Prayer, in some ways, is the most unique skill in OSRS. While every other skill in the game has pretty set training methods that you steadily unlock as you level up your skills, Prayer is different.
You can train Prayer naturally, burying progressively bones and scattering progressively better ashes as you slay stronger foes. But that's not the fastest training method. And unlike every other skill, with Prayer, you can access (Most of) the best training methods at level 1.
If you have a whole heap of OSRS gold, that is.
Since Prayer training is much different than training every other skill, this guide won't follow the atypical step-by-step process we use here. Instead, I'll break down the best Prayer training methods for F2P and P2P players.
Prayer is the hardest and slowest skill to max in F2P OSRS. Unless you're doing it to challenge yourself, you have no reason to do this. You'll see why shortly.
Completion of Below Ice Mountain
If you're F2P and plan on using the Ruins of Camdozzal method, you must complete Below Ice Mountain to access the dungeon.
Levels 33 Fishing and Cooking
If using the Ruins of Camdozzal method, having levels 33 Fishing and Cooking will allow you to catch and cook the best fish in Camdozzal, which is optimal for Prayer training.
Recommended F2P Training Methods
Levels 1-9: The Restless Ghost
The Restless Ghost is a beginner quest that gives 1,125 Prayer EXP upon completion. That's enough EXP to get you to 9 Prayer.
Levels 9-?: The Ruins of Camdozzal
The Ruins of Camdozzal offers a lot to F2P players, including an unorthodox Prayer training method. Use a small net to catch between three types of fish. Prepare your caught fish at the preparation table with a knife, then offer the fish to the altar to gain Prayer EXP.
There's no way to catch only tetra fish, which offers the best EXP, so you're looking at, at best, 2,500-2,700 Prayer EXP per hour. It's a safe and semi-AFK training method, but the EXP rates are horrendous.
Levels 9-?: The Bone Yard
The Bone Yard is a Wilderness area north of Varrock full of bones and big bones free for the taking. All you need to do is pick them up, bury them, rinse, and repeat.
Be wary if you have a low-level player, as level 20 and 25 skeletons infest the area. It's possible to hide in the area and wait until their aggression stops, but bring some food just in case.
Tick manipulation can speed up EXP rates by partially skipping the burying animation, and world-hopping to obtain more big bones helps as well.
If training optimally, you can get around 6,000-9,000 EXP per hour. However, this method is very click-intensive for what is still horrible EXP.
Levels 9-99: Buying & Burying/Scattering Big Bones & Vile Ashes
The best F2P training method is the same as the P2P training method in that it costs GP.
To do this method, you will need to purchase many vile ashes and big bones from the Grand Exchange, which will take a while. You can bury bones and scatter ashes, allowing for 40 EXP per animation. If training optimally, you should be able to get around 100K EXP per hour. Reaching level 99 Prayer will take around 100 hours.
That's not bad. The only problem is that this method will set you back around 275 million GP. Bonds currently cost just over 7 million GP. If you have 275 million GP lying around, you can become a member and use cheaper and faster Prayer training methods.
Recommended P2P Training Methods
Levels 1-35: Questing
There are a handful of low-requirement quests that, when completed, will get you to level 35 Prayer. Here's the problem, though. The benefit of skill EXP through questing is that it eliminates the time you would otherwise spend training those skills. Since Prayer is an extremely fast skill to train, training it via questing is actually slower.
But if you don't have the GP for the optimal training methods, then questing is the way to go for a decent head start.
Levels 1-99: Gilded Altar
Gilder altars in player-owned houses with both incense burners lit grant 350% EXP per bone you offer to the altar.
Making your own gilded altar won't be easy, as Construction is another expensive skill to train, and gilded altars require level 75 Construction. Luckily, friends are a thing, and plenty of members of the OSRS community freely offer their gilded altars to players.
World 330 Rimmington is likely your best option. Bring a stack of GP and noted bones, and unnote them with Phials for 5 GP per note. Dragon bones and superior dragon bones are the recommended bones to use. Unlike other bones, you need at least level 70 Prayer before you can do anything with superiors.
Dragon bones give 252 EXP when offered to the altar, and superior dragon bones 525. Manually using bones of the altar will give faster EXP than auto offering.
If you are training optimally, you can get around 600,000 EXP per hour with dragon bones and 1,300,000 EXP per hour with superior dragon bones. Reaching 99 Prayer with dragon bones will set you back around 120 million GP, and with superiors, around 210 million GP.
Levels 1-99: Chaos Altar
The Chaos Altar is in level 44 Wilderness near the western wall. It is also a multi-combat area, making it extremely dangerous.
So, why would you go there instead of to a gilded altar? Simple. If you want to save GP.
The Chaos Altar provides the same 350% EXP as gilded altars but also has an added bonus: There's a 50% chance bones you offer to the Chaos Altar won't be consumed.
The Chaos Altar is notably slower than the Gilder Altar but will save you a considerable amount of GP. There's a Chaos Druid outside that will unnote your bones for 50 GP each, which can speed things up.
The problem here is PKers. As you are here to train Prayer to 99, PKers will frequent this place in hopes of getting your dragon/superior dragon bones. Some players like using their mains or friends to stand guard to stave off PKers. Single combat is mere steps away from the Chaos Altar entrance, but regardless, your ability to defend yourself will be all but non-existent here. It's up to you to decide if the risk is worth it.
If using the unnote method, players can get around 500K EXP an hour with dragon bones and around 1 million EXP an hour with superior dragon bones. It's harder to estimate how much GP you'll spend reaching level 99 Prayer at the Chaos Altar due to traveling costs and PKer deaths, but it should be around half that of the gilded altar method.
The Chaos Altar is the best training method for Ironman accounts besides the Ectofuntus. The latter method has less risk, but is far more time-consuming. It’s not really worth the extra time, especially since many players pause Prayer training after unlocking overheads anyway.
Prayer is the Most Valuable Combat Skill
Prayer is arguably the single-most valuable combat skill in OSRS. It's useful in PVP, PVE, and outside of combat. Some of the toughest bosses in OSRS, and the most profitable, are impossible to kill without the use of Protection Prayers.
Unlocking overheads should be one of your top five combat priorities when playing OSRS. That, you can do easily enough while spending very little GP. And even level 99 Prayer isn't too bad these days. And besides, the investment is more than worth it, once you unlock things like Piety, Rigour, and Augury.