Valheim Karve

What could be cooler than being a powerful Viking adventuring through a mysterious land? Taking to the open sea and becoming a pirate Viking, that’s what! The boats in Valheim give you access to a tremendous amount of content and hours of fun. By properly using the sea vessels, you can explore further and loot more than ever before in the game. The first step to playing Valheim like a pirate is learning what ships are available to you and how to use them.

Boat Guide

There are three different boats currently in Valheim, the Raft, Karve, and Longship. Each vessel has strengths (even the Raft) and weaknesses and requires different materials to craft. Knowing the difference between the boats and how to use them is essential to turning your Viking into a pirate.


Valheim Raft

While the Raft may receive some hate due to its plodding speed, the beginner boat still has its place in Valheim. The materials required to make the Raft are 20 Wood, 6 Leather Scraps, and 6 Resin. Finding these materials is quick and easy, even early in the game. Thus the Raft is perfect for short trips across small bodies of water or emergency situations when you absolutely need a boat. Be careful, though, because the Raft only has 300 HP and can quickly be destroyed in open waters.


Valheim Karve

Exponentially faster than the Raft, the Karve is the second boat you will unlock in Valheim and is a tremendous upgrade in both speed and hit points. There is also a 4 slot storage container on the ship you can use to transport items. The requirements to craft the Karve are a bit more extensive and require you to have beaten the first Forsaken God, Eikthyr, to gather. The required materials are 30 Fine Wood, 10 Deer hide, 20 Resin, and 80 Bronze nails. These hefty requirements make crafting the Karve take longer, but the boat’s 500 HP and max speed that is double the Raft’s make it essential for any long-term sea voyage.


Valheim Longship

The largest and most majestic of the boats in Valheim is the Longship. This hefty sea vessel has a whopping 1000 HP and is the fastest traveling boat in the game. On top of that, the Longship also features 18 storage slots and multiple positions to “Hold Fast,” which provide better viewing angles for navigation. To craft the Longship, you will need 100 Iron nails, 10 deer hide, 40 Fine wood, and 40 ancient bark. For a long while, crafting the Karve will be much more efficient than the Longship, but for massive cargo hauls and item storage late-game, the boat is a requirement.

Boat Controls

Luckily, all three boats in Valheim control exactly the same. Using a combination of the rudder and the wind, you can steer the ships and control the speed at which you travel. At first, the controls can feel awkward and like they are not working -especially when using the Raft- but just remember to stick with the wind, and you will speed up eventually.

The Wind

Valheim Wind

You will be able to tell the direction of the wind by a circular marker in the top right of your screen that appears when you pilot the vessel. Three lines will mark the direction the wind is blowing in correlation to your ship. You can tell if you are getting the benefit of the wind by the color of the three lines. If the wind marks are grey, you are not gaining speed. If the lines are white, you are benefiting from the wind. Using the W and S keys, you can choose what level of speed you operate the boat. There is a reverse, rudder only, half-mast, and full sail denoted by yellow and red arrows atop and below the steering wheel.


Valheim Speeds

When you interact with a boat to begin piloting it, the wind designator and a steering wheel will become visible on your screen. You can control the direction your ship is traveling in by using the A and D keys. How far you are turned in either direction will be designated by a yellow line that wraps around the circular steering wheel icon. If you see no yellow line, then the boat is traveling in a straight line.

What You’ll Find at Sea

Once you are ready to hit the high seas, there are countless adventures and loot waiting. However, there are a few things to look out for, and getting an idea of what they are will help keep you alive longer and increase your haul.


The scariest part of sailing the high seas in Valhiem is serpents. These incredibly hostile creatures are found in the open ocean and can spell disaster if not dealt with properly. When you see a serpent, the best course of action is to run; hopefully, with the wind, you can get away safely.


Not all sea creatures are hostile. Leviathan are massive ocean-dwelling creatures that are so large they appear as moving islands. These gentle giants are non-hostile and can be mined for materials. Be careful, though, as once you start harvesting from the creature’s shell, it has the chance to submerge and leave you stranded in open water. Before a Leviathan submerges, it will howl, and you will have 20 seconds before the big guy is gone.


By far, the most exciting part of sailing in Valhiem is exploration. Using boats gives you access to new biomes, bosses, and items that were previously unavailable. Finding these new areas is how you progress through the game and key to getting the most out of Valhiem.

Tips and Tricks to Remember at Sea

  • Boats have ladders in case you fall off or need to push.
  • You can use A and D to spin your ship when the sails are raised.
  • Boats can be damaged if they crash into land or other objects.
  • Mark where you park your boat, so you don’t lose it.
  • If the wind is against you, using only the rudder will allow you to still move forward.
  • Passengers can “Hold Fast” to prevent themselves from going overboard in rough waters.