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For the rating of a player's combat abilities, see Combat level.

Combat is an event in RuneScape in which two or more players and/or creatures fight.

Combat is based around randomly generated numbers in the form of "damage", which deplete a target's lifepoints. The damage done by the parties involved is determined by their skills and, in a player's case, their equipment among other factors. There is also hit and block chance, the likelihood that a party will land a successful hit. Combat lasts until one participant is killed or flees.

Players can influence their effectiveness in combat in many ways, such as boosting their combat skills via potions or prayers, or lowering their enemy's stats via curses or curse spells. There are also some items that offer special buffs to combat.

Combat classesEdit

Main article: Combat classes
Combat triangle

The combat triangle, depicting the three combat classes.

There are three methods with which a player or monster may fight in combat: with melee attacks, ranged attacks, or magical attacks. The classes involving these attacks are known as the warrior, the ranger, and the mage. A player's class is determined by their worn equipment and prioritized skills, and thus their class may change as desired.

Each combat class is stronger against one class and weaker to the other. This forms the combat triangle, a depiction of this relationship.

  • Warriors are strong against rangers. Rangers' projectiles cannot penetrate metal armour well, but warriors' blades cut through leather with ease.
  • Rangers are strong against mages. Their leather and dragonhide armours absorb magical spells, whereas their projectiles easily pierce the soft cloth of mage robes.
  • Mages are strong against warriors. The metal in warriors' armour conducts spells. Their magical robes resist melee attacks, and they can use bind or freeze spells to keep warriors out of attacking range.

By bringing weapons and armour for multiple combat classes, and switching between them at will, a player can use multiple combat styles in a fight. This is called "hybridding". Hybridding is often used to gain an advantage in player-versus-player combat, especially to avoid protection prayers that halve damage from a single combat style, and it is a common tactic in large multiplayer battles such as Clan Wars.

Monsters use attacks from one or more combat classes, and the vast majority have a weakness against one particular class. Other monsters have no weakness and may be fought effectively with any class.

Combat variablesEdit

Empty action bar

A player's lifepoints, adrenaline, prayer points, and summoning points on the action bar.

There are several variables in combat which moderate an entity's performance. Lifepoints are possessed by players and foes, whereas the other mechanisms are used in foes sparingly or restrictively.

  • Health globe Lifepoints — These represent how much damage a player or creature can withstand. When an entity loses all its lifepoints, it dies. A player's maximum lifepoints is determined by their Constitution level and their worn armour. The primary method of recovering lifepoints is eating food.
  • Auto retaliate globe Adrenaline — This determines the abilities a player or creature may use. Adrenaline is gained and lost by using different types of abilities, and unlike other mechanisms, it is represented as a percentage. Only a few foes are capable of using adrenaline.
  • Prayer globe Prayer points — These are drained as the cost of using prayers. Some foes can use prayers, though only players pay in prayer points, their maximum points being determined by their Prayer level. Prayer points can be replenished by praying at an altar, or by drinking a prayer potion.
  • Summoning icon Summoning points — These are spent to summon a familiar, and are drained while a familiar is kept. A player's Summoning level is their maximum summoning points, and these points are recharged by drawing energy from an obelisk. Only a very small amount of foes can summon familiars.

If playing on Legacy Mode, the adrenaline mechanism is replaced with special attack energy, which is found in the combat settings tab. Special attack energy is used for special attacks and regenerates naturally.

Combat skillsEdit

Combat skills are levels possessed by players and creatures that influence their combat proficiency. There are offensive and defensive skills that increase damage, hit chance, and block chance, while there are further skills that augment the others or offer additional options in combat.

Accuracy skillsEdit

These skills contribute to the player's accuracy stat, offering up to 1212 base accuracy at level 99.

Attack-icon Attack raises your accuracy with melee attacks.

Magic-icon Magic raises your accuracy with magical attacks.

Ranged-icon Ranged raises your accuracy with ranged attacks.

