Free-to-play combat pure guide
Free-to-play combat pures are accounts designed to excel in player versus player combat. They are often created with the specific goal of engaging in player versus player activities in the free-to-play worlds. To gain an advantage in their respective combat level brackets, training of these accounts is often focused on the offensive skills, maximising the damage output at the cost of sacrificing the defensive capabilities.
Combat skills[edit | edit source]
In general, combat pures tend to focus on the offensive skills to gain an advantage in their particular combat level range. Free-to-play pures often limit their defence and prayer levels to maximise their damage output.
Attack[edit | edit source]
Many free-to-play pures choose to level attack up to 40, as it unlocks rune weapons—the highest tier of weaponry available on free-to-play worlds. Even without training the attack skill further, rune weapons are accurate enough to consistently damage other players with low defence levels. However, the accuracy does drop drastically against armoured opponents with higher defence levels.
Melee is commonly used to knock out the opponents, so maximising the damage by training strength might still be preferable to improving the accuracy by training attack. It is worth noting that some weapons such as warhammers do not require training attack to wield. As such, it might be beneficial to avoid training attack early on, and focus on the strength skill instead to maximise the maximum melee hit with weapons such as the rune warhammer.
Attack milestones[edit | edit source]
Bryophyta's staff (with 30 )
Strength[edit | edit source]
Melee allows to deal the highest maximum hits among all combat styles, which makes it the most common combat style used to knock out the opponents. Because of that, strength is a very commonly trained skill among combat pures.
Strength also allows to wield warhammers, which do not require any attack levels to use. Warhammers are slow and accurate 1-handed weapons with high strength bonuses, which makes them effective as knockout weapons. Melee-oriented accounts that rely on weapons with no attack requirements and train strength over attack are referred to as strength pures.
Strength milestones[edit | edit source]
|1||Goblin paint cannon, Swift blade, Ham joint|
Defence[edit | edit source]
The majority of free-to-play combat pures tend to keep their defence level at 1 to focus on the offensive skills and maximise damage output. Until high combat levels, combat pures with 1 defence level severely outdamage opponents with regular accounts that train combat skills evenly. Fights between 1 defence level pures tend to be very dynamic and somewhat less dependent on luck due to the extremely high accuracy of their attacks on both ends. 1 defence pures dominate low and medium level free-to-play player killing scene.
It should be noted that many player killers still choose to level their defence to unlock specific tiers of armour, with rune being the strongest and most common. Such accounts tend to start significantly weaker than 1 defence pures, but once they reach higher combat levels the offensive capabilities of both 1 and 40 defence pures can be very similar—and eventually identical. Even maxed 1 defence pures might have problems killing armoured 40 defence opponents with a similar combat level in 1-vs-1 fights.
30 defence level is necessary to achieve the highest equipment strength bonus on free-to-play by wearing the golden decorative boots. These boots are currently the only piece of equipment outside of the weapon and amulet slots that provides a strength bonus in free-to-play worlds. They are also required to maximise damage with certain melee weapons such as the rune scimitar.
Defence milestones[edit | edit source]
Studded body (with 20 )
Ranged[edit | edit source]
Ranged affects accuracy and maximum damage of ranged attacks. It also unlocks leather gear and ranged weapons.
Unlike in the case of melee combat style, ranged is not split into two separate skills—it increases both the accuracy and damage of the ranged attacks. As combat pures tend to cap their attack levels, their ranged attacks are usually more accurate and consistent than melee hits.
Shortbows used with the rapid combat style have the fastest attack speed in free-to-play worlds, making it pretty easy to stack damage. The ranged skill also unlocks some relatively high level armours that have the best-in-slot bonuses for 1 defence accounts.
Ranged milestones[edit | edit source]
|1||Shortbow and iron arrows
Hardleather body (with 10 )
|5||Oak shortbow and steel arrows|
|20||Willow shortbow and mithril arrows
Studded body (with 20 )
|30||Maple shortbow and adamant arrows|
|40||Green d'hide body (with 40 and Dragon Slayer I)|
Magic[edit | edit source]
Magic increases magic attacks accuracy and magic defence. It also gives access to numerous combat and utility spells.
Combat spells start with a very quick damage progression, severely outdamaging other combat styles. For example, Fire Strike is available at 13 level and can deal up to 8 damage with considerable accuracy. In contrast, players with comparable combat levels using ranged and melee attacks can deal up to 3 and 5 damage respectively with the best gear. However, magic attacks quickly become obsolete due to their relatively low speed and eventual damage cap. Magic max hit is achieved at 59 level thanks to the Fire Blast spell and is permanently capped at 16 (outside of combat minigames), as it does not scale along with the level progression. This is why magic in 1-vs-1 combat is mostly used only on low and early mid levels, if at all.
On higher combat levels, magic attacks lack the speed of ranged attacks for consistent combos and the maximum damage potential of melee for knockouts. Magic attacks usually have a much smaller damage-per-second value than ranged or melee combat styles, with the notable exception of fighting opponents with high defence levels wearing metal armours such as rune. Magic also gives access to the Bind, Snare and Tele Block spells, which are very helpful when killing players in the deep wilderness or the PvP worlds outside of typical hotspots. While commonly used in duels on lower levels, combat spells eventually become viable only in multicombat zones and in the deep wilderness.
It is the only skill that directly affects both defence and offence of magic attacks, as well as the only combat skill beside prayer that can be trained reliably without gaining hitpoints experience on free-to-play worlds. Even when not using spells in combat, training magic is worth it solely for the improved magic defence and unlocking all utility spells. Magic levels can be gained without earning hitpoints experience or raising the overall combat level, as long as its level is below or equal to ranged or ⅔ of attack and strength.
Magic milestones[edit | edit source]
|30||Bryophyta's staff (with 30 )|
|55||High Level Alchemy|
Hitpoints[edit | edit source]
As standard training methods of the majority of combat skills involve gaining hitpoints experience, making it difficult to avoid levelling hitpoints, this is the only defensive skill that is commonly trained by the vast majority of combat pures regardless of their build. A notable exception includes accounts such as specialised magic pures which can reliably train magic without gaining hitpoints experience, although they are extremely fragile.
The overall combat level is affected equally by the defence and hitpoints levels. For example, players with 1 defence and 79 hitpoints or 40 defence and 40 hitpoints would end up with the same combat level given similar melee, ranged and magic skill levels. This gives an advantage to players training their combat skills with methods that do not grant hitpoints experience to purposefully lower their combat level.
Players with a low hitpoints level can outdamage their opponents with a similar combat level due to increased offensive skills. Arguably, hitpoints are not as vital in typical 1-vs-1 combat since players tend to keep their health below the maximum value either way to avoid healing too much (or safing). However, free-to-play players have no reliable way of gaining melee or ranged combat experience without training hitpoints, with the exceptions being some quest rewards, training on a dummy and experience lamps. On the other hand, pay-to-play worlds do provide such training methods for every combat skill.
Prayer[edit | edit source]
Prayer unlocks skill boosts, gives access to various utility prayers and raises maximum prayer points amount. It has a lesser impact on the combat level than either hitpoints or defence and the offensive skills.
Prayers are necessary to achieve the highest possible maximum hits on free-to-play. Since prayers boost combat skills by a percent rather than a fixed value, their efficiency raises along with the levels of the boosted skills.
Besides unlocking new boosts, gaining additional prayer levels does not increase efficiency of existing prayers. It only affects how long the prayers can be used before running out of the prayer points. That is why many pures choose to stop training this skill after unlocking specific prayers necessary for their build.
Prayer milestones[edit | edit source]
|4||Burst of Strength|
|37||Protect from Magic|
|40||Protect from Missiles|
|43||Protect from Melee|
See the account builds section for commonly used prayer level tiers.
Builds[edit | edit source]
This section describes the differences between account builds followed by free-to-play combat pures.
Combat pure builds are mostly defined by the sets of restrictions of their combat skills. In particular, the most significant differences stem from training secondary skills that do not directly raise maximum damage, such as attack, defence, hitpoints, or prayer. This is because training these skills is a permanent choice that cannot be made up for by training other combat skills to optimise the build for any given combat level, as is the case with ranged, magic, or strength. While training these secondary skills to a specific level can influence damage output by unlocking certain items or boosts, training them too high generally puts the player at a disadvantage by raising their combat level in exchange for minor advantages in combat. This is especially true in case of skills such as prayer, which gives no advantages over 45 level other than being able to use prayers without flicking for a longer time.
