Spirit Shards have two main uses in Runescape3. First, Spirit Shards are a key component of training the summoning skill. Each summoning pouch players create uses a certain number of Spirit Shards, alongside a pouch, a charm, and a different ingredient. Second, Spirit Shards serve as a store of value, due to a mechanic unique to the item, allowing players to buy and sell the item at the exact same price.
How Spirits Shards serve as a store of value
The mechanic unique to Spirit Shards is their interaction of always being exactly 25 gold. The way that works is due to Runescape3’s pet shops in Taverley and Yanille which sells and buys Spirit Shards in near-unlimited quantities for that exact price. While that may seem pointless for players new to the game, there is a key reason why Spirit Shards are so common as a means of trading among end-game players.
The problem with Runescape’s max cash stack of 2,147,483,647.
Throughout Runescape’s history, the game’s item stack limit caps at 2,147,483,647 due to the game using a 32-bit integer data limit. That means players can’t keep “coins” above that same stack limit. However, many items within Runescape3’s economy have a value that far exceeds the 2,147,483,647 GP limit. For example items like Party Hats and other discontinued items (~4-20 billion), certain PvM items like the Fractured Staff of Armadyl (~4-5 billion), and certain clue items and other rare rewards all exceed the limit.
Since these items exceed the “max cash” limit by so much, players have started to convert their excess coins to Spirit Shards. By doing that, players can trade up to 25 times the “max cash” limit.
For more Runescape content, be sure to read all about how to safe spot Dagannoth Rex, or how you can get free “fastest” instances for (almost) every boss in Runescape3. And what Bakriminal Bolts are most important for PvM.