How to find Iron in Valheim and what you can do with it
Iron in Valheim is a mid to high-tier metal. You’ll farm it for a while and move onto other metals before coming back to it before too long. Mining for iron ore can be quite an ordeal compared to the earlier metals such as tin and copper, so it’s worth the time it takes to prepare for doing so.
This guide will cover the following:
- When does iron become available in the game?
- Where are Iron Scraps located?
- How do you mine Iron ore?
- How do you process and smelt the Iron scraps into ingots?
- Why is Iron ore needed, and what can you craft with it?
When does iron become available in Valheim?
Like all Valheim metals, the lowest bar to get over is the mining pick requirement. You can craft your first pick from the horns of the first boss, Eikthyr. By the time you meet the other iron-mining requirements, you’ll also have the ability to craft bronze pickaxes.
There are two ways to farm iron that become available at different stages of play. You can unlock both by beating bosses, so you’ll have to have defeated both the Elder and Bonemass to access both approaches.
Where are Iron Scraps located in Valheim?
The most efficient way to farm iron is to beat the Elder and take his crypt key, which will unlock the crypt gates found in the swamp. Throughout the swamp, you’ll see stone buildings with green fire embrasures and iron gates.
So long as you have one of the crypt keys dropped by the Elder, you can open any swamp crypt. As you descend into the crypt, you’ll find damp halls filled with swamp spawns such as draugr and blobs.
Blocking the doorways in the crypt are massive piles of muck containing pieces of iron scrap metal. The second way to gather iron is to mine for mud piles in the swamp biomes, for which you’ll need the wishbone.
How do you mine Iron ore?
Once you’ve made your way into a crypt, equip your pickaxe and start hitting the mucky piles that block the doorways. Every few hits will peel away a few layers of the mud pile, giving you a chance to pick up a piece of iron scraps.
If you have defeated Bonemass and have the wishbone equipped, you can also find these mud piles buried anywhere in the swamp biome. With the wishbone provided, you will see a flash of light emanating from your Viking.
As you get closer to a mud-pile, the light will pulse faster. Once you’re happy with your location, start digging downwards with your pickaxe. However, you’ll find many more mud piles in the crypts and at a much greater frequency. You also benefit from not managing the pitfalls of the swamp, namely the low groundwater depth.
The crypts will also occasionally have chests or sarcophagus containing iron scraps, making crypt diving the far superior iron mining method.
How do you process and smelt the Iron scraps into ingots?
Once you have your iron scraps back at base, you’ll need a furnace to smelt the iron scraps into iron ingots. To craft the furnace, you’ll have to pick up Surtling cores, either from the burial chambers found in the meadows or the Surtling spawning fires in swamp biomes.
Once you place the furnace, you put the iron scraps into the ore input and charcoal at the fuel input. Each piece of iron scrap will melt down into one ingot. Once you have iron bars, you will need a forge to make weapons, armor, and tools with your iron.
Why is Iron ore needed, and what can you craft with it?
Iron ore is a standout material and possibly the most frustrating to gather. Almost all weapons, shields, and tools have an iron variant. However, the end-game armor set that requires iron ingots will also need a material you can’t gather until you’ve cleared the fourth boss.
Before that, however, you’ll be able to craft iron nails, which opens up several recipes for base components, most notably the Viking Longboat. With the longboat in tow, you’ll have a substantially larger traveling container that streamlines much of the mining processes from here on.
We are Iron Mans
Since metals cannot travel through portals and the long distances you’ll have to cover to get your iron scraps home, we recommend building the longboat as soon as possible. Take the boat to wherever you are mining and park offshore.
Fill your onboard container to the brim and sail home. This process speeds up your mining tenfold and applies to all the mining that is to come. If you don’t feel safe leaving the iron in the boat, build a small house with containers near the shoreline and run them to the ship when you’re ready to go.
We often put a temporary portal in the boathouse to return home and repair our tools without traveling frequently.
So get out there, and start sailing as soon as you can. The longboat opens up the seas of Valheim to exploration and, most importantly, exploitation.