If you want to understand how does combat in Valheim works, this guide is exactly what you were looking for!
Table of Contents
Hi guys, Steelovsky here and this is The “Ultimate” Combat guide for Valheim
I will teach you how to effectively deal with every single currently available enemy in the game, bosses included, but before I do that, we have to grasp some fundamentals.
Grab your snacks, get something to drink and get ready, because we go straight in.
Guide you can read below is based on the script to my Youtube video:
Therefore I apologize for any inconveniences that might occur due to different formats of the content.
Pierce, slash and blunt. It’s your holy trinity of damage type.
There are also additional types like fire, poison and spirit, but these deal damage over time and while it’s a nice addition to your damage output, you should focus mostly on the main ones.
There is also Frost damage, which is absurdly OP, but we’re gonna get back to it later.
Once you attack your enemy, you will see the amount of damage you just dealt. Color of the number that just popped on the screen depends on the enemy and its resistances.
Let’s bring Troll as an example.
My mace deals grey damage, sword – white and spear – yellow, which essentially means Trolls have high resistance to blunt damage, neutral to slash and vulnerable to pierce.
You level up your skills by doing defined action. Similarly to leveling up your jump skill by simply jumping around, you can level up your offensive skills by dealing damage.
Worth to note you can literally keep on hitting rock or tree to level up your fighting skills.
Descriptions are not always accurate.
On the example of the bow skill, you are not only increasing your damage, but also drawing speed. Leveling up your swords skill decreases the amount of stamina you use per swing, et cetera, et cetera.
Main Weapon Categories
Bows are absolute kings in this game. Using a combination of high skill level and correct ammunition gives you opportunity to cheese any enemy or boss without much effort.
Then we have one handed weapons that allow you to use shields. Swords and maces use the same moveset, altho maces have higher stamina costs. Spears are quick and can be used as a ranged weapon. Axes are rather wood cutting tools rather than actual weapons because of its backed up moveset and lack of special attacks, but you can successfully use them as your slash type weapon in early game.
Next in line we have supportive weapons – stagbreaker and iron sledge. These two weapons are two-handed clubs dealing Area of Effect damage. Stagbreaker might be quite useful in the early stage of the game, but try to change it to Iron Sledge as soon as possible, since the latter one is simply much better.
And now, Last AND least.
Two-handed weapons like polearms and battleaxe are absolutely terrible.
Heavy, slow, give huge movement speed penalty, gigantic stamina costs and on top of that, your DPS is gonna be lower than with one-handed weapons anyway.
Polearms can be utilized as long-range poke weapons, but bows can do that better. Their secondary attack might be helpful once you’re surrounded, but supportive weapons deal with that problem faster, more efficiently and with lower stamina costs.
Battleaxe is a joke not even worth your attention.
There are Two types of shields currently available in Valheim.
Round shields, while on the first glance are weaker in raw block power, allow you to parry by timing block. You can parry basically anything in the game and most enemies gonna end up in guard broke animation, which allows you to deal more damage, but we’re gonna talk more about it in a moment.
Tower shields are, similarly to two-handed weapons, just straight-up bad. Don’t use them.
How to Read Stats
Some people are getting confused with how to read equipment stats, so let me explain how to do so real quick.
On example of Iron Sword:
Orange number next to the damage type describes your maximum damage you can reach if you would have maxed out skill level. Yellow numbers in the brackets indicate your current damage range.
The orange number on block power means the item’s base block power, while the yellow number in the brackets tells you your actual block power, usually increased by your blocking skill.
Parry force is related to how far your enemy is going to be pushed away once successfully parried.
Parry bonus is a multiplier of your block power on parry attempt. I will explain it further when we’re gonna talk about parry mechanics.
Knockback is the poise-breaking stat, the higher the number the easier it is to guard break your enemy by simply attacking it.
Parrying is your bread and butter of melee combat in Valheim. You can parry with weapons and round shields.
Firstly, to initiate parry, you need to reach a certain mitigated damage range. We will call it parry power.
Let’s take a look at the silver shield. Its base block power is 75 and its parry bonus is 1.5x, which means my parry power is equal to 112.5. This is the max amount of damage I can absorb and if I receive a hit greater than that, I will get guard broke, and receive a difference in damage that surpasses my parry power.
