How To Summon & Beat The Elder


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The Elder, King of the Greydwarves, is the second boss you can expect to fight in Valheim, and unlike Eikthyr, many players find themselves at a loss for how to beat this terrifying giant of the Black Forest.

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Despite his stature and seemingly insurmountable attacks, The Elder can be an easy boss to beat as long as you use the right mix of strategy and preparation. Keep reading to learn everything there is to know about finding, summoning, and fighting The Elder.


Finding The Elder

Like any other Valheim boss, the first step in finding The Elder is searching for Vegvisirs. You can find ones pointing to the nearest Elder in Burial Chambers and stone towers that generate across the Black Forest. You might have to go into a few before you find a Vegvisir, but that’s not an issue since you’ll likely be looting these dungeons anyway for the Surtling Cores they contain.

If you’re looking to find The Elder without a Vegvisir, you’re in luck: The Elder’s altar is so large that it can be very easy to find. The first sign of a location nearby will be a significant break in the trees. Black Forest doesn’t generate with many clearings, so if the trees suddenly thin out in one direction, it might be a sign that The Elder is nearby. On top of that, the Ancient Bowl in the center of the altar is perpetually lit.

Finding the boss location without a Vegvisir can be as easy as sailing near the edge of Black Forest to look for any obvious breaks in the trees and walking through the inland forest at night to try and spot the fire.

Summoning The Elder

The player stands in front of The Elder's boss location, which sheds light in the Black Forest.

Once you’ve found the altar, all you need to do is burn the correct item in the Ancient Bowl set in the center of the stone platform. You have two strong hints if you want to figure this part out on your own: The Runestone nearby reads, “Burn their young,” and the decorations of the altar are a hint in themselves.

Here’s the answer if you give up: Ancient Seeds are the summoning item of The Elder. You’ll need three of them to start the fight, but where do you get Ancient Seeds?

Where To Find Ancient Seeds

The player quietly approaches a Greydwarf Spawner in the Black Forest.

The primary source of Ancient seeds is Greydwarf spawners that you can find scattered around the Black Forest. They’ll spawn up to three Greydwarves when you get close, and if you manage to break them, the spawners will drop an Ancient Seed.

However, if you’re short on spawners or have other plans for them, Greydwarf Brutes can also drop Ancient Seeds somewhat commonly. To encounter a brute, all you need to do is hang around in the Black Forest at night or wait for them to appear near a Greydwarf spawner.

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Fighting The Elder

On the left, the Elder summons Roots. On the right, The Elder shoots a beam of vines.

The Elder is likely the first challenging fight you’ll face in Valheim. At times, his move set can seem unfair and incredibly powerful, but there are strategies you can use to make his attacks drastically less effective.

Evading The Elder’s Attacks

The easy attack to deal with is his stomp. If the player is too close to The Elder, he will bend down and try to stomp you with his foot. This attack deals massive amounts of Blunt damage but is very easy to dodge once you learn the timing.

The vine attack is easily The Elder’s most annoying option. For this ranged attack, The Elder summons a beam of vines that stream toward the player, following them as they try to dodge. This attack does tons of damage and can be incredibly difficult to evade. As if this wasn’t bad enough, this attack also destroys stone, trees, and any cover you could build. There are two ways to avoid this attack: run parallel to The Elder instead of dodging or take cover behind the invincible pillars around the boss altar.

The final attack summons more enemies — The Elder raises his hand into the air and conjures a patch of animated Roots from the ground. Each of these Roots looks for nearby players and smacks them after a short windup. In a similar vein to the vine attack, getting hit by one Root may stun you for long enough that other Roots finish you off, so evading this attack is critical.

Instead of trying to kill the Roots, just run away until you’re out of their reach. They can’t move so once you do this, you won’t have to worry about them, but watch out for a follow-up vine attack from The Elder!

How To Kill The Elder

Despite the terrifying vine attack, ranged combat is still your best option against The Elder. His cooldown between attacks is short, so if you’re in melee range, a lot of your time will be dedicated to dodging stomps and running away from Roots.

On top of this, The Elder, being a walking tree and all, is extremely weak to Fire damage, which you can deal by using Fire Arrows with a bow. If you’re playing with friends, one of them can dedicate themselves to staying in melee range and dodging the Elder’s melee attacks while the others kill him from afar with bows. This has the added benefit of keeping the Elder from spamming the vine attack.

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What You Get From Killing The Elder

A Sunken Crypt bathes in green light as the trees of the Swamps loom behind it.

Killing The Elder is essential if you want to progress in Valheim. He drops the Swamp Key, which can be used to unlock Sunken Crypts in the Swamps. These death-filled dungeons are the main source of Iron in the game, and you’ll need the Swamp Key to unlock a gate that blocks the entrance to each one.

If you take The Elder’s head back to the player spawn point, you’ll unlock his Forsaken Power, which increases the damage you deal against trees. This buff improves your axe damage enough to make it comparable to the next tier, which means it’s a great tool for chopping down loads of trees really fast.

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