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Valheim guide: From mountains and silver to Moder walkthrough

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Valheim guide: From mountains and silver to Moder walkthrough

After the third boss, Bonemass, forge silver and hunt the dragon boss in mountain biomes

Image: Iron Gate Studio/Coffee Stain Publishing via Polygon
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.

In Valheim, after defeating Bonemass, you’ll pick up the wishbone, which will help you find underground ore deposits and buried treasure. For a hint about the next biome to explore, you’ll need to check Moder’s sacrificial stone, where you’ll learn it’s time to head for the mountains.

This Valheim guides begins after Bonemass and ends at the Moder boss fight. Visiting the snowy mountain biome gives you the freezing effect, which means you’ll start taking damage just by being there. Luckily, all that work we did and experience we gained preparing for Bonemass will pay off here.

Along the way, we’ll find and explore mountain biomes, brew frost resistance potions, make use of your farm to cook the best recipes at cauldrons, find obsidian, upgrade your workbench and forge, craft poison arrows, use the wishbone to find silver veins, make mining camps to turn silver ore into silver, craft a new set of cold weather armor, and make a new silver shield and weapons. Finally, we’ll talk about finding Moder’s summoning altar and the dragon eggs you’ll need to summon her, and then give tips on how to defeat her.

Table of contents

Step 1: Find a mountain biome

Valheim Moder sacrificial stone
Moder’s sacrificial stone.
Image: Iron Gate Studio/Coffee Stain Publishing via Polygon

The clue for where to go next comes from Moder’s (the mountain boss) sacrificial stone. The “down from the mountain our mother comes” part is your clue telling you to head for a mountain biome.

While swamps were deadly because of the mobs there, mountains are deadly just by being mountains (and also the enemies). The freezing effect kills your health and stamina regeneration and deals damage. Just standing outside in a mountain biome will (eventually) kill you. Luckily, all the work we did for Bonemass means we’re better prepared for the mountain biomes. First, let’s find one.

Build a portal (10 greydwarf eye, 20 fine wood, 2 surtling cores) at your favorite base camp and give it a name like “Mountain” (something you’ll remember, keeping in mind that portal tags are case-sensitive). Take supplies to build another portal, and then link them together to make traveling back and forth easier.

Valheim mountain biome map appearance
Mountain biomes appear gray and cloudy on your map.
Image: Iron Gate Studio/Coffee Stain Publishing via Polygon

Mountains appear gray and cloudy on your map. They’re usually attached to black forest biomes. They’re also very obvious because of snow and the, well, mountains.

Step 2: Upgrade your armor, weapons, and tools

Enemies in the mountains are tough, so it’s time to switch back to metal armor.

Change out of the troll hide set from the swamps and into something a little beefier. If you’ve put in the work to make an iron set, use that. If you’ve still got your bronze set, go with that. Upgrade it as much as you want, but we’ll be making a new cold weather set in a bit, so don’t go overboard.

Everything you need to mine in the mountain biome — obsidian and silver ore — requires an iron pickaxe (3 core wood, 20 iron). If you’ve been following our guides, you should have this already. If you haven’t been following (how dare you), go make one. Upgrading it will make your life easier, but it’s not strictly required.

Bring a good bow

Valheim mountain biome drake
Bows are great against drakes.
Image: Iron Gate Studio/Coffee Stain Publishing via Polygon

The most annoying enemy in mountains, drakes, keep at a distance. Since you’ve got access to a steady source of iron now from the swamps, use the huntsman bow (10 fine wood, 20 iron, 10 feathers, 2 deer hide). Upgrade it as much as you can (or have the patience to).

Bring along a (mostly) full stack of whatever arrow you want — sharper is better here, so something like bronzehead arrows (8 wood, 1 bronze, 2 feathers) or ironhead arrows (8 wood, 1 iron, 2 feathers) are your best bets. As tempting as it is to make fire arrows, their damage is too low.

We’re also going to make even better arrows — poison and obsidian arrows — in a little bit.

When attacked by a drake, wait for it to circle around you. It’ll pull up just before it fires its frost breath — that’s your chance to shoot it with your bow. Once you fire, walk (or run or roll) to the side, dodging its projectiles. Wait for it to circle again, and repeat the process.

