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How to get steel in Return to Moria to make a Steel Hammer and Pickaxe

You’d better steel yourself...

A dwarf hammer steel at a forge in Return to Moria. Image: Free Range Games/North Beach Games

Steel is the second tier of material you’ll unlock in Return to Moria, and you’ll quickly find it is mandatory for rebuilding statues in the Elven Cavern, along with digging through the compacted dirt to reach the Mines of Moria. Essentially, you won’t get very far with iron equipment, which is the first resource you’ll find near your initial camp at the end of the tutorial.

While unlocking steel is part of your main quest — you literally cannot progress without it — it doesn’t show up as a waypoint on your map, unlike most of the objectives so far. You’ll also need steel if you stand any hope of unlocking fast travel in Return to Moria, which is certainly something you’ll want to do as soon as possible. You’ll also need it for key tools, like the Steel Hammer and the Steel Pickaxe.

Here’s how to get steel in Return to Moria, and how to use that steel to craft a Steel Hammer and a Steel Pickaxe.


How to get steel in Return to Moria

A menu shows a steel ingot in Return to Moria. Image: Free Range Games/North Beach Games via Polygon

We’ll go into more detail on each of these steps below, but for a quick step-by-step guide, here is what you must do to unlock steel in Return to Moria:

  • Make it to the Elven Cavern and find the pathway to the Mines of Moria.
  • This will give you the objective to light the Great Forge of Narvi.
  • Find the Great Forge and replace the three missing parts.
  • Defeat the horde.
  • Interact with the forge to unlock the steel ingot recipe, along with steel tools.
  • Smelt Steel Ingots with three iron ore, three coal, and one hide.

You don’t need to worry about getting steel until you make it to the Elven Cavern, the first major location you’ll encounter in the procedurally generated halls of Khazad-dûm. Once you make it here, along with the chance of encountering Black Diamonds for the first time, there are a few major landmarks to highlight.

Your primary objective is to make it to the Mines of Moria, which are connected to the Elven Cavern through a dirt wall, very similar to the ones you’ve previously been tunneling through. However, this is made of compacted dirt, not the bog standard plain ol’ normal dirt, so it needs a Steel Pickaxe to break through.

A dwarf stands outside the great forge of narvi in Return to Moria. Image: Free Range Games/North Beach Games

Throughout the Elven Cavern, you’ll also find broken statues, much like the ones you’ve been repairing prior to finding this area and unlocking crafting recipes through. However, these ones are a slightly lighter shade, and require a Steel Hammer to rebuild.

To get steel, you must find the Great Forge of Narvi, which for us, was located directly opposite where we entered the Elven Cavern. It’s enormous, so it’s tough to miss, though you will have to slay quite a few orc camps to get there.

Upon arrival, you’ll discover three parts of the forge are missing, and you must fix it with a replacement crank, gear, and pipe. All three parts can be found nearby, so simply search the area, but if you are struggling to find any of them, you’ll be able to craft them at a standard forge then lug them back to the Great Forge.

A menu shows details about the great forge of narvi in Return to Moria. Image: Free Range Games/North Beach Games

Slot everything into place and wait for it to heat up. The noise of the forge starting up again will attract your first horde, which spawns a lot of enemies, though all the goblins can be defeated in one hit. Clear the horde and voila! You’ll unlock the crafting recipe for everything steel-based, and can now craft steel back at your camp or any normal forge.

It’s worth noting that the Great Forge of Narvi does unlock some recipes which must be crafted on location, including the Eregion Spear, Eregion Shield, and the Shieldwall, which is the first Masterwork item available to you.


How to get a Steel Hammer and Steel Pickaxe in Return to Moria

As mentioned above, you’ll need a Steel Hammer to rebuild the statues — plus any Ruined Mapstones you encounter — and you’ll need the Steel Pickaxe to get to the Mines of Moria. Once you’ve activated the Great Forge of Narvi, you can craft a Steel Hammer and a Steel Pickaxe at a standard forge. However, you must acquire steel ingots first, which take 45 seconds to smelt and require three iron ore and three coal.

Once you have steel ingots, you can craft the Steel Hammer and Steel Pickaxe:

Steel Hammer recipe

A menu shows the Steel Hammer in the inventory in Return to Moria. Image: Free Range Games/North Beach Games
  • Steel Ingots x2
  • Elven Wood x4
  • Hide x1

Steel Pickaxe recipe

A menu shows the steel pickaxe in the inventory in Return to Moria. Image: Free Range Games/North Beach Games
  • Steel Ingots x3
  • Elven Wood x4
  • Hide x1
A dwarf stares at a pile of elven wood while looking for steel in Return to Moria. Image: Free Range Games/North Beach Games

Elven wood can be found by chopping down any trees in the Elven Cavern — just watch out for any bears or wolves wandering nearby, as they can sneak up on you.

To get hide, you must kill Hriwaras, which are the white deer you’ll find in the Elven Cavern. Some of them have horns, some don’t, but either type will drop Hides. (Note that Hides are are not the same as Hide Scraps, which you can loot off enemies you’ve found so far, such as wolves and ben’imun. You can turn Hide Scraps into Hides, but that requires a Loom, which you won’t unlock for some time.) You’ll also use Hides to expand your inventory, so stock up.

After steel comes bronze, which is crafted using copper and tin and can be found in the Mines of Moria, but steel will be your go-to material for at least the next couple of hours of Return to Moria.

The next level of puzzles.

Take a break from your day by playing a puzzle or two! We’ve got SpellTower, Typeshift, crosswords, and more.