"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.
Each skill has a menu of abilities, found in the Powers menu, which can be dragged outside as part of an interface setup.
Abilities come in a wide variety of types; some allow players to deal extra damage, heal themselves, stun their opponents, or many other things. 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 3 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. Basic abilities placed in the first 9 slots of the primary action bar are used automatically when Revolution is enabled.
Abilities are laid out by combat skill, out of 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 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 Ability menus section below.
However, there are a number of additional abilities that must be unlocked by other means:
||Method to unlock
||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)
||Obtained on completion of the quest The World Wakes
||Purchased from the Anima Islands minigame reward shop
||Obtained as a rare drop from General Graardor, Kree'arra, aviansie or purchased from the Anima Islands reward shop
||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
||Read either the Corruption Shot Ability Codex or the Mazcab ability codex
||Read either the Corruption Blast Ability Codex or the Mazcab ability codex
||Read the Reprisal Ability Codex
|Mutated 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 Mutated Dazing Shot
||Purchased with 63,000,000 Shattered anima from Shattered Worlds
||Read Scare Tactics
||Read the Mutated Barge ability codex. This will permanently upgrade Barge while on a member's world.
||Read the Mutated Flurry ability codex. This will permanently upgrade Flurry while on a member's world.
||Read the Mutated Fury ability codex. This will permanently upgrade Fury while on a member's world.
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 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 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.
- patch 29 March 2016 (Update):
- The global cooldown timers for abilities which players have not yet unlocked will no longer show.