This guide will “guide” you to know about the game from start to finish, and anything in-between!
Do keep in mind that you could find some spoilers here so be advised.
Your First Steps
Creating your Character
Starting off first, if you haven’t already, you’ll need to make a character. You can use the slider’s on the left, as shown; to change the different attributes about your character (Sex, Skin Tone, Hair, Beard, Hair Tone, and Blondness).
Now one thing to note… these character attributes are fully personal preference, and they do not give you an Advantage nor a Disadvantage in game.
Note: Your character is cross-server-progression based. Meaning, if you for instance have an Axe from your server you played on, and then join a friend’s server; you’ll have that axe still. This can be good and bad. Good; because you start with an advantage, but bad because if you loose it in one, you loose it in all.
There is no limit to the number of characters you can make; however, they will always be sorted alphabetically, so be sure to remember that when making a new one.
Once you’ve landed into your Valheim World, it’s best to talk to Hugin First. Hugin is your game guide, your spiritual protector, your father- wait. No, not that one. He’s a bird. Whenever you make progress in the game, that can be considered a “Landmark” or “Achievement” Hugin will appear and tell you all about it.
Now, if you’ve either already played the game, or don’t want him, you can look up a tutorial to turn him off, but to be honest, I don’t know why you’re reading a beginners guide, if you don’t need Hugin’s help. Just sayin…
Your First Steps Once In
Well perfect; you loaded into a Server. You’ll notice you’re being carried by a Large Bird. Well one thing to note, if you press m, you can open your map, and notice that they are opening part of your map. This can come in handy by being able to now note if you’re close to Water, Meadows, Black Forest, Swamp, etc etc.
Once you’ve landed, you’ll first want to talk to Hugin, as mentioned before; and then you’ll want to head over to the Lit Up Stone and you’ll want to Register the Vegvisir so that you’ll know where the first boss Eikthyr is. Now do note, we’re not going to explain how to kill all of the bosses until later in the guide, so if that’s what you need, then skip ahead!
Now, before leaving the starting area, you’ll want to take a look behind the boss stones, to find some Food, Wood, or Rocks. It’s free things, so I don’t know why you wouldn’t. Now on this note; we need to start collecting resources. The ones available right away are Wood and Stone. These will be vital, and will stay with you for the entire time you play the game. As you cannot chop trees yet without tools, you’ll have to pick up wood from Branches on the Ground, or hitting small trees. You can find rocks laying on the ground. Once you have the resources of 3 Wood and 2 Stone, I would make a Hammer First, as it means we can then build a campfire, workbench, and buildings. Now in my personal opinion, early game, Stone Axe is the best tool. Though some creatures (mentioned in another section) do damage differently according to Blunt, Sharp, etc; the Axe allows you to chop things down, and deal damage. The Stone Axe requires 5 Wood and 4 Stone.
Once you’ve crafted your basic equipment and thrown together some shelter, your next priority should be your empty stomach. Food in Valheim is a little different from other survival games. While you can’t starve to death, food is still critical for survival. Each different item will either provide you mostly health, mostly stamina, or an even amount of both.
For now, you won’t have access to Valheim’s delicacies, but you can get some nice meats and berries. Hunt some deer, boar, and necks in the meadows, and you’ll almost certainly stumble across some raspberry bushes along the way, and maybe some Blueberries if you accidentally touch the Black Forest. If you’re having trouble finding specific animals, I find a lot of necks near water, boars near hills, and deer in thick woods, hopefully you will too.
Before moving to the next stage of Valheim, you’ll need to do a fair bit of hunting. For that, I’d recommend making a crude bow as soon as you can. This will make it easier to hunt deer and in general, plus level up your bow skill, which will be helpful later. Once you have some food, hunt deer and boar until you have your crafting bench upgrades and some leather armor. You don’t have to be excessive, but some basic defense will be helpful. Now, it’s time to gear up for the first boss fight.
