Valheim – 15 Tips and Tricks to Keep in Mind

A few handy pointers to get you started in Iron Gate AB's survival game.

Given how massively popular Iron Gate AB’s open world survival title Valheim has become all of a sudden and the kind of reception it’s been getting from nearly everyone who’s playing it, it’s no surprise that a lot of people are thinking of taking the plunge and checking the game out for themselves. This is already a large game though, in spite of only just having launched in early access, which means there’s a lot that new players have to get to grips with. If you’re such a player, here, we’ve compiled some handy tips and tricks to make your early hours in Valheim a bit smoother.


Your inventory in Valheim is limited, and in its current state, the game unfortunately does not allow you to upgrade that inventory size- which means you always have to keep it lean and clean. Basically, take only what you need with you. Given the game’s nature as a survival title and the fact that there’s always loot and resources around to pick up, you might be tempted to gather everything you lay your eyes on. But it’s best to set out with a clear idea of what you’re looking for, and take only what’s necessary.


Valheim is a lot more lenient with its survival mechanics than most games in its genre, in that while managing things such as stamina and what have you grants you buffs, ignoring those things incurs no penalties. But those buffs can be pretty useful- the rested buff most of all. Resting, sleeping, and spending time in your home grants you the rested buff, and the higher your comfort level in your home (which is determined by how many amenities you’ve build for yourself), the better the buff, which boosts stamina and health regeneration. All of which is to say, make sure you’re taken a nice, long rest in a well-built house before you head out on a long journey.


Though the number of slots in your inventory is limited in Valheim, there is a way to increase your carry weight, so that you can at least carry more resources with you before you have to return to base to drop them off. To do so, you need to purchase the Megingjord for 950 gold from Haldor the Merchant, who can be found in the Black Forest biome. Given the fact that the map is procedurally generated in Valheim, Haldor’s exact location is different for each player, but once you’re within 2km of his location, a bag icon will pop up on the world map to let you know where the game has spawned him.


Something else you can get from the merchant in the Black Forest biome is a fishing rod. Yep, that’s an item that you have to purchase and cannot craft. While having a fishing rod with you is by no means a crucial part of progression, it’s a useful tool to have. Fishing is obviously a great way to get food, and eating food has its own bonuses. Speaking of which…


As mentioned earlier, Valheim doesn’t really punish you directly if you don’t manage things such as your hunger, but eating food does have some very clear and useful advantages. In a nutshell, the better fed you are, the higher your max health and stamina will be- for a time, at least. In addition to temporarily increasing your max health and stamina, eating also restores your health.


Exploring and heading ever outward from your home base in the center of the world map is always the central impetus driving every action in Valheim, and from collecting resources to building more stuff to hunting for loot to defeating bosses, everything you do requires more and more exploration. But it’s best that you only go out exploring during the daytime. Valheim spawns more monsters during nighttime, some of whom are pretty formidable foes, so make sure to plop down for a rest as soon as it starts getting dark- unless you’re feeling particularly adventurous, of course.


Valheim’s world is already a pretty large one (and it will continue to get larger still as the developers add more biomes to it), but there are no traditional fast travel points to help you get from point to point. No, fast travel points is something else that you have to make yourself. You’ll need to construct multiple portals (for which you’ll need 2 Surtling Cores, 20 fine wood, and 10 graydwarf eyes). After you’ve constructed a portal each in two unique locations, make sure you’ve given them both the same tags (and remember, tags are case sensitive). Two portals with the same tag will be connected to each other, allowing you to instantly travel from one to another. Once you’ve gotten further into the game and have crafted multiple sets of portals, you’ll essentially have fast travel gates scattered throughout the map.


Valheim’s world is a dangerous one, and the threat of dying is always looming right around the corner. While there’s very little you can do about all the stuff you lose and then have to retrieve upon death, you can at least make sure that your respawn location is conveniently placed. Simply place a bed and a campfire next to each other, and then sleep in the bed to make it your new spawn point. Do remember, however, that you can only have one active spawn point at a time.


As is the case with any survival game, scrounging up resources from your surroundings is the bread and butter of many of Valheim’s central mechanics- and wood, of course, is one of the most important resources in the game, especially in the earlier hours. There’s plenty of trees to get wood from, of course, but there are other easy ways to harvest wood as well. For instance, if you ever come across old decaying buildings, simply craft a workbench close by, and then with the crafting hammer equipped, quickly dismantle all of its pieces to get large quantities of wood from it.


Gear and equipment in Valheim has durability mechanics attached, but thankfully, durability isn’t all that annoying to deal with in the game. The biggest reason for that is the fact that repairing stuff is entirely free, and requires no additional resources. Any time you’re at a workbench, make sure to repair all of your damaged items and gear.


Building is one of the most crucial aspects of Valheim’s core loop, but building in this game can’t be done as haphazardly as it can be done in most other games. You need to keep the structural integrity of buildings in mind. Every building piece is colour coded, with blue being the strongest, then green, then yellow, then finally red, which is the weakest, and you need to keep that in mind while making your bases. So, for instance, if you’re constructing the roof of a building and see a yellow piece, that means that it needs more support, or else it might fall. Use a post or a support beam to add support to that yellow piece before you continue building further.


Something that you should always keep in mind when constructing buildings, especially those with fireplaces in them, is to have a smoke vent. Unless you have a smoke vent, flames inside of the building will end up gathering smoke, which means you’ll run the danger of choking to death while you’re asleep.


As mentioned earlier, eating meat can be pretty beneficial in Valheim, which means that invariably, you’ll go out hunting for animals. When you do that, make sure to keep an eye on the wind and its direction. Your character has a scent, and if you’re standing downwind of an animal you’re hunting, they might catch your scent, get spooked, and run off.


In Valheim, the more you do of something, the better you become at it. While this means that there’s no quick way to grind up your skill level, it also means that the game essentially allows you to get good at whatever you want to get good at, and tailor your playstyle accordingly. This is always worth keeping in mind. So if you find that ranged combat is more to your liking, for instance, make sure you keep using a bow and arrow to become more proficient in that area.


This is something that’s going to be useful to you much later on in the game, but it’s worth remembering. To craft higher level items, you’re going to need both a Blast Furnace, and crafting that requires plenty of work. For starters, you need an Artisan Table, which you can only craft if you have the Dragon Tear, which, in turn, you only get after defeating the boss of the Mountain biome. Once you have an Artisan Table, you can finally craft a Blast Furnace for yourself, with which you can make black metal weapons and shields. The payoff is absolutely worth all the work that goes into it, because black metal gear is some of the most useful in the entire game.