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This article is a strategy guide for Ironman Mode.
Information on mechanics, setups, and tactics is on this page.

The main challenge to efficient skilling in Ironman mode is the inability to use the Grand Exchange as a tool to make training more convenient. Because of this it pays to plan ahead and train skills in ways that will facilitate training other skills later. For example chopping ivy may give better experience per hour that some trees in Woodcutting, but if you plan to train Firemaking or Fletching with logs later, you may have to cut trees anyway. In many cases there are ways around this and the best plans will include them wherever possible. For example, one way to get maple logs without cutting them yourself is through Managing Miscellania.

Another key to efficient ironman levelling is balance. Running ahead in some skills gives diminishing returns as you don't have the levels in other skills to skill using the most efficient method. For example, without either high enough combat or Mining to obtain gold ores, crafters are stuck with leather or silver as their primary way to train Crafting. Some skills, such as combat and Runecrafting, benefit in efficiency much less from higher levels in other skills and these are generally the ones you want to train first.

Dungeoneering is perhaps the most well-rounded way to gain experience, and to target specific skills that fall behind. Smithing has that problem, and is still expensive in dungeons, but can be surprisingly quick experience. Crafting is really fast if you only craft protoleather bodies. With Magic level 55, you can cast High Level Alchemy on the bodies to purchase more hide, resulting in fewer dungeons. If you buy a few feathers at the start of the floor, you can also level Fishing and Cooking alongside each other. Outside of these benefits, you can expect extremely useful rewards from your tokens or the various resource dungeons, and you're going to need everything you can get your hands on.

Early money makingEdit

Skills such as Summoning and Construction require money to level efficiently. Other things, such as boss instances and Miscellania will also come in handy for the future. Some of the no-requirement money-making methods are going to be used here, as ironmen cannot access the Grand Exchange.

Mid-level money makingEdit

  • Gargoyles are a fantastic moneymaker, with many alchables, averaging 300,000 coins and over, along with noted bars, providing a good source of smithing experience.
  • Mature grotworms are a great source of Saradomin brew (2), along with alchables.
  • Aberrant spectres are a great source of seeds, herbs, and alchables.
  • Turoths are a good and fast slayer task, consisting of consistent adamant alchables, herbs, seeds, and uncut gems.
  • Mountain trolls are a good source of nature runes for high alching, along with seeds, and occasionally, a granite shield.
  • Aquanites are a good, constant source of medium to high level seeds, herbs (especially ranarrs), water battlestaves and occasionally, sirenic scales.
  • Exiled kalphite guardians have a great Blue charm drop rate, along with many alchables and herbs.

EquipmentEdit

Ironmen aren't able to simply buy their gear from the Grand Exchange, so generally your equipment path is going to be different than normal. Below is a compilation of the more viable equipment paths.

ArmourEdit

  • Tuska warpriest, obtained from the Tuska Comes minigame. This is hybrid armour and can, once having the matching defence level, be changed from level 25 armour, to level 50 and 75.
    • The minigame also gives some nice experience to a variety of skills.
  • Fremennik armour, made from the raw materials dropped by monsters in the Waterbirth Island Dungeon. This is power armour, and is potentially the best armour until. The Fremennik Trials quest is required to wear the armour.
  • God Wars Dungeon armour (Armadyl equipment, for example). This armour is almost best in slot for most purposes. It's the highest level power armour that doesn't degrade.

NecklacesEdit

  • Amulet of Defense
  • Amulet of Accuracy
  • Amulet of Magic
  • Amulet of Strength
  • Amulet of Power
  • Amulet of Glory
  • Amulet of Fury

CapesEdit

This is a table of viable capes for an ironman, in order of worst to best. For a more complete list see Capes.

ItemTypeDefence
Level
Combat styles
Level
AttributeStyle bonus
DefenceConstitutionPrayerAttack-iconRanged-iconMagic-icon
Pathfinder capePathfinder capeZero weakness icon--400---
Bladestorm drapeBladestorm drapeMelee weakness icon--4001--
Arrowstorm drapeArrowstorm drapeRanged weakness icon--400-1-
Spellstorm drapeSpellstorm drapeMagic weakness icon--400--1
Ardougne cloak 1Ardougne cloak 1Zero weakness icon--702777
Jerrod's capeJerrod's capeZero weakness icon--700999
Ava's attractorAva's attractorRanged weakness icon-301300-9-
Ardougne cloak 2Ardougne cloak 2Zero weakness icon--1103999
Cape of legendsCape of legendsZero weakness icon--1100131313
Ardougne cloak 3Ardougne cloak 3Zero weakness icon--1604151515
Obsidian capeObsidian capeZero weakness icon--1600171717
Ava's accumulatorAva's accumulatorRanged weakness icon-502500-17-
Lunar capeLunar capeMagic weakness icon40602900--21
Quest point capeCape of accomplishmentZero weakness icon--3300212121
Ava's alerterAva's alerterRanged weakness icon-503300-26-
Fire capeFire capeMelee weakness icon--250226--
Abomination capeAbomination capeMelee weakness icon75-500028--
Guthix capeGuthix capeMagic weakness icon-602500--31
TokHaar-Kal-KetTokHaar-Kal-KetMelee weakness icon--440241--
TokHaar-Kal-XilTokHaar-Kal-XilRanged weakness icon--4402-41-
TokHaar-Kal-MejTokHaar-Kal-MejMagic weakness icon--4402--41
Max capeMax capeZero weakness icon99994405262626
Completionist capeCompletionist capeZero weakness icon9999653006434343

