Risk of Rain Returns: All Bosses [Strategies + Playstyle]

Conquer the dynamic challenges of Risk of Rain Returns with personalized tactics for all bosses, from Colossus to Providence.

In Risk of Rain Returns, another boss has been added to the base roster of ten bosses from the original Risk of Rains. From the lumbering Colossus to the elusive Scavenger and the ultimate adversary, Providence, each boss requires personalized tactics to win against, ranging from kiting to strategic positioning.

Key Takeaways
  • Risk of Rain Returns retains ten bosses from the original one.
  • It also adds one new boss, Lynx Totem.
  • The eleven total bosses each spawn randomly in their respective areas.
  • Providence is the final boss of Risk of Rain Returns.
  • Magma Worm was an annoying boss for me, as the drilling and emerging mechanisms were particularly frustrating to deal with.

All Bosses In Risk Of Rain Returns Compared

Here is a table comparing the stats of all of the bosses in Risk of Rain Returns:

BossHealth (points)Damage (points)Top Speed (km/h)
Wandering Vagrant14001254
Magma Worm140055268
Ancient Wisp14702318
Lynx Totem12101418
Imp Overlord12102527
Toxic Beast14601733

1. Colossus

2 colossi in the first stage
Collosi encountered after activating the first Teleporter in the first stage. (image shot by me)

The Colossus, a sluggish foe, lumbers across the battlefield. Skillful kiting, especially with characters like the Acrid, ensures an easy demise.

  • Patience and precise timing enable survival against him, regardless of your class, and from my experience, the optimal strategy involves positioning on a higher level, raining down attacks until triumph.
  • Modest elevation disrupts his progress, but beware of his stomp’s range.
  • Timing is key when dodging—jumping through him proves effective.

The Colossus can drop a Colossal Knurl item upon defeat.

2. Wandering Vagrant

wandering vagrant log entry
Log entry of the Wandering Vagrant (screenshot through me)

The Wandering Vagrant, a tough boss, may emerge in Dried Lake, Desolate Forest, or Sunken Tomb in Risk of Rain Returns. Diverging from ordinary jellyfish, it inflicts harm through vibrant nematocysts. Reducing damage becomes a breeze, given its reliance on slow and predictable nematocysts. Keep moving to evade harm.

Stand your ground and retaliate, ensuring you move when it strikes. Nematocysts‘ targeting mirrors seeker rockets, allowing players to pass through with ease. Occasional instant detonations occur, possibly tied to lag or a character being atop a nematocyst.

They might drop the Nematocyst Nozzle item upon their death.

3. Magma Worm

magma worm log entry
Log entry of the Magma Worm (image through me)

The Magma Worm boasts a sole attack—emerging, turning, and submerging, leaving a fiery patch. Flames and an arrow precede its emergence, guiding players. Engaging amid other enemies proves challenging. As the worm nears low health, it accelerates but becomes less precise.

  • Despite 20 hit-boxes, only the head inflicts damage.
  • Efficiently dispatch the boss with area-of-effect abilities—examples include the Mercenary’s Whirlwind and the Huntress’ Laser Glaive.
  • Look how Mercencary can parry fall and lava damage here.
  • Taking refuge on a rope or vine safeguards against contact damage.
  • The emergence arrow may lag or vanish, emphasizing continuous mobility.

In recent targeting updates, the Magma Worm’s turn radius targets slower characters in Risk of Rain Returns. Strategic dashes through its body can evade full-on charges.

You have a chance to obtain the Burning Witness item by defeating them.

4. Ancient Wisp

log entry of the ancient wisp
Log Entry of the Ancient Wisp (image captured by me)

The Ancient Wisp inflicts damage solely through summoned lightning columns, allowing ample evasion. A small flame precursor signals impending strikes, providing a method of avoidance—time jumps or deploy a dodge ability, resembling Imp Overlord/Vanguards’ attack.

  • Upon demise, the Ancient Wisp spawns two regular Wisps and two Greater Wisps, overwhelming players with a barrage of attacks, potentially leading to their demise.
  • For an added challenge, the Volatile Ancient Wisp, an elite variant, concentrates its lightning assault, posing a significant threat.

Additionally, the Volatile Ancient Wisp sporadically launches a missile resembling the AtG mk.1 missile item, akin to other volatile elite enemies.

5. Lynx Totem

lynx totem log entry
Risk of Rains Returns Log entry of the Lynx Totem (screenshot via me)

Lynx Totem is a new addition to the original Risk of Rain boss roster. The boss is accompanied by the Lynx Tribe to overwhelm you with their numbers. Moreover, Lynx Totem also has the ability to alter the terrain during combat in order to keep things fresh. It is one of its kind in all of the bosses in Risk of Rain Returns.

6. Imp Overlord

imp overlord log entry
Log entry of the Imp Overlord (image by me)

The Imp Overlord possesses two distinct attacks. The first involves flames descending, easily evaded through jumps or a dodge ability. The second, a swift lunge, swipes and inflicts damage on contact. While not challenging to avoid, rapid movement poses a threat, especially with a cluster of enemies.

