How to find copper in Valheim and what you can do with it
Copper in Valheim is one of the first metals you’ll come across alongside tin. As such, there are very few obstacles in terms of gathering it. But, that doesn’t mean that copper mining is without its risks and pitfalls.
As the primary ingredient in future bronze production, copper is a well you’ll find yourself returning to even in the later game.
This guide will cover the following:
- When does copper become available in the game?
- Where is copper ore located?
- How do you mine copper ore?
- How do you process and smelt copper Ore into ingots?
- Why is copper needed, and what can you craft with it?
When does copper become available in Valheim?
Unlike other metals, you can find copper veins in the overworld right away. You’re more than likely to come across one or two before you’re capable of mining it. To mine copper, there are two main hurdles you’ll have to cross. Namely, crafting a pickaxe and increased survivability.
Crafting your first pick before you have access to metals will require you to beat the meadows’ first boss, Eikthyr. We have a separate guide on finding, summoning, and defeating Eikthyr that you should check out. Once defeated, the lord of the meadows will drop his bone antlers which you can craft into the bone pickaxe.
Defeating Eikthyr is one thing, but surviving the Black Forest biomes is another. To stay in the Black Forest, you’re going to need to improve your armor, weapons, and overall nutrition to survive. Where in the meadows, you will only really have to fight off occasional necks and Greylings; the Black Forests are overflowing with Greydwarf gangs and intimidating trolls.
Where is copper ore located?
Copper veins are found exclusively in the Black Forest biomes. Dense foliage and a consistent flow of enemies can make the Black Forest a dangerous place to travel, but if you’re traveling with sound equipment and nutrition, you can make your way through them.
Unlike other metals like tin, which you can find in specific locations, copper can be anywhere in the Black Forest. To find copper, you have no choice but to keep your eyes on the ground. In patches of the woods with fewer trees, you may see a slightly raised stone surface.
Looking closely at the stone surfaces, you will spot slivers of copper seams running through the stone. If you’re uncertain, you can mouse over the stone surface. If it’s bare stone, you’ll see nothing come up. However, if it is a copper vein, you will see the text appear confirming it’s copper.
You can find copper nodes alone or in clumps, and there is no real rhyme or reason to their spawning, so to see them simply means exploring the Black Forest. We recommend going on a scouting run and using your map to tag copper veins you find so that you can come back to them whenever you need more. If possible, bring a friend or two to help mine or defend you from monster attacks while you are mining.
How do you mine copper ore in Valheim?
Once you have found a node, equip your pickaxe and strike the ground. You will have to start with a bone pick, but you’ll have more efficient mining options once your tools progress.
Bone picks will typically take five swings to break a copper piece; a bronze takes four, and the iron pickaxe only three.
The copper veins are quite large, and not every piece of stone you break will yield a part of copper ore. So it’s recommended that you clear out the entire node. This process can be quite an undertaking and will often fill your inventory quite quickly.
Completely clearing out a node will involve a bit of digging, as, like an iceberg, the majority of a copper node is underground. Once you’ve cleared the surface, it’s a good idea to pick around to find more hidden copper.
To avoid multiple runs back to base, we recommend that you craft some bronze nails to make a handcart after your first run to a copper node.
With this wheelbarrow in tow, you can more than double your copper intake per run. You can fight while it’s attached, and you can use axes if you need to clear trees and logs as you travel.
The most significant danger of copper mining is the noise it makes. Inevitably, once you find a node and start your mining, nearby enemies will make their way towards where you are mining. Gangs of Greylings, Greydwarves, and shamans will continuously interrupt your mining.
If you’re quite unfortunate, you’ll also draw the attention of trolls which can be challenging to manage at this point in the game.
How do you process and smelt copper ore into ingots?
Assuming you survived the trolls and Greydwarves and made it home with your copper, you’re going to need a forge to smelt the ore into ingots. In the early game, the only way to get your hands on the surtling cores necessary to craft a smelter is to find underground tombs and crypts.
You can find these tombs in both the plains and the Black Forest. They are noticeable by their above-ground structures, made from either large stone pieces or roughly hewn stone blocks. Often they are defended by a handful of skeleton warriors.
Descending into the tomb, you’ll find even more skeletons and ghosts. The real prize of these tombs is the rooms in which you’ll usually find several surtling cores. You can pick them up off the table or pluck them from posts that stand around the treasure rooms.
You’ll need five surtling cores to craft a smelter and another five if you want to add a charcoal kiln to produce enough fuel to keep your smelter running continuously.
Once placed, you’ll need to put charcoal in the fuel slot and ore in the resource slot. The smelter will output an ingot approximately once every 30 seconds. If you find yourself smelting late into the night, you can go to bed, and the smelter will do the work as the game speeds through to morning.
Why is copper needed, and what can you craft with it?
Copper in and of itself doesn’t have a lot of uses in Valheim. You need six copper to craft the forge and a few of the forge improvements. After that, copper primarily produces bronze, which is much more versatile. That isn’t to say that you should forge all of your copper into bronze. Save at least six or more as you’ll find that you will occasionally need to place a forge to do metal-work in different parts of your bases.