Valheim iron is one of the most important resources you can find. You’ll need it to craft much better weapons and armour pieces, and you won’t last long in the harder biomes without doing so. It’s also used for all kinds of other items.
Iron can be found after you’ve progressed through the bronze age and defeated the second boss. However, there’s more you need to know before you can get your hands on it. This guide is here to explain everything you need to know about Valheim iron, including where to find it, how to obtain it and what it’s used for.
Where to find iron in Valheim
Iron is primarily found in the Swamp biome in Valheim. It’s hidden away in Sunken Crypts, which are the stone dungeons dotted randomly around the Swamp. Not all parts of the Swamp will have a Sunken Crypt, but others may have 3 or 4 of these dungeons in close proximity to each other. You may have to do some exploring before you can find them.
Before you venture out on the search for Sunken Crypts, be sure to bring along the Swamp Keys you get from defeating the second boss, The Elder. He’ll drop one key per player, so if you’re solo you’ll only get one. Luckily, one key can unlock multiple Sunken Crypts.
You’ll find muddy scrap piles inside these dungeons, which can be mined with a pickaxe to get scrap iron (a bronze pickaxe is recommended for faster mining). Scrap iron can then be smelted and turned into iron bars. The iron bars are what you’ll use for all your crafting.
Be careful inside Sunken Crypts as they’re always full of Draugr and Blobs. It’s wise to bring some poison resistance mead, as well as bronze gear and cooked food.
Additionally, you can find iron and scrap iron by destroying wooden doors in Frost Caves or mining ancient weaponry in the Mistlands. Both these methods are a lot slower and it’s very unlikely you’ll be able to do them efficiently before simply finding a Sunken Crypt. Scrap iron can also be found in the Swamp underground, but this is a rare occurrence and generally not worth the effort of searching.
How to transport iron in Valheim
You can’t use portals with iron in your inventory, so you’ll have to transport iron back to your base by using a boat.
You can store iron in the storage chest on a Karve or Longship. Since a Longship requires iron nails, the best you can do is a Karve for the moment as it only requires you to reach the bronze age. You can go back and forth between the boat and the Sunken Crypt to offload all your iron and make one big trip – just make sure your boat doesn’t get destroyed by enemies.
How to smelt iron in Valheim
Scrap iron can be turned into iron bars in a Smelter in Valheim. To build a Smelter, you’ll need 20 stone and 5 Surtling cores.
Surtling cores are the fiery stones found in Burial Chambers dungeons in the Black Forest. You can find these dungeons by looking for Skeletons in the forest. They’re also dropped by Surtlings, which are fiery creatures sometimes found in the Swamp.
If you already have bronze gear, you should know how to smelt. If not, be sure to build the smelter before heading out on an expedition for iron.
Smelters can smelt copper ore and tin ore to make copper and tin bars, which you can combine into bronze. Iron bars are higher quality than bronze, and you simply need to place your scrap iron in the Smelter to get iron. The bars will pop out of the smelter onto the ground in front of it once ready. It only holds 10 ore at once, so you might want to build multiple Smelters if you want to speed up the process.
You’ll need coal for fuel, which is easily obtained by placing wood in a Charcoal Kiln. You’ll also need another 5 Surtling cores to build a Kiln.
Items you can craft with iron in Valheim
Iron is an essential item in Valheim. It’s used for a great deal of weaponry, armour and structures. Here’s a list of all the standard weapons and armour you can craft with iron.
- Iron Helmet
- Iron Greaves
- Iron Scale mail
- Iron Mace
- Iron Axe
- Iron Pickaxe
- Iron Sledge
- Iron Sword
- Iron Arrow
- Huntsman Bow
- Ancient Bark Spear
- Iron Atgeir
- Iron Tower Shield
- Iron Buckler
- Banded Shield
- Serpent Scale Shield
Another key item you can craft with iron is Iron Nails, which can be used to build the Longship. This is the best boat in the game. Iron Nails can also be used for a variety of furniture including the Dragon Bed and Raven Throne, as well as Spinning Wheels and Windmills which you’ll need later.
Iron will also unlock new options for building. You can craft wood iron beams to build with, new standing torches, better chests with more room for storage, an iron cooking station, the Smith’s Anvil and Forge Toolrack upgrades for the Forge, the Tool Shelf upgrade for the Workbench, and even an Obliterator to destroy your unwanted items.
One important crafting option is the Stonecutter. This is similar to a Workbench, but it will allow you to build with stone. You can create stone walls, stairs and other structures to give your base more protection. It’s got a nice aesthetic too, so if you enjoy building you’ll want to get some Stonecutters.
Iron can even be turned into cage floors, cage walls and iron gates for more building options.
Later in the game, you’ll be able to craft better items using iron, but these typically require other materials you won’t be able to obtain if you’ve only reached the Swamp. For example, once you reach the Plains biome you can obtain materials for padded armour, including the padded cuirass, greaves and helmet as well as the Porcupine weapon.
The Mistlands, an even harder biome, also has gear that requires iron to craft. These items include the following:
- Skoll and Hati
- Jotun Bane
- Eitr-weave Hood
- Carapace Breastplate
- Carapace Greaves
As you can see, in Valheim iron is used for a wide range of crafting items so it’s worth stocking up on lots of it before you head back to base to do your smelting. Keep an eye out for Swamp areas on the Valheim map with lots of Sunken Crypts, and have fun crafting all these improved weapons, armour and structures!