The Imp is highly susceptible to even feeble attacks, rendering it an uncomplicated adversary for characters with a rapid-fire rate. Defeating the Imp Overlord may yield the Imp Overlord’s Tentacle. Additionally, it, along with the scavenger, has the potential to manifest as a blighted enemy when playing on monsoon difficulty for over five hours.

They might drop their Imp Overlord’s Tentacle to be yours for the taking.

7. Ifrit

ifrit log entry
Log entry of Ifrit (screenshot via me)

Ifrit exclusively emerges in Ancient Valley – Frozen Tundra. While generally straightforward, exercise caution when surrounded by summoned pillars. Maneuvering through becomes impossible with multiple enemies, restricting movement abilities like the Huntress’s Blink.

Maintain distance during the teleporter spawning phase to prevent close proximity to enemy creation. Ifrit’s offensive repertoire includes a short-range flame attack and a melee strike, easily evaded. Sluggish, Ifrit is an easy target for kiting, especially with characters like Huntress or Acrid.

Upon defeat, Ifrit may drop the valuable item, Ifrit’s Horn.

8. Toxic Beast

toxic beast log entry
Log entry of the Toxic Beast (image via me)

The hefty hog scurries, summoning four Boarlits with each squeal approximately every 18 seconds. These minions pose a challenge comparable to regular Lemurians. While she can traverse most platforms, it’s advisable to keep her distance until she remains the sole adversary, making her the least formidable boss in Risk of Rain Returns.

Despite the simplicity, Toxic Beast inflicts substantial damage if stepping on the player. Jumping is effective, but the frequency of impacts increases landing risks. A strategic approach involves positioning on elevated platforms, as her only method of dealing damage is through hooves.

9. Cremator

log entry of cremator
Log entry of the Cremator (screenshot by me)

The Cremator exclusively emerges in the Magma Barracks, employing a shotgun-like spread of bombs. White circles pinpoint bomb landings, allowing easy evasion. En route to its spawn location, players may be susceptible to hits, as the attack can be directed anywhere on the level.

  • Choosing from three spawning points, the Cremator maneuvers between lava regions.
  • Noteworthy is the lava tunnel housing the Miner’s pod may materialize in the same pit as the Cremator.
  • To avoid damage, constant movement is key.

I’d advise dodging opposite to the boss’s direction in Risk of Rain Returns. While dealing damage, utilize platforms, being cautious not to plunge into the lava. Avoid being directly above during attacks to prevent massive damage from spawning projectiles.

10. Scavenger

scavenger log entry
Log entry of the Scavenger (image procured by me)

Scavengers, formidable bosses in the later game stages, can appear at around 3/4 difficulty in any level, providing a unique challenge. In MONSOON difficulty, they may appear as early as Very Hard. Scavengers unleash various attacks, including a missile barrage, explosive payload, and an electric ball.

They possess two passive abilities, with Mysterious Vial granting gradual regeneration and enhanced attack speed at low health. Despite varied loot, Scavengers don’t exhibit an increased likelihood of dropping specific items. They can be blighted, a rarity shared only with the Imp Overlord.

11. Providence

providence log entry
Log entry of Providence (screenshot via me)

Providence, the ultimate adversary, presents three distinctive phases:

  • Providence has two primary attacks, easily evaded by continuous movement.
  • He shields himself at 66% and 33% health, discouraging engagement unless rapid attacks are possible.
  • Introducing two Gilded Wurms, each with distinct attacks.
  • Caution is needed for the laser stream and projectile spread and eliminating both worms is necessary.
  • After eliminating the worms, Providence reemerges with two Sanctuary Guards.
  • Attacks mirror the first phase, and a new tactic involves summoning the Umbra of Providence, intensifying the battle’s complexity.
  • Recovery strategies include teleporting the Surgery Table or possessing Time Keeper’s Secret.

My Take On All Bosses

risk of rain returns runs
The progress of my runs in Risk of Rain Returns.

After spending a good chunk of my time in Risk of Rain Returns, I have found Magma Worm to be the most annoying boss to deal with. Its speed of 268 km/h and constant drilling kept me on my toes.

Meanwhile, Colossus was the easiest boss to deal with. It was so slow that it never managed to catch up to my Explorer. I easily sniped it from a distance with my kiting characters.

I found Lynx Totem to be a welcome addition to the RIsk of Rain roster. Its terrain transformation powers made the boss fights even more fun and creative, while the Lynx Tribe kept on trying to kill me.

Whether you find yourself strategically evading the attacks of the Imp Overlord or facing the ultimate complexity of Providence’s multi-phase battle, Risk of Rain Returns gives all its bosses the appropriate time and abilities to shine. 

If you are done with random item drops and want to plan your build properly, look into eXputer’s guide on how to unlock the Artifact Of Command.

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Meet Allahyar, an avid gamer and seasoned writer. With a passion for classic 3D Universe GTA titles, FPS gems like Call of Duty 4, and MOBAs like League of Legends, he crafts comprehensive game guides for a diverse range of titles. From OG classics to the latest releases, he is your go-to for expert insights and strategies. Allahyar ensures you're equipped with the knowledge and strategies you need to excel in the gaming world.

Experience: 1+ year || Education: Bachelors in Electrical Engineering.

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