Valheim for PC building guide: Create bases and homes correctly with these tips and tricks

Valheim (Image credit: Iron Gate Studio)

The world within the Viking-themed survival game Valheim is a beautiful one, but looks don't tell the full story. There are several dangerous enemies that lurk in the shadows of the land, and powerful rainstorms are threatening as well. Therefore, you're going to need to build a solid and sturdy base that you can use for shelter, storing supplies, crafting gear, and more. Unlike a lot of other survival games, though, you have to worry about things like structural integrity and smoke generated by fires in Valheim. Because of this, building a base in Valheim is tricky, and you can (and likely will) run into issues if you don't do it properly. With that said, don't worry — we're here to help. Here are some helpful building tips, tricks, and strategies that will help you improve your base-building skills.

Valheim building guide: Basics for beginners

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

Getting started with base building in Valheim is a little confusing, but these tips and suggestions will help new players get started on the right foot.

  • After you craft your hammer and build a workbench, build some small walls and a roof around it so you can craft a hoe (5x Wood, 2x Stone) with it. You can then use the hoe to level out a nice flat spot for your base. The hoe levels based on where you're standing, so find a height you like and stand still while leveling the ground around you.
  • It's a good idea to start by placing your floor first, as this gives you a stable, sturdy foundation to work on.
  • You can snap wall pieces to the floors to get started on your walls. Raise the walls as high as you'd like by snapping more wall pieces on top of existing walls, and then top the walls off with slanted triangular wall pieces that connect to form a point. Fill in the holes underneath the slanted pieces with normal walls.
  • Finally, connect roof pieces that match the angle of your slanted walls to the inside edge of said walls. Then connect additional roof pieces across the top of your base to finish.
  • If you made your base high enough, you can add a second floor. To do this, simply snap floor pieces to the walls above your first-floor walls and then build stairs that connect to that floor.
  • When you look at a structure piece you've placed while in build mode, you'll notice a color — blue, green, yellow, orange, or red. These colors represent structural stability. Blue is the most stable, while red is the least.
  • Additions can't be made to pieces that are red, so make an effort to keep your base structure supported. You can do this by connecting parts of your structure to the ground with beams. You can also connect different parts of your base together with beams to achieve a similar effect.
  • Don't be afraid to demolish a structure piece to reposition it if necessary, as you'll get all of your materials back when you do so.
  • Campfires that you need for cooking and warmth can't be placed on floors, but you can get around this by destroying a floor piece, placing a campfire on the dirt underneath, and then adding the floor piece back.
  • Campfires generate smoke, and without ventilation, you'll choke on the smoke and take damage until death. Therefore, you need to create a way for the smoke to escape your base without also allowing rain to get in and put the fire out.
  • Some good basic strategies for accomplishing this include rotating the roof piece above the fire so that it points towards the sky, building a chimney next to the fire with walls, and leaving a section of your upper walls open (as seen in the image above).
  • Try and place your ventilation system near your campfire so that smoke doesn't have to travel far to escape.

Valheim building guide: Building defensive structures

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

Occasionally hordes of enemies will attack your base, and if you just hide, they'll tear it down to get to you. Therefore, you need to fight them, but how can you do effectively when you're outnumbered twenty to one? The answer lies with the use of defensive fortifications. Here are some tips that will help you make and use effective defenses.

  • Surrounding your base with stake traps and stakewalls is a great way to even the odds during raids. Stake traps will damage enemies that run into them, while stakewalls will help funnel enemies into chokepoints (this will typically be your access gate).
  • You can also snap flooring to the back of stakewalls to create battlements that you can use to shoot arrows and throw spears from. You can access the floors by placing stairs. When placing your stakewalls, make sure the back of them is facing your base.
  • You can also build sniper towers if you want to get a higher vantage point to shoot from. For this, you'll need to use support beams, floor pieces to stand on, and stair pieces that connect the tower to the ground.
  • You can also make use of half walls to create windows in structures that you can shoot out of. This is especially useful for secondary fallback positions that you might need to fall back to if your perimeter defense is breached.
  • You can use a pickaxe to create trenches or even a moat around your base. Once you fortify your base's main entry point, these hazards will perfectly funnel enemies into your kill box.
  • Once you get access to stone structures later in the game, you should use them in place of wood for most defensive fortifications. They are much tougher, and as a result, it will take much longer for enemies to destroy them.

Valheim building guide: Advanced tips and tricks

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

These strategies and tools are intended for people who know the basics and can create functional structures but want to know how they can create more advanced structures and/or furnish their base with decorations.

  • If you don't like how an object is snapping, hold Left Shift. This disables the snapping feature and allows you to place structure pieces with more freedom and precision.
  • You can recess your base's walls for a fancier look. To do this, place a door on each side of your foundation one place back from the edge. Then snap a wall to each door. Then disassemble the doors (except the one you want to use) and connect your walls together. Finally, you can snap patterns of support beams to the outside of your walls to complete the recessed look.
  • Use a combination of 45-degree and 26-degree slanted walls and roofs for advanced roof designs. Doing this can give a base a very unique style.
  • It's possible, although difficult, to build into the side of steep hills. You'll need a pickaxe in order to dig into the hillside, but the advantage of this is that it gives your base extra stability as well as a natural high ground position against attacking raiders if you're on a high part of the hill.
  • The massive Ancient Trees in the Swamp biome are strong enough to act as building foundations. With creative and frequent use of support beams, it's possible to build treehouses around them.
  • Once you obtain copper, you can use it to make wall sconces for improved interior lighting.
  • If you make a bronze axe, you can cut down birch and oak trees for fine wood. This special wood type can be used to create pieces of furniture for your base like chairs, tables, benches, and banners. Notably, you can also create rugs with deer and wolf hide.
  • If you'd like to display an item you find in the world, such as a boss trophy, you can do so by creating an item stand. There's a horizontal variant for tables and a vertical variant for walls. It can be crafted with 1x Bronze Nails and 4x Fine Wood.


Have any further questions about base-building in Valheim? If so, don't hesitate to reach out and we'll promptly reply in the comments. Also, don't miss our guides on how to find, summon, and defeat every boss and how to hunt for food, leather, and hide.

Valheim is available now in Early Access for $20 on Steam. I highly recommend playing it if you haven't gotten it already, as it's easily one of the best survival games for PC available.

Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.