The Valheim Guide for Beginners

Valheim Guide for Beginners Guide cover

Guide

The Valheim Guide for Beginners

February 4, 2021

By: Robert N. Adams

More Info About This Game
Developer
Iron Gate
Platforms
Linux, Mac, PC
Release Date
February 2, 2021
Genre
Survival, RPG, Indie
Purchase (Some links may be affiliated)
 
 

If you want to be the best Viking in the afterlife, our Valheim Guide for Beginners will help you get started! This Valheim Beginners Guide will teach you how to build your first base and how to beat the first boss, Eikthyr.

Valheim is a game set in the secret tenth realm of the Norse cosmos that's filled with bountiful nature and deadly enemies. You've been tasked by Odin with defeating gigantic, terrifying monsters in this strange new world — and you'll need the right tools and the right knowledge to do it. Check out the Valheim Early Access Launch Trailer to get an idea of what it's like.

Valheim Guide for Beginners – Getting Started

Before you even play the game, you're going to have to create your character. You can choose to play as either a man or a woman. From there, you can pick a variety of hairstyles and set your hair and skin color. If your character is a man, you can also choose from several stylish beards. Name your character and then you'll move onto the next step,

From there, you're going to have to create your first world. You'll have to give the world a name and you'll also have the option of entering a "seed" — this is a code that will determine how the world is generated. You could look for some seeds online, but you can just as easily leave it as it is and jump right in.

 
 
Valheim Guide for Beginner's Guide Fighting
A Club can kill a Greyling in 3–4 hits — it's much faster than trying to punch them to death.

What to Do on Your First Day in Valheim

This Valheim guide is focused on keeping you alive and getting you set up with the basics, so we're going to start from the very beginning. A gigantic raven carries your body to a shrine in a forest. You'll meet a smaller raven named Hugin; he'll occasionally pop in to give you a quick tip, but that's about all he does in the beginning.

Now it's time to get moving on your first day. If you do everything right (and you're lucky), you should have some basic tools, some food, a workbench, a campfire, and a bed by the time the sun sets.

Step 1 – Punch Trees and Pick Up Branches for Wood

The first thing you should do is to gather some Wood so you can build a Club. The world of Valheim is not a friendly place and you might immediately find yourself attacked by enemies. Pick up branches on the ground and punch saplings (the small trees) to get the few pieces of wood you need to get started. Punching an enemy takes multiple hits (and a lot of stamina), but using a Club can kill an enemy in just 3 or 4 hits.

Step 2 – Gather Some Food

Next, you're going to want to gather some Food. Don't worry about hunting animals just yet — look for berries and mushrooms and grab a bunch. Variety is important here — you can only gain beneficial effects by eating multiple different kinds of Food.

Deer will run away from you, but you may be attacked by Boars. You will always want to fight and kill Boars — you're going to need the Leather Scraps they drop later.

Step 3 – Gather Stone and More Wood to Make Your First Tools

The next step for Day 1 of our Valheim Guide is to gather Stone and some more Wood. You'll need these resources to make your first Axe and your first Hammer through the crafting menu. You'll also need more Wood to get a very, very basic base going.

 

Wood is easy enough to find, but Stone can be a challenge. You'll have to look for little rocks on the ground. Flint is not Stone — that's an entirely different item that you won't use until a few hours into the game. If you're stuck, you can often find Stone on the sides of cliffs. You should try to get 15–20 Stone and 30–40 Wood in total. 

Make your first Axe and your first Hammer once you feel that you have enough resources.

Step 4 – Build a Workbench

Your next step is to build a Workbench. A Workbench is required to build buildings and it also lets you repair your tools in Valheim. A Workbench costs 10 Wood. Don't worry about where you build it — you can dismantle anything you build in the game and recover most (if not all) of the resources used to build it, so you can always move your Workbench later.

Valheim Guide for Beginner's Guide Lean-To
A Workbench, some walls, and a roof are enough to get started.

Step 5 – Build a Lean-To 

After you've built your Workbench, you're going to need to build a lean-to. A lean-to is, quite simply, a building with 1–3 walls and a roof. The roof is the important part here.

 

Build two walls side-by-side behind your Workbench. Then, build a few 45-degree roofs stretching out. If you can use the Workbench to access more crafting recipes, then you're all set.

