While fighting, both the opponent and the player will have a bar on top of them. This bar represents their HP.
There are two colours on the bar: green and red. The green part of the bar represents how much HP the player and opponent has left. The red part of the bar represents how much damage has been taken away from their HP. So if a player is low on Hitpoints, then the bar on top of them would be mostly red, meaning they are near death. Players often refer to "being redbarred" when barely escaping or only just getting a kill.
A player can heal to restore their hitpoints back to its maximum. There are a number of ways to do this.
- Let it recharge on its own. A player will recover one hitpoint about every minute. However, this is very slow as a means of recovering hitpoints.
- Eat food. Players can eat various foods to restore their hitpoints. The best foods that heal a lot are the ones that can be cooked by a player. This is the recommended way a player heal themselves.
- The monks at the Monastery will heal players if they ask them. They heal 8 Hitpoints each time.
- The nurses at the infirmary north of Al-Kharid Duel Arena will heal players if asked.
- The prayer 'rapid heal' increases health recovery by 1 per minute, as does the bracelet of regeneration. This is much slower than food, however.
- Die. When a player dies, they respawn at full health and stats. This is recommended if the player has banked all items and wants to go to an area near their respawn point. It is also possible for one to die in safe minigames such as the Al-Kharid Duel Arena or Pest Control, regaining all stats without the risk of losing any items.
- Guthan the Infested's equipment has a chance of healing the wielder an amount of Hitpoints equal to the damage dealt.
- Use Blood spells which heals the caster 25% of the damage dealt.
- Use Toxic blowpipe's special attack which increases its damage by 50% and heals its wielder by 50% of the damage dealt.
- Use Saradomin godsword special attack Healing Blade which heals 50% of the damage dealt, and 25% of the damage dealt is restored to the player's Prayer. There is a minimum restoration of 10 hitpoints and 5 Prayer points, even with a hit of 1.
When a player's HP reaches 0, then they typically will die and respawn in one of four locations. The default location is Lumbridge. Players can change their respawn location to Falador, Camelot, or Edgeville by completing certain quests or paying a specific NPC. However a player will only keep up to 3 of their highest valued items based on the number of coins they would return via High Level Alchemy, rather than by player prices. One more item can be saved if a player dies with the Protect Item prayer activated. All other items will be dropped onto the ground, becoming visible to other players instantly and will disappear completely after only two minutes.
However, if a player attacks another player in the Wilderness that hasn't engaged in combat with them, or has used the Abyss for runecrafting, they are given a skull that appears over their head. If a player dies of any circumstances while being "skulled" they lose ALL of their items carried at the time. However, the Protect Item Prayer can still be used to keep a single item when skulled. The skull will disappear if a player who has a skull does NOT attack a player again in the Wilderness, or does not enter the Abyss within twenty minutes of receiving the skull.
A ring of life can also teleport the player safely back to their respawn point automatically upon reaching 10% or below their max HP. However, if the player is hit with a killing blow they will not teleport away. Also if they are beyond level 30 in the wilderness, they will not teleport away.
There are a few areas where if a player dies, they will not lose any of their items:
- Pest Control
- Castle Wars
- Nightmare Zone
- Inside of a player owned house
- Dueling with another player inside the Duel Arena
- TzHaar Fight Cave / TzHaar Fight Pit
- Clan Wars
When a player dies, they will respawn, meaning they will live again. The default spawn location is located in Lumbridge. However, after the completion of the Recruitment Drive quest, members have the option of respawning in Falador as well by talking to Sir Tiffy in Falador Park.
To earn xp in hitpoints, a player has to fight or complete quests which reward hitpoints xp.
When fighting, whether it be by melee, ranging, or magic, a player will earn hitpoints xp whenever damage is dealt. For every damage point dealt, 1.33 experience is given to the player's hitpoints. However, a few monsters have greatly reduced experience due to their ability to regenerate. (An exception to this being monkey guards from Ape Atoll)
- Saradomin brew - Made using the herblore skill. Drinking this brew raises defence by 20% + 2 and hitpoints by 15% + 2, even above maximum if a player's HP is 99, though all other combat skills decrease by 10%.
- Altar of Elidinis - This altar in Nardah will heal you and raise your total hitpoints, and will also refill your prayer. Players need to have completed Spirits of the Elid.
- Hitpoints cape - Owners of a hitpoints cape can boost their hitpoints by 1 every minute, by operating the cape or re-equipping it. The cape is one of the Capes of Achievement, and can be bought and equipped by players with 99 hitpoints only.
- Guthan's armour set with amulet of the damned - When using the Guthan's armour set and the amulet of the damned, you gain the ability to boost your health by 10 over its maximum.
- When RuneScape 2 (as it was then known) was released, the experience required for level 10 in any skill was slightly raised. This meant that characters with no extra Hitpoints experience in RuneScape Classic were brought to RuneScape 2 with only 9 hitpoints. The minimum combat level is still 3 for those players. However, since all accounts start fresh, no players in Old School Runescape have 9 hitpoints.
- Unohdettu2 was the first player in Old School RuneScape to get 200 million experience in Hitpoints.