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 requires, the greater bonuses it will provide. A player's total Armour stat can be seen in the Loadout screen, under the Hero tab.
Most armour is classed under a melee, magic, or ranged combat style. An armour piece's combat style dictates which styles it defends strongly and weakly against according to the combat triangle; this can be seen in-game as Style Bonus, which is added or subtracted from your Armour stat. Armour not matching the style of your weapon will also penalise your accuracy, this being viewable by mousing over your Accuracy stat. Lastly, some armour sets are classed as hybrid, meaning they have no specific weakness and will not penalise accuracy under any style.
Aside from raising one's defence, a player might wear armour sets that sacrifice defence in return for more damage dealt, or one might wear hybrid armour for easy switching of combat styles.
Armour and the combat triangle
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: 110% against the style it is strong against (eg. Melee > Ranged), 100% against the same style (eg. Melee = Melee), and 90% against the style it is weak to (eg. Melee < Magic). This is represented in the Loadout screen by your Armour stat plus or minus your Style bonus.
Also, not every armour set has a combat 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 any slot except the cape will penalise your accuracy. A percentage of the item's Armour bonus is subtracted from your Accuracy stat: 150% if it is strong against your class's weakness, 80% if not.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 five types of armour one may find, most with different stats and purposes.
Tank armour provides the largest Armour bonuses. Aside from Nex armour, it is the only armour type to provide a life point bonus. Tank armour also reduces damage in PvM. Most armour in the game is of this type.
Power armour gives less Armour bonus than Tank armour, but it has a damage bonus similar to jewellery. The damage bonus increases with the required level of the armour. Nex armour is unique among high-level power armour because it has a life point boost.
- Elite black armour (level 40)
- Dagon'hai robes (level 40)
- Penance armour (level 40 various)
- Fremennik armour (level 50)
- Demon slayer equipment (level 60)
- Lunar equipment (level 60)
- God Wars Dungeon armour (level 70)
- Nex armour (level 80)
- Heart of Gielinor armour (level 80, level 85 when refined)
- Superior Ancient Warriors' equipment (level 88)
- Malevolent armour (level 90)
- Sirenic armour (level 90)
- Tectonic armour (level 90)
- Elite sirenic armour (level 92)
- Elite tectonic armour (level 92)
PvP armour is especially good in PvP circumstances, or even in PvE. It offers the Armour bonus of Tank armour and the damage bonus of Power armour. It also reduces as much damage in PvP as Tank armour.
- Combat robes (level 20)
- Druidic mage robes (level 35)
- Corrupt Ancient Warriors' equipment (level 40)
- Battle robes (level 50)
- Ancient Warriors' equipment (level 78)
True to its name, Hybrid armour can be used by all combat styles without accuracy penalty. Hybrid armour carries lower defence than the above armours and provides no PvE Damage Reduction, but it defends equally well against all combat styles. It is useful when frequently changing attack style, or if fighting a monster that uses multiple attack styles. The following armour sets are Hybrid:
- Pathfinder armour (level 1)
- Dragonstone armour (level 50)
- Tasks set (levels 30, 40, 50, and 60)
- Akrisae the Doomed's equipment (level 70)
- House Drakan outfit (level 70)
- Ghost hunter equipment (levels 20, 50, and 70)
- High Armour of Hanto (level 70)
- Warpriest armour (levels 25, 50, and 75)
- Golden warpriest armour (level 75)
- Attuned crystal armour (Level 80)
- Sliske's Parody (levels 80 and 85)
- Hybrid armour (level 85) (Only in certain PvP minigames: Castle Wars, Soul Wars, Fist of Guthix, TzHaar Fight Pit)
This armour works identically to Hybrid armour. The following armour sets or items are classed as All:
- Void Knight equipment (level 45, 55 superior)
- Elite Void Knight equipment (level 50, 60 superior)
- Obsidian armour (level 60)
- Relic helms (level 60)
- Dragon Rider armour (level 70)
- Gemstone armour (level 80)
Hybrid power armour is a small subset of items that are hybrid (or all) class but also provide damage bonuses, like power armour.
