Valheim‘s world is absolutely massive. Not only is the world huge but the biomes in the world are proportionally large. That paired with a relatively small inventory and low carry weight (especially when metals are involved) makes for a lot of running. This is where portals come in. They allow for teleportation around the world. This is everything you need to know about portals in Valheim.
How to Gain Access to the Portal Recipe in Valheim
The portals technically become available after you reach one Valheim‘s Black Forest biomes, the second biome in the game. However, to actually unlock the recipe to build a portal, you need to gather a few of the materials.
The first is greydwarf eyes, which you’ll need 10 of for each portal. These are easily gathered as the greydwarves are the primary enemy in the Black Forest. They’re simple enough to deal with as they’re slightly stronger versions of the greylings from the meadows. You’ll gather these getting the other materials you need.
The Second Portal Material
The second material you need is fine wood. Fine wood is gathered by cutting down oak or birch trees in the Meadows. The only problem is you need at least a bronze axe to cut them down. Bronze is made from tin and copper ingots in a forge. If you need help getting into the bronze age, the Valheim Wiki is a great resource. You’ll need 20 pieces of fine wood for each portal.
There is another way to get fine wood before getting a bronze axe that involves a troll. First, find a troll close to a Meadows biome. Then have it chase you to a birch or oak tree. You can use the troll to break the trees and get fine wood without having to cut it down yourself. This is quite dangerous as the trolls can likely two-shot you at this stage of the game.
The Third Portal Material
The third and final ingredient for Valheim‘s portals are surtling cores. These can be obtained in two ways and you’ll need two for each portal. The first way is finding them in the burial chambers scattered around the Black Forest. This is the one I recommend going for as it’s a lot easier to deal with early game.
The second way is by killing surtlings around fire geysers which are found in the Swamp and the Ashlands. The Swamp is very dangerous with a large amount of deadly, poisonous enemies. The Ashlands are so far from where you’re starting it is not worth going to until getting a good hold of portals.
The fire geysers in the swamp are great for farming cores though as you can submerge the spawn point which makes the flaming surtlings die as they spawn. Remember you’ll need enough ingredients to craft two portals.
How Portals Work in Valheim
For portals to work in Valheim, you’ll need at least two. When placing them, you’ll want to have runes facing outward because that is where you’ll come out. Once a portal is placed you’ll have the ability to give it a tag.
The portal tag determines which other portal in the world this portal will connect to. Only two portals can be connected at the same time. However, a portal’s tag can be changed at any time. Keep in mind, portal tags are case-sensitive.
How to Make the Most of Your Portals
Because Valheim‘s portal system allows for tags to be changed anytime you don’t have to have a dozen portals at your main base. I’d recommend two portals. One portal would be for traveling away and the other would be for returning home.
The returning portal should have one tag. For my home portal, I use the tag “Return”. This means that any time I’m exploring or getting ready to set up a new outpost, I can just place a new portal, tag it as “Return” and be back at my main base.
The traveling portal’s tag can be interchangeable. This portal should be used for traveling between your different bases around the world of Valheim. The method I’ve found for keeping track of what portal goes where is by setting up signs next to the portal with a list of tags. Out in the world, you can have dormant portals with certain tags and then change this home base portal’s tag to the specific tag of the portal you want to travel to.
For example, I have a portal set up near Bonemass’ altar. If I want to travel to that portal, I can change my traveling portal’s tag to “Bonemass” and that will take me to his altar. Speaking of, if you’re having trouble with him, here is a guide to defeating Bonemass solo. It also helps to name the marker of the portal location you’re going to the same as its tag.
Where Portals Fail in Valheim
There is one major downfall to the Valheim portal system. That downfall is that you can’t take metals through the portal. This doesn’t refer to all metallic objects such as weapons, tools, and armor. Raw metals and ingots can’t be transported through portals. Dragon eggs also can not be brought through portals.
This means when you’re lugging around 300 pounds worth of metal, you can’t just portal back to base. The portals are great for traveling back and forth from these places but lack an important function in this. In the image below you can see that the ingots have an icon next to them. That indicates they can’t be teleported.
How to Get Around the Portal Flaw
Portals are not the only way to get around faster than running in Valheim. After reaching the Plains biomes you can tame a Lox. You can ride Lox and they ignore your carry weight.
Carts also ignore your carry weight in a sense but they’re no quicker than you’re running speed and liable to get caught on rocks. The Karve and Longship have storage, but they can’t go across the land.
Despite all of this, there is a way to travel just as fast as the portal allows you to with metal in your inventory. The trick is using your ability to close the game. When you save and exit the game in any way, your inventory is saved as is meaning your metals, even if you’re over-encumbered, stay in your inventory. There are two methods to using this to your advantage.
This is the method most easily found on the internet. Personally, I do not use this method but I’ve seen enough people using it that it’s important to mention here. The short version is that you save and log out with the metal in your inventory.
Then you enter another world, leave the metals in a chest, and log out again. Return to your main world go through the portal and once again log out. Then you log back into the world containing your metal pick it up and log out again. Finally, log back into the main world and there you are at home with your metal. For more info on it, check out this video from Mitt Gaming.
This method is the one I use as it is much simpler and quicker and doesn’t require so much logging in and out. The important thing to note about it is I am unsure of whether or not it works on PC. It definitely works on console though.
First, you have to make sure that you have a saved spawn point near wherever you’re trying to bring the metal. This is easily accomplished by setting it on a bed. Once you have your metals it’s very simple. Save your game but do not log out. Instead, just close the game. When you reopen the game and reenter the world, you will find yourself standing on the bed where you had your spawn point set. That’s it, one step and all your metal is home.