In general, free-to-play combat pures can be split into the following categories:
- By attack:
- Low (1-39): strength-based builds that rely on warhammers to knock out the opponents. They often restrict ranged and magic as well to keep a low melee-based combat level.
- Medium (40-50): these accounts have access to the best free-to-play weaponry including rune weapons. Very common. Optimal for pures with ranged or magic levels over 93.
- High (51+): specialised pures such as tanks or clan pures that can be suboptimal in 1-vs-1 combat due to the extra combat levels.
- By prayer:
- No prayer (1): the most efficient on low combat levels, these accounts do not use prayers in combat.
- Low (4-34): typically with prayer level at 13 or 31, these accounts usually train prayer to raise their maximum melee hits. Common among players participating in 1-vs-1 combat.
- Medium (43-45): typically in range of 43 to 45, these pures have access to the protection prayers, as well as most or all of the best available boosts for every combat skill. Optimal for maxed pures. Common among players participating in multicombat activities.
- High (46+): specialised pures such as clan pures that are suboptimal in 1-vs-1 combat due to the extra combat levels for no combat advantages in free-to-play PvP activities other than convenience.
- By defence:
- No defence (1): among the most common combat pures, these accounts completely sacrifice defensive capabilities to maximise damage output on any given combat level.
- Low (5-39): novelty or specialised accounts with some defensive capabilities such as adamant pures or clan pures.
- Medium (40): rune pures with access to the best free-to-play armours including rune armour, rune god armours, green d'hide body, and gilded d'hide body.
- High (41+): specialised defensive pures such as tanks or defence pures.
- By hitpoints:
- Minimal (10): specialised accounts such as ironman pures or teleblockers designed to participate in ultra low combat level PvP activities.
- Low: any account with below average hitpoints for its combat level falls into this category. They are trained with methods that do not grant any hitpoints experience to minimise the combat level. These builds sacrifice defensive capabilities to maximise damage in their respective combat level range, often severely outdamaging other PvP-oriented accounts within their brackets such as 1 defence pures with higher hitpoints levels.
- Regular: any account that was mostly trained with regular training methods that grant hitpoints experience.
Damage sources[edit | edit source]
Most viable builds for 1-vs-1 combat pair a reliable quick attack—such as the maple shortbow on rapid or the rune scimitar—with a powerful knockout attack like the rune 2h sword or a combat spell. Combat pure accounts often focus on specific offensive combat skills to maximise the damage output with both the main and secondary attacks like strength or ranged, with skills such as attack or prayer trained just high enough to unlock certain items or boosts.
The following table lists viable types of attacks used by players in both 1-vs-1 duels and multicombat areas.
|Source||Speed||Type||1-vs-1 viability||Multicombat viability|
|Shortbows||3||1.8s||DPS||High. With extremely high speed at 3 ticks, shortbows are commonly used to deal majority of damage, as well as to set up combos in 1-vs-1 combat.||High. Considerable range, accuracy, and speed make shortbows a common option for multicombat areas as a primary weapon.|
|2-handed melee weapons||7||4.2s||KO||High. Weapons such as two-handed swords or the hill giant club allow to achieve the highest maximum melee hits in free-to-play worlds, even though their DPS rates are actually much lower than those of faster melee weapons of comparable tier. They are crucial in 1-vs-1 combat, even though they are not effective as the primary weapons. Proceeded by the quick attacks of a shortbow or a scimitar, they allow to perform deadly combos.||Low. Their poor speed makes their damage output too low to be viable in multicombat areas, where multiple players can stack numerous hits in short periods of time. Faster melee weapons are better to keep momentum, and can fill the same niche of close combat damage bursts when used by multiple players at once.|
|Slow melee weapons||6||3.6s||KO||High. With only slightly lower maximum melee hits than their 2-handed counterparts, weapons such as battleaxes or warhammers fill a similar role as KO weapons. With their shorter hit delays, they allow to recover faster after an unsuccessful combo to keep the momentum.||Medium. Similarly to 2-handed weapons, their overall damage output is too low to justify usage over more consistent weapons such as the scimitars. However, rune warhammers can be used by extremely low level accounts without access to better melee weapons.|
|Quick melee weapons||4||2.4s||DPS||High. With their high damage output, as well as decent accuracy and speed, weapons such as the rune scimitar are commonly used in 1-vs-1 combat both as a primary weapon, as well as a secondary melee switch in addition to a maple shortbow and a stronger melee KO weapon.||High. High damage output makes them ideal for close combat encounters. Their high speed allows to keep momentum and pile multiple hits in short spans of time.|
|Rapid melee weapons||3||1.8s||DPS||Medium. Although they are as fast as shortbows, lower accuracy and maximum damage outputs of weapons such as the goblin paint cannon or swift blade make them an inferior option in general. However, their high speed combined with the movement stalls of weapons such as the goblin paint cannon does allow players to set up unique combos. They can be considerable secondary weapons in melee duels, especially if the player's ranged level is not high enough to deal consistent damage with a maple shortbow.||Low. Low accuracy and damage output does not justify their usage over much stronger and more accurate scimitars.|
|Combat spells||5||3s||DPS||Low. Magic attacks start out very strong, with some low level spells such as Fire Strike considerably outdamaging other combat styles on early combat levels, up to the point that they can be used as KO attacks. However, other combat styles quickly catch up. Low speed of magic attacks and the lack of damage progression past Fire Blast makes their usage an inferior option to the fast weapons such as shortbows or scimitars.
When used for knockouts early on, it is difficult to deal damage immediately after a faster attack without the opponent being able to heal, as it is not applied immediately like in case of the melee attacks. Magic also suffers from a strong competition in form of the warhammers, which can also be used to reach high maximum hits on low combat levels.
When used for DPS later on, combat spells are simply too slow to effectively stack damage with stronger KO attacks such as melee. Even if their maximum damage matches or surpasses ranged attacks, shortbows are much easier to set up combos with.
|High. Initial high damage output of magic makes it a primary combat style on low combat levels. Later on, it is very effective against players in metal armours. Combat spells offer considerable attack range, surpassing shortbows even with the longrange attack style. Support spells such as Snare and Tele Block are also crucial to score kills in many multicombat scenarios.|
Melee skills ratio[edit | edit source]
When relying on melee attacks, attack and strength can be kept in different proportions as both of these skills have an equal effect on the combat level. Neglecting attack in favour of strength can make the melee attacks stronger overall by reaching higher maximum melee hits at the cost of the accuracy and the variety of available weapons. Players that do not train attack can still wield warhammers up to rune, since they only have strength level requirements.
The following table lists the optimal sum of melee skills that do not affect the overall combat level given the respective ranged or magic level. Both melee skills have an equal effect on the combat level and can be distributed freely. For example, with a sum of melee skills at 100, a player might have 1 attack and 99 strength or 40 attack and 60 strength with the same combat level, given similar levels of other combat skills. Once the ranged or magic level surpasses 67, players have to start training attack even with 99 strength in order to optimise the build. Note that magic has an equal effect on combat level as ranged, so always pick the higher of the two skills to determine the optimal melee levels.
Prayer level cap[edit | edit source]
Unlike the offensive combat skills, prayer does not directly affect damage output, but it does unlock passive boosts that improve other skills. Once a given prayer is unlocked, gaining additional prayer levels does not improve its effect. Instead, gaining additional prayer levels increases the maximum amount of prayer points, which only affects how long the prayers can last before running out. Although a higher prayer level is more convenient and might be useful in the deep wilderness, many pures choose not to increase their combat level without any effect on the maximum hits or DPS, and stop training this skill as soon as specific boosts are unlocked.
