- For the various bonuses offered according to which attack method is selected, see Attack style.
The attack types are the different ways in which a player or NPC may attack another player, another NPC, or a piece of interactive scenery that can be attacked. The five types are stab, slash, crush, magic, and ranged. Equipment gives players attack bonuses towards and defence bonuses against each of the attack styles.
The following are detailed descriptions of the attack bonuses:
- Stab: Stab is used primarily by daggers, swords, spears, pickaxes and rapiers. It is used as a secondary attack by longswords, maces, halberds, and scimitars. Stab is most effective against enemies wearing chainbody armour, leather armour, or with heavy skin such as dragons, but it isn't as effective when used against opponents with tough armour, like platebodies.
- Slash: Weapons that use slash as a primary attack type are longswords, scimitars, two-handed swords, battleaxes, axes, abyssal whip and halberds. Swords, spears and daggers also use slash as a secondary attack type. Slash is best used against opponents wearing clothing or leather-based armour, or opponents with no armour at all. However, it is less effective in battles where opponent is wearing tough, usually metal armour, or has scaly skin, e.g. dragons.
- Crush: Crush is the primary attack type when wielding maces, warhammers, and maul-class weapons, and is used secondarily by two-handed swords, spears and battleaxes. It is also the only attack type that can be used when fighting unarmed. Crush works best against platebodies. Most small monsters, such as spiders, or hard-shelled monsters, are typically also more vulnerable to crush attacks. Crush attacks are less effective if the enemy has flexible skin/armour or is large, e.g., giants.
- Magic: The Magic attack type can only be used when casting offensive spells, and it is the only type that can be selected while doing so. The maximum hit of any magic spell is determined by the spell itself (only the Staff of the dead can now increase the maximum hit of magic attacks), and the accuracy of the spell in PvP is determined by the caster's magic attack bonus, 70% of the opponent's Magic level, and 30% of the opponent's Defence level. Accuracy in PvN is determined by player's magic attack bonus and NPC's magic level, and NPC's magic defence bonus. Magic is very effective against metal armour, but is rarely used against opponents that deflect magic fairly easily, like dragonhide armour or dragons themselves.
- Ranged: The Ranged attack type hurls projectiles (typically Arrows or Bolts) at an opponent from a distance. It requires a ranged weapon, which may be different (typically a Bow or Crossbow) from the projectile, although some projectiles (such as Knives or Darts) do not need a separate weapon and are wielded directly. If the weapon and the projectile are separate, the projectile is called "ammunition." Ranged attacks are best used against foes that use magical attacks or are large, but are considerably less effective against enemies wearing metal armour.
The formula for probability of landing an attack is currently unknown. The following formula gives only an estimate of the actual probability of hitting, with results above 1 rounded down. The constant A is unknown, but is most likely below 1.