IntroductionPrayer is a borderline necessary skill, used in various ways from questing to grinding monsters and so on and is trained via burying bones that drop from monsters or using a mechanic called the Ectofuntus.
Prayer is exceptionally useful because of the three protection prayers that block 100% of the damage that an NPC can deal to you (50% in PvP), the minimum level required to use all three of them is 43. However, should you choose to level it up past that, you will find your prayers will last you for much, much longer and that your Prayer potions/super restores will be more efficient in restoring your points. Therefore leveling Prayer is always a good option, save for a bit of diminishing returns around level 90 or so.
Another tactic to keep in mind is Prayer Flicking. This is simply switching on one of the three Protection Prayers for just enough time (one game tick, or 0.6 second interval) that the next incoming attack will be protected against, and then switching it off again to save your prayer points due to the fact that your Prayer Points are only drained while a Prayer is activated for a certain amount of time. This is useful in order to conserve Prayer Potion/Super Restore doses during times when it really matters like in Barrows or the Fight Caves. Try and practice Prayer Flicking on a low-risk enemy like any Guard first before you attempt the more dangerous activities like Barrows or PvP. You can also flick offensive prayers such as Eagle Eye/Mystic Might/Ultimate Strength/Piety/Chivalry for the extra damage without any of the drain rate either, which is incredibly useful for tougher monsters or PvP.
Unlike every other stat that drains, Prayer points do not recharge over time. Instead, you must drink a Prayer potion/Super Restore potion or pray at any Altar located in most major cities (Lumbridge's is usually easiest) to recharge your points. Obviously, without any Prayer points, you cannot activate your Prayers.
There are several different kind of prayers to use. Each prayer has a required skill level before it can be used, and once activated will drain your current prayer points by various amounts.
Click the prayer tab ingame or hit the F6 key to see the list of available prayers and their requirements, or look below:
Prayer Gear, that is, equipped items that gives Prayer bonuses, will slow down the drain rate on your prayers - each point of Prayer bonus slows the drain rate of active prayers by 3.33%. This means that a +30 Prayer bonus will make Prayers last 100% longer, or twice as long from normal.
Therefore, it is incredibly useful in combat situations to throw a few pieces of gear with Prayer bonuses on them into your setup for max efficiency. You'll notice that prayer bonuses are showcased in the Barrows and Fight Caves pages' equipment setups for this very reason.
There are other pieces of general gear that offer Prayer bonuses (such as all maces, including Verac's Flail and the Void Knight Mace), but this chart mostly only shows gear specific to Prayer or best-in-slot pieces.
Note that the Ancient Staff is uniquely the only item in the game that gives a negative Prayer bonus, of -1, AKA a 3.33% faster drain rate on Prayers. This is pretty negligible, but just so you know.
Trimmed Skillcapes also give a +4 Prayer Bonus which is best-in-slot, but the untrimmed variants do not.
Most Prayer gear is from Treasure Trails or found as loot.
Bone Descriptions and Usefulness
This is the best way to get the most Prayer experience from your bones (4x the burying exp) and therefore arguably the fastest way to level up Prayer.
Accessing the Ectofuntus mechanic simply requires the ability to access Morytania (64 Agility or Priest in Peril completed), but it is essential to complete Ghosts Ahoy for the Ectophial and also to get 53 Agility for access to a shortcut during repeated Ecto runs to make the whole thing faster. You'll also need 13 pots and buckets, and a load of teleport jewelry such as Rings of Dueling or Games Necklaces.
Obviously you'll need a ton of bones to use up too. Due to the ease of gathering:experience rate ratio, Dragon Bones are the best (and pretty much only) way to go when it comes to the Ecto.
To best Ectoing method:
Known as the 13/13 Method, with 13 steps too:
- Travel to the Ectofuntus (presumably with the Ectophial) with 27 bones filling up the rest of your inventory.
- Go upstairs and then Right-click -> Use a bone on the Loader, then load in all 27 of them.
