You are currently viewing Experiment: Did the Combat Training Meta Change with Scurrius
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After the arrival of Scurrius, which was released on January 24th, as a new efficient way to train combat, I decided to see where the Rat King would fit inside the meta.

So I went on a little experiment.

Here’s what I did…

I tested the three most popular ways to train melee, being:

  • Crabs
  • The Nightmare Zone
  • Pest Control

And compared it to Scurrius: the Rat King.

Why would the meta have changed?

If you aren’t actively following OSRS news, you may have missed that we have a brand new boss in the game: Scurrius, The Rat King.

scurrius the rat king

This boss can be fought starting as early as combat level 60, so it sits firmly in the early-mid levels of the game.

What’s different about the rat king compared to other bosses in the game, is that you gain BONUS experience while fighting him.

Jagex added this boss because they wanted to ‘spice up’ combat training in the game and offer a more active way of training Attack, Strength, Defence, and also Magic and Ranged.

Here’s what they had to say in the official news post:

We expect training Scurrius to be one of the most effective ways to train Melee in particular, right up until the endgame.

Scurrius, the rat king – news post

This brings us to the reason for my experiment: where does Scurrius sit in the combat training meta?

Let’s test it out…

But first: how i setup the experiment

During this experiment, I spent roughly 1 hour on each of the popular training methods and kept track of the hourly exp rates.

To keep the test fair, I didn’t use any offensive prayers (e.g. Piety) or stat-boosting potions (e.g. super combats/overloads).

I also wore the same gear setup during every method.

gear setup for the experiment

The only exception I made was at Scurrius, where I used a Bone Mace as opposed to my abyssal whip. But I had a good reason for this.

exception: bone mace instead of abyssal whip

You see, Scurrius doesn’t just have accelerated experience, it’s also best fought with bone weaponry:

concept art: all three bone weapons
All rat bone weapons | source: osrs news

Bone weapons are created by using Scurrius Spine (1/33 drop from Scurrius) with a Rune mace, Yew shortbow, or battlestaff to create the Bone Mace, Bone bow, and Bone staff.

These weapons can only be used on rodents and ADD a +10 to your max hit, meaning they tear through The Rat King much better than a whip or other weapon could.

Important disclaimer: this experiment was performed on a maxed account, meaning 99 in every combat stat. As a result, the experience rates you’ll see during the test, are much higher than what you can expect at lower levels. However, this doesn’t matter as the point of this experiment is not to find exp rates, but instead to rank each combat method in order of efficiency, thus discovering ‘the meta’.

The experiment itself

A quick recap: during this experiment I’m testing every popular combat training method, for 1 hour, using the same gear setup and without using stat-boosting potions or offensive prayers.

Below are the results of this experiment.


crabs results

After doing crabs for 1 hour, I was settling at around 78K exp/hr.

I settled for Ammonite Crabs, which is located in Fossil Island.

If you can’t access Fossil Island, you can still train on crabs but will have to settle for Rock Crabs or Sand Crabs instead.

Advantages of this method:

  • Easily accessible (especially rock/sand crabs)
  • Free
  • 10 minutes of AFK


  • Can be hard to find a spot

Nightmare Zone

nightmare zone results

After doing Nightmare Zone for 1 hour, I was settling at around 81K exp/hr.

I did normal customized rumbles with only absorptions (no overloads). I also kept my HP at 1 by using a Locator Orb. This means the monsters can only hit me 1’s which adds a lot of AFK time.

This is a super chill training method that allows you to stay AFK for 20 minutes at a time, only requiring a couple of clicks (to re-up your absorptions).

So if you happen to work from home, or you somehow can pull this off at work, you can realistically pull off the NMZ with very minimal effort.


  • Super AFK (click once every 20 minutes)


  • Some quest requirements
  • Costs 22K per game

Pest Control

pest control results

After doing Pest Control for 1 hour, I had achieved 40k combat experience. During this time, I won a total of 26 games, earning me 208 points. These converted in 127K exp, resulting in a total 167K exp/hr.

Pest Control is a newer combat training method that became a possibility after the Combat Achievement update. It requires you to have access to the Veteran Boat (100+ combat) and have completed the Hard Combat Achievements (not very hard at this combat level).

With these requirements, you gain 8 Commendation Points per Pest Control game.

These points can be spent on combat experience, resulting in a crazy amount of exp per hour.


  • Crazy exp/hr


  • Requires 100+ combat & hard combat achievements
  • Not very fun (personal opinion)


scurrius results

After one hour of training at the Rat King, I was settling at 102K exp/hr.

Just like with other methods, I didn’t use offensive prayers or stat-boosting potions. But I did use the Bone Mace, which increased the exp rates by quite a lot.

Scurrius is genuinely fun to do and his mechanics are very easy to learn.


  • Low requirements (60+ combat is easy to achieve)
  • High combat experienc
  • You make money
  • Close to the bank
  • Genuinely fun to do (personal opinion)


  • You have to grind for the Bone Mace (1/33 drop) to unlock the best combat experience

The results

If we rank the results by experience (as I intended with this experiment) we get the following order:

final results of the experiment

Crabs (78K/hr) > NMZ (81K/hr) > Scurrius (102K/hr) > Pest Control (167K/hr).

However, we have to take into account that this experiment was made on a maxed account, with hard combat achievements unlocked, and thus heavily favors Pest Control as a training method.

If say, I was doing this experiment on a lower level account (combat 100 and below), Pest Control isn’t nearly as good a training method.

Below is a table taken from my combat guide, where I estimated the exp/hr gained at Pest Control for different Attack and Strength levels.

Atk/str lvlLanderNo DiariesEasy (+1)Medium (+2)Hard (+3)

As you can see, players below 100 combat (without access to the veteran boat), and without combat diaries unlocked, are going to earn much less exp/hr.

With that in mind, I’ve revised the lineup for combat levels 60 – 100.

combat meta for levels 60-100

Crabs > Pest Control > NMZ > Scurrius.

This would make Scurrius the best training method for mid-level players, but also still a very good method for higher-level players.

For those under level 60 combat, Crabs is the way to go until they unlock Scurrius.

Final Thoughts

I think Scurrius sits at a healthy spot in our current combat meta. Fighting the Rat King is best-in-slot for mid-level players, while still a decent method for end-game players as well.

I’m a big fan of this update for two reasons:

  • Scurrius teaches PVM mechanics to newer players
  • Scurrius is an active training method

This boss offers the perfect combination of allowing players to train their combat fast, while also honing their PVM skills at the same time. Kind of exactly what you would want newer players to do.

After many AFK training methods such as the Nightmare Zone, Crabs, and Bandits, this is a welcome addition to the game.

To round it off, Scurrius is also rewarding, dropping the ‘Scurrius Spine’, as well as plenty of runite items you can sell for profit, and a new pet to grind.

Big ups to the Old School Team, this has been a hit.

If you’re interested in fighting the rat king, you can check out my Scurrius Guide next. Or if you want more info on combat training, check out the Combat Guide. Cheers!


Dean started playing Runescape in 2006 when he was just 10 years old and has been playing ever on and off ever since (you never quit OSRS, right?) In 2013 he switched to OSRS Servers and never looked back. Dean has spent over 20,000 hours in the game now and frequently revisits his favourite portion of OSRS; the early-to-mid game through new account builds. You can also find bite-sized runescape guides on Deans' YouTube channel

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