OSRS to RS3 Ironman Guide

OSRS to RS3 Ironman Guide

Greetings! Welcome to my guide! This guide is aimed at longtime Old School players who are very familiar with Runescape but looking at Runescape 3. Whether you’ve progressed through endgame content and are looking for more, want to attempt new and exciting pvm, or just want to start over and experience Runescape for the first time once again. I also hope this guide will be helpful for RS3 mains looking at ironman mode. 

Got feedback, comments or suggestions? You can contact me on Twitter.

Canonical link to this guide – https://docs.google.com/document/d/1HVeDS0FC4xRXPXE6iPlBtvxQqdxtKEuv9eMK-1XkfpI/edit

Account Progression

These strategies will describe ironman progression in general terms. You can of course play an mmo however you want, and I’ll further add that I don’t always follow my own advice. Play how you enjoy.

Early game iron

Just as in Old School the most efficient starting point is to do a bunch of quests where the xp rewards carry you through the early levels. The wiki has a quest progression guide though it’s not iron specific so there may be slight variations where you can’t just buy quest items from the GE. 

While questing, you’ll want to complete key activities which provide vastly superior xp compared to regular training methods but are time limited. Old school equivalents are birdhouse runs, tears of guthix, daily sand, farming contracts, etc. Gotta get those sweet, sweet engagement metrics. 

List of key dailies at early level in order of importance

  • Daily challenge – extend the slow skills, you can stack up to 5 challenges at once. Extremely high xp/hour. 

  • Vis wax – once you get some gp from quest caravan to afford runes. Use to reroll and extend challenges or extend auras. I would not use vis to reset Jack of Trades. 

  • Reaper task – unlock Reapers Choice first, definitely turn on group bosses, I’d also recommend turning off extended tasks. Double the kc for 20% extra points and no extra slayer xp isn’t worth it imo. Later on you can toggle it back on. 

  • Ports – after 90 thieving (use Kags ports guide). Timegated content for BIS pocket items. Try to do ports at least once a day. 

  • Cache – you want 80 for invention and 95 for charge upkeep and conventional training is excruciatingly slow

  • Jack of trades – if you the have loyalty points. Aura list and loyalty point discussion in the Q&A below. 

  • Nemi forest – piles of xp, specifically prayer and farming. There is a discord bot, fc and subreddit for locations. 

  • Scarabs – slayer xp and gp

  • Traveling merchant – only once you have a good source of income and say ~10m cash reserves. 

Weeklies

  • Penguins

  • Herby werby

  • Tears of guthix

  • Circus

Monthlies – all

Mid level iron

Once you’ve completed lots of quests and unlocked lots of content in the game, it’s time to really progress your account. 

These are some mid level account milestones to aim for. Think of these as the equivalent to barrows gloves on an Old School account. You’ve completed lots of quests, trained a lot of skills and are familiar with the game but haven’t done massive grinds or endgame content. 

  • Ports unlocked (90 thieving easiest)

  • Invention unlocked

  • Priff unlocked

  • Weapons – t75 vanquish, t78 sunspear, t80 chaotic, t85 elder rune swords, t85 gwd2 weapon(s), t87 wildly slayer bow/staff, t88 revenant weapon.

A bit on weapon tiers – you don’t need to get every single one of those weapons, those are just the easiest to obtain on an iron.

Here are my personal recommendations for the different ways you can progress

PvM focused – Vanquish -> chaotic staff -> t87 wildy bow -> rax (use whichever t90 you get first to finish the set)

PvM focused (Non-wildy) – Vanquish -> chaotic staff -> dragon rider lance -> rax

Extreme skiller/HCIM – invention -> 115 archaeology -> masterwork spear/inquisitor’s staff

Melee only – Dragon halberd -> crystal halberd -> elder rune & masterwork armor -> drygores/lance -> scythe

Ranged only – Vanquish -> t87 wildy bow -> 99 slayer & camp capsarius for ascensions & sirenic

Magic only – Vanquish -> t87 wildy staff -> Rago (extreme runecrafting for tectonic) -> Helwyr/Rax/Telos

Late game iron

At this point you’re working on the key upgrades that make your account powerful enough to efficiently do endgame bosses like raids, rax, vorago, nex, etc. 

