Elden Ring: How To Beat A Runebear (2023)

By Erik Petrovich

Runebears, and Lesser Runebears, are some of the scariest enemies in Elden Ring. It's an easier fight if you dismount Torrent, though.

(Video) Runebear Boss Guide - Elden Ring Runebear Boss Fight

Elden Ring: How To Beat A Runebear (1)

Elden Ring introduces a number of new colossal enemies to the FromSoftware bestiary including gigantic Lobsters that prowl Liurnia, Death Blight-spewing monstrosities in Altus Plateau, and of course Runebears. Runebears can be found throughout the Lands Between in forests, particularly the Mistwood, and one serves as the boss at the end of Earthbore Cave.

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Despite their hulking, intimidating appearance, coming across a Runebear isn't the worst thing in Elden Ring. These enemies move faster than they look and can knock you off of Torrent with a single hit, so to stand any chance against Elden Ring's Runebears, be sure to first dismount and take them on face-to-face.

Runebear Moveset And Weaknesses

Elden Ring: How To Beat A Runebear (2)
(Video) Runebear (Earthbore Cave) - Narrated Boss Guide - Elden Ring [4k HDR]

Runebears take up a lot of screen space during a fight, but their size belies their agility. They can cover an enormous distance in the blink of an eye, especially when chasing down a fleeing player, though their attacks themselves are mostly lumbering, strong swipes. Runebears do have a few faster moves and can combo attacks, but it doesn't punish dodging as badly as some bosses.

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Runebears have few weaknesses and are highly resistant to both Frost and Bleeding damage. Fire damage seems to be increased against Runebears, just like against most bestial enemies in Elden Ring, and slashing melee attacks that can cut through its thick hide as well. Be patient, though, as their HP bars are about on-par for the creature's size.

Runebear Moveset

  • Grab Attack: The Runebear will rear up for a brief moment and lunge forward to grapple the player. Deals huge damage, make sure you dodge backward as its about to land to avoid being caught in its hitbox.
  • Swipe Combo: The Runebear swipes its paws left and right over and over again while moving forward. Medium damage, doesn't go on for too long and the last few hits can be easily blocked with a full Stamina bar.
  • Dash Bash: The Runebear will charge through you or to the other side of the arena and dash forward to strike you from a distance. Medium damage, especially hard to deal with for Ranged players.
  • Headbutt: The Runebear pulls its head back for a second and forcefully smashes it down at the player's location. High damage, but can easily be dodged.
  • Pouncing Slam: The Runebear will leap up into the air after making some room for itself and slam down onto the player after hanging in the air for a moment. High damage, but telegraphed well enough to easily tell when it will land.
  • Donkey Kick: The Runebear kicks with its back legs at players who stick around its rear for too long, sometimes as part of a larger combo. High damage, knocks prone, but can be avoided by strafing instead of staying still.

Runebear Weaknesses

Runebears are weak to Fire damage and slashing damage, things that Incantation-users and Melee players can take advantage of. The weaknesses are slim, but they do make the fight a fair bit shorter nonetheless. Imbue your weapon with Fire damage with some Fire Grease before the fight if you don't use Fire Incantations, and be sure to equip a weapon that deals high Slashing damage like a sword or an axe.

Runebears are resistant to two types of damage in particular: Frostbite and Bleeding. According to some players, it can take almost the entire fight to build up the Bleed meter enough to cause Hemorrhaging, and Frost-based attacks like seen in Hoarfrost Stomp are significantly less powerful, too. Switch your build accordingly if you rely on either of these two damage types.

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Strategies For Beating Runebears In Elden Ring

Elden Ring: How To Beat A Runebear (3)

The strategies for taking on an Elden Ring Runebear vary based on where the beast is encountered. The arena at the end of Earthbore Cave is relatively small and the Runebear can easily trap a player in a corner if they aren't paying attention to their movements. The best strategy for this fight is to stay as close to the Runebear as possible to avoid most of its wide, frontal attacks.

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In the open world Runebears can be found throughout the Mistwood, other areas in Limgrave, and even in the Altus Plateau. It might seem like a good idea to mount up for these fights, but most of the Runebear's attacks are powerful enough to knock you off or outright kill Torrent. Try to use the environment to your advantage as Runebears have a hard time getting through all but the largest of gaps. Spellcasters and Ranged players will have a very hard time facing one of these Elden Ring enemies without resorting to tactics like this.


Spellcasters and Ranged players have the hardest time against Runebears because their moves come out fast and they can dash around and leap up into the air at a moment's notice. It's hard to maintain a meaningful distance from a Runebear, so instead try a spin on the Melee strategy.

(Video) How to Kill Rune Bear | Elden Ring PS5

Equip Sorceries like Glintblade Greatsword and Incantations like Catch Flame to make the most of sticking close to the boss. Ranged-oriented players ought to use Dex weapons instead of their Bow, but make sure you don't use Bleed damage because Runebears are near-immune to it.

Melee Strategies

Stick close to the Runebear to force it to use close-range attacks rather than its Leap or Dash attacks. Its wide swings and frontal attacks will mostly miss you, leaving plenty of time to get some good Heavy attacks in before the Runebear moves out of range. Stay to its rear right or left side to avoid most of its moveset, but be careful of straying too far behind the Runebear or it might kick you out of nowhere.

With the Ash of War: Barricade on a shield most of its attacks can be easily blocked to provide the opportunity for a Guard Counter. A Runebear's Posture can be broken, despite its size, but only block the last attack in a string of combos or you might get caught by a sudden swipe as you trigger the Guard Counter prematurely.

Rewards For Beating Runebears

Elden Ring: How To Beat A Runebear (4)

Every Runebear except for the one at the end of Earthbore Cave drops Heavy Beast Bones and a handful of runes - a disappointing amount, really, considering the difficulty of the fight. The Runebear at the end of Earthbore Cave drops 2,600 Runes in a regular playthrough as well as the Spelldrake Talisman.

(Video) Elden Ring How To Fight Runebears

The Spelldrake Talisman is an equippable item in Elden Ring that boosts Magic Damage negation. It's a very useful Talisman to have when traversing areas like Liurnia of the Lakes and the Academy of Raya Lucaria where enemy spellcasters are abundant. It is outclassed by Talismans found later on, but this early in the game it's a good one to have handy.

Elden Ring is available now for PC, PlayStation 4 and 5, and Xbox One and Series X|S.



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