune Word Rules (please read these rules first) or Jump to the Rune Words

  • When you create a Rune Word you still receive all of the magical bonuses that were already on each Rune you Socketed.
  • Socketed Items must have the exact number of sockets as the Rune Word formula requires. If the Rune Word is a 3 Rune formula then you must use an item with exactly 3 sockets. A 4 socket item will not work with a 3 socket formula.
  • The Socketed Item type must be the correct item type for the formula. If the formula requires a sword, the formula will not work if you use an axe or spear.
  • Rune Words will only work in Socketed non-magical items. This means that Set Items, Unique Items, or Magic Items with enough Sockets and the proper item type will not allow or convert to Rune Words. Again, they will not work on Magic, Set, Unique or Rare items. So if you have a Mechanic's (or Jewelers item) piece of armor with 2 slots, the Stealth will not work on it because it's magical.
  • The correct Runes for a formula must be used. If one of the Runes is wrong you receive the bonuses of the Runes inserted but it does not become a Rune Word.
  • The Rune IO looks a lot like LO. Make sure you use the correct one.
  • Rune Words will not work in Wirt's Leg
  • The Runes must be placed in the correct order. You can have the correct Socketed item, correct runes and still not activate the Rune Word if you do not socket the Runes in the correct order. This is because you're trying to spell the "Rune Word" correctly and you have spelled it incorrectly. Example: "RalOrtTal". You must first place Ral, then Ort, then finally Tal into the Socketed Item.
  • You need the right patch for the formulae to work. Make sure you have the latest patch.
Other Info
  • If you use superior socketed items, the damage and stats might be higher than shown because you will get the bonus from those items too.
  • The Rune Words listed also list the bonuses of the individual Runes with the Rune Word bonuses.
  • Q: Can you add the level limits on the Rune Words?
    A: Actually these would change depending on what item was used so they were not added.

Required Item Types for Formulae
Make sure you read this so you'll use the right items. People especially have problems with Maces.

Body Armor = Any armor that is worn on your chest and not any type of other armor such as boots, helms, gloves, etc.
Helms = Any armor that is worn on the head, including helms, Barbarian Helms, Druid Pelts, and Circlets.
Shield = Any armor that can be used to block, including shields, Necromancer Shrunken Heads, and Paladin Shields.
Clubs = Club, Spiked Club, and Exceptional/Elite versions.
Hammers = War Hammer, Maul, Great Maul, and Exceptional/Elite versions. These will not work in mace recipes even though they are listed on the mace page.
Maces = Mace, Morning Star, Flail, and Exceptional/Elite versions. This does not include any other types of Maces. Make sure you read about Hammers above. They are not "maces" in the case of Runewords.
Melee Weapons = Most weapons that aren't ranged such as a Sword or Hammer. A Bow or Crossbow is a ranged weapon and is not in this category. Sorceress Orbs are not considered Melee Weapons. Melee Weapons: Hand-to-Hand, Blunt, Combo Weapon, Polearm, Spear, Knife, Sword, Axe.
Missile Weapons = Bows and Crossbows.
Weapons = Melee Weapons, Missile Weapons, Orbs.
Scepters = Scepter, Grand Scepter, War Scepter, and Exceptional/Elite versions.
Staves - Mean Staves and not other items that are Staff class weapons like Wands.
Keep in mind when experimenting with unknown Rune Words that you must be prepared to accept the loss of your Runes if the formula does not work. Rune Words must be inserted into the correct item for the formula in the correct order. Blizzard cannot restore lost items for any reason including due to your failure to properly create a Rune Word. Rune Word failures are caused by using the wrong items, Runes, or Rune order. A few times the formula has been listed wrong on the following pages, but most (99%) of reported errors are caused by failure to understand the formula. The following formulae on these pages may contain errors, including listing the wrong formulas. Be sure you read all of this page including the bottom page notes for complete information.

Rune Word Listings



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