  • 95 prayer for the soul split and the damage boosting prayers

  • Overloads for the massive boost in accuracy, damage and defense

  • Ancient invention – invention is (very roughly) a 15-20% damage boost and 30% tanking boost

  • 96 summoning for ripper demon/pack yak

  • First t90+ weapon. Typical a noxious weapon from rax though dedicated skillers may choose to grind out the hundreds of hours for the archaeology weapons. For an Old School analogy, Rax and Zulrah are both great bosses for irons which drop valuable supplies and whose drops open up high level pvm content.

  • Amulet of souls/reaper necklace/essence of finality (zenyte equivalent)

End game iron

You have the key pvm upgrades listed above and at least a t90 in each style and now it’s time for the advanced stuff. 

In Old School, you’d have a whip/blowpipe/trident and be looking at content like gwd/cox/tob/nightmare etc for those niche upgrades. 

  • Fill out missing t90 weapons

  • Fill out/upgrade flanking switches

  • Upgrade to t92s, especially the meta changing weapons like zgs and ecb

  • Upgrade to t95s

  • t99 praesul prayers

  • Melee ability codexes – most importantly greater barge

  • Greater ricochet to unlock the ranged combat style

  • Greater concentrated blast

  • Essence of finalities (you’ll want several, hope you enjoy clues)

  • Upgrade perks to biting 4+X and aftershock combos.

  • t92 armor

  • Limitless sigil

  • Cinderbanes

  • Blast diffusion boots

  • Fleeting boots

  • Nightmare gauntlets

  • Dagannoth / dino rings

  • Statius warhammer

  • Soul/reaper ornament kits


Skilling Advice

The list below for all of the skills describes iron-specific metas. Consider this list an augmentation to the wiki’s training guides rather than a replacement. 

Agility

Wildy course is decent with demonic skull, +5 boost with god banner or +6 boost with stamina potions for the full Anachronia course. Run energy isn’t nearly the problem as it is in Old School. My #2 skill for using free xp after herblore. 

Archaeology

Balance xp from excavating/repairing at your highest spot with completing logs for chronotes. Incandescent/dragonstone porters are worth making. Get dragon/crystal/imcando/earth and song mattocks asap, doubly so if you have invention unlocked. Up until ~100 it’s worth doing material caches to fill out missing materials needed to restore your current highest artifacts. After level 100, excavation xp really starts to pick up. At 107 you can camp the inquisitor staff spot and at 115 you can camp for the spear tip. 

Construction

Early game cut logs outside rimmington portal and use the sawmill/poh there. Put kingdom on mahogany logs; you won't need the herbs. Construction contracts (mahogany homes but much better) start at lvl 40. Do homes if you don’t have logs stacked up from kingdom. The PoH is useless compared to old school's PoH, almost all that content is elsewhere. Invention plank maker saves GP on logs.

Cooking

Cook what you fish up until menaphos. Menaphos fish until you can cook raw shark/rocktail from pvm; you'll have thousands. Alternatively you could churn cream cheese for resourceless xp with 71 farming. Urns are worth after 81 crafting if you’re doing cheese.

Crafting

Uncommon gem rocks until 75 for prif or 80 for invention (get gem bag first). Higher mining is beneficial so if you’re rushing invention do smithing first. Harps after prif access if you want to rush hydrix (zentyes) for pvm. You'll get 99 eventually from d'hide/dstone/battlestaff drops from boss drops.

Divination

Guthixian caches to 99. If you hate caches, hall of memories from 70+. You want 90+ div to upkeep divine charges. Extreme divination potions can be used to gather higher tier energy. 

Dungeoneering

Ed3 gives good passive xp even if not spending tokens on xp, ed1 token farm for pure xp. Solo larges are decent 95-120 if you're willing to put in the effort. 

Farming

Quest and do beehives at early levels. Pof is your primary training source. Collector is critical for getting all the breeding pairs. Endgame is chins/spiders/dragons, salamanders/any rex.

