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Millions of players have jumped into Valheim over the last few weeks, making it a bonafide Early Access hit. Those same players are quickly discovering just how brutal the world of Valheim can be.
Surviving in the afterlife isn’t as easy as you might expect, as dangers lurk around every corner and Odin likes to watch, rather than help. Staying one step ahead of the unforgiving land and its nightmarish creatures requires a lot of preparation! Crafting is the name of the game, as building the right tools can help you not only survive, but thrive. Here’s the deal on how crafting works, and how you can get the most out of it.
If you plan on making it anywhere in Valheim, there are two items you’ll absolutely need to have in your possession. You’re unlikely to make it through the first day without a Hammer and Workbench at your side.
Without the combo of a Hammer and Workbench, you literally won’t be able to do any crafting in Valheim. These two basic items are the building blocks for everything else you can create. Luckily, both of them are extremely easy to cobble together. In order to craft a Hammer, all you’ll have to do is collect 3 Wood and 2 Stone. Both of these are easy to find, as Wood can be collected by punching trees and picking up branches, while Stone can be gathered by keeping an eye out for small black rocks. When you have enough of both items, you can combine them to make a Hammer. No special Recipe or setup required.
After you have a Hammer, your next move should be building a Workbench. A Workbench is your gateway to everything else you’ll need in Valheim. We’re talking about other items, Weapons, Armor, and so on. You can’t make any of these without a Workbench. In order to build one, you’ll need to collect 10 more pieces of Wood. Once you’ve done that, take out your Hammer and open the crafting menu. Choose the Workbench option and you’re good to go. Remember, you’ll need to keep your Workbench in a covered area to protect it from the elements and in order for you to use it directly and repair any relevant gear. While simply building, however, you can place one and go. This is necessary since you have to build within range of the workbench itself. If you ever find yourself trying to lay a crucial piece and are just outside of a workbench…BOOM, drop another one down and keep going. You can always take it back up when finished.
A basic Workbench opens your game up to a treasure trove of useful items, but that’s just the start. You can gain access to bigger and better goodies if you collect the resources necessary to upgrade your Workbench. There are 5 different upgrades currently you can unlock, and each one broadens your crafting possibilities.
The first upgrade for your Workbench will give you a Chopping Block, which requires 10 Wood and 10 Flint. Flint, you can find usually in the meadows around the edges of the water. The second upgrade grants you a Tanning Rack, which will take 5 Deer Hides, 10 Wood, 15 Flint, and 20 Leather Scraps. Leather scraps, separate from Deer hides, will drop from Boar. A tasty source of meat as well! From there you can make an Adze, which uses 3 Bronze and 10 Fine Wood. The Bronze you will get by combining the smelted copper and tin ore you find in the wild, to produce Bronze. Finally, you can build yourself a Tool Shelf if you collect 1 Fine Wood, 4 Iron, and 4 Obsidian. Obsidian will require some frost resistance and at least an Iron pickaxe, as you have to brave the Mountain chill biomes in search of it. Some of these materials will be harder to find than others, but they’re put to very good use by expanding your Workbench. The more you fill out what you can craft, the better prepared you’ll be for any situation out in the wilderness.
While a beefed-up Workbench is no doubt crucial for success in Valheim, you’ll want to pair it with a Forge to create some seriously impressive stuff. A Forge opens up new options for Armor, Weapons, Tools, and so on. Just like the Workbench, a Forge can also be upgraded to unlock new options, so it’s an important item to keep up with.
Building a basic Forge is easy enough, as it only requires resources that are rather plentiful. Once you’ve gathered 4 Stone, 4 Coal, 6 Copper, and 10 Wood, you can build a Forge instantly. Coal is acquired from a kiln…or from leaving your food too long on the cooking rack. The latter may not be so quick, but if you need some easily without a kiln, skip dinner. From there, a Forge can be leveled up even further than a Workbench. With the right resources in your possession, you can move to a Forge Cooler, Anvils, Smith’s Anvil, Forge Toolrack, Forge Bellows, and Grinding Wheel. Once you’ve reached that final level, between your maxed out Workbench and Forge, you’ll be able to craft just about anything you desire.
The final key to crafting comes from Recipes, most of which are easy to access. The majority of your recipes for Armor, items, and Weapons will come from collecting the right materials. Once you gather a resource or two, Recipes for item possibilities will automatically open up. For example, once you find some Flint, you’ll instantly be able to make a Flinthead Arrow, Flint Knife, and Throwing Spear. The more you explore and collect while out and about, the bigger your list of Recipes will become. If playing with friends, make sure to pick up anything unusual they happen to find and share.
There are a handful of item Recipes that will require a bit more legwork to earn. Sometimes you’ll have to travel far distances in order to mine specific resources to unlock them, while other Recipes are given once you defeat a specific enemy or boss. You never know what you’ll encounter while out on your adventure, be it a creature or new land. Don’t be afraid to explore, as you could unearth a Recipe that could completely change the game for you.
Kevin Cassidy has been covering all things Nintendo for over 15 years now and has been leading the weekly GoNintendo Podcast for just as long. Kevin is also quite passionate about pro wrestling, anime, comic books, and more! Follow Kevin on Twitter via @GoNintendoTweet.