The combat triangle is a game mechanic put in place to balance out the different combat styles in PvP combat. Each combat class is given an advantage against an opposing class, while receiving a disadvantage against the other.
Under the hood, the triangle works by adjusting the player's Affinity towards the other combat classes. This results in an 18% accuracy bonus when fighting the style the player is strong to and an 18% accuracy penalty when fighting the style the player is weak to. Note that the player's armour also influences this style bonus, so if the player's opponent is wearing armour of a higher tier than the player is wearing, then the player's accuracy bonus won't be as high.
While the triangle offers a sizeable advantage, it does not guarantee that a class will always beat its weaker class.
Warriors are strong against rangers. Rangers' projectiles can't penetrate metal armour very well, but warriors' blades can cut through leather with ease.
Rangers are strong against mages. Their leather and dragonhide armours absorb the magic spells used by mages. Their arrows easily pierce the soft cloth of mage robes.
Mages are strong against warriors. The metal armour of warriors conducts spells so that the effect of the spells is more potent. Also, freeze/bind spells put warriors at a disadvantage because frozen warriors can't attack mages from a distance.
Using hybrid gear allows the player to stand at more than one point on the triangle. To make up for this, hybrid gear has lower offensive and defensive bonuses and less armour.
- In the top right corner, among the Dwarven script, there are three equations that are used in game to calculate a player's combat level based on whichever combination of statistics results in the highest combat level.
- In the background of the Dwarf "blueprint", a hexagram can be seen.
- The Dwarven "blueprint" is a possible reference to Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian Man.
- Dragonfire is another form of attack, and is not part of the combat triangle. It defies the combat triangle and cannot be blocked with any protection prayer. Using Protect from Magic will only partially help the user.
- Although Summoning familiars usually attack from a corner of the combat triangle, the Protect from Summoning prayer will protect the player from their attacks even if multiple familiars are attacking the player from multiple sides of the combat triangle.