The Ranged skill allows players to attack enemies from a distance. Although the bow and arrow is one of the most common forms of ranged combat, there are a multitude of different weapons and techniques available. This form of combat is very versatile, being useful for fighting monsters as well as other players.
New players can safely train their Ranged level by shooting arrows at the targets in the building with the combat tutors, located north of the General Store, in Lumbridge. Only approximately 0.1 XP will be granted per arrow fired and players will need a bow and some bronze arrows train here. Players can only train here until they reach a combat level of 15. Lowe’s Archery Emporium in Varrock offers players a free bow and 30 bronze arrows to use.
Ranging typically requires some sort of ranged weapon which either fires some ammunition or the weapon is considered the ammunition itself. The most common and basic weapon is the classic bow and arrow, which will be used as the main example in this section. Players must first equip the weapon and ammunition by clicking on them in the inventory; the bow is held in the main hand weapon slot and the arrows are placed in the quiver. Similar to melee fighting, players begin attacking by simply clicking on the target and their character will begin performing an animation showing them firing their weapon.
Ranged can be employed from melee range, but as suggested in the skill's name can also be used from afar. It is sometimes possible to trap a foe behind an obstacle, preventing them from attacking the player in melee range. This is a useful tactic to avoid damage and can be seen in the picture below. However, be aware that some monsters have the ability to attack from a distance as well and can retaliate. An important point is that fired arrows or other ammunition can sometimes be retrieved from under the target after a shot has been made. This ammunition can be used again with no penalty and all the player has to do is go and pick them back up for use. However, some ammunition will be damaged and cannot be recovered. Approximately four out of five pieces of ammunition fired are recoverable. The better the metal or quality of the ammo, the higher the likelihood that they can be retrieved as they are less easily damaged.
Experience points received for the ranged skill depends on which of the three attacking styles being used, with some examples shown in the image below. With accurate or rapid styles, each point of damage inflicted will grant 0.4 Ranged XP and 0.133 Constitution XP. However for the longrange style, 0.2 Ranged XP, 0.2 Defence XP and 0.133 Constitution XP is awarded instead. The accurate style grants a small boost in accuracy while ranging, the rapid style increases the rate at which shots are fired, and the long range style allows players to shoot from slightly further away. It is generally accepted that for training purposes rapid is the best style, though the other styles have their own uses.
The accuracy and amount of damage each ranged attack both increase with ranged level. Players can also influence these factors by upgrading their ranged weapons and ammunition. The chance to hit an opponent is dependent on the player's ranged level, ranged attack equipment bonuses, and the ranged defence of the opponent. The maximum hit relies on a player's ranged strength bonus.
Ranged attack bonus can be increased by wielding better bows or by wearing special ranger armour. Conversely, ranged defence can be defence can be increased by wearing higher quality metal armour. Melee armour typically has high ranged defence, whereas mage armour tends to have little to no ranged defence, but ranged armour is the only kind to offer good ranged attack bonus. The various types of weapons and armour available to rangers are detailed below.
Weapons & Ammunition
Bows & Arrows
Bows are two-handed ranged weapons that use arrows as ammunition. Higher quality bows have greater accuracy, but also require a higher Ranged level to wield. Magic bows also have the added advantage of having special attacks. Arrows with tips made out of a higher quality metal will inflict more damage, but you will need a higher quality bow to fire them. Free players can use bows up to maple, and arrows up to adamant. Members have access to all the bows and arrows listed in the tables below.
Free players can buy bows and arrows at Lowe's Archery Emporium in Varrock and Brian's Archery Shop in Rimmington. Members can also buy equipment from Hickton's Archery Emporium in Catherby, Gulluck and Sons in the Grand Tree, and Dargaud's Bow and Arrows at the Ranged Guild. Members who have completed the Biohazard quest can also buy goods from the Armoury in King Lathas' training camp, and those who have started Mourning's Ends Part 1 can buy goods from the Lletya Archery Shop. They can also make their own bows and arrows using the Fletching skill.
