RuneScape Wiki
Hatchet head (dragon)
PvP worlds were removed after an update.
The contents of this page no longer exist in RuneScape, and this article is kept for historical purposes.
Pvp worlds lumby

Players fight in Lumbridge.


PvP worlds (also known as Player-versus-Player worlds) were released on 15 October 2008. They allowed players to clash almost anywhere, except for certain safe areas like banks and respawn points. A few things that were removed after the wilderness removal of December 2007 now have been added back to the game, such as the spell Teleblock and death drops. High levelled players, or players confident in their ability, often went without armour to skilling areas, as the areas were usually empty, or less populated, hence less competition. PvP worlds were removed on 1 February 2011 by an update that brought the original Wilderness and unlimited trading prices back.


  • Minimum of level 20 Combat (not including Summoning) to enter any PvP world.

Getting started[]

When logging into a PvP world, players were warned and given the option to return to the lobby to select another world.

  • The first time you logged to a PvP world you would appear at Lumbridge, future login attempts would allow you to stand where you last logged out before you entered a PvP world.
  • The PvP worlds manual would appear in the inventory, and if lost, could be replaced by talking to Mandrith, found in Edgeville bank or his brother Nastroth (both appear only in PvP or Bounty Hunter worlds).
  • No borrowed items were allowed into a PvP world. If a player tried to log in to a PvP world with a borrowed item in their inventory, it would tell the player to bank it first before logging onto a PvP world.
  • The Period of Immunity is only about 5 seconds, during this time, you were unable to be attacked. The "immunity" also worked during teleportation and travel (such as while in a boat). However, to prevent abuse, this would not work for a short period of time whenever it was used too often.

Combat level[]

PvP level range

Level range for a player with a Combat level of 96.

Any player within a particular level range of Combat level can be attacked. The range is calculated with this formula:

[Note that the result is always rounded down]

For example, a player with a Combat level of 100 could attack players with Combat levels between 85 to 115 (a 15-level range). If the player is in the Wilderness, the range increased as the player travels deeper, directly based on the level of Wilderness the player is in.

A player could be attacked by another player outside their range, if the other player had the player within their range. This player could of course retaliate if they were attacked this way, even though the other player was outside their level range. An example of this happening is when a player with a combat level of 50 attacks a player with a combat level of 40. The former person could do so because his range is 0.1*50+5=10, or combat levels 40-60 while the latter player had a range of 0.1*40+5=9, or combat levels 31-49.

The various Combat level colours:

  • Green - Lower in Combat level
  • Yellow - Equal in Combat level
  • Orange - Stronger in Combat level by 1-6 levels
  • Red - 7+ Combat level than you
  • White - Cannot be attacked (i.e. outside the Combat level range)

Safe zones[]

The icon that appears while in a "safe zone".

There were a number of "safe zones" within a PvP world where players were not allowed to attack one another. Some of these areas were as follows:

Countdown timer[]

A countdown timer showing 7 seconds until expiry.

If a player ran into a safe zone while in combat, a 10-second countdown timer appeared. During this time, the player was safe from all players except the player(s) who triggered the timer. The timer would restart if the player goes out of a safe zone and returned whilst in combat. A common tactic was to run out while the other player is retaliating to restart the timer. According to Jagex, the countdown timer was used to prevent players from using "hit and run" tactics or "Rushing", although rushing was still a major part of PvP worlds.

Safe activities[]

Main article: Activities

"Safe" activities also allow player-versus player combat. Nevertheless, when a player is killed, the player loses nothing and will appear back at the start point.

Non-PvP activities[]

These activities were closed for player-versus-player attacks.

Hot zones[]

Main article: Hot zone
The "hot zone" icon.

There were certain areas in RuneScape called "hot zones". These places were considered very dangerous as they were popular for players to come and kill each other. Many of these areas had monsters as well. A "flaming skull" icon would appear on the screen to notify players when they enter these areas.

Hot zones gave players an advantage because there was a higher chance for killed opponents to drop better items in these areas, as opposed to killing players outside the hot zones. Hot zones were more dangerous, however, due to the larger number of players in these areas who would hunt you for the improved drops they could get.

Hot zones include, but are not limited to:

DP 100%

An update let players see how much drop potential they had acquired so far.

