On this page of the Valheim guide, you will learn about the weapons available in Valheim as well as their strengths and weaknesses. Despite being a survival game, Valheim puts quite a bit of emphasis on direct confrontations. This means that the combat system is a bit more extensive than in most productions in this genre. Therefore, choosing the right weapon is one of the key decisions you will make during the game.
Before discussing the various weapon types, it's worth reviewing their statistics and checking what exactly they mean. Valheim does not explain how to interpret the numbers appearing in the weapon description. However, below you will find detailed explanations of each number.
In the case of damage statistics, we have the type of damage and three values xx (yy - zz).
- Damage type such as "Slash" or "Pierce" affects the effectiveness of our attacks against a given type of enemy. Skeletons, for example, will take less pierce or slash damage but will be more vulnerable to blunt damage. A clue to discovering the strengths and weaknesses of creatures in Valheim is the color in which the damage values we deal are displayed. Gray indicates that the enemy is immune to a particular type of damage, white indicates that there is no modifier, and yellow indicates that the enemy is vulnerable to a particular type of attack.
- The "xx" value indicates the maximum amount of damage that can be dealt with the given weapon type (NOTE - this is the POTENTIAL damage that can be dealt, not the ACTUAL damage that your character will deal).
- The "(yy - zz)" value is a range of possible damage from which the final damage dealt by our character is randomly drawn - the game takes into account the skill level of using a given weapon type. The higher the skill level, the closer to the value "xx" it will be.
This value is presented in xx (yy) format.
- "xx" is the base amount of damage a weapon or shield can absorb when blocking (RMB)
- "(yy)" is the actual amount of damage our character will absorb by blocking, as it takes into account the level of proficiency in the "Block" skill
- Parry Force: a numerical representation of the force with which an opponent will be knocked back after a successful parry. Parrying is about blocking right when our character would be hit by an opponent's attack. Both melee and ranged attacks can be parried.
- Parry bonus: This is the value by which you multiply Block Power to get the amount of damage the character can absorb during a successful parry.
- Knockback: a numerical representation of the force of a weapon's impact - the higher the value, the greater the chance that the opponent will be stunned (like with a parry) and knocked back. Stunned enemies also receive increased damage.
- Backstab: If you manage to stab an unsuspecting opponent in the back, the damage dealt will be multiplied by this value. A backstab can only be done once, even if the opponent stops chasing us and we manage to sneak up on them again.
By far the most extensive group of weapons in Valheim are those designed for close combat. Most of them can be made from different types of material - the rarer the resource, the better the stats (their explanations are above).
Importantly, each weapon type has its strengths and weaknesses, and choosing the right weapon is not just about matching the damage type to the enemy. Below you will find a brief description of each weapon type – this will help you decide which one you want to specialize in.
The common feature of all weapons in this category is, of course, that they can be used together with a shield or, for example, a torch.
- Sword: the most versatile type of weapon. It features high strength, low weight, and, importantly, the ability to deal both slash and pierce damage. Basic attacks deal slashing damage, but the special attack (MMB by default) is a stab that deals piercing damage and stuns the opponent, but this attack takes a little longer than a normal slash. Attacks have a medium range and consume a standard amount of stamina. This weapon performs worse when fighting a large number of enemies at once.
- Club: a weapon slower than the sword, but it deals slightly more blunt damage. Similar to the sword, the special attack takes more time to perform but does significantly more damage. A fantastic weapon against, for example, skeletons and other opponents vulnerable to blunt damage. It's also a little heavier than a sword, but it has a higher knockback value, which allows it to stun enemies more often, making it a great weapon for multiplayer.
- Axe: Technically still a weapon, but due to its fairly high weight, noticeably lower strength, and virtually identical damage to a sword but with slower attacks and no special moves, it won't likely be the best choice. Still, its versatility lies in the fact that it allows you to cut down trees, which can be an asset e.g. during scouting expeditions, where at a certain stage of the game the amount of space in the equipment is more important than its weight and every piece of wood counts. Besides - what's a Viking without an axe!
- Knives: A weapon primarily designed for stealth attacks due to a combination of the huge multiplier to backstab damage, the type of damage (piercing), and the lack of penalty to movement speed. It can be a great additional weapon for an archer. They also have an extremely high parry bonus, which means that a skilled player can be as effective as if they were playing with a shield (assuming they rely on parrying rather than blocking).
By sacrificing the option of being able to use a shield or a torch, you get greater range, damage, and the ability to attack several opponents at once. However, the attacks are slower, so they require taking the right position and choosing the right moment to strike.
- Battleaxe: High damage and area attack. The special attack is a fast stab that costs less stamina – a good move when fighting a single opponent. It has a fairly high block strength, parry value, and a parry bonus for a two-handed weapon, which will allow you to receive more blows.
- Hammer: Huge damage and area-of-effect attacks with a large range. It allows you to deal damage through walls, which is immensely effective in dungeons and crypts, for example. The only significant downside is the amount of time required to perform the attack and its stamina cost.
- Atgeir: A two-handed spear weapon with long range and a special attack that deals damage around the player and stuns enemies. You can effectively attack from behind a companion who is using a shield. This makes Atgeir a good choice for team play.
A very small but useful group of weapons available in Valheim. As the name suggests, these weapons allow you to attack opponents from a safe distance. They all deal piercing damage which can be considered an asset in most cases.
- Bow: a weapon that requires arrows. You need resources to craft arrows, but thanks to the number of their types, you will be able to adjust the equipment to the situation. Bows can serve as secondary as well as primary weapons. This weapon has a tremendous range that, in the hands of a skilled Viking, can hit enemies from a distance greater than the range of the damage displayed.
- Spear: while technically also a melee weapon, the basic attacks have a very short range which is the opposite to what the name suggests. However, the special attack lets you throw a spear – this move is this weapon's main advantage. High piercing damage and the ability to pick a spear up after throwing it make it more economical than the bow in the long run. The access to melee attacks as well as the fact that it is used with one hand makes it the most versatile weapon in the game, allowing you to effectively fight up close, from a distance, and use a shield or torch. The price for this is fairly average statistics.