Valheim Elder Guide: How To Find And Defeat The Boss (And What You Get From It)


Everything you do in Valheim is in favor of helping you hunt down and destroy Odin’s enemies. The second boss you will face is the Elder, and defeating him is essential to progress in the game; You will have to kill the Elder to gain access to the Iron biome in the swamp, allowing you to venture into more difficult things. biomes and defeat even tougher bosses.

It takes a lot of effort to locate the Elder, and fighting him can be difficult on its own. Here’s everything you need to know to locate and defeat the Elder, including what gear to bring, where you’ll need to go, what battle strategy to employ, and what to do once you’re defeated.

Where is the old man?

Tracking the Elder requires you to venture into the Black Forest biome, which is best handled after defeating Eikthyr, the boss of the Meadows. Taking out Eikthyr gives you the Hard Antler, which you can convert into the Antler Pickaxe, allowing you to mine tin and copper.

Once you enter the Black Forest, keep an eye out for the semicircle runestones. You will often find them near destroyed towers and other structures on the surface, usually surrounded by various types of Gray Dwarves, or within underground Burial Chambers. Interacting with one of these runestones will mark the altar where you can summon the old man somewhere in the Black Forest. However, those altars could be some distance away; On our Valheim server, we had to travel to a completely separate island to finally track down the Ancient One.

When you get to the Elder’s Altar, you will have to sacrifice three Elder Seeds to summon him. Throw them into the fire on the altar and the boss will appear, and he won’t be happy.

What Brig

A bow with fire arrows is essential to beating the Elder, and you’ll want strong bronze armor to protect you from the massive damage the boss can do.

The Elder can do a lot of damage with his attacks, and in addition to taking on yourself, he sometimes summons animated roots from below ground and Greydwarves to aid him. Since they will potentially hit you pretty hard, you’ll want to invest in some upgraded gear before attempting to take down the boss, especially if you enter the fight solo.

Armor: Bronze Set

Bronze armor is the highest level you can achieve before facing the Elder, and the protection it offers is quite useful, especially enhanced. That said, making Bronze is a time-consuming endeavor, requiring you to mine Tin and Copper, cast both, and combine them into a Forge. If you prefer speed, an upgraded Troll leather armor set can come in handy here as well. Just know that you’re going to need enough protection to withstand some hard hits from the Elder, even if your overall strategy is to keep moving and avoid damage as much as possible. Check out our Valheim armor guide for all the information you need to prepare for war with a giant tree boss.

Weapon: Fine Wood Bow, Fire Arrows

Mainly, you’ll need to keep your distance from the Elder, so you’ll want to invest in a better weapon than the Raw Bow that you can craft early in the game. The fine wood bow is not too difficult to make, but you will need enough bronze to forge a bronze ax in order to cut birch trees.

Fire arrows are your best bet against the Elder thanks to the bonus burn damage they’ll deal the boss, but you’ll need quite a few of them; you’ll want to pack at least 100. Bronze arrows are pretty effective too. In any case, especially facing the Elder alone, you will need a lot of ammo.

Finally, it is recommended to bring a strong melee weapon like a bronze sword. Occasionally you’ll have waves of Gray Dwarves coming up behind you, and while everything else during the fight with the Elder can be dodged, being chased by Gray Dwarves makes fighting the boss that much more annoying. It’s easier to stop for a second and cut through dwarves than to keep running away from them, and a sword will get enemies to work quickly.

Food: honey and jam

The Elder can do a lot of damage to you very quickly, so you’ll want to be well stocked with food when fighting him. Cooked meat and berries probably won’t cut it either – you’ll want foods that can heal you quickly and raise your peak health as high as possible.

We found good results with Honey, Queens Jam and Sausages. Queens Jam will require a cauldron to make (which requires melting tin and building a forge), but it’s pretty easy to get the berries you need to cook it. Honey is even easier, as you can often find bee hives in abandoned houses and use the queen bees that fall from them to make your own hives. Honey gives you a huge health boost when you eat it, making it a good item to rely on for this fight.

Ideally, though, you’ll be swinging and weaving so much that the Elder won’t hit you often, if at all, so you shouldn’t be overly reliant on healing items.

How to beat the old man

Use the columns to avoid the old man's vines, which can hit you several times in a row.
Use the columns to avoid the old man’s vines, which can hit you several times in a row.

When you’re finally ready, head to the altar where the Elder will spawn and get the lay of the land. It must be surrounded by four large columns. Write down their locations and prepare to use them for cover, as they will be great for keeping you alive while on the go.

When the Elder appears, move around to keep the columns between you and him. He will try two different attacks if you keep your distance. First, it will summon roots from the ground that will try to slap you in the face, but easily avoided if you walk away from them. It will then shoot huge, long vines with its fingers that can cut through it at any distance. The key in both cases is to strafe the Elder so that you run sideways in front of him, which should keep you out of harm’s way whenever you get into traffic. Keep moving sideways relative to the Elder as long as you think you’re going to take damage and you’ll be fine.

While the elder’s vines can cut through trees and other things you could use to cover yourself, they can’t penetrate the stone columns around the altar, so if you stand behind them, you’ll be safe from incoming damage. That makes the columns ideal for cover, as you can hide behind them to regain stamina, arrows ready, or eat. Eventually the boss will call roots to attack you, so you will have to move when that happens, but you can rotate to keep another column between you and the Elder and stay safe.

As long as you are not running away from vines or roots, you should shoot arrows at the Elder. The boss doesn’t move very fast, which should make aiming and shooting pretty easy. Keep nailing him with arrows and staying away from his creeper attacks for the duration of the fight. If you get into trouble with roots or gray dwarves, always remember that you can just run away – circle around the boss until you find a safe place to take out the enemies that are chasing you. A melee weapon is better here than arrows as you will be able to stop and hold your ground in a safe place.

Keep hammering the Elder and he will eventually sink. We killed him with a mix of about 70 fire and bronze arrows and managed to take out the boss in just one attempt.

What the old man gives you

The Elder's Swamp Keys are essential for upgrading your gear in the next Valheim biome.
The Elder’s Swamp Keys are essential for upgrading your gear in the next Valheim biome.

Defeat the Elder and you will get two loot rewards. The first is the Elder Trophy, which you’ll want to take to the initial altar where you first charged in Valheim. Sacrifice it on the altar and you will receive a new ability from the boss, just like you did with Eikthyr. The elder’s power accelerates the speed with which you cut down trees and gather wood, making it much easier to gather what you need to build your Viking outpost or village.

You will also get Swamp Keys from the Elder. These items allow you to access the Sunken Crypts, a new type of dungeon found in the swamp biome. These dungeons are a big deal because that’s where you’ll start collecting iron. Search the muddy scrap piles in the crypts to find Iron Ore, which you can take to your foundry to start crafting new equipment. Swamp Keys are not consumable, so once you have one, you can use it many times.

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