Death and drops (loot)[]

In a PVP world, as of 15 July 2009, all players start out with a skull (keeping forever while on a pvp world) and protect item prayers are disabled. This means that no matter what the circumstances are, when you die, you lose all of your items.

If a player managed to kill another player in combat, they would receive certain item drops from that player along with other possible PvP drops. The final drop consists of a mixture of the following items: Items the player had on them that they lost, consumables, most regular items that are not "boss monster drops" and Ancient artefacts.

  • Earning Potential (EP) would increase every 30 minutes you spend on a PvP world outside of a safe zone; in hot zones, the increase rate is a minimum of 15% every 30 minutes. Jagex stated in a news post that "These 30 minutes do not have to be consecutive - you can log out or visit safe zones - but the system only counts full minutes." However, it would likely take longer to build up your chances for a "good" drop if you did not spend 30 consecutive minutes outside of safe zones, especially if you kept dying over and over, with very little time in between deaths.
  • As already explained, hot zones - areas of Ardougne, Varrock, Falador, the Wilderness, etc. - would increase player's earning potential by 25% every 30 minutes. If they were not in a hotzone, their potential would rise 10% every 30 minutes with a maximum of 40% only.
  • Members had to be carrying at least 75,000 coins (75k) worth of items on them for their "good" drop potential to increase, while free users only needed 25,000 coins (25k) worth on them. If a player and their opponent did not fulfil this requirement, their chances of a "good" drop would not increase every 30 minutes, and as such their chances of receiving such a drop decreased dramatically.
  • It was possible to increase your drop potential if you are not in a "Hot Zone" like Varrock or Falador even if a player had 75,000gp and/or items worth 75,000gp+. However, if not in a hot zone, it would increase over time at a lower rate.

Most of the time, the items dropped were normal items, such as weapons and armour from non-PvP worlds. However, in rare cases, special PvP-only drops such as Corrupt dragon equipment, and Brawling gloves would be dropped if the player you killed was risking a lot.

PvP world tactics[]