Crossbows & Bolts
Crossbows are an alternative to shortbows and longbows. They only require one hand to wield, allowing you to wear a shield or some other off-hand item at the same time. Free players have access to regular and phoenix crossbows, both of which can only fire bronze bolts. Members have access to crossbows and bolts made from any metal up to rune. Compared to regular bows, crossbows are more accurate, and crossbow bolts will inflict more damage than arrows with tips made out of the same metal. However, crossbows have a slower attack speed.
Members can make crossbows and crossbow bolts using the Fletching and Smithing skills. They can also be purchased from Hura's shop in the Dwarven Mines, Hirko's shop in Keldagrim and Holoy's shop under the White Wolf Mountain. Crossbows allow you to use the mithril grapple, which can be used to navigate various agility shortcuts. You can learn more about shortcuts in our Agility Guide.
Members may enchant gem-tipped bolts, giving them a chance of inflicting a particular effect on your target. The various effects are listed in the table below. Please refer to our Fletching Guide for more information on making gem-tipped crossbow bolts. Our Magic Guide can tell you more about enchanting.
With all of the different kinds of bolts available, players may wish to save some inventory or bank space by using a bolt pouch. This useful piece of equipment will hold four different bolts at a time with a maximum of 255 bolts for each type. Hirko in Keldagrim sells pouches to members for 1,500 coins each.
Hunter Weapons (members)
The Hunter skill offers some unique weaponry for rangers to use.
Chinchompas are volatile little creatures - they will explode upon being killed! When captured by use of box traps, their explosive characteristics make them a potent weapon, as exploding chinchompas can hit multiple enemies at once. Instead of the standard ranged attack style, chinchompas have a short, medium, or long fuse. The fuse length dictates how long it will take for the chinchompa to explode, making longer fuses better for further targets. The most popular choice for training is the short fuse since it explodes most quickly.
The hunters' crossbow can be bought from Leon, who can be found in Yanille's hunter store. This crossbow can only fire bolts made from kebbit spikes. From these spikes, players can obtain regular or long kebbit bolts. Regular kebbit bolts are made by chiseling kebbit spikes, which are obtained by catching prickly kebbits with deadfall traps. Long kebbit bolts are made by chiseling long kebbit spikes, which are obtained by tracking razor-backed kebbits. Players with an insufficient Fletching level can ask Leon to fletch them for a small fee.
Salamanders can be caught using net traps. In order to use a salamander, certain herbal tars need to be equipped and "fed" to the salamander. These tars can be produced through the Herblore skill. Herb tars are equipped in your ammo slot.
To use a each salamander, the player must meet the Ranged level requirements as listed in the table below.
Other Weapon Types
Slings are ranged weapons intended for use by players who are new to the Ranged skill. Unlike most other ranged weapons, they do not consume any ammunition. However, their damage output is far lower. Basic slings are dropped by various low-level monsters. Kayle's sling is received during the Blood Pact quest.
Darts and throwing knives are stackable one-handed ranged weapons. They are available to members only. They are relatively weak and have a low maximum range, but they have a very high attack speed, making them decent weapons against targets with low defence. Throwing knives are made through smithing - five throwing knives can be made from a bar of metal. The ability to smith darts is granted after completion of the Tourist Trap quest. Ten dart tips can me produced per bar of metal and to finish them players must attach a feather to each dart.
Members can buy javelins and throwing axes at the Authentic Throwing Weapons Shop in the Ranged Guild. Like darts and knives, they are stackable one-handed ranged weapons. Regrettably, their low attack speed combined with their mediocre accuracy and strength means that they are not very useful for training purposes.
Weapon Poison (members)
Members can apply poison to their arrows, bolts, darts, javelins and knives. Vials of weapon poison can be made using the Herblore skill - one vial can poison up to five projectiles. Poisoned projectiles have a chance to poison the target, causing them to periodically take damage. The poison starts out at a certain initial amount of damage and every few ticks of poison the amount of damage taken is reduced by 20. If damage dealt for the next tick drops below ten, the poison fades completely.