Damage skillsEdit

These skills contribute to the player's damage stat. The damage gained scales with weapon speed and handedness, though as a base, each level contributes 2.5 damage.

Strength-icon Strength raises your damage with melee attacks.

Magic-icon Magic raises your damage with magical attacks.

Ranged-icon Ranged raises your damage with ranged attacks.

As seen above, proficient melee combat requires training in two skills whereas Ranged and Magic each require only one. However, as such, melee combat makes use of both Attack and Strength abilities.

Other skillsEdit

These skills are used by all combat classes.

Defence-icon Defence raises your chance to block foes' attacks, and it reduces the damage of attacks received. At level 99, Defence provides 1212 base armour and a 9.9% damage reduction against creatures and players.

Constitution-icon Constitution raises your maximum lifepoints by 100 for each level. Players start out with level 10 in this skill. At level 99, Constitution provides 9900 base lifepoints.

Prayer-icon Prayer is used to grant buffs to combat, such as raising your combat skills, and it offers benefits like item protection, damage upon death, and even the ability to halve damage from a combat style. Using prayers depletes prayer points. A higher Prayer level allows access to more powerful buffs and benefits.

Summoning-icon Summoning is used to conjure familiars to aid you. Many familiars will fight alongside you, while others act as a beast of burden, or will heal you and bank your items among many other traits. As with Prayer, the best familiars require a high Summoning level to use. Some familiars are meant to aid non-combat skills, making Summoning a skill used in and outside combat.

While creatures possess lifepoints, and a rare few use prayers or summon familiars, creatures do not have a Constitution, Prayer, or Summoning level.

Combat levelEdit

Main article: Combat level

An entity's combat level is a representation of how tough it is to defeat, calculated using its skill levels; most bosses, however, have an assigned level that more accurately reflects their danger. An entity's combat level can be seen by right-clicking it, though players not in combat and with sheathed weapons will display their skill total instead.

A player starts out after account creation as combat level 3; the maximum level one can achieve is combat level 138.

Skill boostsEdit

Players can boost their combat skills via several methods, the foremost being potions and prayers, both of which boost the player's accuracy skills, damage skills, or Defence skill. Potions temporarily raise the skill levels seen in the skills tab, the extra levels diminishing by one every minute, whereas prayers maintain an invisible, constant boost until disabled. The strongest combat potions are untradeable and, similar to prayers, require a high Herblore level to obtain.

Constitution cannot be boosted, but a player can raise their maximum lifepoints by equipping high-level armour or by throwing logs on a bonfire. To heal above one's maximum lifepoints, one can consume rocktail or Saradomin brew, soak in the thermal bath at the Oo'glog spa, pray at the Elidinis Statuette in Nardah, or use titan's constitution summoning scrolls.

A player cannot boost their maximum prayer points, but they can restore points above the maximum by praying at special altars like the Senntisten altar, or by soaking in the sulphur spring at the Oo'glog spa.

Neither Summoning nor summoning points can be boosted.

Skill drainsEdit

Not only can combat skills be boosted, they can be drained by some creatures, bosses, and environments like the snowy land north of Trollheim. Skill drains can be combated by drinking a restore potion.

As with boosted skills, drained skills will return to their former levels at the rate of 1 level a minute.

Combat equipmentEdit

While skills are valued, the bulk of a player's combat ability comes from their weapons and armour, and additionally from jewellery which provides extra bonuses. Using good equipment is essential to combat.


Main article: Weapons
Dragon longsword detail

A dragon longsword, a slashing weapon used by warriors.

Weapons are held in the main- and off-hand slots and contribute most of a player's damage and accuracy, and determine attack speed. A warrior may fight with daggers, swords, scimitars, maces, spears, and other weapons; a ranger may shoot from shortbows, shieldbows, and crossbows, or may throw weapons like knives or darts; and a mage may cast from a wand, an orb, a book, or a staff.

A ranger uses the ammunition slot to hold arrows and crossbow bolts, though this slot is not needed for thrown weapons. A mage requires runes in their inventory to cast spells.

