Every player’s world is slightly different in Valheim, but you’ll always start on an island surrounded by water. The island’s size will vary, and eventually, you’ll run out of land to explore and have to set sail for the seas. If you’re a new Viking in Valheim, you’ll need a vessel to carry you to new and interesting lands, even if it isn’t an especially fancy one. The first and most basic method for getting across the waters is a raft. Here’s how to build a raft in Valheim.

Your Viking is perfectly capable of swimming, but since swimming consumes stamina, he can only swim across small bodies of water. Large lakes or the ocean will require a much more substantial vessel, which you can build with the right materials.

How to Build a Raft in Valheim

Here’s what you need to build a raft in Valheim:

  • 20 wood
  • 6 Leather scraps
  • 6 Resin
  • Workbench

First, you’ll have to kill and skin at least six boars, chop down a few beech trees for the wood and kill a few Graydwarf for the resin. Next, you’ll need to build a workbench, which only costs ten wood. Step two is to build a workbench. You can’t construct a raft on dry land; where would you put it? To put together a raft, you need to have a workbench placed right by the body of water you want to sail on. 

Workbenches have a white circle that denotes their building range; you want the water to be encompassed by that range. With the workbench assembled, you can now build on the water, so equip your hammer, open your crafting menu, and switch to the “Misc” tab. The raft recipe should be on the far right, so click it and left-click on the water to build your raft.

How to control the raft in Valheim

To control your raft, hop aboard and press E to grab the rudder. You can steer left and right with the A and D keys, respectively. More importantly, you can unfurl the sail a little by pressing W, or roll it back up by pressing S. Your sail has three settings, and how much you unfurl it will determine how fast you can go. 

While controlling the raft, you’ll see a circular icon under your world map in the top right. This icon tells you which way your raft is facing, as well as which direction the wind is blowing. As long as you’re not sailing into the wind, your raft will move, though if it’s coming from the east or west, you may need to use the rudder to course correct. 

One last word of caution: see that ladder on the back of your raft? Yeah, it isn’t real. If you fall off your raft into the water, there’s no way to climb back up onto it. Presumably, that ladder will be made functional in a future update, but just try hard not to fall into the drink for the time being.