Valheim - See How to Play

There have been only a few games where players were given early access that went on to sell over 1 million copies in the days after it was launched to the public. 


Valheim reached this feat even without backing from a large company or tremendous amounts of marketing. This goes to show that players love to try new and exciting survival games.

I've found that playing Valheim is certainly not easy. With all the resource collecting activities, shelter building, and monster hunting, there's just so much to do. In this article, I'm going to share with you how to play Valheim and share tips you can use to succeed during the early days of the game.

  • What I Did on My First Day
  • Learning the Different Weapons
  • Focus on Building a Shelter
  • Get to Know the Biomes
  • As Night Falls
Valheim - See How to Play
Image Source: PCMag

What I Did on My First Day

The very first thing that I did when I spawned in Valheim was to look around and start gathering wood. Wood is the most important resource during the first few hours of the game.

The second most important resource is stone. Both of these resources have given me what I need to either build a decent shelter, create some tools to get more resources and craft a weapon to defend myself. 

The way to get wood in this game is to simply punch some plants while stone can be picked up on the ground. Another great project that I started working on during the first few hours was a workbench

Here, I repair broken tools without it costing me anything. It's a great addition to any shelter so I suggest you build one as well.

Finding Resources and Food

While wood and stone are pretty much very easy to find, other resources are also needed to craft more items and tools and use them as a way to build and improve my shelter. There is also the rising feeling of hunger so food also becomes an important issue. 

Let's start with tackling food first. Finding a good source of food is very important in Valheim. Hunger can result in your untimely demise in this game so hunting for food or simply foraging for them is essential for survival. In the early stages of the game, I pick mushrooms found in the forest. 

As I head over to the forest, I tend to find more resources including flint which only spawns in specific areas of the map. Along the way, I also encounter different wildlife which can be hunted for food so I always bring my weapon with me in case I get to see one.

Learning the Different Weapons

Once I've gathered enough resources, I now have the ability to improve or upgrade the weapons that I use to either defend myself or hunt for food.

Valheim - See How to Play
Image Source: Red Bull

Most of the time, I use these weapons against nighttime invaders and when I set out on a specific mission. 

There are different weapons that I can craft depending on the different resources at my disposal. Each weapon has its strengths and weaknesses

Using a weapon regularly increases its level so I would suggest switching things up so you can equally increase the level of each weapon.

Take Advantage of Enemy Weakness

As with many other elements in the game, each enemy that I encounter has its own set of weaknesses. It is up to you as a player to discover these weaknesses. Here's what I've learned about enemy weakness

Most of the time, they are vulnerable to piercing, slashing, fire, blunt, and many other attacks. There is also an indication of how much damage I've dealt to the enemy which exposes their weakness. Yellow means that I've dealt weak damage to that specific enemy while grey indicates that they are resistant to such damage type. 

White shows that they take normal damage from my weapon. This is the reason why I suggested early on to switch things up with your weapon as some enemies might be resistant to a certain damage type.

Focus on Building a Shelter

The first few hours in Valheim is easily one of the most crucial times in the game. I've spent countless hours wondering why I could not progress in the game as fast as other players.

Valheim - See How to Play
Image Source: Eurogamer

Later on, I found out that I was focusing all of my energy into collecting resources to build a large shelter when in fact, all I needed was a small one, to begin with. 

Don't make the same mistake as I did and focus on just building a small shelter that can fit your character inside for protection. 

A temporary shelter is good enough to last through the night then you can spend your time the next day to either patch it up or improve on it.

Make it Comfortable

While I was forced to build a good enough shelter, it doesn't mean that I have to sacrifice comfort within my tiny shelter. Resting is one of the key ways to survive in this game hence having comfort within my shelter is my utmost priority. 

The comfort level of my character will result in a longer-lasting rested buff meaning I get to have better endurance and health regeneration. Shelters need not be extravagant but they should always be comfortable

Once I was able to get to a certain comfort level, I moved on to building a larger house adjacent to the shelter.

Get to Know the Biomes

Explore the landscape as much as possible before the sun begins to set. I've discovered a lot of biomes in Valheim by simply wandering around the landscape. 

Valheim - See How to Play
Image Source: Game Informer

It is important that you know the different types of biomes in Valheim as it correlates with the resources that you will need to collect from the game. 

Each type of resource is tied to a certain biome. For example, copper can only be found in the Black Forest or if you need iron ore, you'll have to go to a swamp to get one. Each biome represents a certain type of resource as well as features different creatures. 

Meadows and Plains are often very safe to travel while the Black Forest and the Swamp are dangerous places to visit. There are also the Mountains, Ocean, Mistlands, Deep North, and Ashlands.

Other Environmental Factors to Note

Apart from learning the biomes, exploring the landscape, building a comfortable shelter, hunting for food, and collecting resources, there are little things that new players might not notice in the game that creates a bigger impact on how the game is played. 

Things like wind direction are important when hunting for food or hiding from an enemy or predator. My scent can be carried away by the direction of the wind which can affect how I hunt for food. Animals can smell me from a distance and they start to run away long before I can take the shot. 

Chopping down trees is also affected by the wind direction. Falling trees can kill me hence knowing the direction of the wind which is a factor in where the trees will fall is important. Check out the arrow on the minimap to see the wind direction.

As Night Falls

Soon nighttime falls in Valheim and the entire game changes. It is best to leave a campfire burning the entire night but also be careful not to set yourself ablaze. Avoid walking into the campfire by placing a beam around it. 

Valheim - See How to Play
Image Source: PCGamesN

There have been countless moments where I've set myself on fire just by walking around the campfire. It is essential that by this time, I've already built a decent shelter to protect myself at night. 

Trolls and other creatures do appear at night and sometimes they are attracted to the campfire. While I can certainly defend myself, it's always better to keep them at bay by being safe inside my shelter.

Let's Talk About Bosses

Valheim is a sandbox game where I get to create my own experience and explore the land without having to fret about large monsters. However, the game does have its fair share of dangerous creatures and bosses. 

After the first few days within the game, I've discovered that there are bosses or the Forsaken that's summoned to propel the story forward. I always make sure to bring the best weapon that I can craft before summoning bosses in the game.


Surviving the first few days in Valheim is crucial to understanding the game. Progression in the game can only be done once you know the basics of how to play. Hopefully, these tips are good enough to help you get through the first few days and thrive in this dangerous new world.

Valheim is currently available for download on Steam for PC.