Players may wield a main-hand weapon and off-hand weapon simultaneously, known as dual-wielding, or they may use a two-handed weapon that occupies both slots. Either method offers equal damage output. Alternatively, a player may fight with a main-hand weapon and a shield, sacrificing damage output for defensive ability.


Main article: Armour
Armadyl chestplate detail

An Armadyl chestplate, an armour piece worn by rangers.

Armour raises a player's block chance and reduces their damage received. It is worn in the head, torso, legs, gloves, boots, and cape slots. A warrior wears heavy armour made of metal; a ranger wears nimble clothing sown from animal skins; and a mage wears magical robes. Armour defends against each combat class as determined by the combat triangle.

While a full set of armour should always be worn in combat, a player may also equip a shield, which grants further defence and allows the use of shield abilities.

Most armour only aids defence; however, some armour sets sacrifice defence for bonus damage, and other sets are meant for use by all combat classes.


Main article: Jewellery
Arcane stream necklace detail

An arcane stream necklace, a piece of jewellery worn by mages.

Jewellery is worn in the neck and ring slots and enhances a player's combat ability, usually by a damage or prayer bonus. Most jewellery is limited to one combat class, though some items benefit all classes and can be used by any.

Some jewellery carries special effects: as examples, the demon horn necklace restores prayer points for every bone buried, and the ring of wealth slightly increases the drop chance of rare items. Other items have non-combat benefits like the amulet of glory, which can teleport the player around the map.

Capes share the same function as jewellery, though they are counted as armour.


Defence ability book

The Defence ability book.

Main article: Ability Book

Abilities are unique moves a player may perform in combat, which can deal extra damage, stun opponents, defend, and apply buffs or debuffs. They are the primary method of fighting and dealing damage. A player's adrenaline determines what abilities a player can use.

Each combat class has its own abilities: some have equivalents like the basic stunning abilities, while others like Snipe or Decimate are unique to their class. Furthermore, there are abilities related to Defence and Constitution which can be used with any class.

Ability usage depends on a player's combat mode. With Full Manual, each ability must be triggered manually; with Revolution, basic abilities trigger automatically according to their placement on the action bar; with Momentum, basic and threshold abilities are disabled in place of higher auto-attack damage. On Legacy Mode, a game setting that recreates combat prior to the Evolution of Combat and recreates the older RuneScape interface, all abilities are disabled with special attacks in their stead.

Abilities for each skill are found in the Powers screen, and can be dragged out onto the interface. Once there, abilities can be clicked to use, or they can be dragged onto the action bar and activated by pressing the bound keybind.

Buffs and debuffsEdit

Main article: Buffs and debuffs

Several abilities leave a temporary effect on the player or their target, persisting for a time and possibly changing their combat capability. Examples are Debilitate which halves damage received from a target, or Fragmentation Shot which inflicts a damage-over-time effect. These effects are known as buffs or debuffs, and they are applied by many abilities. A player can observe theirs via the interface, and inspect their enemy's through its combat overlay, under their lifepoints bar.

Buffs and debuffs are not applied solely through abilities: any change to an entity's combat performance counts as such. The most common player buffs are skill boosts from potions and prayers.

Special attacksEdit

Main article: Special attacks

Special attacks are unique abilities available by wielding certain weapons. They are accessed as the foremost ability in the Constitution set, and unlike other abilities, each special attack requires its own amount of adrenaline and drains that full amount when used. Some special attacks are particularly potent, such as the Saradomin godsword, which restores the user's lifepoints and prayer points, and Statius's warhammer, which drains the target's Defence by 30%.

In Legacy Mode, special attacks use special attack energy instead of adrenaline. The percentage of energy required and drained functions in the same way.

