If you’re getting tired of the Swamps, you’ll have to fight Bonemass, the noxious third boss of Valheim, to go any further in the game. But how do you find it, and what’s the trick to surviving the fight?
Not many players manage to beat Bonemass on their first try, and there are a few good reasons why. However, with a little preparation and creativity, you can turn one of the hardest boss fights into one of the easiest. Here’s how you can find, summon, and beat the writhing Bonemass.
How To Find Bonemass
Bonemass is one of the easiest bosses to find in the game. Its Vegisvir can be found in Sunken Crypts and stone towers that dot the Swamps. You’ll have to go in these structures anyway to find Iron and the summoning material for the boss, so you’ll likely know Bonemass’ location long before you are ready to fight it.
However, Bonemass, like Moder, tends to spawn far away from your current location, as his boss altars tend to spawn in the largest Swamp biomes on the map. Be ready for a long voyage when you decide to fight this boss.
Bonemass can also be somewhat easy to find without the Vegisvir. The altar glows the characteristic green of the Swamps, so it’s easy to see at night, and it creates a clearing of trees around it as well. However, the Swamps aren’t a safe place to stroll around, especially at night, so if you’re searching for Bonemass with brute force, be prepared to fight all the Draugr, Blobs, and Wraiths that happen to spot you.
How To Summon Bonemass
Once you’ve found the altar, run around the back of the skull and interact with the Runestone. It contains the summoning item hint, which reads, “Cook their remains.” If you have a guess for what this might mean, try to interact with the Boiling Death in the mouth of the skull to summon the boss.
If you’re stumped, the answer is quite simple. You’ve likely amassed a pile of Withered Bones from clearing out Sunken Crypts. All you need to do is put 10 of those into the Boiling Death, and it will summon Bonemass nearby.
How To Beat Bonemass
Beating Bonemass is no easy feat, and if you’ve already tried and failed once, you know why: This boss does an unreal amount of Poison damage, and even once you’ve found a way to manage it, you can’t just ignore Bonemass’ other attacks either.
Bonemass’ main attack is a left or right swipe that targets the area directly in front of it. This attack packs a mean punch and has a bit of Poison damage as well. Luckily, it has a very predictable windup animation, so all you need to do is learn the dodge timing and avoid being hit.
When it’s not trying to clobber the players, Bonemass with try one of two things: either throwing a ball of muck that spawns enemies or creating a cloud of poisonous gas. The former attack starts with the massive slime pulling back into a pitching stance before lobbing a ball into the distance. This ball won’t be targeted at you, but that’s only because it’s not trying to deal damage in the first place.
When this ball impacts the ground, it will spawn a handful of Blobs and Skeletons that will start running toward you. Bonemass does this attack often enough that you will almost always have to worry about these extra enemies during the fight.
The final attack is the most deadly. Bonemass will rear back in a puking animation and expel a large cloud of gas that stays around for a while. If you stand in this cloud at all, you will be hit with a massive Poison attack, and it will continue to reapply Poison until you leave the cloud. Without Poison resistance, this attack has the possibility of killing you with the debuff it inflicts, and to make matters worse, Bonemass loves to spew this cloud whenever you get within melee range.
Preparing To Fight Bonemass
Bonemass’ Poison damage simply cannot be ignored — if you want to beat this boss, you’ll need a source of Poison resistance. While it is possible to beat Bonemass without Poison resistance, it requires extreme precision and turns an already long fight into a virtual marathon.
The two best sources of Poison resistance are the Poison Resistance Mead, which requires 10 Honey, five Thistle, one Neck Tail, and 10 Coal, and the Root Mask, which you can build with the drops from Abominations. Poison Resistance Mead makes you resist Poison more effectively than the Root Mask, but it also only works for a limited time, and those gaps between potions can easily prove fatal. On the other hand, it is much easier to create than Root Masks, so you should choose the method that fits your play style best.
Bonemass is also one of the longer boss fights, and the reason might not be apparent at first. Bonemass actually has resistance to most physical damage types, including Pierce damage, the damage type that nearly every ranged weapon deals. There is a silver lining though: To counterbalance its resistances, Bonemass is weak to Blunt and Frost damage.
This means maces, hammers, and Frost arrows are the best weapons to take into the fight. If you can’t reliably farm Obsidian from the Mountains to make Frost Arrows, Fire Arrows are a cheaper alternative — Bonemass at least takes full damage from Fire.
Finally, you’ll likely have to run around the Bonemass altar a lot, and a deep patch of water at the wrong time could prove fatal. Before the fight, get a Hoe and level the ground as much as you can to make it easier to fight on.
The simple and reliable way to kill Bonemass is to get into melee while wielding a mace, dodge the simple swipe attacks, and chug Poison Resistance Mead before a poison gas attack comes out. Even if you have multiple players, getting everyone into melee will end the fight much faster than keeping people back as archers.
However, if that proves too unreliable, there is a cheesier alternative. If you are dedicated to killing this boss with ranged weapons and don’t want to have to run around, you could build an archer platform or two. The large skull that summons Bonemass can serve as an invulnerable base for an archer tower. If you build this tower right, the only thing you’ll have to worry about is if Bonemass manages to spawn a few enemies up there with you.
What Bonemass Drops
Bonemass drops, along with its trophy, a peculiar item: the Wishbone. Unlike previous boss drops, this item doesn’t unlock any part of the next area; instead, it simply lets you mine a few types of ores much, much faster. In case you didn’t know, Silver ore is hidden in underground veins across the Mountains. When you have the Wishbone equipped and get near one, it will flash to indicate the hidden treasure nearby. This also works in other biomes with different items hidden under the ground.
If you take Bonemass’ trophy back to its boss stone, you’ll unlock one of the best Forsaken Powers in the game. Bonemass’ power makes you resistant to all types of physical damage for a short time, and as you can imagine, this is incredibly strong. When used, you can expect to take roughly half as much damage from most attacks in the game, which turns a lot of difficult enemies into little more than annoyances.
NEXT: Valheim: How To Find & Clear Frost Caves