Simple Start: A Beginner’s Guide to Valheim

Not to knock Valheim’s tutorial raven Hugin, but he doesn’t tell you everything you need to know to survive in the 10th World. Although it’s always worth hearing what Hugin has to say, we’re going to try to make it quick and simple with this beginner’s guide to Valheim. If you’re looking for specific info, just hit the Contents button above this paragraph to skip around the guide.

Before you can create a world and get to Vikinging (that’s a word now), you first need to make a character. We suggest picking a name from this list of Viking names for authenticity. Once that’s done, create a new world and hit that start button! Your raven buddy Hugin will carry you through a storm and drop you off between the Sacrificial Stones, which is where you’ll bring the bosses’ trophies once you defeated them. That’s all in the future, however. For now, we’re just going to worry about getting our first base set up.

Valheim Beginner's Guide Hugin the Raven
Hugin the raven will appear after you reach certain checkpoints to give you tips and advice

Almost everything you’ll want to build in the early game requires wood, so our first step is to craft an stone axe to make getting wood easier.

  1. Immediately start looking for branches and stones, and hit E on them to pull them out of the ground. Hitting E once only makes them available: you’ll have to press E again or walk close to them in order to actually pick them up. You can check your inventory to see how many resources you have with the Tab key.
  2.  Once you have 5 wood and 4 stone, press Tab to open your inventory and then go to the crafting menu on the right side of your screen. Select the Stone axe, and then click the Craft button. After a moment, the axe will appear in your hotbar in the upper left. You can now select that tool by pressing the corresponding number key. Note: The R key puts away and takes out your selected tool/weapon.
  3. Now you’ll need 3 wood and 2 stone to craft the hammer. Follow step 2, but select the hammer instead and craft it.

SIDE NOTE: The best way to get a lot of wood quickly is to find trees that are clumped up. By chopping down one, you’ll hopefully cause a domino effect, and save yourself a lot of time. Don’t get confused when the trees first fall; you’ll need to keep chopping at those logs until they split it half, and then keep chopping again at the halved trunks in order to actually get any wood. 

Once you’ve got an axe and a hammer, you’re ready to really start crafting. In order to make anything complex, you’ll need a Crafting Station. You can’t just drop a Crafting table down and start using it, however. Here’s how to set one up:

  1. Gather at least 20 wood.
  2. Select your hammer in your inventory, and once it’s out, press Mouse 2. This will open the hammer’s crafting menu.
  3. Click the Crafting tab in the menu that pops up, then select the workbench and find a relatively flat place to place it.
  4. Once you’ve built the Crafting Table, you’ll need to shelter it in order to be able to use it. Open up your hammer’s building menu again and this time click on the Building tab. Select the Wood wall, and place two Wood walls behind your crafting table.
  5. Next, select the Thatch Roof 45° and place them at an upward angle over your Crafting Table. NOTE: If you’re struggling to get building pieces to connect, try aiming at the point you want to join the pieces (see image 2 in the gallery below).
  6. Try using your Crafting table. If it tells you “Station is too exposed”, you will need to place walls on either side of the Crafting table. If it tells you “Crafting table needs a roof”, make sure your roof is completely covering your Crafting table (see the images below if you aren’t sure what it should look like.

NOTE: Now that you have a Crafting Station, you can repair broken tools (your axe is probably in need of some TLC by now) by clicking the little hammer icon Repair Icon Valheim  on the left side of the Crafting station’s menu. 

To set a spawn point, and to rest, you’ll need to craft yourself a bed. Just like the Crafting station, the bed has certain requirements in order for you to use it. Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  1. Gather at least 27 wood and 7 stone.
  2. Go to your Crafting station and craft a Hoe from the Craft menu.
  3. Using the Hoe, flatten some ground for your soon-to-be home. It doesn’t need to be too big (see images below for an idea of how much space you’ll need). 
  4. Pull your hammer out, and place a bed. You can put wooden flooring down if you want, but we’re focusing on the bare necessities here. 
  5. Now, just like you did with the Crafting station, build 2 Wood walls behind the bed, and then cover the bed with Thatch Roof 45° pieces.
  6. Next, go to the Misc tab of the hammer’s build menu, and place a campfire somewhat near your bed. Note: This fire will eventually go out, and you’ll have to add wood to it. If it rains, you’ll need to cover your fire to keep it going.
  7. Try using your bed! Even if it isn’t sheltered properly, it will let you set it as a spawn point. However, if your bed is not sheltered enough, you won’t be able to rest in your bed. If you are unable to sleep in your bed, continue to build out and around your bed until the game lets you sleep in it.

That’s everything you should need to get started in Valheim. There’s a lot more to learn about base-building, crafting, and exploring, so we encourage you to experiment on your own. If you’re struggling with combat, you can learn some tactics to help you in our Combat Guide. If health, stamina, and food are confusing you, we’ve got a guide for that too!

We hope you found this guide helpful. Please let us know in the comments if you have any questions or suggestions!

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Unabashed FromSoftware fanboy still learning to take his time with games (and everything else, really). The time he doesn't spend on games is spent on music, books, or occasionally going outside.

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2 years ago

Great start for valheim is important, the intro video can be closed somehow? I’m also making a list of valheim beginner blog- Not sure if preparation for bosses come as part of exploration of game or learning but these guides make crafting and building go faster. Sure there is more to cover: diving guide is somewhat blurred