Firemaking

Logs on a bonfire until 83, then curly roots with superheat form/Always Adze. Maple logs from kingdom, yew and magic logs from PvM. 

Fishing

Fish flingers at least until outfi. Menaphos fishing at 52 and use urns. Blue jellies at 91 are the only thing you need to fish for pvm. Optimal to wait for ancient invention for honed/furnace/fortune and 99 arch for Evil Dave’s Catspaw. 

Fletching

Broad arrows (can buy 9k arrowheads per day). Alternatively magic shieldbows to d/a for components for springs.

Herblore

Typically put lots of your early xp into herb to get overloads asap. Not nearly as bad as in OSRS, you'll have tens of thousands of herbs from pvm. An hour of vyres is 500 hundred prayer pots/super restores to give you an idea of how big the difference is. 

You’ll easily get to overloads from quest rewards and other free xp, for 120 focus on adrenaline potions, overloads and vuln bombs. Try and buy soul runes every day – 300/day is 100k herblore xp. For pure xp, charming potions while you have the charms and powerbursts of vitality if you have plenty of brews/rocktails (depends on your pvm habits). Spiritual prayers from the summoning potions purchased from Mazcab while skilling. 

Hunter

Contrary to some iron guides, early game big chin isn't that great compared to regular bird snaring. You can do skillchompas/chinchompas for the unchecked PoF animal. Get a red chin if the trapper hasn't given you one. 72 hunter get enhanced yaktwee for the master clue step. 75-99 do big game hunter for the unchecked animals, 2 dragon mattocks, and potentially maul pieces. You can boost the hunter evels for bgh and do the higher do dinos earlier. 

Charming months are an afk hunter/agility method in the wild – it’s not terrible to delay bgh until 90 hunter for the base camp upgrade. Both the agility and hunter reqs are boostable for this method. 

Invention

Augment and d/a black salamander or sunspear until 60. Combat >> skilling for training. Siphon weapon/armor at lvl 12 until lvl 120. Can D/A spare gear/weapons but don’t go out of your way to get items to disassemble. Early invention use a precise/equilibrium combo and scavenging 2. At 85 with ancient invention put p6/e4 on all your weapons and biting 3/enhanced devoted 4/impatient 4/cracking 4 on armor. (See PvME for upgrades and combos, this is the basics) 

Magic

Aoe in abyss to 60 and ed3 to 99 (aoe abilities, not legacy barrage)

Melee

Aoe w/halberd in ed3/abyss. Attack > strength in RS3.

Mining

Mine the ores needed for smithing, can do shooting stars to fly through the early levels. Your mining will typically be higher than smithing if you train crafting via gem rocks. Pickaxe of earth and song is good but not critical. 

Prayer

Nemi forest daily for lots of early levels. Dinosaur bones from big game hunter on chaos altar until 75, alternatively dragon bones from Vindicta or Airuit bones from beastmaster. Cleansing crystals until 99 (ed3 for gp to pay for them). Alternatively do vyres for herb supplies and prayer/firemaking/farming xp (92+ recommended). 

Ranged

Aoe w/red chin or mech chins in ed3/abyss

Runecrafting

Daily runesphere to 60s/70s. At 68 arch and 80 dung use Nexus Mod + Pouch Protector relic) for abyss runecrafting (even hardcores do this). Can switch to soul runecrafting for more afk once you have enough thread for 5 rune pouches. Extreme runecrafting pot lets you make tectonic early which is your main unlock.

Smithing

Highest burial armor sets you can smith. Buy adamant & rune armor from shops if you have the gp to spare. Skip orichalcite and drakolith other than the pickaxe/ore box unless you have stone spirits, it's 3x harder to mine than rune for no reason, just keep using rune. Raids/gwd2 are great for stone spirits and doable with t75. Banite and elder rune are very similar xp. I’d recommend streaking some low enrage Arch-Glacor to get crazy amounts of banite stone spirits. 

Slayer

Slayer is much much much much less important on RS3 compared to Old School. There are only a few endgame unlocks available through high slayer vs. regular pvm. Notably cinderbanes, the limitless sigil and gloves of passage. 

