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Combat Guide

Intro

Combat, and fighting in general, is the arguably the largest part of RuneScape. Players can battle different monsters as well as each other in the wilderness. This will be in search of xp for the next level, killing for your slayer assignment, or just PKing. Fighters buy the food from cookers, potions from herblorists as well as weapons and armour from smithers and crafters and so drive several markets in the Runescape economy. This guide is about melee combat, meaning to fight with weapons and armour hand to hand. For information on Ranging or Magic, please refer to their respective guides.

To initiate battle against a monsters, simply click on them. While you hover over them, you can view their combat level in the top left corner of your screen as shown below. Be wary of battling monsters which are many levels higher than your own.

When you are engaged in combat you will see your character using the wielded weapon (or just his fists and feet) to attack the opponent and visa versa. Damage inflicted on each other will be shown as splash numbers and these are deducted from your hp (hit points). When you reach 0 hp you will die and re-appear in Lumbridge with only the 3 best items you had in your inventory at the time. If you had a 'skull' over your head from attacking other players in the wilderness, you will lose all your items that were in your inventory. In all cases, you can't lose what is in your bank. The amount of damage each combat participant has taken is indicated by a horizontal bar above their head. If your bar is entirely green you are not hurt, it will turn red as you are hit. If the bar goes entirely red you're dead!

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Styles & Skills

If you look at the stats menu in the game, you will see that melee combat includes your Attack, Strength, Defence and Hits skills. When you fight with weapons, you can choose your attack style, which will determine which of your combat levels recieve the xp you gain from fighting. If you attack style is Accurate, Aggressive or Defensive - then the majority of your xp will go to your Attack, Strength and Defence skills respectively. This is called 'focused' training. Alternatively you can hoose a 'controlled' style where you recieve equal xp between all three combat skill. Your hits always recieves xp in any style.

  • Focused training gives (3*monster hp) xp to that one skill and (1.33*monster hp) xp to your hits level.
  • Controlled training gives (1.33*monster hp) xp to each of the four skills.

Our Bestiary has comprehensive information about all monsters, including their hp, so use it to your advantage. Attack styles also include Stab, Slash and Crush attacks. Different weapons are effective with different styles - while different armours resist better against certain types of attack. For example, the tough hide of a dragon is resistant to Stab attacks and plate armour is weak versus Crush attacks.

You can always retreat (run away) from a battle if you are losing and don't want to die, just click on the ground away to leave the battle. Of course the monster/other player can keep on chasing you. It is up to you to 'run' away and use obstacles to your advantage to avoid death.

There are some areas where a group of players can gang up against a single monster and at the same time, where lots of monsters can gang up against a single player. These areas are called multi-combat areas and a pair of crossed swords will appear in the bottom right corner of the screen to indicate when you are in this kind of area. The wilderness is not an exception, as player teams can engage any unwary adventurers who happends to be in such an area. So be on guard next time you plan on exploring the wilderness!

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Armour

When battling your many foes, you will want to be wearing some protective armour. However, it is worth noting that melee armour in general is weak versus magic and strong against range. It also reduces your own ability to cast magic or shoot arrows. There is a large variety of different armours you can wear depending on your defence level. A table of the requirements for the different types of armour is shown below.

Defence
Lvl
1 1 5 10 20 30 40 60
Metal
Bronze

Iron

Steel

Black

Mithril

Adamant

Rune

Dragon

Of course there are different armours you use for protection all over. Read below to find out information about each. For the full statistics about each type of armour in each type of metal, please refer to our Smithing Tables.

Armour Types
Helmets
Medium Helmet Full Helmet Full Helmets offer better protection than Medium Helmets. However if you are Ranging or casting spells, it is best to wear Medium helmets as they dont restrict your vision.
Chainmail
Chainmail Chainmail is made up of many small rings which are interlaced. It has good defence versus 'Slash' or 'Crush' attacks but it is weak to 'Stab' attacks as they go through the holes in the chain mail.
Chainmail is quite flexible and doesn't disadvantage a Ranger, however it does hinder Magician's if they want to cast spells.
Platemail
Plate body Plate Legs Plate Skirt Plate armour is much heavier and stronger than Chainmail. On the downside, it's weak against 'Crush' attacks; but it is good versus 'Slash' and 'Stab' attacks.
Rangers and Magicians will find it very difficult to shoot arrows or cast spells while wearing this armour.
Shields
Although similar, Square shields and Kite shields have some differences. The square shield is weak against 'Crush' attacks, while the Kite shield is weak versus 'Stab' attacks. Both are strong against other types of attacks.
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Weapons

Weapons are of course what you use through out the game to attack NPCs and other players with. Again similar to armour above, you need certain Attack levels to be able to wield different types of weapons as shown below.

Attack
Lvl
1 1 5 10 20 30 40 60
Metal
Bronze

Iron

Steel

Black

Mithril

Adamant

Rune

Dragon

Of course there are different weapons you use in different scenarios. Read below to find out information about each weapon, or the full statistics about each type of weapon in each type of metal, please refer to our Smithing Tables.

CLAWS (members)
Pic Speed Strength Damage
Fast Weak
  • Chop (Accurate - Slash)
  • Slash (Aggressive - Slash)
  • Lunge (Controlled - Stab)
  • Block (Defensive - Slash)
Being as fast as a Dagger, these can attack at over double the speed of a two-handed sword. Their 'Slash' attack is better than a dagger, but they can't be poisoned.
DAGGER
Pic Speed Strength Damage
Fast Weakest
  • Stab (Accurate - Stab)
  • Lunge (Aggressive - Stab)
  • Slash (Aggressive - Slash)
  • Block (Defensive - Stab)
A very fast weapon that is mainly for Stabbing, although it can be used to 'Slash' as well. The dagger is very useful for members because they can be poisoned as well. This combination of speed and poison can prove lethal in the wilderness and it's good to start off a fight against Rangers or Mages.
SHORT SWORD
Pic Speed Strength Damage
Fast Weak
  • Stab (Accurate - Stab)
  • Lunge (Aggressive - Stab)
  • Slash (Aggressive - Slash)
  • Block (Defensive - Stab)
A fast Stabbing weapon which can deal more damage than basic daggers. It can also be used to 'Slash' and it's good for people on a tight budget.
SCIMITAR
Pic Speed Strength Damage
Fast Medium
  • Chop (Accurate - Slash)
  • Slash (Aggressive - Slash)
  • Lunge (Controlled - Stab)
  • Block (Defensive - Slash)
This is a 'Slash' only weapon, but stronger than a Short Sword. This is the ideal weapon to use on f2p as it hits well through Mages' cloth and Rangers' leather, and it's a good compromise between speed and strength.
MACE
Pic Speed Strength Damage
Medium Weak
  • Pound (Accurate - Crush)
  • Pummel (Aggressive - Crush)
  • Spike (Controlled - Stab)
  • Block (Defensive - Crush)
Primarily a 'Crushing' weapon which is good against platemail, this is the more flexible and weaker form of a warhammer. It is also the weapon of choice for priests as they give slight prayer bonuses.
LONG SWORD
Pic Speed Strength Damage
Medium Medium
  • Chop (Accurate - Slash)
  • Slash (Aggressive - Slash)
  • Lunge (Controlled - Stab)
  • Block (Defensive - Slash)
A warrior's loyal friend and often chosen weapon in many battles. It is used to 'Stab' and 'Slash' opponents and has enough strength to inflict significant damage. It has a good compromise between speed and strength, and also has a 'controlled' fighting option to spread xp gained amongst all fighting levels.
SPEAR (members)
Pic Speed Strength Damage
Medium Medium
  • Lunge (Accurate - Stab)
  • Swipe (Aggressive - Slash)
  • Pound (Controlled - Crush)
  • Block (Defensive - Stab)
The most flexible weapon in the game being able to attack with all different types of options. However it does sacrifice speed and strength because of this. It also has a 'controlled' fighting option.
BATTLE AXE
Pic Speed Strength Damage
Slow High
  • Chop (Accurate - Slash)
  • Hack (Aggressive - Slash)
  • Smash (Aggressive - Crush)
  • Block (Defensive - Slash)
Faster than the two-handed sword yet not as strong. This is the second most favoured weapon amongst warriors and can inflict significant 'Slash' damage versus Rangers and Mages, as well as 'Crush' damage versus other warriors.
WARHAMMER
Pic Speed Strength Damage
Slow High
  • Pound (Accurate - Crush)
  • Pummel (Aggressive - Crush)
  • Block (Defensive - Crush)
A big lump of metal on the end of a stick, this is only used for fighitng versus other warriors to 'Crush' through their platemail.
TWO-HANDED SWORD
Pic Speed Strength Damage
Slowest Highest
  • Chop (Accurate - Slash)
  • Slash (Aggressive - Slash)
  • Smash (Aggressive - Crush)
  • Block (Defensive - Slash)
Although the slowest of all weapons, it is very much so the strongest weapon in the game but can not be used with a shield. Although it can not be used to Stab it still packs a mighty punch. This weapon is not used often due to its slow speed.
HALBERD (members)
Pic Speed Strength Damage
Slowest Highest
  • Jab (Controlled - Stab)
  • Swipe (Aggressive - Slash)
  • Fend (Defensive - Stab)
  • Block (Defensive - Slash)
Being very slow is the disadvantage of this weapon. However, its advantage is its great reach whereby the warrior can attack enemies from a 2 square distance, even over small obstacles. This can be exploited in certain situations.

You can also wield hatchets and pickaxes as weapons, but these are primarily used for woodcutting and mining. They are uneffective in combat.

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Dragon Items

There are many weapons and armour that do not fall in to the conventional categories as explaind above, and Jagex have brought these out slowly over time. They are usually as rare drops, quest rewards, or only obtainable from guilds. They can either be part of the ever increasing Dragon group - which is a step up from Runite or alternatively, they could be just other types of weapons and armour. See below for detailed info. We have listed the Dragon Items in the chronological order of them being released in to the game.

DRAGON ITEMS
Item
Attack Bonus Defence Bonus Other Bonuses
Stab Slash Crush Magic Range Stab Slash Crush Magic Range Strength Prayer
Long Sword
+58 +69 +2 0 0 0 +3 +2 0 0 +71 0
This was the very first Dragon Item to be released. It was, and still is, purchasable in the Lost City for 100,000gp which you can only access after completing the Lost City quest. You can also buy it from other players.
Battle Axe
-2 +70 +65 0 0 0 0 0 0 -1 +85 0
You can purchase this from the Hero's guild for 200,000 gp which you could access after completing the Hero's quest. Alternatively, you can buy this weapon from other players.
Medium Helmet
0 0 0 -3 -1 +33 +35 +32 -1 +34 0 0
This is usually obtainable as a drop from the King Black Dragon in his cavern or other high level monsters who drop it as well. Check our Bestiary for more monsters.
Dagger
+40 +25 -4 +1 0 0 0 0 +1 0 +40 0
This was later released at the same Lost City store where you could buy the Dragon Long Sword. A Dragon Dagger costs 30,000gp - or you could get one from other players.
Mace
+40 -2 +60 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 +55 +5
This was released at the same time with the Dragon Dagger and is purchasable at the Heros' Guild like the Battle Axe, but for 50,000gp - or from other players.
Square Shield
0 0 0 -6 -2 +50 +52 +48 0 +50 0 0
This item is made by smithing its two halves together. This will require lvl 55 smithing. You can purchase the Right Half from the Legend's guild store which you gain access to after completing the Legends' quest. The left half is a very rare drop from many monsters - search our Bestiary for more info.
Halberd
+70 +95 0 -4 0 +1 +4 +5 0 0 +89 0
You can buy and wield this weapon only after completing the Regicide quest. You can buy it at the Tyras camp for 325,000gp. You can also buy it from other players, but can't use it until you have finished the quest.
Chain mail
0 0 0 -15 0 +81 +93 +98 -3 +82 0 0
This is a very rare drop from the highest level monster in the game - the Kalphite Queen. You will usually have to kill the Queen with a team of players, and she is located in the Kalphite Dungeon.
Plate Legs
0 0 0 -21 -7 +68 +66 +63 -4 +65 0 0
These can be obtained as drops from Metal Dragons in Brimhaven Dungeon - Bronze, Iron and Steel Dragons. Or you can purchase a pair from other players.
Plate Skirt
0 0 0 -21 -7 +68 +66 +63 -4 +65 0 0
Same info as for Dragon Legs.
Scimitar
+8 +67 -2 0 0 0 +1 0 0 0 +66 0
This can be bought for maximum value of 108.000gp from Daga's scimitar stall on Ape Atoll after completing the Monkey Madness quest. You can buy it from other players, but can't use it until you have completed the quest.
Spear
+55 +55 +55 0 0 +5 +5 +5 +5 +5 +60 0
Dropped by various monsters.
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Miscellaneous

GRANITE ITEMS
Item
Attack Bonus Defence Bonus Other Bonuses
Stab Slash Crush Magic Range Stab Slash Crush Magic Range Strength Prayer
Granite Maul
0 0 +81 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 +79 0
A drop by two slayer monsters: Nechryaels and Gargoyles. Damage types:
  • Pound (Accurate - Crush)
  • Pummel (Aggressive - Crush)
  • Block (Defensive - Crush)
Granite Shield
0 0 0 0 -8 +40 +42 +38 0 +65 0 0
A drop by several trolls.
CRYSTAL ITEMS
Item
Attack Bonus Defence Bonus Other Bonuses
Stab Slash Crush Magic Range Stab Slash Crush Magic Range Strength Prayer
Crystal Bow
0 0 +0 0 +100 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Information about this bow can be found in our ranged guide.
Crystal Shield
0 0 0 0 0 +51 +54 +53 0 +80 0 0
Similar to the crystal bow, this can be bought for 750,000 gp after completing the Roving Elves quest. The recharging costs (after 2500 uses) are the same as the bow and any recharge for either crystal item counts as a recharge.
FREMINIK HELMETS
Item
Attack Bonus Defence Bonus Other Bonuses
Stab Slash Crush Magic Range Stab Slash Crush Magic Range Strength Prayer
Archer Helm
-5 -5 -5 -5 +6 +6 +8 +10 +6 +6 0 0
Once you have completed The Fremennik Trail quest, you can purchase ths helmet from Thorvald (located north of the Fremenik general hall) for 78,000gp.
Berserker Helm
0 0 0 -5 -5 +31 +29 +33 0 +30 +3 0
Once you have completed The Fremennik Trail quest, you can purchase ths helmet from Thorvald (located north of the Fremenik general hall) for 78,000gp.
Warrior Helm
0 +5 0 -5 -5 +31 +33 +29 0 +30 0 0
Once you have completed The Fremennik Trail quest, you can purchase ths helmet from Thorvald (located north of the Fremenik general hall) for 78,000gp.
Farseer Helm
-5 -5 -5 +6 -5 +8 +10 +12 +6 0 0 0
Once you have completed The Fremennik Trail quest, you can purchase ths helmet from Thorvald (located north of the Fremenik general hall) for 78,000gp.
MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS
Item
Attack Bonus Defence Bonus Other Bonuses
Stab Slash Crush Magic Range Stab Slash Crush Magic Range Strength Prayer
Abyssal Whip
0 +82 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 82 0
Dropped by Abyssal Demons, which is a slayer monster. Damage types:
  • Flick (Accurate - Slash)
  • Lash (Controlled - Slash)
  • Deflect (Defensive - Slash)

The 'Whip', as it it's often called, can attack faster than the dagger. Because of its strength, it's a very popular weapon amoung those who can afford it.

Excalibur +20 +29 -2 0 0 0 +3 +2 +1 0 +25 0
Obtained during the Merlins Crystal quest.
Silverlight +9 +14 -2 0 0 0 +3 +2 +1 0 +12 0
Obtained during the Demon Slayer quest.
Dragonfire
Shield
0 0 0 0 0 +7 +9 +8 +2 +8 0 0
You can get this by talking to the Duke of Lumbridge in Lumbridge Castle.
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Special Attacks (members only)

These are special attacks that will hit your enemy with an added affect that will be to your advantage. To perform a special attack, you must check the special attack power bar is full enough. You can see this in the weapon menu.

It is worth noting that only certain weapons have special attacks, not every weapon. The table below shows the different special attacks and information about how they work. Every time you use a special attack, it will drain some of your special energy power as shown on the bar. This automatically regenerates by itself and there is nothing you can do to make it go faster.

Picture Name & Weapon Effect Cost
Energy Drain
Abyssal Whip
More accurate than usual and if successful, will tansfer 10% of your ooponent's energy to you. 50% Drain
Quick Smash
Granite Maul
Will instantly attack the enemy (even if you've just hit once). 50% Drain
Puncture
Dragon Dagger
Two very quick strikes, with slightly increased Attack and Strength 25% Drain
Cleave
Dragon Longsword
Temporarily increases Strength and Attack for a hit 25% Drain
Sever
Dragon Scimitar
More accurate than usual and if successful, will prevent your opponent from using protection prayers for 5 seconds. 55% Drain
Rampage
Dragon BattleAxe
Temporary increase of
Strength +20%
Attack -10%
Defence -10%
Ranged -10%
100% Drain
Shatter
Dragon Mace
Temporarily increases your Strength and decreases your Attack for that hit. 25% Drain
Shove
Dragon Spear
Stuns your opponent for 4 seconds so he/she can't move. 25% Drain
Sweep
Dragon Halberd
Enemies that take up more than one square will be hit twice. 35% Drain
Sanctuary
Excalibur
Defence +10% Full Drain
Power Shot
Magic Longbow
An accurate shot that will definetly inflict damage. 35% Drain
Snap Shot
Magic Shortbow
Two arrows fired very quickly but will hit with less accuracy. 55% Drain
Chain Hit
Rune Throwing Axe
Will hit many enemies in a multi-combat area. 20% Drain
Impale
Rune Claws
Temporarily increases Strength and Attack for that hit, but slower. -

Now you know what there is to know about melee combat in RuneScape. Get out there and kill some monsters - happy scaping