The following table lists commonly used prayer levels.
|Level||Unlocks||Comment||Max damage||Max damage with 30 defence|
|1||Thick Skin||Some players choose not to train prayer at all to keep their combat level as low as possible. This is especially practical at the lower combat levels, where prayers do not provide significant damage boosts yet. Not having to worry about prayer switches makes the combat a bit easier and allows to focus on movement, healing and gear management. Prayer restoration also takes some time on free-to-play worlds—as there are no items that can do so, players have to restore their prayer points by using an altar or abusing death mechanics. 1 prayer level might be the most comfortable for the beginners, but it is also common among tanks and other accounts with defence to minimise the combat level, as well as risk fighters for the convenience of not having to restore prayer points during subsequent duels.||16||22||26||26||27||23||26||26||28|
|4||Burst of Strength||This might seem like an insignificant upgrade, but Burst of Strength can raise maximum melee hit by as much as 2 points when used by a player with 99 strength and a rune weapon. In some cases, getting 3 extra prayer levels for a slight boost in output damage might not effectively raise the overall combat level.||16||23||27||27||29||24||27||28||29|
|13||Superhuman Strength||Superhuman Strength is probably the most efficient prayer unlock in terms of usability and the ratio of the combat level increase to the max melee hit increase. Although still low, having 13 prayer points is much more comfortable than 4 and usually allows to last a complete fight without much player flicking. 13 prayer level also grants access to Clarity of Thought, Sharp Eye and Mystic Will.||16||25||28||29||30||25||28||29||30|
|31||Ultimate Strength||Ultimate Strength is necessary to achieve the melee max hit in free-to-play, making it one of the most common prayer levels of high level pures. It also unlocks Protect Item, which is useful in the deep wilderness, but frowned upon in regular arranged 1-vs-1 fights (unless agreed to). 31 prayer level also grants access to Improved Reflexes, Hawk Eye and Mystic Lore. This level unlocks the 1st floor[UK]2nd floor[US] of the Edgeville Monastery, which has the closest altar to the Edgeville player killing spot.||17||25||29||30||31||26||30||30||31|
|44||Eagle Eye||Eagle Eye is necessary to achieve the highest possible ranged damage per hit in free-to-play. 44 prayer level also grants access to the majority of free-to-play prayers, including Protect Item, all combat protection prayers and almost every skill boost with a notable exception of Mystic Might. Such high prayer level might be a good choice for high level combat pures and deep wilderness player killers.||18||25||29||30||31||26||30||30||31|
- Highest possible damage dealt in a single hit with 99 strength level, strength potion, amulet of strength, aggressive combat style and the best available strength prayer boost in case of melee weapons, or 99 ranged level, adamant arrows and rapid combat style in case of ranged attacks. Castle wars bracelet bonus, castlewars brew boost and the decorative boots bonus are not included.
- Highest possible damage dealt in a single hit with 99 strength level, strength potion, amulet of strength, decorative boots, aggressive combat style and the best available strength prayer boost. Castle wars bracelet bonus and castlewars brew boost are not included.
- Due to the combat level formula, even prayer levels like 4 or 44 can be trained further by 1 level without affecting the overall combat level. Doing so does not improve the efficiency of the unlocked boosts, but it does increase the prayer points, allowing active prayers to last longer in combat.
Some less common prayer levels include:
- 25: Protect Item.
- 34: all offensive melee boosts including Incredible Reflexes.
- 43: all protection prayers including Protect from Melee.
- 45: all free-to-play prayers including Mystic Might. Has the same effect on the combat level as 44 prayer level.
- 52: members-only Smite.
Note that due to the combat level calculation formula, all even prayer levels can be trained 1 level further without affecting the overall combat level. As an example, a combat pure with 44 prayer level for Eagle Eye can train it up to 45 to unlock Mystic Might without increasing the combat level, regardless of the other combat skill levels.
When choosing the appropriate prayer level for 1-vs-1 combat, players should check how many strength levels it would take to achieve the same maximum hit improvement as provided by the next strength-boosting prayer. If it takes fewer combat levels to increase the max hit via the unlocking the next prayer, players should consider doing that instead of training other combat skills. Many accounts created for 1-vs-1 combat stop at 31 prayer level by unlocking Ultimate Strength, although 44 level is also viable and should be considered by maxed pures, as well as players that participate in combat in the deep wilderness to access the protection prayers. Eagle Eye unlocked at 44 is necessary to maximise the ranged damage.
While magic boosting prayers such as Mystic Might affect the magic defence and the accuracy of magic attacks, they have no effect on maximum damage of the free-to-play combat spells. As such, they are not crucial for magic-based builds. Note that the maximum magic hit is capped at 16 with Fire Blast, or 19 with Castle wars bracelet inside of the Castle Wars minigame against the flag bearer.
It should be noted is that when the prayer points run out, the player is left without any combat advantages, and there are no prayer restoration items in the free-to-play worlds. This is worth consideration before choosing the final account build. Depending on the activities that players participate in, training prayer might not be entirely worth the extra combat levels in every case.
In general, the following prayer level caps are favoured by different groups of players:
- 1: low level pures, risk fighters.
- 13, 31: melee pures, accounts for 1-vs-1 combat.
- 44, 45: maxed pures, accounts for multicombat and the deep wilderness.
Optimizing combat pure builds[edit | edit source]
- Combat level can be based on either melee, ranged, or magic skills. To optimise the damage output with all combat styles on any given combat level, ranged and magic skills should be equal to roughly ⅔ of the sum of strength and attack.
- Unlock prayer boosts to maximise damage output. As a rule of thumb, if getting another prayer boost has a smaller effect on the overall combat level than training strength or ranged for the same maximum hit increase, prayer should be trained instead.
- Do not train skills like attack, defence, or prayer after unlocking specific items or boosts, unless the extra levels have no effect on the overall combat level. In particular, defence should not be trained past 40 level unless aiming specifically for a tanky build.
- Train combat skills with methods that do not grant hitpoints experience as much as possible. In particular, magic has multiple such training methods in the free-to-play worlds.
|59||40||60||1||70||90||1||60||With a strongly magic-based combat level, this account will deal severely less damage with ranged and melee attacks than optimal combat pures on comparable combat levels. Both strength and ranged should be trained in order to match magic level.|
|67||40||70||55||70||70||1||70||With over 40 defence and a relatively high hitpoints level, the low damage output of this account makes it difficult to knock out skilled combat pures on a similar combat level. Other players might be unwilling to fight such defensive pures in typical 1-vs-1 combat, especially if they wear armour.|
|35||20||40||1||40||40||44||40||While 44 prayer is viable on its own, players generally do not train it on such low combat levels. High tier prayer boosts do not give players much of an advantage early on, as their efficiency scales with the levels of the boosted skills. In this case, the player could remain at 1 prayer level, and simply train strength and ranged to 46 instead to match the levels boosted by the Ultimate Strength and Eagle Eye prayers, resulting in a lower combat level overall. Without the need to access protection prayers, such a low level account account might be better off with a much lower prayer level.|
|55||50||70||1||80||80||13||60||While attack is worth training past 40 level for the free-to-play pures once they reach 94 ranged or magic, it is generally better to max strength first in order to maximise the maximum melee hit. This account would be more effective in free-to-play PvP combat with 40 attack and 80 strength instead.|
|64||40||80||6||80||80||31||80||All combat skills of this account were trained with methods that grant hitpoints experience, resulting in a rather high hitpoints level given the build. Additionally, its defence level increases the overall combat level for a negligible advantage in combat, as it does not give access to any significant unlocks.|
|73||40||99||1||99||99||1||99||With 99 ranged, magic, and strength, this combat pure can train attack up to 49 without affecting the combat level, or 51 without increasing the combat level with the current combat skills. Additionally, the prayer level can be increased to 13 for a neglible cost of 1 combat level to unlock Superhuman Strength, which increases the maximum melee hits by as much as 3 with weapons such as rune scimitar or rune 2h sword.|
|64||1||99||1||80||80||31||85||This is an example of a strength pure with non-melee-based combat level. With ranged and magic both well over 67, this combat pure can train over 20 extra attack levels to improve their melee accuracy without any effect on the combat level.|
|88||75||99||1||99||99||52||99||While highly effective in member PvP combat, the extra attack and prayer levels of this account give little advantage against free-to-play combat pures. As a result, its combat level puts it in the combat level bracket of maxed rune pures rather than free-to-play 1 defence pures.|
Comparison with pay-to-play builds[edit | edit source]
Pay-to-play combat pure builds tend to loose the restrictions on certain skills such as attack, prayer or defence to gain access to high level members-only equipment or prayers. As such, these pures are different from the typical free-to-play accounts and might be suboptimal in free-to-play 1-vs-1 combat.
