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Skills icon.png
The stats display menu without Archaeology
Audio options icon.png
Level up fireworks
Plays when a player level up in any skill

A player levels up their Firemaking skill.
Gold trimmed level-up icon for members only skills.

Skills are a player's trainable abilities that may be levelled throughout their game play. Any given skill can be trained by various actions that relate to the skill. Performing any of these various actions grants the player experience in that skill. Using items such as experience lamps can increase a skill by a variable amount of experience points based on the player's skill selection.

Players may view another player's total skill level by right clicking them if they have their weapons sheathed. If their weapons are unsheathed, their combat level is shown instead. A player can toggle between showing their skill or combat level to other players by right-clicking the maximise/minimise button on the top-right of their action bar and selecting "Sheathe/Unsheathe Weapon".

Introduction[edit | edit source]

There are 28 skills available to train in RuneScape. Members have access to all 28 skills, while free-to-play players may only access 17 of these skills. However, free-to-play players can train the members' skills up to level 5, with the exception of the elite skill Invention, which can't be trained by free-to-play players, and Archaeology, which can be levelled up to 20.

Certain skills may allow players to cook, chop down trees, make fires, use magic, craft runes, and so on. Some skills complement other skills. For example, logs obtained from Woodcutting can be used for Firemaking, and fires from Firemaking can be used for Cooking food. Food can then be used to replenish life points to help in Combat, which can be used to kill NPCs that drop herbs, which may then be used for Herblore. Some herblore potions may, for example, boost mining so players can mine ores to smith with, which may then be used to create nails. Nails can be used in Construction. Altars may be constructed within one's player-owned house with this skill which can be used to further train Prayer. The higher the players level is in a given skill, the more resources the player will unlock from that skill to enhance game play.

Achieving higher levels in skills can give players various advantages, such as Agility shortcuts, faster cutting of wood, etc. Skills are often contrasted with money, some of which are profitable, and others which do not provide the player with any in game wealth whatsoever.

Training certain skills may be profitable, such as selling logs obtained from Woodcutting, selling the fish from the Fishing skill, or selling the drop(s) from a Slayer assignment. Please refer to the Money-making guide for more details. Conversely, other skills may not be profitable. While some skills may be less profitable than others, the main cause of loss of profit is through a lack of the player acquiring their own materials.

All skills start out at level 1, with the exception of Constitution, which starts out at level 10, giving the player an early advantage against monsters. Players can advance a skill to level 99 (except for Archaeology, Dungeoneering, Invention, Slayer, Farming, and Herblore, which can go to level 120); after that, they can increase their experience up to 200 million - but gain no more levels for doing so. A player's combat level, calculated based on combat-related skills, begins at level 3. The maximum combat level a player can reach is level 138. A player will appear on the hiscores if they are in the top 2,000,000 players of a skill, and are level 15 or greater in that skill.

Every skill has a unique jingle that plays when the skill is levelled up. This jingle changes with each skill to be slightly more complex whenever the skill reaches level 50.

Skills can be temporarily boosted or lowered by using certain items or equipment, such as Capes of Accomplishment, beer, potions, certain foods, or a summoning familiar if the player is a member.

Free to play skills[edit | edit source]

Free players have access to 17 skills.

