Want to start training your combat in Old School Runescape but are lost where to start? Don’t want to waste any time using outdated methods that might lead to bad EXP/hr? This article covers the most efficient training methods for melee in osrs.
While this OSRS Combat Training Guide is beginner-friendly, it contains useful information for advanced and returning players as well!
Melee Training Basics
Before we get into the melee training portion of this guide, let’s quickly cover some of the basics…
Melee in OSRS can be trained through three combat skills: Attack, Strength, and Defence.
If you aren’t sure what these skills offer, let’s answer some common questions.
What does Attack do in osrs?
Leveling your attack increases your accuracy and unlocks higher-level weaponry.
Thus, you hit more frequently the higher your attack level (anything higher than 0 counts as a hit).
What does Strength do in osrs?
Leveling your strength influences your MAX HIT.
Thus, you hit bigger numbers, the higher your strength level.
What does Defence do in osrs?
Leveling your defence decreases the odds of you getting hit by an opponent or monster. This means it decreases the accuracy and not the max hit. You also gain access to higher-level armour.
Note: when it comes to Magical attacks, your Defence only counts for 30%. The remaining 70% comes from your Magic level: the higher your magic level, the higher your Magic defence.
In which order should you train melee?
Since defence doesn’t do anything towards your max hit or your accuracy it shouldn’t be a priority while training melee. Instead, you should always prioritize strength and attack since those will affect your accuracy and damage.
Most players will aim to have their strength a couple of levels higher than attack to achieve a higher max hit.
Most Efficient way to train melee
So what is the most efficient way to rain your melee in OSRS? The most efficient path always starts with Questing.
Levels 1 – 30+ Waterfall Quest
Completing Waterfall Quest will instantly put you at levels 30 Attack and Strength through the 13,750 XP reward. This is the best way to start off any fresh account in osrs.
It’s super inefficient to skip Waterfall Quest as it will take you a lot more time to train these skills manually. While you can do this quest quite easily on a level 3 account, it does require you to pass through some high-level monsters. But as long as you don’t bring anything you don’t want to lose, you will be just fine!
Not good at Questing? Follow my full walkthrough of Waterfall Quest!
Continue Questing (optional)
At this point, I’ll give you the choice to either continue Questing (more efficient) or move on to AFK training methods immediately.
If you wish to do more quests, you should complete the following quests in order:
- Tree Gnome Village: 11,450 Attack Experience
- The Grand Tree: 18,400 Attack Experience
- Fight Arena: 12,175 Attack Experience
Doing all of these will put you at a total of 44 Attack ! This sets you up perfectly for Strength Training at Crabs.
Additionally, you can also complete:
Doing these will put your Defence level at 31 and Prayer level at 28 .
P.s. If you need a Quest Guide, click the links to follow along with me on these quests.
In case you’re done with quests, move on to Crab Training at any point.
Levels 30 – 70 AFK Training on Crabs
At level 30+ Attack/Strength you can now start training on crabs. The reason you want to train here is that they are aggressive, have a high amount of hitpoints, and don’t hit high on you. This sets you up perfectly for AFK training!
There are three different crabs you can train on:
|Crab Type||Location||Requirements||How to get there|
|Rock Crabs||North of Relekka||None||Rock Crab Travel Guide|
|Sand Crabs||Hosidius||None||Sand Crab Travel Guide|
|Ammonite Crabs||Fossil Island||Bone Voyage Quest||Ammonite Crab Travel Guide|
I summed these up in ascending order btw. Your best option is Sand Crabs if you haven’t completed the Bone Voyage Quest.
If you don’t know how to make your way to Rock/Sand/Ammonite Crabs, use the links above to go directly to my guide on these monsters.
Note: Crabs become unaggressive every 10 minutes at which point you should run out of the area and return to make them aggressive again.
Levels 70 – 99 Slayer Training
Of course, the most effective way to play old school Runescape and train your combat is by doing slayer alongside your combat training. This won’t give you the fastest combat training EXP Rates but it will be a more efficient style of playing, especially if you want to max your account at some point!
Training Slayer is one of those skills that some players love, and others hate. One thing is for sure: it’s a great combat money maker, so you won’t regret training this skill into levels 80+.
