Valheim has been out in an early access build since February 2, 2021, and it has taken the survival game genre by storm and sea! Players everywhere are taking advantage of the challenging, yet forgiving gameplay, the Viking aesthetic, and up to ten player parties to embark on exciting Viking-themed adventures.
That being said, with already a million downloads under its belt as of this writing, there are sure to be a great number of players who will need a few tips to ensure a smooth beginning. Here are ten such tips and hints to help new warriors thrive in Valheim.
10 Salvage the Old, Hunt the New
When a new Viking is dropped into the mysterious tenth realm of Valheim, one of the most important resources to gather right away is wood. Wood is shelter, wood is tools, and wood will help create a fire. Now, of course, any strong warrior could easily start punching trees to garner their first stacks of wood, but once a player has enough to get some basic tools and a workbench ready, they should then keep their eyes open for any abandoned structures they find.
The wood from a structure can be easily harvested and usually yields a bit more. If a player places a workbench in the middle of the structure, they can use it to expedite the process considerably.
9 A Fine Piece of Timber
Speaking of workbenches, they are the lifeblood of any playthrough of Valheim. Not only are they necessary to craft more advanced items and structures, but they also disable enemy spawning within the area it is placed. As such, it is important to try and upgrade it as soon as possible.
This will open up the options of what is available to craft by a considerable margin. The first two upgrades are fairly simple to obtain, the chopping block and the tanning rack, so they should be the priority for new players. A chopping block requires wood and flint to craft while a tanning rack will need the same along with leather scraps and deer hide.
8 Rivers Be Your Guide
Water is a fantastic resource within Valheim, its importance becoming more and more apparent as the game progresses further along. In the early stages though, rivers show their importance right off the bat. So much so, it would probably be best for players to set up their first base alongside one if they can.
Riversides and lakeshores are the principal locations where players can obtain flint. They are usually found sticking up like rocks out of the water among the clay or sandy soil. Flint is a principal crafting ingredient for most early builds, so best to have easy access to it.
7 Tame The Wild
Flowing right into ease of access, players should also consider building pens early on to trap and domesticate animals. One of the easiest animals to domesticate near the beginning of the game is boars. They are no trouble to get to follow a player, so once some has trapped a boar, they should then throw a mushroom into the pen from the outside.
The boar will eat the mushroom and become more friendly towards the player that fed it. Yellow hearts are the domestication sign to look out for. Once two or more boars are obtained, a player can breed them to have a steady supply of meat and leather scraps.
6 Sail Away
As it always goes with any Viking, they must one day make their way out to sea. But before a longship can be made, players will most likely be crafting a raft as their first vessel. The mechanics to operate it are relatively rudimentary, but here is a refresher on how it all works.
A player simply needs to board the raft and man the rudder. From there, it is a matter of using WASD for movement as usual. The main difference is, water vehicles possess variable speed and that speed is controlled with the “W” and “S” keys. “W” is for forwarding speed while “S” is for reverse. Each can be adjusted up to a degree of three levels. “A” and “D” serve as steering to the right or left respectively.
5 Protect Thy Hold
As Viking warriors, there is naturally a variety of ways to engage in combat. Most of the standard melee weapons are available from clubs and swords to axes and spears. Then there are bows for ranged attacks. Due to these different weapons, some are considered better suited for certain situations than others.
A club, for instance, is better suited for smashing the brittle bones of a skeleton more than a sword is. Effective damage is indicated by yellow damage numbers. If a normal amount of damage, the numbers are white, and ineffective damage is indicated as grey. On top of protecting oneself, the property must be protected as well. Weather will decay structures quickly if not properly protected with rooves and other such structures.
4 There Are Shortcuts
Tutorials are not fun most of the time. Most gamers know this. Nevertheless, it is a necessary mechanic to experience to fully understand the fundamentals of a new game. That is why new warriors in Valheim should take heed of the raven Huginn as he appears around in the early game. He acts as an excellent guide for the various activities from crafting to combat.
In terms of other shortcuts, new players will have a much more efficient experience managing their inventories with a couple of keyboard shortcuts. In Valheim, left-ctrl allows for quick switching items out of two different inventories while shift clicks allow for fast splitting of stacks, a must-have skill for when trying to get rid of materials quickly.
3 Seek Out The Trader
The trader, Haldor, is an ally that would be best found as early on as possible. Valheim‘s maps are procedurally generated, but Haldor is known to consistently spawn within the Black Forest biome. So as long as a player can locate that particular biome, he should not be too far away.
Vikings must keep an eye on their maps for the bag icon that appears within two in-game kilometers of approaching his instance. At that point, he will always be easy to find and he offers many helpful goods to aid in anyone’s adventure. The best early item to get from him is the fishing rod. Adding fish to the diet of possible foods will only increase survivability.
2 Keep Well Fed
Remaining on the subject of food, this might be obvious but hunting is also important for players just starting. While warriors can eat only one type of food if they wish, Valheim encourages pursuing a varied and balanced diet to have a better health bar.
As long as the meat is balanced with vegetables and berries, players should excel for the most part. Different animals also require different hunting techniques. A boar can be easily approached and killed, but deer require more subtlety and stealth in order to assure their speed does not outpace any hunter.
1 Eikthyr Awaits
Lastly, the final thing a beginner should do in Valheim to not be considered a beginner any longer is to kill the first boss, Eikthyr. He is a large stag with lightning powers and a vicious charge. Not only is this a natural course of action due to story progression, but the sooner he is dealt with the better as the pickaxe cannot be crafted until he is defeated.
A pickaxe is needed to craft the more powerful iron and steel weaponry sure to come, among other things. A few tips for the fight: most of Eikthyr’s attacks can be easily blocked with a shield when timed well and it is best to try and fight him in the open. Trying to cheese a fight while hiding in a base is a surefire way to lose said base in the process.