For boxed armour sets, see Item set.
Armour is the term for items that can be equipped to provide defensive bonuses during combat. Most armour sets require a certain Defence level to equip; the higher level an item is, the greater bonuses it will provide. All armour is classed under a combat style (Melee, Magic, or Ranged), with the exception of Hybrid gear. The strengths and weaknesses of each class's armour play a primary role in defining the combat triangle.
A player's choice of armour can come from more than defence. Some armour sets will strengthen a player's hits, and others can offer equal defence and easy switching of combat styles.
Armour and the combat triangleEdit
The combat triangle is a figure that demonstrates how each combat style relates to another.
- Melee fighters overcome rangers because their weapons can cut through leather armour with ease. Melee armour is also effective at protecting against Ranged attacks, as their projectiles have difficulty piercing the thick, metal armour.
- Ranged fighters overcome mages because their projectiles easily penetrate their robes. Ranged armour is usually crafted from tough animal hides with poor energy conductivity, which is highly resistant to Magic attacks.
- Magic users overcome warriors because their spells conduct in their metal armour, effectively cooking them. Effective mages can also bind warriors while attacking from afar, and their magical robes resist Melee attacks.
As can be seen above, armour plays a defining role in the combat triangle. Depending on an enemy's attacks, an item's Armour stat is used in varying amounts: 100% against the style it is strong against (eg. Melee > Ranged), 62.5% against the same style (eg. Melee = Melee), and 31.25% against the style it is weak to (eg. Melee < Magic). To simplify, the batwing torso and blue d'hide body have equal bonuses, but the former is class Magic and the latter class Ranged, and both armours will defend appropriately.
Also, not every item has a class. Some armour is class Hybrid (or class All on particular items), and can be used by any combat style without penalty. Details on Hybrid armour can be found here.
Wearing an item of the wrong class in the torso, legs, or shield slot will penalise your accuracy by 5% each, up to 15% total. The other slots suffer no penalty.
- Melee armour is usually made from metal and is typically the heaviest gear.
- Melee armour defends best against Ranged attacks and is weak to Magic attacks.
- Some Melee armour may be created with the Smithing skill.
- In some melee sets, boots and gloves are very hard to acquire.
- Ranged armour is usually crafted from animal skins, commonly dragonhide.
- Ranged armour defends well against Magic attacks and is weak to Melee attacks.
- Some Ranged armour may be produced with the Crafting skill.
- In dragonskin ranged sets, headgear is especially hard to acquire.
- Magic armour is not armour as commonly envisioned, but instead robes and similar garments.
- Magic armour defends well against Melee attacks and is vulnerable to Ranged attacks.
- Some Magic armour may be produced with the Crafting skill, or Runecrafting for higher-end sets.
There are four types of armour one may find, most with different stats and purposes:
- Tank: Tank armour provides the largest defensive bonuses but has no other traits. Most armour in the game is of this class.
- Power: Power armour gives less Armour and Health than Tank armour, but gives a noticeable damage boost. The damage boost that you receive is a percentage of the base weapon damage (Main-Handed Weapon/Spell/Ammo and"Fastest" speed) for the tier that the armour is. Each piece of power armour that you wear gives you a higher percentage of this number, up to a maximum of 10% (8% for Tectonic, Sirenic and Malevolent). Boots and Gloves give 1% each, Bodies give 3.5%, Legs give 2.5%, and Helmets give 2%.
- Penance armour (tier 40 various)
- Fremennik armour (tier 50)
- Demon slayer equipment (tier 60)
- God Wars Dungeon armour (tier 70)
- Nex armour (tier 80)
- Malevolent armour (tier 90)
- Sirenic armour (tier 90)
- Tectonic armour (tier 90)
- Hybrid: True to its word, Hybrid armour can be used by all combat styles without accuracy penalty. Hybrid armour carries lower defence than the above armours, but it defends equally well against all combat styles; it increases the block chance for each style equally, regardless of the other gear a player is wearing. It is useful when frequently changing attack style, or if fighting a monster that uses multiple attack styles. The following armour sets are Hybrid:
- All: This armour moderately redistributes the player's total defensive ratings throughout the combat triangle to balance their block chance for each style. The following armour sets or items are classed as All:
Power, Hybrid and All armour have lower defensive bonuses than Tank gear of the same level. Using Tank as a base, their bonuses are derived as follows:
|Armour type||Armour bonus||Life bonus||Traits|
|Power||-5 tiers||-10 tiers||Buffs damage|
|Hybrid and All||-15 tiers||-15 tiers||No combat class|
To demonstrate, here are the bonuses of tier 60 torso armour for each type:
|Armour type||Armour bonus||Life bonus||Damage bonus|
|Hybrid and All||168||1080||0|
With abilities, the total damage increase from a full set of Power armour is equal to 0.96 times the level of the armour for the main hand, and 0.48 times the level of the armour for the off hand (assumming an off-hand or two-handed weapon is being used). In other words, the damage boost is 10% of the damage from equipping a Fastest-speed main hand and off-hand weapon of the same tier as the power armour -- as an example, the damage boost from the level 80 Torva armour is 76.8 for the main hand and 38.4 for the off-hand, corresponding to the damage of the level 80 chaotic claw (768) and off-hand chaotic claw (384). In general, using a full set of power armour results in a 6%-9% damage increase over using tank armour. There are no power-class shields.
The 10% bonus is spread across all armour pieces as follows:
|Armour slot||Damage distribution|
There are three attributes an armour piece may have: Armour, Life and Damage.
- Armour raises the chance to block attacks from a creature or player.
- Life raises the player's maximum life points. The amount of life points added is the player's total Life bonus.
- Damage raises the strength of your hits. Only Power armour has this attribute.
The bonuses on armour are set via formula, and thus it is possible to determine or approximate the stats of non-existent gear. All armour sets of the same level and type will have identical bonuses.
Calculating Armour bonusEdit
The formulas for calculating Armour bonus are derived from a base defensive value:
Using this base, the Armour bonus of each equipment slot is as follows:
One may find charts with the bonuses of many armour tiers here.
Calculating Life bonusEdit
The formulas for determining Life bonus are simpler. The results for certain tiers may be seen here.
Several armour pieces have a Prayer bonus which reduces the drain rate of prayers. Some armour sets, such as Verac's or those from the God Wars Dungeon, have strong defences and are used regardless of Prayer, but other Prayer armours have negligible defences and are used solely for the Prayer bonus.
Some armour sets have passive effects when every item is worn, potentially allowing greater use for a set. Some passives boost damage like Power armour, but others may increase accuracy, heal the player, drain enemies' stats or adrenaline, and more besides. Nearly every armour set with an effect is available to members only.
A example of these are the Barrows sets, which have unique passives and are commonly seen. Another set used is the Void Knight equipment, which boosts both damage and accuracy. There are other sets besides, such as PvP minigame armour and robes from the Fist of Guthix minigame.