Valheim Building Tips: Beginner and Advanced

No need to decipher Norse Code to build better in Valheim.

Valheim Base Building Castle

On its surface, Valheim is a simple action-oriented Viking adventure with some base building sprinkled throughout. But when you dig deeper and immerse yourself in the building mechanics, you’ll find an expansive toolset to let creative players design their dream fortress, town, castle, or even a dockyard for a Viking longship. To help you accomplish your dream build, here are a few of the best building tips for Valheim.

Understanding the Basics of Valheim Building

Whether you know how to play Valheim or are just starting your adventure, brushing up on the basics is never wrong.

Building in Valheim is rather convenient due to the snap feature. It’s easy to line up walls, floors, and pillars for support with greater accuracy. But you’ll note a few different colors when lining up objects; these indicate the stability of the item and range from:

  • Blue
  • Green
  • Yellow
  • Orange
  • Red

Blue is the strongest and most stable, with red on the opposite end. For instance, if you build red pillars, expect your structure to collapse.

Valheim Beginner Building Tips

As a survival game, building a shelter is one of the first steps to a lucrative journey. You’ll spawn in a field with abundant supplies—stone and wood—to help kickstart your construction. As you gather more supplies, new recipes, and building pieces will unlock.

Screenshot by Prima Games

Your starting base isn’t anything special. It’s a place to rest your head, store excess materials, and craft new tools, weapons, and armor. It’s an essential hub to launch adventures throughout the world, but that doesn’t mean it has to be ugly or inefficient.

To start building, you first need a hammer. It’s just three pieces of wood and two stones for a hammer, and you can obtain both scattered about the starting area. Wood comes from chopping down trees or breaking thin twigs poking out of the ground. Stones, on the other hand, are on the ground. You want the small rocks, as you likely won’t have a pickaxe yet.

You’ll likely start with a wall. Then, a second. They’ll snap together, allowing you to create a basic structure shape, with most players opting for the usual square to start. Then, do the same with the floor and the roof. Both will snap together.

Screenshot by Prima Games

How to Build Supports

Your first structure will likely wind up flopped straight on the ground. But that’s okay; you have time and room to expand.

As your needs and desires expand, your base will grow in size. But an oversized base will crumble in on itself without the proper support. A strong foundation, via wooden supports or poles, can stack on top of each other depending on the overall height requirements of your structure. Use these support poles every few tiles to ensure the second floor remains stable.

Additionally, these work well when building over water for a stilt house or pier.

Learn to Level Terrain

You’ll note the world of Valheim isn’t a flat expanse for easy construction. It’s filled with hills, dips, valleys, and sprawling swamps that prove tiresome and laborious to build in. For that, there’s the terrain leveling feature. You can craft a hoe at a workbench using five wood and two stones, then till the ground to flatten the area for a better foundation.

Screenshot by Prima Games

The hoe comes with two options: level ground and raise ground. The first is to flatten the terrain to build durable structures. The second, raise ground, is helpful when you need to create a natural foundation or build into the side of a hill, like a hobbit.

Screenshot by Prima Games

Alternatively, you can use the hoe to create paths. In the build menu, select “pathen” to create a path leading to various structures within your base or toward a road leading outward. It’s mostly an aesthetic option, though. But later on, you can craft stone paths with a stonecutter, which looks far better!

Defend Your Base

Besides offering a home away from the dangerous world and denizens of Valheim, your base is also a haven and fortification against those very same creatures. Over time, as you grow in power and your base becomes bigger—a more noticeable target—you’ll face raids of varying sizes depending on the type of creature and whether an event is taking place.

The best way to defend your base in Valheim is via a wall. You can build fences or stake walls to prevent enemies from entering the main compound, but these walls do take damage over time. As such, you’ll want to roam the walls and check for repairs habitually.

Related: What is the Strongest Armor in Valheim? – Answered

Valheim Advanced Building Tips

As you progress through Valheim, you’ll inevitably better understand the building mechanics. You’ll also wind up with more and better resources and a greater need for additional storage, cooking, crafting workbenches, sturdier defenses, and probably even a boathouse for your longship.

Reinforcing Structures

The key to a strong, late-game building in Valheim is reinforcement. It all begins with the frame of your base. After flattening out the terrain using the hoe, use vertical poles at each corner of every room in the structure. If you’re working with a lengthy build design, you’ll likely need to evenly space support poles every few floor tiles for additional support.

Image via Iron Gate AB

Then, consider the number of floors. You can build two wall pieces high without much issue, but after that, you’ll want to start including additional support pieces to accommodate another floor. It’s typically better to stick with two floors and then build a second structure for other uses.

Lastly, consider building the firepit in the very center of the structure. This allows its comfort radius to distribute more evenly within the interior.

Making Use of Stone

While wood is fine for a starting structure, you’ll inevitably want to upgrade to stone. It’s more durable overall and looks better aesthetically. Furthermore, unlike wood, stone does not decay and is structurally sound from the get-go.

Using stone, you can build larger bases, both in height and length. But unlike wood flooring, stone flooring can only be placed on the ground. As such, you’ll want to flatten the terrain to the best of your abilities beforehand.

Stone is available across the map in each biome, so long as you have a pickaxe.

Stack Chests

In the early days, you’ll likely have a small chest for storing resources and tools tucked into one corner of your base. But as you progress and fill up numerous chests, you’ll want to find a more efficient method for storing goods.

When constructing a large base, consider an entire room for storage. Then, stack chests in that room. You can stack chests using a single wood floor tile as a shelf. For aesthetic purposes, you can destroy the shelf after the chest is placed, and it will hover.

For more helpful Valheim guides here on Prima Games, check out How to Get and Use Withered Bones and How to Craft a Fishing Hat!

About the Author

Brandon Morgan

From Company of Heroes to DayZ, Brandon immerses himself wholly in video game worlds, then sits down to write about them. Since 2012, Brandon has focused on providing top-tier video game guides of his favorite games and the hottest releases. The more lore and immersion in the game, the better!