Switching to Ancients in OSRS enables players to gain massive amounts of Magic experience due to the area of effect spells within, and massive amounts of loot due to the spells’ prevalence in player-killing scenarios. 

While it takes a lot of time and effort to unlock, the Ancient Spellbook contains a variety of spells with unique effects such as freezing targets in place, siphoning health, inflicting poison, and lowering stats. 

Due to the overwhelming power of the spells within, many players regard the Ancient Magicks as the most powerful combat spells in the game. As a player looking to access these more powerful spells, training methods, and PvP scenarios, you should learn how to switch to Ancients in OSRS. 

“Desert Treasure” Quest

Switching to Ancients can be done in several steps. First, you must unlock access to the spellbook by completing the quest “Desert Treasure.” This is one of the longer and more difficult quests in the game, but it is very doable. 

You can start “Desert Treasure” by speaking to an Archaeologist in the Bedabin Camp, south of Shantay Pass in the Desert.



Officially, Desert Treasure is a Master-difficulty, Long-length quest. You must have 53 Thieving, 50 Magic, 50 Firemaking, and 10 Slayer to do “Desert Treasure.”

Additionally, there are several quests you must complete before starting “Desert Treasure.” These quests are “The Dig Site” “Temple of Ikov” “The Tourist Trap” “Troll Stronghold” (which requires “Death Plateau”) “Priest in Peril” and “Waterfall Quest.”

Knowing how to get to Trollheim can be useful here, as “Death Plateau” and “Troll Stronghold” are quests that take place in this region.

You also need to know how to get Ice Gloves for a specific part of the quest.

Completing the Quest

I would highly recommend using the RuneLite client’s plugin, “Quest Helper,” especially for such a long and difficult quest. It will highlight items needed, NPCs to talk to, and even exact tiles to click on. 

PPlunderQuestHelper 4

There are also several things to keep in mind while you complete the quest. You will be fighting several bosses with unique mechanics and fighting styles, so it might be beneficial to watch videos of these fights before attempting them.

Each of these bosses will give you an ancient jewel; you have a random chance of being attacked by a level 95 Stranger wielding a poisoned dragon dagger while these jewels are in your inventory. I recommend banking the jewels as soon as possible after getting them. 

Switching Methods

Play through “Desert Treasure” until completed, and you will have access to the Ancient Spellbook. Completing the quest will have automatically switched your spellbook to Ancient, but there are several methods of switching from Ancients back to Standard and vise-versa. 

First, you can return to the Jaladrocht Pyramid (where you ended the quest) and take a back entrance to the Pyramid’s south that leads straight to an altar. You can use this altar to switch between the Standard and Ancient spellbooks. 


The second switching method, and the one most commonly used by players, is to use an Occult Altar in someone’s Player-Owned-House. Simply hop to World 330 and head to Rimmington or Yanille. There will be people there advertising maxed out POH’s.

You can use these Occult Altars to switch between each of the spellbooks in the game. However, this method is unavailable to Ironman players, since Ironmen can’t use other players’ POH’s. 


The Occult Altar can also be used by yourself, if you have 90 Construction and the materials to build one. If you lack these levels or materials, you can also build an Ancient Altar with 80 Construction, but you will only be able to switch between Standard and Ancient. 

Finally, if you have 99 Magic and the Magic skillcape, you can use the cape to switch spellbooks freely up to five times per day. Using the cape, you will be able to switch between any of the spellbooks, including Standard to Ancient and vise-versa. 

What to Do Next

Once you’ve finished “Desert Treasure” and switch to the Ancient spellbook, I would recommend getting a Rune Pouch if you don’t already have one. The Ancient spells require tons of runes to cast, and you will be casting them a lot.

Final Thoughts

Switching to Ancients in OSRS can be done in several simple steps. First, you need to unlock Ancients by completing the quest “Desert Treasure.” Then, you can swap spellbooks at the pyramid from the quest, sufficiently-leveled POHs, or with the Magic skillcape.