RingsEdit

  • Asylum surgeon ring - This is the best in slot ring. It's from the quest Broken Home, which has no requirements, however the ring requires 85 defence to equip. Along with +21 Magic/Strength/Ranged bonus, the ring has a 10% chance to prevent a threshold from using any adrenaline.
  • Dagannoth Rings. These consist of the warrior ring, seers' ring, berserker ring, and archers' ring. Berserker and Warrior are the easiest to get, as you can safespot Dagannoth Rex after the rework. This is one spot where you will get a dragon hatchet as well.
  • Ring of Potency. Achievable from doing the path, when first making your account

WeaponsEdit

Legacy combat is recommended to be used until roughly level 40 in Attack/Magic/Ranged due to the lack of abilities available.

MagicEdit

This is a brief list of viable options for ironmen. For a full list see Weapon/Magic weapons.

MeleeEdit

This is a brief list of viable options for ironmen. For a full list see Weapon/Melee weapons. The beginning tier of weapons can be skipped after completing Waterfall Quest, which rewards enough experience to level your Attack and Strength to level 30 if done at level 1.

RangedEdit

This is a brief list of viable options for ironmen. For a full list see Weapon/Ranged weapons.

UtilityEdit

This is a list of items that are mainly kept in the inventory and equipped for a brief moment (called a switch), or activated to re-buff stats.

  • Dominion marker - Obtained from the Dominion Tower with a number of low requirements, this banner can be placed to give a significant boost to combat stats from +11 at stage 1, to +15 at stage 4.
  • Excalibur - Obtained as a quest reward from Merlin's Crystal, when operated this weapon will raise your Defence by 8 levels.
    • Furthermore, upon completing the hard tier of Seer's Village Tasks the Excalibur changes into enhanced excalibur, which heals 20% of your maximum health. Elite task tier double this effect to 40%.
  • Guthix Staff - Obtained from the Mage Arena, this magic weapon's special attack debuffs a monster's defence, making your attacks more accurate. Generally this weapon is used as a switch to apply the debuff.
  • Ring of Vigour - Bought with 50,000 dungeoneering tokens, this ring is usually switched to before casting an ultimate to preserve 10% adrenaline.

QuestingEdit

As an ironman, quests should be priority. They give great experience rewards, and sometimes useful items such as the Sunspear or Asylum surgeon ring. Listed below are quests with relatively low requirements that will give you a nice boost in levels at the beginning of your journey.

  • Waterfall Quest - Rewards 13,750 Attack/Strength experience
  • Tree Gnome Village - Rewards 11,450 Attack experience
  • Witch's house - Rewards 6,325 Constitution experience
  • Mountain Daughter - Rewards 2,000 Prayer and 1,000 Attack experience
  • Fight Arena - Rewards 12,175 Attack and 2,175 Thieving experience
  • Vampyre Slayer - Rewards 4,825 Attack experience
  • Beneath Cursed Tides - Rewards 5,000 Cooking/Fishing experience lamps, along with a 10,000 lamp able to be used in Combat skills (also includes Herblore, Summoning, and Slayer, along with unlocking a monthly D&D)
  • Sea Slug - Rewards 7175 Fishing experience

You can see the full list of the experience rewards quests give, here.

Aside from doing key quests, and quests that give notable rewards, there is also an optimal order for quests to be done to minimise the amount of training you have to do. The guide will tell you to put the experience rewards into specific skills, but as an ironman you may find it more important to always put your experience rewards into Herblore.

Later in the game, you will probably need to get skill requirements for other quests and such, and Temple Trekking is a good source of resources, such as silver bars, watermelon seeds, bowstrings, raw sharks, etc. The full list of rewards is here.

ShopsEdit

Since you can't use the GE, shops are much more important for ironmen.

ActivitiesEdit

There are multiple activities to do on an Ironman for fast and free experience, and are accessible at any level.

