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Complete 1-99 Combat Training Guide for OSRS

Updated: Apr 11

What’s going on guys! My name's Theoatrix, and welcome to my updated level 1–99 Melee Combat Training Guide.


If you'd prefer to watch a video version of this guide, you can watch that below. Otherwise you can continue down the page to read the written guide.

Why Train Melee?

High combat stats give access to a wide variety of content for your account. Training your melee lets you defeat a number of bosses.. 

Also, all 3 raids in Old School require melee.

In PvP, there's a range of powerful melee weapons with strong special attacks, like the Dragon Claws, the Armadyl Godsword or the Voidwaker.

With the highest strength bonus setup in the game, the max hit in PvP is now 87 with an Armadyl Godsword.

12 quests in Old School have a melee requirement. I've broken these down into attack, strength and defence. Lunar Diplomacy is an essential one for mains, along with King's Ransom for piety.

For the Quest cape, you need 50 attack, 50 strength and 65 defence, although, you will need higher combat stats to defeat the bosses in the quests.

For the Achievement Diary cape, you need 50 attack, 76 strength and 70 defence, as well as level 100 combat.

How Melee Works

Now I'm going to go over how melee melee works.

Increasing your attack level increases your accuracy, and also allows you to wear better weaponry.

For example, at level 1 attack, using a Bronze Sword, your accuracy is 48%. Whereas at level 99 attack, your accuracy becomes 96%.

Your attack bonus, which can be found in the equipment stats interface, mainly comes from your weapon, but can also come from your armour, jewellery and defenders.

Increasing your attack bonus increases your accuracy.

With 50 attack and an attack bonus of 10, your accuracy is 92%. But if your attack bonus is 100, your accuracy is 97%.

Increasing your strength level increases your max hit, and can also unlock some weaponry.

With a Bronze Sword, at level 1 strength, your max hit is 1. At level 99 strength, your max hit becomes 12.

Your strength bonus mostly comes from your weapon, but can also come from other equipment. Having a higher strength bonus increases your max hit. With 50 strength and a strength bonus of 10, your max hit is 7. If your strength bonus is 100, your max hit becomes 15.

Increasing your defence level decreases the accuracy of the enemy. Your defence level does not affect the max hit of the enemy, only the accuracy.

For example, if you had level 1 defence, and General Graardor used a melee attack on you, his accuracy would be 99%. With 99 defence and the same gear, Graardor's accuracy becomes 91%.

Your defence level is somewhat amplified by your defence bonus. Having a high defence level won't do much unless you have a high defence bonus as well.

Your defence bonus mostly comes from armour and jewellery, and having a higher defence bonus also decreases the accuracy of the enemy.

Using General Graardor as an example again, if you have level 99 defence, wearing no armour, Graardor's accuracy is 91% with melee. Although, if you wear full Torva, Graardor's accuracy goes down to 53%.

Weapon Progression

Now let's get into weaponry.

I've broken these down into 3 categories, level 1 to 60 attack and strength weapons, level 60 to 99 attack training weapons, then level 60 to 99 strength training weapons. For training defence, you should use the best attack training weapon you can.

The weapons go from best on the left, to worst on the right, within each box.

In the low-level bracket, the Dragon Warhammer is the best weapon to use at 1 attack, although it does have a 60 strength requirement to wear. So, the best in slot at level 1 is the Swift Blade or the Ham Joint.

At levels 5 to 30, the highest level scimitar you can use will be your best option. At level 40, the Brine Sabre is better than the Rune Scimitar, and then at level 50, you unlock the Granite Hammer and Leaf Bladed Weaponry.

For training attack, these are the best weapons to use.

At level 60, you can use Obsidian weapons, and when paired with the Obsidian Armour set, it gives the highest DPS at level 60.

At 65, you unlock the Sarachnis Cudgel which is not as good as the Obsidian set, but is an upgrade from the Dragon Scimitar.

At level 70, The Abyssal Whip is best for attack xp followed by the Bludgeon and Dagger.

 At 75 attack, you can wear the Abyssal Tentacle, which gives the highest DPS but does degrade.

At 80, the Ghrazi Rapier, Inquisitors Mace and Blade of Saeldor are equally your best option, although each have different attack styles.

At 82 you unlock the the Osmumten's Fang, although is only the best option when the monster has a high defence level. If the monster has low defence, you should use the Rapier, Mace, or Blade. But, the Fang is a lot cheaper than the Rapier, Mace or Blade, so you should get the Fang if you don’t have those other weapons.