Skill Description
Attack Attack Grants players using melee weapons higher accuracy, thus increasing the number of hits dealt to an opponent during any given time period. Since more of the player's hits will be successful, the player's opponent will incur more damage per any given period of time. Stronger weapons also require higher levels of attack in order to equip. Grants access to melee abilities.
Strength Strength During melee, higher strength increases a player's maximum potential damage to an opponent for each successful hit. Stronger members' weapons may also require higher levels to equip. Strength also gives access to various agility shortcuts. Grants access to melee abilities.
Defence Defence Allows players to wear stronger armour, increases their chances of avoiding hits and reduces damage taken. Grants access to defensive abilities.
Ranged Ranged Allows players to fight with arrows and other projectiles from a distance and increases a player's chance to hit when using ranged. Ranged weapons, armour and some other items require a certain ranged level. Also gives members access to various agility shortcuts. Grants access to ranged abilities.
Prayer Prayer Allows players to pray for assistance in combat, such as for stat boosts and partial immunity from attacks. Effects last until the player runs out of prayer points, or turns their prayers off. Can also be used to repair or bless gravestones. With a higher level players can also wear God robes, spirit shields, including the blessed variations, and temple knight armour.
Magic Magic Allows players to cast spells, including teleports and enchantments, through the use of different types of runes. Increases magic-based attack accuracy and reduces the chance for magic-based attacks to hit the player. Grants access to magic abilities.
Constitution Constitution Allows players to sustain more damage without dying. A players base life points are one hundred times their constitution level. All combat skills train constitution at a rate of 1.33 experience per 10 damage done (with a few exceptions, such as when experience is not gained for any skill in the Stealing Creation mini-game). Grants access to constitution abilities.
Crafting Crafting Allows players to craft items from raw materials, such as pottery, ranged armour, and jewellery.
Mining Mining Allows players to obtain ores and gems from rocks found in some specific places. Ores can be used with the smithing skill. Gems can be used with the crafting skill.
Smithing Smithing Allows players to smelt ores into bars, and smith bars into armour, weapons, and other useful items.
Fishing Fishing Allows players to catch certain fish. The fish can then be sold or cooked and then eaten.
Cooking Cooking Allows players to cook food. The food can then be consumed to heal a player's life points. The higher the cooking level, the lesser the chance is of burning food.
Firemaking Firemaking Allows players to light fires, lanterns, etc. Players can cook on these fires.
Woodcutting Woodcutting Allows players to cut down trees for logs, and to carve out canoes for transportation.
Runecrafting Runecrafting Allows players to make runes in special altars using tiaras, talisman staffs, or talismans, aiding in the magic skill. Also a requirement to wield blast and surge boxes.
Dungeoneering Dungeoneering Allows players to progress further down the dungeons of Daemonheim, unlocking access to exclusive weapons, treasures, monsters, and areas. Relies on all non-member skills in F2P and all skills in P2P except for Invention and Archaeology. Gives rewards only accessible through dungeoneering.
Fletching Fletching Allows players to create projectiles (such as arrows, bolts, and darts) and bows/crossbows which can be used for Ranged.

Member skills[edit | edit source]

Image of skill tooltip in game showing "Member's skill. Level cap reached!". Indicates on a free-to-play server that a user has hit the level cap for a member's skill.
Skill tooltip in game indicating a user has hit the level cap for a member's skill on a f2p server.

Members have access to 11 additional skills for a total of 28. Free-to-play players are only able to train these skills to level 5, with the exception of Archaeology which can be levelled up to 20. Invention is inaccessible to free-to-play players due to its level 80 Divination requirement and will thus remain at level 1.

Skill Description
Agility Agility Allows players to use shortcuts and increases the rate at which run energy recharges. Certain pieces of equipment such as the Crystal bow also require certain Agility levels to wield. It is also used to enhance several other skills, such as allowing the player to catch multiple fish at once.
Herblore Herblore Allows players to clean grimy herbs and to make potions which can be used to boost/restore skills.
Certain potions also have other specific uses to players (such as curing poisoning, protecting from dragonfire without an Anti-dragon shield, or restoring health at the cost of offensive stats) and are sometimes necessary for survival. Also the higher the herblore level, the more untradeable and powerful potions the player can make.
Thieving Thieving Allows players to steal from market stalls, chests, and certain non-player characters (and other players in Stealing Creation), and to pick locks on doors and safes.
Slayer Slayer Allows players to kill certain monsters using tactics not used in normal combat. Useful in raising combat skills. Has the potential to give very rewarding drops unique to slayer monsters. It is also helpful for killing the Avatar of Destruction and Avatar of Creation in the minigame Soul Wars.
Farming Farming Allows players to grow plants (such as fruits, vegetables, herbs, or trees) in certain patches across the world of RuneScape. Farming is notably very useful for collecting many common and rare herbs for Herblore.
Construction Construction Allows players to build a house and its contents, such as chairs, tables, workshops, dungeons, and more. Every player's house is located inside its own instance, separated from the rest of the game. Portals around the world are used to gain entry into the player's own house, and to gain access to other players' houses, allowing anyone to gain access to some of the very useful, high level rooms and furniture.
Some very popular and useful house features include Teleport Tabs and Portals, storing of many costumes, play-fighting other players, Gilded Altars for huge prayer training bonuses, and much more.
Hunter Hunter Allows players to track, net, deadfall, snare, and trap animals for their hides, abilities and treasures. Some of the animals caught can be used in other skills. For example, Red Chinchompa and Salamanders can be used as a ranging weapon.
Summoning Summoning Allows players to summon familiars and pets to enhance game play in both combat and non-combat skills. Certain familiars can also hold additional items, allowing players to hold more than 28 items, and allows for an expanded pet list.
Divination Divination Allows players to collect memories around the world and convert them into divine energy in order to create products such as signs and portents.
Invention Invention Allows players to disassemble many in game items in order to break them down into materials used in creating new devices and machines. These contraptions can benefit the player in a number of ways, including upgrading and increasing the damage of a weapon.
Archaeology Archaeology Allows players to find and repair artefacts and obtain relics which produce various effects, as well as create new Invention items and Summoning pouches.

