How to Survive in Valheim
Feeling Crafty - Your First Base
Your first priority at the start of the game is to get yourself in a nice defensible base, preferably near a river and with a health supply of Beech Trees within handy range.
In order to craft items your bench needs to be covered (nope, no clue why this is a thing).
A simple square hut with 45 degree walls, a chimney to stop smoke inhalation, a bed and some storage should see you covered. Chop wood, gather stones and flint like they are going out of fashion. Next up put a nice stake fence up to keep out unwanted visitors.
Then craft yourself a chopping block so you can upgrade your items to level 2 and kill as many deer and boar as possible. Once you have a crude bow taking down deer will be much easier, providing you stay upwind (as covered later).
The reason you want to be near a river is that is where you will find flint, plus if you are sneaky you can chase deer into the water to slow them down and give you the opportunity to whack them on the skull repeatedly until they fall over and die. Also I would recommend that if you want to make forward bases later on you know you can always find one by following the river.
Once you are safe and secure, have a decent stock of food and weapons you can then set forth and explore knowing that you have a safe re-spawn point if you get happen to accidentally die due to no fault of your own.
All your Base Are Belong to Us
When you have a well fortified main Base/Castle/Fortress of Evil set up and some half decent gear it is time to go exploring.
Don't forget before you head out to use your Crafting Bench to repair any broken equipment for the grand cost of absolutely no resources.
Take some food, weapons and various supplies with you and aim to travel into Terra Ingconita for about half a days walk. Build yourself a little camping lodge with a chest, fire, crafting bench and a bed and then rest up for the night.
You can then use this as a forward base and re-spawn point should you spot a pack of Grey Dwarves and think to yourself `Yeah, I can probably have them.
Having a bunch of bases that are at the edge of the `Fog of War` on the map will make it much easier to expand your territory and not waste time running back and forth over old ground. I would also highly encourage you to leave a duplicate set of weapons, armour and tools at your current re-spawn point.
Of course, if you prefer running back to your corpse in your undercrackers wielding nothing but a bad attitude for defence then by all means be my guest.
Regardless of what weapons you use on your foes you will need to ALWAYS keep an eye on your stamina. Despite being chosen by Odin you cannot swing your weapon around like a lunatic and expect to keep going all day.
At some point or another you are going to have to retreat, so make sure you actually have enough energy to head for the hills with your tail between your legs make a well considered, tactical and timely retreat.
If you can lure your enemies into water then that is the perfect opportunity to head for dry land and take free pot shots at them with your trusty bow. Bear in mind that different damage types may be more effective vs certain enemies so it never hurts to experiment.
Food for Thought
As you peacefully explore the land you will find all manner of flora and fauna that can be cooked or eaten raw. Given the delicate state of your Being having been dragged from Valhalla by a pesky Valkyrie you can only eat one type of food at a time, but can eat up to three different sorts which will boost your HP.
Make sure to keep an eye on this as no-one wants to charge a horde of Skeletons or Die by tree or Accidentally drown or fall off a roof or..well you get the idea. Not that I have done any of these. No siree Bob, seasoned survival expert right here.
If you want to cook multiple amounts of meat then it is worth noting that with careful placement you can fit 5 or 6 cooking racks over a campfire. Just Keep spamming the `E` key to fill 'em up and ditto for when you hear that lovely sizzling sound to pop that lovely grub in your inventory. As to why meat squeaks when you gather it... um.. nope I have nothing.
Wood is a very important resource that forms the basis of a huge majority of the items you can craft during your journey. I would recommend that you do most of your tree chopping during the night rather than sleeping.
All you need to do is set up a rudimentary logging camp near your projected area. Just pop down a crafting station, a camp fire and a couple of torches. Just keep an ear out for enemies and chop away to your hearts content. Moving out of the warmth radius of the fire will make you cold, but as long as you pop back near the fire every now and then this should not prove fatal.
Unless you are a fan of jump scares just scroll back on the mouse wheel to increase your FOV and you should be golden.
Also you want to keep an eye on your stamina bar and make sure you let it reset every now and then. Nobody wants to get jumped by some stupid shrunken Yoshi Wannabe with the stamina of a small kitten to fend them off with. Once again, that would never happen to me...
These will be your main source of leather which you will need unless you think that ratty old rags are a bold fashion statement. With your starter bow you need to be aware that it has a significant drop factor when firing an arrow so start thinking parabolic curves, not straight lines when lining up your shot.
When you are close enough to your prey (and upwind for stealthy purposes) you will see a health-bar that serves as a nice aiming point to allow for arrow drop. Personally I find it most efficient to spend an in game day expanding my map radius and just hunting a mix of boars with my spear or club and Deer with my bow. If you happen to spook a Deer I would not waste time chasing it as it is more likely you will find another one if you just move on.