  • Ranged - Ranged is frequently used, due to its very high attack speed (being able to fire 3-4 arrows between 2 spell casts). Also, at high levels(70+), many players may deal decent amounts of damage; often at a very high speed.
  • Magic - The Ancient Magicks spellbook (members only) is commonly used in PvP due to its ability to freeze, poison, or slow down the attacker. The standard spellbook is also deadly (mostly to lower level players). On a members' world, the combination of the Entangle, Teleblock, and Charge spells, combined with a god spell (Saradomin Strike, Claws of Guthix, or Flames of Zamorak) give the victim almost no chance of escape. What also makes Magic efficient in PvP is the fact that most players lean towards a melee class or wear metal armour (usually adamant or rune), with the mentality that they can deal more damage with it equipped. But, in reality, metal armour is conductive, and causes the wearer to basically be at a disadvantage when fighting mages. This is helpful for players using Magic, because it saves runes.
  • Melee - Melee is very often used in PvP. Usually, players that use this method have very high Strength levels. Melee is used mostly with rune scimitars and rune 2h swords on free-to-play worlds, but the weapons are more varied on members worlds.
  • For a Ranged-Melee pure, it is a good idea to use a tactic called Safe At (Max Hit) LP. This is used to make the fight last longer. When the opponent seems to have less LP than their safe limit, he/she can eat, but the attacker will try to KO the player.
  • Some players used a tactic called 25k/75k tricking to get drops with a low risk. However, due to an update, players who kill someone just after they have been killed by that person will receive lower rewards. This makes this tactic inefficient. 25k/75k tricking works so: a pair of players will alternate between taking the role as the attacker and taking the role as the victim. The attacker risk at least 25k/75k and the victim will bring at least 25k/75k coins. This ensures that both the victim and the attacker meet the criteria of staking a high amount, hence promising a good drop. More commonly now, due to a rumour, it is believed 26k/76k is the stake requirement. Sometimes players train together when they have just swapped places until the attacker has been in an attack zone for 30 minutes. Some players are now 76k trio-ing which involves switching who kills who in a trio, so that no one breaks the lowered drop-rule.
  • In the past, players would attack each other in a hot zone with a fun weapon (such as the easter carrot), since it rarely does damage. Both players would risk 75k and keep attacking each other with the fun weapon. Another popular method to get EP in the past was for both players to wear high magical defence armour and cast Wind Strike on each other. These were the fastest and safest ways to increase drop potential, assuming the other player can be trusted. Players can no longer use fun weapons or Wind Strike to gain Ep.
  • In F2P, many players prefer to fight without armour because it is very hard to kill a player who is wearing rune armour without special attacks or any of the abilities available to members. Thus, players often fight 'No arm' (short for no-armour). Players doing this carry a rune scimitar, rune 2h sword and sometimes a maple shortbow with adamant arrows, or a rune sword with a gravite 2h sword. The rune scimitar or maple shortbow are often used to lower the opponent's health, while the rune 2h sword is used to deliver the final blow. These players try to maximise their max hit by drinking Strength potions and wearing an Amulet of Strength. Sometimes, the prayer Ultimate Strength is used to deal higher amounts of damage. Using monk robes is highly suggested if you use this prayer, because they provide a prayer bonus.
  • Skillers (with at least level 20 combat) sometimes go on PvP worlds to enjoy the lack of competition at non-PK activities such as woodcutting or mining. For players who train on monsters on PvP worlds, an extremely useful way to avoid PKers is to check their message box. If they are currently fighting any NPC and it is NOT multiway combat, they always receive the message "I'm already under attack." when attacked by another player, after which the player will stop attacking the monster. This message usually happens several seconds before the opponent actually hits the player so this would be a good time to run or teleport. Nevertheless, it is still not recommended to train non-combat skills as there is a high chance of death.
  • Players attempting to escape into a safe area (such as a bank) should be advised to turn auto retaliate off. This is because the attacker may run into a dangerous area, causing the player to retaliate, resetting the timer.
  • Guilds are another area to use as a safe spot, yet this is not always guaranteed because the opponent may have the correct stats or Quest Points to enter the guild and thus will be able kill the player. However, it is highly unlikely that the players are wearing chef's hats or brown aprons, so the Cooking Guild is relatively safe for non-members (it isn't as safe for members because doing the medium difficulty Varrock Tasks allows entry to the guild without a chef's hat). The Black Arm Gang hideout and Phoenix Gang Hideout are ideal safe spots to escape from players who haven't joined the gangs, though this is rarely used. Carrying certain keys such as the weapon store key can also be an effective way of escaping players. Another rarely used tactic is wearing a bronze medium helm and iron chainbody which will allow the player to enter the Black Knight's Fortress. In Port Sarim, a white apron can be worn to enter Wydin's Food Store to seek safety and heal by taking unlimited bananas from the crate to recover. The drawback is that the pursuing player can get a white apron from the fishing store a little bit further north, although this is unlikely because one can easily escape whilst the other player is attempting to get their own white apron.
  • Combo breaking is the act of using a slower weapon's special attack and then switching to a faster weapon. Usually, the faster weapon will attack right after the special if timed right. This gives the opponent little to no chance of healing after the special attack and will render the opponent vulnerable to the faster weapon's attack. Some players prefer to reverse using a faster weapon until the opponent's life points are low, then use the slower weapon's special attack to kill their opponent.
  • It is also useful to begin without items, kill another player and steal their items to fight. If one does this a lot of times, they could eventually end up with some very good armour.
  • Dark bowers are normally seen often, they normally have a range level of 90+ depending on their level. However when equipped with dragon arrows and use the special attack, they can be deadly and can kill you in a second. Some Dark bowers even use a melee weapon after their special attack to do a "quick kill."

Special PvP drops[]

These are special items that can be obtained as drops from PvP worlds. All but a few other items in RuneScape can also be dropped more commonly and in greater numbers from these special PvP drops.

Corrupt dragon equipment[]

Corrupt dragon equipment have the same stats and boosts as normal dragon equipment, but have a limited amount of time to use (30 minutes), and are available to free-to-play players. They are an extremely rare drop, but you can improve your chances of getting this drop by increasing your EP. They can be bought and sold on the Grand Exchange, but only when unused.

Since Corrupt dragon equipment is also available to non-members, it has no special attack in non member worlds. Keep this in mind when purchasing (or using) corrupt dragon equipment.

