For boxed armour sets, see Item set.
The term Armour describes items that can be equipped to provide defence (and many times, other) bonuses during combat. Defence bonuses decrease a player's chance of being hit, in addition to reducing the amount of damage taken. Armour comes in many shapes and forms for all classes, giving the player a variety of bonuses to choose from. To wear armour of different metal types, certain defence levels are required. Good armour is recommended when attacking enemies of a higher level, as the higher defences give the opponent less opportunity to do damage. Players should always have the best armour they can afford and equip, although 'the best' may differ from player to player.
The Combat Triangle
The combat triangle is a vivdly-complex and functioning diagram showing how weak or strong one fighting style is against another.
- Melee fighters overcome Rangers because swords can cut through leather armour with ease. Melee armour is also effective at protecting against ranged ammunition, as flying projectiles cannot penetrate melee fighters thick metal plate armour.
- Rangers are able to overcome Magic users because of their long range capabilities, as well as ammunition which is able to penetrate through magic users' robes. Ranged armour is usually crafted from thick animal hides, and is highly resistant to magical attacks.
- Magic users overcome Melee fighters because magic "conducts" through the metal armour, making magic attacks extremely effective against those wearing full Melee armour (Jagex states on a loading screen tip that it "cooks" players in their own armour). Effective mages are also able to use binding or ice spells to hold warriors and prevent them from reaching their targets.
However, the combat triangle is not as straightforward as the ideal case presented above. The triangle is subject to change from fight to fight due to differences between overall levels of combat, levels of a certain skill, different prayers, types of combat tactics, and amulets or other accessories that can change stat bonuses, affecting the outcome of the fight.
- Melee armour is usually made from metal, making this type of armour strong, but heavy.
- Melee armour provides strong bonuses to defence against melee and ranged attacks, but tends to provide negative bonuses toward magic attacks.
- Melee also tends to provide bonuses in attack or defence, as well as a few to strength.
- Melee armour slows the player down, making him more of a target to magers and rangers in PvP (Wilderness)
- Ranged Armour tends to be more flexible material, like Leather or Dragonhide.
- Ranged Armour is capable of defending against light attacks, but is weak against close-combat.
- Ranged Armour also dispels Magic fairly well, while negatively impacting Magic Attack, though not as much as Plate Armour.
- Ranged Armour offers the necessary mobility for Ranged Attack bonuses which most players wear while using Ranged Attack.
- Magic Armour is not "armour" per se. It is more in the line of robes and other similar garments, but there are a number of more protective magic items. Some of these items give a bonus to your magic defensive levels which can be seen in the armoury tab.
- Magic 'armour' is known for being very weak, and is preferable for magic casting, offering no negative influence, but amplifying magic attacks. However, lightweight robes do not stop arrows or swords well, and therefore fall short in terms of protection against them.
- Some Magic armours, such as Void Knight Robes, provide good protection against arrows, swords and magic itself. However, magic armour with good Ranged and Melee stats aren´t common.
- Prayer armour is not as often meant for protection, but lowering the rate at which prayer points drain, which can be useful in some battles.
- Prayer armour is more diverse in terms of types of armour available, including items from all three forms of the combat triangle, generally providing decent, although not outstanding, defence. A large portion of Prayer armour, similar to Magic armour, is however more in the line of robes, although it is this category that often provides the highest bonuses.
- Most Prayer armour is only available for members, such as Proselyte. Exceptions include Monk's robes which can be obtained at the monastery and are obtainable by both free players and members.
Highest Bonus Armour
Highest Bonus Armours are the best equipment sets available for certain bonuses. Armour includes items that can provide bonuses during combat. These bonuses include attack and defence. These bonuses help boost or protect against the different attack styles. An example would be Bandos, for strength bonus.
It is a debated subject whether or not a defender is considered armour, because it is wielded in the players left hand and gives some attack bonuses, as well as defence bonuses. A defender can be acquired in the Warriors' Guild by slaying Cyclopes. Many melee warriors will use a defender in hand-to-hand combat because of its various bonuses. These defenders are however not able to be traded or sold to any other players in Runescape. The dragon defender is the most ideal defender for a melee warrior as it is comparable to the dragonfire shield.
Armour Set Effects
Some armour provides special effects when the full set of armour is worn. This may make the armour useful for reasons other than just the standard defence bonuses. Barrows armour set provides its own specific effect when used in combat. For example, Dharok's hits higher when on lower lifepoints, Verac's can hit through an opponents protection prayer, Guthan's has a chance of healing, and Torag's lowers your opponent's run energy. Other armour, such as Battle robes, give a chance of saving runes when casting certain spells.
Armour has recently updated to have a better graphical effect. This change happened on January 2012.