Valheim Smelting and Metal Guide

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Want to move on from Stone Tools and Leather Armor in Valheim? This Valheim Smelting and Mining Guide will tell you everything you need to know to upgrade your gear and weapons!

Before we get started, you’re going to need to build your first simple base, defeat the game’s first boss Eikthyrnir, and craft your very first Pickaxe. All of that is covered in the Valheim Guide for Beginners and the other guides linked at the bottom of this page, so go ahead and give them a read! Once you have your Pickaxe in hand, it’s time to find some Copper and get ready to move on to the Bronze Age!

Valheim Smelting and Mining Guide - Copper Deposit
See this big, green rock in the Black Forest? That’s a Copper deposit. Yes, it’s huge.

How to Get Valheim Copper

Getting Copper in Valheim is a pretty straightforward process as long as you’ve beaten the first boss. You’ll have to travel to the Black Forest; simply head away from the starting zone until you notice the name of the zone change on the map.

The Black Forest is a much more challenging region. The Greydwarfs are tougher than the enemies you’ve been fighting and the outside of Burial Chambers are protected by even tougher Skeletons. It is a good idea to build a small base near the Black Forest so you can make it back to where you died a lot faster.

Thankfully, Copper in Valheim is very easy to find — it will be part of a massive green rock that’s covered in moss. The rock also has a few veins on it. Hover your mouse over it — if it says “Copper Deposit,” you’re good to start mining!

One final note on Copper and ores — they’re very heavy. You will only be able to carry back 20 or so pieces of Copper on you at a time, so take it back to your main base little by little to store it away for later.

Valheim Smelting and Mining Guide - Tin Deposit

How to Get Valheim Tin

Getting Copper will let you make a handful of useful items — you’re also going to need to find Tin. Tin can be combined with Copper to make Bronze, and that’s where you’re going to have your first real set of metal tools and armor.

Tin can be found near water in the Black Forest; look around for silver-colored rocks. As with Copper, remember that you can only carry 20 or so Tin Ore at once before you become overencumbered!

How to Get Valheim Bronze

Getting Bronze requires you to smelt Copper and Tin and then combine them in a Forge. You don’t have a Forge yet, though — so you’re going to have to craft one!

Valheim Smelting and Mining Guide - Smelter and Charcoal Kiln

How Valheim Smelting and the Forge Works

The Valheim smelting system is pretty similar to how it works in most other games — you’ll have to put ore into a Smelter to get bars, and then you use those bars to make items. Here’s the entire process from start to finish:

  1. Get a Pickaxe.
  2. Mine Ore.
  3. Gather some Wood.
  4. Put Wood in your Charcoal Kiln to make Coal.
  5. Put Coal and Ore into your Smelter to make Bars.
  6. Use the Bars at a Forge to make metal items.

Sounds simple enough, right? Well, there’s a little more to it than just that. To start, you’re going to need 10 Copper bars to build a Forge. You’ll probably need a lot of Copper and Tin, actually, so it’s not a bad idea to get as much of both Ores as you reasonably can.

The more challenging part, however, is building the Charcoal Kiln and Forge. These require 5 “Surtling Core” items  apiece — and the only way to get them is to dive into a deadly dungeon.

Valheim Smelting and Mining Guide - Surtling Core
A room with one or more Surtling Cores may also have treasure or other secrets — be sure to look around the room carefully!

How to Get a Surtling Core in Valheim

The Surtling Core is an important item in Valheim for the next evolution of building. Finding it will be a challenging experience — you’re going to be fighting some very tough enemies.

You should have the following before you head out:

  • A full set of Leather Armor
  • As much HP as you can get from food
  • A sturdy melee weapon
  • A Crude Bow and 50–100 Arrows
  • A Torch

Head back into the Black Forest and run around until you encounter Skeletons. Skeletons are a good sign that you’re probably near a Burial Chamber; you can enter this underground structure by looking for a doorway that heads into the ground. Enter the doorway and be prepared for a close-quarters fight.

Surtling Cores can be found in one specific room inside the Burial Chamber. The safest and smartest thing to do is to defeat all of the Skeletons one at a time and destroy any Skeleton spawners you may find. You may encounter Ghosts, too — regardless, you want to clear the entire place of enemies before you try to loot anything. You really don’t want to be trapped in a tiny room because you got ambushed.

You will need 10 Surtling Cores in total to start making metal items — 5 for the Charcoal Kiln and 5 for the Smelter. Surtling Cores are used for a lot of items, though, so you’re probably going to want to find more later. Burial Chambers also have a fair amount of treasure in them, too!

Valheim Smelting and Mining Guide - Bronze Axe

What Bronze Item Should You Make First in Valheim?

Now that you’ve built a Charcoal Kiln, Smelter, and Forge, you’re going to want to pick your first metal item to make. You probably won’t have enough metal to make everything you want at first (unless you’ve done a lot of mining) — what should you pick?

The first metal item you make should be the Bronze Axe — no question about it. The reasoning here is simple: the Bronze Axe can be used to chop down Birch Trees and that opens up a lot of new crafting and building recipes. Best of all, it doubles as a weapon.

And that’s the end of our Valheim Smelting and Mining Guide! Now you know how to find ore, smelt it into bars, and make the best metal products for the early game.

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