If my parry attempt is successful, I will deal additional parry bonus damage declared on my weapon. In case of Iron Sword it’s gonna be twice as much as I’d normally do.
Every offensive and defensive action in the game requires stamina, so your main priority is to maintain as high stamina regeneration and max stamina as possible.
Use good food, use Rested buff and avoid wet or cold effects.
We’re done with theory, it’s finally time for some practice.
I’m going to focus on melee combat since even if bows have quite a high skill ceiling, they are overpowered and you can beat the game easily abusing them without much knowledge about mechanics. I will make an advanced archery guide later, but let’s focus on melee for now.
I will skip creatures like deers, necks, boars or greylings because they are fairly easy to defeat even with the weakest equipment in the game.
A lot of people make their life harder by trying to beat Greydwarves with a club in an early game.
Take your stone axe and utilize that stationary moveset to outspace them.
Stone axe also takes less stamina per hit, which in an early game is rather important.
Bait shaman’s poison attack, then pivot to the side.
Just Parry Brutes attack, altho it will require up to 30 parry power.
Brutes seem to get “guard broke” for a shorter amount of time, so keep that in mind and don’t be greedy.
There are two types of trolls in the game, the lodge Troll and Rock troll.
Starting with lodge troll , you can parry both of his attacks, but if you don’t have solid 70 parry power, just side step the top-down attack and focus on parrying the side attack instead. This requires up to 50 parry power.
Rock Troll, on the other hand, is a little bit harder. His rock might be easily avoided by constantly running in one direction,, but his slam attack is basically impossible to parry, since it’s an Area of Effect. Roll through it and focus on parrying only side slaps. Requires at least 50 parry power.
While melee skeletons are rather easy to deal with, ranged ones might be annoying at times. Remember, that the projectile always flies out of the tip of the arrow, so don’t get surprised if you get hit around the corner and try to parry on sound.
Wait till the drawing sound ends and then start holding the block. If you time everything right, you will successfully parry an enemy’s attack.
Parry attempt is rather dangerous against Racid Remains, since once you get hit it will deal tons of damage and will apply poison status, which is very deadly in early game.
Abuse his slow moveset and pivot on his backs.
Ghosts have no actual attack animation, so the best way to deal with them is to either outspace them or to parry on sound.
They make two types of sounds just before the attack, one shorter, the other one longer.
There’s no actual way to distinguish them, so I strongly suggest attempting your parry as soon as you hear them.
You can kill them quite easily with Mace’s secondary attack. You will need to deal at least 50 damage.
Honestly, avoid melee combat. Oozers have the same moveset as blobs, but three times more HP and bigger poison aoe.
Gun it down with your bow like the degenerate it is.
Similarly to skeletons, Draugrs are separated into melee and ranged types. While melee is rather easy to kill and you simply either parry their attacks or space them out, ranged ones need to be parried on sound.
Same sound effect as with skeletons, so you shouldn’t have much problem with that. 50 parry power is your threshold. If you don’t match the parry power threshold, you can always pivot on the enemy’s backs like you see on the screen.
Bait Surtling’s ranged attack, then run them down. Simple as that.
You can either parry their melee attack, although they’re quite heavy hitters so be aware of the parry power threshold.
It’s also possible to pivot to the right side, or sprint away to bait them into whiff. Similarly to ghosts, vulnerable only to spirit damage.
Wolves are very fast and it’s basically impossible to run away from them.
Your best bet is to either hit them just before they bite you or parry as soon as they get close to you.
Drakes are quite a nuisance and I simply suggest shooting them down with your bow.
You can also circle around thick trees for 15 seconds so they lose their aggro
Stone golems occur in two types – Blunt and Sword-like.
Blunt ones can be parried on both of their slam attacks. You’ll need at least 90 parry power.
Sword-like ones can be only parried on their thrust attack adn you’ll need at least 100 parry power to do so. They also do sweep attack, which must be dodged, preferably to the right side.
People hate these ones and for a good reason.
Deathsquitos commencing an attack as soon as they get close to you, so you either attack them before they attack you, or parry them, since their moveset is very predictable.
You can also just shoot them down with your bow, since they’re the squishiest enemy in the game, so you can do it even with a crude bow.
