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.
Example: Hitting a Hill Giant for 120 damage using the accurate or rapid style will grant the player 48 Ranged XP and 16 Constitution XP.
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.
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 . 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.
Strikes your opponent with a lightning bolt, dealing extra damage.
Knocks your opponent down and briefly stuns them.
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Temporarily lowers your target's Magic level. This effects only works against other players.
Drains your target's prayer points, transferring them to you. This effects only works against other players.
Infuses your bolts with a powerful poison, which starts at 58 damage, and has a greater chance of poisoning your target than ordinary poison does.
Lowers your target's current life points by 20%. In return, you lose 10% of your current life points. The potency of this effect is reduced against certain boss monsters.
Ignores a portion of your target's ranged defence, increasing your chance to hit. Also slightly increases your maximum hit.
Strikes your target with a dragonfire attack. This may cause massive damage, though it is ineffective against players who are protected from dragonfire and against monsters who can breathe fire themselves.
Deals extra damage to your target. You restore an amount of life points equal to 25% of the damage dealt. Does not work against undead monsters.
Has a chance to grant a status giving 1% extra adrenaline on hit.