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Valheim: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Not Suck

Welcome to Valheim, Greenhorn!

If you haven’t guessed it yet, I love Valheim. I talked about it in a review right here. Just the whole survival elements that are shuffled around to be more of a wholesome and balanced experience. Sure, there are a few kinks to iron out, but the developers are doing a good job fixing them as well as adding new content along the way.

So you finally downloaded Valheim on your Steam client. You want to get a quick jumpstart guide. You’re now at lunch at your workplace, so you can’t really watch video guides. Don’t worry, I got your back!

But before we get into the nitty-gritty, here are a couple of hot tips right off the bat to get this Valheim beginner’s guide started.

Valheim Beginner Hot Tips

  1. Pick everything. Picking items will reveal a list of things you could do with, giving you an idea of what items are available to you.
  2. Remember to repair your tools and armor. It doesn’t cost anything. Make it a habit every time you go out and return from an adventure.
  3. Build a shack instead of a castle when going into new and hostile areas. Upgrade your shack when you absolutely own your surroundings.
  4. Eat different types of food to increase your maximum health and stamina. Eat 2 types of meat and 1 fruit or mushroom.
  5. Never try swimming long distances. Swimming takes up stamina and if you run out, you’ll start taking damage and die.
  6. To split your stack of resources, press Shift and click on the resource that you would like to split. Adjust the slider accordingly.
  7. Watch out for falling trees when you chop them. They can kill you. There’s also fall damage.
  8. Learn to parry your enemies. Time it right and you can stun the enemy unit.
  9. Just do any activity. The more you do it, the more skill points you’ll get. From sneaking to mining, all these activities will award your skill points that’ll shorten the duration of these activities over time.

Surviving the First Night

surviving first night in valheim
Oh look, free house! I wonder what’s inside…

First of all, remember that the game is merciful. You won’t be devoured immediately after touching the ground. This is not The Forest or Rust. If you’re only playing a private server with your friends, then you’re fine. You’ll be dropped off in a meadow. The meadow biome is meant to be a beginner-friendly area where you can explore your surroundings and understand the game physics a bit better.

So there’s not much danger around you in the meadows. However, if you start drastically changing the environment around such as chopping wood in massive quantities or just generally make giant remodelling projects of mother nature, you’ll probably have an army of greydwarves coming to get you pretty soon.

Your first night is basically safe. Punch a couple of trees and grab fallen branches to gather some Wood. Grab Stones that’s lying around and if you’re near a water source, skim through the edges and gather up a good amount of flint.

Build a hammer and a stone axe. A hammer costs 3 Wood and 2 Stone and a stone axe is going to set you 5 Wood and 4 Stone.

Basic Things to Have

You got your hammer and basic axe. With your newly crafted hammer, it’s time to build a workbench. A workbench is basically what allows you to build any other items available in the game. From furniture to building sections, the workbench is the cornerstone to expanding your ability to level up efficiently in the game.

how to set up workbench valheim
As long the workbench is under shelter, it’ll work. Get creative!

However, a workbench only works if it’s under a shelter. If you’re planning to construct tools, then you’ll have to have it under some sort of shelter. If you got around building your first house, you could place a workbench area in it. Or you could make a janky structure around the workbench with a roof covering it so that you could use it. Some things make sense in Valheim, but others don’t. So just roll with it. You’re a Viking, not a renaissance painter.

Remember that this only applies if you’re planning to craft tools and weapons. If you’re looking to construct building structures, just pop a workbench nearby and start building away.

One workbench will cost you 10 Wood.

Establish A Spawn Point

You will die numerous times due to the different elements in Valheim. From logs rolling down the hill at full speed to getting stomped by a monstrous troll, you can easily get KO-ed when you first start the game. Hell, you could die from swimming too far and it wouldn’t take that much of an effort. What you want to do is establish a spawn point.

simple base in valheim
It ain’t much, but it’s honest work.

You’ll need a shack to build a bed and a campfire. The bed is the main thing that sets your spawn point, so don’t forget to claim the bed. The campfire helps you to relax when you’re wet or low in stamina. All you have to do is sit close to the fire and relax for a bit to see some of that stamina getting replenished. And remember to plan ahead if you’re planning with friends so that they all can have a bed to claim as a spawn point.

Important Note

Remember to leave some room for ventilation for your campfire if you’re building indoors. You’ll get smoke damage overtime if there’s no proper ventilation for the smoke to exit your shack. Instead, you could build a fire outside your shack and it’ll still provide the same bonus if you sit close to it from the inside. I remember my first Valheim playthrough and not noticing the smoke damage alert. Needless to say, I died with my own hands.

Things you’ll need:

Simple Shack – *you’ll only need wood, depending on how complex you end up building it

Bed – 10 Wood

Use Map Markers

map markers in valheim
Marco? Polo!

Valheim’s game map is huge. Like really, just press “M” and take a look at that sumbitch. You’ll also notice 5 markers that are available on the bottom right corner of the map. Use them to your advantage and place markers to remind you of places of interest. From dungeons to places to collect certain resources, these markers can be handy for you so that you could easily navigate your way in the world. This is also useful for your friends to know where’s what. You could also stick a name to each of the marker so you can be more accurate. Mark dungeons, places to collect berries, copper deposits and any other

Fireplace – 5 Stone, 2 Wood ( can be added to stoke the fire or rekindle it)

Have a Full Pantry

Always be hunting. Hunting for food that is. Your daily health and stamina depend on how many food source you manage to gobble up before starting the day. The ideal foods to have around is 2 types of meat and 1 veggie or fruit. This ensures that you have a good amount of health and stamina to work with when you’re out and about.

They don’t call me Legolas for nothing.

The 2 types of meat that would be made available to you in the early game is Raw Meat, dropped by Boar and Deer. You will also find Neck tail dropped from killing Necks. Killing Necks is pretty easy, but getting meat from boars and deers can sometimes be challenging. This is where your training with the bow comes in handy. You could sneak up on them and try getting killing them. A boar will come at you and try to kill you while a deer will immediately flee when it detects you. So remember to activate Sneak when approaching these creatures.

picking berries in valheim
When not in Legolas mode

If you would like to set up an infinite supply of honey in your base, always remember to explore abandoned structures that you can find from time to time. If you’re lucky, there’s a bee nest that contains a Queen Bee. You can use it to build a Beehive (10 Wood, 1 Queen Bee). Check the beehive from time to time to collect some honey.

Meat – Raw Meat, Neck Tail

Other – Mushroom (various), Raspberry, Blueberry, Honey

Weapons and Equipment to Have

hand to hand combat in valheim
Remember to block when getting up close and personal.

There are two ways to approach combat in Valheim. Well, I’m oversimplifying it but yes, there are two major combat approaches that you could take. One hit charging head-on with your sword and shield. The other is using your bow and unleashing arrows from a distance.

using bow and arrow in combat valheim
Or use arrows like a boss.

troll creatures in valheim
u fokin wot m8?

Now, some of you have that Viking blood pumping into your vein, filling your head with the delusion of grandeur. But let me just remind you that one hit from this guy will instantly destroy you in the early games.

Not to mention that this big guy spawns in the fringes between the Meadows and the Black Forest biome. I suggest you make a crude bow as fast as you can and start hunting with it. Kill birds to get more feathers to make more specialized arrows. Kill animals from afar without getting your hands dirty. You could also score bigger games such as a deer that drops deer hide and meat. A team of 4 with different types of arrows will definitely take down a troll without a hitch. But just remember to weave through the forest.

Bow and Arrows Material Cost

A Crude Bow will cost you 10 Wood and 8 Leather Scraps.

Remember to always stock up on these types of arrows everytime you venture out into The Black Forest.

Wood arrow x20 ( 8 Wood) – Use this to hunt animals and shoot birds off the sky like Legolas.

Fire arrow x20 ( 8 Wood, 8 Resin, 2 Feathers) – Use this when engaging enemies. Fire arrows will provide damage over time on top of their initial pierce damage.

Flint arrow x20 (8 Wood, 2 Flint, 2 Feathers) – Use this when engaging enemies. Flint arrow provides more damage than wood and fire arrow. It also has the capability to knock back your opponent, stunning them in their tracks for a brief moment.

Always have your teammates alternate between fire and flint arrows when engaging the enemy. Aim for the head or the nether region (especially if it’s the big guy) when shooting your arrows. Head-on attacks don’t work for a stronger group of enemies as you slowly make your way to more difficult biomes.

Playing As a Team

The beauty of Valheim is that you could play it solo or you could play it with friends. Sure, it’s definitely harder playing it solo since you do occasionally get jumped by a band of monsters. Imagine getting surrounded by a bunch of greydwarves and just when you think you’re winning the one versus many scenarios. along comes a troll. So I would imagine you would like to have a team having your back at all times. If you’re playing with friends, delegate tasks. Collect resources such as wood and flint while another could hunt for food. Delegating tasks will definitely make achieving objectives for the day way more efficient. And when you go into the Black Forest, go in as a tight unit. Designate a few to be using bows while the rest rely on their shield and axe.

Level Up, Level Up, Level Up

Skill levelling up in valheim
Just repeat the activity above, and you’ll immediately start seeing skills being awarded.

