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Valheim Guide

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Valheim: Sailing Guide Valheim guide, walkthrough

Last update: 18 February 2021

This page of the Valheim guide provides useful tips and the most important information regarding sailing mechanics. In Valheim, sailing is one of the most important means of transportation. The world is divided into islands, so travelling by sea will be the only way to discover new lands at least at the beginning. Below you will find tips on sailing.


Steering the ship is quite simple - the W and S keys control the speed and the turn of the vessel, while A and D change its direction.

Boats may travel forward at 3 different speeds. Moving in reverse is possible at 1 speed. Besides, the boat may be put in a resting state.

It is worth noting that boats behave differently when propelled by an oar (1 level of forward/backward speed). Turning the rudder as far to the right or left as possible before rowing will allow you to rotate the boat around its axis. By reducing the turning force, you will gain the ability to have a more precise forward or backward movement. This can be used, for example, when docking in a harbor.


Boats in Valheim are wind-powered. This means that proper positioning of the boat will be necessary for efficient sailing. Once you grab the rudder, two icons will appear on the right side of the screen under the minimap.

The first indicates whether the boat is powered by an oar or a sail and (in the case of a sail) whether it is a half sail or a full sail.

Below there is an indicator of the wind direction and the boat's orientation in relation to the wind. As long as the wind symbol is within the colored gold part of the rim around the ship icon, the boat will move forward. Once the wind icon is in the black part of the rim, only maneuvering with the rudder will be possible.

The speed and turn of movement are also indicated by arrows appearing above and below the steering wheel icon in the center of the screen.

1 - Valheim: Sailing Guide - Basics - Valheim Guide

Tips & Tricks

  1. All boats are equipped with a storage room where you can transport extra items. The larger the ship, the greater the storage capacity.
  2. When your target is situated against the wind, it is worth considering the tacking maneuver - it consists in sailing "zigzag", on the edge of the dark part of the wind's rim, one way and then the other.
  3. If your traveling companion falls overboard, it is best to have him stop moving and try to reach him by boat. Stamina (necessary to avoid receiving damage from drowning) of the Viking in the water will not decrease, which gives you time to save him
  4. It's recommended to carry at least 10 pieces of wood with you if you plan to set out on a longer expedition. In a critical situation, this will allow you to construct a workbench even on a small, treeless island. You will be able to repair the boat in case it gets damaged while sailing
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