Our Valheim Guides Hub will help you get started with this Viking-themed, open-world survival crafting game and teach you about its mechanics!
Quicklinks: Strategy Guides | Crafting Guides | Biome Guides | Boss Fight Guides
Technical Guides | Valheim Starter Guide | Why You Should Play With Friends | F.A.Q.
Valheim Strategy Guides
- Animals Guide
- Building Guide
- Events and Base Raids Guide
- Merchant and Selling Items Guide
- Portal Guide
- Map and Cartography Table Guide
- Valheim Hearth and Home Update Guide
Valheim Crafting Guides
- Crafting Guide
- Mining Guide
- Boat Guide
- Farming Guide
- Fishing Guide
- Food and Cooking Guide
- Potions and Mead Guide
- Tar Guide
Valheim Biome Guides
- Meadows Biome Guide
- Black Forest Biome Guide
- Swamp Biome Guide
- Mountains Biome Guide
- Plains Biome Guide
- Mistlands Biome Guide
- Ocean Biome Guide
Valheim Boss Fight Guides
- Eikthyr Boss Fight Guide
- The Elder Boss Fight Guide
- Bonemass Boss Fight Guide
- Moder Boss Fight Guide
- Yagluth Boss Fight Guide
- The Queen Boss Fight Guide
Valheim Technical Guides
Valheim Starter Guide
If you want to be the best Viking in the afterlife, our Valheim Starter Guide will help you kick off your adventure! 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. Let's get 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 on to the next step,
Next, 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.
Your First Day in Valheim
This Valheim Starter 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.
Punch Trees and Pick Up Branches for Wood
The first thing you should do is to gather some Wood so you can Craft a Club. The realm 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.
Gather Some Food
Next, you're going to want to gather some Food. Don't worry about hunting animals just yet. Run around looking for Raspberries and Red Mushrooms. Mark the locations as you find them on your Map -- they respawn later -- and collect as much Food as you can. Having a good variety of Food is important; to explain why, we'll need to go over the basics of Food mechanics.
Normally, you can only have 25 maximum HP. You can increase this maximum by eating Food. A Raspberry, for example, might only give you 10 extra HP. A cooked piece of Boar Meat, however, could give you 25 additional HP.
You gain different benefits from each type of Food, and you can eat a maximum of 3 different 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 pieces of Food on hand, too, just in case it runs out during battle or you die and need to try again.
Hunting Animals is a little more challenging, but it's not impossible, either. 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.
Gather Stone and More Wood to Make Your First Tools
The next step for Day 1 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 in your Inventory. You'll also need more Wood to Build a barebones base.
Wood is easy enough to find -- simply chop down Trees -- 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 on your first day. Craft your first Axe and your first Hammer via the Crafting menu in your Inventory once you feel that you have enough resources.
Build a Workbench
Your next step is to Build a Workbench for 10 Wood. A Workbench is required for repairing your Tools and Weapons, Crafting new ones, and getting started with Building. Don't worry about where you place the Workbench; 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.
Build a Lean-To
After you've placed 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.
Build a Campfire and a Bed
Your final step for this part of our Valheim Starter Guide will be to build a Bed and a Campfire. You can't sleep without a Campfire next to your Bed, and your Bed will also serve as a respawn point should you die. 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. Now it's time to get to work on Building your first proper base!
Building Your First Base
Building your first base in Valheim isn't going to be as easy as the simple setup you've already made. 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? (Don't forget, you can always tear down your construction and start anew!)
Craft a Hoe
The first thing you'll want to do is Craft a Hoe at your Workbench. The Hoe lets you place dirt roads with the "Pathen" function, level out land, and even raise land; you can only raise land if you're near a Workbench, and it costs Stone to do it.
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 for your base.
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 in the immediate area 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 your home and other structures, 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 wall 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 working on your base!
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; for now, you're going to have to Build around them.
Use the Hoe to flatten out the area as best you can. Don't worry about having perfectly level ground -- your first base is meant to help you get started. It doesn't have to be an architectural masterpiece.
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.
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. You can also use the Hoe to raise the ground a bit (at the cost of some Stone) if you'd like it to look a little nicer.
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. You will likely need to experiment and adjust your house's design so the smoke vents properly.
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 that Workbench later and the Walls will still stay up.
Break Down Your Lean-To and Build Your Furniture Inside
Your final construction project is to break down your old Lean-To and move all of your stuff inside. Build some Chests, place a nice Deer Rug on the ground, and take a moment to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Then, dust yourself off and head back into the world for more adventure!
Continuing Your Adventure
You've got some Tools and Weapons, you have some Food, and you have a roof over your head. Now, it's time to continue your adventure.
It's a good idea to take some time to explore the area and mark down any useful resources on your Map. Take care not to wander into the Black Forest lightly, though -- the enemies there are much tougher.
Once you feel you've got a good idea of your surroundings, your next immediate goal is going to be tackling the first boss Eikthyr. Read our Eikthyr Boss Fight Guide for tips on how to prepare for that fight -- and how to win it. Make sure to check out our other Valheim Guides, too!
Why You Should Play Valheim With Friends
Valheim is definitely fun to play with your friends, whether you're simply getting into a game together or you're really getting into the whole Viking thing and singing sea shanties on a boat. It also offers some gameplay advantages.
Consider the challenges that are made easier when you have someone to back you up. The Elder Boss, for example, can only really target one player at a time. That lets one of your buddies focus on dodging attacks while the rest of your team does damage.
There's a fair amount of work to do in Valheim, too. You have to Mine Ore (often away from your base), and then you have to bring the Ore or the Bars back home to actually craft with them. The simple act of transporting goods can be a challenge, especially if you have to travel near or through a hostile area. Playing with friends lets you split up the work -- and you have to worry less about fighting off hordes of enemies while you're trying to get back home.
Can You Play Valheim Solo?
While Valheim works well as a multiplayer game, you don't have to play it with friends -- you can absolutely play Valheim by yourself. Some of the bosses, however, can be much more challenging when you don't have help.
Solo players should focus on Building additional bases anywhere that is far away from your main base. If you're sailing across the world, you certainly don't want to have to make the trek back if you die -- especially because you might not have a Boat anymore!
Using Portals is helpful, too. While you'll still need to use a boat to move any ore or metal, you can save yourself a lot of time by relying on portals for long-range transport (once you've set things up the first time, that is).
Although you'll have fewer hands to help with work, you'll also have fewer mouths to feed -- you won't really need to make massive farms or smelt hundreds of bars of metal to get yourself geared up.
What is Valheim?
Valheim is an open-world survival crafting game where you (and your friends) play Vikings who have to fight against Odin's enemies.
Is Valheim Multiplayer?
Yes, Valheim is multiplayer.
Do You Need a Server to Play Valheim Multiplayer?
No. You can host a game from any client, but you can self-host or purchase Valheim Server Hosting(affiliate) if you wish. We've got a guide if you need it, too!
What Is the Max Playercount in Valheim?
The max playercount in Vvvalheim is 10 players, but you can increase that with mods.
What Happens When You Die in Valheim?
When you die in Valheim, you will drop a tombstone containing all of your equipped items and the contents of your inventory. Tombstones will float on water. You will also lose 5% of your levels in skills.
Can You Dual-Wield in Valheim?
No, you cannot dual-wield in Valheim. However, you can get a mod that allows dual wielding.
What is Vulkan in Valheim?
Vulkan is a graphics API similar to OpenGL or Direct3D. Generally speaking, it offers lower CPU usage in exchange for slightly lower graphics.
Is Valheim Steam Deck Verified?
Yes, you can play Valheim on your Steam Deck as of March 2022.