Life is hard sometimes. It’s 2021, and life is extra hard right about now and it looks like it will be for the next couple of years. I would like to just be awarded something for doing nothing. Hold on, did I just level up my jumping skills while I was fucking around in Valheim? THIS GAME IS GOLD. I FEEL VALIDATED. With every repetition of an activity, your increase your proficiency in that particular skill. Cutting down trees? Chopping skill gets a couple of points. Using your bow for hunting and killing? Your friends better start calling you Legolas.

jumping to level up in valheim
Oh don’t mind me. I’m just levelling up.

The point here is that if you’re looking to increase a certain skill, just keep repeating it as many times as you can. Try doing it every chance you can. Use the block skill when in combat so that your skills in blocking increase, and with that comes the increased chance of not receiving any kind of damage. Trust me, you’ll be needing that as you traverse more dangerous biomes in the future. Check out how the block mechanic actually works here.

Building a Viking Castle

castle built in valheim
I mean just look at that. Built by u/raboley

Or a shack, if you’re in a hurry. The point here is that it’s great to have a base to have a place to collect your loot, as well as building support structures. We’re talking a forge, as well as future smelting structures in order for your to advance into the age of shiny Vikings. If you’re in the Meadows, a simple base would be great since there’s not much out there that could break your stuff.

However, I would advise you to build a perimeter fence, as well as wood spikes around your base if you’re building one in the Black Forest. Valheim can sometimes surprise you from time to time, and it’s not the good kind. Trust me, you and your crew will get jumped day and night. And when the special event where the forest decides to do a hit and run on your base, you best be prepared. Support your Builder teammate ( we all have one of those) by supplying a steady supply of materials in order to get the base up and secure in no time.

Defeat the First Boss ASAP

The only way you’ll be able to start upgrading your equipment is when you get the ability to work with metal ores. However, you’ll quickly find out that there’s no option to build a pickaxe. Well, the first hard level blocking you’ll find in this game is the ability to upgrade your stuff to metal is to defeat the game’s first mini boss, Eikthyr.

By defeating Eikthyr, you’ll receive hard antlers which is a component of crafting a pickaxe. Depending on how many people you have in your party, you might need to defeat it multiple times to get more hard antlers so that everyone in your party has a pickaxe. Just remember to weave through the jungle and shoot it with arrows. Learn its attack patterns and get to it, Viking!

Summoning Eikthyr

eikthyr in valheim
Me when I had a bad day at work.

You’ll need to find its sacrificial stone and place 2 Deer trophies as an offering to spawn it. From there, you’ll see its spawn point is now shown on your map. These summoning method is the same for the rest of the mini bosses in the game, but with different items required as sacrifice.

Why is the pickaxe so important?

Fuck this rock in particular.

The pickaxe is the true item in Valheim that helps you to push into the next level of the game. Up to this point, you could consider it as a beginner’s level. With pickaxes, you can start mining for copper and tin deposits found across the map. You’ll make copper and tin ingots that can be turned into bronze. You know where this is going. I mean just look at these 2 bros.

screenshot with team in valheim
Act cool, bro.

Build Portals for Rapid Expansion

The seed world in Valheim is huge. I mean just look at this.

seed world in valheim
Is this a circle or a sphere?

Travelling here will start becoming a hassle since you need to cover long distances and there’s no actual mode of transport. Unless you count riding on your friend’s cart as he pulls it a mode of transportation. There are no horses or option to use any animals or magic to move around. Oh wait, magic! Duh! Use portals!

teleportation animation in valheim

Remember those greydwarves eyes that you’ve been collecting, wondering what it might be used for. Well, now you know that it’s not something you’ll be throwing in a soup, but instead, you’ll be using it to build a portal. But the most important material you’ll be needing is Surtling Cores. These cores can only be found in dungeons. I would only advise you to start exploring dungeons when you have the right equipment, as well as enough skillz to carry out the mission. We’ll cover this more on Rapid Expansion in Valheim in another guide, coming soon!


And that’ about it! You’ll only need a few key skills to get started in Valheim and if you can improve your overall survivability, you’re doing just fine! Check out more updates from the game developers from time to time. You could also check out my Valheim gameplay with my friends here. But most of the gameplay is just us fucking around. Play Valheim how you want. And remember to have fun!



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  1. How To Split Resource Stacks in Valheim - Mesh Content

    June 28, 2021

    […] help in your journey to conquer the lands beyond Midgard. If you’re a new player, check out this article for hot tips to start of your Valheim journey with the right […]

  2. Valheim Guide: How to Vent Smoke - Mesh Content

    June 28, 2021

    […] a campfire right outside those wallls. You can also build a small cover, like you do for your workbench. This is so it doesn’t go out when it rains […]

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