How to build a Valheim workbench, cover it with a roof, and upgrade it

(Image credit: Iron Gate)

The Valheim workbench is great. It’s the first crafting station in the game, it doesn’t cost much, it unlocks the building area for your first base, and it gets you a large amount of handy crafting recipes for Valheim weapons and Valheim armor. It's also the first big step on you Valheim crafting progression through the game.

There’s just one problem: the game doesn’t tell you how to build a workbench. And even if you figure that out by yourself, you may run into another issue: the workbench doesn’t work unless it’s properly sheltered. Oh, and we haven’t even mentioned the need for workbench upgrades yet.

No worries though, this workbench guide explains everything you need to know. 

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How to build a workbench in Valheim

(Image credit: Coffee Stain Publishing)
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First up is building the actual workbench. This part is simple; once you've punched down some trees, crafted a stone axe, then chopped down some bigger trees, head to your inventory and craft a hammer. With the hammer equipped, open the build menu and select the workbench. You need 10 wood to craft a workbench and it can be placed literally wherever you like, just make sure it's the place you want your first base to be so you can build walls and a roof around it.

How to use the workbench by building a roof

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The workbench can't be used until you've built a shelter around it, so your next step is to keep collecting wood. This can essentially be whatever size you like, but the workbench needs to be underneath a roof. I decided to build a full room complete with bed, fireplace, chest, and workbench when I started, but you can also just place four walls with some roof tiles above the workbench facing the open world if you like. Strong weather can hinder this though, so to ensure it works, you'll want to build an enclosed space for the workbench.

How to upgrade a workbench

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When you have a workbench in Valheim, you can build plenty of objects and tools, but compared to the full catalogue of items in the game, your choice is limited. In order to unlock everything, you need to upgrade your workbench, which is done by placing different utility objects nearby. In no particular order, place the following around the workbench to upgrade it:

  • Chopping Block (10 Wood, 10 Flint)
  • Tanning Rack (10 Wood, 15 Flint, 20 Leather Scraps, 5 Deer Hide)
  • Adze (10 Fine Wood, 3 Bronze, Forge)
  • Tool Shelf (10 Fine Wood, 4 Iron, 4 Obsidian, Forge)

Place all four nearby and the workbench will be upgraded to level five. That's all there is to know about the Valheim workbench – upgrading it should be one of your core goals in the early game, so get to it!

Give me a game and I will write every "how to" I possibly can or die trying. When I'm not knee-deep in a game to write guides on, you'll find me hurtling round the track in F1, flinging balls on my phone in Pokemon Go, pretending to know what I'm doing in Football Manager, or clicking on heads in Valorant.

With contributions from