This is an article which provides safe, effective and economical training in the melee combat skills including Attack, Strength and Defence. Follow the recommended progression if you are unfunded from other skills or explore other options if you have the food and equipment to do so.
This guide will rely on the Grand Exchange for lobster at later levels as well as a brass key for Hill Giants, free-to-play Ironmen can locate the key on their own in the Edgeville Dungeon and fish and cook lobsters at Musa Point and bank them at the deposit box by the Entrana monks on Port Sarim.
Players should use the best equipment they can afford, and use weapons according to their style. For example, if a monster is weak against slash attacks, it would be wise to use a slash weapon.
This guide can be used to obtain rune equipment around levels 45-50, it is not recommended to invest in full sets of armour prior to this purchase. Pieces such as adamant chainbody are effective for training at Hill Giants and are therefore reasonable prior to rune. Always invest in the best weapons you can afford at the time. If you do not know what to purchase, a longsword or scimitar are universally considered to be safe options. The former being an ideal stab weapon and the latter being an ideal slash weapon.
Where do you train?Edit
The "best monster" to train on is a bit ambiguous. Players will find that there are many options for any given combat level. What you will need to consider is the food, weapons and armour available to as well as the relative speed and loot of the monster which you want to train on. Chickens and Cows can be used to collect hides and feathers to augment later training or other skills, while spiders dropping nothing are much faster to simply spawn kill. Neither is better in general, it just depends on your needs.
For players without funding for food or equipment a recommended route of monsters up until melee levels of 50 have been indicated using asterisks, more information is available in the sections below. This route allows you to work up to a decent melee level and make money doing so.
Chickens (Level 1) for levels 1-10*
Collect feathers as you train to level 10, we will use them to cheapen training later on. Excess feathers can later be sold. Also train cooking to as high as it will go while you are there by using the cooking pot inside the farmers house.
Giant Rats (Level 6) for levels 10-19*
Barbarians (Level 10) for levels 20-29*
Get a fly fishing rod from Port Sarim and fly fish in the river running by Barbarian Village to supply your own food for training. Dedicate some time between training to run inventories of cooked fish from the fishing spots to Edgeville bank to prepare for Hill Giants.
Hill Giants (Level 28) for levels 30-50*
Use the Grand Exchange or West Varrock Bank to bring 12-15 salmon/trout per run. Fill your inventory with Law runes, limpwurt roots, big bones and any other drops that are more or equal to big bones in value for maximal gp/run. Return to Barbarians if you are somehow losing money and fish more.
Rats and Spiders (Level 1) for levels 1-10Edit
The easiest place to find rats is just inside the walls of Lumbridge Castle, on the southern side. They are also found, along with spiders, in the cellar of the castle kitchen. There are lots of spiders around the back of the castle.
Head on over to the Man-Hole in Varrock, just east of the Castle Courtyard. Descend into the Man-Hole and take an immediate east-ward turn, players will see a small body of water. Next to this water a player will find level Rats and Spiders.
Pros: They have practically 0 Defence, and at level 5 Strength players can one-shot nearly every time. Each rat gives around 11-12 experience. Not to mention, they pretty much cannot hit through armour, which means no food cost at all. Another bonus is that these rats have an instant respawn timer. Meaning a player can just click the same spot on the floor over and over as they respawn. A player could potentially do this all the way to level 35, until other options where one can hit higher more often become available.
Cons: No loot, and very frequent clicking required.
- Bring a crushing weapon
Goblins (Level 2) for levels 1-10Edit
Cross the bridge in front of Lumbridge Castle and you should see an abundance of Goblins.These Goblins are level 2 and should pose no threat to a new player wishing to train from level 1 skills, although it is recommended to bring some armour as they can hit.
Pros: They are fairly weak at: level 2, and therefore can be easily slain for 20-24 experience. Generally no food is involved so you don't need the cost, they also occasionally drop Cabbages.There are a lot of Goblins in this area so you won't usually have trouble training here efficiently, plus it is generally close to the bank of Lumbridge so you can have a relatively good access to your stored items.
