How to find and survive Valheim's deadly Swamp biome

Valheim swamp
(Image credit: Iron Gate Studios)

Valheim's Swamp biome is an extremely dangerous place, and one that is likely to quickly kill you if you stumble into it unprepared. It's dark, scary, perpetually rainy, and contains a host of deadly creatures, including Valhiem's third boss, Bonemass. The Swamp is a major step up in difficulty when compared to the Meadows or Black Forest biomes.

But Valheim's Swamp also contains useful resources you'll need if you want to progress and become more powerful. Here's how to find the Valheim Swamp biome, what it contains, and what you'll need to bring with you if you want to survive.

Finding the Swamp

How to find the Valheim Swamp biome 

As with nearly everything in Valheim, the best way to find the Swamp biome is by exploring the procedurally-generated world. It may take a while, and there's a very good chance the continent you start playing on won't include a Swamp—though some seeds do. Otherwise, you'll probably need to build a raft or ship and sail to other continents before you find a Swamp.

Valheim Swamp biome trees

The Meadows (left) and Swamp biome (right) (Image credit: Iron Gate Studios)

The best way to recognize the Swamp biome from a distance is by its trees. The Meadows have green, leafy trees and the Black Forest has pine and fir trees, but the Swamp's trees are darker and more twisted, with tangled branches and no leaves. Some trees have glowing green blobs stuck to them (Guck sacks), which you can see from a distance even at night. On your map, Swamp biomes appear as dark brown patches of land.

If you're still having trouble finding a Swamp while exploring, you can plug the seed of your world into the Valheim World Generator, which will render the entire map clearly and reveal every single landmass in the world. Just be aware, doing this will show you everything on your map, and it's more fun to explore the world by simply playing the game.

Enemies and resources

What you'll find in Valheim's Swamp

(Image credit: Iron Gate Studios)

In the Swamp you'll encounter new enemies and resources. Some of these creatures you'll only find in the Swamp, others (like draugr, skeletons, and surtlings) appear in other biomes as well.

Swamp Enemies:

  • Blob - Poisonous green monsters that hop toward you.
  • Oozer - Brown slimes that emit poison gas and split into blobs when killed.
  • Draugr - Powerful zombies with bows and axes.
  • Leech - Poisonous creatures that swim in the waterways of the Swamp.
  • Surtling - Flaming creatures that throw fireballs.
  • Wraith - Cloaked, flying creatures with a melee attack that appear at night.
  • Skeletons - They're skeletons.

Swamps have a number of different resources you won't be able to find elsewhere in Valheim.

Swamp resources:

  • Scrap iron, which can be mined in sunken crypts
  • Ancient bark acquired by cutting down ancient trees
  • Withered bones, needed to summon Bonemass
  • Turnip seeds, for growing turnips
  • Guck, for crafting green torches and the Draugr fang bow
  • Ooze, dropped by blobs, used for crafting poison arrows
  • Bloodbags, dropped by leeches, used for blood pudding and mead bases
  • Chain, dropped by Wraiths, used for armor and brazier crafting

What you'll need

What to bring to the Swamp

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As you may have guessed, the biggest danger in the swamp is being poisoned, which will quickly eat away at your health. Many of the enemies in the Swamp have poison attacks, so don't even set foot there until you've got some poison protection.

But there are other things to consider. Due to the Swamp's perpetual rain, you will be constantly wet, an effect which means your health regeneration will have a -25% modifier and your stamina will have a -15% modifier. Unpleasant.

Here's what you should have with you before visiting the Swamp biome:

  • Poison resistance mead
  • The Swamp Key (more on this below)
  • Bronze axe to cut down ancient trees
  • Torches
  • Dverger circlet bought from the Valheim trader
  • Swamp Key - used to open sunken crypts, gained by defeating The Elder
  • Minor stamina mead
  • Minor healing mead
  • Plenty of food

I can't stress this enough: bring poison resistance mead with you. It reduces poison damage by 50% for 10 minutes, so you should have enough to last the amount of time you think you'll be spending there. And you are definitely going to need it. Here's what it takes to craft it:

  • Equipment: workbench, forge, fermenter (fine wood x30, bronze x5, resin x10)
  • Mead base: poison resistance (honey x10, thistle x5, neck tail x1, coal x10)

And since you're making mead already, you should also make stamina and healing mead to offset the wet debuff you'll have from the rain:

  • Mead base: minor stamina (honey x10, raspberries x10, yellow mushroom x10)
  • Mead base: minor healing (honey x10, blueberries x5, raspberries x10, dandelion x1)

Finally, you'll want to cook up the best food available to you. For tips on that, you should check out our comprehensive Valheim food guide.  

Swamp Key

Where to find the swamp key

Before you head to the Swamp, you'll also want to make sure you have the Swamp Key. The sunken crypts, which contain iron scrap, are locked, and you'll need the Swamp Key in your inventory to get inside.

The Swamp Key is dropped when you defeat The Elder, Valheim's second boss, who can be summoned in Black Forest. If you haven't beaten this boss yet, you should check out our guide for summoning and defeating The Elder.

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.