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Valheim boss guide: How to summon and defeat Eikthyr

Your first prey is the Eikthyr fight

The boss fight with Eikthyr in Valheim Image: Iron Gate Studio/Coffee Stain Publishing via Polygon

There’s a lot to do in Valheim, but your main goal involves summoning and defeating powerful creatures. Their heads are your tickets out of purgatory and into the glory of Valhalla. Beating them is no small feat.

In this Valheim boss guide, we’ll explain everything you need to summon the game’s first boss, Eikthyr. Once you’ve met the requirements, we’ll give you the strategies and tips you’ll need to defeat your first prey.

How to summon Eikthyr

Before you can fight the lightning-launching stag, you’ll need to meet some requirements.

When you first spawn at the sacrificial stones, you’ll find a glowing red rock (next to the stone where you’ll eventually hang your Eikthyr trophy). Interacting with this rock will reveal the location of Eikthyr’s summoning altar.

At Eikthyr’s summoning altar, you’ll find a glowing red runestone and a large stone slab that the game refers to as an offer bowl. Reading the runestone gives you the clue to “Hunt his kin.” The kin in question are the various deer you’ll find roaming the forest nearby.

Hunting deer

Hunting deer can be a bit annoying in Valheim because they’re easy to scare away. If a deer sees you, it’ll scurry off. Deer can also smell you, so pay attention to the direction that the wind is blowing and make sure the deer you’re hunting isn’t downwind.

To locate deer, explore the woods and listen for their telltale cry. It sounds sort of like a seal barking. When you hear them call out, crouch and investigate your surroundings. (Running around will only scare them off.)

If you have the bow, it’s the best tool for hunting them. A clean headshot should take down a deer silently. Just keep an eye on your stamina as you line up your shot.

If you have a bit more patience, slowly creep toward them and take them out with a flint knife.

Keep hunting deer until you get two deer trophies. With those in hand, head back to Eikthyr’s altar and offer them up.

How to defeat Eikthyr

The chained stag is your first real battle in Valheim. Taking it down isn’t much of a challenge. It just requires patience and preparation.

Before taking it on, be sure to:

  • Craft whatever available armor you can, as well as a weapon and a shield. Before setting off, repair all your gear.
  • Brush up on how to cook, and fill your belly with meals to maximize your health.
  • Place your two deer trophies in your inventory hotbar (or else you can’t offer them up).

Once you’re ready, interact with the offer bowl and get ready to take on Eikthyr.

The forest will grow dark and a flash of light will appear, summoning Eikthyr. As the creature’s lightning crackles through the now misty forest, you might be a bit intimidated. But keeping the stag’s limited moveset in mind will make the fight much easier:

  • When Eikthyr rears up in a quick motion, it’ll come back down with a large lighting bolt that shoots in a straight line in whatever direction it’s facing. When boss kicks up its legs, move to the side, avoiding the lighting bolt attack, and rush in for an attack.
  • Look for a similar movement where Eikthyr rears up but hangs in the air a bit longer. It’ll crash back down with a bubble of lightning. If you see the boss kick up its legs for more than a second, keep your distance. Once the ball of energy dissipates, go in for a strike.
  • Attack Eikthyr from the side. Whenever you meet the boss head on, there’s a chance it’ll make a quick swipe at you with its massive horns. When in doubt, approach with your shield drawn to absorb the blow.

Eikthyr will run around the forest, kicking up dirt and knocking down trees. Its constant movement and lightning attacks make it a challenge to attack from its sides. If you can manage to consistently flank the creature, make attacks safely, and anticipate which powerful attack it’ll toss out, you’ll have a fighting chance.

A deer god head on a stone slab in Valheim
Once you defeat Eikthyr, you can show off your triumph
Image: Iron Gate Studio/Coffee Stain Publishing via Polygon

After you’ve defeated Eikthyr, it’ll drop an Eikthyr trophy plus some hard antlers. Return to the sacrificial stones and place the creature’s head on the corresponding stone slab (the one furthest to the left, near the red stone you interacted with earlier).

Mounting Eikthyr’s head will unlock your first Forsaken power, which temporarily boosts your stamina and movement abilities. The antlers that Eikthyr drops also let you create the antler pickaxe, which is perfect for learning how to mine, smelt, and make metal tools.