Free-to-play combat pures usually cap the attack level at 40 to unlock the rune weapons. Since on this level there are no notable unlocks of members-only knockout or DPS melee weapons, it is rarely used by pay-to-play combat pures. Instead, member combat pures that choose to train attack reach higher levels on average, often starting at 50 attack for the granite maul, with 60 and 75 being also common among higher level accounts.
Many pay-to-play pures choose to train prayer up to 52 level to unlock the Smite prayer, or even higher if they train defence to access equipment like the spirit shield, or prayers such as Piety. In contrast, free-to-play pures often stop at 31 to maximise the maximum melee hit, or at 44 to unlock the protection prayers and maximise the maximum ranged hit. As a rule of thumb, there is no reason to train prayer past 45 on free-to-play accounts, since there are no further unlocks past Mystic Might, and the prayer level does not affect the efficiency of the unlocked skill boosts or protection prayers.
Other than dedicated tanks or defence pures, free-to-play combat pures usually do not train the defence skill past 40 level, which unlocks the rune armour, rune god armours and green d'hide body. While pay-to-play builds with comparable defence levels do exist—such as the void pure at 42 or the berserker pure at 45—there are other viable builds with even higher defence levels like 60 or 75 with access to high tier armours and prayers that are unavailable on free-to-play worlds.
Additionally, free-to-play combat pures have no consistent methods of training melee and ranged skills without gaining hitpoints experience such as cannoning. Combat pures trained on pay-to-play worlds, even with the sole purpose of participating in free-to-play PvP combat, tend to have lower hitpoints levels in general.
To sum up, free-to-play combat pure accounts tend to have lower attack and prayer levels, as well as higher hitpoints levels if they were trained using free-to-play methods. Free-to-play accounts also tend to cap defence at lower levels such as 30 or 40.
Examples[edit | edit source]
This section lists viable free-to-play combat pure builds.
Pure builds[edit | edit source]
The following table contains builds that do not rely on training defence.
|Ranged-melee hybrid||30—80||One of the most common builds among free-to-play combat pures. Effective in both 1-vs-1 duels, as well as multicombat areas. Relies on stacking ranged attacks dealt via a shortbow on rapid with melee hits using weapons such as the rune 2h sword, battleaxe, warhammer or scimitar. Arguably, this hybrid build requires the most skill to master as movement is a major part of its combat style, but it also allows for some very dynamic duels that are not completely dependent on luck. Due to its versatility and how common it is, this build might be a safe first choice for the beginners.|
|Melee pure||40—75||A common free-to-play pure build for 1-vs-1 combat. Relies on damaging the opponents with a quick weapon such as a rune scimitar up to the point that they cannot heal themselves enough to survive the incoming knockout attack with a powerful but slow weapon such as the rune 2h sword or battleaxe. By keeping their ranged level at 40 (to unlock green dragonhide items) or below, their hitpoints level is usually lower than in case of typical ranged-melee hybrids. Since scimitars are slower than shortbows, melee fights are usually less dynamic and more reliant on luck. This makes it easier to master this combat style in general, although there are still some more advanced techniques required to perfect it.
It is worth noting that maxed melee pures have a lower combat level than maxed ranged-melee hybrids, since they do not need to train ranged up to 99 or prayer to 44 level in order to maximise the damage output. 40 attack, 99 strength, 99 hitpoints and 31 prayer levels put them at 73 combat level as opposed to 78 with 99 ranged and 44 prayer.
|Magic pure||5—60||A build that fully relies on magic to deal damage. Since magic can be trained without getting hitpoints experience, these combat pures tend to be fragile, but can deal considerable damage while preserving low combat levels. Magic attacks are also deadly against opponents in metal armours, which makes magic useful in the deep wilderness and PvP worlds. Magic pures are pretty cheap and quick to train, which makes them a good starting build to learn the basics of player killing. However, these pures are usually effective only early on and in multi-combat areas, as combat spells damage does not scale with the magic level and there is no magic gear progression.|
|Strength pure||10—65||A common build among low level pures. These players tend to keep their attack level at very low thresholds, while consistently training their strength to improve the maximum melee damage. Since warhammers can be unlocked by appropriate strength levels without the need to train attack, strength pures have access to decent knockout weapons that are still fairly accurate against other 1 defence pures. They often use a quick melee 3-tick weapon such as a goblin paint cannon to deal most of the damage and a warhammer for the knockout attacks. In particular, rune warhammer is currently the best strength-based weapon in the free-to-play worlds, offering a similar strength bonus to the rune battleaxe despite no attack requirement.
Although these pures can use bows such as the maple shortbow instead of the 3-tick melee weapons to wear the opponents down and set up combos, their ranged level must be considerably lower than their strength level in order to avoid raising the overall combat level. For example, even with 1 attack and 99 strength levels, only 67 ranged level can be trained without the combat level becoming ranged-based.
With high hitpoints and relatively high damage output on low combat levels, this is a reasonable build for the beginners. Albeit less accurate than typical 1 defence pures, their knockout attacks are particularly powerful within the ultra low combat level brackets, and rival the maximum hits of the combat spells early on.
|Ranged-magic hybrid||15—50||Since both ranged and magic have pretty significant damage output early on, this is a common build of low level pures used in the multicombat areas and clan wars.
When used in 1-vs-1 combat, this build is similar to the ranged-melee hybrid, but with a different knockout attack—they use shortbows on rapid to damage their opponents, and the best available combat spell to knock them out. This build is viable while magic damage is still competitive with melee in terms of the maximum damage. However, since these pures cannot stack damage as effectively, classic ranged-melee hybrids can perform more unpredictable combos that are harder to heal against.
Ranged-magic hybrids often choose not to train melee skills, and gain magic experience without raising the hitpoints level. This might put them at relatively low hitpoints levels, making them fragile but dangerous within their respective combat level brackets.
Since there are no ranged knockout weapons like the ballistae on free-to-play worlds, ranged pures are rather uncommon and ineffective in typical 1-vs-1 combat. While they do find some use in multicombat areas, they are rarely used in practice. Similarly, attack pures that do not train strength are not viable in player-versus-player combat due to extremely low damage output.
Builds with defence[edit | edit source]
While defence is the most commonly restricted skill of accounts built for player versus player combat, it does have its merits. In particular, defensive capabilities are especially important in the deep wilderness where "no honour" fights with protection prayers or spells such as Snare and Tele Block are very common. While low defence pures dominate early combat level brackets, accounts with higher defence levels tend to be more common in the late combat level ranges.
|Rune pure||50—90||Rune pures are basically more defensive variants of the ranged-melee hybrid or the melee pure builds. 40 defence level might not seem significant, but it makes a large difference in terms of their defensive capabilities thanks to the access to the rune armour, as well as the full green dragonhide set. It also allows to wear golden decorative boots, which are required to achieve the highest equipment strength bonus on free-to-play worlds. These accounts are especially effective on higher combat levels, since early on they lack the strength for consistent knockouts.
In 1-vs-1 duels, they usually risk losing more expensive items than regular 1 defence pures, but they are also less likely to die and spend less on the supplies. This might be a good build for the beginners that want to compete in higher combat level brackets, as such accounts are much easier to train than typical combat pures, and there is much more room for error in fights with a higher defence level.
When training a rune pure, it is important to do the Dragon Slayer I quest before getting 40 defence level—preferably around 30 to 33 defence level. Otherwise the experience reward might raise the defence level over 40. Note that it is impossible to wear rune platebody and green d'hide body or their cosmetic variants without completing the quest.
Other variants of this build include adamant (30 defence), mithril (20), black (10) and steel (5) pures. With cheaper and less effective equipment than rune, lower tier pures are not quite as defensive as the rune pures, but they are all viable builds with noticeably better defensive capabilities than the 1 defence pures.
|Adamant pure||45—85||Adamant pures are very similar to rune pures, but choose to stop training defence at level 30. Adamant pures are a notable build, as 30 defence level is required to wear the golden decorative boots, which allow to maximise melee damage due to their unique strength bonus. This means that 30 is the lowest defence level that enables to achieve the highest maximum hits with each combat style and each weapon in the free-to-play worlds.
