Players trying to take nice shots of the game or put their items onto their backs in Valheim will be happy to find out that putting your shield onto your back is as simple as pressing one key on the keyboard. By pressing the R key players are able to put whatever weapon or shield they have currently equipped onto their back. You can press the r key again to put the item back into your hands.
The ‘r’ key is the key assigned to sheathing by default but if this doesn’t work in your game open up the options menu with the ESC key and check out the controls tab.
We will go over some of the questions and misconceptions about sheathing weapons and shields in this post.
Does Sheathing Weapons Make You Faster?
Some people believe that having a weapon or item in your hand will make you slower or drain your stamina faster. This is true. Sheathing your weapons and items will make you able to sprint faster.
Some items, such as the tower shield, will make the character a certain percentage slower when it is equipped. This applies to some armors as well but since they can’t be sheathed or put onto the back we won’t really go in to detail on armor slowing down the player. If the character, for example runs around with a sword or an axe equipped they are going to be running with a slight movement penalty. Unequipping weapons and will make the player run faster and thus use less stamina/distance covered.
There are some items that are considered heavy and will make you slower when equipped. As aforementioned the wooden tower shield does have a movement speed penalty. You won’t be able to move very fast with this item equipped. If you put the wooden tower shield on your back however, you will be able to move again at full speed. Even though the shield is still technically on your person, pressing r to put the item on your back will negate the weight penalty from this item.
Weapon and Shield on Back
The player is able to put 2 different items on their back as well. If two items can be equipped together they can generally both be put on the back at the same time. For example, if the player has a sword and a shield both equipped and ready to fight, they can both be placed together on the back. This is done the same way by pressing the R key by default. You can also put 2 different items such as a weapon and a torch on the back the same way.
Unfortunately, there is no way to put a shield on your back and also equip a weapon at the same time. If you have anything on your back and attempt tp equip a different item from your inventory, the items on the back will simply disappear back into your inventory.
Will a Shield on your Back Block Attacks?
Having a shield on your back will provide you with no defensive gain at all. Attacks from the back of the character will still do full damage to the player. Even when the player only has the shield in their hand and not in block mode the shield will still block nothing.
Tower shield and round shield alike will not block arrows or any ranged attacks when simply on the players back.
Having a Lit Torch on Your Back
In the current version of the game there is no way to have a lit torch on your back. This means if you wish to explore darker areas like Burial Crypts you will have to have a torch equipped in either the secondary or primary hand. The game is in early access and this feature may be available at a later date but for now if you wish to have an area lit up you will need a torch to actually be equipped.
If you wish to explore caves and ruins with both of your hands free there is an item in the game which the player can wear on their head to provide light. The player can purchase this circlet from the trader in the Black Forest. This headgear will continuously provide light around the player without the need to use a torch and use those valuable hand spaces. This item also has no durability and lasts forever, however you will have to trade this for valuable head armor.
There is one item that can make light whilst it is attached to your back. That is the flaming sword also known as Dyrnwyn. This sword can not be crafted in the current version of the game, but can be spawned using console commands. For more information on this sword see this article.