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How to unlock the pickaxe in Valheim

If you haven’t heard of Valheim, you should probably check the strength of your Wi-Fi connection. This Minecraft-like hybrid of open-world survival meets Viking RPG has taken Steam by storm. The kicker? Valheim is only in its beta phase and plans to release the full game in the coming year.

Like Minecraft, players need to gather resources to build tools. They’ll then use those tools to construct stable structures and weapons. The only tool that will give players trouble in the early stages of Valheim is the pickax. Everything else is straightforward to craft with the resources you have at your disposal in the Meadows Biome. However, you will need the pickax to progress any further in your Viking adventure. Here’s how to unlock the pickax in Valheim.

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Valheim: Pickax materials

Valheim Pickaxe
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The pickax is the only tool you can’t easily craft as you’re beginning your journey in Valheim. The first version you’ll be able to craft is the Antler Pickaxe, which will require you to gather Hard Antlers. But where the heck are you supposed to find those?

You will have to find and defeat Eikthyr, the first boss in Valheim, to obtain Hard Antlers. To find Eikthyr, head back to where you first started the game and summon him from the altar after offering two deer trophies. However, do not go into this boss fight without the proper gear.

Challenging and defeating Eikthyr

Valheim how to defeat Eikthyr
Image used with permission by copyright holder

You will only be able to craft wooden gear and leather armor in the early stages of the game. That’s why the pickax should be your top goal. It will allow for the mining of copper and tin. For the best results, head into the Eikthyr boss fight with:

  • Full leather armor and the Deer Hide Cape.
  • Range weapons, either a bow and arrow or a spear.
  • A Wooden Shield for added protection.

Valheim‘s survival mechanics are in-depth. You’ll have to find food and cook meals to give yourself the needed boost to survive in the Viking wilderness. Before you even think about challenging Eikthyr, make sure to eat three good meals to maximize your health and stamina buffs.

You should be able to ward off Eikthyr’s AoE and ranged lighting attacks with decent dodges and your shield. The deer god will charge with a melee attack every so often, so dodge out of the way and counter with a melee attack of your own. This melee attack is Eikthyr’s most powerful, so avoid it at all costs. This first boss fight isn’t painstaking. It will just require patience, proper equipment, and stamina management.

Crafting your pickax

Now that you’ve defeated Eikthyr, you’re able to gather Hard Antlers and craft the Antler Pickaxe. Head over to your workbench and put everything together. Now, with the Antler Pickaxe, you’ll be able to mine tin and copper, which will further upgrade your weapons, tools, and armor. Of course, the Antler Pickaxe will not be the end of your pickax quest.

Crafting a Bronze Pickaxe

Now that you’ve progressed into the next area of the game, you’ll be gathering the materials necessary to craft bronze and bronze-related items. For the Bronze Pickaxe, you’ll need:

  • 3x Core Wood
  • 5x Surtling Cores
  • 6x copper to craft a Forge
  • 10x bronze

To craft bronze, you must combine 20 copper and 10 tin in the forge. This will give you 10 bronze. Finally, combine bronze and Core Wood at a workbench to craft a Bronze Pickaxe and other bronze weapons, tools, and armor.

Crafting an Iron Pickaxe

First, you’ll need to craft a Bronze Axe to obtain 25 Fine Wood and make a Forge Cooler. Then, upgrade your Forge to level 2. From here, use your Bronze Pickaxe to grind Scrap Iron from Muddy Scrap Piles. Use the scrap to forge iron. Combine the iron with 3x Core Wood to craft an Iron Pickaxe.

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Mike Colucci
Michael Colucci is a lifelong video game fan based out of the greater Boston area. He's the one insistent on searching every…
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