A safe spot is a position from which a monster may be attacked using Ranged or Magic combat or using a halberd over an obstacle without retaliation. Sometimes it is possible to safe-spot by attacking a monster 1 square out of its wander radius. Making attacks in this manner is often termed "safe spotting" or simply "safe-ing".
This works because NPCs, and some automatic player movements, always move directly toward their target and do not detour around obstacles if that would mean moving away. Larger monsters may also end up snagged on a corner, even if it looks like they do have an almost direct path.
How "safe" a spot really is often depends on circumstances:
- It is not possible to reliably use safe spot tactics against other players, though a temporary advantage can be gained.
- It is not possible against opponents, whether a player or an NPC/monster, who use a ranged or magic attack. Standing outside their patrol area will force them to retreat, luring the player from the safespot.
- It can be difficult to reach a safe position against aggressive monsters. Some safe spots are only effective once the monsters have become tolerant.
- Monsters that retreat cannot be reliably safe spotted however, longbows and spells sometimes have a range long enough to hit the enemy at the farthest retreating location.
- Common examples of safespots include fences, rocks, elevated areas and even rivers.
Safe spotting in a PKing scenario
Because the concept of safespotting is a physical action (i.e. it is recreatable in a real-life scenario) and not a quirk of the game's programming, it is possible to safe spot against other players. However, because there is a human, not a computer, behind the screen of another player, safe spotting is nearly always a temporary tactic against humans. A computer lacks the awareness to react to safe spotting whereas humans will be able to recognise that they are being safe spotted and run away or move around the obstacle.
Safe spotting against other players is also limited by the practicality of it. Most monsters, again, due to their computer control, lack the ability to stop a player from doing it. A human would see what the other player is doing and stop them, all the while forcing the safe spotter to waste time and food. Also, safe spotting, in some cases, could be dangerous as counter-safe spotting is possible (once again the adaptability of humans comes to the forefront). This reverse engineering, along with adequate protection against the original safe spotter's form of damage (Protect from Magic versus a magic-using safe spotter) can be extremely effective.
But in some cases safe spotting has serious advantages. The few free hits a ranger can get on a player using melee before they can close in to attack can make the difference between victory and defeat. Indeed, when a fight comes down to a battle of attrition (when whoever has more food wins), those two or three hits can be instrumental. This process can also be called "far casting".
This tactic's implications are of course somewhat obvious and as such there is a small, programmed in, defence against a safe spotter in the Wilderness or anywhere. When a warrior is retaliating against (not attacking), a distanced attack, he/she will, during their headlong charge, apparently make their first hit on their enemy 3-4 squares before they are in melee range. This is because of the way the game is programmed, a running character is treated by the server as a few squares ahead of where they appear to be.
Edge of range
Another form of safe spotting is the edge of an NPC/monster's patrol range, as most, if not all, NPCs and monsters will not pursue beyond a certain area. This is generally unreliable though, because they will often wander off, causing you to move closer in order to continue hitting the NPC/monster, after which it will simply come back to attack you. However, by using Longrange style on a bow you can keep shooting at the NPC/monster. Also other monsters may attack you while you are out of range of the monster/NPC you are ranging. If you are using range, your arrows will be strewn all over the place; An Ava's Accumulator is recommended to prevent having to pick them up. In some rare cases, it is possible to kill a monster with close-up melee without being attacked by them, although this is most likely a glitch.
Since the Evolution of Combat has came out the Longrange style on a bow is not available and many monsters that were melee before have an additional range or magic attack effectively wrecking some safespots.
The best way to do this would to find the northern edge of their roaming range, this way when you attack them all they do is walk around instead of backing away from you. It is unknown why they continue to walk when attacked this way. This works it's best and most noticeably at the green dragons located in the wilderness.
Training Range and Magic from Safespots (or Melee with Halberd)
Players can easily train range and magic from safespots in the following places:
- Asgarnian Ice Dungeon, in the white snow spot between the ice warriors and the hobgoblins.
- Barbarian Village.
- Behind sulphur vents in TzHaar City and TzHaar-ket and Tzhaar-Xil
- Cockroach workers downstairs in the Stronghold of Player Safety.
- Duck ponds in Lumbridge.
- Goblins and giant spiders across the Lumbridge bridge wall.
- Ogres in King Lathas's training ground.
- Rocks and crystal pieces against monsters in the Desert Slayer dungeon.
- Skeletons near the Wilderness Wall.
- Skeletal wyverns, in the Asgarnian Ice Dungeon north of Mudskipper Point behind the cave entrance which requires the monsters to be tolerant; requires 72 Slayer.
- Tortoises in The Tree Gnome Stronghold.
- White Knights' Castle in Falador.
- Behind certain fences such as Level 27 minotaurs in Stronghold of Security, 1st level. Mages can also go behind fences without being retaliated against. It is popular for lower levels to train in Combat Training Camp and behind the fences in Lumbridge cow fence.
- The hill giants in Edgeville Dungeon. There is an estimated 106 safe spots in this area, along with about 16-18 double-kill safe spots (killing 2 giants at a time, usually with Ranged) This is most recommended for F2P as the giants drop big bones and sell for a profit of 170 coins each, not to mention the Grand Exchange is close by.
- Jogres and cyclops in Ardougne Zoo give good xp.
- Kalphite soldiers, in the kalphite hive at the doorway into the southwest room.
Safe spot can also mean an area or spot in an otherwise dangerous area where other monsters cannot attack you (not meaning you can attack them safely). This meaning of safe spots are often used to complete certain quests. For example, in the Temple of Light, safe spots are considered areas where there are no Shadows nearby.
Safespots are ineffective while Dungeoneering because creatures will retreat as if you are attacking out of their wander range, making you have to go after them. This makes Daemonheim monsters unique, because most other RuneScape monsters do not retreat when unable to retaliate. However, if you are able to trap a creature in a corner and you safe spot it, the monster will be unable to retreat back, allowing you to continue hitting it without it running back out of your range. However, even this may not be effective as NPCs could wander off the corner after a while, also forcing you to run after them or allowing them to go around your safespot.