F2P OSRS Ranged Guide
Welcome to the free to play ranged training guide for Old School Runescape. This guide specifically focusses on the free to play areas and content of the popular MMORPG. As with P2P (there is a guide on that also) the best methods of training F2P ranged will almost always utilise the best weaponry, and the best weaponry is determined by damage dealt per second. As with most combat situations in OSRS, offence is much more important than defence, so the ranged defence stat of some gear shouldn't be as big a concern as its offensive.
To start I will cover the gear, armour, ring slots, feet slot choices etc.. and unlike in the P2P guide, I will cover weaponry. As there are less diverse enemies there isn't so much decision making when choosing weaponry. As should be obvious, there is far less available gear to choose from in P2P when training ranged, and far fewer training methods. But still, there is enough choice to keep you going and keep you interested, especially for new players who may want to test the waters of OSRS before investing in a membership.
Equipment and gear
When you are completely brand new to the game and have no money it's not a bad choice to use the training bow and arrows which are given to your for free from the ranged combat tutor, located just outside Lumbridge Castle. The training arrows are equivalent to bronze arrows, however once you are able to you should move onto proper tradeable bows.
Shortbows from least to most effective: shortbow, oak shortbow, willow shortbow and maple shortbow.
Shortbows can shoot faster than longbows with an attack speed of 4 vs longbows attack speed of 6, so for general ranged training they should be preferential for most players.
Longbows from least to most effective: longbow, oak longbow, willow longbow and maple longbow.
Whilst longbows aren't as effective for training for the reasons stated above, they do shoot further so this could be usefull in scenarios where you need to shoot an enemy from further away, for example if you are safespotting a powerful enemy then a longbow may come in use.
Crossbows: crossbow and phoenix crossbow.
These both have the same stats, just the phoenix crossbow is attainable by choosing the phoenix gang during the quest “Shield of Arrav”. Crossbows aren't really advisable to use in F2P, the only benefit they have is that they are a one handed weapon, meaning you are able to wield a shield in your shield slot, although in almost all cases this wouldn't be beneficial to you, with perhaps one exception being that you can equip the anti-dragon shield during the “Dragon Slayer” quest.
Now I will cover armour. You should Improve your armour as soon as your level allows you to, although I mentioned earlier about being aware of the cost of some items, unlike P2P there isn't any overly expensive armour so all should be affordable by the average player.
From levels 1-9 I recommend using a full leather setup, containing the following items: leather cowl, leather body, leather chaps, leather vambraces and leather boots. From levels 10-19 you should swap out the leather body with a hard leatherbody. And then from level 20-39 you should use these items instead of the ones you currently have equipped: coif, studded body and studded chaps. Once you reach level 40 you should equip the green d'hide body, green d'hide chaps and green d'hide vambs, although the body can only be equipped after completion of the Dragon Slayer quest.
For your neck slot item I recommend the amulet of accuracy (acquired after completion of the Imp Catcher quest) or the amulet of power. For ammunition you should use the best available, just like all other equipment. You can choose from the following arrows and bolts (in parentheses I will put the required ranged level needed to use them): bronze arrows (1), bronze bolts (1), iron arrows (1), steel arrows (5), mithril arrows (20) and the best F2P ranged ammunition, adamant arrows (30).
Before I start listing the various F2P ranged combat methods I will briefly mentioned the different combat styles for ranged. Firstly there is “accurate”, which gives a +3 boost to you range level (increasing accuracy) whilst this style is in use, it's only advised to use this style when attacking monsters considerably weaker than you as it may kill the quicker. The best style is definitely “rapid”, which increases the attack speed of your weapon by 1, thus also increasing the damage dealt per second, which as I mentioned earlier is the main thing you should be going for. Lastly is “long range” which increases the attack range of a weapon by 2 up to a maximum of 10 squares, and gives defence experience as well as ranged, this method is not recommended.
When you start you should train on the chickens, just past the goblins opposite Lumbridge Castle, stay there for a few levels, maybe up to ranged 4, then fight the cows or goblins which are in a similar area. Dying here isn't such a problem as you are so close to your respawn location. Up to ranged level 20 I recommend the monks in the monastry close the barbarian village, they have a decent hitpoint count of 15.
From 20 onwards the dark wizards in draynor village, near the willow trees are a good option, as they are also very close to the bank and have some ok drops. Even better F2P drops are available from the dark wizards at Delrith's circle, which is located just south-east of the southern entrance to Varrock. Their drops include higher valued runes, having total combat level of 41 or above is recommended. Also from level 20 ranged and 25 combat level you can fight minotaurs in the first level of the stronghold of security. The great thing about minotaurs is that they drop a large amount of iron arrows, usually more than the amount of arrows you will use to kill them, which makes this a reasonably cheap place to train. Overground from the stronghold of security entrance you will find the barbarians who are good to train on from level 40 ranged, they also are not aggressive so you can safely collect you arrows if you wish to save money that way, although that may slow xp rates down slightly.
As your level rises and from around level 45 ranged you may want to move to the hill giants, they have a few locations but the best is probably in Edgeville dungeon, requiring the brass key to access. They also have good drops including the big bones, which is a solid F2P prayer training choice. When you reach around level 65 the lesser demons become one of the best higher level monsters to train at in F2P, located in Karamja, it is recommended players bring a very strong ranged setup as well as good food as these are some of the strongest enemies in F2P, hitting hard against players in all F2P ranged gear. Another high level choice are the ogressess, which are slightly slower than the lesser demons but still have decent drops, they can be found in the Corsair Cove Dungeon.
Thanks for reading this guide to F2P ranged training in OSRS, remember we also have a P2P guide to ranged training if you do decide to make the step into membership, otherwise stick around for more great guides. And RSgoldfast also offer you the best runescape gold 2020, have a good time.