- Teleport using either a Games Necklace to Pest Control, or a Ring of Dueling to Castle Wars. Bank and withdraw 27 more bones.
- Ectophial back to the Ectofuntus and repeat the process until you've loaded in around ~1,000 bones (or your entire stack if you wish, it doesn't really matter, may simply be more preferable to manage smaller stacks at once as you can only load in+ecto around 1,000 bones per day). You can check to see how many bones you have loaded by right-clicking on the Bone Grinder handle and selecting Status. Don't worry about leaving the bones in the grinder, they won't disappear ever - even upon logging out.
- Go bank again and withdraw 13 buckets and 13 pots, then get back to the Ectofuntus.
- Right-click -> Grind on the Bone Grinder to grind everything you've loaded in into bone dust.
- Click on the tray on the other end of the Grinder to automatically Fill your 13 pots up.
- Run downstairs and then go down into the trapdoor. Click on the broken railing right in front of you to hop down to the next level, go down the stairs right in front of you again, then run around to the other set of stairs leading down to the pool.
- Right-click -> Use a bucket on the slime pool to fill your 13 buckets with Ectoplasm.
- Return to the main floor quickly via the Ectophial.
- Now left click repeatedly on the Ectofuntus to worship it. You can only worship it a total of 12 times and then the Ectofuntus will be full of power - you must talk to one of the Ghost Disciples to claim your Ectotokens (5 per bone) and then worship it once more to completely empty your pots and buckets.
- Go back upstairs and repeat the process. The 13 buckets/pots in the inventory adds up to 26 items, plus the Ectophial is 27, so the remaining empty slot is taken up by the Ectotoken stack from here on out.
- Happy Ectoing!
Levels 1-15 : Questing
From the start, do The Restless Ghost. It is a very easy quest that will grant 2,531 Prayer XP, which will get you to level 15 from level 1.
Levels 15-22 : Questing
Next, do Priest in Peril. This quest will give 3,163 Prayer XP, bringing your level up to 22.
Levels 22-28 : Questing
Ghosts Ahoy will be your next quest. Completion of this quest will give you 5,400 Prayer XP, which should bring you up to level 28.
Note that these quests are not the fastest way to level up from 1 to 43 or whenever, but they're all required for Ectoing later on and so they should be done early to get them out of the way. Quest exp rewards are most efficient at lower levels too, so it's a win-win. Click the guide links if you need help in any of them.
After the completion of Goys Ahoy, worshiping the Ectofuntus with dragon bones is the quickest way to level. Each dragon bone used on the Ectofuntus will give you 648 experience.
It will take approximately 3,050 dragon bones to reach level 80, or approximately 20,100 dragon bones to reach level 99.
Read the above section for the most efficient Ectoing method.
Note that if you just wish to get to level 43 for the Protection Prayers, ectoing about 61 dragon bones is enough to get you there from level 28.
How can one feasibly get this many dragon bones, you ask? Slaying dragons for their bones is the most cost-effective way, as buying dragon bones from other players is expensive but still a plausible method. Ranging dragons via safespotting is even better and cheaper.
If you're tired of Ectoing dragon bones or you simply don't have enough, from level 80 onwards it is also possible to dump points from Pest Control into your Prayer XP. This is just as fast or faster than Ectoing dragon bones if you can get consistent games. However, be prepared to play a lot of games, as you will need several thousand points to bring this skill to 99. Click the minigame guide link if you need help learning how to play.
You don't have to purely Ecto or PC to 99, doing a bit of both is what's most recommended to get there the fastest.
Prayer is a moderately difficult skill that can be elevated into easy status by those patient enough to gather ~20k+ Dragon Bones, those rich enough to purchase ~20k+ Dragon Bones, or just any schmuck that knows how to play Pest Control. The benefits of higher levels of the skill are well worth it either way, so good luck.
Why use Pest Control points from Level 80? Why not earlier?
At around level 80 and above is when PC points give the best point:exp ratio. Using them before this is usually considered a waste.