Runescape Ranging Guide

Rangers can be quite powerful as they become stronger and more experienced at the art of Ranging, but you need to know several things before starting out.

Basic Equipment

The weapon of choice for many Rangers is the Bow, which uses arrows to hit your enemy. There are 2 kinds of bows: Shortbows and Longbows. Shortbows are known to fire arrows more quickly than Longbows, but they’re mainly used for close combat. You can also use a Crossbow and bolts, but generally they are less effective as you become a more experienced Ranger, since they only add 6 to Ranged Attack.

The basic Ranging equipment can be bought from Lowe’s Archery Store in Varrock, located just northeast of the General Store, and also from a new Arrow Merchant in Rimmington which is a great place to buy supplies due to the fact that most people disregard it, and the stocks are always high.

There’s also a Member’s shop in Catherby that sells more advanced equipment, the Grand Tree Shop that sells bows and arrows, and of course the Ranging Guild. The Fletching skill can be used to make bows and arrows.

Combat Info

Now that you have your Ranging equipment, equip the bow and arrows (or crossbow and bolts) by clicking on them in your Backpack. To attack an enemy, just click on the “Attack” option to begin firing arrows or bolts. The most effective way to attack an enemy would be to stand behind an obstacle such as a gate or table, since they will be unable to attack you. Although, some of your foes may have the ability to attack you with their own Ranging weapons.

You may also notice that some of your arrows “disappear” after hitting an enemy. This is simply due to the fact that some of your arrows will be damaged on impact or the enemy, and your character will not even try to salvage them.

When you equip a Bow, you have the choice of using 1 of several Fighting Styles; each of which give different amounts of experience, although each style gives about 1.3xp to Hitpoints:

Accurate - This style of Ranging is slightly slower, but more accurate than the ‘Rapid’ style will give 4xp to your Ranged level.
Rapid - This Ranging Style sacrifices accuracy, but fires about 1 second faster than the ‘Accurate’ style. It gives 4xp to your Ranged level.
Longrange - This style fires arrows at about the same speed as the ‘Accurate’ style, but it gives 2xp each to both Ranged and Defense.
Helpful Drinks

If you need a small boost to your Ranged level, have a drink of a Ranged Potion. it will increase your Ranged level by 15% for a short amount of time, and it can be made with your Herblore level if you’re a Member.


Bows & Arrows


Bows are the most widely used Ranging weapons, using arrows as their ammo. There are various Bows that you can use, although Free-Players can use up to Maple Bows. The Ogre bow is obtained from the Big Chompy Bird Hunting Quest. Crystal Bows are only available after completing the Roving Elves Quest. Check below for more info about it.

Bow Chart
Picture Bow Ranged Attack Bonus Ranging Level
Training Shortbow 8 1
Shortbow 8 1
Longbow 8 1
Oak Shortbow 14 5
Oak Longbow 14 5
Willow Shortbow 20 20
Willow Longbow 20 20
Maple Shortbow 29 30
Maple Longbow 29 30
Ogre Bow 38 30
Composite Ogre Bow 38 30
Yew Shortbow 47 40
Yew Longbow 47 40
Magic Shortbow 69 50
Magic Longbow 69 50
Seercull 69 50
Crystal Bow 100-64
See Below Section 70
Agility: 50

Crystal Bow

After completing the Roving Elves Quest, Members have the opportunity to buy a Crystal Bow for 900,000gp. You must have at least level 70 Ranging to use the bow. Unlike other bows, the Crystal Bow uses no ammo, and instead fires a magical shot. When you first start using it, it will have 2,500 uses, and each time you fire it, the remaining shots will decrease (As well as the attack bonus). If you right-click on the bow, you’ll see a rating out of 10, depending on how many shots you have left.

Crystal Bow Attack Ratings
Phase Range Attack Bonus
10/10 100
9/10 96
8/10 92
7/10 88
6/10 84
5/10 80
4/10 76
3/10 72
2/10 68
1/10 64

After you have 0 shots left, you’ll need to have it recharged by Eluned the Roving Elf in Isafdar for a nominal fee, starting at 900,000gp for the first time. After that, the cost of having it charged will decrease.

Crystal Bow Recharge Cost
Recharge Cost
First 900,000gp
Second 720,000gp
Third 540,000gp
Fourth 360,000gp
Fifth and Onwards 180,000gp


Arrows can be made from different metals, stronger metals being able to inflict more damage and be more difficultly damaged. Free-Players can use up to Adamantite Arrows. Members can also poison arrows by using a Weapon Poison Potion with them to poison up to 5. Better arrows will require you to use a certain bow or higher in order to Range with them.

Arrow Chart
Picture Arrow Required Bow
Training Arrows Training Shortbow
Bronze -
Bronze Brutal Composite Ogre
Iron -
Iron Brutal Composite Ogre
Steel Oak
Steel Brutal Composite Ogre
Black Brutal Composite Ogre
Mithril Willow
Mithril Brutal Composite Ogre
Adamantite Maple
Adamantite Brutal Composite Ogre
Rune Yew
Rune Brutal Composite Ogre
Ogre Ogre


Crossbows & Bolts


There are quite a few different types of Crossbows in RuneScape, which are another type of Ranging weapon that fire Bolts rather than Arrows, and are slower than Bows. It’s for this reason that they are not as commonly used by Rangers.