Step 3: Brew frost resistance potions and stamina potions

Since the mountain biome’s freezing effect is deadly, your first job is protecting yourself from it. For now, that means making frost resistance mead.

To make any mead (potion) in your fermenter (30 fine wood, 5 bronze, 10 resin), start with a mead base in your cauldron (10 tin). To negate the freezing effect, we’ll need mead base: frost resistance (10 honey, 5 thistle, 2 bloodbag, 1 greydwarf eye):

  • Honey comes from beehives. If you haven’t set up an extensive apiary — several beehives (10 wood, 1 queen bee) — at your favorite base yet, it’s definitely time.
  • Thistle is the glowing blue twig from black forest and swamp biomes.
  • Bloodbags drop when you kill leeches in swamp biomes.
  • Greydwarf eyes are drops when you kill greydwarfs. You likely have a billion of them by now.

The other thing about mountain biomes is that they’re, well, mountainous. You’re going to burn through your stamina just trying to walk and jump around. There are two potions to help.

  • A minor stamina mead boosts your stamina regeneration for a few minutes. It starts with a mead base: minor stamina (10 honey, 10 raspberries, 10 yellow mushrooms). Yellow mushrooms grow underground in meadows biome burial chambers or swamp biome sunken crypts.

The third mead is a little riskier. A tasty mead decreases your health regeneration by 50%, but it increases your stamina regeneration by 300 percent, though it only works if you don’t use any stamina until it’s recharged. It’s useful in an emergency, but it shouldn’t be your primary solution. Tasty mead starts with mead base: tasty (10 honey, 10 raspberries, 5 blueberries).

Bring lots of carrot soup, turnip stew, and sausages

The enemies in mountain biomes are the strongest you’ve faced yet, the weather will kill you, and just walking around drains your stamina. That makes the meals you eat more important than ever.

For the mountain biomes, you want foods that emphasize stamina boosts:

  • Carrot soup (1 mushroom, 3 carrots) and turnip stew (1 raw meat, 3 turnips) give you the highest health and stamina boosts available right now. To get carrots and turnips, though, you’ll need to farm them yourself.
  • Queens jam (8 raspberries, 8 blueberries) gives you a nice boost to stamina, but not much extra health.
  • Sausages (2 entrails, 1 raw meat, 4 thistle) come with as much extra stamina as queen’s jam, but they also give you a huge bump to health. You’ll have entrails from the swamp biome’s draugr, and thistle is in black forest and swamp biomes.

Step 4: Find obsidian

Valheim mountain biome obsidian
Obsidian deposits look like cracked rocks.
Image: Iron Gate Studio/Coffee Stain Publishing via Polygon

Scattered around Valheim’s mountain biome, you’ll find obsidian deposits on the surface. They look like cracked rocks or rocks with thick black veins. Remember that you’ll need an iron pickaxe to mine them.

If the obsidian deposit is on a slope (as most things are in mountain biomes), use your pickaxe to dig a hole to stand in.

Upgrade your workbench

Collecting obsidian unlocks a couple useful recipes and items to craft. First, make the tool shelf (4 iron, 10 fine wood, 4 obsidian) workbench upgrade. This is the final upgrade for your workbench, bringing it to level 5.

Craft poison arrows using obsidian

Several enemies you face (like drakes) in mountain biomes seem weak to poison damage. With obsidian, you’ve got a way to make poison arrows (8 wood, 4 obsidian, 2 feathers, 2 ooze) ooze comes from swamp biomes’ poisonous blobs.

Poison arrows with an upgraded huntsman bow will make (relatively) short work of a drake.

If you don’t want to trek back to the swamps, regular obsidian arrows (8 wood, 4 obsidian, 2 feathers) deal more damage than any other arrow you have access to.

Crystals do not have a use (yet)

Valheim mountain biome stone golem
Stone golems drop stone and crystals, but crystals don’t have a use yet.
Image: Iron Gate Studio/Coffee Stain Publishing via Polygon

At some point while exploring the mountain biome, you’ll run into a stone golem.