Loxes are tanky, neutral mobs that you really shouldn’t fight in melee. They either attack you with AoE stomp, which cannot be parried or a powerful bite that requires 120 parry power.
You can hurt them only with pierce and frost damage types.
You can encounter Fulings with either swords, torches or spears.
All of them deal similar amounts of damage and are rather easy to parry, although you shouldn’t neglect them. Their base damage is insane and you’ll need at least 95 parry power.
Brutes can side attack from both sides and those are types of attacks you want to parry. You’ll need at least 120 parry power. If Brute starts to scream, you better get away from him, because that’s an indicator he’s about to start his three hit combo.
Try to kill the shaman before he uses the magic shield. Once shielded you will need 2-3 hits to break through. Try to bait fireball and dodge by running on sides, then attack
Most regular enemies might appear in advanced form marked by the stars next to its health bar.
No stars means normal stats, one star means 200% of normal hp 50% more damage, while 2 stars means 300% of normal hp with 100% more damage.
To put it in example, skeleton with a bow has 40 hp and deals 20 pierce damage at zero stars, but its 2 star equivalent is going to have 120 hp and is about to deal 40 piece damage per hit.
And that settles regular enemies. We’re not done yet though.
It’s bosses time.
The Deer requires no further strategy. He literally hits weaker than regular skeleton, so take him down in whatever way you want.
Ent is quite an upgrade, be careful with your positioning. Roll through his stomp attack and run away when he summons roots. Hide behind pillars once he starts casting his ranged attack. He is quite vulnerable to fire damage.
This big blob is, in my opinion – the most interesting boss fight in the game.
Prepare and use poison resistance mead before the fight. The only damage types that are going to do reasonable damage to Bonemass are Blunt and frost.
Roll through his side slaps and never tunnel the boss once he summons his minions.
If you was lucky enough to find merchant in your world, you can buy ymir flesh and craft iron sledge to deal with the summons without sweat, but regular iron mace will do
His vomit move has quite a big range, so be aware of that and run away as soon as he starts his vomiting animation. Technically you can tank through his poison cloud if you’re full on HP, but be careful with that, because fighting in the cloud obscures vision a lot.
Alternatively you can stack up some frost arrows and shoot the guy down.
Another two bosses are absolute pain to deal with in melee combat, mostly due to the fact the game is still in early access and these two are not the most balanced beings in the universe.
Honestly I strongly suggest to cheese them with the bow.
Miss Moder gonna fly around shooting icicles for 2 or 3 times, then land on the ground. If you’re far enough she’s gonna end up releasing an ice beam attack. Be careful, because once hit, freeze effect gonna be applied on you
In close range combat she’s about to either bite you or do side swings with her wings.
You can parry her attacks if you have at least 110 parry power.
The awful part about this bossfight is the fact she literally shoves you around if you’re too close to her model. Some parts of her body doesn’t have an actual hitbox.
Just pew pew her down, it’s really not worth attempting the melee combat, unless you want to challenge yourself.
Yagluth is broken. Similarly to Moder, just take a bow and shoot him in the face, this time with frost arrows since they deal up to 100 dmg per hit. Additionally, by doing so you’re about to apply a freeze effect on him, which completely breaks his AI and that’s actually good, because this boss is one huge BS.
But let’s assume you want to kill it melee
Fire resistance mead is a must, there’s basically no way to fight him in close range combat and not get a burning effect, so prepare your best food, because you’re gonna trade hits a lot.
His right hand slam attack leaves aoe fire on the ground, you gotta roll the punch, which is about to give you an open window to apply some damage.
Another move he does is raising his left hand to the air, which indicates he is about to drop meteorites on the field. Use pillars to hide from the fire rain.
If you’re a certain distance from the enemy, he’s about to attempt a fire beam attack, which must be countered by strafing to the sides.
Use either Silver sword or Frostener to deal relatively decent damage… But seriously, cheese him with a bow, because as no one else in the game, this piece of ♥♥♥ actually deserves it.
Alright guys, that’s about it. I’ve covered combat mechanics, almost every single enemy in the game and gave you background data to become valhalla worthy viking. I hope you find this pill of information somehow useful.
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