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Old School RuneScape: F2P Ranged Combat Mechanics Full Guide - How To Maximize Ranged DPS?

Nov 10 ,2023

Hello and welcome to another guide on F2P OSRS mechanism. In this guide, we’ll look at the mechanics behind OSRS ranged combat. This guide is intended to establish a basic understanding of the mechanics, so I’ll use approximations and simplified terms to make things easier to understand.

Ticks Combat Levels & Rolls

OSRS runs on a clock or tick system. Each tick lasts about 0.6 seconds, which is roughly equivalent to 100 ticks per minute. But in some cases, players can manipulate ticks.

Old School RuneScape: F2P Ranged Combat Mechanics Full Guide

Currently, the only reason we need to know about ticks is to understand the speed of OSRS weapons and actions. Combat level is the benchmark for measuring your overall combat effectiveness. In OSRS, this is a combination of your skill levels: HP, Attack, Strength, Defense, Magic, Ranged and Prayer. Unless you’re playing specific PK or Pure builds, you don’t really need to worry too much.

The last thing is Actual Combat Rolls. OSRS uses attack and defense rolls to determine whether an attack hits.

So-called Opposed Rolls, both the attacker and the defender roll dice, and if the attacker rolls higher than the defender, the attack succeeds and a “hit” occurs. When a hit occurs, it made a second roll to determine damage.

In OSRS, you can roll a 0 here in most cases. So while you might get a successful hit, you still don’t actually do damage to the defender’s HP. Damage rolls are rolls from 0 to the current maximum hit.

Old School RuneScape: Actual Combat Rolls Calculation

Ranged Attack, Strength & Defense

Thankfully, the range is slightly simpler than melee, as there’s a direct correlation between primary stats and associated effects.

First, we have a Ranged Attack, which is Ranged Accuracy. This affects how often you land hits on your target. This is a combination of your ranged rating and the equipment bonuses provided by your armor set. Therefore, to improve your ranged attack, investing more OSRS Gold to upgrade your armor set may be the best option.

Ranged Strength is ranged damage. This represents the maximum damage you can deal with a single attack and is a combination of your ranged rating. At least, for Bows and Crossbows, it’s the strength bonus provided by the ammunition you’re using.

Finally, Ranged Defense is great. Your defense rating, combined with the armor you use, gives you overall ranged defense capabilities. The higher these two values are, the less likely you are to be hit by a Ranged Attack.

Ranged Equipment

Ranged Equipment is similar to Melee Equipment in most respects, except that instead of having 3 melee damage types, ranged equipment has its own damage type.

We usually divide equipment into Weapons, Ammunition, Throw Weapons and Armor. Weapons such as Bows and Crossbows provide a Ranged Attack bonus, while Ammunition provides a Ranged Strength bonus.

Also note that, like melee weapons, ranged weapons have speed. Similar to melee weapons, lower speed is better. Ranged weapons also have a “range” that is usually between 6-10 game tiles. It can expand this to up to 10 using ranged attacks.

Ranged armor also usually provides higher magic defense and is widely used by melee players in “PK” situations. Because they hope to make up for their weakness in magic based on the combat triangle.

OSRS: Ranged Gear Upgrade Guide - Increase DPS Efficiently

It is also worth mentioning the consumption of ammunition. You’ll notice that when you attack an enemy, Arrows, Bolts or other things will pile up on the square below the opponent.

I always recommend restoring these arrows. However, you’ll notice that when you do this, you recover less often than you fire. This is because in OSRS, every time you fire an arrow or use any ranged ammo, there is a 20% chance of that ammo being destroyed.

A quick tip that’s very helpful here is to talk to Lumbridge’s ranged tutor and turn on auto-equipment as soon as possible. This means that if you pick up any Arrows or Bolts that match what you have equipped, it will immediately equip them instead of putting them into your inventory!

Ranged Attack Styles

All ranged weapons have 3 simple attack styles: Accurate, Rapid and Long Ranged.

Accurate style, adds an invisible +3 ranged level bonus, increases Ranged Accuracy and Ranged Strength. When fighting this way, you gain 4 ranged XP and 1.33 HP XP for each point of damage dealt. While the benefits of this style sound great, most players prefer to use Rapid style.

Rapid style reduces weapon speed by 1 tick, allowing you to attack more often. When you weigh the advantages of slightly higher accuracy and max hit versus more attacks, having more attacks results in higher overall damage. When fighting this way as before, you’ll gain 4 ranged XP and 1.33 HP XP for each point of damage dealt.

Long Ranged style increases invisible +3 defense level and increases your attack range by +2 blocks. When fighting this way, you gain 2 ranged XP, 2 defense XP, and 1.33 HP XP for each point of damage dealt. But this style is only useful when trying to engage from a distance. Once they get close, it’s better to switch to Rapid style unless you really need the +3 defense bonus.

OSRS: Ranged Attack Styles

Ranged DPS

Just like melee weapons, highest Ranged DPS is always the end goal. And, as before, weapon speed plays a sizeable role in this calculation.

For general ranged combat, players always use a short bow. Although you lose some range, the 25% increase in speed more than makes up for it.

Crossbows are a different story. They are not free. But compared to Arrows, Crossbows offer a significantly higher Ranged Strength bonus, which more than makes up for the slower attack speed.

To figure out the exact DPS, I’m going to show you how to do this via an equation. However, it’s somewhat time-synced, it’s probably only worth doing to compare mid-range game gear sets, check trained enemies.

Old School RuneScape: Ranged DPS Calculation

If you want to understand the concepts covered so far, with the right combination of Combat Style, Skill Level, Weapon and Equipment, you should be able to get very close to max DPS without having to calculate it.

That concludes this guide. I hope this OSRS ranged combat mechanics guide has been useful to you and helped shed some light on what’s going on behind the scenes and how to maximize your character’s performance.

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