Skill types[edit | edit source]

There are four types of skills: Combat, Gathering, Artisan, and Support. Players can earn expert capes of accomplishment by obtaining level 99 in all the skills of a particular type.

Invention is not included in any of the four types of skills.

Type Description Skills Expert cape Experience-boosting Relic power
Combat These skills involve fighting in Combat. Attack, Strength, Defence, Ranged, Prayer, Magic, Constitution, and Summoning. Combatant's hood.pngCombatant's cape.png: RS3 Inventory image of Combatant's capeCombatant's cape Inspire Awe.png: RS3 Inventory image of Inspire AweInspire Awe
Gathering These skills involve gathering raw materials (resources) directly from the source. Mining, Fishing, Woodcutting, Farming, Hunter, Divination, and Archaeology. Gatherer's hood.pngGatherer's cape.png: RS3 Inventory image of Gatherer's capeGatherer's cape Inspire Effort.png: RS3 Inventory image of Inspire EffortInspire Effort
Artisan These skills involve using resource items to create other, generally more useful items. Herblore, Crafting, Fletching, Smithing, Cooking, Firemaking, Runecrafting, and Construction. Artisan's helm.pngArtisan's cape.png: RS3 Inventory image of Artisan's capeArtisan's cape Inspire Genius.png: RS3 Inventory image of Inspire GeniusInspire Genius
Support These skills help the player in various different ways. Agility, Thieving, Slayer, and Dungeoneering. Support hood.pngSupport cape.png: RS3 Inventory image of Support capeSupport cape Inspire Love.png: RS3 Inventory image of Inspire LoveInspire Love

Elite skills[edit | edit source]

The elite skill interface for the launch of Invention.

Elite skills require two or more regular skills to be at a certain level in order to unlock the ability to begin training them. They contribute to a player's total level and experience, and show up in the stats interface. Elite skills have a level range from 1 to 120. As with Dungeoneering, Slayer, Herblore, Farming, and Archaeology, they need to be levelled to 99 to be able to equip the max cape, and to 120 to be able to equip the True Skill Mastery cape. They also feature a different experience to level ratio compared to regular skills. Elite skills are not intended to replace regular skills, instead existing alongside them.

The first elite skill, Invention, was released on 25 January 2016. It requires level 80 in Smithing, Crafting and Divination to train. When using experience rewards that are based on current level such as experience lamps, stars and books, Jack of trades auras, dragonkin lamps, and Distractions and Diversions such as Tears of Guthix and Guthixian butterflies, elite skills require double the amount of rewards to level up compared to regular skills. Experience rewards that give fixed experience are reduced by 50% for elite skills. During Double XP Live events, elite skills' experience bonus will be 1.5x (or 2.5x with bonus experience). Players will be unable to gain additional experience in elite skills from these sources for 6 months after they are released, compared to 3 months for regular skills.[1]

Experience[edit | edit source]

Experience, commonly abbreviated as Exp or XP, is a measure of progress in a certain skill. It is generally obtained by performing tasks related to that skill. After gaining a certain amount of experience, players will advance to the next level in that skill, which can result in new abilities, items, and other achievements. Players can earn experience by training the skills, completing quests, and participating in various Minigames or Distractions and Diversions.

Frequency of skill milestones[edit | edit source]

These are the number of players currently listed on the hiscores as having reached these levels in the skill.

