Tick manipulation is a method in which players are able to use the RuneScape clock to their advantage in activities such as combat and skilling.
The RuneScape game engine runs on a unit of time, colloquially referred to as "ticks", with each tick lasting 0.6 seconds (specifically 0.603 seconds due to server lag). By performing actions quickly enough within a tick, players can interrupt animations to optimise skilling and combat. Due to the click-intensive nature of tick manipulation, many players shy away from using these methods in favour of more conventional methods, but if a player optimises the number of actions performed between each game tick, it's possible for them to achieve a much higher experience rate per hour or perform actions much quicker than what would normally be expected.
Combat[edit | edit source]
Prayer flicking: Once a prayer is active, it will drain at a constant rate; however, it will only ever deplete one's prayer points on a game tick. If a player were to quickly deactivate a prayer before that game tick happens, they can keep the benefit of the prayer while not losing any prayer points. This is particularly useful with overhead protection prayers or offensive prayers.
Food combination: Food and potions can normally be consumed once every 3 ticks. However, if a player were to chain these actions together, it would be possible to eat a piece of food and then drink a potion in the same game tick. Cooked karambwan and blue jellyfish are one of the more popular 'combo-foods' as there is no tick delay in how fast they can be eaten in combinations with other foods. For example, it's possible to eat sailfish soup, drink a super Saradomin brew, then eat a blue jellyfish, healing a player by 4650 lifepoints in a single game tick. Pizzas also can be eaten instantly alongside other foods, and otherwise have a very limited tick delay for any other action.
Skilling[edit | edit source]
When a skilling method is referred to as "2-tick" or "3-tick", that means it takes that many game ticks to complete the specified action.
In optimised skilling, it is common to use swamp tar and a low levelled herb (guam leaf to harralander) with a pestle and mortar in the inventory to start creating herb tar but never finishing the action, thus consuming no resources unless the player accidentally finishes it. Provided that there is only one clean herb of that type in the inventory (thus not giving a "Make-X" interface), this action starts a cycle of three ticks that can be combined with some skilling methods to make them faster. Using teak or mahogany logs with a knife (to start creating a crossbow stock), or kebbit claws with any vambraces are another method and require one less inventory space, but is less recommended for beginners who are prone to accidentally letting the animation finish.
Common methods[edit | edit source]
4 tick auto attack: Due to differences between two-handed and dual wield weapon attack speeds, an auto attack is cast every 4 ticks (2.4 seconds) for a dual wield weapon with "Fastest" attack speed, whereas a two-handed weapon with "Average" attack speed is 6 ticks (3.6 seconds). Four tick auto-attacking allows the player to auto attack with the speed of a dual wield weapon but with the increased damage of a two-handed weapon, giving users of this technique up to a 5-7% increase in damage per second.
3-tick Mining: Whether it be mining the same rock continuously, or mining a rock adjacent to your character, mining is usually always a 3 tick action when using a rune or dragon pickaxe (exceptions include the rune essence mine and gem rocks). However, when attempting to mine rocks which aren't adjacent to your character, it can take 5 ticks as the act of walking towards the next rock resets the initial mining action. Performing a separate 3 tick action such as creating harralander tar allows the player to mine a new rock within the 3 tick period, thus saving 2 ticks every time you need to move your character. The level of pickaxe correlates with the number of ticks to mine a rock; for example, an adamant pickaxe mines a rock every 4 ticks, therefore 3-ticking may also be used to mine at the speed of rune pickaxe with bronze to adamant. 3-tick mining is much less useful in RuneScape 3 than in Oldschool RuneScape because the player does not have to move very often when mining since mining rocks do not deplete.
Fast divine location gathering: Normally, there is an extra delay after obtaining an ore from a divine runite rock. If the player clicks the rock immediately after an experience drop, they will skip that delay.
3-tick Cooking: Cooking is normally a 5-tick action. However, players can significantly reduce the delay by re-clicking the range immediately after an experience drop, allowing the player to cook at a much faster rate.
2-tick Divination: In the Hall of Memories, players can gain significantly more experience by re-clicking the memories immediately after an experience drop, allowing the player to collect memories and fill jars at a faster rate.