Beginner’s Guide to Combat | Valheim Guide

Valheim Combat

Valheim Combat

Valheim Combat

Lets just cut right to the chase. There are HEAPS of Monsters in Valheim and each of them needs to be approached differently. Starting right at the basics, there are a couple things you might not have known that will drastically help you out in combat.


Like all great medieval (or just sword based) video games, Valheim includes your standing hack and slash action, combined with a few long ranged weaponry. What a lot of people don’t realize when they’re out there in the depths of the forest so far away from home, is that they have the ability to pretty much kill every enemy in 2 hits of less if they time things right. Here’s how you do that:

When the enemies are RIGHT about to strike (and yes, you need to learn each and every enemies cues to time them right), you are able to do a quick block, also known as a “parry”. This will offset the enemy, causing them to stumble back for a brief few seconds, enough time for you to hit them head on without the fear of being struck back. BUT THAT’S NOT ALL. Not only do you have a window of opportunity to get some good hits in, you also deal critical damage here, meaning that you are hitting damage numbers double, triple, quadruple and beyond your regular damage. Once again, you probably won’t parry every time, sometimes you’ll get caught off guard OR parry far too early (either resulting in a solid smack to your health OR just a regular boring block), but the more you practice on your enemies, the more natural performing a parry will become.

Dodge bigger enemies

After playing for a while, I noticed that although dodging is decent on the smaller enemies, there is NO reason, as performing a parry on them will be far more efficient and less draining on your stamina.

However, when you fight larger enemies, the ones where a messed up parry will probably kill you, consider dodge rolling now. For example, large trolls will one shot your character without strong enough armor, meaning that if you’re not confident in your parry abilities, or don’t have something tough enough to parry with, you’ll want to dodge roll and RUN. Which leads me to my next point!


Probably my favorite form of fighting, the way of the rat. This is where you just kick back, pull out your bow, and snipe enemies as much as you can. Arrows aren’t particularly expensive to craft if you know what you’re doing, so just focus on getting Flinthead and Fire arrows ASAP, and you’re as good as gold. Using long range bows or throwing spears is incredibly useful on those enemies that are just too tough to fight up close, especially trolls or Jelly monsters.

Remember, like pretty much every other game, the bows in Valheim have some pretty serious drop off, moreso with that starter bow you craft from just regular old beech wood. Make sure to aim above your enemy if they’re at a far distance, and sneak until the last possible second. With a bow, the further you are from an enemy, the better. Not to say you can’t close range an enemy with a bow, I’ve done it several times, it’s just not quite as easy. 

If you’re combining bows with, say, sword and shield, you’ll want to conserve ammo for when you actually need it, and make sure to use your fire arrows only on the targets it’ll damage over time more effectively. Like, don’t shoot an enemy who JUST got out of the water (or is IN the water) with fire arrows… cause that ain’t gonna do squat. Also, rain will dampen those arrows, if anything is wet, your fire arrows are pretty much useless. BUT, when it’s a sunny day, and you’ve caught a pack of greydwarfs off guard, fire arrows will absolutely tear them to shreds.

Also, don’t make the same mistake I did and craft literally 500 wooden arrows. Just get flint and feathers, move up to the big league flinthead arrows so as to not waste resources.

Stick to your Gear Stats

If you’re like me, whenever you dive into a new open world game you literally just run as far as you can to explore, and then most certainly die to some enemy who pretty much breathes in your general direction, killing you instantly. In Valheim, this is a game that offers heaps of content at EVERY stage of the game, not only in the more difficult regions. Kinda nice for once, to be honest, means you can take things slow and learn without feeling rushed.

Well, as you explore and get new crafting materials, you’ll eventually be making gear tough enough to bring you into the next zones, not always comfortably, but with just a slight bit more protection. As a beginner, stick to fighting enemies you know you can take, or you’ll just keep getting slapped around and losing all your gear. For example, if you’re just starting off, don’t try to rush the Black Forest right away, as you’ll end up getting punted around like a soccer ball. 

This also goes for players that have hit that stage of having Troll Armor of Bronze Armor, you might THINK you’re good, but then you bump into a Deathsquito and are killed literally within a second. This game is about taking your time, building up your characters stats, gear, and housing, until you’re confident enough to at least venture slightly into those tougher areas. Reason I say take it easy is not to stop you from exploring, by all means get out there and see what you’re custom world offers you, what I AM saying is that you won’t be able to fight these guys. The giant Jelly monsters and Draugr’s of the swamps, the Trolls of the Black Forest, the Deathsquito’s of the plains, these enemies, without the right fighting tactics, will clean your clock.

Various enemies means various ways to fight

Like I talked about earlier, each enemy has a very specific way to fight, and I’m not even to the end of the game yet, at nearly 50 hours played! What I CAN give you is the advice I’ve gotten so far!

Remember that some enemies kite you, run away, almost trying to make you lose stamina so when they come back they can hit you. SO! With enemies like the Boars and Greydwarfs, they are very much this way. They take quick swings at you and then run off, most likely making you take a swing and a miss back at them. They’ll come back very shortly afterwards to hit you again. With these enemies, especially Greydwarfs, you want to parry them to lock them in place. This stops them from being cowards and easily running off, and you can pretty much kill them in a single hit (maybe a couple more if you’re fighting 1 or 2 star enemies.)

With MASSIVE enemies, like the Greydwarf Brutes or Trolls, things change up a bit. You want to kite them more than fight them head on. Typically a close quarters fight ends with you getting stomped. Use Fire arrows on them while it’s not raining to get extra damage numbers ticking, and then either attempt a sword and shield parry to deal massive damage numbers alongside the fire, OR stick to your distance and use flinthead, which is typically what I do. 

Backstabing Enemies

Another great technique to try and take advantage of is the classic backstab. Valheim has included a way for you sneaky rogues (or just combat experience nerds) to hit a massive critical hit attack by simply striking an unaware enemy from the back. This can be ANY enemy (besides the bosses because… they always know where you are), from trolls, brutes, skeletons, whatever is an enemy to you, they can be backstabbed for extra damage. This includes bows, by the way, those long range “backstab” critical shots can easily knock off a massive chunk of your enemies health right off the bat.

Weapon Types

Valheim Weaponry Various

It’s actually impressive how many weapons are in this game. Here’s just a quick rundown of the various weapons you can craft:

  • Swords
  • Shields
  • Spears (+Throwing Spears)
  • Maces
  • Glaives
  • Bows
  • Bombs
  • Knives
  • Clubs
  • Axes

As we develop the site further, we’ll begin linking more specific weapons you can look into, with their damage and benefits.