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Valheim boss fight guide: The Elder guide

Fire is your best friend for taking down The Elder

The Elder boss from Valheim Image: Iron Gate Studio/Coffee Stain Publishing via Polygon

Once you’ve taken down Eikthyr, Valheim’s first boss, you can venture into the black forest. While you’re there, you’ll have all kinds of new things to explore including, new buildings, new equipment, and the ability to smelt bronze. But once you’ve finished exploring and gathering your gear, the black forest’s final challenge awaits: The Elder.

The Elder is a giant tree boss and is a lot more complicated to take on than Eikthyr was, but we’ve got a few tips and tricks to help give you a slight edge over this ruler of the forest.


Preparing for The Elder

Since The Elder is the final boss of the black forest, you’ll want to gather plenty of bronze — the biome’s metal — to prepare for the fight. Bronze can take quite a while to get, so we’ve put together a few recommendations about where to spend it best and what else you’ll need to gather for the fight.

Weapons: bronze, bows, arrows, and shields

At the minimum have something bladed like a bronze sword with a couple of upgrades. You could also use a bronze axe as your primary weapon on this fight, but you’ll definitely want it to be fully upgraded (level 4) if you’re taking that route.

The other weapon that’s an absolute necessity is a fine wood bow. This will be the primary item you use to damage The Elder. Bring in plenty of regular arrows, but your main priority should be fire arrows — it’s a tree, which makes fire its natural enemy. This boss can have quite a bit of health, so bring at least 100 fire arrows — but even 200 wouldn’t be a bad idea.

A player in Valheim with troll armor and bronze weapons Image: Iron Gate Studio/Coffee Stain Publishing via Polygon

There are also a couple of optional weapons for The Elder as well. You can bring along a bronze shield if you want a little bit of extra safety, but The Elder doesn’t have many easy-to-block attacks, so you’ll mostly avoid getting hit, rather than blocking.

Slightly more useful is the bronze atgeir. While you won’t use it as your primary weapon for dealing damage to The Elder, he does have a move that spawns tons of roots near you and you’ll need to clear them out quickly. The atgeir’s secondary attack is a wide sweeping attack that will deal damage to all the roots at once making quick work of them. The atgier isn’t necessary for the fight at all — your sword or axe are just fine — but it will make the fight easier, and it’s a nice weapon to have as you move forward in the game.

Armor

Armor for The Elder will come down to personal preference.

Troll hide armor is great because this fight involves a ton of moving around, and troll hide won’t give you any movement speed penalties, which should let you dodge more. Unfortunately, if you do get hit, it won’t protect you as well as a nice set of upgraded bronze armor.

If you like to dodge and are confident you won’t get hit, take the cheaper troll hide option. If that’s not your play style, you could also spend time making a bronze armor set, which will make you feel safer.

Food

Your goal should be to have two cooked meats and one berry or vegetable-based food.

You can definitely get away with the basics, like cooked meat, cooked neck tail, and strawberries, but there are better options. If you’re looking for a slight food upgrade, build a cauldron and replace your strawberries with queen’s jam. This provides significantly more health and stamina and pair great with your cooked meat and cooked neck tail.


The Elder summon

The Elder is located in black forest biomes, which is where you’ll find his summoning altar. To find the location of the altar, you can either explore black forests and find it naturally, or you can dive into a few dungeons where you might randomly find a rune that reveals one of The Elder’s locations to you.

A player in Valheim standing near the summoning alter for The Elder boss Image: Iron Gate Studio/Coffee Stain Publishing via Polygon

Once you’ve found his summoning location, explore the forest nearby and make sure that there are no enemy spawns, just to ensure that you don’t get any extra combatants during the fight. For the same reason, you’ll want to make sure you don’t fight him at night — since more enemies spawn in the black forest when the sun is down.

Once the area is clear and the time of day is right, you can summon The Elder. To summon him you’ll need to burn three ancient seeds in the brazier near his altar. Once you do, he’ll arrive.


The Elder boss tips

The Elder’s attacks

The Elder has three unique attacks to recognize.

  1. Foot stomp. This has a slow windup and deals tons of damage in a small area around The Elder.
  2. Shooting branches. This is a two-step attack. First, the Elder puts his hand forward (which is your cue to move away quickly), and then it shoots branches at you. This attack moves quicker than most in Valheim and deals extremely high damage.
  3. Root summons. The Elder waves his arms and summons roots near your location. This ability isn’t too threatening right away, but if you get close enough for the roots to hit you, they’ll still do plenty of damage. Each root has a health bar. Killing them is usually the best option, as long as you can do it safely.
The Elder boss from Valheim on fire Image: Iron Gate Studio/Coffee Stain Publishing via Polygon

Keep your distance

During the fight, stay far as far away from The Elder as possible. His attacks do lots of damage, but the further away you are from them, the easier they are to dodge.

Fire fire arrows

Since fire is so effective against The Elder, fire arrows let you stay a safe distance away while dealing plenty of damage.

Melee combat

If you need to get close, take out your sword or axe, hit The Elder a few times, and then dash out to safety. Don’t try to get too many hits in, or you’ll be likely to catch one of his attacks.

The Elder trophy and rewards

After several minutes of attacking, dodging, and burning, you’ll take down The Elder and gain access to his rewards. The Elder drops an Elder Trophy and The Swamp Key, which will let you open Sunken Crypts in the game’s swamp biomes — which is where you’ll find iron to progress to the next section of the game.