Even if you prefer AFK training, I recommend you give Slayer a shot as you’ll likely regret maxing your combat without Slayer (no judgment though). If you absolutely hate Slayer, you can go for the NMZ method listed below.
Alternatively, you can also wait until you have 85+ combat start before moving on to Slayer Training.
If you don’t know where to start with Slayer, check out my OSRS Slayer Guide. I also have some guides on slayer monsters, use the search function in the sidebar to find some of those!
Alternative Combat Training Methods
Levels 70 – 99 Nightmare Zone
The Nightmare Zone allows you to train your combat 100% AFK in OSRS. Using this method to train your melee, you only need to check your screen every 15 -20 minutes to ensure you don’t log out. Having to only click on your screen 3 – 4 times per hour, allows you to train your Strength/Attack/Defence while watching movies, playing on ALT accounts or doing work.
Who knows, I might be at the Nightmare Zone as I write this up.
So what is the NMZ? It’s a minigame located outside of Yanille in which you fight past quest bosses on repeat. This is a safe, instanced training area where if you die you don’t lose any items upon death. You have 100% control over which quest bosses show up in your dream.
|You can teleport to NMZ using the minigame teleport in your grouping menu.|
You must have completed at least 5 qualifying quests to unlock their bosses at the Nightmare Zone. Here’s a list of recommended bosses:
- Tree Spirit (Lost City)
- Bouncer (Fight Arena)
- Khazard Warlord (Tree Gnome Village)
- Count Draynor (Vampyre Slayer)
- Black Demon (The Grand Tree)
If you’re interested in this melee training method, I have an in-depth Guide on the Nightmare Zone that will teach you everything you need to know.
Levels 70 – 99 Pest Control
You may be surprised to see Pest Control on this list, but it’s a very viable melee training method in OSRS these days. Aside from going here to obtain your Void & Elite Void gear, players are now flocking to this spot for melee combat training as well.
Pest Control becomes a viable combat training method when you spend your points on reward experience in Attack/Strength/Defence. Each reward point will grant you between 280 and 560 combat experience scaling with your level.
At level 70 Attack or Strength, this rewards you a minimum of 1,120 experience per successful game on the intermediate boat (4 points * 280 exp). Considering 20 successful games per hour, you can gain up to 80 points per hour or 22k additional combat experience on top of the experience you are already gaining from fighting monsters during the minigame.
With Easy/Medium/Hard Combat Achievements, you can unlock additional +1/+2/+3 additional points per game.
The table below shows the maximum amount of experience you can earn at Pest Control for each level, including base experience + reward experience.
|Atk/str lvl||Lander||No Diaries||Easy (+1)||Medium (+2)||Hard (+3)|
Since May 2023, Combat Achievements were overhauled and now only require you to meet a certain point count in order to unlock the rewards for each tier, this makes it much easier to unlock the easy, medium & hard combat achievements.
Here’s how many points you need:
- Easy Diary: 33 points
- Medium Diary: 115 points
- Hard Diary: 304 Points
Unlocking the Easy & Medium achievements are very doable starting at 70+ combat stats. Later on, you can complete the Hard Diary for some a juicy 8 Pest Control Points per trip on the Veteran Lander.
In Pest Control Worlds, you could easily earn up to 150 – 200k experience per hour once you reach level 90+ in your melee stats.
But even for lower levels, Pest Control is very viable as the table shows. This is a nice alternative to Nightmare Zone if you prefer more active gameplay over passive gameplay.
Check out my Pest Control Guide if you need any information on how to play the minigame.
Melee Weapon Upgrades for Combat Training
This portion of the Combat Guide covers every weapon to use between levels 1 – 99 Attack/Strength and maximize your experience rates.
Levels 1 – 40: Scimitars
Scimitars are faster than swords, which is why most players use these to train their combat. After all, the faster your weapon is, the faster you’ll wind up leveling!
|Attack level||Best-in-slot weapon|
|Level 1||Iron Scimitar|
|Level 5||Steel Scimitar|
|Level 10||Black Scimitar|
|Level 20||Mithril Scimitar|
|Level 30||Adamant Scimitar|
|Level 40||Rune Scimitar (or Brine sabre)|
At level 40 members can opt for the Brine Sabre instead of the rune scimitar as this weapon gives a +2 str & attack bonus. But only if they can afford it. F2P players should continue to use the rune scimitar to train their combat all the way to max.
