It’s hard to believe that early access Viking survival game Valheim has been out for just under three weeks now. Valheim has taken the gaming world by storm by amassing 3 million copies sold in the short time it has been out and currently holding the number 4 spot on steamcharts.com on current players. The game is in a constant battle with PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds for the 3rd spot.
Even with such a great reception and player base though we must say the game can be pretty difficult. With combat being the main focus of the game players can expect to die often. You will not only find yourself face to face with some tough, tough demanding enemies, the weather conditions and other mechanics (including the trees!), all seem to be plotting against you.
Keep in mind that some of the tips and tricks included in this guide will contain exploration and content spoilers for those that haven’t made it to that point in the game. You have been warned people. I mean, it’s even in bold.
That’s why I’ve come here today to count down 20 tips and tricks for Valheim to keep you alive and well rested during your stay on the 10th Norse world. Without further ado, let’s crack on with it!
1. Be Aware of Falling Trees
Cutting down trees is probably going to be one of the first things you do in Valheim. You will need wood for just about everything including crafting weapons, boats and of course building yourself a nice shelter to stay out of the rain. One mechanic players are having a lot of fun with it the fact that falling trees can and will do damage. When you cut down a tree in the game it will fall. Falling trees can kill.
Falling trees and logs can do damage to the player, enemies and also other trees. It’s possibly to start a chain reaction in the forest with a well situated tree felling so use this to your advantage and always look up when you cut down a tree!
2. Build Indoor Campfires with Smoke in Mind
In order to be able to rest in a bed, it must not only be under a roof and decent sized shelter, but you must have a burning campfire nearby. This can get kind of tricky if you plan on having a large room with a bed in the middle of the room. Campfires can only be placed onto the ground at the beginning of the game, so you are going to want to plan in your campfire in the shelter before you decide to put down flooring.
You also must have somewhere for the smoke to go as smoke from the fireplace will build up inside a closed in area and suffocate anyone inside. Always think about where the smoke is going to go and try to plan this ahead before getting stuck in to an elaborate base design.
3. Learn How to Parry
A parry is a move that is going to be a combat essential in Valheim. With a good enough shield, even hits from trolls and other large beasts can be parried and used against them. A parry is performed when the player using the block move just as an enemy attack is about to land on them. Upon a successful parry, the enemy who performed the move will be stunned as shown by a (rather comical) animation of them flailing their arms back in the air. Learning how to parry will make you a master of combat and when you get the timing down pat you will feel like Bjorn Ironside himself.
4. You Will Unlock a Pickaxe After the First Boss
When you first start your journey in Valheim you are told by a raven names Hugin to hunt down and destroy the forsaken. These are Odin’s greatest enemies and the boss creatures that you will have to hunt down and well, destroy. The first of these creatures is named Eikthyr. upon defeating Eikthyr you will be given a material known as Hard antler which can be used to craft your very first pickaxe of the game. The pickaxe can not only be used to destroy rocks and dig underground in Valheim, but it can be used to father metals for crafting.
If you are having trouble with the first boss, or can’t figure out how to summon him, check out this guide I wrote on Eikthyr, the first forsaken.
5. Craft Food to Raise Your Maximum Health and Stamina
Valheim doesn’t follow the simple survival game trope of raising your health and stamina through leveling. Valheim follows a levelling system similar to that of Morrowind or Kenshi where you have a skill level for each individual skill. Swimming will raise your overall swimming ability and sprinting will cause you to be able to sprint for longer. Shock I know. Players may be wondering how do I raise my health and my stamina?
In Valheim your maximum health and stamina pool is decided from the food you consume. Eat type of food has different stats that will remain on your character for a while after the food has been eaten. For example berries may raise your health by about 20HP whereas eating a nice juicy piece of cooked meat will raise your health level significantly more. You can eat three different types of food at any one time, so mix and match your diet to fit your needs.
6. Find Your Friends With the Help of a Button
We wrote a short guide on how to find your friends on the map earlier in the week but I figured it deserved it’s own spot on this list as well. With so many different systems and controls in Valheim it can all be a bit overwhelming for players who just want to dive in to the game and start playing with their friends. To begin with your map won’t tell you where every player is so you will be running around in the dark. You can toggle a checkbox at the bottom of the map to enable other players on the server to see your location on the map. This will help you find your friends.