When defeated, they drop a ton of stone and some crystal. At this point in Valheim’s development, there is no use for crystals — you can’t craft anything out of them, nor can you sell them to Haldor the merchant. Feel free to hoard them, but don’t waste too much time on it.

Step 5: Use the wishbone to find silver ore

The item you received for defeating Bonemass — the wishbone — is required to for finding silver ore in the mountains (unless you’re super, super lucky).

Valheim mountain biome wishbone silver vein
The wishbone will make an audible ping and wiggly blue lines when you’re close to a silver vein (you can see the edge of it just above our right shoulder).
Image: Iron Gate Studio/Coffee Stain Publishing via Polygon

With the wishbone equipped — you’ll see its icon in the upper right of your screen — start wandering. When you’re close to either a chest or a silver vein, you’ll hear a ping and wiggly blue lines will appear around you.

Keep walking, and treat it like a game of Hot and Cold (which is apparently called Hunt the Thimble?). As you get closer to your target, the higher the pitch of the ping, and the frequency of the wiggly blue lines will increase. It’ll be just about constant when you’re standing above what you’re looking for.

Valheim mountain biome silver vein
Silver veins are underground, so you’ll need the wishbone to find them.
Image: Iron Gate Studio/Coffee Stain Publishing via Polygon

If it’s a chest, just, you know, open it. If it’s a vein of silver, you’ll probably be standing in an unremarkable spot. Dig straight down. You’ll eventually uncover a silver vein. Silver looks like stone with black and silver veins running through it.

Mine a silver vein with your iron pickaxe to collect silver ore. Put that into a smelter with 2 coal to get silver.

Silver mining camps

Just like iron in the swamp biomes, you’re probably going to be doing a lot of silver processing on-site, and that means building temporary camps.

Valheim mountain biome silver mining camp
Use the sides of holes for your silver mining camps.
Image: Iron Gate Studio/Coffee Stain Publishing via Polygon

You’ll dig a lot to find a silver vein. That will create makeshift walls. Ue those walls for your mining camp. Build only the basics:

  • Workbench (10 wood)
  • Portal (10 greydwarf eye, 20 fine wood, 2 surtling cores)
  • Campfire (5 stone, 2 wood)
  • Charcoal kiln (20 stone, 5 surtling cores) — you only need this for coal, so if you’ve got a steady supply elsewhere, you can portal in coal instead.
  • Smelter (20 stone, 5 surtling cores)
  • Forge (4 stone, 4 coal, 10 wood, 6 copper)
  • Grinding wheel (25 wood, 1 sharpening stone)

You need a level 2 forge for the armor we’ll be crafting. The grinding wheel upgrade is portal-able, so it’s your best option — more on this in the next section.

You don’t have to upgrade your workbench or forge in order

The armor and tools we’ll be crafting require higher level workbenches and forges — at least level 2 — and that means building extra things nearby. The annoying thing is that those things usually require metal and, therefore, you can’t portal the resources to build them.

Happily, you do not have to build upgrades to workbenches or forges in order. Any upgrade will bump up the level of the workstation. For example, you could build a grinding wheel (25 wood, 1 sharpening stone) to upgrade your forge to level 2 without building a forge cooler (25 fine wood, 10 copper) or an anvils (5 wood, 2 bronze) first. Conveniently, you can portal everything you need to build a grinding wheel — craft the sharpening stone (5 stone) at a stonecutter wherever you have one and just portal it to where you need it.

Look for the cheapest and easiest upgrades first, and always build the bare minimum at your temporary camps.

Step 6: Craft wolf armor

As you explore the mountain biomes, you’ll get attacked by wolves that will drop wolf pelts. With those pelts and some silver, you can craft a new set of armor.