For training strength, these are the best weapons.

At levels 60 and 65, the weapons are the same as the attack training weapons. However, at level 70, the Abyssal Bludgeon is the best to use for strength training, followed by the Zamorakian Hasta.

At level 75, the Blessed Saradomin sword is about as good as the Abyssal Bludgeon, although it degrades.

At 80, the Rapier, Mace and Blade are all the best options, then at level 82 you unlock the Osmumten's Fang, which is only good against high defence monsters.

Armour Progression

Now let’s go through armour progression.

With melee, you should prioritize strength bonus when choosing armour and jewellery. Attack bonus is useful, but strength bonus is priority. I'll also be talking about prayer bonus and magic defence gear later on.

From levels 1 to 30 defence, you should just use the best metal armour set you can, ranging from iron through to adamant.

From there, here are the best armour pieces to wear….

Going from left to right, these are the best to worst in slot items for the head slot. The Fremennik Trials and Isles quests for the Berzerker helm and helm of Neitiznot, are both vital steps in upgrading your gear.

With 30 defence and 70 strength, you can wear Inquisitors, which gives a decent strength bonus, but should only be worn if you're using a crush weapon. On a main account, you don’t need to complete the Fremennik Exiles to make and wear the faceguard, that’s only for ironmen.

In the body slot, these are the best items. At level 40, you can wear the Fighter Torso from Barbarian Assault. It gives the same strength bonus as a Bandos Chestplate but its free, so its highly recommended to get one. Alternatively, you can just get an Obsidian Body if you cannot be bothered getting a Fighter Torso or do not have enough money for a Bandos Chestplate.

In the leg slot, you can wear the Fremennik Kilt at any defence level for a +1 strength bonus, but that’s currently over 2 mil on the Grand Exchange, so you can just wear Rune Platelegs or Granite Platelegs when you unlock them.

At level 60, you can wear Obsidian Platelegs, which are cheaper than a Fremennik Kilt and give better defensive bonuses. The best in slot is Torva, giving a +4 Strength bonus.

With a combined attack and strength level of 130, you can enter The Warrior’s Guild to get defenders. You should do this as soon as you reach 130 since defenders give high attack and strength bonuses. Alternatively, you can wear a Dragonfire Shield or an Obsidian Shield for a small strength bonus, or you can wear the Book of War from horror from the deep also for a small strength bonus.

In the ring slot, the new Desert Treasure 2 rings are the best in slot, but they’re very expensive so the best for a lower price is an imbued Berzerker Ring, which you can imbue at Soul Wars, the PVP arena or the Nightmare Zone. Alternatively, a Warrior Ring is a decent option if you’re using slash.

In your cape slot, the Infernal Cape is the best in slot, followed by the Fire Cape, Mythical Cape, a Skillcape and then the Obsidian Cape.

In the boot slot, at a lower level you can just wear the best metal boots you can, but I would recommend wearing Climbing boots for the +2 strength bonus. Guardian boots give prayer bonus and have high defence bonuses, and Granite boots are fairly cheap for a +3 strength bonus. Spiked Manacles are best in slot for pures as they have no defence requirement, but are expensive.

In the necklace slot, the best in slot is an Amulet of Torture, which currently costs about 10 mil. The next best amulets are the Fury, Glory and Amulet of Strength.

In some cases with melee, you're going to want to wear armour that gives a high prayer bonus. Proselyte is the best in slot, requiring Slug Menace, followed by Zealots Robes from The Shades of Mort’ton minigame. Vestment robes are decent low-priced option, but if you don’t have the requirements for any of those, you can just wear Monk's robes.

Particularly while you’re slaying or bossing, you'll sometimes need to wear magical defence armour. The best in slot for magical defence is Fortified Masori, but that’s pretty expensive, so your next best option is Karil's. Below Karil's you can wear Void for magical defence, but alternatively you should just use the best Dragonhide Armour you can wear.

You should avoid using Armadyl for magic defence while using melee, because Armadyl gives negative melee attack bonuses.

Pathways to 99

Now lets move onto your pathways to 99.

I’m going to start off by showing 2 low level routes, questing and regular training.

I’ll then show 3 pathways to 99, and I'm showing the time it takes to get max melee for each pathway, so all three 99s, attack, strength and defence.

I’ll start by showing the Fastest Pathway to 99 in the melee stats, where you can get up to 400k xp per hour with alt accounts, or 200k xp per hour solo.

