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Valheim beginner’s guide: From spawn to Eikthyr walkthrough

Learn the basics and hunt your first prey

Jeffrey Parkin (he/him) has been writing video game guides for Polygon for almost seven years. He has learned to love just about every genre of game that exists.

Valheim is good at telling you what you’re supposed to do next. It’s much less clear about how you’re supposed to do that. Right from the beginning, you’ll know that your task is to hunt your first prey Eikthyr — a huge, lightning-antlered stag.

Summoning Eikthyr is a microcosm of Valheim as a whole, and this guide will lead you through crafting your first tools, building your first fire and shelter, gathering materials, and crafting the tools, weapons, and armor you’ll need to defeat grow strong and defeat Valheim’s first boss.

Table of contents

Step 1: Collect 14 wood and 6 stone

After spawning and marking the Eikthyr altar location on your map, the first thing you need to do in Valheim is start finding stone and wood. You’ll need them to craft tools and build structures.

At this early stage, let’s collect (at least) 14 wood and 6 stones.

Find and collect wood

To find wood, look for trees (obviously), and head that way.

Valheim collecting branches
Look for branches on the ground for no-hassle wood.
Image: Iron Gate Studio/Coffee Stain Publishing via Polygon

Your first few pieces of wood come from branches on the ground (just pick them up — that’s free wood) and beech saplings. Punch a beech sapling a few times, and it’ll drop wood. (Technically, you can punch a full-grown tree until it drops a lot of wood, but you don’t need to waste that much time just yet.)

Once you craft a stone axe, you’ll be able to cut down beech trees and saplings, but anything else will be, as the game says, “too hard.”

Find and collect stone

Stones are less obvious. There should be a few scattered around your spawn point — the Sacrificial Stones you landed next to at the beginning of the game — ready to be collected. After that, just watch the ground.

It seems like you’ll find stones literally anywhere, but they tend to cluster around exposed dirt and rock. Watch for those areas and keep your eyes on the ground.

Step 2: Make a stone axe, club, and hammer

Valheim wood and stone collection
Picking up new resources unlocks new crafting recipes.
Image: Iron Gate Studio/Coffee Stain Publishing via Polygon

Crafting recipes in Valheim — for things like new tools and weapons — unlock as you pick up resources. Once you pick up a piece of wood and a stone, you’ll get recipes for your first set of tools: the stone axe, club, and hammer.

  • For the stone axe, you’ll need 5 wood and 4 stone
  • For the club, you’ll need 6 wood
  • For the hammer, you’ll need 3 wood and 2 stone

The stone axe lets you get through trees and logs (and enemies and animals) much faster than your bare fists. The club is a better weapon for fighting the greylings that harass you (it deals more damage and saves the wear and tear on your axe). With the hammer, you’ll build things like a workbench and structures to start your camp.

Before you build your workbench and start settling down, though, let’s explore a little more to find a good location.

Note: You can repair your tools at a workbench

We haven’t told you to build a workbench yet, but let’s answer a question you’re probably going to ask: Yes, you can repair tools.

Valheim repairing tools at a workbench
You can repair tools, weapons, and armor at a workbench.
Image: Iron Gate Studio/Coffee Stain Publishing via Polygon

At a workbench, there’s a small tab hanging off the left side of the Workbench menu. That’s your repair button. Spam it to fix anything you’re carrying that’s degraded. This doesn’t require any resources.

Step 3: Find water and a base location

With your tools in hand, spend a few minutes exploring the area around the Sacrificial Stones, filling in your map. Ultimately, you’re looking for a location to build your camp.

The exact location isn’t super important, but convenience is. Pick a location with access to water, flint, and trees.

  • Water is important because flint only appears near water.
  • Flint is available whenever you’re near water. It looks like a stone, but it’s more oblong and whiter. You’ll need a lot of flint a little later, so pick it up. (Also, picking up your first flint unlocks the next set of crafting recipes.)
  • Trees are important because they’re full of wood.

Take out any enemies or animals you happen across, pick up any food, branches, and stones that you spot. Don’t worry about chopping down full trees just yet.

Once you’ve found water (and, more importantly, a source of flint), you can decide where to build your workbench (which we’ll do in the next section), which will serve as the foundation for your camp. Other things to consider while picking a camp location include:

  • Look for a relatively level patch of land. You’ll get tools to adjust terrain soon, but less work is always better.
  • Look for somewhere open, but near trees. You’ll be cutting down a ton of trees for building, firewood, and crafting. Placing your camp near woods means you have access, but don’t have to clear all those trees before you start building.
  • Be close to the water, but don’t worry about waterfront property. A short walk isn’t out of the question. Again, you’re just looking for convenience.

Step 4: Build workbench and start your camp

Valheim’s workbench lets you make a lot of new tools, weapons, armor, and things that just generally make life easier. A workbench, however, needs walls and a roof before you can interact with it. To build those walls and a roof, though, you need to place your workbench.

Once you pick a location, place your workbench (which requires 10 wood). You’ll immediately learn that you can’t use it without a roof.

Valheim workbench requires a roof
A simple lean-to is all you need to access your workbench.
Image: Iron Gate Studio/Coffee Stain Publishing via Polygon

Don’t get too caught up in architecture (or even permanence) here. Build a lean-to — a three-unit-wide wall with one or two units of roof off of each seems to work. If you want to get fancy, throw some more walls on.

After that, build a campfire (2 wood, 5 stone). Place it near your structure so you can stay out of the weather but still get warm by the fire. This will get you through those cold Valheim nights. (Mechanically, this removes the cold effect which decreases health and stamina regeneration.)