Levels 50 – 60 Granite Weaponry
At level 50 members should switch to granite weapons. You can choose between the granite hammer or the longsword, the hammer is slightly better but more expensive.
The leaf-bladed sword is also an option at level 50 and it is even better than the granite hammer, however, the leaf-bladed sword requires 55 slayer to equip. Ironman tend to go for the leaf-bladed sword as this is far easier to obtain than granite weaponry.
Levels 60 – 65 Dragon Weaponry
At level 60 you should train with dragon weaponry, specifically the Dragon Scimitar. If you don’t want to complete Monkey Madness you can opt for the dragon sword instead which is better than the Dragon Longsword.
Levels 65 – 70 Sarachnis Cudgel
Once you reach level 65 Attack, you can switch over to the Sarachnis Cudgel which is better for training than the Dragon Scimitar. This weapon only costs 120K Gp on the Grand Exchange.
70 Attack: Abyssal Weaponry
At level 70 Attack you unlock the Abyssal Whip, which will become your primary weapon to train attack for a long time (basically until you can afford the Osmunten’s Fang).
The only issue with the Abyssal Whip is that it’s not great for Strength Training as you can only train Strength via ‘controlled’ which shares the experience between Attack, Strength, and Defence.
This makes the Abyssal Whip very inefficient for training anything other than Attack/Strength. For this reason, you should opt for either an Abyssal Dagger, Abbyssal Bludgeon or Saradomin Sword for Strength Training.
The Saradomin Sword is the cheapest option, costing about 130K GP. In comparison, the Abyssal Dagger will set you back around 2M while the Bludgeon is the most expensive at 10M.
Against lower level monsters (e.g. Crabs) the Saradomin Sword is more than good enough for Strength Training. Otherwise, the Abyssal Dagger or Bludgeon are better options. (e.g. for Slayer Training)
For Slayer Training I would recommend the Abbysal Dagger over the Bludgeon as it’s cheaper than the bludgeon and only has slightly weaker strength bonus when combined with the Dragon Defender while having better accuracy. Both have the same 4-tick attack speed.
Once you reach level 82 Attack, you unlock the ability to equip the Osmuntens’ Fang which is currently the best melee training weapon in OSRS.
The Osmunten’s Fang beats the Ghrazi Rapier, Inquisitors’ Mace & Blade of Saeldor against higher level monsters and is also much cheaper at just 28M GP which is a very good price for the best weapon in the game!
Melee Gear Upgrades for Combat Training
To maximize EXP/hr, we need to know which gear to use while training our combat, here’s a full progression guide for you!
I’ve done my best to write this portion in the order in which you will unlock items.
TIP: Strength Bonus is the best measure to look at when progressing your gear as this has the largest effect on your DPS which has a direct impact on your experience rates.
Everyone starts differently. You might have some cash on hand, or you might be fully broke (nothing beats this experience, treasure it!)
Here are some starter jewelry & cape options that help maximize your damage output.
Amulet of Glory
The Amulet of Glory is your best-in-slot amulet until you have the funds to buy an Amulet of Fury. You can get it from the Grand Exchange for about 12K GP.
This amulet gives you a +6Strength bonus, +10 Attack bonuses, as well as +3 Defensive bonuses.
If you can’t afford a Glory yet, opt for an Amulet of Power instead.
The best cloak you can get in the early game is the Ardougne Cloak, which is a reward from the Easy Ardougne Achievement Diary.
This cape gives you a +2 Stab Attack bonus, +2 Stab Defence bonus, and +2 Prayer Bonus.
If you want to obtain the cape, you will have to complete the following quests:
You’ll also need to complete some Easy Diary Tasks. I have a follow-along guide for each of these quests, along with the achievement diary if you are interested in getting the cape!
The combat bracelet is your best option for your glove slot in the early game. You can get it for 12K on the Grand Exchange.
This bracelet gives you a +6Strength bonus, +7 Attack bonuses, as well as +5 Defensive bonuses.
The best boots to wear in the early game are climbing boots. You can pick them up at the Grand Exchange for only 500GP!
These boots give you a +2Strength bonus, which is helpful towards your max hit.
