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Valheim’s Vikings are hitting a brick wall at the game’s third boss, Bonemass

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This big boy’s a little overloaded

Valheim’s Bonemass boss running through the swamps Image: Iron Gate Studio/Coffee Stain Publishing via Polygon

Valheim is a game where players explore a vast world, and build their own bases in a hostile wilderness. There’s lots to worry about out there, from feral hogs to sea monsters, but one boss in particular is causing everyone a big headache. Meet Bonemass, a Slimer-type fellow who, despite being only the third boss, is somehow the biggest obstacle in the game.

In Valheim, your progression and exploration is gated behind bosses, who can be summoned at mysterious altars hidden around the world. For instance, in order to mine ore from the mysterious Black Forest, players have to kill a giant lightning elk and take his hardened antler. That lets players make a pickaxe, and as they venture into the Black Forest, they’ll find the altar for the next boss, a giant Ent carrying some swamp keys.

The first boss is a helpful exercise in teaching Vikings how to block with a shield and manage their stamina while hitting a big beefy enemy. The Elder Ent teaches players to dodge area-of-effect attacks and dish out damage while they’re on the move.

Bonemass, on the other hand, has seemingly no limits. Geez, Iron Gate, why does Bonemass get to have six mechanics? He has tons of environmental damage, meaning players have to dodge lots of area of effect gasses and hits. He summons adds, and they’re surprisingly tough to fight. He is the king of poison damage, so make sure you bring resistance potions. He hits like a truck and has an enormous health pool, so maybe bring some health potions too, because you’ll be there for a while. Finally, your sharp weapons are useless, so bring clubs and maces.

There’s a lot going on there! Players have definitely noticed how tough Bonemass is, and are sharing stories on social media about their long struggle to take him out and acquire his trusty wishbone. Some players have learned they can harpoon Bonemass, pull him out into the ocean, and then circle him with a boat while whittling him down. That’s not how the fight is intended to go, but hey, all’s fair in love and war. Especially if you’re fighting a giant slime man.

“Of course, we are going to listen to community feedback, and you never know what we’ll do in the future for balancing,” said Henrik Törnqvist, co-founder of Iron Gate. “Bring poison resistance potions is my best tip.” (We have a few suggestions in our guide on how to defeat Bonemass.)

Overall, Bonemass isn’t a game breaking boss or an unstoppable force. It’s just an unusually tough fight in an otherwise well-paced game. The jump from boss one to boss two is enough to feel like you’re appropriately challenged and have grown as a Viking. The jump to boss three feels twice as difficult, whereas boss four feels like a downgrade in difficulty. Luckily for everyone, some dedication, a good team, and/or a willingness to cheese Bonemass by dragging him into the ocean, is enough to overcome this challenge.