Player Killing (commonly known as PKing, player vs. player, or PvP), is the act of two or more players engaging in combat until the opposition is slain. Player killing differs from other forms of combat in that players do not fight against monsters whose actions are defined by RuneScape's game engine. There are various places throughout Old School RuneScape that players can participate in PvP activities such as:
- The Wilderness (including the Bounty World)
- Duel Arena
- Castle Wars
- Clan Wars (Purple Portal and FFA Portal)
- Last Man Standing
Currently, players can also participate in player killing in dedicated "PvP worlds," where players can attack other players in most places around Gielinor, with the exception of designated safe areas and banks. There is only one dedicated PvP world that does not change with the PvP world rota, this is World 392. Other worlds can be found on the server list.
PvP is a popular activity throughout Old School RuneScape. Some accounts are even designed solely for PvP, which are colloquially referred to "pures", who limit or entirely avoid training one or more combat skills, especially Defence, so their offensive stats will be a lot higher than their combat level suggests. Because of their history of success in the Wilderness, and the overall greater amount of experience pures must gain in their individual skills of choice, pures are regarded as more effective at player killing than regularly trained accounts of the same level.
When you attack another player unprovoked, you will receive a skull above your character's head. This means that if you were to die, you will lose all items with the exception of one item if the Protect Item prayer is active upon death. If, however, you are attacked first from a player, you will not receive a skull if you retaliate.
There is also a Wilderness level counter on the bottom right of your screen upon entering the Wilderness.
Level 1 Wilderness, shown upon crossing the Wilderness ditch.
The Wilderness level, which is located in the bottom-right corner (if on fixed screen mode) or on the right side (if on resizable mode) of the player's screen, indicates how many levels above or below the player's Combat level his or her enemies may be. Anyone out of his or her level range cannot be attacked. For example, a level 30 player in level 4 Wilderness can either attack or be attacked by players level 26-34 (thus, 30 +/- 4 levels), and any player level 25 and below or level 35 and above cannot attack or be attacked.
As of 30 October 2015, a new PvP game mode has been released. In this game mode, one can be attacked by players of any level, almost everywhere in the world, with exception of certain safe areas. Upon death they lose half of their total XP and the 10 most valuable stacks of items from their bank.
Originally, after the release of RuneScape Classic, players could select whether or not to play as player killer characters. Players could switch from player-killer mode to non-player-killer mode (in which the character could not attack or be attacked by other players) three times, after which they remained at their chosen setting "forever".
PvP combat could take place at most locations in the RuneScape world. The rules of combat were the same as in modern RuneScape Classic Wilderness. Lumbridge was designated as a neutral area in which players could not attack each other; this was done to prevent a practice called "spawn camping", in which recently killed players were immediately killed again as soon as they respawned. However, it was possible for a character to be attacked in the upper levels of Lumbridge Castle. In addition to this restriction, NPC Guards and White Knights patrolled the cities of Varrock and Falador, breaking up PvP battles by attacking the aggressor. These guard units were limited in number, however, and if all the units in a city were already in combat, PvP combat could go on freely.
At this time, the Bank of Runescape was limited to Varrock and Falador and could only store coins. As a result, players would have to carry their valuables with them, making PvP combat much riskier.
The player-killer/non-player-killer modes were, however, removed from the game on 13 August 2001 when the Wilderness was added. Later, additional areas where PvP combat was allowed were added.
The Wilderness is a large area of land in which any player who enters it is able to attack other players. It is a dangerous place as players can die and lose their stuff except for three items or four if the player had Protect Item on before dying. If the player happened to be skulled from attacking another player and said player dies, he or she will lose all of his or her items, and only one item is kept upon death if Protect Item was activated.
Popular player-killing spots
The following locations are hotspots for player killers. WARNING: Approach these areas with extreme caution, especially on PvP servers!
- Edgeville - Directly above the Edgeville bank, normally most populated from levels 1-6. This zone is single-way combat.
- Varrock - Directly north of Varrock East Bank, normally most populated from levels 1-10. This zone is almost entirely a multi-combat area.
- Hill giants - Directly north-northeast of Varrock Wilderness, approximately levels 18-21. Mostly multi-combat area. Popular for clan fights or teams to sit and ambush people who have ventured out too far into the Wilderness.
- Green dragons - players come here to kill other players/bots that are killing green dragons.
- Dark Warriors' Fortress - Located north-northwest of Edgeville Wilderness, this is a mostly multi-combat area (although just beside the bridge exit, it becomes 1v1 only). Often a good place for ambush attacks on people who are in the castle collecting large amounts of the runes that spawn there.
- Revenant Caves - Players mainly kill revenants as they are a good money making method with little risk and requirements. Player killers lurk around the revenant area to kill any unfortunate player they find.
- Wilderness God Wars Dungeon - Located within a cave east of the Forgotten Cemetery in the level 28 Wilderness, the whole area is multi-combat. A popular place for clans to lurk and ambush players killing aviansies or collecting ecumenical keys.
- Wilderness bosses - Players kill the Wilderness bosses as they provide a lot of money with minimal risk and requirements. Player killers lurk around their domains to kill any unfortunate hunter they find.
- Black chinchompas - Located in level 32 Wilderness, it is a single-combat area used to kill unfortunate black chinchompa hunters.
- Lava Dragon Isle - Located in level 36-42 Wilderness, it is a multi-combat zone and a popular spot to hunt down and ambush players killing the lava dragons, which is good money.
- Resource Area - East of the Deserted Keep in circa level 52-54 Wilderness. This is single combat that serves as a hotbed for preying on players collecting resources here.
- Rogues' Castle - Located in level 52-56 Wilderness. A very popular spot for player killers since the area is multi-combat, and they can prey on players looting the chests.
- Fountain of Rune - Located in level 47 Wilderness, this has become a hotbed for player killers since the area is multi-combat, and they can kill players who are charging glories.
- 46 Wilderness Mine - Above the Lava Maze in level 46 Wilderness houses two rune rocks that are popular to high-level miners. Player killers often make their rounds here, and while the area itself is single combat, the surrounding area to the east and west is multi-way.
Player-killing gear and setup
Below are some common gear and inventory setups player killers use. Tier-40 or best-in-slot gear are recommended.
|Special weapon and/or switch equipment|
|(Super) Combat potion/set and/or Ranging potion|
|A few Saradomin brews and Super restores|
|A couple of Prayer potions|
|Runes for spell-casting (e.g. Ice Barrage, Vengeance, Tele Block)|
|Rest lobsters or better food|