You’ll get by in the early going of Valheim with leather armor made from Deer Hide, but if you want to explore Viking purgatory in a meaningful way, you need to enter the Bronze Age. Bronze Armor offers a significant upgrade in protection, and you’ll need Bronze tools to access a lot of new materials. Making Bronze isn’t easy, though–which is why we’ve got a complete guide to help you find the materials you need, make the right crafting stations, and start blacksmithing.
What To Do First
To start harvesting the things you need to make Bronze, you’ll need to venture into the Black Forest biome. This is a step up in difficulty from the early game location of the Meadows, where you’ll mostly deal with boars and Greylings. The forest houses much tougher enemies, including a variety of Greydwarf types, Skeletons, and Trolls. You might run into them in the Meadows, but going into the Black Forest is a pretty big risk early on.
To handle it, you’re going to at least need Leather Armor–but if you can get Troll Hide Armor, you should. But to make the weapons needed to succeed in the Black Forest, you must first deal with your toughest early-game challenge so far: Eikthyr, the Meadows biome boss.
The first boss in Valheim is Eikthyr, and if you can, you’ll want to attack the giant rampaging stag boss with a team of Vikings. You can summon the boss from its altar (the location of which is marked on your map when you interact with a rune at the altar where you first start Valheim) with two Deer Trophies.
You’ll want to craft a Wood Shield to block Eikthyr’s attacks and to go at him with either a Flint Spear–which allows you to melee him in between his attacks–or by peppering him at a distance with a bow. Note that you’re going to need a lot of arrows for that second approach, but if you keep moving, the boss is pretty easy to dodge.
Eikthyr has electricity-based attacks, shooting bolts of lightning at you from its antlers. It does a lot to telegraph those moves, though, so you can generally strafe sideways to avoid them. It’s possible to block his melee strikes if you stay close to him, allowing you to stab away at him with your spear until he’s handled. Make sure to bring food and eat three different food items ahead of the fight to get your health up to maximum; you should also try to sleep before the fight to get the highest Rested bonus you can.
When Eikthyr is destroyed, it drops an item called the Hard Antler. You need this to move from making items out of sticks, rocks, and leather to crafting real gear made from metal. Use it to craft the Antler Pickaxe.
Where To Mine Copper And Tin
With the Hard Antler, you can craft the Antler Pickaxe, an essential item for moving forward with mining. The pickaxe can break up rocks and cut them into Tin and Copper deposits. These two metals are what you need to advance to the next tier of crafting capabilities.
First, you’re going to need to locate the two metals. Look for small Tin deposits poking out of the ground near waterways and around the coast; you’ll find them in both the Meadows and the Black Forest biomes. Tin will always show up in small silvery nodes, so you’ll have to hit several to get what you need–but luckily, you need a smaller amount of Tin to advance. On the other hand, Copper factors heavily into all the metal work you’re about to do, so you want to mine a lot of it.
Head into the Black Forest to find Copper and look for big bulging deposits of it. They’ll look like large boulders sticking out of the ground, and you’ll spot them from their copper-colored veins and rivulets poking through the green of the moss covering them. It’s a good idea to start marking Copper locations on your map as you explore the forests because you’re going to want to find your way back to these places.
Once you start mining these deposits, you’ll wind up with Copper Ore and Tin Ore. You won’t be able to use them in this state yet, though–you need to build two new crafting stations to get them into shape for making armor, weapons, and tools.
Find Surtling Cores For A Kiln And Smelter
To get the ores into shape to work them as metals, you need to smelt them, and to run your Smelter, you need Coal, which you can make with a Charcoal Kiln. To build both structures, you’re going to need 40 Stones in total–which you can mine out of the ground anywhere with your handy new pickaxe–and 10 Surtling Cores in total. These are a little tougher to come by.
You can locate Surtling Cores in Burial Mounds, those small stone dungeons scattered around the Meadows and Black Forest. They’re usually guarded by Skeletons, so proceed with caution. Surtling Cores are the glowing red and black cubes you can often find in the dungeons, and you’ll usually pull a handful from a single Burial Mound, so you’ll probably have all you need after checking two or three.
(It’s worth noting that Surtling Cores are also essential for making Portals, which you can start doing soon, so stockpile any extra cores for later.)
Once you build your Kiln, you’ll have to feed it Wood to create Coal. Put the Coal in the Smelter along with your ores, and you’ll start to get pure versions of Copper and Tin, which will open up new crafting recipes.
Your next goal is to build a new crafting table, the Forge, where you can make most of your metal gear. To build it, you’ll need a Workbench, 4 Stones, 6 Copper bars, 4 Coal, and 10 Wood, so focus on smelting Copper in the near term. You’ll need both Copper and Tin to make Bronze, but the ratio is generally two to one Copper to Tin, so plan your smelting accordingly.
Make Some Bronze, Craft Some Stuff
We’re finally to the part where you actually achieve Bronze and start making stuff out of it. To make Bronze, bring Copper and Tin to your Forge. You can combine them into Bronze bars, which are necessary for most (but not all) of your metal gear. A few things can be made out of either Copper or Tin, like the Forge, a few items for your base, and the Cauldron crafting station, but you’ll mostly need Bronze from here on out.
Once you make Bronze for the first time, you’ll unlock a bunch of new recipes for tools and armor, among other things. One of the first items you want to make is a Bronze Axe (requiring 8 Bronze and 4 Wood), which will be strong enough to cut down Birch trees and Fir trees. Birches, found in the Meadows, yield Fine Wood–you’ll need that for Portals, a bunch of building upgrades, boats to leave your island, and the Fine Wood Bow, which is a big step up from the Crude Bow you can make from regular wood.
Next up, you’ll likely want Bronze Armor, which will make exploring the Black Forest a lot easier. The Bronze Armor set consists of the Bronze Helmet, Bronze Plate Cuirass, and Bronze Plate Greaves–each requires 5 Bronze to make, plus 2 Deer Hide. While these pieces are stronger than your Leather and Troll Hide gear, they’re also heavier and will slow your movement speed somewhat.
With Bronze in your repertoire, you can craft a bunch of new items and upgrades. Gear up and get ready to take on the boss of the Black Forest, The Elder, so you can prepare to begin exploring the much more dangerous Swamp biome.
GameSpot may get a commission from retail offers.