Special Weapons & Ammunition
This section describes various special ranged weapons and ammunition types found throughout the game. The table below gives a brief overview of their bonuses and their describes purpose, and also indicates where to get them. Each weapon is available to members only, unless its description states otherwise. Weapons marked with an asterisk have a special attack.
Chompy Bird Hunting (members)
This section will describe a number of bows and ammunition types that are primarily used during the Chompy Bird Hunting minigame. Brutal arrows are also the only item capable of dealing full damage to zogres and skogres.
The regular ogre bow can be obtained from Rantz, who lives in the Feldip Hills. The other items are all made through the Fletching skill. You learn how to make the faster composite ogre bow during the Zogre Flesh Eaters quest. The ogre bows can only fire ogre arrows and brutal arrows. They cannot fire regular arrows.
Basic Leather Armour
Basic Leather Armour
Just like there are different types of armour for fighters, there is also a good selection of armour for rangers. Ranger armour typically provides a ranged attack bonus, good magic defence and moderate defence against melee and ranged attacks. Many types of ranger armour can be made using the Crafting skill - please refer to our Crafting Guide for more information.
The basic leather armour pieces listed below are available to all players, and are typically used by beginning rangers. Some of these items have level requirements:
Yak-hide Armour (members)
Players who have gained access to the Fremennik Isles are able to create yak-hide armour. Unlike most ranger armour, it provides no magic defence. This armour has a requirement of level 20 Defence to wear. The yak-hide legs, having a solid ranged attack bonus, are therefore an excellent item for novice rangers. They also possess the unique quality of being able to reduce damage of Ice Trolls by a significant amount. Please refer to our Crafting Guide for more information on how to make this armour.
Frog-leather Armour (members)
Reldak, who can be found in Dorgesh-Kaan's marketplace, sells frog-leather armour. Completion of the Death to the Dorgeshuun quest is necessary to access this shop. Frog-leather armour requires level 25 Defence and level 25 Ranged to wear.
Snakeskin Armour (members)
Snakeskin armour is, not surprisingly, made out of snakeskins. 30 Ranged is required to wear it. The boots are a decent alternative to the expensive ranger boots and glaiven boots. Please refer to our Crafting Guide for more information on how to make this armour.
Spined Armour (members)
Spined armour is made from dagannoth hides. Players will need 40 Defence, 40 Ranged, and also have completed the Fremennik Trials quest to wear this armour. Sigli the Huntsman, found near the entrance of Rellekka, is able to make the spined helm, body and chaps using hides dropped by a specific type of dagannoth found only in the Waterbirth Dungeon. The spined boots and gloves are dropped directly by these dagannoth.
Dragonhide armour is the staple of ranger armour, being relatively cheap while still offering good protection and solid ranged attack bonuses. Green dragonhide armour is available to free players. You can buy the chaps and vambraces from Scavvo in the Champions' Guild, and the body from Oziach. Players need to have completed the Dragon Slayer quest to wear the body.
Members are able to use their Crafting skill to make green, blue, red and black dragonhide armour. They can also obtain blessed dragonhide armour as a reward from Treasure Trails. There are six different blessed sets, each set styled after one of RuneScape's gods.
Dragonhide coifs can be obtained through the Fist of Guthix minigame. The green dragonhide coif is also available to free players. These coifs will degrade as they are used, eventually becoming nearly useless. Reggie can repair them in exchange for some Fist of Guthix tokens. Blessed coifs, part of the blessed dragonhide sets mentioned earlier, are not obtained through this minigame and do not degrade.
Different pieces of dragonhide armour have different level requirements:
Third-age Ranger Armour (members)
Very lucky players may end up finding a piece of extremely rare third-age ranger armour after completing a Treasure Trail. This armour requires level 65 Defence and level 65 Ranged to wear. Its bonuses are slightly better than those of blessed dragonhide armour. Because of its expense it is used mainly to show off wealth rather than for functional use.
