Each skill has a menu of abilities, found in the Powers menu, which can be dragged outside as part of an interface setup.
Abilities come in a wide variety of types; some allow players to deal extra damage, heal themselves, stun their opponents, or many other things. When an ability is used, it cannot be used again for a specific amount of time (its cooldown), and other abilities cannot be used for 3 ticks (1.8 seconds; the global cooldown). Constantly using abilities seamlessly is generally the most effective form of combat.
A player can use abilities directly from their interface, or place them onto their action bar for quick access and the ability to use them with a keybind. Basic abilities placed in the first 9 slots of the primary action bar are used automatically when Revolution is enabled.
Abilities are laid out by combat skill, out of Attack, Strength, Ranged, Magic, Constitution and Defence. Most abilities have a skill level requirement to be used, and most have an equipment requirement - for example, Slice requires a main-hand melee weapon, and Bash requires a shield.
There are three classes of abilities: Basic, Threshold, and Ultimate. There are also auto-attacks, which occur when not using an ability, and Special attacks, which are defined by specific weapons. Abilities generate and consume adrenaline during the flow of combat.
Auto-attacks simply do the damage of the weapon with no special effects. They generate 1-2% adrenaline each.
Basic abilities gain 8% adrenaline each, and usually have increased damage, a special effect, or both
Threshold abilities require 50% adrenaline and will drain 15% on use, generally dealing more damage than basic abilities or having stronger effects
Ultimate abilities require 100% adrenaline and drain the whole bar, dealing the a large amount of damage or providing a very powerful effect.
Special attacks can only be used when using a specific weapon, and the attack itself differs with each relevant weapon. To use a special attack, an amount of adrenaline is required and it will use all of that adrenaline when used. Special attacks have no cooldown. Their damage and effects vary greatly with the weapon, but generally fit between threshold abilities and ultimate abilities. See Special attacks for more details.
The damage done by abilities is usually a percentage of a player's ability damage, which is determined by weapon/spell damage, skill level, and weapon speed.
When an ability is used, it may remain active for some time either on the player or on the target. Abilities can remain active on the player in two ways:
Combo attacks, such as Concentrated Blast, Destroy, and Unload, take more than the global cooldown to fully use. While an ability of this type is active, the use of another ability will cancel it.
Abilities that leave a passive, positive effect on the player, for a period of time, such as Meteor Strike, Metamorphosis, and Anticipation, are often called buff abilities. Using another ability while this buff is active will not remove the buff.
Abilities that remain on the target and provide a negative effect to that target are often called debuffs. Abilities such as Combust, Debilitate, and Sever remain active on the target for several seconds. The use of further abilities will not cancel these.
Abilities active on the target are displayed in the target's status bar. Abilities active on the player (including abilities used on the player by the target) are displayed in a then Buffs/Debuffs window, which can be moved around on the screen as desired (in edit mode with the RS3 interface); in the legacy interface right-click the icon in the combat settings tab to enable timers beneath the minimap.
All abilities have a cooldown timer. The cooldown activates when the ability is used, and stays active for a period of time specific to the ability. While it is active, the ability cannot be used. Some abilities share a cooldown: this means that using one of those abilities will activate the cooldown timer for all of them. Often these groups of abilities have something in common, like stunning the target (Kick, Binding Shot, and Impact), or moving the player several squares (Escape and Surge).
After using an ability, you cannot use another ability (or auto-attack) for 3 ticks (1.8 seconds). This is the global cooldown. (This triggers from the moment of use, so after a combo attack, you can immediately use another ability.)