Brawling gloves (m)[]

There are 13 kinds of Brawling gloves. These gloves add experience to certain skills while training in PvP worlds. They provide as much as 400% bonus (additive) to experience, quadrupling the usual experience gained.

Ancient Warriors' equipment (m)[]

The Ancient Warriors' equipment all come in two states:

  • Level 78 requirements that will last 1 hour of combat - skill requirement depends on the individual items
  • Level 20 requirements that will last 15 minutes. IMPORTANT: Level 20 equipment has NO SPECIAL ATTACK

The list of available equipment are as follows:


Sometimes, you will get ancient artefacts. These can be traded to Mandrith in Edgeville bank or Nastroth in Lumbridge castle for a set amount of coins. Free players can only get up to the Bandos Scrimshaw (50k), while Members can get everything.

Artefact Price
Broken statue headdress 5,000 coins
Third age carafe 10,000 coins
Bronzed dragon claw 20,000 coins
Ancient psaltery bridge 30,000 coins
Saradomin amphora 40,000 coins
Bandos scrimshaw 50,000 coins
Saradomin carving 75,000 coins
Zamorak medallion 100,000 coins
Armadyl totem 150,000 coins
Guthixian brazier 200,000 coins
Ruby chalice 250,000 coins
Bandos statuette 300,000 coins
Saradomin statuette 400,000 coins
Zamorak statuette 500,000 coins
Armadyl statuette 750,000 coins
Seren statuette 1,000,000 coins
Ancient statuette 5,000,000 coins

Types of players[]

These terms do not strictly follow these definitions.

(Most of the terms listed below do not apply to the PvP worlds as they are today, but as they were before getting skulled when logging into PvP/bounty worlds.)

On PvP worlds, there are a few general types of players:

  • Lurers: Two people are needed to use this method. One low level player stands out in the open, waiting for an unsuspecting player to come by and kill them. When that happens, the lurer's friend comes out of hiding and kills the player. The duo then takes the drops. The players in hiding often use ancient magic to quickly kill the lured player, however the luring player does not have to be low and can sometimes be higher level to help lower and waste the lured player's food.
  • Pures: These players have one or a few high combat stats, with other combat stats being significantly lower. Pures are the hardest of all styles in that it takes an extremely long time to acquire the skill levels to be successful. A true pure will have high magic and range levels as well, for without defence they show no real challenge to armoured opponents and must use magic. Example of a F2p Pure: 40 Attack, 90 Strength, 80 Constitution, 1 Defence, 59 Magic.
  • Looters: Otherwise known as "scavengers". These players go to hot spots like Falador and pick up items lying on the ground (e.g. arrows, drops, etc.), bank the items, then repeat. This is similar to people in Bounty Hunter. A supply of Telekinetic Grab runes are a very good idea for players contemplating this technique.
  • Dharokers: Players who use a Dharok's set against players. They usually try to make another player attack them while having the Protect Item prayer on. On rare occasions they wear a skill cape to increase loot drops, but they often wear a legends cape instead, because of its low value, and an amulet of strength to increase their Strength bonus. These players have become more seldom, due to an update by Jagex, which automatically skulls any player who enters a PvP or Bounty Hunter world. This causes them to lose their entire set of Dharok's on death (or all but one item if they are risking nothing else with a higher High Alchemy value than Dharok's on a +1 Bounty Hunter world).
  • Farcasters: These players will camp at an area that players will often visit to travel faster or recharge prayer. A couple examples of this include prayer altars and teleport spots. Always be wary when teleporting or recharging prayer in a PVP world. These types of players are frowned upon by melee warriors because in this case magic has the intended advantage against melee. These types of players usually attack by freezing their opponent in place with magic such as Bind or Ice Barrage, walk a few steps away, and continues to use ranged/magic attacks to attack their opponent. If the opponent is not using range or magic, they cannot strike back or move until they are unfrozen.
  • PJers: Also known as "pile jumpers" or "player jackers," these players wait for a battle to end, and then kill the victor of the battle while they are weak, unable to pick up the spoils from the previous kill and unable to heal themselves (This sometimes results in the PJer getting both the drop value and the added loot value from the victim of the freshly killed player). Another example of a PJer is someone who will wait for an opening to attack while two people fight, and use this opening to unleash special attacks on an unlucky player. There is a high chance of death for the player being attacked, so it is best advised to use protection prayers if being pile jumped. PJers may also wait for one of the people fighting to eat and then attack the player that is attacking the eating player. Some Pjers use Dragon Claws, as these have an extremely high rate of kill.
  • No-itemers/1-itemers: In Lumbridge and other respawn points, players with either no items or only one item, will randomly attack players. When the player dies, he/she simply respawns and almost immediately runs out to attack other players again. The 1-iteming player will usually get near-worthless drops such as potions and food. Because of the drop tables, players who kill the no-itemers can get average drops to cover the expense of food wasted. One-itemers can quickly become annoying and harassing, and are generally frowned upon by players trying to "Really PK". 1-itemers were commonly considered obsolete after the 15 July 2009 PvP update that disables the protect item prayer. However, the update on 17 July 2009, which made 1-item worlds where players kept their most valued item after death, has caused a revival of this PvP type.
  • Rushers: PKers that use multiple attack specials to do large amounts of damage at once, making it impossible for their opponent to heal. They will whittle down their opponent's health in normal combat before. They will commonly use the dragon dagger or dragon claws special attacks. They often run from battles when they cannot kill the player after using up all the special attack though some will use a secondary weapon to continue the battle, such as an Abyssal Whip.
  • Spec and runners: Players in a +1 bounty world who usually have a powerful weapon such as dragon claws or Armadyl godsword who agree to fight someone else, but uses their weapon's special attacks early in the fight and runs, effectively denying their opponent any opportunity to kill them. This is considered extremely dishonourable.
  • Voiders: Voiders will most likely attempt to "PJ" with either a dark bow, a hand cannon or a rune crossbow. They can hit very high and are very dangerous, as they can hit up to a total of 960 in a single volley. There are also players called Melee Voiders (who use full void with a void melee helm), who usually use dragon claws because of the special that hits 4 times.
  • Tankers/Tanks: These players focus on the Defence skill and their defence bonus to negate the attacks of their opponent. These players will have a high Defence level, and specify with strength or ranged so they can easily kill their opponent with their high offensive power and keep themselves from being hurt with their defence.
  • Healer/Venger: Mostly found in safe spots, these players typically aid other players rather than fight themselves. They will cast Vengeance, Heal Other, and Cure Other either for free or for a fee. Many times these players will aid in a KO with a perfectly timed vengeance or save a player with a last second health transfer. There is some criticism of players receiving aid, as it interferes with the integrity of fights.
  • Ancient Voiders: Ancient Voiders use dark bows and Ice Barrage. They first freeze the player (bringing them down around 250 health points) then doing the very deadly K.O. of the dark bow. At 99 range it is almost impossible to survive.
  • No Armers:No arming, short for no armour duelling, is the act of two player killers fighting each other with only their weapons. Taking the armour off and risking it in their inventory lets both players have a much easier fight; they hit each other more often. This is most often done in Free-to-play Bounty Worlds and PvP Worlds. Most players start a no-arm fight by following a player they wish to challenge (usually of equal or lower level) and saying, "no arm?". If the other player accepts, they both take off their armour, and start attacking each other. In free-to-play PvP worlds and bounty worlds, most players are already in monk robes for no arming because they don't want to risk actual expensive armour. Sometimes, the person a player is challenging to a no-arm fight will decline that challenge. Usually it is because they do not want to fight that person at the time, but some people say that they don't fight no arm. The challenger tends to get angry with the decliner and start insulting that player.
  • Skillers: These players will normally equip themselves with an extremely expensive piece of clothing or an extremely expensive weapon or rare item and then use PvP worlds to chat or do menial tasks in safe zones, for example using high alchemy at the grand exchange. They are frowned upon and are normally insulted beyond measure.
  • Summoning Tank: These players are rare due to the devotion needed to become a summoning tank: These players focus their combat skills on Summoning and Defence: An ideal stat combo for summoning tanks would be 95 Summoning and 75 Defence, and around 50 Constitution. This would result in a combat level in the low forties, while using powerful defensive gear, most importantly the dragonfire shield for it's special attack. To avoid gaining ranged experience (which would lead to unwanted combat levels), most summoning tanks choose to use familiars which only give Defence experience, such as the Iron titan. Experienced summoning tanks will rarely lose a battle, even when facing multiple players at same time. Even so, they still have two main weak points: 1) Low Magic defence; 2) Summoning familiars, their main method of dealing damage, can have their attacks completely blocked by protection prayers, unlike players' attacks. As such, the perfect "anti-summoning tank" player would focus on having a fairly high Magic level and a Prayer level just enough for the use protection prayers. In battle, they would attack the summoning tank from distance with magic, while keeping both the summoning tank and his familiar immobilised with holding spells, and using protection prayers to nullify the familiar's attacks.

