How to find copper in Valheim

Valheim how to find copper
(Image credit: Iron Gate Studios)

How do you find copper in Valheim? How do you mine it, and what can you craft with it? Crafting weapons and gear with wood and leather will get you through the early hours of the co-op survival game, but once you've built a base and gotten your first look at the dangerous world, you'll want to start making things out of metal. That means mining copper.

Finding copper, and crafting weapons and armor with it, takes a bit of work. Your first step is defeating Eikthyr, Valheim's first boss fight, who you'll find near your starting position in the center of the map. It stinks you have to battle him before you can craft metal weapons, but when you beat Eikthyr he'll drop hard antlers, which you need to craft your very first pickaxe, the antler pickaxe.

Without the pickaxe, you can't mine copper even if you find it, so make sure you've got it before you begin your search for copper deposits.

How to find copper in Valheim

You won't find copper in the first biome you start playing in, the Meadows. To find copper deposits, you need to visit a more dangerous place, the Black Forest biome.

The Black Forest is a neighboring region to the Meadows, so just pick a direction and start running and you'll probably hit it. You can recognize the Black Forest by its trees at first—you'll start seeing pine and fir trees instead of just beech and birch trees. You'll also see the region name appear on your minimap, and if it's your first time in the Black Forest you'll get a notification and a visit from the talking crow. 

Now it's just a matter of exploring and keeping your eyes out for a copper deposit. Copper deposits typically look like big, rounded greenish rocks sticking out of the ground:

(Image credit: Iron Gate Studios)

A few wriggly yellowish lines will stand out on its surface. When you get close enough and point your cursor at one, you'll see the words "copper deposit" appear.

How to mine copper in Valheim

Once you've found a copper deposit, it's time for a lot of whacking at it with your antler pickaxe. It takes a while, but eventually you'll break apart the section you're hitting with your pickaxe and some copper ore will drop out. Copper ore looks like a greenish chunk of stone.

Keep an eye on your antler pickaxe's status bar while you work. If it degrades too much you'll need to repair it at your workbench. And be careful while mining on a hillside, as chunks of copper ore may roll away before they're collected into your inventory. Also keep in mind that you're also collecting stone while you chip away with your pickaxe, so you may want to periodically discard the stone to make more room for copper. If you reach your weight limit, copper won't be added to your inventory until you lighten your load.

If possible, try mining the lower portions of a big copper deposit first. If you can entirely chip away the base, the upper portion may collapse on its own, saving you the work of chipping away at the entire deposit. Some of the deposit may extend underground, so digging beneath the earth with your pickaxe may yield a bit more.

(Image credit: Iron Gate Studios)

How to smelt copper and create brass

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You've got some copper ore, but there are some important steps you'll need to take before you can put it to use. You need to turn that copper into brass, and that requires a few more things:

  • Tin ore
  • A smelter
  • A forge

Tin ore is another resource found in the Black Forest, but it's much easier to find than copper. Tin deposits can be found along the water's edge, so look for rivers running along the Black Forest's borders. It looks like a shiny black rock at the waterline, and you can quickly mine it with your pickaxe.

To build a smelter, you need 20 stone and 5 surtling cores, glowing red orbs you can find in Burial Chambers in the Black Forest. And finally, you need a forge, which will unlock once you've smelted your first bar of copper.

To begin smelting, place the copper ore into the hatch on the side of your smelter. Put coal into the hatch the other side (coal can be created by burning meat on your cooking spit for too long, or by crafting a kiln, which requires another 5 surtling cores). Then just wait a few moments. The smelter will drop a copper bar from the front hatch. Once you've smelted 6 copper bars, you can build your forge.

Feed tin ore into your smelter in the same fashion, and it'll produce tin bars. At your forge, with both tin bars and copper bars in your inventory, you can craft bronze. For each bar of bronze, you'll need 2 copper bars and 1 tin bar.

Whew! That's a lot of work, and there's plenty more to come, but as your bronze starts stacking up you'll be able to craft new weapons, armor, building pieces, and other important items.

Christopher Livingston
Senior Editor

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.