How to make a pickaxe in Valheim

Valheim pickaxe - a Viking is standing next to a large rock, holding a pickaxe. You can see the Yggdrasil tree in the background, crossing the sky
(Image credit: Iron Gate)

You need a Valheim pickaxe if you want to be able to break rocks in Iron Gate's Viking survival game. New crafting recipes unlock as you gather new materials, and more open up as soon as you make your first Valheim workbench. That said, the resource you need isn't something you're going to stumble upon out in the wild—you'll need to take on and defeat the first boss, Eikthyr, to acquire it.

The pickaxe is vital when it comes to mining stone and ores such as copper—and I'll explain how to make one in this guide. Here's how to unlock the Valheim pickaxe, including all the materials you need to make one.

Valheim pickaxe: How to break rocks and mine ore 

If you want to mine materials in the Viking afterlife, you need to kill the first boss, Eikthyr. He drops several 'hard antlers', and this is the material you need to unlock the crafting recipe and make your first antler pickaxe. Here's what you need:

  • Workbench level 1
  • Hard Antler x1
  • Wood x10

Luckily, Eikthyr isn't a challenging boss, and the altar to summon it can be found relatively close to your original spawn in the Meadows—you can even click on the glowy stone tablet found there to mark the location on your map. 

A hint as to what you'll need to summon this boss is written, too. "Hunt his kin" means you'll need to acquire deer trophies to summon it—two, to be exact—and wearing leather armour, or better, is a good idea too. This Valheim boss guide should help you out if you want more details before taking it on. 

Once you've crafted your antler pickaxe, you can use it to mine rocks as well as copper, tin, and iron. This pickaxe cannot be upgraded, but it is perfectly viable for early game mining. It's also more convenient than a bronze or iron pickaxe as it only requires a workbench to repair rather than a forge.

Sarah James
Guides Writer

Sarah started as a freelance writer in 2018, writing for PCGamesN, TechRadar, GamingBible, Red Bull Gaming and more. In 2021, she was offered a full-time position on the PC Gamer team where she takes every possible opportunity to talk about World of Warcraft and Elden Ring. When not writing guides, most of her spare time is spent in Azeroth—though she's quite partial to JRPGs too. One of her fondest hopes is to one day play through the ending of Final Fantasy X without breaking down into a sobbing heap. She probably has more wolves in Valheim than you.