How to Upgrade a Workbench in Valheim

A workbench is good, but it could be better.

The workbench is the single-most required item in Valheim. To craft everything from floorboards to longships, you’ll need to have a workbench deployed. Upgrading your workbench unlocks various possibilities in the game, from new tools, weapons, and armor, to the ability to upgrade your current items into stronger tiered versions. 

However, the path for upgrading your workbench is not crystal clear with the game’s existing mechanics, and knowing what to work on next to progress can be confusing. Our guide to upgrading the Valheim workbench aims to make the upgrade path as clear and straightforward as possible to help accelerate game progression.

Advanced workbench crafting stations

  • Chopping Block
  • Tanning Rack
  • Adze
  • Tool Shelf

Learning blueprints in Valheim

You will learn how to craft each upgrade piece after placing a workbench and picking up the required building components. Each crafting station upgrade piece will increase the workbench level by one, and you can add them to a workbench in any order if you know the blueprint and have the necessary crafting materials.

Keep in mind there are no benefits to adding extra copies of each upgrade component. Having three chopping blocks will still only upgrade the bench by one point.

Valheim’s upgrade placement 

You need to place an upgrade component within two squares of buildable flooring. You can tell if an upgrade applies to the bench if a glowing beam connects the upgrade piece to the bench. A single upgrade piece placed evenly between two workbenches can affect both benches.

To place any upgrade component, you will need a hammer and be within the range of an active workbench.

Shelter your workbench

You can place a workbench nearly anywhere, but to use the workbench for more than just building privilege, it needs to be sheltered. You can achieve this quickly by placing a wall piece and a roofing piece directly over the bench. You can quickly verify that your shelter solution is sufficient by attempting to use the workbench with E key. If you can open the workbench UI screen, then your bench is adequately sheltered. If not, you may have to provide more walls and roofing pieces to trigger the sheltered state. 

This quick lean-to shelter method will provide you the ability to repair your workbench-made items on the go, as long as you have at least 10 wood to craft the workbench and 4-8 wood to toss up a few walls and roofing tiles. This technique is advantageous when on long mining runs for copper or when crawling sunken crypts to mine for iron. Erecting a quick repair station can save you long runs back to camp to repair your pick.

If you plan to make a particular bench a long-term crafting station, we recommend building a fully-enclosed building around the workbench to protect it from weather and monsters. Animals and monsters will be drawn to the workbench’s location and try to destroy it if they can get to it. Protect your workbench and its upgrades!

1. Craft a Chopping Block

Required crafting materials:

  • 10 x Wood
  • 10 x Flint

The Valheim Chopping Block

The Chopping Block is small and circular and will take up one-third of a floor square. It is easily wedged into an unneeded corner to help provide more space for other upgrades. At only 10 wood and 10 flints, it is the quickest and easiest upgrade to procure materials for in order to upgrade your workbench to level 2.

2. Craft a Tanning Rack

Required crafting materials:

  • 10 x Wood
  • 10 x Flint
  • 20 x Leather Scraps
  • 5 x Deer Hide

The Valheim Tanning Rack

A broad and tall component, the tanning rack will take up half a floor square.

3. Craft an Adze

Required crafting materials:

  • 10 x Fine Wood
  • 3 x Bronze

The Valheim Adze

The Adze is long and extends across one and a half floor squares but is relatively thin. To create the Adze workbench upgrade, you’ll need to create a forge, which will grant you the Adze crafting recipe. 

4. Craft a Tool Shelf

Required crafting materials:

  • 10x Fine Wood
  • 4 x Iron
  • 4 x Obsidian

The Valheim Tool Shelf

The Tool Shelf is a wall piece that will occupy most of one wall surface. To create the Tool Shelf workbench upgrade, you will need to hold a piece of Obsidian, which will grant you the Tool Shelf crafting recipe.

And there you have it, all of the items necessary to progress and upgrade your workbench, allowing you and your Viking brethren to craft, upgrade and repair your armor, tools, and weapons.

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About Digital Ghost

Dg is the founder and co-owner of Corrosion Hour, a niche gaming community established in 2016 focusing on the survival game RUST. He is an active and contributing member of numerous other RUST communities. As a community leader and server owner for over 15 years, he spends much of his time researching and writing guides about survival games, covering topics such as server administration, game mechanics, and community growth.

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