It might be hard to bid adieu to your base and all your loot, but starting over from scratch has its appeal, too. And this time around you can make it more challenging: play through Valheim without ever summoning a boss.
At first it sounds simple: you have to summon a boss to fight a boss, so simply don’t summon one, right. But bosses contain resources you need for progression. The first boss, Eikthyr, drops ingredients for a pickaxe (antlers) that you need to mine copper. Seems like a dead-end if you don’t take down that rampaging electric stag and make a pickaxe out of him.
But w0t3rdog found a way around that. Bait trolls in the Black Forest into smashing up those huge copper deposits (and what would seem ever trickier, those tiny tin deposits), and you can eventually gather enough metal ore to forge a bronze pickaxe. No need to awaken Eikthyr if you have the patience (and skill) to kite angry, log-swinging trolls around.
Skipping Valheim’s second boss, The Elder, means no swamp key, which makes things even trickier because you need that key to enter crypts that contain iron. So you’ll have to limit yourself to acquiring iron from random enemy drops and the rare muddy scrap pile sticking out of the ground. Silver mines, meanwhile, can sometimes be found in the mountains without the metal-detecting wishbone you get from defeating Bonemass. In either case you’re going to do a heck of a lot of careful searching, making for an extremely challenging playthrough.
Unfortunately, that’s about the most progress you can make, because the fourth boss, Moder, drops an item that’s essential for harvesting resources from the Plains, and there’s no workaround for that. At least not yet.
After about 80 hours of Valheim, I’m still shocked when I zoom my map out and see how much of it is still undiscovered. In my defense, Valheim’s worlds are absolutely massive, your exploration radius is tiny when you’re out exploring, and I’m a huge coward when playing solo (which I do about half the time), making furtive trips out into the world and then scurrying back to the safety of my base.
But when I finally take down the final boss, I plan to get much bolder and sail to the edges of the map and at the very least uncover the edges of every single continent, if not their full interior. If you’ve beaten the final boss, why not hop on a ship and sail until you’ve seen and been everywhere in your entire world? By the time you’re done, there should be more updates to Valheim that give us more to do.
Hang up every single one of those trophies
I don’t know about you, but I’ll hazard a guess that somewhere in your fort you’ve got at least a half-dozen chests, if not more, completely stuffed with trophies. Boar heads, greydwarf noggins, draugr faces—they really stack up after a few dozen hours. A few can be used for crafting, but most are simply decorative, and I just save them all simply because I’m afraid I might need them someday.
Well, a trophy doesn’t impress anyone when it’s gathering dust in a box, so this player made a celebratory bridge with trophies mounted on every single beam. A bit grisly, sure, but otherwise they’re just taking up space.
Build a fort around the vendor
Valheim’s vendor can be tricky to find, and while he sells a few critical items, he’s not someone you need to visit on a daily basis like in most RPGs. But still, rather than just building a teleporter outside his protective bubble, I love seeing that some players have built an entire base around him. It’s not a real town unless you’ve got a vendor, right?
t’s not a necessity, but it is kinda nice. Valheim is a big, lonely world, and this way you get to see its only NPC every time you get out of bed in the morning. Sup, Haldor?
See how far you can ride a deathsquito
Sing along with me to the tune of the Beach Boy’s “Surfin’ USA”:
If everybody had a ‘squiiiiito… across the 10th Norse plains…
Then everybody would be surfiiiiin… above the barley grains…
Yes, deathsquitos are the traditional sobering introduction to the Plains biome, those speedy backstabbing bastards. But if you block their attack and then jump on their back, they can carry you into the air to who knows where.
It’s dangerous, but riding deathsquitos has become a fun pastime for players. Roll the dice and take a ride. You might not survive, but it’s the journey that matters, not the destination.
Build an elaborate portal hub
We drool over massive fortresses and sprawling Viking villages and creative rock spire houses. But intricate shrines for Valheim portals have become something of a meme, starting (possibly) with this one, where building a simple portal took the player much longer than expected due their artistic ambitions.
More and more elaborate portal hubs have popped up since, and they’re hands-down my absolute favorite thing to see in Valheim. When you’re all done with the bosses, turning a simple circle of portals into a glorious shrine to teleportation could become your new time-consuming hobby.
Play with true permadeath
You see this crop up in games like Minecraft—including streamer Philza who did it for five solid years—and it’s always a fun, tense, and occasionally heartbreaking experiment.
Try playing Valheim in true permadeath mode—if you die, your character is gone forever. You delete the entire world and character and start over fresh. I don’t personally have the nerve for a run like this, but it’ll add a high-stakes feel to absolutely everything you do, no matter how minor, from chopping down trees to setting sail on your first ocean voyage.
Use mods for a more traditional survival experience
One of the things we love about Valheim is that it makes a few important changes to some of the traditional survival systems. Food, for example, is incredibly important in Valheim, but you’ll never starve to death if you don’t eat. And repairing items doesn’t cost you resources, which removes the drudgery of over-collecting just to keep your tools and weapons in good shape.
But there’s definitely something to be said for a more challenging survival experience, and a few modders have been adding more strict systems in, like starvation and repair costs, as well as some more realistic combat systems. If you’re looking for a new way to play, try upping the survival stakes and making the basics that much more difficult.
Find your perfect seed and settle down
Since you can bring your character and all their possessions to any Valheim world you want, you don’t need to start the game over from scratch. You can just take your current Viking to a whole new world and carve out a new life.
This utility can help you find the perfect Valheim world to retire to, in fact. Enter an existing seed or look one up and random, and it’ll uncover the entire map, showing you where everything is from bosses to shipwrecks to burial chambers. Maybe you’ll find one with a continent that has every single biome incorporated into it, or a lovely remote island to build on. No adventures needed, just find the best world possible and build an awesome vacation home.