The strategy behind Old School RuneScape's most controversial Magic training

Splashing has long been deemed controversial in the world of Old School RuneScape, but there is no better way to AFK train Magic.
Old School RuneScape, Splashing, Magic
Old School RuneScape, Splashing, Magic /

The act of splashing has long been considered one of the more controversial training methods in Old School RuneScape. The method involves weakening your Magic bonuses using full plate armor, among other items which will be discussed at length below, against any NPC that cannot do significant damage to you.

Because spells give experience whether you hit or not, you can click once and then keep attacking your opponent, as long as you have auto retaliate on. 

You will continue to get Magic experience, and in the long run, quite a few Combat levels, since you will not kill the NPC, nor will you die.

How to splash

There are two ways to train it, and both involve a full set of plate armor (helmet, platebody, platelegs, and kiteshield).

The first requires 40 Ranged for green d’hide vambraces, which push your Magic bonuses below the required -64. This is the recommended method, as it allows you to use an elemental staff to conserve a set of runes (despite the staff's inherent Magic bonus).

The second does not allow you to conserve runes, as you must use a cursed goblin staff to avoid the positive Magic bonus of an elemental staff. I prefer the first one, as 40 Ranged doesn’t take all that long to achieve. I even wear the iconic rainbow boots from the Stronghold of Security as a further buffer to my negative Magic bonus, dropping it to -68. It doesn't hurt.

Is splashing controversial?

Having trained splashing on several accounts for months at a time, it’s actually quite crazy how relatively unknown this method still is, despite the stigma surrounding it on certain online forums.

I’ve had other players offer to kill chickens for me, explain to me that my armor is preventing me from doing damage, ask me what I’m doing to the poor creatures, tell me my character is eventually going to die, and even accuse me of botting.

If it were not for Jagex’s recent (and semi-admitted) wave of false bans (with which one of my non-splashing accounts was unfortunately hit), it wouldn’t be all that concerning. But that’s a subject for another day; splashing, in itself, is perfectly legal.

In the several months I’ve done it, I have noticed a lot more players starting to do it as well. I've gone from training alone to being in worlds where all the Falador farm chickens are taken.

Given the AFK (away from keyboard) nature of this method of training, splashing allows individuals to take part in other activities (in game or in real life) while still getting a nice dose of Magic experience.

Splashing used to be even easier

Jagex have implemented restrictions on splashing that clearly indicate they are in favor of it, but don’t want the game to be too “easy”, per se.

Instead of leaving accounts unattended until the six-hour logout timer expires, there is now a 20-minute limit for auto retaliate. If you don’t interact with the client during that window, your account will stop attacking.

While it wasn’t considered botting, leaving an account unattended for six hours at a time while gaining consistent experience meant that players could basically train Magic in their sleep. You could effectively play for 24 hours per day, gain hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of Magic experience while doing so, and click your mouse a total of four times.

That is obviously no longer the case.

Splashing: speed vs. cost efficiency

When it comes to which spell to choose, you have to decide how much you are willing to spend on runes. I wouldn’t go lower than Fire Strike (level 13), which produces 11.5 experience per cast.

With one cast every five game ticks (three seconds), that comes out to 13,800 experience per hour (roughly 945 hours until level 99). If you're able to check every so often throughout your day, skill mastery is doable in about two months.

There are much quicker ways to do it, but you’re going to be spending a heck of a lot more money on runes, without a doubt. My recommendation is to run at least two accounts at once, if you are able to.

Where to splash

Because of the fact that the image of high-level players consistently hitting 0’s on low-level monsters in Lumbridge, where new players start their post-Tutorial Island journey on Gielinor, was not exactly considered appealing, Jagex instituted somewhat of a “local blackout” for splashing experience in Lumbridge and many surrounding Misthalin areas.

The restriction prevents players from gaining experience from casting if their Magic bonus is -64 or lower, or if their Magic level is 10 or higher.

Bottom line, don't splash in Lumbridge. You won't get anything for it.

Chickens and rats are the most common NPCs on which to train splashing, given the fact that they cannot hit you for any damage. Be careful training on rats in members’ worlds, though, as you run the risk of trolls coming by and having their cats kill them while you're not paying attention.

In fact, unless you’re training with a members’ spell, you might as well train in a free-to-play world. It also saves you the cost of a membership when all you're doing is training AFK.