Crossbow Chart
Picture Crossbow Ranged Attack Bonus Ranging Level Bolts
Regular 6 1 Bronze
Phoenix 6 1 Bronze
Bronze 11 1 Bronze
Blurite 17 16 Up to Blurite
Iron 23 26 Up to Iron
Dorgeshuun 42 28 Bone
Steel 28 31 Up to Steel
Mithril 32 36 Up to Mithril
Adamant 41 46 Up to Adamant
Rune 50 61 Up to Rune
Karil’s 84 70 Bolt Racks


Blurite Crossbows are untradeable, and can only be smithed after completing the Knight’s Sword Quest.

There are nearly as many types of Bolts as there are Crossbows. These are the main ammo for Crossbows, and can be made with your Fletching and Smithing skills. Regular bolts may be poisoned with Weapon Poison. Most of them can also be “modified” with special tips to pack more of a punch. these tips include:

Opal - Use a chisel on an Uncut Opal, Mined from the Shilo Village rocks.
Pearl - Use a chisel on a Pearl, Fished with a Big Net.
Barbed - Traded for tickets at the Ticket Merchant in the Ranging Guild.
Gem - Use a Chisel with a gem to cut it, and then use your chisel on it again to make bolt Tips.
Here is a chart of the different kinds of bolts you can make, as well as the Bolt Tips you can add to them:

Crossbow Bolt Chart
Picture Bolt Possible Tips
Bronze Barbed & Opal
Blurite Jade
Iron Pearl
Silver -
Bone -
Steel Red Topaz
Mithril Sapphire, Emerald & Mithril Grapple
Adamant Ruby & Diamond
Rune Dragonstone & Onyx
Bolt Rack -

Enchanted Bolts

Bolts with special tips (Gems, Pearl, or Opal) may be enchanted with your Magic skill to have all sorts of interesting (and helpful) effects on your enemies. Simply place any bolts you wish to have enchanted in your backpack, and then click on the level 4 “Enchant Bolt” spell in your spellbook, to see a menu of possible enchantments. then just select one to enchant your bolts.

Bolt Enchantments
Magic Level Bolt Runes Effect
4 Opal 1 Cosmic, 2 Air Chance of a lightning bolt hitting your enemy causing damage.
7 Sapphire 1 Cosmic, 1 Water, 1 Mind Chance of stealing your enemies Prayer Points.
14 Jade 1 Cosmic, 2 Earth Chance of throwing your opponent to the ground.
24 Pearl 1 Cosmic, 2 Water Chance of hitting your enemy with a wave of water (extra effective against fire-based equipment).
27 Emerald 1 Cosmic, 3 Air, 1 Nature Chance of poisoning your enemy.
29 Red Topaz 1 Cosmic, 2 Fire Chance of decreasing your enemies Magic level.
49 Ruby 1 Cosmic, 5 Fire, 1 Blood Chance of losing 10% of your hits to remove 20% of your enemy’s hits.
57 Diamond 1 Cosmic, 10 Earth, 2 Law Chance of decreasing your enemy’s Ranged Defense.
68 Dragonstone 1 Cosmic, 15 Earth, 1 Soul Chance of hitting your opponent with “DragonBreath” (Antifire Shield negates this).
87 Onyx 1 Cosmic, 20 Fire, 1 Death Chance of leeching your opponent’s hits.

Mithril Grapples

You’ve probably seen the “secret spy” movies in which a thief makes a cunning entrance with a grappling hook. Well, now you can use your own Mithril Grapple to scale walls and pass over certain Agility obstacles.

To accomplish this, simply Smith a Mithril Grapple and some mithril Bolts and attach them. Use a coil of Rope with the Grappling Hook, and with a Crossbow equipped, use the Grapple with the shortcut to scale it. Be sure to have a spare though, as these devices can sometimes break!


Throwing Weapons

Darts & Throwing Knives

Throwing Darts and Knives are Members-Only Ranging weapons that pack a punch and can be quickly thrown at your enemy. You can make Darts once you complete the Tourist Trap Quest by Smithing a Dart Tip, and then adding Feathers to them. Throwing Knives can be Smithed as well.

Darts & Knives
Picture Metal Ranging Level
Bronze 1
Iron 1
Steel 5
Black 10
Mithril 20
Adamantite 30
Rune 40

Throwing Axes & Javelins

Throwing Axes and Javelins can be bought from the Ranging Guild, and they are also quite strong weapons. They are held with one hand, much like Darts and Knives to allow the use of a shield. The requirements for using them are the same as the ones for Darts & Knives.

