How to summon and defeat The Elder in Valheim

Valheim the elder summon
(Image credit: Iron Gate Studios)

If you're looking to beat The Elder in Valheim, you've come to the right place. There are five different Valheim bosses, and the second boss is The Elder, a towering tree monster. This massive wooden giant has a lot of hit points and three fearsome attacks.

But with a little planning and the tips you'll find below, you'll be able to beat The Elder and turn him into a harmless pile of wood—plus a few bonus items. Defeating The Elder means you'll obtain a new trophy and the Swamp Key, which can be used in the Swamp biome to unlock Sunken Crypts so you can mine them for iron scraps.

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How to find and summon The Elder in Valheim

The Elder's location will be shown on your map when you've interacted with glowing red runestones you can find in the skeleton-filled burial chambers of the Black Forest. You may also come across the same rune stones outside greyling encampments, like stone towers, also in the Black Forest. The Elder's icon will then be placed on your map, though you'll still need to find your way there, and that may require some travel over the water using a raft or ship.

Once you've found The Elder's summoning spot—it looks like a flat, square stone monument with pillars at the corners and a burning brazier in the center—you'll need three Ancient Seeds to summon him. Ancient Seeds can be found by destroying greydwarf nests, and sometimes drop from defeated greydwarf brutes and shamans. With three ancient seeds in a hotbar slot, you can activate The Elder's brazier.

Valheim The Elder boss tips: How to defeat it

Prepare for the fight by making sure you have plenty of fire arrows, at least 100 to be safe. The Elder is made of wood, and the best way to hurt it is by burning it. You can also place campfires around the edges of his stone monument before you summon it—he'll slowly walk around and stepping on a campfire will give it a little extra burn damage. You also might want to build a fast travel portal nearby, in case you die and need to get back quickly to collect your stuff. You don't want to lose all your gear in the fight.

Once you've summoned The Elder, watch out for his three different attacks:

Up close, The Elder will try to stomp on you, though you can block this attack using a shield. At range, it'll thrust his arm out and send a cone of spiked vines your way, though these can be dodged and will be blocked completely by the stone pillars at his altar. The Elder also summons vines from the ground that lash out and attack nearby players, but otherwise disappear after a minute or two.

Your best move is to keep one of the stone pillars between you and The Elder. If he starts walking towards you, move to a different pillar. When it pulls his arm back for a ranged attack, move behind the pillar for cover—the pillars will block this attack completely—and pepper him with flaming arrows as often as you can. When he summons vines from the ground, don't bother fighting them—just quickly reposition to another pillar. The vines will eventually disappear so you'll be able to move back.

Definitely don't flee into the woods if you can avoid it. The Elder will follow, and you might run into other mobs of greydwarfs or skeletons or a troll, giving you even more problems.

Be patient, conserve your stamina for shooting arrows and moving between pillars, and keep The Elder on fire until its hit points are gone. Once he falls, grab your loot and the Swamp Key it drops.

The Elder will also drop a trophy, and once you hang that on the sacrifical stones in the center of the map (the place you first spawn), you'll be able to active The Elder's power, which gives you a buff to your woodcutting ability.

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.