Degradation is the process by which some armour, weapons, and tools wear down with use until they break completely. Degradable items can degrade in one of a few ways, and some items are repairable while others are not and degrade 'to dust'.
When an item fully degrades (reaches 0 charges), it can either:
- Degrade "to dust" - it falls apart completely, vanishing; for example, sirenic armour, scrimshaw
- Revert to a component, which can then be used to re-make the item (at a cost); for example, crystal tools, ganodermic armour
- Turn into an broken or drained version, which can be repaired (at a cost); for example, barrows equipment, noxious weaponry. Sometimes the item retains usability, but loses some benefits, for example blood amulet of fury
Many items have the charge amount as part of their name; those that do not give the charges remaining (often as a percentage) using the Check-charges right-click option for the item.
All degradable items have a number of charges, the amount of which varies by the item. There are three main methods by which an item can degrade, only one of which the item uses.
Items that degrade in combat lose one charge for every hitsplat done by the user or to the user - that is, one charge for:
- every hit taken,
- every ability used,
- every auto-attack used.
These three methods are collectively referred to as per hit.
There is a hard cap of 1 charge lost per tick (100 per minute). In general combat (against one or two monsters), expect 30-60 charges to be consumed per minute. Certain items lose 2 charges per hit, so the limit and average are doubled (200 charges consumed per minute max, 60-120 charges consumed per minute average).
Upon death, most degradable equipped items lose charges if reclaimed from a gravestone (in general, 20% for degrade-to-broken items, 10% for degrade-to-dust items). They do not lose charges when reclaiming them by buying them from Death, as the degradation cost is covered by the reclaim cost.
Examples of items that degrade in combat include:
A full list of degradable combat equipment is here.
Items that degrade with use lose charges each time it is used, or each time its passive effect activates while in use.
Examples of items that degrade with use:
- Crystal tools
- Enchanted sapphire, emerald, ruby, and diamond rings, bracelets, and necklaces
- Enchanted dragonstone jewellery
- Imcando pickaxe (e)
- Sceptre of the gods
Items that degrade with time lose one charge each tick while equipped or activated.
Examples of items that degrade over time:
Items augmented with Invention (whether or not they have gizmos) no longer use the equipment degradation system, and instead drain charge from a central charge pool each second of combat. This applies to all augmented items including those that did not degrade before augmentation. This rate depends on the item that has been augmented, and can be reduced by researching charge drain reduction.