Valheim mountain biome silver wolf armor set
Silver and wolf pelts let you craft the wolf armor set to protect you from freezing.
Image: Iron Gate Studio/Coffee Stain Publishing via Polygon

Two pieces of this armor negate the freezing effect just by having them equipped — wearing either the wolf armor chest or the wolf fur cape protects you, so you don’t need the full set. That protection alone makes them invaluable in mountain biomes:

  • Wolf armor chest (20 silver, 5 wolf pelt, 1 chain) — make this at a forge
  • Wolf fur cape (4 silver, 6 wolf pelt, 1 wolf trophy) — make this at a workbench

The other two pieces of the wolf armor set don’t negate the freezing effect. That makes them less important, but it’s embarrassing to not match (and the helmet looks cool), so let’s finish the set:

  • Wolf armor legs (20 silver, 5 wolf pelts, 4 wolf fang)
  • Drake helmet (20 silver, 2 wolf pent, 2 drake trophies)

Tame wolves for pelts, raw meat, and companionship

Wolves can be tamed in the same way as boars. You’ll need to get them penned in, and then drop some raw meat or neck tails. After enough time — a couple real-world hours — they’ll become tame.

Unlike boars, tame wolves follow you. This lets you build a pack of good boys to fight by your side. Tamed wolves cannot travel through portals, but they can be coaxed onto boats.

Step 7: Craft a new weapon and shield

Silver unlocks some new weapons and a new shield, so it’s time to upgrade. Unlike Bonemass, who was weak to blunt damage, Moder isn’t weak to one weapon over another. Pick a weapon you prefer here (or one you can afford to make).

  • Silver shield (10 fine wood, 8 silver)
  • Silver sword (2 wood, 40 silver, 5 iron, 3 leather scraps)
  • Fang spear (10 ancient bark, 2 silver, 4 wolf fang, 2 leather scraps) — Ancient bark comes from ancient trees in swamp biomes.

If you’ve found Holdor the merchant, there’s one more weapon you can craft:

  • Frostner (10 ancient bark, 30 silver, 5 Ymir flesh, 5 freeze glands)Ymir flesh (120 coins) only comes from Holdor, and mountain biomes’ drakes drop freeze glands. This is a good weapon that deals extra elemental frost damage, but frost damage is not super useful here so we can't recommend it yet.

Step 8: Find Moder summoning altar and collect dragon eggs

Valheim mountains Moder vegvisir runestone map
The Moder vegvisir runestone will be in a stone structure in the mountains.
Image: Iron Gate Studio/Coffee Stain Publishing via Polygon

As you explore the mountain biome(s), look for abandoned stone structures. Your wishbone should point you to them since they often have chests inside. They’re also usually protected by a few skeletons.

You’ll find the Moder vegvisir runestone in one of these structures. Use it to mark the Moder sacrificial altar on your map.

Valheim mountains Moder summoning altar
Place three dragon eggs in the bowls to summon Moder.
Image: Iron Gate Studio/Coffee Stain Publishing via Polygon

When you check it out (ours was frustratingly halfway across the world), there’s no runestone with a helpful hint. Instead, there are three bowl-shaped spots in the summoning altar the size and shape of dragon eggs.

Valheim mountain biome Moder summon dragon egg
Your wishbone will point you to dragon eggs.
Image: Iron Gate Studio/Coffee Stain Publishing via Polygon

You’ll find dragon eggs in nests on the surface of mountain biomes. Look for the purple glow and the big white crystals. Your wishbone will lead you to them.

The tricky thing about dragon eggs is that they weigh 200 (pounds? kilograms?). That means you’ll only ever be able to comfortably carry one at a time in your inventory. Also, they can’t go through portals. The easiest approach here is to have a team of at least three people, or to make three trips.

Luckily, the summoning altar will be in a mountain biome, so you shouldn’t have to walk too far.

Step 9: Summon and defeat Moder

You’ve got everything you need to tackle Moder now — the best food and meads, new armor and weapons, and you’ve found her summoning altar and dragon eggs.

The mountains are one of Valheim’s trickiest environments, and its boss fits right in. The final challenge of the mountain biome is Moder, a giant wyvern who can only be summoned at the peaks of certain frozen mountains. While getting to her is already a dangerous journey, killing her can be even tougher.

To help you take down Moder, our Valheim guide corrals our best tips, tricks, and strategies for the frozen fight.

Preparing for Moder


For this fight, bring your best sword. If you have an iron sword take that, but a silver sword also works well, if you have it upgraded.