Reaper tasks are insane at low levels. Scarabs are the best way to train until ~80s. Scarabs are technically a daily as the xp scales down in 5 minutes, but they are worth camping even at the lowest xp rate over mid level slayer tasks. Do your skilling in Menaphos watching for scarabs on your world and waiting for calls from fc “soulobby” fc. 

Before you grind slayer mobs, Sumona for focus sight and hexcrest.

At 105, you can camp Sumona slayer for sigil and keys to the crossing doing every 10th task at Lanikea for points. Alternatively you can rush 120 and then use the cape for actual slayer. 


You can train conventionally using your highest slayer master, but pre-105 gemstone dragon/dragon tasks from Lanikea or shattered worlds with chins+dbow eof are 1m+ slayer xp/hour are wildly better than other methods, PvMe has guides. 

Summoning

Ed3 for charms. Charming imp is a great early buy with 100k dung tokens. Requires a fair bit of cash. Can do familiarization for 3x charms after you complete the outfit. Keep all your charms for charming potions, but crimsons and blues will make up the majority of your xp. They’re higher xp/hour and usually cheaper. 

Thieving

Safecracking to 90 asap for ports. Continue safecracking to 99 or thieve priff elves for supplies, clues and a bit of gp. 

Woodcutting

Early level woodcutting normal/oak logs for construction outside Rimmington. Do evil trees ("evil tree fc") or divine yews for meta efficient xp. Overgrown idols if you want to afk train. Optimal to wait for ancient invention unless doing divine yews.

Skilling tips

You will come across an absurdly large number of outfits, boosting items, consumables and passive effects compared to old school. These are generally worth unlocking if you want to be efficient but don’t ruin the game for yourself if you don’t enjoy the small unlocks. Optimal woodcutting for example needs prif for a crystal hatchet, temple trekking for lumberjack outfit, invention for the sentinel’s outfit and honed/furnace, crafting for woodcutting urns, sliske’s endgame for the ring of whispers, and summoning for the beaver familiar. 

As seen in the list of D&Ds, loads of xp is available without directly training the skills themselves. If you play 5+ hours a day and want to rush PvM then yes most of that will go into herblore. The less you play the more of that D&D xp can be spread through other skills. Here’s what I would spend it on

  • Agility – until 60 for wildy course or 77 for priff

  • Archaeology – until 70 where the xp rates starts picking up

  • Herblore – until 90 for extremes/overloads

  • Smithing – until 80 for invention, very slow to train conventionally


General Q&A

Why should I play ironman mode? 

I wrote this guide for ironman mode because that’s what I saw interest for from Old School players. It’s also the game mode I’m actually qualified to say anything about. 

Here are some common reasons

  • If you want to avoid MTX and treasure hunter

  • If you want to progress through the game yourself instead of money-making and buying t90 gear in your first week. 

  • If you want to experience a wide range of skilling, exploring and pvm content. Irons have to do everything themselves.

What's the deal with 120 skills? Or all of these skills with content unlocks in the 90s?

Dungeoneering, slayer, archaeology, farming, herblore and invention all go up to 120. There’s content filling all of the post 99 content. It’s a lot of xp, but the xp rates significantly increase as you level up. You’ll make potions worth 1k xp each and restore artifacts for 40k xp drops. You’ll unlock new slayer monsters with better xp rates.

Training methods typically become more afk as well as faster at higher levels; think blood and soul runecrafting vs. lava/Ourania.

Is there a client like runelite? 

Nope, although there is an overlay called Alt1 which is mostly used for clue scrolls. 

That said. Don’t despair as the rs3 team is much more responsive to QoL improvements. 

RS3 client tries to assist not be an obstacle. Jagex even has a ninja team dedicated to small fixes and QoL improvements across the game.

Are pures a thing? Pking?

No. Thanks for coming to my TED talk.

Clue scrolls are stackable? And why are half my clues worth 1m?

Clues are a much more professional and profitable operation compared to old school. Fortunate components from disassembling clue items are used in invention with endgame skilling and pvm gear. Dyes worth hundreds of millions can be used to cosmetically improve endgame gear/weapons. Many players stack up 25/50 clues and then do them all at once in an hour or 2.

Highscores?