The defensive capabilities of adamant pures are still considerable, but not as good as in the case of rune pures. However, their lower combat levels often put them in the combat bracket of low defence pures, which might have a hard time consistently dealing damage through their armour.
|Strength tank||30—75||Strength tanks are a variant of strength pures that train defence in addition to strength. To limit their combat level and maximise melee damage, they do not train attack and focus on strength instead. This gives them access to knockout weapons such as the rune warhammer, which can achieve similar maximum melee hits to other rune weapons that require 40 attack to wield. They usually cap their defence at 30 or 40 level to gain access to the golden decorative boots and adamant or rune armour respectively. Notably, they stay in the combat level range of 1 defence pures while maintaining similar combo potential.|
|Defence pure||10—55||These accounts are usually trained for days on low level NPCs such as the monks or seagulls, using weapons with no requirements like the goblin paint cannon. Some also choose to train prayer to gain access to the protection prayers and to raise their combat level, or magic to gain access to basic utility spells such as Varrock Teleport and to improve their magic defence. While they lack the offensive capabilities of pay-to-play defence pures such as access to poison or the dragonfire shield attack, they are still commonly used as scouts, mules, and lures in the deep wilderness, or to harass players with low combat levels.|
|Tank||60—105||Tanks have a high defence level and just enough melee or ranged skill levels to deal consistent damage. Their goal is often not to actually win the fights, but rather to prevent other players from participating in fair combat by attacking them in single-way combat areas. This is done both as a form of harassment in 1-vs-1 combat hotspots, as well as a strategy to protect team members in the deep wilderness or otherwise dangerous areas. Challenging tanks to 1-vs-1 fights is often pointless, as they are very difficult to damage and can easily outheal incoming damage.
Due to the lack of knockout potential, this is not considered a common build for typical 1-vs-1 combat. It does however find some use in multicombat areas and makes for an excellent support build for other combat pures.
|Magic tank||40—105||While not highly successful in typical 1-vs-1 combat due to the lack of knockout potential, magic defence pures are very useful in the deep wilderness. Used as scouts and lures by teams, their main goal is to cast Snare and Tele Block on opponents in dangerous areas, while having enough defensive capabilities to withstand some attacks. They can also do pretty significant damage with Fire Blast to players wearing metal armour.|
|Clan pure||85—110||Some PvP clans restrict their members by their defence level rather than the overall combat level. Pures made specifically for clan activities typically do not restrict any combat skills other than defence, training both attack and prayer well over the 40 and 45 levels required to unlock all free-to-play items and prayers, with the goal to train all combat skills except defence to 99. While not optimal in typical 1-vs-1 combat—as their combat levels often put them in the same brackets as tanks, maxed rune pures, or even high level mains—they are especially effective in multicombat areas. These pures deal damage consistently with all combat styles.|
While not technically combat pures, main accounts (or mains) are the most common build at the latest combat level brackets—mostly due to the fact that specialised PvP accounts cannot reach the highest combat levels in the first place. Mains train all combat skills without any restrictions, surpassing other accounts with their accuracy and defensive capabilities. While often weaker than optimised pures on low and mid levels, mains dominate the PvP scene once they reach high combat levels.
Specialised builds[edit | edit source]
Clan pures[edit | edit source]
Clans often restrict the defence or the combat levels of their members. For example, some clans participate in ultra low level clan wars with a specific combat level restriction, others recruit only high level or maxed 1 defence pures, while different ones are focused on main accounts with maxed combat skills. In general, the goal is to make the account as strong as possible within the specific restrictions. This might lead to some accounts being not optimal for typical 1-vs-1 player-versus-player combat due to high levels of commonly restricted skills such as attack or prayer. Especially since many clans participate in both free-to-play and members-only PvP.
In general, it is best to investigate the combat level bracket or specific restrictions of the clan before creating an optimised account.
Ironman pures[edit | edit source]
Ironman Mode is an optional account type that, among others, restricts players from trading. Additionally to the trading restrictions, players in Ironman Mode do not receive combat experience when attacking other players other than basic spell casting experience when using magic. As such, they can be used to create unique accounts with combat skills at very specific levels—usually to gain advantage in combat by restricting skills such as hitpoints. Since they cannot level up through PvP activities, ironmen can build accounts to target specific combat level brackets indefinitely. The main disadvantage of these accounts is the lack of ability to pick up loot after combat, or to replenish supplies via the Grand Exchange, looting, or trading. Some activities, such as risk fighting, can be particularly tricky for these accounts, as alternative accounts or other players are necessary to pick up loot after won fights.
Ironmen groups[edit | edit source]
Group Ironman Mode allows to group up to 5 accounts that can trade with each other. This is particularly useful for ironmen that aim to engage in PvP activities, as it partially alleviates the problem of time-consuming supplies gathering, as other group members or alternative accounts can obtain the necessary food, potions, and equipment. Alternative accounts with membership allow free-to-play ironmen to access items that are normally restricted or difficult to obtain on free-to-play worlds without trading, such as the rune scimitar, rune warhammer, rune god armours, or gilded d'hide armour.
Training[edit | edit source]
Training pures[edit | edit source]
The following guides describe how to train an account with 1 defence level.
Note that ranged and magic skills can be both trained up to roughly ⅔ of the sum of attack and strength without affecting the combat level. For example, a player with 40 attack and 50 strength, total of which is 90, can train ranged and magic up to 60 without the combat level becoming either ranged-based or magic-based. Optimizing the ratio between melee, ranged, and magic skills allows to maximise the damage output on each combat level.
Melee training[edit | edit source]
When training melee skills, make sure to use strength potions at all times, and use the best tier of scimitar available along with an amulet of strength or amulet of power. While every few levels the amulet of power allows to achieve a similar maximum hit (in addition to the accuracy bonuses), amulet of strength will allow to drink strength potions less often before degrading to a lower maximum hit.
Early on, goblin paint cannon and other 3-tick melee weapons can outdamage low tier scimitars. This is especially relevant when following a strength pure build in which case the training should be performed with a 3-tick melee weapon initially, and eventually with the best available warhammer once it outdamages the other available weapons.
Training on alternative accounts[edit | edit source]
|Maxed combat pure|
The most effective way to train melee skills in free-to-play worlds is to use alternative characters. Killing unarmoured 1 defence level players in Clan Wars free-for-all area or Castle Wars is among the fastest ways to gain combat experience, although these training methods usually come with a cost, and are free of any loot. Since experience in PvP combat scales with opponent's combat level, training on high level combat pures is the most effective.
|Opponent combat level||Bonus|
When training in Clan Wars, using wines is the cheapest way of healing the alternative accounts by far, as empty jugs can be sold for roughly the same price as the wines themselves. Using two alternative accounts is the most effective, since the trained account can still attack after one of the accounts has been killed.
Castle Wars require more setup than the Clan Wars, but allow to achieve higher experience rates overall. First of all, there is a 2 minute downtime between games. Additionally, in order to maximise damage, the alternative character must hold the flag while being attacked. The most common strategy is to capture the flag with the alt and bring it to the spawning area, where the alternative character can easily pick it up after respawning. Make sure to wear castle wars bracelet before the match to receive a 20% damage bonus against the flag bearer, and to use a castlewars brew (obtainable during the match) every minute in order to maximise the damage. The bracelet bonus combined with the brew allows to achieve the highest DPS on free-to-play worlds by far. Note that the alternative character can also wear the bracelet in order to improve the bandages healing effect by 50%. Ideally, the alt account should have at least 90 hitpoints and 1 defence to maximise the number of hitpoints healed with the bandages and the accuracy of the trained account.
Training on NPCs[edit | edit source]
Giant frogs, hill giants, minotaurs and flesh crawlers are all viable options when training on monsters. Seagulls are also excellent for the very first few levels until the maximum hit with the training weapon exceeds their entire health points, while golems can be effectively killed with a barronite mace due to its golembane effect.
Since magic defence can be improved by training magic and wearing leather gear, dark wizards are also worth consideration. They should deal less damage than monsters using melee with comparable combat levels. Also, in the wilderness and on low combat levels, wizards are aggressive and attack player automatically, which can be a less click-intensive way to train.
Other training methods[edit | edit source]
Training melee skills can be slower and more dangerous than training ranged or magic, as safespots cannot be used and pures tend to have poor defences. Consider using experience lamps on strength, as it will slightly speed up the training and prevent from getting additional hitpoints experience.
