Defence (spelled "Defense" in RuneScape Classic; sometimes 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 armour|Initiate pures (level 20-25), Rune armour|Rune pures (level 40), Berserker pures (level 45), and Barrows equipment|Barrows]] pures (level 70). All of the above may be considered as a type of 'pure'. Some people may choose to only train Defence, and are known as just 'Defence pures'.
The higher the Defence level, the fewer successful blows an opponent will land against the player, this applies to all combat styles used against the player. Defence is thus a vital skill for enduring attacks for long periods of time, and can be extremely helpful against opponents with high Attack, Ranged, or Magic.
A player's Defence level also determines which equipment he or she is able to wear, as most pieces of armour or other equipment have a Defence level requirement.
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.