How to survive The Meadows in Valheim: A beginner's guide, part 1


If you’re reading this article then you're probably one of 4 million people to purchase the early access edition of Valheim. If not, I highly recommend you do, it's by far one of the best ways to spend $20 on Сteam! Valheim is a brutal exploration and survival game that combines the gameplay mechanics of Minecraft with the combat system of Dark Souls.


As a new player, you're now wondering “What do I do?” Fret not! This guide is here to help you survive and prosper in this procedurally-generated purgatory. It’s a comprehensive breakdown of what you should do upon entering the game and how to efficiently survive the game's first biome, The Meadows. 


How to start a world in Valheim

After skillfully designing your very own viking, you may venture into a new world. Worlds are procedurally-generated and semi-random. Each world you enter will be based on the world-seed used when creating the world. When you begin your adventure, you may manually enter a world seed or just begin with the randomized seed provided by the game for you at world creation. For first-time players, I recommend enjoying the randomized ride and going with what you're given!


First steps

You are dropped into Valhiem with nothing but a rag tunic and a torch to your name. Upon landing you will notice that you are surrounded by five large stones, each with a different Forsaken engraved into it. Each of these stones represents one of the five bosses currently in the game. Upon killing a boss, you will return here with the trophy it drops and attach it to the corresponding sacrificial stone to unlock a unique power associated with that boss. 


You will only be able to have single power at a time, so your starting location acts as the centralized hub for the different powers in the game. You will have to return to these stones when you wish to switch between powers. We will cover powers more in-depth later.

You’ll be greeted by a raven named Hugin with an exclamation point over its head who will instruct you to defeat all five Forsaken to enter Valhalla. Hugin acts as your guide in Valheim and will make frequent appearances as you achieve new milestones. Make sure to always speak with him when he appears, for his tips will provide useful information that can aid you in your journey (If you ever want to review these tips, you can find them by pressing [Tab] then clicking the raven icon called Valheim Compendium). 


Hugin will instruct you to register the location of Vegvisir Eikthyr, the first Forsaken boss in the game. This will mark the location of the summoning stone for Eikthyr on your map. Keep an eye out for these summoning stones, during your adventures. You’ll most likely stumble upon these stones in different biomes. They are essential to finding each boss in Valheims vast maps. After you’ve done this, you're ready to begin your journey into the world. 



Welcome to the Meadows!

Valheim is semi-randomly generated which means certain aspects of the game are standardized. This includes the different biomes that exist in the game. Players will always spawn in the Meadows, which is by far the safest biome in Valheim. The Meadows is largely a grass region with a few variants of trees and other resources scattered around. There are a few hostile enemies that can be found here, including Neck, Boars, Greylings, and occasionally the rare Greydrawf. None of which should pose too much of a threat to you even in the early game. 


4 fundamental tips to survive in Valheim

1. Level up your skills

Most actions that you take in the game will accumulate skill points. Your skill levels can be found by pressing [Tab] and clicking the symbol of the three nordic triangles. Skills will naturally increase by taking the particular action as long as you have stamina. So the more you jump, the higher your jumping skill will grow. The higher the skill, the higher the jump. Your skill level can help reduce the stamina used, increase accuracy, and improve the damage of the action. All of which are essential aspects to keeping you alive. 


2. Manage your stamina

As you begin your adventure you will realize that you don’t have the greatest stamina! Stamina is indicated by the yellow bar at the bottom middle of your screen. Stamina is everything in Valheim! Do you want to jump, sprint, swim, attack, or block? You’re going to need stamina to do that! 


There are certain times when it can be extremely detrimental to run out of stamina. The first is swimming. If you run out of stamina while swimming you will begin to constantly take damage while moving in the water. So don’t go taking long swims, unless you have ample stamina for the voyage. Additionally, when attempting to block without stamina you will instead just take the damage directly. So try your best not to run out of stamina too often, especially in areas of high danger.


3. Don’t forget to eat!

Valheim is a survival game at heart, and a big aspect of this game is eating to keep your health and stamina up. Every consumable item has a different base set of stats it provides you including health, health regen, stamina, and stamina regen. You can eat three different food items at any given time and this is all indicated by your food meter next to your health bar on the bottom left of the screen.


4. Collect and save everything 

As you progress through your viking journey, you will find a lot of different items to pick up. I would highly recommend grabbing everything you find and storing it! 


Why hoard? First and foremost, picking up new items will oftentimes unlock new recipes for you, which are an essential way for you to progress and improve in Valheim. Additionally, you don’t get all the recipes for the ingredient you picked up the first time you pick it up! You might end up picking up the other ingredients later on which will unlock a new recipe for an old item. So embrace your inner hoarder, build lots of chests and do your best to stay organized. You’ll never know when you’ll need a whole bunch of resin or deer hide later on.


What to do when you die in Valheim

Don’t panic if you die! You haven’t completely lost all your gear, you have the opportunity to go and recover your items. However, you should know you do lose some of your skill levels when you die. Thankfully, there is a time period after death where no skill drain will occur if you are to die again.  If the journey is a treacherous one take, your time, eat, and prepare: your corpse should not despawn!


The first thing you want to do when you die is open your map and place another marker over your dead body (double click the right mouse button). I know this may seem redundant, but the game only shows you the last location of death. So, on the off chance that you die again on the journey to retrieve your items, you will still have a marker at your first gravestone. This has saved me multiple times in my main playthrough, especially in the later game, so I recommend getting in the habit of it from the start.

Upon returning to your body, you can press [E] to return all your items to your inventory. Beware, if you have too many items on you at the time of pressing [E] the game will instead open your inventory, rather than automatically picking everything up. This can ensure chaos if you were expecting a quick pick-up, especially in the instance you’re being chased by a pack of hostiles.


[NEXT] Part 2: Crafting, building camp, hunting, and how to summon Eikthyr


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