How to Backstab in Valheim – Backstab Explained

There are a wide array of different mechanics in the current version of Valheim. Not only can you use different types of physical and elemental attacks, there are some advanced combat manoeuvres that aren’t fully explained in the game. One of these is the Backstab.

In Valheim a backstab isn’t necessarily as it sounds. To perform a backstab you will won’t have to actually hit an enemy on the back. You must just hit an enemy that isn’t alerted to your presence. A better name for the technique would be a sneak attack.


What is a Backstab?

A backstab is an advanced manoeuvre which can be performed in Valheim to do bonus damage to an enemy. Backstab has been apart of RPG and roughlike games for quite a while and is generally associated with stealth characters and daggers.

When you check the stats for a weapon in Valheim, you can see what type of damages it can do and how much damage the weapon can do. You will also see that there is a backstab number which shows a multiplyer upon a successful backstab. This multiplier will affect the original damage that was going to be done with the hit x the multiplier. For example, if I was to strike an unsuspecting enemy with my sword which does 50 damage and the backstab multiplier is 200% then I will do 100 damage to the enemy.


Enemy Alert Indicators

Since the latest patch of Valheim the developers have added indicators above enemies to show their alert levels.

The Neck cannot be backstabbed as he is alerted to the player's presence
A Neck, alerted to the player’s presence

When an enemy has no indicator above their head that means they are not alerted to an enemy’s presence at all. When the target has this stage of alertness the player can perform a backstab by striking them. Utilizing the sneak function you can approach enemies without alerting them. If you can manage to land an attack while they haven’t been alerted you will do backstab damage regardless of where you hit them. Backstabs do not have to be performed on the backs of enemies.

The second alertness is the yellow indicator which looks kind of like a circle. The yellow symbol means that the enemy has heard or sensed something but hasn’t found it yet.

If the enemy has a red exclamation mark above their head they are alerted to the players presence and will take the action appropriate to their behavior. Passive creatures like deer will try to flee, but hostile creatures like the Neck and Boar will attack the player when at this level.


Weapons for Backstabbing

All weapons in Valheim will have a certain multiplier assigned to them regarding backstab. Some weapon types will have a greater backstab damage multiplier than others. Smaller bladed weapons like the knife or dagger will generally do the most backstab damage as these weapons are more associated with sneak and roguery. For example, the copper knife, (along with the other knives in the game) will do a bonus of 10x the regular damage if the player performs a successful backstab.

the flint knife is a useful weapon for backstabbing in valheim

If you can sneak up on an enemy and land a successful backstab with a knife you will do a ton of damage to begin with. The base damage that you will do will depend on what type of weapon you are using originally and what your current skill with that weapon is.

You can also do backstab damage with all of the bows in Valheim. The damage multiplier upon a successful sneak attack with a bow will do 3x damage. Ever wondered why every time you hit a deer they just exploded? Chances are you have been doing backstab damage with your arrows without even realizing the whole time. As long as the enemy hasn’t detected you, your shot will always do backstab damage.

Other weapon types such as the spear and sword all have their own multiplier for backstab damage. Although they aren’t quite as good as the knife for backstab damage you can still get a good head start on your enemies HP by utilizing the backstab.


Armor to Help You Sneak

If you are having trouble sneaking up on your enemies to perform a backstab then you could try becoming a lot sneakier. Along with just raising your general sneak level by moving around near enemies undetected there is a set of armor that you can wear that will make your character more sneaky immediately.

If you wear a full set of troll hide armor then your character will get a 25% bonus to their sneaking ability. This means that you will have to craft yourself a Troll hide helmet, pants, tunic and cape and equip them all at the same time. Their quality level doesn’t matter. You do not have to upgrade them all together to get the sneak bonus.

sneak and backstab easier in Valheim with the help of troll leather armor

Do you have any more tips on backstabbing in Valheim? Leave a comment down below.


Related: 20 Tips and Tricks for Valheim | How to Anchor Your Boat in Valheim

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