From here, there’s a lot of expansion available. Build at least a bed (8 wood) to reset your spawn point and a chest (10 wood) to offload some of your inventory. As you start hunting boars in a second, you’ll need a cooking rack (2 wood) to turn raw meat into cooked meat. Expand your camp from there as you see fit.

Step 5: Hunt (at least) 21 boars

With a cozy fire, a workbench, and a base of operations, it’s time to focus on the next important item: leather scraps. Leather scraps drop from boars. It’s time to hunt a lot of boars.

Valheim hunting boar
Boars become aggressive and attack you, making them much easier to hunt than deer.
Image: Iron Gate Studio/Coffee Stain Publishing via Polygon

Boars tend to be vaguely near water in meadows biomes (you can see what biome you’re in on your minimap). At the start of the game, you’re basically always in a meadows biome.

Hunting boars is pretty easy — especially since they’ll attack when they notice you. Every boar is guaranteed to drop 1 raw meat and 1 leather scraps.

This step could take a couple in-game days of scavenging. We’ll give you a grocery list in the next section.

Step 6: Make flint tools, weapons, some pants, and a wood shield

Equipping yourself for the fight with Eikthyr (and getting the tools to make your life easier) will take 35 wood, 14 flint, 4 resin, and 21 leather scraps. Head to your (or a) workbench and make:

  • Flint knife (2 wood, 4 flint, 2 leather scraps). The flint knife will make hunting a little easier — it deals extra damage when attacking from stealth.
  • Crude bow (10 wood, 8 leather scraps) and wood arrows (8 wood per 20 arrows). The bow makes hunting much easier. Remember to always aim a little high. The crude bow also deals extra damage from stealth.
  • Rag pants (5 leather scraps). Because you can’t keep Pooh Bear-ing the afterlife.
  • Wood shield (10 wood, 4 resin, 4 leather scraps). Resin drops from both trees and greylings, so you’ll have a lot of it without trying. A shield increases your blocking and lets you parry attacks to stun enemies and animals.
  • Flint spear (5 wood, 10 flint, 2 leather scraps). The flint spear will be your main weapon for the fight with Eikthyr.

Make these as you gather the parts — every one will improve your experience and odds of survival a little bit.

Step 7: Hunt deer to collect two deer trophies

Hunt his kin

Valheim Eikthyr Summoning Altar
The Eikthyr summoning altar tells you to “hunt his kin.”
Image: Iron Gate Studio/Coffee Stain Publishing via Polygon

If and when you visit the Eikthyr summoning altar, Hugin will tell you to “make the correct offering.” Checking the nearby runestone tells you to “Hunt his kin.”

To summon Eikthyr, you need two deer trophies, and to get those, you’ll need to hunt deer.

Deer are a pain to hunt. They spot you easily when you’re walking, and they’re very sensitive to scent, so you’ll need to watch the wind direction.

The first clue that there’s a deer nearby is their sound. It sounds kind of like a barking dog or seal. Once you hear them, you’ll need to see them.

Valheim hunting deer
Watch the wind direction and sneak up on deer to hunt them.
Image: Iron Gate Studio/Coffee Stain Publishing via Polygon

Crouch and start looking around. Ideally, you’ll get close to the deer without spooking it. But if it takes off, you’re not out of luck. Don’t chase the deer. Just find somewhere to hide, and wait. Deer tend to return to the same place once they’re done freaking out.

Your bow works well here, but you need to stand up to shoot (and run the risk of getting spotted), and waiting for the perfect shot will eat through your stamina fast. Your bow is a better option for shots in the open and from a distance. If you’re close, staying crouched and upwind means you can attack with your flint knife. This will usually one-shot a deer.

Step 8: Summon and defeat Eikthyr

Once you have two deer trophies, it’s time to take on Eikthyr.

Before you leave your base, take care of a few things:

When you’re all set, head to the Eikthyr altar location you marked on your map way back at the beginning during the raven Hugin’s tutorial. Offer up your two deer trophies, and the fight begins.

Valheim first boss Eikthyr first prey
Eikthyr is the first prey and the first boss you’ll face.
Image: Iron Gate Studio/Coffee Stain Publishing via Polygon

Eikthyr is intimidating as your first boss fight, but it’s surprisingly manageable. There are only three attacks to watch for.

  • He’ll rear up briefly, and come down with a directional (straight ahead) lightning attack. You just need to move to the side or behind him.
  • He’ll rear up longer, and come down with a bubble-shaped lightning area of effect attack. Just dodge away a couple times to get out of range.
  • If you approach from the front when he’s not charging up a lightning attack, he’ll toss his head to gore you with his antlers. With a wood shield, you can block or even parry this without too much trouble.

Beyond that, this fight is about endurance. Just keep chasing him around, dodging the lightning attacks, and stabbing away.

Valheim Eikthyr trophy Forsaken Power.
Return the Eikthyr trophy to the Sacrificial Stones to get the Eikthyr Forsaken Power.
Image: Iron Gate Studio/Coffee Stain Publishing via Polygon

When he’s defeated, you’ll pick up the Eikthyr trophy and a few hard antlers. Take the Eikthyr trophy back to the Sacrificial Stones (your first spawn point) to get the Eikthyr Forsaken power that temporarily reduces your stamina usage while running and jumping. The hard antler unlocks the antler pickaxe tool at your workbench which unlocks mining for ore, smelting, and metal tools.