This article is about the skill. For information on training defence, see Melee training, Magic training, or Ranged training.
Also known as Def
Release date 4 January 2001 (Update)
Members only No
Minimum level
for Hiscores
as of 12 Dec 2017
Players with
as of 16 Aug 2018
Players with 120 19,175
as of 27 Jan 2020
Players with
200M XP
as of 27 Jan 2020
Audio options icon
Defence level up

Defence (spelled Defense in RuneScape Classic) is a combat skill that grants players protection in all forms of combat. For this reason, Defence is one of the skills that will raise the combat level of a player regardless of other combat skill levels. The current minimum requirement to be ranked (at approximately rank 1,308,946) on the hiscores for Defence is level 15. As of 16 August 2018, there are 222,842 current members that have achieved level 99 in Defence. There are 19,175 current members that have achieved level 120 in Defence.

The higher the Defence level, the fewer successful blows an opponent will land against the player - this applies to all combat styles used against the player. Defence is thus a vital skill for enduring attacks for long periods of time, and can be extremely helpful against opponents with high Attack, Ranged, Magic or powerful Summoning familiars.

A player's Defence level also determines which equipment he or she is able to wear, as most pieces of armour or other equipment have a Defence level requirement.

Gaining experience


Attack 0

A monster's Defence level allows it to resist an attack from a player.

Defence plays an important role in all forms of combat. The higher a player's Defence level, the more likely the opponent is to miss an attack, dealing 0 damage.

Defence can be trained in combat using any of the three combat styles: Magic, Melee or Ranged. This is determined by selecting the XP button on the combat tab, and then selecting to train Defence for each combat style, or train a combination of defence and the skill related to that combat style. For melee attacks, Defence can be trained by itself or alongside Attack and Strength; for ranged attacks, Defence can be trained by itself or alongside Ranged; and for magic attacks Defence by itself or alongside Magic.

It is worth noting that 1/4 of all combat experience is given to the Constitution skill, regardless of what is selected on the xp button. The experience for combat is added after a kill is made, and added in one block. If a player is training Slayer, slayer xp is added after the opponent's life points gauge is emptied, and combat xp is added after the opponent's death animation finishes.

Experience rewards

Players can get Defence experience as a reward for completing certain quests for a total of 166,037 experience. There are also lots of quests that allows the player to choose the skill that will receive an experience reward.

Experience lamps, gained through tasks and random events can be used to grant experience to any skill. Players can also trade points gained in certain minigames for experience in Defence level. Other ways to get reward experience in Defence is through the Dragonkin lamp, penguin points, Tears of Guthix and by completing Court Cases with a successful defence.

Other ways to gain experience

  • The brawling gloves (melee) provide 50% bonus experience whilst training on any of the Melee skills (Defence, Strength and Attack) using the melee combat style. In addition, the gloves provide 300% bonus experience if players train whilst in the Wilderness. The gloves last for around 100,000 combat experience, and disintegrate after the player receives all this bonus experience.
  • A player can train Defence on the Catapult room at the Warriors' Guild, the player will receive 10 experience per successful defence.
  • Harvesting the fruit from a Prickly pear will grant defence experience related to your defence level.
  • Players receive combat experience from the damage dealt by their Summoning familiars, the skill that receives the experience varies depending on the familiar, except that Constitution always receive 13.3% of the damage done by the familiar.
Familiar Combat
Summoning level
Granite crab 26 16
Spirit kalphite 39 25
Bronze minotaur 50 36
Iron minotaur 70 46
Steel minotaur 90 56
Mithril minotaur 112 66
Adamant minotaur 133 76
Rune minotaur 154 86
Iron titan 220 95

"Controlled Familiars", for whom 13.3% of damage dealt is converted to Defence experience[1]:

Familiar Combat
Summoning level
Spirit spider 25 10
Spirit scorpion 51 19
Vampyre bat 44 31
Spirit larupia 93 57
Stranger plant 107 64
Arctic bear 122 71
Giant ent 137 78
Spirit dagannoth 148 83
  1. ^ Strength and Attack also receive experience equal to 13.3% of damage dealt.