All melee skills can be trained up to level 3 with 176 experience without getting hitpoints experience on the tutorial island, as long as the assigned rat is not killed immediately. Instead, damage several rats until reaching the maximum experience.
The first 8 attack levels can be trained using the dummy without gaining any hitpoints experience. Completing the Vampyre Slayer quest also grants 4,825 attack experience, which raises the level from 1 up to 20 when claimed with no previous attack experience. Dragon Slayer I grants a considerable amount of strength experience as well, but it should not be completed by 1 defence pures due to its defence experience reward.
Ranged training[edit | edit source]
When training ranged, use the best available leather gear and amulet of power along with the best shortbow and arrows. Keep in mind that longbows have the same accuracy bonus and a longer max range, but are significantly slower and offer no additional damage bonuses, which makes them inferior for training.
Rapid combat style allows to achieve a higher damage-per-second on most levels due to the attack speed increase. Accurate combat style might be preferred only on the very first few levels, where a 1 point maximum ranged hit increase nearly doubles the damage output.
Training on alternative accounts[edit | edit source]
Similarly to melee, using alts in Clan Wars is among the fastest ways to train ranged in free-to-play. Especially since arrows do not have to be picked up and are returned to the inventory after exiting the free-for-all area. The alternative accounts can wield a 2h sword to achieve a negative ranged defence bonus.
The Castle Wars minigame is a viable alternative, with both castle wars bracelet and castlewars brew boosting the ranged damage considerably, but keep in mind that the arrows will be lost there unless picked up, which makes it a more expensive or click-intensive option. Note that the bracelet does not have be worn after the game begins, so the trained account can wear green d'hide vambraces or gilded d'hide vambraces instead to increase the ranged accuracy.
Training on NPCs[edit | edit source]
Some viable NPCs that can be killed while using safespots include minotaurs, hill giants, moss giants, ankous, lesser demons and ogresses. As a rule of thumb, lower level monsters will grant more ranged experience per hour due to their low defences, but higher level monsters can drop much more loot and require less attention. This is especially true in case of the ogresses, which are considered among the most profitable NPCs to kill in free-to-play worlds.
Other training methods[edit | edit source]
Ranged can be trained up to level 3 with 176 experience without getting any hitpoints experience on the tutorial island, as long as the rat is not killed immediately. Instead, damage several rats until reaching the maximum experience.
Magic training[edit | edit source]
Magic should be trained via methods that prevent from getting hitpoints experience to minimise the combat level. These methods include splashing, curses, teleporting, enchanting jewellery and alchemy. Using High Level Alchemy is one of the most profitable magic training methods.
To train magic via combat spells, refer to ranged training guide. Notably, ogresses can be killed with either Fire Strike or Fire Bolt for profit, and skull sceptre (i) can be used to autocast the Crumble Undead spell on monsters such as ankou.
Magic can be trained with combat spells up to level 3 with 176 experience without getting any hitpoints experience on the tutorial island. Multiple sets of runes can be obtained by using a drop trick, and instead of casting a spell on a chicken, the player must go back to kill the rats to get level 3.
Completing the Witch's Potion and Imp Catcher quests will also grant some magic experience. The X Marks the Spot quest can also be done to gain 300 experience in any skill including magic, although it is recommended to use it on another combat skill that cannot be trained effectively without gaining hitpoints experience on free-to-play worlds.
Training accounts with defence[edit | edit source]
The most effective combat training methods are the same for both low defence pures and other accounts. Regardless of the defence level, using alternative accounts in Clan Wars or Castle Wars is still among the best way to train melee and ranged skills. NPCs mentioned in the respective guides from the previous sections are also viable.
The biggest advantage of more defensive accounts is that they can be trained without much effort on aggressive monsters such as flesh crawlers or spiders in the Stronghold of Security thanks to their defensive capabilities. When standing around aggressive NPCs with auto retaliate turned on, all the player has to do is drink a potion, eat some food or reset the aggressiveness every couple of minutes, making the training much more convenient when compared to the click-intensive methods involving alts.
It is important to do quests with combat experience rewards before training the skills to the desired levels. In particular, the Dragon Slayer I quest grants 18,650 strength and defence experience, which can easily take the account over 40 defence level if it was trained too high before completing the quest. Since the quest is required to wear rune platebody and green d'hide body, it is important to claim the reward with no more than 22,520 defence experience (putting the player at 35 defence level) when aiming for a 40 defence build. The same applies to Vampyre Slayer and attack, although in this case the experience reward is much smaller.
Quests[edit | edit source]
Combat pures can do majority of the free-to-play quests with a few notable exceptions. Account builds with at least 40 defence level must finish the Dragon Slayer I quest to wear the rune platebody and green d'hide body, but other than that there are no quests that are strictly necessary to do. Free-to-play quests with combat experience rewards are notable for not granting any hitpoints experience, which allows to minimise the combat level. The following table lists quests with combat skills experience rewards and useful unlocks.
|The Corsair Curse||Grants access to the Yusuf's bank in the Corsair Cove.|
|Dragon Slayer I|| 18,650
|32 quest points||Unlocks the rune platebody and green d'hide body. Starting the quest also unlocks the anti-dragon shield. Omitted by low defence pures, since the experience reward puts the player at 33 defence level when completed at level 1. Should be completed by combat pures that aim at 40 defence level or higher. In order to avoid going over 40 defence level, rune pures should finish this quest with no more than 22,520 defence experience, although it is optimal to do the quest at no more than 18,594 experience, or 33 defence level, to minimise the extra experience gain over 40.|
|Imp Catcher||875||The awarded amulet of accuracy is inferior to the amulet of power.|
|Prince Ali Rescue||Grants free passage through the Lumbridge-Al Kharid toll gate.|
|The Restless Ghost||1,125||Grants nearly 10 prayer level when finished with no prayer experience.|
|Vampyre Slayer||4,825||When finished with no attack experience, raises the attack level to 20. The quest boss can be killed with combat spells like the Fire Strike on a low combat level account.|
|X Marks the Spot||300||The rewards include an antique lamp that grants 300 experience in any chosen skill.|
Additional skills, abilities and unlocks[edit | edit source]
- Getting 57 woodcutting allows to build the waka canoe, which can take the player to the Ferox Enclave, as well as the middle of the wilderness from any canoe station. Since there are no wilderness teleports in free-to-play worlds other than minigame teleports to the Ferox Enclave with a 20-minute delay, canoes are among the fastest ways of getting to many deep wilderness locations.
- Unlocking and setting Edgeville respawn might be worthwhile when planning on killing players in the low level wilderness. On free-to-play non-PvP worlds Edgeville respawn is closer to a bank than Lumbridge and very close to the player killing hotspot north of Edgeville.
- Unlocking and setting Ferox Enclave respawn can be helpful when planning on killing players in the mid and deep wilderness. On regular free-to-play worlds Ferox Enclave respawn is the closest to a banker among all respawn points, and provides quick access to roughly 15 level of the wilderness. However, keep in mind that it is a much less useful respawn on the PvP worlds, as both Lumbridge and Edgeville respawns have a bank chest nearby, while the one in Ferox Enclave remains unchanged.
- Unlocking loot keys at Ferox Enclave can be useful for players that frequent the deep wilderness or the areas around the Ferox Enclave. Players have to pay 1,000,000 coins to Skully to be able to opt-in. When turned on, looted items will not drop to the floor after killing an opponent, and instead a loot key will appear in the killer's inventory, taking a single inventory slot. The loot can be retrieved from the loot chests currently located at the centre of Ferox Enclave, the Edgeville bank, and the Grand Exchange.
- Obtaining a skull sceptre allows to teleport to the Barbarian Village, which is among the fastest ways of getting to Edgeville in free-to-play. It also allows to autocast the Crumble Undead spell.
- The automatic addition of arrows to the ammunition slot upon picking up can be toggled by talking to the ranged combat tutor.
- Obtaining a barronite mace within the Ruins of Camdozaal gives access to a crush-based alternative to the rune scimitar with slightly lower offensive bonuses and a notable prayer bonus. This weapon is accurate against opponents in full plate armour due to its crush attacks.