The most important weapon you is the huntsman bow or the draugr fang bow, along with a few hundred arrows. Needle arrows are the best against Moder, but they’re difficult to acquire before you get to the plains (the next section of the game). Both poison and obsidian arrows work well, too.

A Valheim player facing Moder on the mountain with a bow Image: Iron Gate Studio/Coffee Stain Publishing via Polygon


You absolutely must have at least a wolf fur cape or wolf armor chest during your fight with Moder. Having at least one of these items negates the cold debuff that you get while in the mountain biome. But if you’ve been exploring the mountains enough to find all the dragon eggs you need to summon Moder, you probably already know that and have at least one of these two pieces.

Because silver is so plentiful and easy to get, the best option against Moder is a set of full silver armor, all upgraded to level four. However, if you’re trying to move as quickly as possible, you could get away with a fully upgraded set of iron gear with just a wolf fur cape to gain the frost resistance damage buff.


Eat sausages, turnip stew, and cooked Lox meat before and during the fight. Getting Lox meat is more difficult and dangerous than other foods, since they only spawn in the plains, but it’s well worth it for the great balance of extra health and extra stamina.


Bring along at least five each of the medium healing mead and the minor stamina mead, in case you need to recover either resource quickly.

You should craft a few frost resistance meads before the fight, but leave them where your bed is at, or near the portal you’re using to get to the fight. That way, if you die during the fight you can activate the frost resistance mead and run back to your body, without worrying about the cold debuff. These potions don’t stack with the frost resistance from your wolf armor, so don’t worry about using them in the fight.

Moder summon

Moder is located in the mountains. To discover her exact summoning location, you need to either find a rune in the mountains, or find the altar while exploring.

Moder’s summoning altar in Valheim Image: Iron Gate Studio/Coffee Stain Publishing via Polygon

To summon Moder, you need three dragon eggs, which you can sacrifice on her altar. The eggs are extremely heavy and cannot be teleported. This means that the eggs also aren’t worth collecting. Instead you should find the mountain that Moder can be summoned with in your game, search for eggs in that area, and carry them back one at a time.

Because Moder is an extra dangerous boss, set up a portal nearby the summoning location, but safe from her attacks. Then if you die, the portal will get you back to your gear quickly. While it’s normally a good idea to set up a bed near fights instead, the mountain’s cold debuff makes that much more difficult.

Before you summon Moder, make sure there are no enemies nearby and that it’s early in the day, so that you don’t have to deal with the increased spawns of night.

Moder boss tips

Moder attacks

Moder has three kinds of attacks — one that she uses while she’s flying, and two that she uses when she lands.

Aerial attack

  • Moder shoots several shards of ice at a player’s location. The ice crystalizes on contact and freeze whatever they hit. Absolutely do not get hit by this ability. Each shard moves slowly which makes them easy to dodge, but if you get hit by two or three of these in a row, you die.

Ground attacks

  • Moder swipes with her front talons, hitting anything in front of her. This is Moder’s most traditional attack and her quickest. If you see her bring her claws back, run away immediately or prepare to dodge.
  • Moder shoots a freezing breath attack in front of her. This ability does lots of damage, but it can dash to the side just before it comes out to avoid its cone of damage.
A Valheim player looking up a Moder as she flies around a mountain Image: Iron Gate Studio/Coffee Stain Publishing via Polygon

Attacking Moder’s weaknesses

There are two ways to kill this boss.

The most effective is to hit her with needle or poison arrows while she’s in the air, causing a meager amount of damage, and then rush up to her when she lands and use your sword. For this method, you have to be very careful to dodge her attacks, because taking just one hit means you need to retreat and heal.

The far safer (but much more time-consuming) option is to stay as far away from Moder as possible and only use your bow to hurt her. For this, you only need to dodge her ice shards attack, which should keep you fairly safe. However, this method takes a very long time to complete and burns through tons of food and arrows.

Moder rewards and trophy

Moder drops the Moder trophy, as well as her shrine power — which grants you favorable winds for sailing. Moder also drops several dragon tears, a crafting item used to craft things necessary for smelting black iron into ore and making black iron tools.