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Valheim Tips: How To Craft, Repair, And Survive

Before diving deep into Steam's wildly popular new Norse open-world survival game, check out these beginner tips to help you become a better Viking.


Valheim is now on Xbox, giving players on a new platform a chance to enjoy one of the surprise PC hits of recent history. Like in any good survival game, the world of Valheim is full of danger, and the game expects you to figure things out for yourself. But if you find yourself a little overwhelmed after dropping off the Viking battle bus, don't worry, as we've got some beginner tips to help to get started. From building safe shelters to keeping items in top shape, and more, here are several tips for new players venturing into Valheim.

Use Abandoned Houses for Early Shelter

Your first goal is going to be building up a base camp. You'll need a fire to keep warm once night kicks in, a bed next to that fire so you can sleep through the night and have a respawn point, and a workbench so you can start crafting more advanced tools and building structures.

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Now Playing: The Valheim Viking Guide For Beginners

Abandoned Houses make for great shelter early on.
Abandoned Houses make for great shelter early on.

Here's the catch: the bed needs to be covered with a shelter for it to work. You could place down a workbench and start building your house right away or even create the most barebone requirements for a "shelter," but the best course of action would be to take advantage of the many abandoned houses around. They have just enough room to fit a bed, chest, and maybe even the workbench if you Tetris it out hard enough, and it will be the perfect temporary accommodation for you while you build your dream house. Just make sure there isn't a beehive that has already set up shop.

Abandoned Houses Are Also Good For Free Wood

If you find other Abandoned Houses in the wild, be sure to break them down for plenty of wood.
If you find other Abandoned Houses in the wild, be sure to break them down for plenty of wood.

Abandoned houses aren't just suitable for early game housing or the occasional chest, but fun fact: they are made out of wood and an excellent way to gather the resource quickly. Don't waste time with your axe, though. That's simply too slow. Instead, place a workbench next to the structure. Workbenches also allow you to dismantle any structure within range. See where I'm going with this?

Use this method to dismantle abandoned homes in seconds, collecting a ton of wood in the process. Just keep in mind this will whittle down the durability of your hammer quite quickly.

Essential Building Tips

Now comes the time to build your first home, and we have a few tips to make it easier for you.

You'll be spending a lot of time building up your house in Valheim.
You'll be spending a lot of time building up your house in Valheim.

The terrain in Valheim is rarely flat and smooth, which might be frustrating for first time builders. This is why the first thing you should do is flatten the ground you're going to build on using the hoe. You can craft one at a workbench that's covered by a shelter. Aren't you glad you squeezed it into the small rundown shack?

Keep in mind this isn't Minecraft, and you can't completely transform the landscape. The hoe is good for basic flattening and raising the ground to get it smooth enough for a foundation for your home.

But what's the best way to actually build a house? Well, those abandoned homes across the land are built with the same parts you can create. This means you can simply use them as inspiration when building your first structure. I would recommend making yours larger, though, so you have plenty of space to move around and fill it with stuff.

A final bit of advice: if you're struggling with getting building pieces to connect, instead of trying to place it where you want it to be, aim your reticle at the side of the piece you want to connect. That was tripping me up at first, so utilize this method to save yourself a headache.

How to Repair Items

You'll likely go through a few axes and hammers while gathering the necessary materials for your home. However, the item doesn't break once you've exhausted it. So how do you repair them? Well turns out it's relatively easy. Once you have your workbench under a shelter, you can craft and upgrade items and tools. On the left of the menu is this little square icon. Tap that to repair one of your tools.

Your workbench is the place to go for fixing and crafting items.
Your workbench is the place to go for fixing and crafting items.

That's it. No cost or materials necessary. As long as you have access to the workbench, you can repair all your tools and gear to your heart's content. By the way, if you're like me and created a few extra axes before you had access to repair, go ahead and throw those in a chest. It's always good to have backups on hand in case you meet your demise.

Improve Your Skills by Doing Literally Anything

Once your basic needs are out of the way, you'll want to start focusing on boosting your character's ever-growing list of skills. How? By performing that action. Chopping trees levels up your axe cutting, shooting arrows increases archery, and so on.

These skills are invaluable as they will actually carry over if you bring your character to a different server, saving you the hassle of starting entirely from scratch. Be warned, though, a penalty for dying is losing skill levels, so make sure not to be too risky.

Like real life, you get better at things by doing it more in Valheim.
Like real life, you get better at things by doing it more in Valheim.

You'll naturally level up these skills by playing the game, but if you're looking to improve a particular skill, you can spend the time in a rigorous training routine. Find a low-level enemy and block them with your shield over and over, or punch a tree stump to improve that hand to hand.

If you want to get really cheesy with it, have a friend join your server, turn off PVP damage, and then swing away. This feels a little broken, so don't be surprised if it's patched in a later update.

Tame Boars for a Personal Supply of Food and Leather

Boars are easy enough to find and kill, but it's always nice to have your own personal hogs to love and care for and slaughter for resources. You might have seen a stone message that implies it's possible to tame the creatures.

The first thing you'll want to do is build a basic pen. Make it large enough to hold several hogs. Build a gate or leave an opening and then go and find two hogs and agro them. Once they are nice and upset, lead them back to your pen and trap them in.

Taming boars can ensure you a steady supply of valuable resources.
Taming boars can ensure you a steady supply of valuable resources.

With the hard part is done, all you need to do is tame them. Drop food like berries or mushrooms into the pen, and slowly over the next few days, their tameness percentage will rise until they love you.

Soon your pen will be filled with little piggies who eventually grow into regular hogs, giving you an excellent supply of meat and leather scraps. Nothing quite beats the fulfillment of achieving sustainability. Just remember to keep throwing food into the pen for them.

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