Valheim Building Guide

03/05/2021 - 17:23 | By: Robert N. Adams
Developer
Iron Gate
Release Date
February 2, 2021
Multiplayer modes
Co Op, Online, Online Features
Platforms
Linux, Mac, PC
Purchase (Some links may be affiliated)
Steam
This Old Longhouse

Valheim building is a necessary skill to survive in this Viking survival crafting game, but not everyone understands the best way to go about it — this guide breaks down the basics and gives you some advanced tips, too!

Buildings in Valheim are most commonly used to protect your spawn points, crafting stations, and loot. You can, in fact, build your first simple house on the very first day of the game... but that's only the start.

Getting Started with Valheim Building

Your first step in Valheim building is to make a Hammer. The Hammer is a tool that lets you build objects in the game world and repair them — you can't make a building without it!

If you have the resources to spare, you should upgrade it to Level 3 at your Workbench; this increases the durability and saves you from having to go back and constantly repair it. Once you have a Hammer, you are now ready to get started with your building.

 
 

Valheim Building Guide work site

Selecting a Site and Planning Out Your Building

Your next step is to select a site for your building. The best way to do that is to ask yourself some questions:

  1. What is this building going to be used for? Is this your main base or is it just used for an overnight stay?
  2. Is the building in a dangerous area? What kind of monsters do you expect to fight?
  3. Do you have enough materials nearby or do you need to bring them to the construction site?

Answering these questions is key to picking a good site. You can safely make buildings out of wood in the Meadows, but a building in the Black Forest, Swamps, Mountains, or Plains should probably be constructed out of stone to be safe — larger creatures like Trolls, Stone Golems, and Loxes can shatter Stake Walls into splinters surprisingly fast.

If you do decide to go with Stone, it may be helpful to build a Cart and work near a Black Forest or Mountain biome. Both of these locations have abundant amounts of Stone. You can certainly find Stone in the Meadows, Swamp, and Plains, but you'll have a harder time collecting enough to get the job done.

Once you've decided where to build, you should clear out the land. Chop down any trees in the way and break any rocks with your Pickaxe (unless you'd like to keep them around as a decorative feature). Your next step is to gather the resources you'll need for construction.

Valheim Building Guide work shed
You can fit everything you need to make a building in a very tiny space.

Gathering Resources and Building a Work Shed

Gathering resources is a simple affair — you're going to need some Wood and Stone no matter what you're building. Clearing the land around your construction site will probably provide some of the materials you need, but it certainly won't provide all of them.

 

I strongly recommend that you build a work shed. Build a Workbench and, if necessary, build a Stonecutter next to it. Build a roof over it and put a few Chests nearby. You may also want to surround the work shed with a Stake Wall to protect it from enemies while you're away. You can even place a bed in this area to respawn nearby, just in case.

Collect Wood and Stone from wherever is most convenient. If you have neither nearby, it may be helpful to build a Portal to an area where they are more abundant — while you can't take a Cart through a Portal, you can take trips back and forth and transport large amounts of resources very quickly that way.

Think about how much Wood and Stone you might need. On average, one wooden building piece will take 2 Wood and one stone building piece will take 6 Stone. Take that estimate and double it. It's not fun to run out of materials halfway through construction and you'll surely find a use for the leftovers.

Valheim Building Guide work construction

 

Construction

Now it's time to actually start making your Valheim building! In this game, you can only build within the range of a Workbench, Forge, Stonecutter, etc. depending on what items you're building. Pay attention to the crafting requirements and ensure that you have the appropriate Workbench in range. You can always dismantle one and move it if you need to, but it may be easier to simply build a bunch of Workbenches and dismantle them when you're done.

An important note: Workbenches, Stonecutters, etc. that are exposed to the rain may take damage. Be sure to repair them with your Hammer before dismantling them or you might not get back all of the resources used to make them! That's not a big deal for a Workbench, but it can really hurt if you lose an Iron Bar because you dismantled a damaged Stonecutter.

Start with the floor. In the case of wood, it may be helpful to build some stilts and raise it up off of the ground so it looks nice. Stone floors can be built on the ground, even if the terrain is a little uneven — you can always use the Hoe to flatten things out a little more or the Pickaxe to lower the ground if you need to.

Next up is the walls for your first floor. Build out the walls however it makes sense. I recommend at least two blocks high — anything lower and it will be terribly cramped. A low ceiling also runs the risk of getting stuck in a wall or ceiling. There's no shortage of space in the world!

If you're building a multi-story building, you're going to want to work on one floor at a time. Build the first floor, then the walls, and then the second floor. You'll need a roof as well, of course — especially because wooden structures get reduced to 50% health when they're exposed to rain.

Valheim Building Guide campfire

A Note on Campfires, Fireplaces, and Chimneys

Any building you plan to sleep in will require a campfire. Campfires can be placed outside of very small buildings or lean-tos if you don't have space. If you're making a proper home, however, then you're going to want to have your campfires indoors.

Campfires can only be placed on the ground or on Stone floors. A Valheim building made entirely out of Wood can't have a Campfire on the floor; your best bet, in this case, is to leave a hole in the floor for the Campfire.

You're also going to need a chimney. Campfires build up smoke and that will gradually cause damage to you over time. Your chimney should extend above the roof and have a covering on top to prevent the rain from putting out your fire, too.

Finally, consider building multiple Campfires next to one another. More Campfires means more space for cooking and that can save you a lot of time in the end.

Valheim Building Guide material heights
Each material can support a maximum height on flat ground. Wood Iron Beams cost 1 Iron bar apiece, but they're your best bet for very tall structures.

How to Make a Big Valheim Building

Suppose you want to have a really big Valheim building. That's no easy feat: Valheim has a "structural integrity" system similar to what you see in games like 7 Days to Die.

The structural integrity system means that structures need to be properly supported underneath. If a supporting pillar is destroyed, you could very well see your entire roof collapse on top of you. Falling materials won't hurt you as a player, but it will mean that you'll have to rebuild the broken pieces.

Therefore, it's good practice to ensure that your structure is properly supported with columns and pillars where necessary. Stone buildings can be reinforced with Wood Iron Beams to reach even greater heights, and you can build Wooden building pieces on top of that. You can create some truly impressive creations by properly mixing Iron-reinforced Stone and Wood.

Valheim Building Guide stone heights plus wood
Stone supported by the ground (left), Wood Iron Poles (center), and unsupported (right), all built to their maximum heights. Note that Wood can be built on top of Stone, even if the Stone is at its structural limit.

How does the structural integrity system work? It's simple: a piece connected to the ground counts as a "foundation" piece and will be colored blue. Pieces built on top of that are colored green, and each additional connected piece will gradually change color from green to red. A bright red piece is the absolute limit and you can't add anything else to it; you may want to consider adding additional supports.

Because of this system, it's also possible to raise up the ground and use that for supports. It's a little cheesy, but raising up the land and using it as a support can help make a very large building if that's what you're going for.

Valheim Building Guide decoration
Decoration and lighting is the difference between a house and a home.

Decorating Your Valheim Building

Valheim building is more than floors, walls, and a roof — it's also what's inside. You can evolve your building from a house into a home with a few little additions here and there — and most of them will just a handful of Bronze Nails.

Bronze Nails can be used to make Item Stands. These Item Stands, in turn, can be used to place pretty much any item in the game on a flat surface or on a wall. Mount a sword on the wall! Put one of those dozens of trophies you have piling up in a chest above your fireplace! There are a lot of opportunities for creativity here.

Adding some light can make your home look nicer, too, but be warned — having too much light can cause your FPS to drop pretty badly, especially on older computers. Sometimes, less is more! Don't be afraid to experiment and make the most of your new Valheim building.


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A photograph of Robert N Adams
Senior Writer

I've had a controller in my hand since I was 4 and I haven't stopped gaming since. CCGs, Tabletop Games, Pen & Paper RPGs - I've tried a whole bunch of stuff over the years and I'm always looking to try more!