Step 6 – Build a Campfire and a Bed

Your final step for this part of our Valheim Guide will be to build a Bed and a Campfire. You can't sleep without a Campfire next to your bed and you'll need a bed to serve as a respawn point and sleep through the night — both are necessary.

Much like the Workbench, your Bed has to have a roof and some shelter over it. If you get a message saying that your Bed is too "exposed," that means that you don't have enough roof overhead or enough wall coverage on the sides. Widen the walls, put a wall on the side, and/or extend the roof until you can use your Bed.

Once that's all done, build a Campfire nearby and you can go to sleep. Your first day is done, but our Valheim Guide for Beginners is only getting started — now it's time to get to work on building your first proper base!

Valheim Guide for Beginner's Guide First Base
Your first proper base should have a house, some yard space, and a sturdy wall surrounding it.

How to Build Your First Valheim Base

Building your first Valheim base isn't going to be as easy as the simple setup you've already made earlier in our Valheim Guide. Your first proper base will be a multi-day project. You can make a simple hut, yes, but why not build something that will last you a lot longer? Either way, don't forget that you can always tear down your construction and start anew!

Step 1 – Craft a Hoe

The first thing you'll want to do is craft a Hoe at your Workbench. The Hoe lets you build paths, level out land, and even raise land (but only if you're near a Workbench and have some Stone in your inventory).

Step 2 – Clear An Area for Your House and Walls

You'll want a proper house with four walls, a door, and a roof. You're also going to want to build a basic wall around your house. That means you're going to need some space to build.

If you're lucky, you'll have an open plain nearby and you won't have to chop down too many trees. In my case, I had to cut down a lot of trees. Either way, you're going to want to chop down all the trees you can so you have a nice, wide area to comfortably build.

A word of caution: falling trees can injure or even kill you! They can damage buildings, too, and that's why you want to clear the trees around your base before you build it — you don't want a tree to slam into a building and cause it to fall down. Buildings also have a structural integrity mechanic — destroy the walls, and the roof might collapse!

In my case, I ended up with hundreds of Wood. You can only carry so much stuff, so use your Hammer to build Wood Piles to save it for later. You're going to need it when you're building your base!

Step 3 – Level Out the Land with a Hoe

Your next step is to level out the land with a Hoe. You can chop up any fallen logs (or roll them out of the way). You can't do anything about the big rocks just yet, so you're going to have to build around them.

Use the Hoe to flatten out the area as best you can. You're not going to get perfectly level ground. Don't worry about it — your first base is meant to help you get started. It doesn't have to be an architectural masterpiece.

Valheim Guide for Beginner's Guide base foundation
Plan out the floor of your base before you actually build it.

Step 4 – Build a Foundation

Next, it's time to plan out the footprint of your building. You could place floor tiles on the ground, but the uneven terrain means that you're probably going to end up having a dirt floor. Instead, I recommend that you build a small vertical beam and then a framework for the foundation. A 5 tiles x 5 tiles footprint should be more than enough space for the beginning of the game, but you can certainly build it larger if you'd like to.

Step 5 – Build Floors and Walls

Once the foundation is planned out, build some floors. Keep in mind that you can't put a campfire on a wooden floor — you're going to need a hole in the ground so you can place it on dirt. In my case, I went for multiple fireplaces so I could cook more than 2 items at a time.

Valheim Guide for Beginner's Guide house roof
You might need to build ladders to access your roof and finish your first building.

Step 6 – Build a Roof

Now comes the hard part: the roof. You might not be able to build the whole thing from the ground. If you can't reach up high enough, build a Ladder so you can get closer to where you're building.

An important note on Campfires — if you build a Campfire indoors, you're going to need ventilation. Smoke building up indoors can actually damage you in the game, so make sure to have windows and/or a hole in the roof so the smoke can vent.

Step 7 – Surround Your Base with a Sturdy Wall

Your next step is to build a Wall. Monsters can and will attack your base eventually and you're going to want an additional layer of defense to hold them back. Walls cost a lot of Wood, so you might need to chop down a lot of trees to get it done. Don't forget to build one or more gates so you can actually get outside!