Combat instancesEdit

PvP (Player Vs Player)Edit

PvP, or more commonly known as PKing (player killing), is the act of two or more players fighting each other. Normally, players cannot fight each other, except in certain minigames, such as Castle Wars. However, players can fight each other anywhere in a specific section of the map known as the Wilderness, except in specifically designated "Safe Zones". PvP combat, generally, is more dyanamic than fighting NPC's, and can vary greatly. IF you are going into a PvP environment, anything can be expected. On top of this, there are plenty of restrictions in a PvP environment. For a full explanation on how PvP works and various strategy recommendations, head over to the PvP page.

It may be important to note that the Duel Arena is a minigame designated specifically for 1vs1 PvP, and the only location to specifically do so. The minigame also allows the two contesting players almost complete control as to how the battle be played out.

PvM (Player Vs Monster)Edit

PvM, whether it be large amounts of relatively weak monsters, or bossing, is the largest part of combat. The majority of all combat in the game will involve you fighting NPC's, unless you specifically aim to PvP the majority of the time. Normal monsters usually do not have many restrictions and are easy to kill as long as you are an appropriate level. Generally, there only three reasons to kill average monsters; you need to for a quest, you are training your combat levels, or you are training the Slayer skill. The latter is by far the most popular as it, while not being a skill that affects your combat level, assigns the players a number of monsters to kill in the form of Slayer assignments. The restrictions for killing monsters of this caliber are usually the restrictions of the area in which they spawn in.

Bossing, however, is much more interesting and requires far more attention than that. Bosses are spread around RuneScape, each one having its own set of attacks and abilities which set it apart. Usually, bosses require much better equipment and levels to take down compared to low levels NPC's, and many require groups for all but the elite players. To boss effectively, many factors must be taken into consideration, including the boss's special attacks, the boss's life points, and the area it is in.

Some bosses have abilities that players have as well.

  • Protection prayer have rarely been used by bosses. In the case that they are, the bosses have a seemingly infinite supply of prayer points, and no known abilities can deactivate the prayers. However, the set effect of Verac the Defiled's equipment works even on the prayers of bosses.
  • Bosses can use poison, dragonfire, and attacks that hit multiple players all at once (sometimes all players in the room).

Bossing in some instances presents the opportunity to tank. While this role is not popular, it is sometimes done when the majority of the party is comprised of low-level players.

Dungeoneering deserves a special mention, as it places a player or group into an instanced environment where they must handle difficult monsters and a boss to complete the dungeon. Thus, it exposes the player/s to the two base forms of PvM, and is usually a very dynamic experience.

Also, it is recommended to be well rounded in all your combat skills if you intend to be an avid PvMer. Skills only help, and it is far easier to level a lower skill ten times than level a higher skill even once.

Combat trainingEdit

Combat Experience melee

A player setting XP to go towards Attack.

Experience points are given after a monster is killed, not during the fight per hit.

To change where the experience goes, one must go to the Powers interface window and click on the tab for whatever xp you want to change. In the lower right hand corner are options to change the xp gained. For melee, the choices are attack, strength, defence, or a mixture of the three. For ranged, it is either ranged, defence, or both, and for magic it is either magic, defence, or both.

Since the xp rewarded does not scale up with the health of the monster, it is wise to fight monsters with a low health to xp ratio. For example, level 4 goblins, yield 1 xp per 3 damage dealt.

Training is usually done by necessity via the Slayer or Dungeoneering skill. If you find yourself in need of combat levels, there are specific monsters in the game which yield high experience rates. Killing random monsters for experience is usually a waste of experience, not to mention time.

There are various areas in the game which give decreased or no EXP when fighting, but they are usually very specific and restricted, such as clan battlefields.

See also:


  • Sometime during 7 December-12 December, 2009, when players would hit damage including a zero in it (like 10 or 0), it would show as "0", without a diagonal line across it.
  • Sometimes there is a glitch that the message level up appears two times.
  • Combat training areas are identified on the map with the combat training icon ( Combat training map icon ), but combat training is only allowed to players with an Attack, Strength, or Defence level less than 9, depending on what is being trained. Also, these training dummies will only provide experience in the Attack, Strength, and Defence skill. Magic can be trained at the training area in Lumbridge, but ranged must be trained on other attackable NPCs.
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