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‘Valheim’ A Beginners Guide

A few tips to help you make the best start.

Credit: Iron Gate AB / Coffee Stain Publishing

Valheim is the new ‘in’ game right now and as a cynical person, I usually wait until the hype dies down, realise these types of games are usually pretty good and regret not playing them in the first place…..because everyone has moved on. This time, I jumped straight into Valheim, an open-world survival game and based on the many mistakes I’ve made, here are a few handy tips to get you off to the best start. Don’t worry, this is basic advice, I won’t spoil the fun.

The first thing you’ll want to do as soon as you spawn is to gather wood and stone…….like every other survival game. Picking up branches and stones off the floor will introduce you to how the item system works. Every item you pick up will give you a few crafting recipes, and after your quick scavenge, you should be able to build a couple of items. The axe and hammer are the ones to go for at this point. As expected, the axe cuts down trees and acts as a weapon. Be careful though, a falling tree will kill you and a rolling tree will hurt you pretty badly!

The hammer acts as your crafting hub, by right-clicking the mouse you’ll be given a crafting menu. Once you have 10 wood, a crafting table must be, well, crafted. This opens up a craft-able area, in this zone you can make and place anything you want, but to move further out, you’ll either need to move your crafting table or construct a new one . The annoying part about these tables is they have to be covered, so make a little hut and slap a bed and campfire down and there you have it, your first little house!

Watch the early access trailer below:

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Now that you have a spawn point set, it’s time to explore. Collect everything on your way, especially if it’s a new item. Valheim has an absolutely enormous map, for the remainder of the first day just run around and note any interesting finds, you can place markers on your map and name them as you wish. Hopefully, you find some berries and mushrooms on your journey and if you’re very lucky, some meat. Back at camp, it’s time to take stock and maybe make dinner.

Food works a little differently in Valheim, there is no hunger meter, yet food is essential. You can have 3 different food buffs at one time and these heal you over time. Keeping well fed will ensure your health is always tip top and as of yet, food doesn’t spoil so hoard it all. Meat is a little tricky to get at this point, fish can wash up on shore at rare intervals and deer are too fast to catch. Boar meat is the best way to go, run up to them and give them a beating with an axe or club and get the yummy meat, plus some handy leather to make armour. By then end of day 1 or 2, you should have a rubbish shanty, a bit of food and basic weapons and armour, not too shabby, but what now? Well, keep exploring and you’ll find out!

Now you have a solid set-up, here are a few rapid fire tips:

  • To increase your skills in Valheim… simply use them. Run to increase your Run, chop wood to increase Woodcutting, simple stuff.
  • Shields tank damage! A tower shield will negate almost every direct hit.
  • Stamina is vital, always take note during combat. Stamina also recovers whilst holding up a shield.
  • You can’t swim as far as you think you can at first, be careful.
  • Press ‘R’ to sheath your weapons and run faster.
  • As of the time of writing, there is no repair cost, go to your crafting table and keep everything fully repaired, for free!
  • You can die very easily, build several huts on the way to a boss or location and use them as spawn points if needed. Running for 20 minutes just to die and run all the way back to your body is not a fun time.
  • Speaking of death, you’ll lose a bit of skill progress but you can recover your body and all your items by touching your corpse.
Credit: Iron Gate AB / Coffee Stain Publishing
  • While you can craft a raft early on, don’t go into open water, it’ll break apart before you know it. Stick to the rivers and short journeys before you can build a longboat.
  • Pickaxes and fishings rods are in the game, but you’ll need to work for them. Getting a pickaxe requires beating the first boss and to get a fishing rod, you need to find the merchant in the world.
  • Play with friends! When playing with others, make yourself visible on the map. They can’t see your map progress, so send them a screenshot and mark important areas.
  • You can split item stacks in half by pressing ‘ L Shift’, useful for multiplayer.
  • Your character has shared progress, no matter what server you enter. Plus your inventory goes with you, even if you start a brand new world.
  • If a new player jumps into your world, make sure they pick up every item at least once so they learn all the crafting recipes.

There you have it. By following these simple tips, you’ll have a strong start to your journey, whether you are playing solo or with a group. Valheim is a game of discovery and preparation, you’ll have to take your time to survive. Good luck and have fun!

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