[Bonus hint: You can use the Mouse-3 button, (click in the scroll wheel), to ping an area on the map that can be seen by other players too. Great for showing the direction of travel when sailing, or helping a player find the base without having to open their map.]
7. Exploit Damage Weaknesses
There are a few different damage types in Valheim and learning how and when to use them is essential to combat. Different weapons will do different damage type. For example where are three different physical damage types in the game, blunt, piercing and slashing damage. Clubs and maces will be doing blunt damage, spears and arrows are piercing and swords and axes will be your source of slashing damage.
Figuring out what enemies are weak to will help you become king of the battlefield. For example trolls are weak to piercing damage, so arrows and spears are going to take down a troll quicker than a couple of maces.
In addition to physical damage there is also different elemental damages such as fire and poison damage. Every enemy has a different set of resistances and weaknesses to test a few different weapon types when facing a tough enemy and figure out what works best.
8. Pick Up Everything to Learn New Recipes
If you are trying to learn some new crafting recipes in Valheim then this is information you need to know. The way that to expand your knowledge of different recipes is by collecting different items. If you want to build something, you will need to collect at least 1 of every item that exists in it’s crafting recipe. For example before you can unlock the Item Stand you will have to have had at least 1 bronze nail and 1 fine wood in your inventory.
Pick up absolutely everything you can find in Valheim at least once. There is a use for every single item in the game even if you may not see it at first. Make sure you grab it all so you can see what cool things you may be able to craft with it. (Including these 3 Powerful weapons!)
9. Carts Can Help You on Hauling Trips
Of all the helpful things that the bronze age has to offer in Valheim, I’d almost say the cart is the best. The cart, will help you carry large amounts of items long distances, saving you time to do more important things. There is nothing worse than having to travel half a day to a copper deposit only to fill up your inventory in a matter of minutes and then have to walk half a day back. Carts, can be connected to the player whilst they move any fight. You don’t have to equip it at all and they can carry large quantities of anything.
Build a cart as soon as you can so you can hoard resources. Trust me, you are going to need a lot of them.
10. Build Multiple Bases
You are going to die in Valheim. With each new biome/area come a new tough challenge. From the Draugr of the swamps to the cursed Deathsquito of the plains there is always something waiting around the corner to end you. There is not limit to the amount of bases you can create in Valheim. Use this to your advantage. Even if you wish to set up a small 2×2 room do it. There is nothing worse than losing your only pickaxe halfway across the map with all of the supplies you’d need to craft yourself another real boat. Trust me on that one. Having multiple beds to sleep in can be very helpful! This doesn’t have to be a Dragon Bed.
You can even connect your bases with the use of teleporters for fast travel. If you’ve gotten past the second boss, The Elder, they should be relatively easy to farm supplies for and build. Don’t be stingy with those Surtling cores!
11. Tame Creatures
Players may not realize that you can actually tame some of the creatures found on Valheim for different purposes. There are some runestones hinting at the fact that boars can become tame with the help of the roots of the earth. In the current version of the game, the boar, wolf and lox can all be tamed by the player. Boars can by bred and slaughtered by feeding them and having them stay in a pen together. you can create yourself a nice little source of leather scraps and meat this way.
Wolves, can be tamed and will follow the player around and attack hostile enemies. A great travel companion to help defeat your enemies.
Lox. Well they can be tamed. I don’t really know why but they look pretty cool. Perhaps their functionality will be added at a later date as the game still is in early access.
12. Build With Stability in Mind!
Building has it’s own special mechanics in Valheim. If you wish to build a large structure you will need to have the proper support under it. Building something without the proper support, such as building out on an X axis without having support underneath will cause the construction to fall. When you are snapping pieces together you will see that sometimes there is a different color for the piece you are attaching it to. This indicated the structural integrity of the piece. Green means that the piece is stable and you are safe to attach, yellow means it is starting to get a little weaker, Blue means that the piece is completely stable and built into the earth and red means that the piece will probably just break off after a few seconds.
Building supporting pieces like beams from core wood and other materials will help keep your buildings up. Buildings that don’t have the proper support or that are being rained on without a roof will slowly degrade to half of their total hit point. Structures out in the rain or without proper support will never decay and be destroyed though, so your docks with support posts in the water are totally safe!
