Valheim may be just in Early Access, but there are already a lot of items to choose from as you fight to survive and thrive in this purgatorial wilderness.
Weapons and armour tend to get progressively better as you advance through the game, but even lower-end items have their advantages. With inventory space at a premium, deciding what to pack when you leave your settlement becomes more complicated the more equipment you have.
It isn’t quite a simple case of linear improvements becoming available the more you play, either. Valheim isn’t above throwing you a curve ball or two — take the mid-game boss, for instance, who is only vulnerable to a handful of weapons, but can be beaten surprisingly easily using the starting wooden club.
Read on for our picks of the best weapons and armour in Valheim, along with how to get access to the resources needed to craft them:
Best weapons in Valheim: Named weapons
Some of the best weapons in Valheim are the one-off named weapons that don’t fit into other sets or categories.
One major benefit of these weapons is that you start getting access to them relatively early. While you’re often limited in the early game by the fact that crafting resources aren’t available to you yet, named weapons start cropping up from quite early on.
Stagbreaker is a good early example. It becomes available after you defeat the first boss, and the resources needed to make it can easily be obtained from hunting boars and deer. Despite this, it’s highly durable and possesses some powerful offensive and defensive capabilities.
It’s also the only warhammer in the game, so if that’s an important part of your melee strategy and/or Viking aesthetic, it’s worth hanging on to.
Another excellent named weapon is the Draugr Fang, which is undoubtedly the best bow in the game. Because you won’t be able to craft it until near the endgame, the Huntsman bow will be your friend, but there’s no reason not to replace it once you have access to the necessary resources to craft the Draugr Fang.
You can equip any of the game’s variety of arrow’s to the Draugr Fang. Needle arrows — made from the business end of the exactly-as-evil-as-they-sound deathsquito enemies — deal the heaviest immediate damage. But don’t neglect elemental arrows (fire, poison, frost, and silver for spirit), which do more long-term damage unless your foe is resistant to that type of attack.
The game’s final boss is best tackled with primarily ranged weaponry, so taking the Draugr Fang into the end game is an excellent plan.
Finally, this section would be incomplete without a mention of Frostner. This melee weapon is one of the best in the game, when taking into account the frost and spirit elemental damage it deals alongside its regular blunt-force damage.
It’s possible to get all the resources you need to craft Frostner surprisingly early on. It’s the only weapon in the game which requires you to purchase a material (Ymir flesh) from Haldor the Merchant, which can be done as soon as you locate him. Ancient bark and freeze glands can be picked up while exploring the Swamp and Mountains areas, which you can do whenever you choose.
The only resource locked off behind story progression is silver, which you won’t have access to until you’ve defeated the third boss. But with a bit of forward planning, you could still get your hands on Frostner during the mid-game. Considering the benefits of having it in your arsenal, it’s well worth considering.
Best armour in Valheim: Wolf armour
The two main crafting ingredients for wolf armour are wolf pelts and silver. The latter requirement means that you can’t access this armour set until after defeating the third boss, somewhere around the game’s midpoint.
However, once you get your hands on the Wishbone and are able to detect silver ore, it’s a good idea to start making wolf armour as soon as possible.
There are four pieces of armour in this set, including leg and chest pieces, and a fur cape. Despite not sharing its name with the rest of the set, the Drake Helmet is also crafted with wolf pelts and silver.
Not only do the base versions have the second-highest armour rating in the game, but the fur coat will shield you from the cold when exploring the Mountains region. Without some protection from the elements you won’t be able to complete the fourth boss fight against Moder.
There are other ways to combat the chill — such as drinking frost resistance mead — but that only lasts for ten minutes at a time. The wolf fur cape will increase your resistance to frost damage for as long as you’re wearing it.
The padded armour set is an upgrade to the wolf armour set. It has the highest armour rating in the game, and is crafted with iron and linen thread. Simply put, nothing beats it (even if it does look just a bit less badass than the wolf armour set).
Best weapons in Valheim: Blackmetal set
The blackmetal set of weapons only becomes available after you defeat the game’s fourth boss. This unlocks the blast furnace you need to craft with black metal scraps into bars which can be used for crafting.
Once you have this capability, however, you have access to a full set of blackmetal weapons: atgeir, axe, knife, sword, and two shields.
Each of these weapons has some of the highest damage stats for its type, and as such are excellent choices to carry with you going into the endgame.
While it’s still recommended that you tackle the final boss with ranged weaponry (see above), slashing your way through the Plains to his altar should be a breeze with this weapon set. The blackmetal knife is particularly powerful if you can land a stealth hit on your enemies. So attack with your blackmetal weapons and save your energy for the last big showdown.
If you want to know more about how to keep your weapons in top condition, read our guide on repairing and maintaining tools in Valheim.
Or if you’re interested in one weapon specifically, check out our comprehensive guide to crafting every axe in the game.
And for a full list of all our Valheim guides, browse our Valheim survival tips page.