Climbing boots have the same Strength Bonus as Rune Boots which are much more expensive and require 40 Defence. However, it’s best to upgrade to Rune Boots for the additional Defensive bonuses they provide.
Early Game Armour (F2P)
Between levels 1 – 40, it’s helpful to wear the best defensive armor your Defence levels allow.
This means you’ll wear A Mithril set at level 20, an Adamant set at level 30, and a Rune set at level 40 defence.
I recommend skipping steel and black as you will get to level 20 Defense quite quickly.
If you lack the funds for Rune, you can continue to wear Adamant and upgrade pieces over time.
Note: you will need to complete Dragon Slayer to be able to wear the Rune Platebody.
At level 40 Defence, you can upgrade to the Fighter Torso, which will be your best-in-slot body for a very long time (basically until you have at least 100M+ and can afford a Bandos Chestplate as a late-game upgrade).
The Fighter Torso gives you a +4Strength bonus, as well as +62 STAB, +85 SLASH, and +62 CRUSHDefensive bonuses.
The Fighter Torso is untradeable and can only be obtained through the Barbarian Assault minigame. This minigame is a bit painful, I’m not going to lie, but it’s a massive upgrade to your gear once you’ve completed it. Expect to lose a whole afternoon grinding it out if it’s your first time.
Berserker Helm & Helm of Neitiznot
At level 45 Defence, players can wear the Berserker Helm which is locked behind the Fremmenik Trials Quest.
The Berserker Helm gives you a +3Strength bonus, as well as +30 Defensive bonuses.
And later, at level 55 Defence, you can upgrade to the Helm of Neitiznot after completing the Fremennik Isles Quest.
The Neitiznot helm offers the same bonusses as the Berserker Helm, with an additional +3 Prayer Bonus.
I really recommended completing these quests as soon as possible as the helm of Neitiznot will be your best-in-slot until you upgrade it to a Neitiznot Faceguard, very late in the game.
As the Berserker Helm has the same strength bonus, you can choose to skip the Fremmenik Isles for now but you’ll be missing out on the +3 Prayer Bonus.
Rune and Dragon Defenders
Once you reach a combined level of 130 in both Attack and Strength, you can access the Warriors Guild where you can upgrade your shield for a defender. Defenders are favorable over shields for melee training because they provide you with an extra strength bonus, maximizing your damage output.
In case you don’t know, the Warriors Guild is a place in Burthorpe where you can fight Cyclopses which Drop Defenders in all metal types: from Bronze to Rune. There’s even a basement where you can get the Dragon Defender.
But there is a caveat: you can only obtain a defender as an upgrade. Thus, you will get the Bronze Defender as a drop first, then the Iron Defender, and so on! Furthermore, you don’t just get access to the Cyclops Den. You will have to complete minigames first which grant you tokens that are used as a currency to buy time inside the Cyclops Den.
I recommend going here as soon as you reach 65 Attack/Strength as you will continue to train your combat here as well while grinding out the Defender Drops.
The Rune Defender (40 Defence) gives you a +5Strength bonus, +20 Attack bonuses, as well as +20 Defensive bonuses.
The Dragon Defender (60 Defence) gives you a +6Strength bonus, +25 Attack bonuses, as well as +25 Defensive bonuses.
60 Defence Upgrades
Once you reach level 60 Defence, upgrading to Dragon Boots is a no-brainer for the added Strength and Defensive bonuses at a low price point of around 120K GP. You’ll be wearing these until you upgrade to primordial boots late in the game.
Optionally, you can buy Obsidian Platelegs if you have the extra funds which offer an additional +1 Strength Bonus over Rune platelegs.
At this point, you should also return to the Warriors Guild to grind out the Dragon Defender if you haven’t already.
Amulet of Fury & Berserker Ring
Both the Amulet of Fury and Berserker Ring are phenomenal upgrades that should be considered while entering the mid-game. These upgrades aren’t accessible to everyone however as they have a combined cost of 5M GP.
If you are limited in funds and can only get one, go for the Berserker Ring. The Berserker Ring will provide you with a +4 Strength Bonus (since you didn’t have a ring slot yet) while the Fury will only bump your current Strength bonus by +2 over the Amulet of Glory.
Furthermore, the Berserker Ring can be imbued at the Nightmare Zone where it doubles its Strength Bonus from +4 to +8!