13. Split Stack and Transfer All
Inventory management can be a big deal. There are a few hotkeys to help you manage your inventory so you can spend less time staring at your loot and more time getting out there and defeating forsaken. You can use the Shift + Left Click buttons to split a stack of items. You can choose an amount you want to take out of the stack and place it wherever you want.
Ctrl + Left click will instantly transfer the entire stack into whatever container you currently have open. Quick stacks.
14. Repair Your Items! It Costs Nothing
Another of those handy tips Hugin seems to have forgotten when giving us the full tutorial is how to repair armor and weapons. Including how to repair the axe in Valheim. By opening up the workbench you are able to press a button located on the left of the workbench UI to repair your worn down items. It costs absolutely nothing to repair your items so you can come back multiple times. Stop throwing away your items the end of their durability. It is not over.
15. You Can Move Furniture and Break Thing Down Without Wasting Resources
As we talked about in an earlier post, furniture and items can be moved and replaced by breaking them down. Unlike other building or survival games where the player is punished for accidently placing an item down, Valheim thankfully, does things a little differently.
Say you’ve accidently put down a wall or table in the wrong spot. Using the hammer you are able to destroy the object again to reclaim all of the materials you used to put it down. This is genuinely one of my favorite parts of the game. There was nothing worse that in games like Ark, when you’d accidently build something in the wrong spot or decide to move your house and have to lost half of the materials.
Valheim just punishes players in the right ways without wasting their time.
16. You Can Build With Stone By Unlocking Iron in Valheim
A lot of players have been asking me when they can finally start building stone roads and building stone floors for their house. Anyone wanting to build their very own castle will be pleased to hear that after beating the second boss, The Elder, you will gain access to Scrap Iron and thus Iron. After smelting down some iron bars you will be able to craft yourself a stonecutter, a tool that will allow you to work with stone in order to build things.
Stone is more stable that wood to build with, looks aesthetically pretty nice and has the ability to have campfires and smelters built on top of it. Working with stone is a huge advancement in Valheim so be prepared to have your building world turned upside down. That longhouse is about to become a long castle.
17. Using Your Forsaken Power With Friends
After sacrificing your defeated forsaken enemy to the gods at the sacrificial stones, you will unlock the ability to use that forsaken’s power. These powers will range from combat and stamina boosts to just being able to cut wood faster. One of the first controls you should learn in the game is that you can press the F key to use your forsaken power. The power will last for 5 minutes and will have a cooldown of 20 minutes.
One thing the game does not tell you is that if there are other Vikings nearby when you activate your power they will also get the bonus as well. Doing the math on this one, means that if all characters have the same forsaken power, you would need 4 people on the server using the power one after the other to have the power literally last forever.
We have written about forsaken powers including a full list of all forsaken powers here.
You can also mix and match the powers and have all forsaken powers running at the same time. But be careful, that kind of power is dangerous…
18. You Should Beat Serpents With the Karve
Players have been scared to travel the waters alone in Valheim due to the rampart serpent attacks happening in the game. Serpents are hostile sea creatures that spawn in the Ocean biome and are prevalent at night and during storms. It is no small feat beating these serpents without a plan going in to it. Luckily once you get to and unlock the second ship in the gave, the Karve, you should be able to beat a serpent.
By shooting one of them with a Finewood bow using regular wooden arrows, I managed to kill it when it had only done about 1/4 damage to our Karve. Make sure you bring enough arrows, however as if one if these manages to break your boat in the middle of the ocean, you’re done for.
19. Check Out the Valheim Reddit for Building Inspiration and Tips
Some of incredible things people have been building in the game absolutely blow me away. The things that people have managed to do just with some snapping and wooden posts never fails to astonish me. You can check out the Valheim Subreddit here for yourself and sort by best of all time. There are some really cool things people have made, (and of course plenty of memes.)
Along with inspiration for your next building project, there are also hundreds of thousands of players on the subreddit ready to give helpful hints and discoveries in the game. Something new is being posted everyday and it is a great source of knowledge for any player.
20. Zoom the Minimap In and Out
The last and one of the more useful utility tips I have to share for Valheim is something that I learnt far too late. By using the . and , keys you can zoom the minimap in and out. This is great for finding friendly markers just out of sight of your character or trying to find the boundaries of an island.
That was the list of 20 tips and tricks for Valheim! Do you have any more tips that you’ve discovered in the game that you ant to share? Leave a comment down below to help out your fellow Vikings and make Odin proud!