Building in Valheim is not only fun but an essential part of progression and survival. Whether you play this new Viking survival game solo or with friends, you can't progress without building and crafting. This Valheim building guide contains some tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your time building your first shelter and settlement.
I'll go over the basics of building, why structural integrity matters, how to build defenses, and why the hoe tool can be your best friend. Hopefully these tips and tricks will help you understand construction better and make your exploration of Valheim more enjoyable.
To start, you will need a hammer, a hoe, and materials to build a workbench.
- The Hammer is your go-to item for crafting, giving you access to all the recipes you've unlocked so far away from the resources you've gathered.
- The hoe lets you flatten and raise terrain, as well as create paths.
- The workbench marks your construction area with a white circle.
- You can have multiple workbenches spread out to increase the total area of the building, and if you build one near an abandoned shelter, you can easily dismantle that shelter for wood.
Ideally, you want to build your house near some wood, as you will need some wood to build even a basic small house. At the start of the game, you can get away with a 3x3 floor design; campfire in the middle, bed on one wall and workbench on the other.
As you progress, you'll want to upgrade for several reasons, but we'll get to that later.
Buildings in Valheim have structural integrity. It fades out of a color scheme that you can see on the building screen when you hover over something like a wall, floor, or ceiling. Colors range from blue/green/yellow/red, with red being the danger zone.
The floors touching the ground - and the first level of walls - will be blue, showing that they are fundamental pieces and have the highest level of resistance.
Some ceiling pieces attached to a single wall will be yellow, indicating they are compromised, and other connections could make them weaker. And if you attach a wooden beam to the ceiling without any support, it will be red – and will probably break immediately.
Luckily, there are plenty of support pieces, like posts and support beams, in the game that help reinforce structural integrity, making them not only decorative but functional.
Your wooden structures will also suffer from rot if you do not use a proper roof to cover the structure.
Having a campfire or fireplace inside your home actually causes smoke to build up inside the building, which can cause harm to you from smoke inhalation.
The easiest way to deal with smoke buildup is to simply remove the section of roof directly above the fire. But it does run the risk of putting out the fire during a rainstorm, preventing you from sleeping in your bed, cooking food, or using it as a respawn point.
As a workaround, you can build a layer of half walls over a layer of solid walls, leaving an opening for smoke to escape from the house. You can also build a makeshift chimney on top of the house to keep the rain out or have "windows" in place to allow the smoke to dissipate.
There are several routes, but you must take one.
Wild beasts roam Valheim, and some will come near your base at night. Many won't attack outright, but you might be vulnerable if you leave your house. Similarly, there is a chance that a random event will trigger causing your base area to be siege at night.
Regardless of the situation, it's a good idea to build defenses around your base, especially if you're on the edge of your biome like me: straddling the line between Meadows and Black Forest.
Building an outer perimeter of stakes gives you a measure of protection. You can even build platforms along the wall to shoot the invaders. In addition to stakes, consider placing standing torches around your home and base to help you see where enemies might be focusing their attacks. Raid nights are especially dark and foggy.
If your walls and defenses take damage, you can repair it with your hammer by trying to wait out the attack. That's instead of going on the offensive, which depending on the striker's line-up, could be the way to go.
Since enemies can damage your buildings, it's also a good idea to have your crafting stations under cover as well; you don't want them destroying your running smelter and making your hardened ore disappear.
Remember that location is critical as buildings must be planned to be structurally sound and defensive measures must be taken to protect your resources from the various enemies Valheim has to offer. For more tips and tricks, be sure to check out our other guides, like the getting started guide and how to repair your tools and buildings.