- Obtaining the decorative armour from the Castle Wars minigame might be desirable for 5, 20, and 30 defence pures. These untradeable armours have bonuses equal to steel, mithril, and adamant respectively, but they are not lost on death outside of the deep wilderness. Instead, they will retrievable from the gravestone without a fee, or will appear in the inventory in a broken variant and will be repairable for a small fee. Additionally, decorative boots provide the highest defensive bonuses in free-to-play, with the gold decorative boots having a strength bonus of +1, which can increase the maximum damage of some weapons such as the rune scimitar. Players with at least 30 defence level should prioritise obtaining the boots first.
- Turning on the maximum hitsplat trim in the settings allows the player to see the maximum damage done by the opponent, which makes it easier to heal properly without so-called safing during arranged duels.
- Getting 500 and 750 total levels in free-to-play skills unlocks additional free-to-play worlds that are usually less crowded. Some players leverage this to avoid player killers and access dangerous locations such as chaos temple, nature runes spawn south-east of demonic ruins, or the runite mine north of the lava maze. Getting a high total level can be necessary for finding and hunting these players.
Equipment[edit | edit source]
Weapons[edit | edit source]
Free-to-play worlds offer a variety of metal melee weapons, wooden bows and magic staves. 40 attack and 40 strength, as well as 30 ranged levels are necessary to unlock the best available weapons including rune weapons and maple bows respectively.
In 1-vs-1 combat, free-to-play combat pures typically use at least 2 weapons: a fast weapon that deals consistent DPS and a knockout weapon with a high maximum hit. Maple shortbow with adamant arrows and rune scimitar are the most commonly used DPS weapons, while rune 2h sword, rune battleaxe and rune warhammer are the typically used as switches for knockouts. Rune battleaxe and rune warhammer are both 1-handed and slightly faster, while the rune 2h sword offers the highest strength bonus.
Warhammers are the only weapons in the free-to-play worlds that require strength to wield instead of attack. For example, rune warhammer requires 40 strength level to wield and has comparable bonuses to those of the rune battleaxe which requires 40 attack. This allows to create specialised strength pures that focus on training strength while limiting the attack level. Warhammers are also useful for low level pures without access to other high tier weapons. For example, with 30 attack and 40 strength a rune warhammer should be used over an adamant 2h sword due to its superior bonuses and speed.
Hill giant club is a crush-based alternative to the rune 2h sword with a similar accuracy bonus and an equal strength bonus. Although more accurate against players in plate armour, it is rarely used in typical fights due to its high price, unless both players agree to a so-called risk fight.
Bryophyta's staff is the strongest magic weapon that doubles as a melee weapon with a considerable strength bonus of +50. It offers the highest magic accuracy bonus, can autocast combat spells, and stores up to 1,000 nature runes saving on inventory spaces. Although expensive, it can be a useful item in the deep wilderness, allowing to cast Snares and serve as a backup melee switch. It requires 30 attack and 30 magic to wield.
Basic elemental staves offer high magic accuracy and defence bonuses, on top of the ability to autocast spells and providing unlimited runes of the associated element. They are commonly used by magic pures, as well as tanks that want to improve their magic defence.
3-tick melee weapons such as the goblin paint cannon, ham joint and swift blade are used by strength pures and low level accounts, as well as by other combat pures for combos in PvP combat. In particular, goblin paint cannon has a custom long attack animation that can be leveraged for stalls and unusual combos.
Supplies[edit | edit source]
Swordfish allows to heal 14 hitpoints in a single bite, while an anchovy pizza heals a total of 18 hitpoints in 2 bites, with 9 hitpoints per bite. A combination of these two items are commonly used to heal hitpoints in combat, with swordfish being more common in 1-vs-1 combat due to shorter delays between hits after eating a single piece of food, and anchovy pizza being more common for multicombat areas and the deep wilderness due to higher overall number of hitpoints healed.
Additionally, pizzas are used for so-called combo eating. After eating the first piece of a pizza, another piece of food can be eaten immediately. Instead of eating the entire pizza, a swordfish can be eaten after the first pizza half to heal a total of 23 hitpoints in a short period of time. This technique is commonly used on higher combat levels, where a single attack can severely outdamage regular food.
Other less common types of food include lobster, tuna, meat pizza and plain pizza. These items are often used by low level players to avoid "safing" due to their lower overall hitpoints levels and maximum hits within low combat level brackets.
Strength potions are commonly used in combat to raise the damage output with melee weapons. This potion is necessary to achieve the highest free-to-play maximum melee hits outside of the Castle Wars minigame.
Energy potions restore 10% of the run energy per dosage, restoring a total of 40% per inventory slot. While not strictly necessary in typical 1-vs-1 combat, these potions are very useful in the deep wilderness.
Amulets[edit | edit source]
Outside of actual weapons, amulets are one of few other items that provide strength bonuses in free-to-play worlds. As such, they are necessary to achieve the highest maximum melee hits and often more important than other pieces of armour.
Amulet of strength offers the highest strength bonus of +10 among all available amulets. This is the most commonly used amulet in 1-vs-1 combat.
Amulet of power provides a notable strength bonus of +6, as well as some accuracy, defence and prayer bonues. This is the best amulet for ranged combat. Every few strength levels, it allows to achieve the same maximum hit with each melee weapon as the amulet of strength, although it requires more frequent strength potion dosage to maintain it. Commonly used in the deep wilderness by hybrids.
Amulet of magic offers the highest magic accuracy bonus of +10. While commonly used by magic pures, in general amulet of power is preferable due to its additional bonuses if multiple combat types are used.
Armour[edit | edit source]
Metal armours ranging from bronze to rune offer protection against melee and ranged styles, while having ranged and magic accuracy penalties, as well as a magic attacks vulnerability. They require up to 40 defence to wear and are typically associated with melee combat.
Leather armour, including regular, studded, green dragonhide and gilded dragonhide leather armours, offer decent defensive bonuses from all combat styles, including a notable magic defence bonus. They also offer ranged accuracy bonuses at the cost of magic accuracy penalties. Some torso armours including hardleather body, studded body, green d'hide body and gilded d'hide body have a defence requirement, but most items require only the appropriate ranged level up to 40.
In safe PvP activities, such as Clan Wars or Castle Wars, players are encouraged to replace green dragonhide armour pieces with their gilded dragonhide armour equivalents due to their higher defensive bonuses. Similarly, gilded dragonhide items can be used for dangerous activities as protected items, or when unskulled.
Magic equipment is limited to wizard robes and zamorak monk robes. They offer small magic accuracy and magic defence bonuses, with additional prayer bonuses in case of the zamorak monk robes. They have no requirements to wear.
Monk's robes provide the highest prayer bonuses.
Armour without defence requirements[edit | edit source]
As a rule of thumb, combat pures with a low defence level should prefer offensive bonuses over defensive bonuses, as armour efficiency scales with the wearer's defence level. For example, wearing iron armour with 1 defence level lowers the accuracy of the opponents by a much lesser percent than wearing the same armour with a higher defence level. This is especially relevant for magic equipment, since magic accuracy is very important for magic pures and this bonus is often lowered by leather and metal gear. Similarly, prayer bonus should be prioritised over defensive bonuses if any prayers are used in combat.
1 defence pures have access to iron armour, leather armour, wizard robes, zamorak monk robes and monk's robes, as well as studded armour, green d'hide armour and gilded d'hide armour except for the torso pieces. Only the latter have a requirement of 20 or 40 ranged level respecitvely, other items can be worn immediately.
The optimal gear will differ depending on the situation. For example, during melee training on NPCs crush defences should be optimised with items like coif or iron chainbody, while in multicombat areas pures might use wizard robes over leather armour to maximise accuracy with spells like Snare or Tele Block. See the equipment guide for a detailed comparison of all relevant free-to-play items, or follow the guides of individual account builds or player-versus-player activities for more details.
Fancy boots and fighting boots from the Stronghold of Security grant slightly better defensive bonuses than the leather boots, but they are rarely used in PvP since they are destroyed on death. Additionally, they lower the accuracy of ranged and magic attacks.
Armour with defence requirements[edit | edit source]
Players with over 40 defence often use a combination of the rune armour and the green d'hide armour pieces, which grant them considerable defensive bonuses. Note that to wear the complete sets including the rune platebody, green d'hide body and gilded d'hide body, the Dragon Slayer I quest must be finished.