Cons: Having said about the abundance of Goblins it has become a very common place for new players to first train their stats so if you're on a heavily populated world don't be surprised to find 10 or more players in that area.They have a tendency to hit 1's on players with little defence and no armour.
- Bring some form of armour
Cows (Level 2) for levels 1-10Edit
Cross the bridge in front of Lumbridge Castle, turn left and head north past the Goblins until you get to the cow field.
Pros: They are weak and they also drop cowhides, which you can pick up and sell on the grand exchange.
Cons: The cow field is usually quite full with players.
Chickens (Level 1) for levels 1-10*Edit
Farm across from cow field, north-east of Lumbridge. Not to be confused with the field described above.
Pros: They are very weak and drop feathers and raw chickens. Collect the stackable feathers for later fly fishing or selling at the grand exchange. Cook the raw chicken at the cooking pot inside the house to raise cooking level to cook trout and salmon that will later be used in Barbarian Village.
Monks (Level 5) for levels 1-19Edit
Pros: Respawn time for the monks is short. The monks heal themselves which lets you hit them more, ie: you gain even more xp. They also deal minimal damage to the player. Plus, if you somehow get low on health, speak to Abbot Langley or any of the monks and ask them to heal you.
Cons: Normally crowded
Giant Rats (Level 6) for levels 10-19*Edit
Walk out of Lumbridge Castle and turn right. Walk through the graveyard and keep walking south until you see Giant Rats on your right hand side, in Lumbridge Swamp. Bring a fishing net and raise your fishing and cooking levels to 20 and 15 respectively. This will allow you to catch your fish and cook them in Barbarian Village.
Pros: There's usually plenty of rats to fight here as they are spread out across the whole swamp. They drop raw rat meat which can be cooked and eaten or the nearby net fishing spots can be used near the fishing instructor. There is an extra net that spawns near him should you need one.
Al Kharid Warriors (Level 9) for levels 20-39Edit
To find these, make your way to Al Kharid palace, in the rooms on the east and west you should find them.
Many guides recommend fighting these enemies at a much earlier level in the game. However, they also expect you to bring inventory after inventory of food. If you are keeping your stats balanced, you should have no problem taking these guards down at level 20 combat stats.
Pros: Players will find that these guards attack automatically, once attacked. This means less clicking. Also, their armour is fairly weak, and the guard's health is just enough to yield better hit ranges than rats.
Cons: This is a multi-combat area, meaning more than one guard can attack the player at once. However at 20+ Defence, you should have no worry. Also, since multiple people can attack guards, you can BARELY get a chance to attack one and gain XP.
- Bring a slashing or stabbing weapon.
- Wear a platebody.
- Buy kebabs from Karim for 1gp each if needed.
Barbarians (Level 10) for levels 20-29*Edit
Barbarians are found in Barbarian Village, which can be reached by walking west out of Varrock, following the path past Juliet's house, and crossing the bridge. As you enter the village from the east, the barbarians you will see here are level 10, but the ones in the hall in the north of the village are level 17. Training costs can be lowered at earlier levels by using the nearby fly fishing location to cook and catch trout/salmon, at earlier levels food will be needed for sustained training.
2 Cooked meat also spawns at a consistent rate in the north hall.
Pros: They have poor defence and 25 hit points meaning 100 melee exp and approximately 33 hitpoint exp per barbarian. This value is higher than even guards, this allows you to stay for higher levels if you feel like doing so.
- A fly fishing rod and feathers (which can be collected from chickens near Lumbridge)
- Tinderbox and axe for making a fire, alternatively the fire in the barbarian hall could be used
Hill Giants (Level 28) for levels 30-50*Edit
These dungeons may be accessed through the entrance located in the house north-east of Barbarian Village and west of the Cooking Guild if the player has a Brass Key. The key can be bought from the Grand Exchange or attained within the dungeon from the Edgeville access.
Pros: Killing a Hill Giant grants 140 experience in melee and 46.6 hitpoints experience. Low defence for their level. Exceptional drops for low level players, every hill giant drops big bones which go for about 300 gp on the Grand Exchange. Limpwurt root is another relatively frequent drop with a value of about 300 gp too on the Grand Exchange. A full inventory of big bones will take no time to run to the GE netting 8.4k assuming a sale price of 300gp, all the while training your melee. These monsters can be used to pay for rune equipment.