One thing to mention, don’t be afraid of Greylings. They’re so easy to kill, i’d be comfortable almost saying they’re Passive. I’ve never died to one, and don’t plan on ever doing so.
Your Second Steps
Now you have a base of operations, some decent food, and entry-level equipment. You’ve outgrown your starting area, so it’s time to look further afield. It’s time to become a real man (unless you’re a woman), and step up and beat your first boss. Here’s all the information you’ll need to beat them.
Rewards on Defeat:
- Hard antlers, used for crafting a pickaxe.
- Eikthyr trophy.
- Eikthyr power (Found at Spawn).
Eikthyr is the first boss you can summon in your starting biome, the Meadows. To summon Eikthyr, you’ll need to place two deer trophies (from hunting deer) on Eikthyr’s altar, which you’ve marked at the beginning of the game.
Eikthyr has three different attacks. From a distance it has a ranged electrical attack, shooting lighting from its antlers. Up close, it will rear up and stomp its front legs down for an area of effect electrical attack. It will also ram with its antlers as a melee attack. Now, despite Eikthyr’s size, you can effectively block its attacks with a small wooden shield, so make sure you’ve crafted one. You can have a bow crafted to shoot it from a distance, but focus on blocking with your shield and striking it with a melee weapon like a flint spear or axe between its attacks. No need to chase him, conserve your stamina and let him come to you.
After defeating Eikthyr, hang his trophy on the sacrificial stone at your starting point in the world, which will grant you the Eikthyr power, a buff to your stamina while running and jumping. This comes in handy throughout the game. Default, press f to activate it.
A New Adventure
With the first boss defeated, you will have a basic idea of the mechanics and gameplay loop of Valheim. Essentially, you will move to a new biome, establish a base, harvest materials, then defeat what amounts to an area boss.
You’ll likely have noticed that there are very few enemies in the meadows, none of which are especially threatening. The Black Forest is a bit of a step up. The enemies won’t cause you too many problems, but the Black Forest on the other hand; can be a bit of a step up. Prepare yourself. Once you get into the Black Forest you need to look for caves that have small entrances. I specify small because there are caves with big entrances, though I’d hesitate to go in them just yet if I were you. In them are a few enemies, skeletons usually, guarding a much-needed treasure – surtling cores. These cores are the most important item in the forest for now, as they are used to build charcoal kilns, smelters, and portals. The first two allow you to make use of the remaining treasures of the forest, namely tin and copper ore.
Neither ore is terribly difficult to find, though you’ll have to look in certain areas. Tin usually can be found along rivers and the shoreline, looking like a glistening stone. Copper is typically deeper in the forest, found in large deposits that take a fair bit of mining to get a good haul. Once you have at least 10 cores, some tin, and as much copper as you can carry, it’s time to head back to base.
Do note, whilst in the Black Forest, you have the chance to find the Merchant. They spawn randomly, but when you find them and are close to them, you’ll see a bag icon; on your map. You can buy and sell some items to them.
So there are four ways you can craft in Valheim:
- [Tab] Allows you to craft SIMPLE items.
- [Workbench of Forge] Allows you to Craft more advanced items, and upgrades.
- [Hammer] Allows you to place Structures (Including the Workbench/Forge).
- [Smelter, Kiln, Cooking Station] Food and Resources.
Now, these are the ways to craft. You’ll find yourself crafting quite often, so make sure you have a lot of the required resources for everything.
How to unlock more Craft-able things
To unlock different recipes or structures you have to get at least one of the necessary items to make the craft. For example, if you want to get the recipe to craft a flint axe you need to find flint and wood first.
Making your First Base
As with any survival game; having a base is Vital. Now while adventuring you have the option to Re-purpose and use one of the many Small Buildings you find around the meadows.
