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Valheim map guide: How to explore and chart the merciless wilds of Valheim

Valheim map markers
(Image credit: Iron Gate Studios)

If you've opened your Valheim map and zoomed out, you'll know just how huge each procedurally-generated world is. And while it might seem daunting at first, once you've got yourself a boat or two, you can begin to uncover some of that unknown territory. Of course, you should be careful of certain biomes early on—you'll need to make sure you're decked out in the best Valheim armor before you even consider venturing into the Plains or the Mountains, but there's a certain amount of fun to be had from setting forth and exploring the unknown.

Having said that, there are a few things that can make your time in Viking purgatory a little easier. You can also find a list of various Valheim world seeds that you might want to check out further down, or alternatively, there's a map generator that lets you locate specific locations or objects. Ready to start exploring? Here's what you need to know about the map.

Valheim map guide: How to place map markers, ping, and console commands

Map markers
When you first spawn, your mini map will look very bare. After you've had a chance to explore more of the Valheim map, and found valuable materials and areas, it's a good idea to place markers to make them easy to return to later. To place a map marker, press M to open your map, select one of the markers on the right side, then double-click on the spot on the map to drop a marker. You can label these using the box at the bottom of the screen so you know what's waiting for you at each spot. To remove a marker, right-click on it (Mouse-2).

Ping
If you want to ping a particular spot, open the map and click the middle mouse button (Mouse-3) to mark your desired area. Anyone playing with you will be able to see the ping both on their own map and also just while playing the game, but it only lasts for a few seconds.

Console commands
If you don't fancy traipsing around the island, open Valheim's console (F5), ensure cheats are enabled (type imacheater) and type exploremap to reveal the entire map. Alternatively, if you want to reset your exploration progress, type resetmap to cover it in fog again. 

What does the white arrow mean?
You may have noticed a white arrow on your mini map. As Chris rightly points out in his list of helpful Valheim tips, this indicates which direction the wind is blowing. It's especially useful when sailing.

Valheim map biomes

Meadows
The Meadows is the starting biome in Valheim. It's mostly grassy, filled with bodies of water and trees. It's the perfect place to build your base, as it contains lots of useful resources, and animals including deer and boar, and there are very few threats.

Black Forest
If you've run into a troll or skeleton, or the music of the Meadows has taken a turn for the creepy, you've stumbled into the Black Forest. This zone contains hostile creatures such as Greydwarf Brutes and Greydwarf Shaman. You can mine tin and copper here, and find other resources that won't crop up in the Meadows. Merchants can also be found wandering these parts of the forest.

Swamp
The Swamp biome is a dark region filled with scary mobs. Draugr, Wraiths, and Blobs can hunt you down and kill you quickly here, so I don't recommend visiting this region until you've equipped sturdy bronze weapons and armour. Naturally, the more treacherous the zone, the finer the rewards, and scrap iron, thistles, and turnip seeds are just a few of the best materials to find in the Swamp.

(Image credit: Iron Gate Studios)

Mountains
Valheim's Mountains are the best place to visit for picturesque snowy scenes. They contain precious ores like silver, and a tough material called obsidian. Beware of the wolves and drakes that lurk on these slopes. Stone Golems also roam this area, and have a nasty habit of sneaking up on you.

Plains 
The Plains are open stretches of dry grass, small bushes, and rocks. It's not uncommon to see deer trotting through this region. There's a promise of beautiful views if you can find a nice hill to climb. Keep an eye out for Deathsquitos, though. 

Ocean
There's not much to know about the ocean, other than the fact that you need a boat to traverse it. Serpents are known to infest Valheim's waters, so I wouldn't advise going for a quick dip in it. Ever.

Mistlands
You'll find it difficult to find an area more mysterious than the Mistlands. It's filled with very tall, old trees and some players have reported seeing monsters here.

(Image credit: Iron Gate Studios)

The best Valheim world seeds

Conquer Viking purgatory with these Valheim guides

Valheim Stagbreaker war hammer

(Image credit: Iron Gate Studios)

Valheim boss: Summon and defeat them all
Valheim stone: Unlock sturdy building parts
Valheim workbench: How to build and upgrade it
Valheim dedicated server: How to get one working
Valheim bronze: How to make it
Valheim seeds: How to plant them
Valheim iron: How to get it
Valheim Elder: Summon and beat the second boss
Valheim boar: How to tame one
Valheim commands: Handy cheat codes

Finding a 'good seed' in Valheim is tricky if you're working solo. As the map is procedurally generated, spawning in a world that has each biome nearby often comes down to luck. However, as players discover and share more seeds, we're able to hop into these worlds as we please. 

Some seeds spawn you very close to the Swamp, or right near the Black Forest, which can save you time as you collect materials. Here are some of the best seeds the Valheim community has discovered and shared so far. Remember you can also set up a Valheim dedicated server, if you want to play with your pals.

Mellow Meadows spawn
Seed: wVJCZahxX8

It's good to start off slow if you're new to Valheim. You usually spawn in the Meadows anyway, but this seed is especially useful as other biomes like the Swamp, Black Forest, and Mountains are nearby. This will save you time trekking around the island when you're searching for specific materials, and you'll be able to find the Elder Valheim boss quickly. 

Find the Valheim trader
Seed: 42069lolxd

This world has an, erm, interesting name, but I promise it's cool. It's difficult to track down Haldor the trader, and you can play for hours blissfully unaware that they even exist. If you're in the market for a fishing rod, or want to swap your gems for some coins, here's where you need to travel to next. 

Straight to the Swamp
Seed: SWAMPPLS

Eager to visit the Sunken Crypts? Redditors have kindly marked all the crypts on this map to make it easier to find them. So, you can mine for Valheim iron, and grab other useful items in chests here. The best part is that you walk to The Swamp area from this spawn point. Remember, the Swamp is an unforgiving area, so don't travel here unless you're wearing tough bronze armor. 

Hunting in the Black Forest
Seed: yfNmtqZ5mh

If you want to pay the Black Forest an extended visit, hop into this seed. You'll spawn in the Meadows, right on the edge of a sprawling Black Forest. So, if you're on the hunt for copper deposits, want to get your hands on some troll armour, or need to visit Burial Chambers, this is a quick way to grab them. Good luck, you'll certainly need it.

The boss rush seed
Seed: HHcLC5acQt

This seed is a great candidate for speeding through Valheim as quickly as possible. In this seed, every one of Valheim's bosses is located quite close to your starting point instead of being off across the ocean. Players have marked their locations over on Reddit if you want to try your hand at beating them all in short order.

(Image credit: Iron Gate Studios)

How to use the Valheim map generator

While half the fun of Valheim is exploring the vast world in search of new biomes or the ideal spot for your new base, sometimes you just want to know what you're getting into. As Valheim is procedurally generated, the map you end up on could see you travelling for miles in search of basic materials or even the Valheim trader

To ensure you end up in your perfect world, the Valheim World Generator, a fan-made tool, cuts out the risk and lets you scan your current world's seed—or a random one—and locate biomes, bosses, crypts, traders and such. While it may take away some of the magic of exploration, if you're keen to crack on with the next boss or biome, this is certainly something to consider.

As PC Gamer's guides writer, Emma is usually juggling several games at once. She loves competitive first-person shooters like CS:GO and Call of Duty, but she always has time for a few rounds of Hearthstone. She's happiest when she's rescuing pugs in Spelunky 2.