On the AFK Pathway that I’m showing, you can get 99 attack, strength and defence in 350 hours at the Nightmare Zone, or 500 hours at Bandits.

After the AFK pathway, I’ll talk about slayer which is going to get you 99 in all 3 combat stats in approximately 600 hours.

Then I’ll talk about bossing with melee, and I’ll finish off by talking about Free to Play methods.

Low Level Training

Questing (Low Level)

So, as a low level player, your best option for combat training is questing.

You can complete the Waterfall quest with no requirements to get from level 1 to 30 attack and strength. The quest takes 10 to 20 minutes, whereas training from 1 to 30 attack and strength normally is going to take a couple of hours.

After the Waterfall quest, there's some additional quests you can do that have low requirements.

Doing the quests on the screen, plus the Waterfall quest, will get you to level 45 attack, 36 strength and 31 defence.

If you don't feel like questing, then you can train melee the regular way.

Regular Training (Low Level)

At level 1 attack and strength, you have 40% higher DPS against cows over sand crabs. So, you should train your low levels at cows with an Iron Scimitar.

Above level 10, you can train AFK at any type of crab.

Crabs have low defence, and high hitpoints, making them a great target for low level training.

There's 4 types of crabs in old school, Rock, Sand, Swamp And Ammonite. They all have similar stats, but the most common ones for training at a low level are sand crabs.

There's a number of locations to find sand crabs in old school, mostly along the south eastern coast of Zeah.

To train, you just need to find a location with 2 or 3 sand rocks on the ground, and you stand near them to spawn the crabs. After 10 minutes, the crabs stop being aggressive. So, to reset, you run out of view, about 30 tiles away, and then run back.

If you find that those standard sand crab locations are too busy, you can complete the Depths of Despair Quest to access the crabs in the Crabclaw Caves.

Or, you could pay 10K to go to Crabclaw Isle, which is usually less populated.

Now lets move onto the fastest pathway to 99.

Fastest Pathway

This is what the entire pathway looks like. You start off questing and then training at Sand crabs until level 50.

Then the Nightmare Zone becomes the fastest experience with overloads and powerups.

You can train at the Nightmare Zone all the way to 99 with either Obsidian or Dharok's, but the fastest XP in the game comes from using alt accounts to transfer special attack energy, while using the Dinh's Bulwark special attack.

Without alt accounts, your fastest method is Pest Control with Combat Achievements completed for the extra points.

Another method I’ll talk about is chinning on defensive mode, which is the fastest defence experience in the game without alts.

So, from level 1, the fastest way to gain experience is Questing, by at least doing the Waterfall quest.

 I just talked about questing in the low-level section, so if you want to learn more, skip back to that section.

From level 30 to 50, the fastest experience you'll get is attacking monsters constantly, and crabs are perfect for that because of their high hit points, low defence and AFK time. I also talked about crabs in the low-level section, so skip back to that to hear more.

If you’re going for the fastest experience though, you should be using stat boosting prayers with prayer potions, as well as divine super combat potions.

Nightmare Zone Guide

At level 50 attack and strength, you should head to the Nightmare Zone for the best experience.

The Nightmare Zone is the fastest because…

                You can use Overloads for a higher boost than Super potions,

                And you can use powerups, particularly Power Surge, which constantly regenerates your special attack.

To take part in the Nightmare Zone, you need to have completed at least 5 quests with applicable bosses. These are the quests and subsequent bosses that you should aim to complete to train melee in the Nightmare Zone.

If it’s your first time at the Nightmare Zone, you'll need to earn some points to use Absorptions and Overloads.

To start off with, you should select bosses that use melee and use protect from melee with Prayer Potions until you have enough points.

You should also activate the recurrent Damage, Zapper and Power Surge powerups when they appear.

To get the most out of your Nightmare Zone trips, you should also unlock the Dwarven rock cake or the Locator Orb.

The rock cake is far easier to get, only requiring the freeing the Mountain Dwarf part of Recipe for Disaster.

These items are useful in the Nightmare Zone because they prolong your Absorption potions.

Every dose of an Absorption potion absorbs 50 incoming damage from enemies.

If you lower your health down to 1 with a rock cake or locator orb, you'll only be hit a maximum of 1 by enemies, so your absorption will only go down by 1.

At level 50 in the combat stats, you should set your dream to a Customized Normal Rumble. This is because Hard Mode monsters have a high defence level, and should only be fought above level 70 in attack and strength.

To enter the Nightmare Zone, you firstly need to start a dream by talking to Dominic, and select the type of rumble you want.