Important Land Attributes to Look For
There are a couple of things to look for in your first base. Firstly, quick access to water is crucial. Boats in Valheim are a requirement for exploration and transport later on, so settling near a river’s mouth or along the coast will spare you from future hassle. Next, you’ll want easy access to lots of wood. Making anything in Valheim will cost you a fair amount of wood, so having a dense forest nearby will be a lifesaver. Lastly, though this is somewhat down to personal opinion, you’ll want a lot of space, or at least the ability to get it quickly.
As somewhat mentioned above:
- Quick Water Access.
- Wood Access (As silly as that sounds, as there’s wood everywhere, trust me, you’ll want quick access to Wood).
- Space for Expanding Later.
Common Resources Needed
- Wood – Obtained by Chopping Trees in the Meadows, Black Forest, and Swamps.
- Core Wood – Gotten by Chopping Pine Trees in the Black Forest.
- Fine Wood – Obtained by Chopping Birch Trees in the Meadows.
- Stone – Collected from The Ground, Stone Rocks, or dropped from Greydwarfs; everywhere.
- Coal – Get it by Burning Food in the Cooking Station, or from the Charcoal Kiln.
- Copper – Mining it from Copper Nodes in the Black Forest.
- Feather – Killing Birds or getting from Chests in the Meadows and Black Forest.
- Flint – Collect it from the ground near rivers or sea in the Meadows.
- Hard Antler – Get it by Killing the First Boss (Eikthyr Boss) in the Meadows.
- Deer Hide – Get it by Killing Deer in the Meadows or Black Forest.
- Leather Scraps – Obtained by Killing Boars in the Meadows.
- Wolf Pelt – Obtained by Killing Wolves in the Mountain Ranges.
- Troll Hide – Obtained by Killing Trolls in the Black Forest.
- Lox Pelt – Gotten by killing Loxs in the Plains.
- Mushroom – Collected from the Ground in the Meadows and Black Forest.
- Raw Meat – Collected by Killing Deer or Boars in the Meadows and Black Forest.
- Resin – Gotten by killing Greydwarfs or breaking small trees in the Meadows, Black Forest, or Swamp.
As you may notice, certain foods have different colored Forks next to them. This symbol signifies whether they give you higher amounts of Health, or Stamina (or both).
- Yellow – Stamina.
- White – Equal.
- Red – Health.
- Starting Area.
- Full of Trees, Stone, Deer, Boars, and Raspberries.
- Not very dangerous.
- Probably the Second Area you Explore.
- Full of Pine Trees, Stones, Mushrooms, Greydwarfs, Trolls, and Mining Deposits.
- Somewhat Dangerous.
- Blizzards make you freeze and damage you over time.
- You need to be close to a firepit, or you’ll need to wear warm clothing.
- Full of Wolves. They’re not nice.
- You can find small drakes, werewolves, and an ice giant.
- You can find Dragon Eggs here.
- You can find Iron, Obsidian, and Silver.
- Full of Slimes, Skeletons, Draugrs, and more.
- You can get like poisoned here.
- You can find Iron Here.
- If you sail far away from the coast, you will move into it.
- Sea “serpents” will come during Night and Storms.
- Good Source of Find Wood.
- Cloudberries found Here.
- Fulings, Deathsquitos, Lox, Tar, Berserkers.
- Fuling Shamans.
Quality of Life Tips n’ Tricks
Hitting Trees for XP
The more you hit – the more you level up your weapon skills. If you’re going to hit a tree with a weapon that isn’t an axe, you’re going to deal 0 damage. Game sees it as an actual hit and because of that you can gain skill points by mindlessly attacking a tree. Quite fast and effective way to increase your combat power.
Roll mechanic might be very tempting to use due to its high amount of invincibility frames, although it’s a trap and here’s why. You see, your stamina does not regenerate fast enough to roll efficiently over and over. If you instead learn the move set of particular enemies and try to dodge with side steps or short sprints whenever it’s possible. By doing so you’re going to save more stamina for attacks, which might be crucial in many situations.
But sometimes a good roll saves you.
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