"Ability book" redirects here. For the items that unlock abilities, see codex
Abilities are a set of combat commands for Attack, Strength, Defence, Constitution, Ranged, and Magic. Abilities form the basis of combat following the Evolution of Combat and cannot be used when in Legacy Mode combat, barring provoke when used with a T90 shield.
Each skill has a menu of abilities, found in the Powers menu, which can be dragged individually as part of an interface setup.
Abilities come in a wide variety of types; they can allow players to deal extra damage, heal themselves, stun their opponents, etc. When an ability is used, it cannot be used again for a specific amount of time (its cooldown), and other abilities cannot be used for three ticks (1.8 seconds; the global cooldown). Constantly using abilities seamlessly is generally the most effective form of combat.
A player can use abilities directly from their interface or place them onto their action bar for quick access and the ability to use them with a keybind. Players can adjust how many slots are automatically used in revolution combat mode and whether basic, threshold, and ultimate abilities will be automatically triggered in Combat Mode in the Combat section under the Gameplay tab within the Settings menu.
Abilities are laid out by combat skill—Attack, Strength, Ranged, Magic, Constitution and Defence. Most abilities have a skill level requirement to be used, and most have an equipment requirement; for example, Slice requires a main-hand melee weapon, and Bash requires a shield.
Unlike auto-attacks, abilities do not normally consume ammo or runes. However, they will be consumed if a passive effect is triggered, such as the secondary effects of enchanted bolts or Ancient Magicks.
There are three classes of abilities: Basic, Threshold, and Ultimate. There are also auto-attacks, which occur when not using an ability, and Special attacks, which are defined by specific weapons. Abilities generate and consume adrenaline during the flow of combat.
- Auto-attacks simply do the damage of the weapon with no special effects. They generate 1-2% adrenaline each.
- Basic abilities gain 8% adrenaline each, and usually have increased damage, a special effect, or both
- Threshold abilities require 50% adrenaline and will drain 15% on use, generally dealing more damage than basic abilities or having stronger effects
- Ultimate abilities require 100% adrenaline and drain the whole bar, dealing a large amount of damage or providing a very powerful effect.
- Special attacks can only be used when using a specific weapon, and the attack itself differs with each relevant weapon. To use a special attack, an amount of adrenaline is required and it will use all of that adrenaline when used. Special attacks have no cooldown. Their damage and effects vary greatly with the weapon, but generally fit between threshold abilities and ultimate abilities. See Special attacks for more details.
The damage done by abilities is usually a percentage of a player's ability damage, which is determined by weapon/spell damage, skill level, and weapon speed.
Nearly all passive effects will work with both auto-attacks and abilities, the most notable exception being Barrows equipment set effects.
When an ability is used, it may remain active for some time either on the player or on the target. Abilities can remain active on the player in two ways:
- Combo attacks, such as Concentrated Blast, Destroy, and Unload, take more than the global cooldown to fully use. While an ability of this type is active, the use of another ability will cancel it.
- Abilities that leave a passive, positive effect on the player, for a period of time, such as Meteor Strike, Metamorphosis, and Anticipation, are often called buff abilities. Using another ability while this buff is active will not remove the buff.
Abilities that remain on the target and provide a negative effect to that target are often called debuffs. Abilities such as Combust, Debilitate, and Sever remain active on the target for several seconds. The use of further abilities will not cancel these.
Abilities active on the target are displayed in the target's status bar. Abilities active on the player (including abilities used on the player by the target) are displayed in a then Buffs/Debuffs window, which can be moved around on the screen as desired (in edit mode with the RS3 interface); in the legacy interface right-click the icon in the combat settings tab to enable timers beneath the minimap.
All abilities have a cooldown timer. The cooldown activates when the ability is used, and stays active for a period of time specific to the ability. While it is active, the ability cannot be used. Some abilities share a cooldown: this means that using one of those abilities will activate the cooldown timer for all of them. Often these groups of abilities have something in common, like stunning the target (Kick, Binding Shot, and Impact), or moving the player several squares (Escape and Surge).
After using an ability, you cannot use another ability (or auto-attack) for 3 ticks (1.8 seconds). This is the global cooldown. (This triggers from the moment of use, so after a combo attack, you can immediately use another ability.)
The different abilities can be found in the following four menus. In game, the combat skills Attack and Strength share a tab but are further divided into their own sub-tabs. This is also true of Defence and Constitution. Ranged and Magic each have their own tab. However, the Magic tab is further sub-divided into a sub-tabs for: magic abilities, Combat spells, Teleport spells, and Skilling spells.
The vast majority of abilities are automatically unlocked once you reach the skill level required to use them. These level requirements can be seen in the list of abilities above.
However, there are a number of abilities that must be unlocked by other means:
||Method to unlock
| Blood Tendrils
||Read the Codex ultimatus, which is obtained by speaking to the archaeological expert at the Exam Centre, after completion of The Dig Site quest (with the requirement for at least one of the abilities)
| Shadow Tendrils
| Smoke Tendrils
| Ice Asylum
| Balanced Strike
||Obtained on completion of the quest The World Wakes
| Death's Swiftness
| Natural Instinct
| Guthix's Blessing
| Tuska's Wrath
||Purchased from the Anima Islands minigame reward shop for 4,000 points
||Obtained as a rare drop from General Graardor, Kree'arra, aviansie or purchased from the Anima Islands reward shop for 3,500 points
| Storm Shards
||Read either the Storm Shards and Shatter Ability Codex or the Mazcab ability codex (both abilities unlocked together)
||Read either the Onslaught Ability Codex or the Mazcab ability codex
| Corruption Shot
||Read either the Corruption Shot Ability Codex or the Mazcab ability codex
| Corruption Blast
||Read either the Corruption Blast Ability Codex or the Mazcab ability codex
||Read the Reprisal Ability Codex
| Greater Dazing Shot
||Purchased with 63,000,000 Shattered anima from Shattered Worlds; unlocks alongside Salt the Wound. This will permanently upgrade Dazing Shot while on a members' world.
| Salt the Wound
||Purchased with 63,000,000 Shattered anima from Shattered Worlds; unlocks alongside Greater Dazing Shot
| Bladed Dive
||Purchased with 63,000,000 Shattered anima from Shattered Worlds
||Read Scare Tactics
| Greater Barge
||Read the Greater Barge ability codex. This will permanently upgrade Barge while on a member's world.
| Greater Flurry
||Read the Greater Flurry ability codex. This will permanently upgrade Flurry while on a member's world.
| Greater Fury
||Read the Greater Fury ability codex. This will permanently upgrade Fury while on a member's world.
| Slayer's Insight
||Purchased with 90,000,000 Shattered anima from Shattered Worlds
| Kuradal's Favour
||Purchased with 90,000,000 Shattered anima from Shattered Worlds
||Purchased with 90,000,000 Shattered anima from Shattered Worlds
| Golden Touch
||Read the Golden Touch ability codex
||Read the Limitless ability codex
||Read the Unsullied ability codex
| Dragon Slayer
||Read the Dragon Slayer ability codex
| Demon Slayer
||Read the Demon Slayer ability codex
| Undead Slayer
||Read the Undead Slayer ability codex
| Ingenuity of the Humans
||Read the Ingenuity of the Humans ability codex
The update history project is a work-in-progress – not all updates to this topic may be covered below. See here for how to help out!
- patch 27 January 2020 (Update):
- Ranged abilities will no longer visually stall you in place when used.
- patch 9 December 2019 (Update):
- Fixed an issue where some spells and abilities would not activate from the mobile action bar.
- update 28 October 2019 (Update):
- Fixed an issue with the spell and ability book filters that was causing the filters to not be toggled on desktop if they were toggled off on mobile.
- Fixed magic book filtering always defaulted to abilities.
- patch 2 September 2019 (Update):
- Prevented certain sigils abilities causing damage.
- patch 25 March 2019 (Update):
- Resolved an issue where defensive abilities were not taken into account when calculating damage as the opponent died.
- patch 28 January 2019 (Update):
- Fixed some dead clicks when attempting to move as your character starts an ability animation.
- Queuing an ability will no longer be used a cycle earlier when used after the Snipe ability.
- Players can now reliably queue abilities while they are currently channeling an ability such as Concentrated Blast.
- patch 21 January 2019 (Update):
- Ability queuing will no longer stop the buff from Needle strike going to the following ability.
- Ability queuing will no longer stall the players movement after using an ability.
- Ability queuing no longer stops 'on-tick' heals with the Resonance ability.
- patch 21 May 2018 (Update):
- Some combat abilities have been reverted to just using messages instead of an info box.
- patch 23 April 2018 (Update):
- Two-handed and duel-wield icons on tooltips in the magic ability book now display as magic rather than melee.
- ninja 14 August 2017 (Update):.
- A larger variety of combat abilities have been made available to use on free worlds.
- ninja 10 July 2017 (Update):
- Magic and Ranged abilities now appear unavailable in the spell book and ability bar if the player does not have the runes or ammo to cast them.
- The Attack/Strength and Defence/Constitution ability books can now be split regardless of the status of the action bar lock.
- patch 26 June 2017 (Update):
- While using combat channelling abilities, you can now click away to stop the channel.
- patch 13 March 2017 (Update):
- Fixed a number of typos on various combat ability tooltips.
- ninja 31 October 2016 (Update):
- It is no longer possible to use magic combat abilities while not in combat to generate adrenaline without a spell set.
- patch 9 May 2016 (Update):
- Using a channelled melee ability on a target out of the equipped weapon's range now causes the character to run towards the target and perform the ability.
- Ability and special attack queuing in Legacy interface mode now behaves correctly.
- It is no longer possible to cast surging onslaught without a spell selected.
- The greater runic staff will no longer take charges when casting abilities.
- Removing ammunition whilst in a PvP situations will no longer allow another player to instantly attack the player.
- The Dragon Breath and Chain abilities will now correctly grant 8% adrenaline per cast.
- It is no longer possible to change targets while casting the Shadow Tendrils ability.
- Onslaught is now correctly interrupted by bandages in Soul Wars.
- Fixed a spelling mistake on the dragon trinket abilities interface.
- Updated several combat ability tooltips to better reflect the effects of the abilities.
- Sacrifice no longer guarantees 100% weapon damage in PvP situations.
- Smoke Tendrils no longer require the target to stay still.
- Fixed an issue with Needle Strike that was causing the +5% buff for more than one attack.
- Asphixiate's stun and bind durations now match.
- patch 29 March 2016 (Update):
- The global cooldown timers for abilities which players have not yet unlocked will no longer show.
- patch 14 September 2015 (Update):
- Queuing abilities on cooldown will no longer wait an extra tick before triggering.
- patch 10 August 2015 (Update):
- Abilities players cannot yet use due to non-level-based requirements will no longer be added to the action bar upon reaching the level requirement.
- patch 13 July 2015 (Update):
- The Death's Swiftness damage-over-time effect will now scale correctly to ability damage.
- Snipe will no longer perform auto-attacks while channelling if the player clicks on their opponent again.
- Debilitate and Resonance will now correctly scale depending on shieldbow levels.
- Quake now deals 219% damage to the main target.
- Following changes to Hurricane:
- Damage dealt to all adjacent targets is now 66-219%, hitting the main target for a second time for 84-161% of your weapon damage.
- Now shares a cooldown with Destroy.
- Halberds & noxious scythes now deal 5x5 AoE damage instead of 3x3.
- Hurricane, Snapshot & Wild Magic have had their hits slightly spread out.
- Meteor Strike will now deal AoE damage to nearby opponents.
- Meteor Strike no longer requires the opponent to have more than 50% life points.
- Barge will now apply a 1.2 second bind on an opponent.
- Barge no longer shares a cooldown with Surge/Escape.
- Barge with no target will no longer perform Surge.
- patch 20 April 2015 (Update):
- Eating in PvP will no longer lower the global cooldown on abilities.
- Binding a target in PvP will now correctly bind them at their current location, instead of on arrival at their last chosen destination.
- ninja 23 March 2015 (Update):
- Players can now toggle which abilities they can see depending on which are available to use.
- patch 2 March 2015 (Update):
- Abilities no longer trigger their cooldown without anything happening.
- Revolution will now start up faster after all basic abilities have been on cooldown.
- patch 16 February 2015 (Update):
- Cooldowns in the ability book will now display correctly.
- Abilities will no longer trigger while the player is too far away from the target.
- ninja 2 February 2015 (Update):
- The global cooldown when creating gatestones has been removed.
- patch 5 January 2015 (Update):
- Forceful Backhand now correctly deals the stated 200% weapon damage to stun-immune targets.
- ninja 13 October 2014 (Update):
- The cooldown timer for abilities now displays correctly in slots 13 and 14.
- patch 28 July 2014 (Update):
- Players are now able to click out of channelled abilities.
- patch 1 July 2014 (Update):
- Ability queuing has been altered to fire abilities at the same rate as Full Manual.
- patch 3 March 2014 (Update):
- A selection of non-combat spells can no longer activate the ability queuing system.
- patch 9 April 2013 (Update):
- Spells in the Ability Book are now updated when selecting keys on the Tool belt.