Before you can enter, you need to have coins in the coffer nearby. To deposit, click on the coffer and select deposit.

You’ll also want to withdraw some overloads and absorption potions from the barrels.

Then, to select the bosses on your customized dream, click on the potion.

 Then select the relevant melee training bosses, and when you're ready select accept.

Once you’re inside, if you’re overloading, you should sip that first.

 Then, you can use your rock cake or locator orb to lower yourself down to 1 hitpoints, but don’t do it too quickly because you can die from the overload damage.

 Once you’re at 1, you can drink a bunch of absorption potions.

Now you are ready to fight, so you can make your way to the center of the arena or if you have the Ice Troll or Dad Boss activated, you should stand in a corner.

You attack the bosses while keeping an eye out for a yellow powerup, which is called Power Surge, and it’s the one that constantly regenerates your special attack

With 50 in the combat stats, you should use a Granite Maul as your special attack weapon, paired with a Granite Hammer as your main weapon, if you can afford it.

With 60 defence, you can wear Obsidian Armour, and wearing the helmet, body and legs together gives a 10% accuracy and damage boost with obsidian weapons.

You can also wear a Berzerker Necklace for a 20% damage boost with obsidian weapons.

With the full set plus the Berzerker Necklace, you can use an obsidian sword to get up to 100k xp per hour in the nightmare zone, provided you’re still using the Power Surge powerups.

At 60 attack you can wear the Dragon Claws, which become your best special attack weapon. Paired with an Ornate Granite Maul, you can use your whole special attack bar in one tick, and it fully regenerates by your next attack.

With 70 attack, strength and defence, you can wear the full Dharok's set, which provides the fastest experience within the nightmare zone. But, Dharok's is only viable if you have above level 90 hitpoints, because the extra damage is higher with a higher hitpoints.

With Dharok's you can hit high damage, and paired with the Power Surge powerup with Dragon Claws, you can get up to 170k xp per hour at high levels.

In the Nightmare Zone, you can also boost your xp rates by using Piety. So, bring some prayer potions if you’re going for the fastest experience.

It costs money to use the Nightmare Zone - but you can easily recoup that money by purchasing herb boxes from the rewards chest.

Each day, you can buy 15 herb boxes which have an average value of 190k in herbs.

Fastest Methods in OSRS

At level 75 attack and defence, you unlock the fastest melee method in the game. This is done using the Dinh's Bulwark.

It has a special attack that hits up to 10 enemies in an 11 by 11 area, with 20% increased accuracy. Pairing this with the energy transfer lunar spell, you can use alt accounts or have your friends constantly regenerate your special attack.

The best place to do this is at Nechryaels in the catacombs of Kourend since there’s a lot of monsters, and its easily accessible.

So, the alt accounts will be using energy transfer, then teleporting to house, regenerating their special attack, and then teleporting back to the catacombs to use energy transfer again. With 3 alt accounts, you can get up to 420k xp per hour with high combat stats.

At level 100 combat, Pest Control becomes the fastest solo melee training method.

A couple of years ago, Jagex added Combat Achievements… and one of the rewards for completing Combat Achievements is increased points from Pest Control.

You now get 8 points per game with the Hard Combat Achievements in the high-level boat.

With that, you can get up to 240 points per hour, and you can convert points into combat experience at the Rewards shop.

240 points is going to give you 145k combat experience at level 99, which means in total, you can get up to 200k xp per hour. At lower levels though, you’re going to see slower xp rates.

At level 75, 240 points will get you 82k xp, totaling around 120 to 130k xp per hour, which is still the fastest solo xp in the game at that level.

The final method in the Fastest Pathway is chinning on defensive mode.

With Black Chinchompas and 99 Ranged, you can get up to 350k defence xp per hour. At the same time, you will be getting 350k Ranged xp and 250k Hitpoints xp. This makes chinning on defensive mode the fastest defence xp in the game without alt accounts.

AFK Pathway

Now it’s time for the AFK pathway…

On this pathway, you will start off training at crabs for your early experience. And then at level 50, the Nightmare Zone becomes a viable AFK training spot. Bandits are another decent AFK option at around 70 in the combat stats, and Slayer can be an AFK method as well.

So, from level 1 to 50, your best AFK xp is going to come from crabs, where you can AFK for up to 10 minutes at a time. I talked about crabs in the low-level section of this guide, so if you want to learn more about crabs, skip back to the low-level section.