Gold decorative boots offer the highest melee defence bonuses among all available free-to-play boots, as well as a unique +1 strength bonus that allows to raise the max hit of certain melee weapons. In particular, it is necessary to achieve the highest maximum melee hit with a rune scimitar and a rune warhammer outside of the Castle Wars minigame. It also raises the max hits of both the rune scimitar and rune 2h sword when used with 1 prayer. This untradeable item requires 400 castle wars tickets and 30 defence level.
Rune armour offers the highest defensive bonuses against melee and ranged attacks at the cost of ranged and magic accuracy, as well as the magic defence. Each individual piece requires 40 defence level to wear, while rune platebody additionally requires the completion of the Dragon Slayer I quest.
Green d'hide armour pieces add a significant boost to ranged accuracy and magic defence, as well as some melee and ranged defensive bonuses. However, they do lower the magic attack accuracy. They require 40 ranged level to wear, and the green d'hide body additionally requires 40 defence level and the completion of the Dragon Slayer I quest. Gilded d'hide armour offers higher defensive bonuses, but it is relatively expensive and rarely used in dangerous areas.
Other items[edit | edit source]
Imbued skull sceptre allows to teleport to the Barbarian Village. Unlike the chronicle, it works up to the 20 level of the wilderness. It also allows to autocast the Crumble Undead spell, which might be useful for magic training as it gives more experience per cast than Fire Bolt. Its pieces can be obtained from various monsters within the Stronghold of Security.
Ornate armour is a cosmetic armour with bonuses equivalent to iron and leather equipment. Since the individual pieces are not lost under the 20 level of the wilderness and can be reclaimed from the gravestone, this armour might be more convenient to use for activities such as 1-vs-1 combat.
Techniques[edit | edit source]
Since there are no special attacks within the free-to-play worlds, players rely on well timed combat style switching to maximise the damage in a short period of time. A common technique is to use a quick weapon such as a maple shortbow or a rune scimitar to wear the opponents down, and a slow but powerful weapon such as a rune 2h sword or a rune battleaxe to deliver the knockout hit.
When timed correctly, switching the setup after a rapid shortbow shot into a melee weapon allows to stack two hitsplats on the opponent, dealing a considerable amount of damage at once. A combo performed by a player with maxed ranged and strength skills can deal as much as 49 damage in a single tick, with 18 being the maximum ranged hit of a maple shortbow with adamant arrows and 31 being the maximum melee hit of a rune 2h sword.
While on free-to-play worlds there are no "combo foods" that can be eaten immediately despite delays, it is possible to perform combo eating with pizzas. In particular, anchovy pizza is often paired with a swordfish to heal a total of 23 hitpoints. The trick is to start with eating half of a complete pizza, and then following with a high healing food such as a swordfish. The overall attack delay after combo eating will be longer than after eating a single piece of food, so this technique should not be overused in typical 1-vs-1 combat.
Players are unable to eat food immediately after drinking a potion. When planning to drink a potion and eat some food, always start with the food and follow with the potion instead.
Free-to-play players often rely on movement to lower the incoming damage, as well as to perform unexpected combos. For example, advanced techniques such as sliding allow to immediately attack the opponent with a melee weapon from as much as 4 tiles away.
In typical 1-vs-1 combat, players should aim not to heal too much to make the knockouts possible for both sides. The majority of players choose to keep their hitpoints in a comfortable range where they cannot be killed by a regular attack, but can still die to a well timed or a high damage combo. Players that heal too much are often called "safers".
PvP culture[edit | edit source]
Unofficial rules[edit | edit source]
During arranged 1-vs-1 fights in single-way combat areas, most experienced players adhere to the following rules:
- Protection prayers (or "overheads") are not used.
- Snare and Tele Block spells are not used.
- Both opponents are expected to skull up or risk similar amount of money in gear or coins.
- In general, fights are voluntary and players ask for permission before initiating duels.
- Interrupting fights between players and attacking players that are currently looting is frowned upon.
- Players can run away from the fights when out of food, energy, prayer points or other supplies.
- Players keep their hitpoints relatively low, so that the opponent could take them out with a well timed combo.
Other locations such as most of the deep wilderness has no such limitations, and players are expected to participate in no honour combat, where anything goes. For example, spells such as Snare and Tele Block are commonly used, and techniques such as farcasting are employed to wear the opponents down without any chance of retaliation.
Disruptive behaviours[edit | edit source]
- Healing too much in 1-vs-1 combat is called safing. Keeping the hitpoints too high forces a draw, as none of the players are able to score a kill. When being called a "safer" repeatedly by multiple players, consider healing less often or downgrading to a lower tier of food.
- Attacking unwilling players in 1-vs-1 combat areas without a possibility of a fair fight is called ragging. Player commonly referred to as raggers are often using defensive gear such as rune armour along with a high defence level, or use the Protect Item prayer along with a single weapon such as the rune scimitar. In particular, using a single protected item with no supplies and consistently attacking players after respawn is called 1-itemming.
- Perming is a form of harassment that involves constant attacking of a player by raggers.
- Attacking unsuspected players in order to immediately knock them out is called rushing. Since typical attacks in free-to-play worlds are not powerful enough to take out entire hitpoints of fully healed players, rushing is often performed on players that are currently looting. Loot keys, capped damage in general, and the increased PJ timer greatly lower the impact of rushing on the free-to-play worlds.
- Player jacking is interrupting a fight between two players within a single-way combat area. In typical 1-vs-1 combat, it is often paired with rushing. However, within the deep wilderness it might be performed by teams to protect their teammates and maximise the damage output on a single opponent. Note that due to the increased PJ timer and locking players in combat, this behaviour is no longer an issue in most activities.
Common locations[edit | edit source]
Low level wilderness north of Edgeville on the 308 world, as well as the areas in front of the Lumbridge castle and around the Grand Exchange on the PvP worlds are the most popular locations for arranged 1-vs-1 combat.
Ferox Enclave, as well as locations with mixed single-way combat and multicombat areas such as the Chaos Temple or runite mine north of the Lava Maze, are some of the locations where so-called no honour combat is common. These locations are often used by solo player killers and small teams.
Multicombat areas such as the nature runes spawn south of the Demonic Ruins or Falador on the PvP worlds are commonly used by teams of players and PK clans. Arranged wars between clans might also take place in other multicombat areas on specific worlds chosen by the clan leaders or within the Clan Wars minigame.
- Players can engage in combat in the majority of areas except for safe zones around banks.
- The time after which the players can be attacked by a different opponent is increased. This makes it harder to rush players after they score a kill.
- Players are locked in combat in single-way combat areas. Fights between players cannot be interrupted by other opponents.
- Outside of the safe areas, players can attack opponents that have at most 15 less or more combat levels. In the wilderness, this is further increased by the wilderness depth level.
- Bank chests, armour stands and safe areas are placed around player respawn points. Most importantly, there are bank chests in front of the Lumbridge castle and in the Edgeville crypt.
- Each player has a separate K/D ratio within the PvP worlds.
Slang[edit | edit source]
Comparison with RuneScape 2[edit | edit source]
Returning players can see the comparison article to adjust their builds. In particular, the most notable changes include:
- Introduction of free-to-play PvP worlds.
- Changing the warhammer wielding requirements from attack to strength.
- Addition of the Ferox Enclave to the wilderness.
- New accounts restrictions.
- Introduction of the loot keys.
- Increase of the PJ timer and PJ prevention within the wilderness.
- New death mechanics.
- Addition of the Edgeville respawn and the Ferox Enclave respawn.
- New PvP minigames including Castle Wars and Last Man Standing.
- Minigames including Clan Wars moved to Ferox Enclave.
- Addition of the gold decorative boots with a strength bonus of +1 and a 30 defence requirement.
- Reduction of the melee and ranged defensive bonuses of the green dragonhide armour.
- Increase of the ranged accuracy penalties of plate armours, including the platebodies, platelegs, plateskirts, full helmets, and kiteshields. Removal of the ranged accuracy penalty from the square shields and medium helmets.
- Introduction of the Snare and Tele Block spells to the free-to-play worlds.
- Bind and Snare are no longer shortened by the Protect from Magic prayer.
- Revamp of the clan system.
See also[edit | edit source]
- Free-to-play PvP
- Free-to-play PvP equipment
- Free-to-play PvP techniques
- Free-to-play PvP culture
- Free-to-play account builds
- One-defence pure (free-to-play)
|Free-to-play combat pures|
|Pay-to-play combat pures|