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The skills interface.
Skills icon

Skills are a player's attributes that can be advanced throughout the game. Skills are trained by repeating actions that give experience in the skill until enough experience is earned to advance to the next level. Skills range from cooking food, to chopping trees and to casting magic. Some skills are "interlaced", meaning that they can be used together. For example, logs obtained from Woodcutting can be lit for Firemaking, which can then be used to cook food for Cooking.

A player levels up a skill.
Audio options icon.png
Level up fireworks
The sound effect when a player levels up.

There are 23 different skills in Old School RuneScape.

All skills start out at level 1 except for Hitpoints, which starts with level 10. Players can advance a skill to level 99. After that, they can increase their experience up to 200,000,000 but get no more levels for doing so. See Hiscores for the relative rankings of the different skills.

A player could bring a level of a skill to 100 while wearing a Cape of Accomplishment of that skill, with no significant bonus; it is mostly done just for the feeling of having a skill boosted over the level 99 mark. Skills can also be temporarily boosted through special equipment, items, Prayer, or potions.

All players are currently displayed on the Hiscores regardless of level attained.

Skills[edit | edit source]

Free-to-play skills[edit | edit source]

There are 15 free-to-play skills:

Skill Uses
Attack Attack Wielding stronger melee weapons and hitting monsters more accurately in Melee.
Strength Strength Dealing more melee damage and equipping certain weapons.
Defence Defence Wearing stronger armour and decreasing chance of being hit.
Ranged Ranged Equipping stronger ranged weapons and armour. It also increases ranged accuracy.
Prayer Prayer Activating temporary aids to assist in combat.
Magic Magic Casting various combat and utility spells.
Runecraft Runecraft Creating runes used for casting Magic.
Hitpoints Hitpoints Amount of damage you can withstand.
Crafting Crafting Creating items such as jewellery, pottery, and ranged armour.
Mining Mining Obtaining ores and minerals from rocks.
Smithing Smithing Smelting ores into bars and forging bars into armour and weapons.
Fishing Fishing Catching fish.
Cooking Cooking Making and cooking food.
Firemaking Firemaking Lighting fires.
Woodcutting Woodcutting Chopping down trees.

Members-only skills[edit | edit source]

There are 8 members-only skills:

Skill Uses
Agility Agility Traversing shortcuts and increases the rate at which energy recharges.
Herblore Herblore Cleaning and using herbs to create potions.
Thieving Thieving Stealing from market stalls and chests and pickpocketing non-player characters.
Fletching Fletching Creating ranged weapons and ammunition.
Slayer Slayer Killing certain monsters that can't normally be defeated.
Farming Farming Planting and harvesting crops.
Construction Construction Building a player-owned house.
Hunter Hunter Capturing wild animals and creatures.

Skill types[edit | edit source]

As defined by Jagex, there are four types of skills: Combat, Gathering, Production and Utility.[1]

Combat skills - These skills involve fighting in Combat.

Attack Attack, Defence Defence, Hitpoints Hitpoints, Magic Magic, Prayer Prayer, Ranged Ranged, and Strength Strength.

Gathering skills - These skills involve obtaining resources or items from the environment.

Farming Farming, Fishing Fishing, Hunter Hunter, Mining Mining, and Woodcutting Woodcutting.

Production skills - These skills involve processing items obtained through gathering skills into finished products.

Cooking Cooking, Crafting Crafting, Fletching Fletching, Herblore Herblore, Runecraft Runecraft, and Smithing Smithing.

Utility skills - These skills do not share a single cohesive theme, but usually reward the player with a variety of benefits.

Agility Agility, Construction Construction, Firemaking Firemaking, Slayer Slayer, and Thieving Thieving.

Experience increase[edit | edit source]

The amount of experience needed for every level-up increases approximately by 10% for every level. This is shown in the way that it is 83 experience between levels 1 and 2, but 91 experience between levels 2 and 3. (10% of 83 is roughly 8, therefore the next level-up would require 91 experience.) The required experience for each level-up grows exponentially; the growth of experience gaps between levels gets larger and larger at higher levels. The experience table clearly indicates this.

In addition, the experience required doubles approximately every seven levels. For example, the experience needed for level 92 in a skill is almost exactly half of that needed to reach level 99.

The below equation directly gives the number of experience per level:

This can be further derived into a closed-form function with a positive real variable L (standing for level), although this requires ignoring one floor function of the exact formula and thus contains an exceedingly minor error margin. The approximation rapidly approaches the original sum asymptotically. The function is as follows:

History of release[edit | edit source]

Skill Release date Time since last skill Notes
Hunter Hunter 21 November 2006 (Update) 5 months, 21 days
Construction Construction 31 May 2006 (Update) 10 months, 20 days Originally planned to be called Carpentry.
Farming Farming 11 July 2005 (Update) 5 months, 15 days Originally planned to be released along with Carpentry.
Slayer Slayer 26 January 2005 (Update) 9 months, 28 days
Runecraft Runecraft 29 March 2004 (Update) 1 year, 3 months, 17 days Released alongside RuneScape 2.
Agility Agility 12 December 2002 (Update) 7 months, 12 days
Thieving Thieving 30 April 2002 (Update) 1 month, 5 days Added to skill list on 4 January 2001, but had no function or way to train until over a year later.
Skills Carpentry Had no function or way to train on release. Removed from the skill list on 12 December 2002. Later re-added as Construction on 31 May 2006.
Fletching Fletching 25 March 2002 (Update) 26 days
Herblore Herblore 27 February 2002 (Update) 8 months, 16 days Known as Herblaw in RuneScape Classic. Added to skill list on 4 January 2001, but had no function or way to train until over a year later.
Fishing Fishing 11 June 2001 (Update) 18 days
Magic Magic 24 May 2001 (Update) 16 days Initially divided into GoodMagic and EvilMagic at the time of release, 4 January 2001.
Prayer Prayer Initially divided into PrayGood and PrayEvil at the time of release, 4 January 2001. When the two skills were combined, constant effect Magic spells were moved from the spellbooks into the prayer book.
Crafting Crafting 8 May 2001 (Update) 4 months, 4 days
Attack Attack 4 January 2001 (Update) Initial batch of skills. [confirmation needed]
Hitpoints Hitpoints Known as Hits at the time of release.
Cooking Cooking
Defence Defence
Skills EvilMagic Removed from the skill list on 10 May 2001. Combined with GoodMagic into Magic skill on 24 May 2001.
Firemaking Firemaking
Skills GoodMagic Removed from the skill list on 10 May 2001. Combined with EvilMagic into Magic skill on 24 May 2001.
Skills Influence Removed and replaced with quest points on 10 May 2001.
Mining Mining
Skills PrayGood Lacked any prayers on release but could still be trained. Removed from the skill list on 10 May 2001. Combined with PrayEvil into Prayer skill on 24 May 2001, taking some of the constant effect Magic spells.
Skills PrayEvil Lacked any prayers on release but could still be trained. Removed from the skill list on 10 May 2001. Combined with PrayGood into Prayer skill on 24 May 2001, taking some of the constant effect Magic spells.
Ranged Ranged
Smithing Smithing
Strength Strength
Skills Tailoring Had few functions or ways to train on release. Removed on 10 May 2001. Concepts were combined into Crafting on 23 June 2001.
Woodcutting Woodcutting

Proposed skills[edit | edit source]

Several new skills have been proposed since the release of Old School RuneScape, but only one has successfully passed a poll.

Sailing[edit | edit source]

Sailing was first added as part of the 2014 April Fools event, then later developed to become a proper skill in 2015 and polled on 10 September. Sailing would have been free-to-play, and involved building various types of ships and navigating them to new regions. A redesigned version of Sailing was proposed in March 2023, alongside Shamanism and Taming, as a concept for a potential new skill to be developed. It was polled against Shamanism and Taming on 4 April, receiving the most votes. The redesigned Sailing passed polling with 71.9% and will be added to the game, becoming Oldschool's first new skill.

Artisan[edit | edit source]

Artisan was developed in 2014 and was polled twice on 17 July and 21 August. Artisan would have been similar to Slayer, but for skills, rather than combat. The skill would have involved getting tasks from Artisan masters, then gathering and crafting specific items to gain experience. Some content originally designed for Artisan was repurposed and released separately, such as Redwood Trees and wieldable fishing rods from Aerial fishing.

Warding[edit | edit source]

Warding was first announced at RuneFest 2018 and was developed over the course of 2019. The skill would have involved creation of magical robes and armour using fabrics and vis. Warding was polled on 19 July.

Shamanism[edit | edit source]

Shamanism was proposed in March 2023, alongside Taming and a redesigned Sailing, as a concept for a potential new skill to be developed. Shamanism would have focused on gathering materials and using them to craft items imbued with shamanistic magic, such as relics or totems. The Spirit Realm would have also been added, to be accessed through Shamanism. It was polled against Sailing and Taming on 4 April, receiving the second most votes and losing to Sailing. Despite losing the poll, it was considered popular enough for the concept to be retained for potential development in the future.

Taming[edit | edit source]

Taming was proposed in March 2023, alongside Shamanism and a redesigned Sailing, as a concept for a potential new skill to be developed. Taming would have focused on taming creatures, which could be trained. Trained creatures would have been able to assist a player in a variety of ways, such as unlocking new areas, or assisting with other skills. It was polled against Sailing and Shamanism on 4 April, where it received the least votes, resulting in the concept being scrapped.

Changes[edit | edit source]

Date Changes
29 March 2023

A new Gameplay setting has been added to allow players to disable the level-up interface.

27 January 2021

Level up fireworks are now accompanied by a little sound effect.

9 April 2015

You'll now see all level up messages when receiving more than one in a short amount of time.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. ^ "Adding A New Skill: Community Consultation". Old School RuneScape News. Jagex. 23 January 2022. Archived from the original.