At level 50 attack and strength, the Nightmare Zone becomes one of your best AFK options. In the Nightmare Zone, you can AFK for up to 20 minutes at a time depending on what setup you’re using.

If you’re using overloads and absorption potions, you can AFK for 5 minutes at a time before you need to re-overload.

If you only use absorption potions, you could AFK for about 10 minutes before you should drop your health with the rock cake or locator orb, and drink more absorptions.

If you’re using protection prayers in the Nightmare Zone, you can AFK for about 5 minutes at a time depending on your prayer bonus and level.

But, to get the most AFK time in the Nightmare Zone, you can use the full Guthans setup to automatically heal yourself, allowing you to AFK for 20 minutes at a time.

Within the Nightmare Zone, you should do Normal Rumbles at level 50 until around level 75, where you should swap to Hard Rumbles. To learn more about the Nightmare Zone, skip back to the Fastest Pathway. There I talk about what quests you should do and some more useful tips.

At level 70 in the combat stats, bandits become a viable AFK training method.

At bandits, you can AFK for up to 20 minutes if you have a Saradomin or Zamorak item equipped.

With 70 defence and full Torag's, you can AFK at bandits for up to 10 minutes before you should eat food to heal up.

In the general store nearby, you can find tiles who un-notes items, so you can bring along noted food to stay here forever.

Using Protect from Melee is another popular option at bandits. With 80 Prayer and full Proselyte, Protect from Melee is going to last 6 minutes and 24 seconds. You can also bring noted prayer potions and un-note them at tiles.

Although, Guthans gives the longest AFK times at bandits, allowing you to AFK for 20 minutes at a time.

Bandits are located at bandit camp in the desert. You're immune from the desert heat while you’re inside bandit camp so you don’t need waterskins.

To get there, you can take a magic carpet ride to Bedabin Camp from the Shantay Pass and then run south.

These are the best locations to stand to be constantly attacking bandits. Bandits are popular so you might need to hop a bit to find an empty world.

Also, at 70 in the combat stats, slayer becomes a viable AFK melee training method.

There's 3 ways to AFK slayer tasks.

If the monster is aggressive, then you can AFK for 10 minutes before you need to reset.

If the monster is in multicombat, then you can attack each one, and then AFK while you finish them off.

Or, you can use a cannon on some slayer tasks to attack monsters for you, and if you stand underneath your cannon, you can prolong the duration of your cannonballs, letting you AFK for longer.

Slayer Pathway

Slayer isn't just an AFK combat training method, it’s also efficient combat experience because you’re training your slayer at the same time.

Also, on Slayer tasks, you can use the Black Mask or the Slayer Helmet for the damage and accuracy boost, which further increases the efficiency.

While training from 1 to 99 slayer, it’s possible to get 99 in most of the combat stats. If you plan on getting 99 slayer one day, you should train your slayer instead of following the Fast or AFK pathway that I’ve shown, otherwise you'll be gaining a lot of xp past level 99.

Bossing With Melee

Next up I’m going to cover bossing with melee. Training up your melee stats is a great way to get a taste of bossing.

Arguably the easiest boss in the game, the Giant Mole, can be defeated with just 43 prayer and level 40s in the combat stats. Using Protect from Melee, you can mitigate all damage.

One of the easiest pets in the game can be obtained by defeating the Chaos Elemental, which you can flinch with melee to also take no damage.

2 more fairly easy bosses are Obor and Sarachnis which are both weak to melee.

2 of the 4 God Wars bosses are best killed with melee, and particularly Bandos is a great introduction to team bossing at a low level.

Venenatis and Vet’ion are both highly profitable wilderness bosses that should be killed with melee.

4 slayer bosses are melee weak, all of which can be killed for high profit, and ironmen can obtain a number of important uniques from these bosses.

The recently added Desert Treasure 2 brought 2 new melee bosses to the game, Duke Sucellus and Vardorvis.

Vorkath is a highly profitable boss that’s weak to stab, accessible after Dragon Slayer 2.

The Nightmare is weak to crush attacks, and the Corporeal Beast is weak to stab, and both are difficult bosses with valuable drops.

All 3 raids in old school require melee, and before going on any of the raids, I’d suggest having at least 85 attack strength and defence, plus high ranged, magic and prayer.

F2P Methods

Now to finish off the guide, I'm going to talk about Free to Play melee training.

In 2015, Jagex added frogs to the Lumbridge Swamp.

They have decent hitpoints and minimal defence, making them a great target for low level training.