Skill Members # of 99s # of 120s # of 200m xp
Attack Attack No 289,421 30,779 8,758
Constitution Constitution No 320,518 55,129 23,688
Mining Mining No 235,007 24,482 7,004
Strength Strength No 306,581 28,128 8,593
Agility Agility Yes 201,773 18,265 5,412
Smithing Smithing No 250,685 18,796 5,796
Defence Defence No 309,409 54,781 19,651
Herblore Herblore Yes 256,505 67,418 9,046
Fishing Fishing No 225,068 21,646 6,181
Ranged Ranged No 286,159 42,899 15,543
Thieving Thieving Yes 204,602 31,399 8,676
Cooking Cooking No 255,146 13,664 4,743
Prayer Prayer No 251,556 16,524 4,972
Crafting Crafting No 220,931 15,584 4,703
Firemaking Firemaking No 270,509 23,133 6,747
Magic Magic No 318,092 47,643 19,505
Fletching Fletching No 247,659 13,959 4,604
Woodcutting Woodcutting No 240,486 14,376 4,740
Runecrafting Runecrafting No 180,392 13,356 4,545
Slayer Slayer Yes 231,297 63,401 11,914
Farming Farming Yes 197,651 60,628 16,158
Construction Construction Yes 188,538 14,301 4,586
Hunter Hunter Yes 195,471 21,830 5,709
Summoning Summoning Yes 227,180 23,713 7,546
Dungeoneering Dungeoneering No 196,890 64,184 13,446
Divination Divination Yes 189,722 14,486 4,384
Invention Invention Yes 180,931 116,464 30,659
Archaeology Archaeology Yes 156,190 70,356 18,439

Stat wipe[edit | edit source]

It is possible for accounts with less than 10 Constitution to exist. In the early days of RuneScape Classic, rule-breakers would be stat-wiped, meaning all their skills would be taken back to level 1, including Hitpoints, the predecessor to Constitution. When RuneScape 2 was released, many of these accounts were banned. As of today, these accounts are extremely rare.

On 29 May 2002, Jagex released the following statement:

As part of our promised commitment to stamping down and stopping cheats in RuneScape we have developed a new system to automatically detect people using macro/bot software to gain stats unfairly.

It clearly says in our rules that using software to automatically play the game for you and raise your stats for you is cheating! This will not be tolerated. It is just not fair on the players who play the game honestly and get their levels fairly.

Our new system is extremely efficient and accurate, and in the last 24 hours we have already identified nearly 2000 players who have been cheating in this way. We also believe that we will be able to identify all future offenders and will continue modifying and improving our detection software to do so. From this point on if you use a macro or use a modified version of the RuneScape client, it is almost 100% certain that you WILL be banned or erased.
Since these people gained their stats/items unfairly we have unfortunately had no choice but to completely wipe the stats and inventory of the approximately 2000 people who we have caught using macro/bot software. It seems obvious that these players should not be allowed to keep what they did not gain honestly in the first place.

If you are one of the people who we stat-wiped then whining and making excuses to us won't help. Our new system is designed to have a 0% rate of false positives, and we KNOW you were cheating. The stat-wipe is irreversible, so if you want to get your stats back then the only way to do it is to start playing the game fairly, and EARN your way to greatness like everyone else has to.

Click here for a complete list of all the people who have already been stat-wiped. We expect to catch more people at it over the next few days. I hope this proves we are deadly serious about stopping this cheating in RuneScape.

Update:Massive crackdown on cheating players.

Mod Jon H confirming that stat wipes are used against offenders.

Since late 2010 Jagex began stat wiping accounts as an alternative punishment against macroers. However, unlike the stat wipes in RuneScape Classic where all stats where brought down to level 1, these were focussed on removing a specific amount of experience/levels which included exploited skills as well as unrelated skills.[2]

Consequently, some of the botted players ended up with rather unusual stats, including having a high constitution level while having lower attack, strength and defence, and even constitution levels lower than level 10, due to experience removal in some cases being greater than was gained through botting. Also, some accounts ended up owning items (such as quest items) and having unlocked content (such as the Lunar spellbook) that are normally impossible with their reduced levels.[3][4] It's unknown whether the stat resets that happen today in certain cases of breaking a serious offence[5] still have this same problem of making an account ending up having unusual stats and item combinations.