You might encounter the borders of the Workbench construction zone when building your wall. If that happens, build another Workbench nearby to extend the building zone. You can dismantle the Workbench later and the Walls will still stay up.

Step 8 – Break Down Your Lean-To and Build Your Furniture Inside

Your final construction project in this Valheim Guide is to break down your old Lean-To and move all of your stuff inside. After that's all done, it's time to get moving on upgrading your gear and fighting the first boss!

Valheim Guide for Beginner's Guide armor
A good set of armor will help you survive against Eikthyr. You'll also look like a badass.

How to Get Valheim Armor (and Prepare for the First Boss)

The first Valheim boss Eikthyr can be pretty tough if you're not properly equipped. Ideally, you're going to want to have the following items before you fight Eikthyr:

  • Leather Helmet
  • Leather Tunic
  • Leather pants
  • Crude Bow
  • 100 arrows
  • A good variety of Food

Here's how to get all of the stuff you'll need:

Step 1 – Kill Boars for Leather Scraps

You've probably already encountered a Boar after playing for a few in-game days. You'll need 8 Leather Scraps to make a Crude Bow, so get to killing those Boars!

Step 2 – Craft a Bow and Arrows

You can Craft a Bow at any Workbench once you have the correct materials. Get it made, and then make 100–200 arrows to go with it — you're going to need them.

Step 3 – Kill Deer for Deer Hide

Next, you're going to need to kill some Deer. This is one of the most frustrating points detailed in our guide — Deer can run away very easily.

You might have considered crafting a Spear instead. I tried it and it's not a good idea. While you can throw your Spear, it's very easy to lose it in the wilderness. The Spear travels pretty slow, too, and a Deer might get away if you miss.

As you kill more Deer, you'll also find Deer Trophies. Hold onto these — you'll need them later!

Step 4 – Craft Leather Armor

Craft a Leather Helmet, Tunic, and Pants as soon as you have enough Deer Hide to do it. We're almost ready to fight Eikthyr!

Step 5 – Gather Food – How Food Works and Why You Need It

Your final step before fighting Eikthyr is to gather a good variety of Food, and that will require a quick explanation of the game's Food mechanics.

Normally, you can only have 25 maximum life. You can increase this maximum by eating Food. A Raspberry, for example,m might only give you 10 extra HP. A cooked piece of meat, however, could give you 25 additional HP.

You can only gain a benefit from multiple types of Food. You can eat one Raspberry and only one Raspberry — if you want to increase your HP further, you'll need more variety in your Food. One or two different kinds of meat, Mushrooms, or even Honey will help you get to your goal. You'll want to have some extra on hand, too, just in case your Food runs out during battle or you die and need to try again.

Valheim Guide for Beginner's Guide Eikthyr
Oh deer.

How to Beat the First Valheim Boss Eikthyr

Now that you've built your first base and upgraded your gear, it's time to tackle your first boss! Gather up all of your equipment and Food along with one Deer Trophy.

How to Summon Eikthyr

Examining Eikthyr's Runestone where you began the game will tell you where he's located. Travel to that location and you'll find his shrine. Once you get there, place a Deer Trophy on the shrine and the boss fight will begin!

How to Beat Eikthyr

Eikthyr is pretty easy to beat. He has melee attacks, a lightning beam, and a lightning AoE attack. Your Leather Armor and HP buffs from Food will let you take quite a few hits, so just stand back and watch how he executes his attacks. You can pick up on the pattern pretty easily.

Try to keep a distance from Eikthy and shoot him with arrows. You'll be able to whittle down his health easily enough. Once you slay him, you can claim your loot and move onto the next stage of Valheim!

Valheim Guide for Beginner's Guide Eikthyr defeated
With Eikthyr defeated, you can now access a time-limited buff. It's time to move on to the next boss!

What to Do After Beating the First Boss in Valheim

Beating Eikthyr will let you finally make a pickaxe. Now you can clear out those troublesome stones around your land. This is the end of our Valheim Guide, but where do you go from here?

There are still quite a few bosses to tackle. Areas outside of the starting zone are going to be a lot tougher and even the best equipment you can make will barely be enough. You'll need to get metal and make better-quality gear so you can survive. From there, you'll have to track down the next bosses and defeat them, too! Your journey in Valheim has only just begun — happy hunting!

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!

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