This article is about the Defence skill. For information on training Defence, see Defence training.

Defence icon

Also known as Def
Release date 4 January 2001 (Update)
Members only? No
Players with
as of 11 July 2018 - update
Players with
200M XP
as of 11 July 2018 - update

Defence (spelled "Defense" in RuneScape Classic; oftentimes abbreviated as Def) is one of the primary combat skills that grants players protection in all forms of combat. Defence is one of the skills that will raise the combat level of a player regardless of other skill levels. For this reason, many pures leave their defence at a certain level and stop training it. They range from 1 Defence pures, to Initiate pures (level 20-25), rune pures (level 40/42), Berserker pures (level 45), and Barrows pures (level 70). All of the above may be considered as a type of 'pure'. Some players may choose to only train Defence, and are known as just 'Defence pures'.

The higher the Defence level, the less likely it is to land successful attacks against the target. As such, it is a vital skill in high-level PvM and PvP situations. Defence does not decrease the amount of damage that an opponent can deal against you.

Magical defence is different - it is based on 70% of the player's Magic level, while the remaining 30% is the player's Defence level, which is then followed by the player's magical defence bonus from their armour.

A player's Defence level also determines which equipment they are able to wear, as most pieces of armour or other equipment have a Defence level requirement.

Audio options icon
Defence level-up (link)
The music that plays when levelled up.


Almost every single piece of combat equipment (except for the ones that go on the weapon, cape, ring, and amulet slots) requires a certain Defence level to wear. Here are links to tables of armour and equipment that require a Defence level to wear:

  • Armour - For an overview on the different types of Armour.
  • Melee armour - An overview of the different types of Melee armour.
  • Magic armour - An overview of the different types of Magic armour.
  • Ranged armour - An overview of the different types of Ranged armour.
  • Prayer armour - An overview of the different types of Prayer armour.
  • Defenders - A weapon that goes on the shield slot and provides offensive bonuses while also having an Attack and Defence levels requirement. The rune defender provides the same strength bonus as an obsidian shield, while only requiring 40 defence as opposed to 60.


There are several quests that provide Defence experience as a reward, as well as other quests that provide optional experience.