When you're busy adventuring across the great expanse of the Lands Between, you'll often find yourself face-to-face with some pretty fearsome beasts. In these situations, you'll find yourself in great need of skill, patience, and a delicious guide to snack on. In this case, you're going to have all three. Why? Because I am going to make sure of it. Trust me, I'm Evan.
Anyway, the Rune Bear might not be one of the game's biggest and most magnificent bosses, nor is it one of the game's most difficult. Instead, this fearsome beast is just a complete pain in the arse if you don't have the right tips under your belt. He's hairier than your uncle and more snarly than Mel Gibson after a few pints, but at least he's not Malenia. Seriously, the Blade of Miquella is a total... yeah I am not allowed to say that here.
The benefit with the Rune Bear is that you can fight it pretty early-on in the game if you really want to. That being said, though, I would not recommend fighting this bad-boy until you've got yourself to a decent level and... well... have a tidbit of skill. Seriously, those thumbs need to be ripe and ready to take out this fluffy beast, or you'll find yourself back at your nearest Sacred Tear Location in twelve seconds flat. Yes, twelve seconds. Exactly twelve.
Where is the Rune Bear in Elden Ring?
Whilst the Rune Bear can be found wandering around several of the open world areas in the late game, if you're reading this guide, then you're probably asking about the one in Earthbore Cave. This is a little cave in the north of the Weeping Peninsula, an area of the map commonly regarded a great starting area for players to explore, stuffing their pockets full of runes before they head out for lunch in Limgrave. Greedy.
We won't guide you through Earthbore Cave except to say that if you learn the structure of the cave, you can easily run through it without really needing to deal with any of those annoying forking rats. Just keep in mind, though, that when running through the cave, you will eventually reach a bit of a drop just before the entrance to the boss fight. If you drop off the left-side of the ledge, you will not incur fall damage.
How to Beat the Rune Bear in Elden Ring
For the sake of this guide, we will describe how to beat the Rune Bear in specifically Earthbore Cave. Regarding the Rune Bears in the late game, you will need to use a similar strategy but adapt them for more open areas where the Rune Bear cannot get you up against the wall.
Prepare Before You Fight
Have as many Crimson Flasks at your disposal as possible, preferably collecting some Sacred Tears and Golden Seeds to upgrade your capacity and then re-assigning your Flasks so that you have the maximum amount possible.
In addition, make sure that you are sitting at around a Strength and Vigor level of 20 before you attempt this fight. You cannot be one-shotted, but this dude deals you a huge amount of damage, and I was only semi-joking about the twelve-second thing I said earlier.
Finally, make sure that you have Spirit Ashes and a semi-decent weapon and, most importantly, have a clear plan of attack. If you are leaning into a strength build, then you want to be seriously ready to roll, not be too heavy, and be ready to fight aggressively. If you are leaning towards magic, you need to have that prepped and be ready to try and keep your distance.
Summon Spirit Ashes Immediately
Your best bet is to summon your Spirit Ashes literally as soon as you enter the room. As an early game player, your best bet is probably the Wolves, but obviously, if you have something better, then use that. It would be great if you have a powerful Spirit Ash with multiple entities as the Rune Bear will have more targets that are... well... not you.
Also keep in mind that this guy will attack you immediately so be ready to roll around like crazy as soon as you have summoned your Spirit Ashes or take a healthy dose of damage straight away. I know, it's a total pain in the backside, but it's just how the Rune Bear rolls (heh, get it?)...
Be Aware of the Rune Bear's Large Hitbox
The Rune Bear is not only incredibly aggressive, but also has a huge hitbox both in terms of the damage you inflict on him, but also the damage he inflicts upon you. Learn this hitbox as quickly as you can and use your rolls to carefully avoid getting damaged by his various attacks. This also leans into the next point...
Keep Away From the God-Darn Walls
This complete piece of poo will pummel the living hell out of you if it catches you against the wall. Thus, keep it distracted by your Spirit Ashes and – for GOD's sake – stay away from the god-darn walls. If it gets you against the wall, you will be bashed again and again and again, without even a chance to recover from your stagger, take a Crimson Flask, or roll for that matter. It's a trap. Stay in the center of the room. Again, I'm Evan, trust me.
Be Extremely Aggressive
The best advice I can give for when actively fighting the Rune Bear is that you need to be extremely aggressive. Of course, always avoid excessive rolling because it will come back to bite you (quite literally in this case) though, and will make it very hard to actively get a hit in.
No, instead, use heavy attacks when it is distracted by your Spirit Ashes, and light attacks as you roll around it. Don't be overly ambitious, but be more ambitious than you normally would. Your best bet is to get as much damage in as possible in as short a time as you can. If you are damaged, take a flask straight away because one move will take you out almost instantly.
Smash the Rune Bear with your weapon as much as you can, depleting its health as quickly as you can. Use a sword, greatsword, or something similar for this. If you have opted to use magic, that makes the Spirit Ashes even more important. Make sure to keep your distance and let it be distracted by your li'l deadly friends. Don't get close to the wall, but batter the little fork with as much magic as you can. Good luck!
Utilize His Stomach Area
My final piece of advice, and the one I will leave you with, is to utilize the fact that this bear has clearly enjoyed a few too many fried chickens over the years. Indeed, slap the living hell out of the Rune Bear's giant stomach like you're Will Smith and someone had just insulted an avocado. Seriously, if you roll against its stomach, you can avoid a bunch of damage and if you combine that with madly flailing your weapon like a mad man? This thing will be dead before Chris Rock could say "Oh wow".
So there you have it, folks: beating the Rune Bear in Elden Ring isn't that hard, really, is it? Well, no, not if you know what you're doing, you're prepared, and you've got the skill to take it on. Honestly, if you have truly only just started playing, then you should avoid this motherforker like the plague. If you have three or four hours, though, knock yourself out (not literally, though, EarlyGame does not condone behavior of this kind)...