Valheim: Basics For Beginners

You might find yourself bored in Valheim or overwhelmed depending on the path you decide to take. There is both lots to do and nothing to do at the same time in the game since you can go at your own pace. Taking the survival route, there are certain basic tips to keep in mind when starting your life off right in Valheim.

There will be many dangers and obstacles ahead to face. Before taking on any large and scary bosses, you’ll want to make sure you have a comfortable home to go back to, walls to hang your trophies on and a nice fire to cook your meat.


Off the bat you’ll want to build a house. The weather itself can be daunting, but you can’t sleep nights away without a bed, and a bed needs a roof. Literally. There are different rules to building. Your campfire can’t be on a wood floor but rather has to be on the dirt ground. If there is smoke coming from inside your house there must be ventilation or you’ll suffocate.

You can set up camp just about anywhere but it’s safest in the Meadows. This is where there are fewer trees and therefore fewer monsters. Any size will do but you’ll want to add torches around your base, a campfire with a cooking station, a workbench, bed, and a chest. Once you get the hang of chopping trees this will all be a breeze to build. With torches around you can find your way home from far away. Building all of these require a workbench to be in the general vicinity and then the workbench needs to have a roof over it. If you rather your workbench not be inside your house, you can craft a wall and a small roof to go directly behind and over it. Otherwise, you can just place it inside your home.

Walls, floors, and roofs snap together in place so that you know your building is working. You’ll need to craft a hoe using your hammer’s crafting section to level out any dirt ground. This way your house won’t be in an awkward position with half in mid-air and halfway too low. If you’ve made a mistake, you can simply use the middle mouse button on the wall or object you want to remove. Doing this will give you some material back and is super quick. The building is pretty straight forward and there’s not much decoration that can be done at the beginning of the game, but all that will come after you’ve killed some bosses.

Health And Food

You won’t die of starvation in Valheim, but the only way to heal is by having a full stomach. There will be three squares next to your health bar and a small thermometer between the squares and health. The three squares are a reference to your stomach. When you eat things, they will be shown there. This is how you keep track of how full you are and what you can eat the next time you get hungry.

You can’t eat the same thing more than once, there’s a timer. Whenever you need healing and your stomach has some space in it, check to see which food item is blinking away or missing. This will be the one you can eat next. With a full stomach, your health will start regenerating.

To collect food, you must hunt. You can get meat from killing boars and deer, neck tails from killing necks, and berries from berry bushes. These will be your beginner meals. Berries are easy enough to spot and collect. Boars will panic and try to defend themselves if you attack them and are an easy fight. Necks stay near water and look as green as the grass, so it’s best to keep an eye out for them.

Deer are more challenging because they immediately run away if you’re nearby. To take them down you must sneak up behind them and then attack. If a deer has a star under its name it means they are stronger, drop more meat or hide, and need more damage to take down in one hit.

Tools And Armor

The best armor you can get at the very beginning will be leather tunic armor at tier two. To get the leather armor you’ll need to collect deer hide which drop from deer. This can become a grinding experience that’s either annoying or very peaceful. A full leather tunic armor set requires 18 deer hide. Deer usually drop around one to two per kill unless they are higher-level deer with more stars.

You can use a bow and arrow to snipe deer from afar, but the bow is hard to aim with. It feels heavy and you’ll have to aim higher than you think to hit your shot. The best way is to use your best weapon when sneaking up on a deer. Walk normally through the woods until you hear the barking of a deer. Once you hear this, stop quickly in case it’s nearby and you accidentally scare it away. Find your target and start crouching towards it.

Crouch walking costs stamina so it’s important to choose your route wisely and make it there before your stamina runs out. Once you reach the deer you’ll want to kill it with one swing. With a beginner flint axe, spear, or club, you should be able to take it down. Deer with stars under their health bar need more damage to take down in one hit.

To upgrade your weapons and tools you’ll need to go to your workbench, click the upgrade tab, and then see what items you need to make your weapon better. Upgrading your workbench means you can upgrade your gear even more. To upgrade your workbench to level two you must craft a chopping block out of ten wood and ten flint. A level three workbench requires crafting a tanning rack out of ten wood, 15 flint, 20 leather scraps, and five deer hide. Crafting these uses the hammer’s crafting menu alone. A level three workbench is as far as you can get before you need to take on stronger foe.


Most people have commented that Valheim’s combat system is rather weak and easy to perform. You can block attacks by pressing right-click, but most of the time you will be able to simply walk away from incoming attacks from necks and greylings. Greylings and necks will instantly try to attack you. You can outrun most of these common beasts if you don’t have the time. Rolling out of dodge is also an available option instead of blocking, but again isn’t always necessary. It just looks cool.

Most of the time you’ll just be attacking, stepping away, and going in again for another swing. No matter the time of day, you won’t have to fear for your life when wandering the wilderness unless you stumble into the Black Forest or a dungeon. This gives Valheim the option to be a peaceful experience if you want to take that route.

The World

The world of Valheim is what you make of it. You can grind and rush to defeat every boss and reign victorious or you can take your precious time enjoying the scenery, building a vibrant village, and hunting some game. The music is mystical and calming, the lighting is sometimes warm and beautiful and other times ominous and enticing. Despite its low graphical art style and being made by five people, Valheim is a game you can spend 1000 hours in or 30 depending on how you like to enjoy your games. Experience Valheim like a Skyrim journey or a Terraria grind.

Next: Valheim And 9 Other Unique Survival Games

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Sharnelle is a small town Canadian writer and gamer with an interest in all things fashion and fantasy. She dabbles in writings from articles to screenplays and spends most of her time drinking tea and playing video games.

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