This is why you should grind out the Nightmare Zone as soon as you can afford the Berserker Ring. You’ll need a total of 650,000 Nightmare Zone points to imbue your Berserker Ring. Don’t worry though, this goes fairly fast and the Nightmare Zone is also one of the best combat training spots in osrs. Who knows, you might never want to leave!
Barrows Gloves (& Others)
Barrows Gloves are an iconic upgrade for returning players who played back in the early 2000’s. They are also my favorite item in the game. If you’re unfamiliar, Barrows Gloves are the best all-around Gloves in OSRS and the second-best melee gloves in OSRS.
And they are obtained through completing the Recipe for Disaster Quest Line.
Barrows Gloves gives you a +12Strength bonus, +12 Attack bonuses, as well as +12 Defensive bonuses.
That’s a massive increase over the Combat Bracelet you’ve been using until now!
However, Barrows Gloves are locked behind a hefty amount of questing. Not only do you need to complete all Recipe for Disaster Subquests, you also need to have a total of 175 Quest Points to defeat the Culinaromancer. Only once the Culinaromancer has been defeated, can you purchase Barrows Gloves from the chest for 130K GP.
BUT there are other gloves in the Culinaromancers’ chest with lower requirements that still have superior bonusses over the Combat Bracelet. So even while you grind quests towards Barrows Gloves, you get to upgrade your gear along the way.
The following gloves are upgrades from the Combat Bracelet:
- Adamant Gloves: +7 Strength
- Rune Gloves: +8 Strength
- Dragon Gloves: +9 Strength
You’ll need to complete 6 RFD subquests for Adamant Gloves, 7 subquests for Rune Gloves & 8 subquests for Dragon Gloves.
For more info, Check out: Recipe for Disaster Guide
It may be a bit daunting to start grinding out Quests just for these gloves, especially if it’s your first time. But it is worth the grind and completing that many quests does set your account up very well. Quests are an essential part of OSRS and not doing them does limit your account quite heavily.
Grinding Barrows gloves is personally my favorite part of osrs (primarily due to the nostalgia) and I’ve probably done the grind on at least 10 accounts by now.
My advice is to start doing quests regularly whenever you have some extra time and need a break from combat training. You can follow our Optimal Quest Guide to get some quests out of the way. I’d also advise you to complete all F2P Quests as soon as possible as these are quite fast with next to no requirements and you’ll have 44 Quest Points just for doing those. I have guides on all F2P quests and some P2P quests as well.
TIP: You can also loosely follow along with my Ironman Guide as this guide rushes Barrows Gloves. Just look for the quests and skip everything else!
Yet another iconic grind is the pursuit of the Fire Cape, which is locked behind one of the baddest bosses in Runescape from back in the day: Tz-Tok Jad!
Currently, the Fire Cape is the second-best melee cape in the game and provides a massive strength bonus to your gear setup.
The Fire Cape gives you a +4Strength bonus, +11 Attack bonuses, as well as +11 Defensive bonuses.
To obtain the Fire Cape, you have to take on the daunting task of deafeating Jad in the Fight Caves. Here, you have to complete 63 waves of monsters with a single inventory before reaching Jad (lvl 702) which attacks with all three combat styles.
The best way to defeat Jad is via Ranged and thus you should train your Ranged before attempting this grind.
I recommend you have at least the following stats:
Once you think you’re ready to take on Jad, you can follow my OSRS Jad Guide to prepare yourself for the fight.
At level 70 Defence, you can start wearing Barrows armour such as Verac, Dharok & Torag. These are tanky armour pieces that don’t offer any additional strength bonuses. Barrows armour degrades over 15 hours of combat and cost 230K to repair (minus the weapon).
As barrows gear doesn’t provide additional strength bonuses, it’s not worth the upgrade if you’re just training melee on low level monsters or using overhead prayers.
Barrows Armour can be helpful for being tankier while training slayer, or for making The Nightmare Zone more AFK.
I recommend you get the Verac’s Plateskirt as tanky legs as they only cost about 230K and provide an additional +4 Prayer Bonus. Plus, if you only run the legs, you are only wasting about 5k per hour on repair costs.
I don’t recommend switching out your torso or neitiznot for barrows pieces as this will impact your DPS.
