You might find yourself bored in Valheim or overwhelmed depending on the path you decide to take. There is both lots to do and nothing to do at the same time in the game since you can go at your own pace. Taking the survival route, there are certain basic tips to keep in mind when starting your life off right in Valheim.
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There will be many dangers and obstacles ahead to face. Before taking on any large and scary bosses, you’ll want to make sure you have a comfortable home to go back to, walls to hang your trophies on and a nice fire to cook your meat.
Updated October 12th, 2021 by Ryan Bamsey: Valheim is constantly being updated and recently got the massive Hearth and Home addition, which added a ton of new content to the game. There has never been a better time to dive into the world of Valheim, so we’ve added some new tips and information to get you started.
Building A Base
Off the bat you’ll want to build a house. The weather itself can be daunting, but you can’t sleep nights away without a bed, and a bed needs a roof. Literally. There are different rules at play when building certain items. For example, your campfire can’t be on a wood floor but rather has to be on the dirt ground. If there is smoke coming from inside your house there must be ventilation or you’ll suffocate.
You can set up camp just about anywhere but it’s safest in the Meadows. This is where there are fewer trees and more open space. Any size house will do but you’ll want to add torches around your base, a campfire with a cooking station, a workbench, a bed, and a chest. Once you get the hang of chopping trees this will all be a breeze to build. With torches around you can find your way home from far away. Building all of these items will require a workbench to be in the vicinity – and the workbench needs to have a roof over it. If you’d rather your workbench not be inside your house, you can craft a wall and a small roof to go directly behind and over it. Otherwise, you can just place it inside your home.
Walls, floors, and roofs snap together in place so that you know your building is working. You can also craft a hoe using your hammer to level out any dirt ground. This way your house won’t be in an awkward position with half your floors in mid-air and half of them too low. If you’ve made a mistake, you can simply use the middle mouse button on the wall or object you want to remove. Doing this will give you some material back and is super quick. Building is pretty straight forward and there’s not much decoration that can be done at the beginning of the game, but all that will come after you’ve killed some bosses.
Your Health Bar And Eating Food
You won’t die of starvation in Valheim, but the only way to heal is by having a full stomach. There will be three squares next to your health bar and a small thermometer between the squares and health. The three squares are a reference to your stomach. When you eat things, they will be shown there. This is how you keep track of how full you are and what you can eat the next time you get hungry.
You can’t eat the same thing more than once, there’s a timer. Whenever you need healing and your stomach has some space in it, check to see which food item is blinking away or missing. This will be the one you can eat next. With a full stomach, your health will start regenerating. Eating is also how you increase your maximum stamina, which will let you run further and work longer before you’re out of breath. The small icons that appear on your food items denote whether they are better at improving your health, stamina, or a mixture of the two – this way you can eat what you need at a glance.
To collect food, you must hunt. You can get meat from killing boars and deer, neck tails from killing necks, and berries from berry bushes. These will be your beginner meals. Berries are easy enough to spot and collect. Boars will panic and try to defend themselves if you attack them and are an easy fight. Necks stay near the water and look as green as the grass, so it’s best to keep an eye out for them and listen for their distinctive croaking.
Deer are more challenging because they immediately run away if you’re nearby. To take them down you must sneak up behind them and then attack. If a deer has a star under its name it means they are stronger, drop more meat or hide, and need more damage to take down in one hit.
Crafting Armor And Upgrading Tools
The best armor you can get at the very beginning will be leather tunic armor at tier two. To get the leather armor you’ll need to collect deer hide which drop from deer. This can become a grinding experience that’s either annoying or very peaceful. A full leather tunic armor set requires 18 deer hide. Deer usually drop around one to two per kill unless they are higher-level deer with more stars.
You can use a bow and arrow to snipe deer from afar, but the bow is hard to aim with. It feels heavy and you’ll have to aim higher than you think to hit your shot. The best way is to use your best weapon when sneaking up on a deer. Walk normally through the woods until you hear the barking of a deer. Once you hear this, stop quickly in case it’s nearby and you accidentally scare it away. Find your target and start crouching towards it.
Crouch walking costs stamina so it’s important to choose your route wisely and make it there before your stamina runs out. Once you reach the deer you’ll want to kill it with one swing. With a beginner flint axe, spear, or club, you should be able to take it down. Deer with stars under their health bar need more damage to take down in one hit.
To upgrade your weapons and tools you’ll need to go to your workbench, click the upgrade tab, and then see what items you need to make your weapon or tool better. Upgrading your workbench makes it so that you can upgrade your gear even further. To upgrade your workbench to level two you must craft a chopping block out of ten wood and ten flint. A level three workbench requires crafting a tanning rack out of ten wood, 15 flint, 20 leather scraps, and five deer hide. Crafting these uses the hammer’s crafting menu alone. A level three workbench is as far as you can get before you need to take on stronger foe.
There are various skills that you can level up in Valheim, from things as simple as running to the art of sneaking around enemies. You will improve these skills simply by using them – sprinting will improve your run skill, chopping down trees improves your wood cutting skill, and each weapon type has a skill of its own that you can level up. As a skill levels up, you will get better at using it – using less stamina or doing more damage, for example.
Beware of death, though! Upon dying to an enemy or some environmental hazard, you will lose five percent of your total levels in each skill. This is true unless you have the “no skill drain” ability active – this is a buff that gets applied whenever you die so you don’t get stuck in an endless loop of dying and losing your skills against some extremely difficult enemy. This buff only lasts for ten minutes, though.
Combat And Fighting Enemies
Most people have commented that Valheim’s combat system is rather weak and easy to perform. You can block attacks by pressing right-click, but most of the time you will be able to simply walk away from incoming attacks from necks and greylings. If you practice your block timing though, you can pull of damaging parries! You can outrun most of these common beasts if you don’t have the time. Rolling out of dodge is also an available option instead of blocking, but again isn’t always necessary. It just looks cool.
Most of the time you’ll just be attacking, stepping away, and going in again for another swing. No matter the time of day, you won’t have to fear for your life when wandering the wilderness unless you stumble into the Black Forest or a dungeon. This gives Valheim the option to be a peaceful experience if you want to take that route.
Bosses And Progression
There are numerous tiers of progression in Valheim, and moving up to the next tier will involve beating up the next boss as denoted by the standing stones that surrounded you when you spawned into the world. These bosses drop useful items that will grant you access to new tools, new ores, and new areas that are crucial to progression.
To fight a boss, you must first find its altar and then sacrifice the requisite materials – for Eikthyr of the Meadows, for example, you’ll need some Deer Trophies. These bosses can be quite tough if you’re not prepared and they make for fun challenges to play either alone or with friends, and they are required if you want to unlock all of the items and experiences that Valheim has to offer.
The World Of Valheim
The world of Valheim is what you make of it. You can grind and rush to defeat every boss and reign victorious or you can take your precious time enjoying the scenery, building a vibrant village, and hunting some game. The music is mystical and calming, the lighting is sometimes warm and beautiful and other times ominous and enticing. Despite its low graphical art style and being made by five people, Valheim is a game you can spend 1000 hours in or 30 depending on how you like to enjoy your games. Experience Valheim like a Skyrim journey or a Terraria grind.