Fishing is one of the most peaceful pursuits in Valheim. In between exploring dangerous territories and taking on bosses three times your size, it can be nice just to settle down by the water and watch the purgatorial world go by for a while.
Naturally, fishing also serves a practical purpose. Fish are a key ingredient in some of the best recipes in the game. So it’s well worth taking the time to catch a few every now and then. The fact that it gives you a bit of breather is just a nice bonus.
Where to buy fishing supplies in Valheim
Fishing rods are currently the only type of tool you don’t craft for yourself in Valheim. Instead, you need to buy one from Haldor the Merchant.
The fishing rod costs 350 gold, and you’ll also need fish bait. Luckily Haldor sells this too, for the very reasonable price of 10 gold for 50 pieces.
The inability to craft your own fishing equipment in Valheim does feel like an odd omission, especially given that many players have had difficulty even finding Haldor’s camp on Valheim’s sprawling, procedurally generated map.
However, given that the game is still in Early Access, it’s entirely possible that more flexibility around this mechanic is coming in the future.
Where and how to catch fish in Valheim
Equip your fishing rod and fish bait in your inventory (be sure to remember the latter). Press and hold the Left Mouse Button and let go to cast. The longer you hold, the longer your cast will be.
One piece of fish bait is consumed every time you cast, regardless of whether you catch anything or not.
In time-honoured video game tradition, a fishing bobber will remain on top of the water until a fish bites. At this point, the bobber will drop below the water.
When this happens, first right-click to hook the fish, then press and hold the Right Mouse Button to reel it in. An on-screen text prompt will let you know that the fish is “hooked” as long as it remains on your line.
Be aware that reeling drains your stamina very quickly. Short casts are better if you can make them, since longer casts risk you running out of stamina and the fish getting away. It’s also worth eating a stamina-boosting meal before you go fishing.
Once the fish is close enough, you have the option to pick it up. Do this quickly as your stamina is still draining. Once the fish is in your inventory, it is automatically converted into pieces of raw fish.
Catching fish without a fishing rod
If you’re really struggling to find Haldor — or resent his monopoly over fishing supplies in the world of Valheim — it is actually possible to catch fish by hand.
To do this, you need to wade into the water. This will cause nearby fish to startle and disperse, but if you stand still for long enough they will begin to approach you again. Then you can press ‘E’ to catch one.
This is less reliable and more time-consuming than fishing with a rod. However, it’s a good enough approach to take if you haven’t found Haldor yet, or if you’ve run out of fish bait.
Types of fish in Valheim
There are three types of fish in Valheim. Aesthetically they have different appearances based on real-world fish, but in practice the only difference between them is the number of raw fish pieces they drop:
- Small fish (perch) drop 1 raw fish
- Medium fish (pike) drop 2 raw fish
- Large fish (tuna) drop 4 raw fish
All fish have 1 HP and 0 Damage. In other words, they’re not about to put up much of a fight.
Once a fish is caught, it turns into the generic raw fish resource, regardless of its original appearance and size. There is no difference in quality between the raw fish.
The larger a fish, the faster it tends to move. Tuna in particular are also found further away from the shore. Therefore, if you have plenty of fish bait handy, it might be better to focus on catching small and medium fish. It will drain your stock of bait faster, but will ultimately give you more raw fish in exchange for your time and stamina investment.
What to do with the fish you catch in Valheim
Raw fish are used in a couple of different recipes.
They’re a key component in making fish wraps, which is one of the best recipes in the late game. All fish-based recipes give a good boost to stamina in particular.
Ironically, this means that your best bet of ensuring a successful fishing trip is to have a few fish dishes to eat before you start.