Late Game Upgrades
Once you’ve unlocked all the aforementioned gear, you should be getting close to what we consider to be the late game of osrs. At this point, you have unlocked most combat gear that is locked behind Quest and Activities. Your next focus is to make money and spend it efficiently on late/end-game gear upgrades.
I’ll list these upgrades briefly in roughly the order you want to purchase them.
Note: you should prioritize upgrading to the Osmunten’s Fang before upgrading your gear to the pieces mentioned below.
|Illustration||Gear Upgrade||Rough Cost||Quest Reqs||Skill Reqs||Strength Bonus|
|Bandos Tassets||21M||N/A||65 Defence||+2|
|Primordial Boots||32M||N/A||75 Defence||+5|
|Amulet of Torture||9.6M||N/A||75 hitpoints||+10|
|Neitiznot Faceguard||21M||Fremennik Exiles||70 Defence||+6|
|Bandos Chestplate||34M||N/A||65 Defence||+4|
|Ferocious Gloves||10M||Dragon Slayer II||80 Attack/Defence||+14|
|Avernic Defender||91M||N/A||70 Attack/Defence||+8|
End Game Upgrades
The final upgrade you’ll make for melee gear is to acquire Full Torva, which is the best-in-slot melee armor in OSRS.
At current prices, full Torva costs 1.1B so unless you’re up to some shady stuff it’s not something you’ll be buying any time soon if you came to this guide. 😉
|Illustration||Gear Upgrade||Rough Cost|
|Torva Full Helm||280M|
Prayer Upgrades for Melee Training
I’ll finish this Melee Training Guide by briefly covering Prayer Training. Prayer goes hand in hand with combat and should be trained alongside the skill.
Here’s a list of notable prayer unlocks for melee combat:
|Prayer||Prayer lvl||Requirements||What it does||Rough Cost with Dragon bones on Gilded altar|
|Ultimate Strength||31||None||+15% Strength (damage boost)||130K GP|
|Protect from Melee||43||None||Blocks 100% Melee damage from regular monsters||450K GP|
|Chivalry||60||Kings Ransom Quest + |
Completed Knights Waves
|+15% Attack, +18% Strength, and +20% Defence||2.4M GP|
|Piety||70||Kings Ransom Quest + |
Completed Knights Waves
|+20% Attack, +23% Strength, and +25% Defence||6.5M GP|
I recommend you get to 43 Prayer as fast as possible as Protect from Melee Prayer is incredibly handy for Slayer Training and many other combat activities.
You can obtain 43 Prayer for around 430K GP if you use the Gilded Altar method with Dragon Bones.
Or you can train your Prayer via Questing first, at which point it becomes much cheaper to train Prayer early on.
Here are the quests you can complete:
Completing these will instantly put you at 30 Prayer (you also get a nice 15K Def exp from Holy Grail). At this point, 43 Prayer will cost you around 300K worth of Dragon Bones, saving around 150K.
If you need help with Prayer Training, check out my OSRS Prayer Guide for every possible method.
Unlocking Chivalry & Piety
Once you start thinking about bossing and other end-game combat activities, you’ll find the need to upgrade away from ‘ultimate strength’ and unlock the Chivalry & Piety Prayers. These require you to finish the Knight Waves Training Grounds, which are locked behind the Kings Ransom Quest.
It will also cost you around 2.4M GP to unlock Chivarly and 6.5M GP to unlock Piety using Dragon Bones on Gilded Altar.
I hope the this Combat Training Guide helps you train your melee stats as efficiently as possible. Those who want to be ultra efficient should always start with Waterfall Quest and subsequently complete the other mentioned quests to skip many early melee grinds. From there on out, you can start training on Crabs before moving on to Slayer Training if you wish to be as efficient as possible.
Players who dislike slayer, can move on to the Nightmare Zone where they can AFK train their stats to 99 while watching movies or playing mobile at work. Finally there is a third method which includes taking advantage of the experience rewards from Pest Control.
It’s entirely up to you which melee training path you take on, that’s the beauty of osrs!
Don’t forget to train your Prayer and upgrade your gear and weapons as you go along. If you feel anything is missing from this guide, let me know! Click through to our other skilling guides below.
P.s. If you need a F2P training guide, check out our Beginners Guide.