Cons: Very crowded and they can hit quite hard at lower levels. They are aggressive to players under level 57, identify where one Hill Giant spawns and remain as close as possible to the spot, this will aggro the Hill Giant and you can auto-retaliate with a fast slashing weapon (scimitar) to prevent other players from taking it. Avoid proximity to ranging or safe spotting locations.
- Bring a fast slashing weapon, a scimitar is ideal
- Bring fish that you have stocked from barbarian village (~12 at level 30), or purchase food from the Grand Exchange
- Wear a chainbody to reduce damage from crushing attacks
Guards (Level 21) for levels 40+Edit
Guards can be found at the entrances of Falador, at the small Edgeville prison, at the entrances in Varrock, as well as in the Varrock Palace. The Varrock Palace being the most recommended location due to proximity to banking at the Grand Exchange and the number of guard spawns.
Pros: The guards rarely hit through 40+ Defence and proper armour and therefore can be killed without food. Drops that are worth picking up are mainly Coins and Runes which drop frequently and are stackable, you will rarely need to bank. Mostly to pick up more food if you come without appropriate defence levels or are training a pure. This method has been known to be very fast among the 40+ methods for obtaining melee XP.
Cons: Guards are often crowded and if one has to wait for them to respawn their experience rate can decrease strongly. Guards only have 21 hitpoints, granting only 84 melee XP per kill, this is less than the level 10 barbarians.
- Bring any food that is available to you, amount will depend on how much it heals. About 30-40 hit points will allow you to easily bank anything you may be banking. Fill your inventory out if you plan on power training and disregarding any loot.
Moss Giants (Level 42) for levels 40+Edit
These enemies are located in the deepest bowels of Varrock Sewers, Crandor Isle, and the deep Wilderness. You will need a slash weapon to access them in the Varrock Sewers, use the man hole just east of Varrock palace.
Pros: These Moss Giants have it all. Weak defence, weak attacks, good loot, and a substantial amount of health yielding high combat experience.The drops may not be as insane as Ankou loot, but they drop useful items, such as law runes, nature runes, big bones, 124 coin, Iron and Steel arrows, large amounts of elemental runes such as 12 - 18 air runes, and 22 earth runes. These are an all-around great monster to fight. Not as fast exp-wise as Guards, not as loot-rewarding nor slow as Ankou.
Cons: While weak, they still hit fairly regular. Players will need about 8 lobsters or 12 tuna before the loot begins to over-fill their inventory, this will force people to bank their loot. These Moss Giants are quite popular, and each location only holds about 3 - 8 of them, meaning fighting training on these will be competitive. They're a hostile monster, in a multi-combat area, meaning a player can have a number of these bludgeons attacking them at one time.
- About a half-inventory of food and teleport runes.
- For equipment, wear chain armour to reduce the crush damage of the Moss Giant.
- Giants are weak to slash, so prepare according (you will also need slash to access them in the Varrock Sewers)
Ankou (Level 60-86) for levels 50+Edit
A player can find Ankou within the 4th "Death" level of the Security Stronghold. Quite a few rooms have them. Training costs can be offset by fly fishing and cooking in Barbarian Village, however lobsters are recommended for inventory efficiency, your level will dictate how much food is needed a trip. It is a common argument that Ankou's attacks are magical-melee. However, the official wiki dictates that these are purely melee attacks.
Pros: This is (arguably) the highest loot-effective method of melee training in-game on free-to-play. Ankous drop many stackable items, meaning less trips to the bank for the sake of loot. Players have many items to look for when looting, such as Adamant Arrows, Mithril Ore, and so on. Their defences are particularly weak.
Cons: While their defence is low, they can pack a mean punch, with a maximum hit of eight! Players will need food for this, however the loot gain from these undead foes counters the food cost with immense value.
- Food, plenty of it (about ten lobsters per trip, depending how long a player wants to let the loot stack up)
- This enemy is weak to earth spells, so bring an appropriate weapon