There are no boss killcount highscores and the skilling highscores already have people with 200m all. They only get super competitive when a new skill is released.

Should I make a hardcore or regular iron?

HCIM is much less of a thing on RS3 compared to old school where everyone and their pet dog has a hardcore. While you get 3 lives, most high level pvm encounters have 1-shot mechanics and when you die, you’ll lose all but your 3 most valuable items. Many endgame hardcores suicide their accounts when they start endgame pvm so they don’t lose all the time invested into their gear and perks. I wouldn’t recommend playing as HC unless you are specifically dedicated to the hardcore experience and already have significant pvm experience. 

What are loyalty points/auras?

Loyalty points are accumulated when you have consecutive membership on an account. They can be used to purchase auras as well as cosmetics. Auras are rechargeable boosts activated on your character which do things such as increasing accuracy, increasing fishing gathering rate, reducing food burn chance or restoring hp/prayer on some action.

Scumbag MTX ruining my game? Sort of. All of the best combat auras are earned in game through boss kills at PvM hub. Jack of Trades is definitely EZscape.

You can also get a huge chunk of 150k loyalty points by purchasing Premier Club at the beginning of the year. If you already have a longtime old school account you might choose to use that account for your RS3 iron. That said if you want to play Old School and RS3 at the same time you’ll want separate accounts. Personal preference.

List of good auras in recommended purchase order

  • Penance – Restore prayer when you take damage. Great for slayer. 

  • Jack of trades -> Master -> Supreme – Free xp for gaining xp in 10/15/20 skills. I personally can’t be bothered to use supreme and the XP difference isn’t that big so I just use master

  • Resourceful – good for extra flasks/crystal flasks, mildly useful mining, bgh, archaeology

  • Enrichment – better energy gathering with divination, you’ll always need charges for pvm

  • Lumberjack – gets a lot of use when woodcutting training and doing big game hunter

  • Greenfingers – extra herb chance

  • Call of the seas – extra fishing success chance

  • Equilibrium – good for capsarius farming (ascension crossbows)

  • Surefooted – decent in some earlygame quests and ape atoll agility but useless late game. Only buy this if you have a million points when you start your account

Are there slayer bosses?

Not really. You can get the slayer helm for kalphite king, dagannoth kings, queen black dragon and kerepac but there isn’t a set of bosses that can only be killed on task.

Combat Q&A

How do I kill X boss? I need help or have a question

If you want to know anything PvM related, visit the player run PvM Encyclopedia at https://discord.gg/pvme. It’s similar to the OSRS gear discord but with lots more resources and explainers. Strategies are aimed at endgame players 

Where can I find people to PvM with?

Clans and discord servers. The rs3ironman subreddit maintains a list of clans in their pinned post as well as a directory of guides and youtube channels. I’m personally in the New Spice clan and do lots of bossing in the Irons of Gielinor discord so shoutout to them. 

Should I use revolution or full manual?

Revolution will provide you with a similar point-and-click combat experience to Old School slayer. It’s a good place to start while you learn the gazillion little small things about the game. Using full manual will allow you to do better damage by using abilities optimally. 

Ex. Fury and concentrated blast are some of your best basic abilities but must be manually canceled after 3 ticks otherwise they become the worst abilities. Slaughter/combust/fragmentation shot do great damage but only if you walk the NPC when using the ability. 

If you aim to pvm at a high level you should 100% learn full manual. Revolution is fine for a lot of pvm but bossing is all about using the right abilities at the right time and you’ll be fighting against revolution late-game. Boss mechanics as well as maximum dps also requires strategic use of abilities. 

How do I learn combat?

  • Embrace the tools at your disposal. On Old School this means F-keys, clients and their plugins. On RS3 that means the action bar, a customized interface and keybinds. 

  • Learn the abilities, their effects and when they should be used. When you start your account you’ll start with “lesser abilities” that are all the same. As you unlock the full versions, learn which abilities are best.

  • Gradually build up your understanding of DPS rotations, boss mechanics, weapon switches, combos and so on. Don’t try to jump straight into 4 ticking while soul split flicking at Telos. Start with easier bosses then move onto more mechanically intense bosses. Use a yak while learning before switching to a ripper demon. 