Players fighting in a free-to-play PvP World.


Many players had criticised the PvP worlds as a bad substitute to the old wilderness. Players risked a high monetary value of supplies, only to obtain drops worth a fraction of what opponents lose upon death as these are independent events. Raising drop potential also favours those who are not actively fighting in PvP worlds, as they would kill vastly more often than every 30 minutes if the value exchange (gained and lost) were to resemble the wilderness.

Some players argued player killing in a larger area makes up for the loss of profit for those skilled in player killing. The underlying reasons behind the change of mechanic on Jagex' part was one to prevent real world trading through the randomisation of drops, thus this argument seems arbitrary as Jagex did not announce they wished to limit the money-making aspect of pvp. It is further often mentioned that you can gain significantly more from a kill than the opponent loses, increasing the risk of "75king" as a form of real world trading. Many viewed this as evidence that Jagex had ulterior motives for their solution to the problem of compatibility of pvp and real world trading, specifically wanting a larger group of players to profit from pvping.

Thus the PvP solution is often viewed as more than a game-fix, and actively a Jagex policy of redistributing the profits gained during player killing. It was hard to argue that those less successful in the wilderness before the removal of the wilderness had not had their profits increased, nor was it easy to argue that those who were successful before the removal of the wilderness had not had their profits heavily curtailed. This implicit, unannounced game change (or "nerf") of PKing is what has caused the most of the criticism and the protests upon the release of this alternative to the old wilderness.

PvP Worlds were often criticised as a poor substitute to player killing in the old wilderness as you did not obtain what the person you killed was wearing. This made it difficult to obtain valuable drops. Furthermore, you had to wait hours to gain EP if you want a good drop, something which many players found frustrating.


  • Jagex had said that they were planning to release PvP worlds in September, but instead released them a month later on 15 October 2008.
  • Some players who abused a bug in which they could not be attacked on PvP worlds and hence gain Earning Potential with little risk were banned for approximately 3 days. A few days later (on 26 October 2009) Jagex released an update to address this issue.
  • When PvP worlds were introduced, prices for Rune, Dragon, Barrows, runite ore/bars, potions and also many other types of armour skyrocketed.
  • On the day PvP worlds were introduced, lobsters, sharks, and swordfish especially, but also many other types of food and potions, were nearly impossible to come by at the Grand Exchange due to the massive amount of demand.
  • When PvP worlds were released, it was possible to auto-login to them, and unprepared people were killed without notice. This is now fixed.
  • Sometimes while you were being attacked and you used a teleport tablet to get away from your enemy, you could still be hurt after you had already teleported, usually by range or mage attacks. Therefore it was safer to use a games necklace or teleport runes because you couldn't be hurt once you teleported (except for poison).
  • There is a glitch, where you could attack another player in a safe area even if the timer went off. This happened when you were being attacked, and ran into the safe zone and lagged right before you entered the safe zone. After this, the timer will run, and once the timer reaches 0, the deaths sign will turn black and your attacker would still be able to attack you. The glitch would leave if you managed to stay long enough without being attacked.
  • On the 18th of October when in PvP or Bounty Hunter or sometimes in the Duel Arena, a glitch would occur where the last person you fought would start hitting you when they attacked someone else, even if you were in the safe zone. You could relog to fix this.
  • If two players were each other's target on a bounty world, one could attack the other even when already in battle in a single-way combat zone. This way, a player could start off with a weakened target for an easier kill. The player would most likely rush to a bank before losing a chance at a target.
  • Some players complained that their targets on a Bounty Hunter world were constantly in a "PKing Clan", or a large group of people who PK stray players wandering around in multicombat zones with expensive armour. If this happens, the player would have to choose not to risk armour but also lose their chance at killing a target.

See also[]