Javelins & Throwing Axes
Picture Item Ranging Attack Bonus
Bronze Javelin 5
Iron Javelin 8
Steel Javelin 12
Mithril Javelin 17
Adamantite Javelin 24
Rune Javelin 38
Bronze Throwing Axe 4
Iron Throwing Axe 5
Steel Throwing Axe 8
Mithril Throwing Axe 12
Adamantite Throwing Axe 17
Rune Throwing Axe 26


Dwarven Multi-Cannon

This extremely powerful Ranging Cannon can be bought for a nominal fee of 750,000gp, after you complete the Dwarf Cannon Quest. The cannon can hold up to 30 Cannonballs, Smithed from a Steel Bar (1 Bar makes 4 Cannonballs), and it is made up of a base, stand, furnace, and barrel. To use it, you must set up all four pieces on the floor, and load it with Cannonballs. After that, it will continue to rotate, hitting any nearby enemies.

Although the Dwarven Multicannon is a very cool weapon, there are a few things to note. First, you can’t use it against extremely tough enemies such as the Kalphite Queen, King Black Dragon, Abyssal Demon or any of the Metal Dragons, as they will destroy it. Second, using it for extended periods of time will cause your cannon to degrade (you’ll see a message alerting you of this). If this happens, simply pick it up and set it back down again.

However, if the cannon degrades completely, it will disappear and leave only Cannonballs behind. When that happens, you must head back to Nulodion and get a replacement cannon.


Ranging Armors

There are 2 main kinds of Ranging armor in RuneScape, which increase both your Defense and Ranged Attack. These armors are Crafted from either regular Leather or Dragon Leather, which gives protection against Magical attacks as well.


This is the most basic type of Ranging Armor, but it offers some protection against attacks. Some pieces of leather armor can be Studded with Steel Studs.

Leather Armor
Leather Armor Ranged Attack Bonus Ranged Defense Bonus
Cowl 1 3
Coif 2 4
Leather Body 2 9
Studded Leather Body 8 25
Hard Leather Body 8 15
Chaps 4 0
Studded Leather Chaps 6 16
Vambraces 4 0

Snakeskin Armor

This armor is slightly stronger than regular leather or studded armor, and it requires at least level 30 Ranging and Defense to wear. Check out the Tai Bwo Wannai Cleanup Mini-Game guide for info about making it.

Snakeskin Armor
Picture Snakeskin Armor Ranged Attack Bonus Ranged Defense Bonus
Bandana 4 2
Body 12 35
Chaps 6 10
Vambraces 6 0
Boots 3 0

Dragon Leather

Dragon Leather can only be made from Dragonhide, which is dropped by the different kinds of Dragons roaming around RuneScape. There is Green, Blue, Red and Black Dragon Leather, each of which requires at least 40 Defense and a specific Ranging level:

Green Leather - level 40 Ranged
Blue Leather - level 50 Ranged - Members-Only
Red Leather - level 60 Ranged - Members-Only
Black Leather - level 70 Ranged - Members-Only
Dragon Leather Armor
Picture Leather Armor Ranged Attack Bonus Ranged Defense Bonus
Green Body 15 40
Green Chaps 8 22
Green Vambraces 8 0
Blue Body 15 45
Blue Chaps 11 25
Blue Vambraces 9 0
Red Body 20 50
Red Chaps 14 28
Red Vambraces 10 0
Black Body 30 55
Black Chaps 17 31
Black Vambraces 11 0

Dagannoth Armor

Dagannoth Armor can only be acquired from materials gathered by killing Dagannoths on Waterbirth Island, and it cannot be bought in any shop. There are different types of Dagannoth Armor: Ranged, Magic and Melee. We’re after the Ranged Armor in this case.

Dagannoths will drop hides, which you can take back to Sigli the Hunter in Rellekka to have made into armor. You will need 6 Dagannoth hides, 1 Circular Hide, 1 Flattened Hide, 1 Stretched Hide, and 22,500gp to make a full set. to complete the set, you need to get the gloves and boots by killing Dagannoths.

The helm, body and chaps all require 40 Ranged and Defense, while the boots and gloves have no requirements.

Dagannoth Ranged Armor
Picture Spined Armor Ranged Attack Bonus Ranged Defense Bonus
Helm 6 6
Body 15 20
Chaps 8 8
Gloves 0 0
Boots 0 0

Other Equipment

Aside from Leather and Dragonhide Ranging armor, there are also special kinds of equipment that you can get.

Robin Hood Hat & Ranger Boots are only obtained through Treasure Trails, although they can also be traded.
Karil the Tainted’s set, including the armor and crossbow are obtained from the Barrows. It requires 70 Ranging and Defense to use.

Other Ranging Equipment
Picture Item Ranged Attack Bonus Ranged Defense Bonus Obtained From
Ranger Boots 8 0 Treasure Trails
Robin Hood Hat 8 4 Treasure Trails
Ranger Helm 6 6 Rellekka Helm Shop
Karil’s Coif 3 10 Barrows
Karil’s Leather Top 30 57 Barrows
Karil’s Leather Bottom 17 33 Barrows
Archer Ring 4 4 Dagannoth King Loot
Obsidian Ring 69 0 TzHarr Equipment Shop