  • Use practice mode for free deaths while learning bosses. 

Is dual wield or 2h better?

There are differences in the abilities you can use, but a mainhand + offhand does the same base damage as a two-hander of the same tier.
There is a subset of 2h weapons whose area of effect abilities apply in a 5×5 range instead of a 3×3. These halberd weapons go all the way up to t90 with the noxious scythe and are commonly used for slayer. 

What’s the deal with armor?

There are 2 main types of armor; power armor gives damage bonus while tank armor provides a small amount of damage soak and higher defense bonus.

There are NO accuracy bonuses from armor; mystic and dragonhide won’t help you hit more. There are accuracy penalties for using armor in the wrong style. 

Tiers matter more than styles. T50 rune platebody has more magic defense than T40 green dragonhide body.

Should I use power armor or tank armor?

At a high level the answer is always power armor. Lower level is more complicated, if tank armor is multiple tiers higher and you eat a lot then it’s worth using.

How should I setup my action bar? I see streamers with 5 action bars on screen.

Here’s my action bar as an example to illustrate the primary action bar on top with additional action bars available below with utility methods.

  • Bars 1-4 – dedicate a bar to dual wield melee/2h melee/ranged/magic. Dw and 2h melee have enough different abilities that the second bar is worth investing in. Cleave vs. Decimate, Hurricane vs. Destroy, Quake vs. Flurry. Highly recommend setting up automatic action bar switching in settings so that when you equip a magic weapon, you'll be switched to your magic bar.

  • Bar 5 (optional) – Aoe melee bar. Dedicated action bar to aoe slayer mobs, similar to burst/barrage tasks on old school. If you're willing to swap abilities around you can merge this bar into 1-4.

  • Bar 6 – Skilling bar. Place items on this bar to have keybindable access to skilling items such as mixing potions, fletching logs, interacting with your soil box, equipping signs of the porter, filling rune pouches and so on. You'll change this bar around all the time when skilling. 

  • Bars 7-10 – These additional action bars can be displayed on screen in addition to the primary action bar described above. Use these to hold style agnostic abilities and items. Don't expect to need 4 starting out, but you'll gradually obtain more things to keybind as you progress. 

What should I keybind? Do I need to use them?

You can play without keybinds but they are highly recommended for high level play, just like F-keys. You should prioritize the keybinds you use the most with the easiest to reach binds. 

Here are some high priority keybinds and the keys I use for them (image above). Use what works for you. 

  • Primary action bar – 1-7 and Q-R

  • Soul split and 3 protection prayers – asdf (you won’t have soul split for a while but save a good keybind)

  • Damage prayers (piety, turmoil, praesul prayers) – shift+sdf 

  • Target cycle (in settings, not an ability on the action bar) – g

  • Key utility abilities (Freedom, anticipate, surge, escape, barge) – Z-B

  • Bladed dive – NM,

  • 2h weapon, alt 2h weapon/auto, wand, orb, shield, flanking (high level pvm, don’t worry about these until later, but reserve some good keybinds) – HJKL;I or mouse buttons

Disclaimer that macros are technically bannable and I don’t use them.
That said, it feels like half the pvm community uses them and I know of nobody who has been banned. Macros open up lots of room for combos like equip wand/orb but honestly I would still keep the flexibility of these fundamental actions separate and build macros on top of those fundamentals.

How does group pvm work on ironman mode?

Irons and hardcores can pvm with other irons regardless of combat levels. Irons cannot pvm with main accounts. There are a few situations where irons can leech off of mains, a common example is a main using aggression potions to gather and tank monsters while an iron stands under the main and kills the monsters without taking damage themselves. 

Leeching is possible where a high level iron tanks a boss or mobs while a lower level still gets loot (either through an individual raiding looting system or through loot share). Powerleveling in ed1 and ed3 is commonly accepted, even recommended although leeching gwd2+ is less accepted. A common misconception is that you NEED to leech ed1/3 to do that content; 3 players at all the same lower level can group up and take turns tanking or 1 person can focus on wearing tank gear and using defensive abilities while the others dps. 

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