Valheim Black Forest guide: Trolls, Haldor, and more

Black Forest Elder Hero
Black Forest Elder Hero (Image credit: Windows Central / Zackery Cuevas)

Valheim's Black Forest may be unassuming at first due to the quiet stillness or the peaceful sun peeking through the tall trees. It's a beautiful biome — that is, until a tree trunk comes flying at the back of your head, tossed nonchalantly by a massive Troll. The Black Forest is the second biome you'll explore on your journey to defeat every forsaken beast in the game. It's a resource-rich biome that hosts many crafting materials that you'll absolutely need to get ahead. Here's a detailed guide on everything you need to know about the Black Forest, including how to find it, how you should prepare for it, and what kinds of treasure you'll find there.

Valheim Black Forest guide: How to find The Black Forest


Source: Iron Gate Studio (Image credit: Source: Iron Gate Studio)

One of Valheim's coolest features is that it generates the terrain differently for every player, so the area generated for you will be totally different than your friends. That being said, chances are the Black Forest isn't too far from your starting position, often existing on the border of the Meadows biome.

Valheim Black Forest guide: How to prepare for the Black Forest

Valheim Torch Forest Troll Armor

Source: Nick Sutrich / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Nick Sutrich / Windows Central)

Just because you encounter the Black Forest early in the game doesn't mean it's a simple cakewalk. If you wander through the forest unprepared, you might end up on the wrong end of a sword.

  • Make sure you have the basic gameplay mechanics down. Consult our beginner's guide to your first days and beyond in Valheim before getting started.
  • You should definitely be carrying a few weapons and a shield. A club and round shield is a perfect early game combo, while a bow and arrow can be crafted early for players who prefer to keep their distance. Once you've crafted Bronze, upgrade that club to a sword.
  • Make sure you craft Leather Armor. You have to use Leather Scraps for this, so do some hunting before heading out.
  • Have a base built nearby and set up a bed, as well as a few chests to hold your loot. Take a look at our building guide for some quick tips.
  • You may not be able to cook a huge meal but stock up on some cooked meat. Cook any raw meat and neck tails you might find. Berries are also useful for keeping health and stamina high.
  • Stock up on Torches! You don't want to be caught in the dark without one.
  • Use the map to mark any Burial Chambers and Troll Caves you find. If you can't explore them now, you can return to them later when you're better prepared.
  • Crafting a pickaxe will allow you to mine Copper Ore, which can be smelted down and combined with Tin to create Bronze, a very useful material. For more on how to mine, check out our ore guide.

Valheim Black Forest guide: Black Forest Enemy List


Source: Iron Gate Studio (Image credit: Source: Iron Gate Studio)

The Black Forest is beautiful but is home to many monsters. Here are some tips on handling each one.

  • Greydwarf: Greydwarfs are basic enemies that can be dispatched fairly easily, either with a club to the head or an arrow to the knee. They can, however, swarm the player so don't let them group up around you.
  • Greydwarf Brutes: These are like Greydwarfs, only bigger and more likely to knock you out if you don't have your guard up. You don't want to go toe to toe with them. Rather, circle them and smack them from behind.
  • Greydwarf Shaman: These guys are sneaky magic users who heal their fellow Greydwarves during battle. They also have a nasty poison spray attack that should be avoided at all costs.
  • Troll: The big bad of the Black Forest, Trolls wander aimlessly until you get too close. Then, they'll plow through the entire forest to rip you apart. Not only are they devastating to fight, but they may knock over trees in the forest that could kill you. Keep your distance from this creep, if you can. However, their skin makes for some very good armor.
  • Skeletons: You'll find Skeletons creeping around Burial Chambers. They are more of a bother than your standard Greydwarf but are fairly easy to deal with. Use your shield or a well-timed roll to dodge their attacks.
  • Ghost: Occasionally you'll run into a Ghost inside of the Burial Chambers. They are aggressive, but thankfully can be beaten down with a Club or sword, though they are resistant.
  • Rancid Remains: Sometimes, you'll come across a slightly larger Skeleton called Rancid Remains. It's not too different than a normal Skeleton, except that these inflict poison when they hit you.

Valheim Black Forest guide: Haldor the Merchant

Haldor Im Short For A Dwarf

Source: Windows Central / Zackery Cuevas (Image credit: Source: Windows Central / Zackery Cuevas)

Haldor is a merchant that can be found in the Black Forest biome. However, he's deep within the biome, and can sometimes be hard to find. Take a look at our guide on everything you need to know about Haldor the Merchant. He may be tough to find, but he'll be important once you start finding valuables in burial chambers and caves.

Valheim Black Forest guide: Burial Chambers and Troll Caves


Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

The Black Forest is home to two underground areas that are basically the closest thing Valheim has to dungeons (the other being the Sunken Crypts found in the Swamp biome). Here are some basic tips to consider when exploring them.

  • Burial Chambers are usually made up of a couple of paths leading into rooms full of Skeletons. The best course of action is to search each path room by room, making sure you check every corner before turning your back to move forward.
  • You'll find many valuables, including Ruby, Amber, and Amber Pearl, all of which can be sold to Haldor for Coins. You can also find a lot of Coins in the dungeons.
  • Be sure to hold onto the Surtling Cores found in the Burial Chambers. You'll need these to craft Portals. Check out our Portal guide for more information on that.
  • If you come across an Evil Bone Pile, destroy it as quickly as you can to stop Skeletons from spawning.
  • You may come across The Elder's rune, which will make its location known on your map.
  • Troll Caves are marked by Bone Fragments outside. Troll Caves are small, with not much room between you and a Troll. Keep moving around the Troll and dodge its attacks, exiting the cave if you are overwhelmed.
  • Troll Caves always have loot hidden at the back of the cave. Don't forget to clear out the spoils on your way out.

Valheim Black Forest guide: The Elder

The Elder In Rain

Source: Windows Central / Zackery Cuevas (Image credit: Source: Windows Central / Zackery Cuevas)

The Elder is the boss of the Black Forest and the second boss you'll encounter in Valheim. While huge and intimidating, the Elder can be toppled if you enter the battle prepared.

  • To spawn The Elder, you'll need to sacrifice three Ancient Seeds at its altar.
  • Ancient Seeds can be found by defeating Greydwarf Brutes and Shamans, or by destroying their respawn nests.
  • The Elder is a giant tree and has three attacks, including one that sends roots hurling at the player like spears. Take cover behind the stone pillars around the altar.
  • This boss should be dealt with from afar. Use Fire Arrows as a way to pick away at its health while you dodge its attacks.
  • Just because it's a boss fight doesn't mean Greydwarfs and other enemies won't interfere. Make sure you clear the surrounding area before summoning the boss.
  • If you're playing with multiple people, have someone distract the giant beast while the other players attack it.

Tame the forest

The Black Forest is the second biome you'll have to conquer before you can proceed to the much more difficult Swamp biome. Make sure you upgrade your base, as well as your weapons and armor with all of the new spoils you'll find in the Black Forest before proceeding. Valheim is in Early Access on Steam, but has quickly become immensely poular and is one of the best survival games on the PC.

Zackery Cuevas

Zackery Cuevas is a writer for Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore. I like playing video games, talking about video games, writing about video games, and most importantly, complaining about video games. If you're cool, you can follow me on Twitter @Zackzackzackery.