  • Nemi Forest - This is a great daily to do, as it awards Prayer, Farming, Mining, and Dungeoneering experience based on your level. The Nemi Forest community post a map of the current hosted world on the NemiForest subreddit.
  • D&Ds - There are daily, weekly, and monthly D&D's that can be done for fast experience. The list of all D&D's is here. Not all D&D's are accessible to Ironmen, such as Blast Furnace, Demon Raids, Fishing Trawler, Fist of Guthix, Flash Powder Factory, Heist, Stealing Creation, Sinkholes, Trouble Brewing, and Wilderness Warbands.
  • The Nexus - This is a great place to start training Prayer, as it is easy and free. From level one, you are allowed to gain a total of 37,224 Prayer experience, which brings you to 40.
  • Daily Challenges - Dailies are a great source of experience, as they are quite simple, and give resources back used within the challenge. One daily that most Ironmen avoid are cooking dailies, as you lose most of your fish, which comes in handy with Bossing or Slayer.
  • Shattered Worlds - If you plan on doing slayer, you want to come here first, as with this minigame, you can purchase masks of specific slayer creatures, being able to guarantee a specific task.
  • Seasonal events, such as the Summer Beach Event, are fantastic for Ironmen, as it provides a great source of free and idle Construction experience, D&D teleportation, hourly Terrorbird races, and much more.

Activities (with level requirements)Edit

  • At level 72 hunter, players can obtain the enhanced yaktwee stick, which provides 5% more experience in Hunter (also works in the Big Chinchompa minigame). To enhance your yaktwee stick, players must catch 1,000 charming sprites. Along this path, you will gain a small portion of charms for Summoning.
  • At level 30 Smithing, you can begin making iron burial armour at Artisan's Workshop, which is great for idle skilling, along with the use of ores, rather than bars.

Tasks and notable rewardsEdit

The task system is very beneficial towards some of the more difficult skills, such as Herblore, so it is recommended to do these tasks for rewards that will benefit you down the line.

  • Wilderness Tasks - Easy and Medium tasks are very easy to get requirements for, and give a large amount of experience to lower levelled skills. Completing the Easy tasks rewards you with two 10,000 experience lamps to any skills above 30, and Medium rewarding two 40,000 experience lamps in any skill over 52, as well as the Wilderness Sword, which can provide free teleportation to Edgeville, and the Forinthry Dungeon which is useful for greater demon slayer tasks.
  • Seers' Village Tasks - Completion of the Hard tasks grants you with the Enhanced Excalibur, which (along with the defence bonus), gives a passive healing effect of 4% of your maximum health, 5 times, over 20 seconds. This also acts as a tier 70 off-hand weapon, with stats similar to an Abyssal whip. If lost this item is very simple to replace by talking to The Lady of the Lake, and paying her 500 coins. This weapon can also be augmented, so it is great for Invention.
  • Varrock Tasks - Completion of any level of tasks rewards the ability to buy more battlestaves from Naff, becoming a good source of daily crafting experience. Also, the hard task rewards doubles the charm drops from Bork.

PointersEdit

  • Slayer and Divination is your friend on Ironman. Slayer rewards players with coins, along with supplies for future skills. Divination is another skill to focus on, as this can help with some fast daily experience, such as Woodcutting or Fishing, with Divine locations, as well as making other useful items, such as a sign of the porter.
  • Depending on your level, try and avoid Cooking daily challenges, as this results in you losing all of your food. If it's for lower levels (Shrimp, Anchovies, etc.) it will not be as consequential as losing Cavefish or Rocktail.
  • Ironmen can make vis wax, which is used to reroll/extend daily challenges, extend auras, or allow quicker teleportation, so it would be viable to go to the magic shops around Gielinor (or create the runes) to make vis wax for future use. To create vis wax, you need to use the Rune Goldberg Machine, located in the Runecrafting guild. 50 Runecrafting is required to enter the guild.
  • To begin prayer training, players should consider looking into unlocking the cremation ability, which allows players to burn bones on fire, for Firemaking and Prayer experience, which is an alternate to the gilded altar, Chaos Temple, or the Ectofuntus. To earn this ability, players must kill Ghost monsters. When a player gains this ability, it will show as a game message: "You have unlocked the ability to burn bones on bonfires!"

Boss StrategiesEdit

Ironmen can't purchase most of their equipment so they may kill bosses outside of the recommended stats and gear. To make up for this different strategies are sometimes used.

Dagannoth RexEdit

Out of all the Dagannoth Kings, Dagannoth Rex is the easiest to safe-spot. This makes it possible for lower levels to get easy kills. His notable drops are, warrior ring, berserker ring, some pieces of rock-shell armour, and mithril plateskirt which is used for clue scroll (medium). Not only those drops, but all Dagannoth Kings drop dragon hatchet, and dagannoth hide.

Other ResourcesEdit

  • The RS3Ironmen subreddit is a place to socialise and has a few guides available. Some information in this guide came from there.

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