Armadyl Armour (members)
Those who are brave enough to challenge the forces of Armadyl within the God Wars Dungeon may be lucky enough to acquire pieces of Armadyl armour. This type of armour requires level 70 Defence and level 70 Ranged to wear. The pieces can only be dropped by Kree'arra, Flight Kilisa, Flockleader Geerin and Wingman Skree. Armadyl armour offers the best stat bonuses out of all non-degradable ranger armour.
Pernix Armour (members)
Those who are strong enough to defeat the dreaded Nex may obtain pieces of Pernix armour. To wear this gear, level 80 Constitution, level 80 Defence and level 80 Ranged are needed. Wearing Pernix armour will also boost a player's maximum lifepoints! As a result, effects that are based on your maximum lifepoints, such as the amount of healing done by Saradomin brews, will also increase. Unfortunately, Pernix armour will degrade and become useless after ten hours of combat. It can be repaired at the armour stand in a player-owned house, or by Bob in Lumbridge.
Morrigan's Armour (members)
The revenants found within the Forinthry Dungeon may leave behind a piece of Morrigan's ancient armour when slain. This armour comes in two types. The regular version requires level 80 Defence and level 80 Ranged to wear, and will turn to dust after approximately one hour of combat. The corrupt version only requires level 40 Defence and Ranged, but it will turn to dust after a mere 15 minutes of use.
Karil's Set (members)
Karil's set can be obtained from the Barrows minigame. Level 70 Defence and level 70 Ranged are needed to wear the armour. The crossbow only has a level 70 Ranged requirement. Wearing the complete set grants the a special set effect: Damaging ranged attacks have a chance of reducing a target's Agility level by 20%. Karil's equipment will degrade and become useless after fifteen hours of combat. Players can repair it at the armour stand of a player-owned house, or have Bob in Lumbridge repair it.
Karil's crossbow requires two hands to wield, but it attacks much faster than other crossbows. It can only fire bolt racks, which can also be found during the Barrows minigame, or purchased from Ak Haranu in Port Phasmatys. These bolt racks only have a +55 strength bonus, which makes them quite a bit weaker than high-end metal bolts. However, this drop in strength is compensated by its increased attack speed.
Void Knight Equipment (members)
Void Knight equipment can be purchased with Void Knight commendation points, which can be earned through the Conquest and Pest Control minigames. To purchase the deflector, players must have a Conquest ranking of at least 1250. To obtain elite Void Knight equipment, players must have completed The Void Stares Back.
Players need 42 Attack, Constitution, Defence, Magic, Ranged, and Strength as well as level 22 Prayer to wear pieces of Void Knight equipment. If you wear the ranger helm along with three other pieces of Void Knight equipment, ranged accuracy will be increased by 10% and damage will be increased by approximately 20%.
Sacred Clay Equipment (members)
Sacred clay equipment can be obtained through the Stealing Creation minigame. Level 50 Defence and level 50 Ranged are required to wear the armour. The bow only has a level 50 Ranged requirement. While wearing pieces of this equipment, double the amount of combat experience is awarded As you gain experience, the equipment will slowly deplete. Once it has depleted fully, it will continue to function as normal equipment, but it will not give extra experience until recharged.
Ava's Devices (members)
Members who complete the Animal Magnetism quest will receive Ava's attractor. This item is worn in the cape slot, offers a small ranged attack bonus, and will automatically pick up most of the arrows or bolts shot, unless there is an obstacle between the player and the target. It requires level 30 Ranged to equip. The attractor will also periodically create iron items and deposit it in the player's inventory; this feature can be toggled on or off.
If you have level 50 Ranged, you can upgrade Ava's attractor to Ava's accumulator. This item offers a slightly better ranged attack bonus, and will create steel items instead of iron ones. In turn, the accumulator can be upgraded to Ava's alerter during the Do No Evil quest, again slightly increasing its attack bonus.
