The staff is the weakest, most basic magic weapon in RuneScape. Visually, the staff is identical to the battlestaff and the dramen staff in appearance. It is recommended to upgrade from this weapon as quickly as possible, as there are more cost effective weapons which can be used at the same level. The recommended upgrade is to an elemental staff, such as a staff of air which will assist greatly in Magic training.
Previously, one advantage of a mage wielding a staff was that it would unlock the autocasting feature, allowing the player to set the default attack to one of the 16 elemental spells (as opposed to manually selecting the spell and target with every single cast). On 2 September 2009, due to widespread popular demand, the autocasting feature was updated so that it no longer requires a staff to use.
Before the Evolution of Combat, staves were one-handed weapons, allowing the use of a Mages' Book while wielding a staff. This allowed for shields or defenders in the off-hand slot, and helped people using hybrid tactics.
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