Valheim hit Steam a little over a month ago, and in that short time has become a sleeper hit. The game, made by Swedish development team Iron Gate and published by Coffee Stain Studios, has amassed over five million Viking-players since release, becoming one of the highest-rated games on Steam. What sort of magic exists in the unforgiving Viking purgatory of Valheim that is drawing in players? Many attribute the viral success to a few notable factors: brilliant simplicity, accessibility, and a well-tuned degree of difficulty. While most players will find the pacing challenging, yet satisfying, some may still experience difficulties on the path of redemption. To make your trip through this dangerous world a bit easier, we’ve crafted this list of helpful Valheim tips. After spending over 100 hours in the game, I hope these Valheim tips will help you overcome the tribulations in this lush and expansive landscape.
5 Valheim Tips to Become a Better Viking
1. Learn to Parry
Whether turning the blade of a vicious skeleton or going toe to toe with a troll wielding a literal tree trunk, learning to parry is key. Simply put, a parry is a perfectly timed block right before a strike lands that sends your foe reeling and open to critical strikes. Almost every enemy in Valheim can and should be parried.
Your weapon or shield of choice will have innate stats that dictate its parrying potential. The most important stats for this strategy are “Block Power” and “Parry Bonus”. Next time you’re running scared from a Brute, stand your ground and practice your parry! When it comes to key Valheim tips to follow, parrying is at the top of the list for a reason.
2. Build Smart and Don’t Forget Foundations
When they initially drop on their first island, the first thing most Valheim players focus on is building a base. Like many others, my original build has evolved over time and become my main base of operations, despite it being rather far from important resources. However, it is equal parts nostalgia and build quality that keeps me coming back to my old longhouse. Through multiple re-builds, I have learned a few important rules to live by when laying the groundwork for a fancy house.
Each piece placed has a hidden value dictated by the number of pieces between it and the ground. The further from the ground and the flimsier the building material, the less likely it is to remain in place. So if you’re building a very tall house with stilts, you’re going to run into trouble when you get to the roof. Remember to keep your builds grounded, or at least build the foundations nice and sturdy so you don’t have to rebuild the whole thing when your roof starts caving in on you.
3. Use the Map!
The map is a huge value when exploring the various biomes of Valheim. The most important part is the marker system. The map contains a few unique markers that can be manually placed and labeled with an easy double-click.
I typically use the simple circle marker to dictate where ore veins are, just in case I need to re-supply on much-needed materials down the road. Once a vein is cleared, I simply right-click clear the marker. You can use various other shapes like a campfire, a house, and even a Mjolnir shape! For those of you who prefer multiplayer, you can also use mouse-3 to ping a location for your teammates.
4. Wrangle Those Pigs
Early on in the game, and well into later portions, leather scraps are a huge crafting bottleneck. At first, you will have a difficult time maintaining a healthy stock of this item when you’re trying to eek your way out of the stone age. Do yourself a favor and tame some boars! The easiest way to do this is to aggro a boar near your base. Once you have its focus, do your best matador impression and have it charge at you while you walk into a pen of your own design.
I find that the basic roundpole fence is plenty to keep them in. Once you have two boars inside, toss a couple of carrots or mushrooms in there to begin the taming process. Over time, they will become docile and begin to reproduce. This progression is visible when you target the boar after they’ve been fenced in, fed, and kept away from fire (this is a significant factor, as it will delay their taming exponentially if they’re scared all the time.) Having boars on hand will increase your Leather Scrap output, and keep you fed during those long rainy nights alone in your longhouse. If you find yourself consistently down on Leather Scrap supplies, consider this pig-wrangling strategy one of the most beneficial Valheim tips we have to offer.
5. Cheat, If You Must
Valheim is one of the first games in my recent memory that allows old-school cheat codes. First, you must be able to access the in-game console. You can do this by right-clicking the game in your Steam library and selecting “properties”. At the bottom of the window that opens is a text box labeled “Launch options”. In that box, type “-console” and launch Valheim. Once you’re in-game, you can open the console by pressing F5, and type “devcommands”. This will allow the entry of cheat codes, activation of debug mode, and various other fun, chaotic elements. Some people have limited time to game, and Valheim has so much to learn and do. Sometimes cheating is okay, I promise.
This also allows for a pseudo-creative mode, in which you can spawn any item you want and/or build to your heart’s content while pushing the limits of architecture. Obviously, if you’re concerned with progression, I advise you to not pursue this option. But if you, like me, find yourself in solo play, trapped in a crypt with a broken pickaxe and a pile of sludge that can only be destroyed by said pickaxe, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. The most valuable cheats that I’ve discovered are simple: after typing ‘devcommands’ simply type ‘debugmode’, and the hotkeys Z (flying), K (Kill all enemies nearby), and B (no build cost/workbench requirement) will enable the creative mode I mentioned earlier. Others include item and enemy spawning, but require a little more effort.
Valheim has awed many with the size of the procedural worlds it gives players to explore. There’s so much to learn and accomplish in this beautiful, punishing world. For now, these Valheim tips will help you get started, and put you on a prime path toward slaying all of Odin’s foes. So sharpen your axe, strap on your shield, and be sure to pack plenty of sausages as you dive into this wonderful game with all your newfound knowledge. If you’re looking for some helpful hints for other games, you can check out our growing list of other tips articles!