Skill training guides
Training is any activity which is done in order to increase the player's experience in one or more skills. Activities which are not done primarily for gaining experience are not usually considered to be training (for example, fighting Zulrah in order to obtain rare item drops).
There are many ways to train all skills. The fastest training methods usually require the most effort and/or money to perform; cheaper and lower-effort methods tend to be slower. What type of method the player chooses ultimately comes down to preference and what properties the player values. Some players like to make money during their training, some prefer low-effort methods regardless of the profit or experience rates, and others do not care so much as long as they get their experience as fast and efficiently as possible.
Some skills may be trained quickly by buying supplies from the Grand Exchange, such as Cooking, Prayer, Construction, and Crafting. These are sometimes referred to as "buyable" skills. They are usually considered easy to train for normal accounts, but Ironmen must get the supplies for these skills some other way, usually by gathering them directly, buying from shops or from monster drops. For example, when training Herblore, it is easy for a normal account to simply buy thousands of herbs and ingredients, while Ironmen must collect all the ingredients themselves by Farming or killing monsters.
Setting the quest point cape as a long-term goal early on can provide a huge incentive to train skills. Not only that, quest completion is required for a lot of content, better equipment, better skilling methods and Achievement Diaries which provide useful perks. Having the quest point cape is also extremely beneficial for Slayer for more block slots for bad Slayer tasks. If the player is going to complete all quests anyway, it is best to complete them as soon as possible, as the experience rewards benefit more at lower levels since training methods tend to be slower at low levels. Sometimes completing a quest at low levels can even be a lot faster than actively training a skill, for example completing Sea Slug instead of catching shrimps, or completing Waterfall Quest (and various other quests) for combat experience instead of killing cows with a bronze sword.
Training some skills can also provide passive experience in other skills. Barbarian Fishing for example, which is one of the fastest ways to train Fishing, also provides small amounts of Agility and Strength experience. Woodcutting with an infernal axe or mining with an infernal pickaxe can also provide (depending on the method) passive Firemaking and Smithing experience, respectively. Furthermore, Magic and Fletching can be trained almost entirely while training other skills.
For normal accounts, training certain skills inevitably requires spending a lot of money. Construction, Crafting, Herblore, Prayer and Smithing are usually considered as the straightest examples of "buyable" skills, as the fastest viable training methods are very expensive and the cheap alternatives are notably slower. It is generally better to make money to train the skills the more expensive but faster way, than do cheap or profitable methods that are slow. However, in some cases a slightly slower method can be considerably cheaper compared to fastest one (like crafting air battlestaves instead of black d'hide bodies). Before spending money on training a skill, the player should carefully consider which method is the best in terms of time and cost efficiency. This greatly depends on how much money the player has available and is willing to spend, how long the player will do that method and if he/she is playing alternative accounts to make money.
When training buyable skills, it is usually better to train skills where raw materials are made into finished products which are sold back to the Grand Exchange (such as Crafting, Herblore, Smithing) before skills that sink capital by removing items from the game (such as Construction, Prayer, Firemaking). The former skills require a lot more capital relative to the loss, and it is inconvenient to train them with less capital available as this would require constantly buying and selling supplies.
Some players choose to play alternative accounts to make money while training skills on the main account, allowing the player to sustain wealth whilst always using expensive methods with high experience rates. Merchanting and killing profitable monsters (such as rune dragons, gargoyles, skeletal wyverns, or brutal black dragons) are common methods of money making for this purpose, as they are relatively low effort and therefore do not require much attention. Alternative accounts can also be used to increase experience rates for some skills, such as luring Slayer monsters for barraging and looting their drops, shooting stray chinchompas, or running pure essence.
Since skill training can be repetitive and very often exhausting, one of the best ways to do it without becoming burnt out is to do something else at the same time. Activities such as reading, watching television, listening to music or even working out while training can keep focus up and boredom levels to a minimum. It can also be good to switch training from one skill to another from time to time. Not only does it decrease monotony, but certain skills can be trained much faster and/or cheaper in conjunction with other skills.
Ironmen have two separate guides for their game mode: