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This article is about the skill. For information on training defence, see Melee training, Magic training, or Ranged training.
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Defence level up

Defence is a combat skill that grants players protection in all forms of combat. For this reason, Defence is one of the skills that will raise the combat level of a player regardless of other combat skill levels.

The higher the player's Defence level, the more benefits they obtain:

  • A player's Defence level determines which equipment they are able to wear, as most pieces of armour or other equipment have a Defence level requirement.
  • Defence affects players' (and monsters') base armour rating, with every level increasing it at a rate of , where a is the player's Defence level. Having a higher armour rating increases the chance of completely blocking an opponent's attack.
    • Additionally, every Defence level reduces melee, magic, and ranged damage the player takes by 0.1%, up to 9.9% at level 99 Defence.
  • Access to powerful abilities like Resonance, Barricade and Immortality.

Defence is thus a vital skill for enduring attacks for long periods of time.

History[edit | edit source]

Before the Evolution of Combat update, the way in which Defence was trained was different for all attack methods:

Melee[edit | edit source]

Defence experience was only gained if a player hit an opponent while on Defensive attack style, chosen on the Combat interface. The Defensive attack style was available with all weapons besides the dwarven army axe.

If a player fought with the "controlled" attack style, then the experience was split across Strength, Attack and Defence.

It is worth noting that the Defensive stance gave an invisible +3 boost to Defence level, and the Controlled stance an invisible +1 boost to Defence as well as Attack and Strength.

Ranged[edit | edit source]

The player could earn Defence experience only when attacking with Ranged by using the Longrange attack style, which split experience equally between Ranged and Defence. 2 Ranged and Defence experience were earned for each 10 damage dealt. This attack style gave an extra square of range to all weapons, however speed of fire was sacrificed.

Magic[edit | edit source]

Defence could be trained while training Magic when casting offensive spells by toggling the "defensive casting" option in the lower right corner of the combat menu. 1 Defence experience (as well as 1.333 Magic experience) will be awarded for every 10 points of damage dealt. The experience awarded for casting the spell was not affected, and only awarded to Defence.

Gaining experience[edit | edit source]

Combat[edit | edit source]

A monster's Defence level allows it to resist an attack from a player.

Defence plays an important role in all forms of combat. The higher a player's Defence level, the more likely the opponent is to miss an attack, dealing 0 damage.

Defence can be trained in combat using any of the three combat styles: Magic, Melee or Ranged. This is determined by going into the Combat XP section of the Gameplay settings, then selecting to train Defence for each combat style, or train a combination of defence and the skill related to that combat style. For melee attacks, Defence can be trained by itself or alongside Attack and Strength; for ranged attacks, Defence can be trained by itself or alongside Ranged; and for magic attacks Defence by itself or alongside Magic.

Players may receive Defence experience during combat from any of the three combat styles (Magic, Melee, and Ranged) by selecting the Defence skill in the Settings interface > Gameplay tab > Combat drop-down > Combat XP menu > Strength XP checkbox(es). The Combat XP checkboxes may also be accessed in the Skills drop-down > Experience menu.

If using legacy combat mode, the Combat XP selection may also be made in the Combat tab.

Experience is only gained when the player slays an enemy, after which both Defence and Constitution experience are awarded dependent on the opponent's stats and Combat XP selection. It is also possible to earn experience across all melee combat skills by selecting Attack, Strength, and Defence in the experience menu. If this is chosen, the amount of experience that would have been awarded to Attack alone is evenly split among the three skills.

It is worth noting that 1/4 of all combat experience is given to the Constitution skill, regardless of what is selected on the xp button. The experience for combat is added after a kill is made, and added in one block. If a player is training Slayer, Slayer XP is added after the opponent's life points gauge is emptied, and Combat XP is added after the opponent's death animation finishes.

Experience rewards[edit | edit source]

Players can get Defence experience as a reward for completing certain quests for a total of 166,037 experience. There are also lots of quests that allows the player to choose the skill that will receive an experience reward.

Experience lamps, gained through tasks and random events can be used to grant experience to any skill. Players can also trade points gained in certain minigames for experience in Defence level. Other ways to get reward experience in Defence is through the Dragonkin lamp, penguin points, Tears of Guthix and by completing Court Cases with a successful defence.

Other ways to gain experience[edit | edit source]

  • The brawling gloves (melee) provide 50% bonus experience whilst training on any of the Melee skills (Defence, Strength and Attack) using the melee combat style. In addition, the gloves provide 300% bonus experience if players train whilst in the Wilderness. The gloves last for around 100,000 combat experience, and disintegrate after the player receives all this bonus experience.
  • A player can train Defence on the Catapult room at the Warriors' Guild, the player will receive 10 experience per successful defence.
  • Harvesting the fruit from a Prickly pear will grant defence experience related to your defence level.
  • Players receive combat experience from the damage dealt by their Summoning familiars, the skill that receives the experience varies depending on the familiar, except that Constitution always receive 13.3% of the damage done by the familiar.
Familiar Combat
Summoning level
Granite crab 26 16
Spirit kalphite 39 25
Bronze minotaur 50 36
Iron minotaur 70 46
Steel minotaur 90 56
Mithril minotaur 112 66
Adamant minotaur 133 76
Rune minotaur 154 86
Iron titan 220 95

"Controlled Familiars", for whom 13.3% of damage dealt is converted to Defence experience[1]:

Familiar Combat
Summoning level
Spirit spider 25 10
Spirit scorpion 51 19
Vampyre bat 44 31
Spirit larupia 93 57
Stranger plant 107 64
Arctic bear 122 71
Giant ent 137 78
Spirit dagannoth 148 83
  1. ^ Strength and Attack also receive experience equal to 13.3% of damage dealt.

Other features[edit | edit source]

Equipment[edit | edit source]

Almost every single piece of combat equipment (except for the ones that go on the weapon, cape, ring, aura and amulet slots) requires a certain Defence level to wear. Here are links to tables of armour and equipment that require a Defence level to wear:

  • Armour - For an overview on the different types of Armour.
  • Melee Armour - An overview of the different types of Melee armour.
  • Magic Armour - An overview of the different types of Magic armour.
  • Ranged Armour - An overview of the different types of Ranged armour.
  • Prayer Armour - An overview of the different types of Prayer armour.
  • Defenders - A weapon that goes on the shield slot and provides offensive bonuses while also having an Attack and Defence levels requirement.

Skill mastery[edit | edit source]

A player wearing a trimmed defence cape.

After achieving level 99 Defence, players can buy the defence cape from Harlan the melee instructor in the building north of the Lumbridge general store. The defence cape is light blue in colour, and has a cream trim for players who have more than one level 99 skill. The Defence cape's perk provides the effects of a sign of life/portent of life once an hour, and unlike them, it is not destroyed upon activation.

Temporary boosts[edit | edit source]

Main article: Temporary skill boost

Flat and percentage Defence level bonus don't stack with each other when they add up above the base Defence level. They do, however, stack with the effective defence bonuses of prayers and equipment special effects, as they don't increase the defence level in any way but directly affect the actual chance of dodging an attack when in combat.

Potions[edit | edit source]

Potion Members Level increase Level to make Notes
Saradomin brew.png: RS3 Inventory image of Saradomin brewSaradomin brew P2P icon.png 1 + 4% 81 Herblore Drains Strength, Attack, Magic and Ranged by the same amount.
Super Saradomin brew.png: RS3 Inventory image of Super Saradomin brewSuper Saradomin brew P2P icon.png 1 + 6% 93 Herblore Drains Strength, Attack, Magic and Ranged by 1 + 4%.
Defence potion.png: RS3 Inventory image of Defence potionDefence potion F2P icon.png 1 + 8% 9 Herblore
Defence mix.png: RS3 Inventory image of Defence mixDefence mix P2P icon.png 1 + 8% 11 Herblore Heals 300 Life points.
Super defence.png: RS3 Inventory image of Super defenceSuper defence P2P icon.png 2 + 12% 66 Herblore
Super defence mix.png: RS3 Inventory image of Super defence mixSuper defence mix P2P icon.png 2 + 12% 71 Herblore Heals 600 Life points.
Super warmaster's potion.png: RS3 Inventory image of Super warmaster's potionSuper warmaster's potion P2P icon.png 2 + 12% 85 Herblore Also boosts Attack, Strength, Magic and Ranged by the same amount
Super melee potion.png: RS3 Inventory image of Super melee potionSuper melee potion P2P icon.png 2 + 12% 81 Herblore Also boosts Attack and Strength by the same amount
Grand defence potion.png: RS3 Inventory image of Grand defence potionGrand defence potion P2P icon.png 2 + 14% 79 Herblore
Extreme defence.png: RS3 Inventory image of Extreme defenceExtreme defence P2P icon.png 3 + 15% 90 Herblore Non-tradeable.
Overload.png: RS3 Inventory image of OverloadOverload P2P icon.png 3 + 15% 96 Herblore Non-tradeable. Also boosts Attack, Strength, Ranged and Magic, lasting 6 minutes.
Supreme overload potion.png: RS3 Inventory image of Supreme overload potionSupreme overload potion P2P icon.png 4 + 16% 98 Herblore Non-tradeable. Also boosts Attack, Strength, Ranged and Magic, lasting 6 minutes. Requires Plague's End.

Other[edit | edit source]

Item Members Level increase Requirements Notes
Titan's Constitution scroll.png: RS3 Inventory image of Titan's Constitution scrollTitan's Constitution scroll P2P icon.png +12.5% 79 Summoning
Dominion marker.png: RS3 Inventory image of Dominion markerDominion marker P2P icon.png Varies 110 combat level Non-tradeable. Boosts depends on marker stage, also boosts Attack, Strength, Magic and Defence.
God banner.png: RS3 Inventory image of God bannerGod banner F2P icon.png +5 55 Attack or 55 Ranged or 55 Magic Non-tradeable. Usable once per day for 30 minutes, also boosts Attack, Strength, Ranged and Magic.
Defence cape.png: RS3 Inventory image of Defence capeDefence cape P2P icon.png +1 99 Defence

Prayers and Ancient Curses[edit | edit source]

The following bonuses don't increase the player's current Defence level on the stats tab, but allows the player to be hit less often (see above) and will therefore stack with other boosts:

Book Name Members Level Boost
Prayers Thick Skin.png: RS3 Inventory image of Thick SkinThick Skin F2P icon.png 8 Prayer +2
Rock Skin.png: RS3 Inventory image of Rock SkinRock Skin F2P icon.png 26 Prayer +4
Steel Skin.png: RS3 Inventory image of Steel SkinSteel Skin F2P icon.png 44 Prayer +6
Chivalry.png: RS3 Inventory image of ChivalryChivalry P2P icon.png 70 Prayer +7
Piety.png: RS3 Inventory image of PietyPiety P2P icon.png 70 Prayer +8
Augury.png: RS3 Inventory image of AuguryAugury P2P icon.png 70 Prayer +8
Rigour.png: RS3 Inventory image of RigourRigour P2P icon.png 70 Prayer +8
Ancient Curses Leech Defence.png: RS3 Inventory image of Leech DefenceLeech Defence P2P icon.png 76 Prayer +2, then +8
Turmoil.png: RS3 Inventory image of TurmoilTurmoil P2P icon.png 95 Prayer +10
Torment.png: RS3 Inventory image of TormentTorment P2P icon.png 95 Prayer +10
Anguish.png: RS3 Inventory image of AnguishAnguish P2P icon.png 95 Prayer +10
Malevolence.png: RS3 Inventory image of MalevolenceMalevolence P2P icon.png 99 Prayer +12
Desolation.png: RS3 Inventory image of DesolationDesolation P2P icon.png 99 Prayer +12
Affliction.png: RS3 Inventory image of AfflictionAffliction P2P icon.png 99 Prayer +12

Skilling pet (Wallace)[edit | edit source]

Wallace chathead.png
Main article: Wallace

Like all skills, there is a skilling pet obtainable from training this skill. For Defence, the pet is called Wallace.

Quests with a Defence requirement[edit | edit source]

Quests for Defence experience[edit | edit source]

Quest Members Experience
Other requirements
The Blood Pact F2P icon.png 100 N/A N/A
A Shadow over Ashdale F2P icon.png 300 N/A N/A
A Soul's Bane F2P icon.png 500 N/A N/A
In Search of the Myreque P2P icon.png 600 N/A
In Aid of the Myreque P2P icon.png 2,000 N/A
Nature Spirit P2P icon.png 2,000 N/A N/A
What Lies Below P2P icon.png 2,000 N/A
The Fremennik Trials P2P icon.png 2,812 N/A
Heroes' Quest P2P icon.png 3,075 25 Defence (Black Arm gang only)
Between a Rock... P2P icon.png 5,000 30 Defence
Elemental Workshop III P2P icon.png 8,500 33 Defence
Defender of Varrock P2P icon.png 10,000 N/A
Dimension of Disaster: Defender of Varrock P2P icon.png 10,000 N/A N/A
Olaf's Quest P2P icon.png 12,000 N/A
Holy Grail P2P icon.png 15,300 N/A
Dragon Slayer F2P icon.png 18,650 N/A N/A
A Clockwork Syringe P2P icon.png 19,000 76 Defence
King's Ransom P2P icon.png 33,000 65 Defence
Salt in the Wound P2P icon.png 45,000 60 Defence
Total 189,837

Update history[edit | edit source]

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 July 2020 (Update):
    • Fixed a typo in the Defence skill guide.
  • patch 31 October 2016 (Update):
    • The Defence skillguide has been split into Melee, Ranged, Magic & Other filters. A number of issues with text and outdated requirements have also been fixed.
    • A text error in the Defence skill guide for the 'Penance Insignia: Defender' has been fixed.
  • patch 8 June 2015 (Update):
    • The Mining and Defence skill guides have been updated, correcting and including certain entries.
  • patch 14 September 2015 (Update):
    • The Defence level requirement for Warpriest armour displayed in the Defence skill guide has been corrected.
  • patch 8 September 2014 (Update):
    • The defence Skill Advance Guide has been updated to correctly show the defence requirement for corrupt PvP armour.
  • patch 21 January 2014 (Update):
    • The Orbful achievement no longer lists a Defence requirement.
  • patch 23 July 2013 (Update):
    • Defence abilities used from the ability book now function correctly.
  • patch 28 November 2012 (Update):
    • We've fixed the decorative armour tooltip so it now displays the correct defence level.
  • patch 31 January 2012 (Update):
    • The Defence skill guide's "Mastery" option now has a member's only padlock icon.
  • patch 7 October 2009 (Update):
    • Matched the timing of defend sounds with their animations.
  • patch 17 March 2009 (Update):
    • The code that checks the Defence and Ranged requirements for items has been made more consistent.
  • update 4 January 2001 (Update):
    • Runescape beta goes live, releasing Defence into the game.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

Audio options icon.png
The old defence level up
  • In RuneScape Classic, the American spelling "defense" was used.
  • In the early days of RuneScape Classic, players who chose to be a warrior in their character creation process started out with level 4 Defense,[1] and players who chose to be an adventurer started out with level 3 Defense.[2]
  • The current minimum requirement to be ranked (at approximately rank 1,578,371) on the hiscores for Defence is level 15. As of 07 May 2021, there are 295,152 current members that have achieved level 99 in Defence. There are 41,447 current members that have achieved level 120 in Defence.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. ^ Silverion. Classes – starting stats. Tip.It. 15 February 2001. (Archived from the original on 3 March 2001.) "Warrior: Attack /Strength /Defense +3"
  2. ^ Silverion. Classes – starting stats. Tip.It. 15 February 2001. (Archived from the original on 3 March 2001.) "Adventurer: Attack /Strength /Defense +2"