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How to beat the Rune Bear in Elden Ring

Here are the best ways to defeat Elden Ring Rune Bears

A sleeping Rune Bear in Elden Ring.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Bandai Namco

Trying to beat an Elden Ring Runebear? Runebears are notoriously difficult enemies to defeat, especially when you're stuck with one inside the Earthbore Cave dungeon. Luckily, as even these gigantic bears have their weaknesses, the right combat preparation can secure your victory. This guide will show you how to defeat Runebears in Elden Ring.

How to fight Elden Ring Runebears

There are two versions of the Elden Ring Runebear enemy: the boss found inside the Earthbore Cave and the ‘normal' Runebears found in the wilds. The Earthbore Cave boss is larger, but besides that, there isn't much difference. Runebears are often found asleep, which not only grants you an advantage in battle, but also an opportunity to sneak past them if you aren't looking for a fight.

Elden Ring Runebears mainly rely on physical damage, specifically slash damage. Their go-to attacks are claw slashes and ground slams, thereby often jumping towards you. The claw attacks may build blood loss (bleed), but the Runebear's direct damage is usually a bigger problem than your blood loss gauge. Watch out for the rather quick bite attacks (preceded by a forward dash) as well as the Runebear's roar; you'll lose a large chunk of your stamina if this ‘sonic' roar (pictured below) hits you. You can avoid damage either by keeping your distance or dodging to the Runebear's side.

A roaring Rune Bear in Elden Ring.
Watch out for the Runebear's roaring attack. | Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Bandai Namco

The most dangerous Runebear attack, however, is the grab attack. The Runebear will stand on its hind legs and spread its arms as if to hug you. If you don't dodge away in time, the Runebear will grab you and repeatedly press you to its chest, depleting a large chunk of HP. Beware that it's difficult to dodge this attack correctly as the Runebear may follow the direction of your dodge while standing upwards. The solution is to either create a lot of distance or dodge to the Runebear's side just before the grab attack lands (dodge roughly one second after the Runebear stands up, rather than immediately).

An Elden Ring Rune Bear standing on its hind legs.
Refuse the Runebear's hug. | Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Bandai Namco

How to beat the Elden Ring Runebear

Runebears are weak to fire damage and sleep effects, but they also take a lot of physical damage. They have a high resistance to Bleed, Magic, and Frost.

In the wilds, Runebears are easily defeated if you use Torrent (your mount) to keep some distance while unleashing ranged attacks. If you're forced to fight an Elden Ring Runebear with both legs on the ground, however, using ranged attacks is typically a bit harder as the Runebear's attacks are very aggressive and fast. Since blocking requires a lot of stamina, it's best to go with a light to medium equipment load and rely on dodging. If Spirit Ashes are available, choose one that's good at distracting the Runebear, such as the Lone Wolf Ashes.

Spirit Wolves attacking a Rune Bear in Elden Ring.
Don't forget to bring your wolf pack. | Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Bandai Namco

When fighting the Runebear boss in the Earthbore Cave, your main problem is space; while the Runebears in the wilds can be defeated from a distance, the Earthbore Cave's boss arena is tiny. The trick to defeating the Runebear boss is to use Spirit Ashes as a distraction, dodge toward the Runebear rather than away, throw Sleep Pots to immobilize him, and unleash all the physical and fire damage you can bring to the fight. Once the boss is asleep, attack his head to deal as much damage as possible - but beware that this will wake him up again. Luckily, you can throw more Sleep Pots to repeat the effect. To obtain the Sleep Pot crafting recipe, you must obtain Fevor's Cookbook [1] in Limgrave, between the tombs near Summonwater Village.

And that's how you defeat the Runebear in Elden Ring. If you're hungry for your next challenge, here's where to find more Elden Ring boss locations. Don't go in without one of the best builds or best armor sets though! We can also point you to the best Ashes of War to upgrade your weapons as well as the best spells.

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