History of release[edit | edit source]

Skill Release date Time since last skill Notes
Archaeology Archaeology 30 March 2020 (Update) 4 years, 2 months, 5 days
Invention Invention 25 January 2016 (Update) 2 years, 5 months, 28 days First and so far only Elite Skill.
Divination Divination 20 August 2013 (Update) 3 years, 4 months, 8 days
Dungeoneering Dungeoneering 12 April 2010 (Update) 2 years, 2 months, 28 days
Summoning Summoning 15 January 2008 (Update) 1 year, 1 month, 25 days Originally envisioned to be an extension to the Magic skill. (Existed in DeviousMUD.)
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
Runecrafting Runecrafting 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 Added to the skill-list between May and August 2001, but wasn't trainable until its full release in 2002.
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. [source needed]
Constitution Constitution Known as Hits and subsequently Hitpoints 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

Update history[edit | edit source]

This information has been compiled as part of the update history project. Some updates may not be included - see here for how to help out!
  • patch 11 January 2021 (Update):
    • Fixed a large number of grammatical issues and inconsistencies in level up messages.
  • patch 11 May 2020 (Update):
    • Fixed an issue which caused the level up icon to be partially cropped when opening a full-screen interface.
  • patch 9 September 2019 (Update):
    • Removed an erroneous message when levelling up.
  • ninja 3 June 2019 (Update):
    • Added a toggle for the colour overlay when skills are boosted or drained on the skills tab.
  • ninja 26 November 2018 (Update):
    • Toned down the amount of fireworks displayed when levelling multiple skills to milestones simultaneously.
  • patch 13 August 2018 (Update):
    • Fixed a typo stating that new unlocks in the Skill Guide said above instead of below.
  • update 9 October 2017 (Update):
    • Fletching becomes a free-to-play skill.
  • patch 22 May 2017 (Update):
    • The level 3 Herblore level-up message has been corrected to mention Recruitment Drive instead of null.
  • patch 18 April 2016 (Update):
    • Level up unlocks are no longer cleared if the player clicks on the interface while still in combat.
    • The level up popup no longer displays an incorrect skill or level upon gaining a level.
  • patch 4 April 2016 (Update):
    • Corrected the additional defence requirement listing for Focus Sight and Hexcrest in the Ranged and Magic skill guides respectively.
    • Corrected Enchanted robes to level 45 in the Defence skill guide.
    • A typo for the Augmented hatchet description in the skill guide has been corrected.
  • patch 4 January 2016 (Update):
    • The “level up” pop-up no longer gets interrupted when gaining XP.
  • ninja 9 March 2015 (Update):
    • The Skills tab - including Player Examine - now shows quest points alongside total and combat levels.
  • patch 14 July 2014 (Update):
    • A players combat level will now show on the skills interface.
  • patch 13 January 2014 (Update):
    • A small tutorial on how the skills interface works has been added, played after completing The Blood Pact quest while on the Path System.
  • patch 10 September 2013 (Update):
    • The colours of the icons in the Skills interface are now brighter.
  • patch 29 May 2013 (Update):
    • XP popups will no longer appear for skills at their maximum level.
  • patch 4 December 2012 (Update):
    • The progress bar for skilling will no longer remain on screen after a full screen interface is opened, interrupting the skilling.
  • patch 28 February 2012 (Update):
    • Clicking to open 2 Skill Guides at the same time now opens the correct one.
  • patch 28 March 2011 (Update):
    • The sound effects for the level-up fireworks have been improved.
  • patch 15 March 2011 (Update):
    • Levelling up multiple times in one skill will now tell you how many levels you gained, and the skill advance guide will display new actions available for each level gained since you last clicked on the advance guide in that session.
  • patch 10 August 2009 (Update):
    • Godsword smithing has been added to the in-game Smithing guide.
    • Castle Wars armour has been added to the in-game Defence guide.
    • Defence guide now mentions the need to complete Dragon Slayer before wearing green dragonhide bodies.
  • update 8 December 2001 (Update):
    • Level requirements have been added.
      • You now need a certain minimum attack/defence to use the higher level weapons/armour respectively.
  • update 13 August 2001 (Update):
    • Fixed a problem with the new stats menu where the XP indicator didn't update properly.
    • The stats menu now shows you the exact number of experience points you have in each skill, and the number you need to reach to advance a level.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]