Combat in Rift is similar to most MMORPGs.
- Using the right click, players will physically attack (also called auto-attack), using a ranged or a melee weapon, the target of their click. It will also send their pet to attack that same target, if they possess one of course.
Note that the pet will only attack the target you attack if its "stance" is set to "Defensive". There is 3 pet "stances" in total, the other 2 being; "Aggressive", where the pet will attack any hostile entity it spots, and is thus pretty much uncontrollable. The last "stance" is "Passive". This stance ensures that the pet doesnt attack anything unless you physically left-click the "attack" button on your pets actionbar, whilst having an enemy selected. Usually you would have your pet on passive in larger PvE content, such as instances and raids, to ensure that the pet does not pull aggro, or runs into a pack of enemies, that you would otherwise skip. While you do have to click to make it attack and come back to you, taking that extra 1 second to do so, will infact be more beneficial overall, than if it would randomly attack something, not intended to be attacked in the first place.
- Using the left click, or certain hotkeys like TAB (which selects the closest and/or most pertinent targets) allows the player to target another player, a monster or a Non Playing Character. Once a target has been selected, the player may be able to use abilities and skills on this very target.
- Once the target's health points have been reduced to zero, it dies. If it was a monster or a non playing character, right clicking it will allow the player to loot items from the corpse. If however the target was another player, right clicking the corpse will force the other player to respawn at the closest cemetery. Sometimes, players' corpses also drop items, like consumables that can be used to gain Favor or random gray items.
 Global Cooldown
Most of the abilities or skills trigger a Global Cooldown (GCD) which prevents another skill or ability from being used within one second after the first one. Additionally, you can queue a skill up to half a second within that shared Global Cooldown. It has been shown in the latest GameTrailers video.
Some abilities, however, do not share this global cooldown and obey solely to their own cooldown.
It is usually indicated by the sentence "This ability is not affected by the global cooldown", see for instance Retaliation (Paladin's root ability).
 In Combat flag
Taking or giving a hit will change the player's status to In Combat. Your health regen is stopped while Mana/Energy regeneration rates are not. Some skills (most of the resurrection ones) and items (drinks and food) can not be used while In Combat.
Visually, the character's portrait at the left top of the screen is glowing red, and your health and energy/mana bars, and hypothetical combo points, are replicated at the center of the screen, just under your avatar.
Once your opponents are dead, you stop being In Combat immediately -- but it's not always clear which creatures are flagged as your opponents. In a large or confusing situation like an open Rift, especially in a large public group, enemies are often engaged entirely by a player's group-mates with no assistance from that player. These engagements can still cause the player to be considered In Combat until they also end.
- Main article: Aggro
- Warriors are melee oriented characters and will have access to various abilities such as charging into combat and knockbacks. Certain Warrior souls focus on tanking while other souls increase the warrior's damage per second.
- One of the most diverse callings, Rogues can focus on ranged combat, stealthy melee combat, main- or off-tanking and even party support and healing. However, rogues need to focus on exactly which role they wish to fulfill when creating choosing souls and hybridized roles and carefully decide where their ability points are going and when.
- Another calling with access to many different archetypes throughout the game, Clerics can expect to have access to a variety of single and group target healing souls as well as a versatile set of offensively oriented souls. Players can focus on the traditional healer role or they can combine powerful souls focused on ranged spell-casting, allowing for greater damage, or melee combat and even dip into tanking.
- Mages excel at dealing single target or area-of-effect ranged damage. Mage characters can expect to have access to direct-damage, damage-over-time, crowd-control and even healing - usually through damaging - spells.