Elden Ring: How to beat Death Rite Bird (no cheese melee strategy)

Elden Ring is full of challenges, yet the Death Rite Bird bosses are deserving of special attention. Here’s how to beat Death Rite Bird (Mountaintops of the Giants) with a melee character build.

Elden Ring has already won a special place in many gamers’ hearts, and its rewarding mix of challenging combat, exploration and wondrous imagery makes it easy to understand why. That said, dying to the Death Rite Bird repeatedly can go some way in ruining the experience.

With that in mind, I’ve written this quick guide that explains how to beat Death Rite Bird without resorting to cheesing or any other game-breaking mechanics. No shade if that’s what you want to play, but I find these tactics work against my enjoyment of Elden Ring.

However, before I get to the specifics of beating Death Rite Bird, I should clarify that there are more than one of these bosses. In typical FromSoftware fashion, the development team decided to populate the world of Elden Ring with multiple iterations of one of the most frustrating enemies in the game.

There are four different versions of this boss in Elden Ring – all of which have corresponding difficulty levels to the area in which they are found. For this guide, I will focus on the one located in the Mountaintops of the Giants (central).

Nonetheless, suppose you are curious how to beat the Death Rite Bird in a different location (Caelid, Liurnia of the Lakes, West Mountaintops of the Giants). In that case, this guide should still be applicable. At the end of the day, these horrific birds fight and die the same.

elden ring death rite bird
Image: Elden Ring / FromSoftware

Preliminary Elden Ring strategy notes

As noted before, this guide covers how to beat Death Rite Bird bosses with a melee build. Melee combat is my preferred strategy in Elden Ring, not because it’s the easiest but because I find it the most fun.

It’s also my preference to find the most oversized sword imaginable, partially due to the stagger potential of such a weapon but also…well, fashion. I chose to use the Greatsword for this fight – although other heavy weapons should work equally well.

High Dexterity builds may require some tweaking, but I believe this strategy will still be quite helpful. Magic users of Elden Ring: sorry, you’ll have to rely on your incredible arsenal of spells and shenanigans.

Ok, with that out of the way, let’s get to why we are all here: killing the Death Rite Bird.

elden ring mountaintops
Image: Elden Ring / FromSoftware

How to beat Death Rite Bird

Chances are you won’t take down this boss on your first attempt, so you’ll be approaching from the closest Marika Stake. This is important, as the first strike of this fight (and most combat in Elden Ring) can significantly impact your success.

Call Torrent and ride towards the Death Rite Bird’s arena. The boss should quickly be activated and start flying down towards the ground (it will land in the same place each time). Charge forwards on your mount, and when in range, perform a jumping dismount (tap L3). While still in the air, perform a heavy attack on your foe, ideally connecting with its big head.

Staggering enemies in Elden Ring is critical, and landing jumping strikes on enemies’ heads is a great way to accomplish that. So when possible, target the Death Rite Bird’s head – be careful it doesn’t stagger you first with its pesky pecking.

how to beat death rite bird
Image: Elden Ring / FromSoftware

Once you’ve landed your first blow, try and maintain your momentum by aggressively pressing the boss. Try to position yourself close to its legs, just next to its right leg (on your left). The Death Rite Bird will peck you from above, interrupting your attacks and dishing out significant damage if you are too central.

If it tries to create space by flying away or performing a diving attack, roll out of the way, line up a jumping attack to its head, and then return to attacking its legs. If successful, you should be able to stagger and perform a critical attack on the enemy in the first 30-40 seconds of the fight.

Surviving long enough to kill the Death Rite Bird

The Death Rite bird has many dangerous attacks that do immense damage. Rolling is an integral part of melee combat in Elden Ring, and you’ll have to time your dodges well here.

Pay special attention to the Death Rite Bird’s lunging grab/bite attack, as this can be a one-hit kill unless you have decent Vigor. For this attack, roll to the side as soon as you see it coming. No delay.

elden ring boss guide bird
Image: Elden Ring / FromSoftware

The boss’s flying attacks where it dive bombs you feet first can be rolled through (roll forwards). Similarly, its swinging attacks should be rolled through, unless it’s the one that sends a charged beam straight at you (roll to the left and charge towards him with a jumping attack.

Finally, occasionally the Death Rite bird will fly away and launch a powerful AOE spell where swords target a large section of the arena. Jump on Torrent and run for it…or panic roll to make the most of your i-frames.

Keep in mind this is the kind of Elden Ring boss you want to finish as soon as possible. Be aggressive and try to finish the fight quickly. Death Rite Birds are weak to Holy damage, so popping a Holy Grease could be worth it once you have a read on its attacks.

death rite magic
Image: Elden Ring / FromSoftware

Recommended level and gear

The Death Rite Bird hits like a truck, meaning you should try and increase your health any way possible (use a Rune Arc, level up your Vigor, wear talismans that buff health).

I was level 95 when I beat Death Rite Bird (Mountaintops of the Giants), with 40 Vigor, a Crimson Amber Medallion equipped and wearing the Gelmir Knight set. Even with all that, his grab attack almost killed me in one hit.

However, it should go without saying but don’t equip anything that will make you fat roll. It would be best if you were mobile in this fight.

Not getting hit is obviously the best strategy, but in the world of Elden Ring, that’s easier said than done. Therefore, if you are still struggling to beat Death Rite Bird, it might not be a bad idea to come back after you’ve got a bit more health; patience is a virtue fellow Tarnished.

Check out the video that shows how I beat the Death Rite Bird right here. Sometimes a demonstration is more valuable than a thousand words, and that’s doubly true in my opinion when it comes to Elden Ring.

Good luck, fellow Tarnished, you’ve got this!

What’s next?

The next major Elden Ring boss you’ll likely come up against is the Fire Giant. Be sure to check out our video that demonstrates how to beat the Fire Giant with a melee strategy.