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

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 life points. 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 classes

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 theirs.

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 skills

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 life points by 100 for each level. Players start out with level 10 in this skill. At level 99, Constitution provides 9900 base life points.

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 life points, and a rare few use prayers or summon familiars, creatures do not have a Constitution, Prayer, or Summoning level.

Combat level

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 boosts

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 life points by equipping high-level armour or by throwing logs on a bonfire. To heal above one's maximum life points, 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 drains

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 equipment

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

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

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 sewn from animal skins; and a mage wears magical robes. Armour defends against each combat class as determined by the combat triangle; this can be witnessed in the Loadout screen as Style Bonus, which is added or subtracted from the player's Armour stat.

Armour not matching the combat class of the player's weapon will penalise accuracy, this being viewable by mousing over one's Accuracy stat. As such, each combat class requires its own armour. Another option is hybrid armour, which has no specific weakness and will not penalise accuracy under any style.

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

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 luck enhancers slightly increase 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. On Legacy Combat Mode, a game setting that recreates combat prior to the Evolution of Combat, 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 debuffs

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 life points 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 attacks

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 life points and prayer points, and Statius's warhammer, which drains the target's Defence by 30%.

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

Combat instances

Player versus Monster (PvM)

Main article: Monster killing

Player-versus-Monster combat is the act of a player fighting a non-player character. Fighting and killing monsters is usually done to collect their drops, such as hide and bones from chromatic dragons, or to gather combat experience.

The Slayer skill involves being assigned an amount of a monster to kill, and is a common form of PvM combat. Some monsters requiring a Slayer level to kill may drop valuable items.

At higher levels, players may take on bosses, which are powerful monsters with vast life points and defence that deal high amounts of damage and are a challenge to fight. Some bosses like the Queen Black Dragon and Araxxor are fought solo, whereas other bosses like Vorago require a team of skilled players to defeat. Bosses may drop coveted items which are usually sold on the Grand Exchange for gold.

Player versus Player (PvP)

Main article: Player killing

Player-versus-Player combat, also known as player killing or PKing, is the act of two or more players fighting each other. PvP combat requires a different approach from PvM combat, as opponents have full access to the ability book and are capable of much greater damage than most monsters.

Fighting other players is restricted to the Wilderness and specific minigames. Some PvP environments, like the Wilderness and Crucible, are dangerous, meaning all items are lost on death for the victor to loot. Other minigames like Castle Wars are safe, allowing players to respawn without losing their items.

The Duel Arena is an environment for one-on-one PvP combat. It allows a player to impose restrictions on a duel, such as disallowing food or prayers, and it can be used for safe and staked duels.

Combat training

Combat Experience melee

A player setting melee combat experience toward Strength.

When a player defeats a monster, an amount of experience points is awarded according to its life points, combat difficulty and the damage dealt by the player. The experience earned per life point is not constant: generally speaking, monsters with a higher combat level award more experience for the damage dealt.

Players can change which combat skills receive experience via Combat Settings, in the Powers interface. Experience earned with each combat class can be put toward its related skills, or to Defence, or split between them. An extra 33% of all combat experience earned is put into the Constitution skill.

Leveling combat skills is often done by training the Slayer skill. For faster experience rates, or if levelling a single skill, players may kill monsters close to their level and weak to the combat style being trained.

For training guides, see: