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Combat Guide

By: Data/Loggy & Tangerz, additions by Makoto, Bluez, and Geo1988

(Note: Text coloured red indicates Members-Only items, locations or features)

The Basics
Combat Types
Fighting
- Combat Styles
- Combat Triangle
- Death
- Gravestones
Special Attacks
Melee Equipment
Extra Combat Info
Melee EXP Quest Rewards

* Note: Black = Neutral Stat, Purple = Attack Stats, Blue = Defense Stats*

Introduction to Combat

Combat in Runescape is generally known as a group of seven separate skills, and these skills make up your Combat level. While your Combat Level isn't technically an actual skill level, it is still very important. They are important in the game due to the fact that you need them to defeat things for quests and stay alive and other various things.

The Basics

An important thing to note is that combat level is based upon the armour and weapons that an NPC has, naturally or equipped. For example, a Fire Giant will have a higher combat level due not only to his strength and size, but to his rather large Dragon Sword and Chain Mail. Things change a little during Player Vs. Player fighting, but that will be covered later.

When you hover your mouse cursor over an NPC or player, that person's (or NPC's) combat level will be displayed.

Combat levels in green mean that you have a higher combat level than them. Combat levels displayed in red mean you have a lower combat level than your target. If the colour is displayed in yellow, it means the player has a similar combat level as you, or the NPC is within your combat level range.






Combat Level

There are seven skills that compromise your combat level: Attack, Defense, Strength, Ranged, Magic, Prayer, and Hitpoints. All seven of these skills have a special effect on your combat level; for example, if your Strength and Attack attribute is greater than that of Magic/Ranged then your combat level will be Melee based. If your Magic attribute is greater than Strength or Ranged then your combat is Magic based, and if your Ranged is greater than Strength or Magic then your combat is Range based. All these skills together also determine what your actual Combat Level is. This guide will mainly cover the melee part of combat.

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This is an example of a player's combat and their combat skills. Their Melee levels exceed all others, so this player is Melee Based.

Combat Types

There are seven total skills relating to combat and three kinds of fighting. XP is gained in these skills depending on how much damage you deal.

Melee

What is Melee? Melee is defined as physical combat; the sword and shield. When using Melee weaponry, you can only attack at close quarters. In certain cases, such as using the Halberd weapon, the melee warrior may stay a distance away from a would-be attacker and attack from either behind a fence, another player or a safe-spot, such as a high wall in Castle Wars or from behind a cage. There are four skills intertwined with 'melee' that effect your combat: Hitpoints, Strength, Defence, and Attack.


Hitpoints



The Hitpoints (HP) aspect of RuneScape is not a complicated nature. It basically means how much damage you can take before you pass out and wind up in Lumbridge or Falador. There is NO direct way to train this skill, because it takes approximately 0.33% of all your damage and applies that to your Hitpoints experience. Your Hitpoints are affected by ALL combat skills, so a high level in this would be very nice to have and easily trained at the same time.

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Attack, Strength & Defence

The next three skills of melee combat - Attack, Strength and Defence - are a key factor of melee fighting. The Attack skill determines how often you hit (so a higher Attack Level means you will hit your opponent more often); the Strength skill determines how much damage you deal (so a higher Strength Level means you will deal higher damage per attack); and the Defence Skill determines how often you're hit (so a higher Defence Level means you would be hit less by opponents). It is good to have these levels even, but as you advance in Runescape, there can be certain advantages to having spaced out levels.

However, Attack, Strength & Defence are also 3 of 4 combat styles. You will learn more about these later on.

Magic

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Magic can be a useful part of combat. You can use Magic to deal various amounts of damage to your enemy from long range, teleport around Runescape, enchant items, and a variety of other things that give you an advantage in Runescape. For more information on Magic, see the Magic Guide.

Ranged



Ranged is a very powerful part of combat. You can use ranged with a variety of different weapons to inflict damage on your enemy from a distance. For more information on Ranged, see the Ranged Guide.

Summoning

Summoning is a members-only skill that involves summoning creatures to serve your during your adventures in Runescape - which in course involves fighting. With summoning you can call powerful creatures to aid you in combat (as well as aid in other skills), and thus give you a huge advantage. For more information, see the Summoning Guide. Summoning was also the skill to raise the maximum combat level to 138.

Prayer

Prayer isn't necessarily a direct melee attribute but it does heavily affect the tides of battle whilst fighting as well as affecting your combat level. When you are praying, this shows to the Runescape Gods that you request their mercy and pity, and in many cases they will bestow it upon you. You can use Prayers to protect you, boost your stats temporarily, and a variety of other things. Everything is covered in the Prayer Guide.

Fighting

As mentioned earlier, fighting is a very important part of Runescape. It can be rewarding, as well as dangerous. There are many factors to consider when fighting, such as weakness, combat styles, levels, and so on. There is a lot to learn about all kinds of fighting - melee, magic, and ranged.

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Combat Styles

Attack, Strength & Defence are 3 of 4 combat styles. When melee fighting, you can usually choose from 4 kinds of combat styles -Accurate, Aggressive, Defensive, or Controlled. Your combat style can be changed from the combat interface menu (see picture below).

When fighting with any combat style (excluding controlled), your level is related (Accurate relates to Attack Level, Aggressive relates to Strength Level, and Defensive relates to Defence level), and you will do more of what that skill offers (e.g., if you were fighting with the Aggressive Combat Style, you would deal higher damage), and the majority of the expierence you gain will go to the level related to your style. The Controlled style is a different story. In this Combat Style, your accuracy, strength and defence are distrubed evenly - as is the expierence you gain.

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Choosing a Combat Style is important. Say, if you wanted to level up your Attack Level more, you should fight in the Accurate mode. But if you want to conserve your HP and take less damage during a fight, you should fight in the Defensive mode. There are many things to consider. For example, there are many NPC's that are weak to one thing and more resistant to others. Bloodvelds, for example, have magic-based attacks, so when fighting them, it's better to wear equipment that is resistant to magic, such as Dragonhide.

Another quick thing to remember about combat is the auto-retaliate button, located on the same menu where you can change your combat style. When this option is set to on, you will automatically fight anything that attacks you. When it is off, you will not fight back if you are attacked.

The Combat Triangle

As you've learned, there are three ways to fight in Runescape - Melee, Magic, or Ranged. The balance of these three styles are kept even through the Combat Triangle.

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As a general rule, a warrior (melee fighter) will do better fighting Rangers (ranged fighter), but be weak against Mages (magic fighter). A Mage will do better against warriors, but are weak against Rangers. And, obviously, a Ranger will do good against Mages, but be weak to Warriors.

Multi-Combat Zones

There are certain zones throughout Runescape, Wilderness and not, specified by two twin swords in the lower right hand corner of the screen, that are Multi-Combat Zones. In these zones, both multiple NPCs and multiple Players can attack multiple targets. Otherwise, fighting is restriced to one-on-one.

Death



If and when you die, you will spawn in your set spawn city. This is Lumbridge for most players, but for players who've completed certain quests, you can change it to another city, as shown in the table below.

Spawn
Quest Required
Talk To
Lumbridge
-
-
Falador
Sir Tiffy Cashien
Camelot
Merlin


In most cases when you die, you will keep your 3 most valuable items - not determined by market price - which are determined before you die and can be checked under the 'items kept after death' interface, in your Equipped Items menu in game. By activating the 'Protect Item' prayer you can keep up to 4 items. Please note that you do not keep stacks of items, but only three. (For example, if you had 50 natures runes, you would only keep three.)

However, things may change if you are skulled. This is indicated as a skull above a player's head. You can only be skulled during the Bounty Hunter Mini-Game, or from entering The Abyss. When you are skulled, you lose all items when you die, unless you have the Protect Items prayer activated, in which case you will keep the most valuable item. The skull above your head stays with you for 20 minutes, or until you die.

Gravestones

When you die and lose whatever items you cannot keep, a gravestone will appear where you die, guarding your items. However, your gravestone will only remain where you died for two to five minutes, depending on what gravestone you have. Your gravestone will begin to crumble during its duration, but players with at least level 2 Prayer can select to 'Repair' the gravestone for about five prayer points for another five minutes or so. Players with at least level 70 Prayer can 'Bless' the gravestone to keep it around much longer, though it will take a varying amount of more prayer points.

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Non-members gravestones are sold by Father Aereck in Lumbridge Church, and you must have completed the Restless Ghost Quest to change your tombstone beyond the default Memorial Plaque. Members gravestones (which can be used on freeplay worlds) are sold by Blasidar in Keldagrim, located next to the Consortium Palace (the big building in the middle of the city) on the eastern side. You must have completed the Giant Dwarf Quest to buy gravestones from Blasidar.

Gravestone
Cost
Duration
Sold By
Memorial Plaque
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Default
2 minutes
Default
Flag
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50 gp
2 minutes
Father Aereck
Small Gravestone
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500 gp
2 minutes
Father Aereck
Ornate Gravestone
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5000 gp
3 minutes
Father Aereck
Font of Life
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50,000 gp
4 minutes
Blasidar
Stele
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50,000 gp
4 minutes
Blasidar
Symbol of Saradomin
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50,000 gp
4 minutes
Blasidar
Symbol of Zamorak
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50,000 gp
4 minutes
Blasidar
Symbol of Guthix
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50,000 gp
4 minutes
Blasidar
Symbol of Bandos
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50,000 gp, * Land of Goblins
4 minutes
Blasidar
Symbol of Armadyl
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50,000 gp, * Temple of Ikov
4 minutes
Blasidar
Ancient Symbol
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50,000 gp, * Desert Treasure
4 minutes
Blasidar
Angel of Death
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50,000 gp
5 minutes
Blasidar


* - You must have completed this quest to purchase the gravestone.

When you return to the place you died, only you can select to 'Demolish' the gravestone and obtain the items you lost. Regardless of any help from other players or anything else, gravestones will crumble an hour after you've died, or when you log out, or if you die again.

Special Attacks

Most higher level weapons in Runescape have a 'Special Attack' option. When weapons with a special attack option are equipped, a special attack bar appears on the Combat Styles section of the menu. When this bar is fully lit up, you can click it to activate the special attack. When activated, the next time you attack something, the special attack will automatically be used on your opponent.



Using a special attack will take away a certain amount of energy from the special attack bar - depending on what weapon you use. With some weapons, you can use the special attack many times, and with others, you may only use it once or twice. If you do not have enough energy in the special attack bar to use the special attack, you must wait until it has charged back up enough to be able to use the special attack again.

Special attacks, of course, vary from weapon to weapon not only in special attack energy consumed, but by type. The special attack may be a powerful slash, such as in the case of the Dragon Long Sword, or it may be a powerful ranged shot, as in the case of the Magic Longbow. Some special attacks even have a special effect, such as the Dragon Scimitar - it's special attack is the 'Severe', which prevents the opponent from using Protect Prayers for 5 seconds. Protect Items is unaffected.

Here is a table of all the Special Attacks in Runescape.

Special Attack
Image
Effect
Magic LongBow: Powershot
Full power of longbow used; increased chance of hitting opponent
Magic ShortBow: Snapshot
Two rapid shots fired at opponent; accuracy decreased
Seercull: Soul Shot
Opponents magic level decreased by the amount of damage inflicted
Dorgeshuun Crossbow: Snipe
Opponents defence level lowered by the amount of damage dealt; better chance to hit an unsuspecting opponent
Rune Throwing-Axe: Chain-Hit
In multi-combat area, projectile bounces off multiple targets, dealing damage to each
Rune Claws: Impale
Slower but more accurate and powerful attack
Bone Dagger: Backstab
Opponents defence level lowered by the amount of damage dealt; better chance to hit an unsuspecting opponent
Dragon Dagger: Puncture
Two quick strikes at opponent with decreased accuracy and power
Dragon LongSword: Cleave
Inflicts increased damage to opponent
Dragon Scimitar: Severe
More accurate attacks that, if successful, prevents opponent from using Protection Prayers for 5 seconds
Dragon 2H Sword: Powerstab
Area attack that damages nearby enemies
Dragon Battleaxe: Rampage
Attack, Ranged, Defence, & Magic stats temporarily lowered while Strength is boosted
Dragon Axe: Clobber
Opponents Defence and Magic stats lowered
Dragon Mace: Shatter
Powerful attack with a reduced chance to hit
Dragon/Zamorak Spear: Shove
Opponent is pushed back away from you and stunned; no damage is inflicted
Dragon Halberd: Sweep
Powerful slash inflicted upon your opponent; halberd will automatically sweep back and deal extra damage when fighting large NPC's
Granite Maul: Quick Smash
Extra attack taken instantly; no other effects
Abyssal Whip: Energy Drain
More accurate attack that, if successful, transfers 10% of your opponents run energy to you
Excalibur: Sanctuary
Defence stat increased
Darklight: Weaken
If attack hits opponent, their Attack, Defence & Strength are decreased by 5%; the same stats are decreased by 10% in the case of demons
Rod of Ivandis: Retainer
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When a Vampyre has only half of his health remaining, this attack suspends the Vampyre in the air so you can apply a dose of Guthix Balance Potion
Barrelchest Anchor: Sunder
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Successful hit will lower either enemy's attack, magic, ranged, or defence level temporarily by 10% of the damage caused; chances to hit doubled
Ancient Goblin Mace: Favour of the War God
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Successful hit will do damage regardless of the Protect from Melee prayer that your opponent may be using; prayer is drained from your opponent and given to you
Brine Sabre: Liquefy
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Doubles the chances of doing damage; quarter of damage dealt added to users attack, strength, & defence; only usable under water
Dark Bow: Descent of Darkness
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Inflicts up to 30% more damage; minimum 5 damage per arrow; will always hit
Dragon Arrows: Descent of Dragons
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Inflicts up to 50% more damage; minimum 8 damage per arrow; will always hit; must be use with the Dark Bow
Saradomin Sword: Saradomin's Lightning
Inflicts between 5 and 15 extra magical damage to your foe via lightning
Saradomin Godsword: Healing Blade
Half of the damage inflicted restores your hitpoints and one quarter restores your prayer; you will receive at least 10 Hitpoints & 5 Prayer
Zamorak Godsword: Ice Cleave
Freezes your opponent for 20 seconds
Armadyl Godsword: The Judgement
Inflicts up to 25% more damage to your foe
Bandos Godsword: Warstrike
Attack does 10% more damage; opponent's combat stats drained to 0 *


* - The combat levels are drained to zero in this order: Defence, Strength, Prayer, Attack, Magic, and Ranged

Melee Equipment

There are a large variety of items that can be obtained in Runescape and used to your advantage to help you out with melee combat. Equipment can be obtained in a variety of ways, from killing monsters and doing quests, to making them yourself, through Smithing and Crafting. The table below will link you to various pages on melee equipment, from armours to potions. Decorative and trimmed items are not included, as well as most other kinds of lower-level equipment.

Equipment Page
Description
Contains all metal (mithril, rune, etc.) armour information
Contains all non-metal armour information
Contains all metal (mithril, rune, etc.) weapon information
Contains all non-metal weapon information
Contains information on melee related jewelry, potions, etc.
Contains information on the equipment of the Fremennik Province & Isles
Contains information on Barrows Equipment (Dharok, Torag, etc.)
Contains information on God Equipment (god armour, prayerbooks, etc.)


Extra Combat Info

There are some other, extra things that you should know about while raising combat:

Cape of Accomplishment

The ultimate reward for getting level 99 Attack, Defence, Strength or Hitpoints is not only the great ability you will have in the skill, but the Cape of Accomplishment that you will have the oppurtunity to purchase. For more information on Capes of Accomplishment, see the Skill Capes page.

Related Links

The following links may help you with your combat.

Melee EXP Rewards in Quests

The following quests give various melee EXP rewards upon completion.

Attack
Quest
Exp
600 Exp
875 Exp
1000 Exp
2000 Exp
2000 Exp
2500 Exp
2812.4 Exp
3000 Exp
3000 Exp
3075 Exp
4825 Exp
11450 Exp
12175 Exp
13750 Exp
18400 Exp
Choice of either 20000 or 35000 Exp


Strength
Quest
Exp
600 Exp
875 Exp
2000 Exp
2500 Exp
2812.4 Exp
3000 exp
3075 Exp
4000 Exp
4662.5 Exp
6625 Exp
7000 Exp
13750 Exp
18650 Exp
Choice of either 20000 or 35000 Exp
22000 Exp
30000 exp


Defense
Quest
Exp
500 Exp
600 Exp
875 Exp
2000 Exp
2000 Exp
2812.4 Exp
3075 Exp
5000 Exp
12000 Exp
15300 Exp
18650 Exp
33000 Exp
Choice of either 20000 or 35000 Exp


Hitpoints
Quest
Exp
500 Exp
600 Exp
875 Exp
2000 Exp
2812.4 Exp
3075 Exp
4000 Exp
5000 Exp
5000 Exp
6325 Exp
15000 Exp
Choice of either 20000 or 35000 Exp
25000 Exp


* In the Observatory Quest, you will receive 875 exp in either Attack, Defence, Hitpoints, or Strength depending on which constellation you observed.

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