Sand crabs are aggressive monsters that can disguise themselves as sandy rocks. They are a combat level 15 monster with 60 hitpoints and no combat stats, making them one of the best monsters to train combat AFK in Oldschool Runescape.
Sand crabs can only be found in P2P areas such as Hosidius' coast, Crabclaw Isle, Crabclaw Caves, and the Isle of Souls. The most popular locations are Hosidius and Crabsclaw Isle, which are usually crowded, but have up to 125 spawns in total, so you should be able to find a good spot even if you have to hop worlds a few times depending on the time of day.
Hosidius is one of the five cities in the Kingdom of Great Kourend, and it is well-known for being the home of Sand crabs. You can travel here by speaking with Veos in Port Piscarillius. If you've never been to Great Kourend on your account before, after speaking with Veos, you'll see an option to ask him if he can take you there for free.
The most common method of reaching sand crabs is to use the skill necklace, which can be created by enchanting a dragonstone necklace with a Level 5 Enchant spell. It can teleport you to the woodcutting guild, which is the closest location to the coast of Hosidius, where Sand crabs can be found.
This necklace can be recharged at the totem pole in Legend's Guild, the Fountain of Uhid in Myth's Guild, or the Fountain of Rune if Legends' Quest has been completed. This necklace provides no combat bonuses, so it should be exchanged for a necklace that provides combat bonuses based on the attack style you choose before attacking the sand crabs.
Here are all the locations where you can find sand crabs in Oldschool Runescape:
Several spots for sand crab training can be found on the Coast of Hosidius. This city is easily accessible, and for new players, the quickest way to get here if you have never been there before would be by talking and traveling with Veos located on Port Piscallirus close to Draynor Village, then running west off the docks, then south.
The areas circled are where you can find sand crabs below
This is a small island located just south of Hosidius' coast. To get to this island, you must spend 10,000 coins each time you travel by boat, making it unsuitable for pures or accounts with low defense because you must travel across each time you run out of food.
If you have completed the easy Kourend & Kebos Diary, you can get across for half the price (5000), and you can get across for free if you have completed the medium Kourend & Kebos Diary.
This location is usually preferred by players with higher combat stats because it contains up to 40 sand crabs and numerous spots where you can have 3–4 crabs attacking you at the same time.
This cave is located west of the coat of Hosidius or south of the woodcutting guild; to access it, you must have partially completed the depths of despair quest; it contains 15 spawns of sand crabs and is usually less crowded due to the requirements needed to begin the depths of despair quest, which are: Client of Kourend completion, X Marks the spot, 20% Hosidius favor, and 18 agility.
This island is one of the least popular places to train with sand crabs; it is located west of Feldip Hills and is best known as the location for the Soul Wars minigame. It has 15 spawns on its coast.
All crabs are similar when it comes to training strategy. First, you need to hop worlds till you find a good spot with the number of spawns you like, you must stay close enough to them to get them to attack you. Sand crabs are aggressive, but do not have an aggressive range as high as that of Ammonite crabs, but still the same as Rock Crabs.
When you first start with low combat levels, you can choose to stay close to only the small sand crabs closer to the grass, so you don't take too much damage.
As your defense and other combat stats improve, you will be able to kill the small crab much faster. At this point, you should switch to a tile with two sand crabs spawning nearby. When you start killing the two sand crabs quickly enough that you are spending too much time idle, you can then move the three sand crabs' spots.
It would be a waste of food to stand at a three-sand crab spot when you can't kill two sand crabs quickly enough. Both spots would yield the same experience rates, but you'd have to eat more and click more at the three sand crabs' spots, making this method less AFK.
As previously stated, Sand Crabs are only aggressive to you for 10 minutes before they stop attacking you. When they spawn, they remain disguised as sandy rocks, and you must run away from the area for about 5 seconds before returning to get them to become aggressive to you again.
Below is a good position to run to before you return to get them to become aggressive again.
Sand crabs are known to provide the second-best experience rates of any crab in Old School RuneScape. When training with Sand crabs at lower levels, the experience rates are quite similar with Ammonite crabs.
At higher combat levels, you would be able to kill sand crabs so much quicker and that’s when you would need to switch to Ammonite crabs, due to their hitpoints of 100.
Here are the different experience rates that you should expect depending on your combat method.
Level 1–20, you can get up to 5,000 average XP per hour
Level 20–40, you can expect to gain about 12,000 XP per hour on average.
Level 40–60, you can gain up to 30,000 XP per hour by using a dragon scimitar.
If you decide to kill sand crabs until you reach 99 melee combat, you should start gaining 45,000 experience per hour if you use the best combat gear you can find.
Beginning levels are quite quick when training ranged at sand crabs, and when you get to 70 ranged, you can expect to gain 45,000 experience per hour, and as you get closer to 99 ranged, you can gain up to 70,000 experience per hour.
When training magic at sand crabs, you should expect up to 55,000 experience rate per hour from level 60 to 99 magic. The recommended spell to use is the fire wave, but this method is expensive, and it may be worth considering options that are similar in cost but have faster experience rates, such as ice bursting/barrage maniacal monkeys.