An innovative feature of the game is that anything dropped by a dead opponent can be picked up and used. This extends to include body parts. Limbs can be swung as clubs, and grotesquely enough, heads can be carried and used as weapons. Although the game includes no ranged weapons, any weapon can be thrown. The handaxe is a commonly thrown weapon because of the range and speed with which it travels through the air.
Both Rune and Rune: Halls of Valhalla (HOV) were released with their own RuneEd toolkits which the community quickly used making several popular multiplayer mods (coop, CTT--capture the torch, 'bots, etc.). Although a few single player addons have been made, it is Rune's multiplayer aspect has been the focus of several mutators, skins, and hundreds of maps that are available through many clan and resource websites.
The actual playability of the multiplayer aspect of Rune is also quite an important feature of the game, and is especially influenced by the vast majority of the Rune gaming community. Originally, the multiplayer aspect of Rune began as a casual gaming experience. Gradually, however, a growing number of gamers eventually grew attracted to the game, and those players who chose to play Rune on a prolonged time-frame eventually formed specific groups of close-community players often referred to as "clans" (or just as commonly, "hordes"). As time progressed from the original date of release of Rune, the popularity of Rune, especially the multiplayer aspect, began to expand, especially due to promotion of the game from many long-term and casual players who enjoy playing the game on a daily basis. The multiplayer community eventually began to thrive, but as the game increased in popularity, some players began to exploit flaws in the game's code in order to give themselves unfair advantages over other players. This trend was essentially halted when a few specific players that took offense to these actions began to develop anti-exploit server add-on programs for the whole of the Rune community that effectively re-allowed enjoyable gameplay. To this day, the negative impact of exploiters still somewhat affects the Rune community, but the number and depth of anti-exploit programs has increased significantly and has spread to many casual and especially dedicated, hosted servers since the beginning of Rune's multiplayer history, and the multiplayer community continues to thrive to this day.
There had been demand to have a Cooperative (Coop) Teamplay mode added to the Multiplayer aspect. However, the developers were unable to make one in time before the game's October 29, 2000 release. Some community members decided to make one instead and a "Co-op" team was organized to take on the challenge. Upon learning about the project, Human Head Studios offered the team any help needed to complete the task.
Based on the Single Player 45 levels and content (with a few alterations) the Rune Cooperative Teamplay was one of the first major mods. Within a few months after Rune's release, a full 45 level "Coop" Mod conversion was completed and announced as a free download June 11, 2001. However, to play it, a special 1.07 patch would have been needed to install. Yet despite this, the Coop, (along with other Rune mods) have added to the game's popularity and continuing gameplay over the years.
As the game goes on, as in most games of its type, better weapons are accumulated. Late in the game you find yourself wielding weapons of enormous size, even thought some weapons maintain its usefulness to the end, like the Viking Longsword that is two handed, long range but allows the use of a shield protecting the head, and its power is one of the best, drainlife.
Although rather linear, Ragnar does not need to kill everything in sight (common in games of the time) to travel from one level to the next. In some levels, players have found alternative ways of getting through to the next level. However, particular scripted pawns must be activated (killed, moved or tripped) in key ones to initiate certain actions to continue and move the story along.
The story begins when the player, as Ragnar, is initiated into the Odinsblade, an order of warriors sworn to protect the runestones, magical creations of Odin which bind the evil god, Loki and prevent him from unleashing Ragnarok - the end of the world. Ragnar then must face Ulf, the strongest fighter in the village, to be truly considered a warrior. After the battle is concluded, a warrior bursts into the scene and informs the two that a Viking known as Conrack and his men are attacking an allied village. The three then depart for the village's longship, to do battle.
Ragnar, his father, Ulf and the rest of his village's warriors encounter Conrack and his men at sea. Ragnar's father is about to order his men to attack, when Conrack calls upon Loki and destroys the ship with a surge of lightning from above. All the men on the longship die, and slip into the sea. After a while, Odin calls to Ragnar, telling him it is not yet his time to die. Ragnar recovers and swims to safety in an underwater cave. Ragnar then proceeds through the caverns, doing battle with a vast array of monsters. He eventually enters the land of the dead, domain of Loki's daughter, Hel.
Passing through the Underworld and facing the ghastly undead, Ragnar learns the enemy's plan: Conrack's carnage sends many dishonored souls to Hel's domain, who in turn gives them to Loki to transform into an army which will conquer the world. After fighting his way through Hel, Ragnar is captured by goblins and fights their beast in the trial pit. He defeats the beast and escapes goblin lands riding on a giant flying beetle. When he emerges from the caverns, he stands before Thorstadt, the mountain fortress of Conrack, and fights his way through it to a Temple of Loki. Inside, Sigurd - Conrack's right arm - confronts his master about all the destruction and asks him to drop the charade of worshipping Loki. Conrack states that Sigurd has outlived his usefulness, and sends two of the transformed dishonored to kill him, then escapes. Ragnar enters the scene and stands before the dying warrior. Sigurd informs Ragnar that he is the last of the Odinsblade, and saving the world is up to him, then dies.
Ragnar follows Conrack, and ends up in the land of the Dwarves. In Rune, Dwarves are depicted as short, stocky, purple beings. He travels through the industrial powerhouse of the dwarven land and learns that the dwarves are supplying weaponry and armor for Loki's new sinister armies. Odin then tasks Ragnar to murder the dwarf king, whose will holds the dwarves' allegiance to Loki together. The king has apparently proclaimed himself a semi-god, and resides in a great temple dedicated to himself. Ragnar enters battle with the king, and he uses the great machine that bestows the king's powers upon him to destroy him.
Ragnar travels deep below the earth and to the castle of Loki himself. Odin tells Ragnar that even he will not be able to contact him whilst he transverses through Loki's realm. Ragnar discovers that it is Loki's blood that transforms Hel's undead warriors to the monsters of Loki's armies. He passes through the castle and Loki's maze, arriving at the holding chamber of Loki himself. It is here Ragnar faces Conrack at last, and attacks him. Conrack soon learns that he is no match for Ragnar's power, and is knocked into a river of Loki's blood, which, at first, is agonising for him. However, the great stone snake which binds Loki drips acid onto his gaping chest wound, causing him to scream with rage. The spectacle turns the green blood purple. Conrack rises out of the river, reborn in Loki's image as a hideous monster. Conrack reveals to Ragnar that Loki's armies are invading Midgard and are destroying Odin's runestones left and right. He leaps over Ragnar onto a high cliff, and escapes. Ragnar is then attacked by two of his creatures, but bests them. He, however, is trapped in the pit of Loki. With no other choice, he leaps into the purple blood.
Ragnar emerges from the river as a powerful being, but an abomination, one of Loki's creatures. Loki tries to persuade Ragnar to stay with him and join his armies. He refuses and leaps from the pit, chasing after Conrack. He escapes from Loki's castle and makes his way through caverns out into the world above. He then stands witness to the devastation wrought by Loki's armies. Loki mocks him, but he presses on. His fellow warriors no longer recognize him, and attack him on sight. Ragnar finally arrives home, only to see it totally destroyed. Loki offers one last time to join him, and Conrack sends his men forward to destroy the runestone and Ragnar. There are two possible outcomes of the game, depending on what the player does here.