Prayer Books (members)
Certain pieces of jewellery will improve your ranged attack bonus when worn. The amulet of accuracy, amulet of power, and amulet of zealots are available to free players. The other jewellery is available to members only.
Other Ranger Armour (members)
Lastly, the table below lists some additional miscellaneous ranger gear.
Dwarf Multicannon (members)
The dwarf multicannon is a stationary weapon of mass destruction, capable of dealing lots of damage to multiple enemies at once. To start using one, players must complete theDwarf Cannon quest. You can then either buy a multicannon from Nulodion for 750,000 coins, or buy a dwarf cannon set at the Grand Exchange, which typically costs less. Multiple cannon pieces in can be stored in the bank or inventory, but only one cannon can be set up at a time.
To set up a cannon, simply left-click on the base and the player's character will assemble it. Note that the cannon takes up quite a bit of space - it needs an open area of 3x3 squares to deploy it. The cannon uses cannonballs as ammunition. Cannonballs can be made using the Smithing skill.
After approximately twenty minutes of use, the cannon will decay. Before this happens, a warning message will appear in the chat box and your cannon will show an animation. Simply pick up the cannon and set it back up to avoid having the cannon decay. If the cannon does decay, simply return to Nulodion for a free replacement. If players lose a cannon, for example by setting it up and then logging out, Nuludion will also grant a replacement. However, if a player dies and ends up losing one or more cannon parts, he will not offer a replacement.
Cannons have restrictions on where they can be used. Certain monsters are able to destroy your cannon, and some locations simply prohibit cannons from being set up.
Cannon use does not grant Constitution experience and offers only 0.2 ranged XP per point of damage dealt. The lack of Constitution experience can be beneficial to pures who are trying to level their Ranged skill exclusively. Cannons are also often used to greatly speed up slayer assignments. Please refer to the training spots section to learn where the cannon can be put to good use.
The cannon has rather unusual mechanics. Its accuracy is not necessarily affected by Ranged level and ranged attack bonus, but rather by the level and bonus that apply to the player's currently equipped weapon and combat style. For example, if a player is using an abyssal whip, the cannon's accuracy will be determined by the player's Attack level and slash attack bonus. If a bow or a crossbow is equipped, its accuracy will be determined by Ranged level and ranged attack bonus.
Skill Boosts (members)
There are a number of items that players can use to boost Ranged level. The amount of levels a potion boosts depends on Ranged level; higher ranged levels will be boosted for more than lower levels.
The Geyser Titan familiar gives an invisible boost to your Ranged level. Several other familiars don't directly boost a player's Ranged skill, but do give Ranged experience when they fight. Please refer to our Summoning Guide for the complete list of familiars.
Special Attacks (members)
Some ranged weapons can perform a special attack. Such an attack may deal extra damage, have greater accuracy, or possess other qualities that make it more dangerous to enemies. To perform a special attack, players must have sufficient special attack power. Players can check how much special attack power they have in the game's combat styles menu.
Every time a special attack is used, it will drain some special attack power. This power will automatically refill over time - drinking a recover special potion speeds up the process. Note that not all ranged weapons have special attacks. Please refer to the table below for an overview of the different special attacks that can be used.
Many different locations are suitable for training the Ranged skill. Players should experiment with different weapons, ammunition, and location to find the optimal set up. A number of training spots will be described in this section to provide some guidance. These are only recommendations - our list is by no means exhaustive. Members may also participate in the ranged activity at Balthazar Beauregard's Big Top Bonanza to earn Ranged experience. Please refer to our Circus Guide for more information.
The table below contains training spots available to free players. Most monsters can be safe-spotted, with varying degrees of effort. Players choosing to safe-spot may have to spend a great deal of time on picking up ammunition. To maximize experience gains, players should consider leaving their ammunition on the floor instead. Alternatively, if players have the Defence level and equipment to survive, they may opt to engage targets within melee range and tank all of the hits. Using higher quality ammunition will increase damage output, but will also typically have a higher cost.
Members often choose to level their Ranged skill while they perform Slayer tasks. By engaging their assigned monsters in melee combat while having a multicannon set up, they can earn experience in their melee skills, as well as in the Constitution, Ranged and Slayer skills. If you're not solely after Ranged experience, but merely intend to level it up alongside your other skills, then we suggest using this method. Please refer to our Slayer Guide for more information on the Slayer skill.
The table below contains a number of training spots suitable for members who simply want to earn Ranged experience, and have no concern about earning money while doing so. While the first three locations are not very all that dangerous, the last two are multi-combat areas where many monsters will be attacking the player at once. As a result, having level 43 Prayer for the Protection from Melee prayer is an absolute must. In addition, having level 44 Prayer for the Eagle Eye prayer is recommended.
When training at one of the first three locations, a shortbow, throwing knives, or darts are the best options. The last two locations are ideal for using chinchompas. For armour, we strongly recommend using four pieces of Void Knight equipment if you meet the level requirements. If you're using a one-handed weapon, you can use the void deflector and swap out the void knight top for some body armour that boosts your ranged accuracy. You may want to consider using a cannon to further increase your experience gains.
The next and final table of this section will describe a number of locations which allow you to make a profit while training your Ranged skill. Again, we strongly recommend using four pieces of Void Knight equipment while fighting these. You should use the best crossbow you can use along with a void deflector, unless you have level 90+ Firemaking, in which case you should use a hand cannon instead. As for cannons, you will often find that the kill speed increase offered by using one outweighs the money spent on ammunition.
Cape of Achievement
Once you have mastered the Ranged skill and reached level 99 you may want to buy yourself a ranging cape from the armour salesman in the Ranging Guild. Please refer to the Achievement Capes guide for more information!
Original Guide by: Eeeeediot and Sepiroth23
Thanks to: abomb67, Aeromech, airlesswig, All Bogs, apples260, Arceus, babyjax, Biggieg333, blink182rocker, bluehooloovo, Cowman_133, chams10, chenw2, clipper, Codguy, cwc zeek, De_Lille_D, damianara, eeveon, Elektrik2H, filthy007, Georgelemmons, Gwynrwyn, Howlin1, HulakNord, Hydrocane, Idunedain, imjustalex, inferno_char, Jaffy1, JHalpert, jinzoid, JoeDaStudd, Johndevl, Juhniz, jwolfstein, Kaphias, Kill_Life, kharaghzal, kingmickez25, krogiecom, Lady_Shahdie, Lalala7324, lordsoultar, manoman, markkei, Mc90123, mchainmail, mister_moocky, MsMesohigh, mummi, Nirvana05, Nyosuht, NukeMarine, oddfaery2, peksithepure, pker_dude_jr, pokemama, posionsnake, Profins, psx0, punisher7678, purepure4774, pyratharcher, Quyneax, rapsey, rocket485, SaidinWoT, Saladin643, sebas379, SerpentEye, shade_bandyt, Shasta_Sms, sheep455_is_the_best, silasinth, ska27, slayershunt, Specterzero1, Speedyshel, tarasbuljba, the49ronin, thunderdog90, tomcatgt, tortilliachp, triadi, tryto, vap137, vero of twoy, viktorkrum77, weene6, wyvren2000, x aflicted x, yoda9931, slayershunt, lee3821, Vhellcat, Villandra, Vulxai, Wachtwoord, Warriormonkx, zebo7, zxzxzxzx99
Last updated by: Arceus
Last updated on: 30-Nov-2014
With May drawing to a close, did you participate in the RuneScape Road Trip?
Help keep Tip.It alive, donate a bit to our site:
© 1999 - 2015 RuneScape Tips, all rights reserved. RuneScape® and Jagex® are trademarks of Jagex Ltd © 2000 - 2015 Andrew Gower.