- Culinaromancer's gloves (levels 1 to 70)
- Silverhawk boots (levels 1 to 60)
- Rogue gloves (levels 60 to 80)
- Cinderbane gloves (level 85)
There is much debate on exactly how to provide a tier for these items, as their stats do not quite fit the models below. For example:
|Item||Wield req.||Armour||Damage||Overall tier|
|Culinaromancer's gloves 10||None||49.1||55||8.5||55||70 or 75?|
|Silverhawk boots (level 60)||60 Defence||31.4||40||6.9||45||60|
|Atrocious rogue gloves||80 Defence||56||60||10.0||65||80|
|Cinderbane gloves||85 Defence||74.3||70||11.0||75||90|
Certainly, with these three we see two ways of applying the tier penalties:
- -15 to both armour and damage due to being hybrid, then -5 to just armour for being power (silverhawks, rogue gloves, cinderbane gloves)
- -15 to both for being hybrid(culinaromancer's gloves)
Power, Hybrid and All armour have lower defensive bonuses than Tank or PvP gear of the same required level. Using Tank as a base, their bonuses are derived as follows:
|Armour type||Armour bonus||Traits|
|Tank||Base||PvM damage reduction|
|Power||-5 levels||Buffs damage|
|Hybrid and All||-15 levels||No combat class|
To demonstrate, here are the bonuses of level 60 torso armour for each type:
|Armour type||Armour bonus||Damage bonus||Damage reduction (PvM)||Damage reduction (PvP)|
|Hybrid and All||168||0||None||1.8%|
The damage bonus from Power armour exists as Strength Bonus, Ranged Bonus, and Magic Bonus — the same bonuses as on jewellery. They are added to the player's main-hand damage bonus if they match the class of the wielded weapon. For example, if one wields an abyssal whip, the Strength Bonus from Bandos armour would affect their damage and the Ranged Bonus from Armadyl armour would not.
Should an off-hand be wielded, 50% of any damage bonus will also be added to the off-hand slot. If a two-handed weapon is wielded, the main-hand slot receives this 50% bonus.
The damage bonuses from Power armour rise with the required level of the armour. A full set provides an approximate 13% increase to a weapon's damage, assuming the armour and weapon are of equal level. Should a Fast or Average speed weapon be wielded, any damage bonuses will be multiplied to compensate for the player's larger damage stat.
The total damage bonus from a set of Power armour is distributed as follows:
|Armour slot||Damage distribution|
Damage reduction is available on all armour types in PvP, and only on Tank armour in PvM. It comes as two percentages that may be observed on the Loadout screen.
Damage reduction can also come from prayers, abilities, and set effects. All reduction modifiers are multiplicative.
Gloves, boots, and shields of all armour types do not reduce damage in PvP.
|Armour type||Damage reduction (PvM)||Damage reduction (PvP)|
|Tank||PvM base||PvP base|
|Power||None||½ PvP base|
|Hybrid and All||None||½ PvP base|
The damage reduction from an item is determined by its required level, slot, and armour type, and functions as a percentage.
PvM reduction from Tank armour
PvP reduction from Tank and PvP armour
PvP reduction from Power, Hybrid and All armour
PvM reduction from shields
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. It is found on head, body, and leg Tank armour of levels 80 and above, shields of levels 70 and above, and on Nex armour.
- Damage raises the strength of your hits. It is seen as Strength Bonus, Ranged Bonus, and Magic Bonus. Armour-wise, only capes, Power armour and PvP armour have 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 bonus
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 levels here.
Calculating Life bonus
Note that Life bonus is only found on shields at levels 70 and above, or Tank armour at levels 80 and above in the head, body, and leg slots.
The results for certain armour levels may be seen here.
Calculating Damage bonus
The results for certain armour levels may be seen here.
Equipment can also have a Prayer bonus which reduces the drain rate of Prayers. Prayer bonuses aren't related to tier; however, higher prayer bonuses are generally on higher tiered equipment.
Some armour sets have passive effects when every item of the set 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. Nearly every armour set with an effect is available to members only.
An 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 also other sets with effects, such as PvP minigame armour and robes from the Fist of Guthix minigame.