Almost every single piece of combat equipment (except for the ones that go on the weapon, cape, ring, aura and amulet slots) requires a certain Defence level to wear. Here are links to tables of armour and equipment that require a Defence level to wear:

  • Armour - For an overview on the different types of Armour.
  • Melee Armour - An overview of the different types of Melee armour.
  • Magic Armour - An overview of the different types of Magic armour.
  • Ranged Armour - An overview of the different types of Ranged armour.
  • Prayer Armour - An overview of the different types of Prayer armour.
  • Defenders - A weapon that goes on the shield slot and provides offensive bonuses while also having an Attack and Defence levels requirement.

Other features

Defence cape (t) equipped

Skill mastery

After achieving level 99 Defence, players can buy the defence cape from Harlan the melee instructor in the building north of the Lumbridge general store. The defence cape is light blue in colour, and has a cream trim for players who have more than one level 99 skill.

Temporary boosts

Main article: Temporary skill boost

Flat and percentage Defence level bonus don't stack with each other when they add up above the base Defence level. They do, however, stack with the effective defence bonuses of prayers and equipment special effects, as they don't increase the defence level in any way but directly affect the actual chance of dodging an attack when in combat. Members items are marked with (m)

Defence Emote

A player wearing a trimmed Defence cape and performing the Skillcape emote.

  • Defence cape - Boosts Defence level by 1 for a short period of time after using the skillcape emote. (m)
  • Defence potion - Boosts Defence level by 1 to 8 (1 + 8% of base Defence level rounded down).
  • Super defence potion - Boosts Defence level by 2 to 13 (2 + 12% of base Defence level rounded down). (m)
  • Extreme defence potion - Boosts Defence level by 3 to 17 (3 + 15% of base Defence level rounded down). This item cannot be traded and the only way to obtain it is by making it at 90 Herblore. (m)
  • Overload offers the same boost as the Extreme defence potion, but applies it every 15 seconds for 5 minutes, at which point it wears off completely. (m)
  • Saradomin brew - Boosts Defence by 4% + 1, in addition to other effects. 4. (m)
  • The special move of the War tortoise familiar raises your Defence level by 8. (m)
  • Titan's Constitution - The special move of the Fire, Moss and Ice titans boosts Defence level by 1 + 11% (m)

The following bonuses don't increase the player's current Defence level on the stats tab, but allows the player to be hit less often (see above) and will therefore stack with other boosts:


Before the Evolution of Combat update, the way in which Defence was trained was different for all attack methods:


Defence xp was only gained if a player hit an opponent while on Defensive attack style, chosen on the Combat interface. The Defensive attack style was available with all weapons besides the dwarven army axe.

If a player fought with the "controlled" attack style, then the experience was split across Strength, Attack and Defence.

It is worth noting that the Defensive stance gave an invisible +3 boost to Defence level, and the Controlled stance an invisible +1 boost to Defence as well as Attack and Strength.


The player could earn Defence experience only when attacking with Ranged by using the Longrange attack style, which split experience equally between Ranged and Defence. 2 Ranged and Defence experience were earned for each 10 damage dealt. This attack style gave an extra square of range to all weapons, however speed of fire was sacrificed.


Defence could be trained while training Magic when casting offensive spells by toggling the "defensive casting" option in the lower right corner of the combat menu. 1 Defence experience (as well as 1.333 Magic experience) will be awarded for every 10 points of damage dealt. The experience awarded for casting the spell was not affected, and only awarded to Defence.

Skilling pet

Wallace chathead
Main article: Wallace

Like all skills, there is a skilling pet obtainable from training this skill. For Defence, the pet is called Wallace.


Audio options icon
The old defence level up
  • In RuneScape Classic, the American spelling "defense" was used.

See also

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