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How to beat Valheim's first boss, Eikthyr, and find Surtling Cores

It's time to acquire your first Forsaken power.

Eikthyr the Stag is the first boss you'll encounter on your adventures in Valheim.

Loosely modelled on the Norse mythological figure Eikþyrnir, Eikythr is not found standing atop Valhalla nibbling leaves like his namesake. Instead, you'll need to summon him to his altar in the Meadows in order to fight him.

Defeating Eikthyr is an essential step in progressing in Valheim. Until you do so you can't reliably collect Surtling Cores, which are a vital resource for improving and expanding your crafting capabilities. You won't get very far without them, so besting Eikthyr in combat is a must.

How to summon Eikthyr in Valheim

Eikthyr won't just appear in game uninvited. That's actually quite considerate when you think about it, since surviving can be tough enough in Valheim without a giant mystical stag demanding you fight him to the death if you step into the wrong part of the map. So, when you're ready to face Eikthyr on your own terms, you'll need to summon him.

Eikthyr can only be summoned in one location: the Mystical Altar in the Meadows. Upon visiting this spot, you can interact with a glowing stone to the left of the altar. This should add Eikthyr's location to the map in case you need it for future reference.

To summon Eikthyr, you need to present two deer trophies at the altar. Equip the items into your inventory slots before approaching the altar to place them.

You get deer trophies from hunting deer, but it's an uncommon drop. Fortunately deer are also an excellent source of meat (for cooking) and hide (for crafting), so it's not wasteful if you have to hunt quite a few in order to collect the requisite trophies.

You can summon Eikthyr an unlimited amount of times, as long as you bring two new deer trophies to the altar each time.

How to defeat Eikthyr in Valheim

Valheim fans who've also played Assassin's Creed: Valhalla might have encountered a different video game interpretation of Eikthyr in the recent past.

However, they should still exercise caution when facing Valheim's Eikthyr, who's sporting some wicked chains wrapped around his antlers to clock you during melee attacks. Oh, and he's also got electricity powers, something notably absent from other versions of the character.

Eikthyr has two forms of lighting attack at his disposal: a forward-striking ranged attack, and a large area-of-effect attack. He can also lunge at you for a melee attack with the aforementioned souped-up antlers.

Fortunately, as first bosses go, Eikthyr isn't actually all that punishing. You should still take sensible precautions though — summoning him on a full belly after a good night's sleep to ensure your health and stamina are as high as possible.

Defeating Eikthyr is the first step towards developing more sophisticated weapons than bits of wood and flint stuck together — so naturally you can afford to take him on with some pretty basic equipment.

Your only defensive weapon at this point in the game will most likely be the wood shield, but that should be more than sufficient to block his attacks. Chip away at him in between attempts to attack you with whatever starting weapons you have at your disposal. You should find you finish him off pretty quickly this way.

Where to find Surtling Cores after defeating Eikthyr in Valheim

For the trouble you take to defeat Eikthyr, you'll be rewarded with the Eikthyr trophy and three hard antlers.

Equipping the trophy at a Sacrificial Stone gives you access to Eikthyr's Forsaken power. Activated by pressing 'F', it gives you a 50% reduction on your stamina drain for five minutes (with a 20 minute cooldown between activations).

Hard antlers can be used to craft the Antler Pickaxe, the game's starting pickaxe which is highly useful for mining.

Defeating Eikthyr should also give you access to the Burial Chambers in both the Meadows and Black Forest areas. These procedurally generated dungeons can be hard to navigate at times, but the ones in the Black Forest are the most reliable early source of Surtling Cores.

Follow tunnels down into the earth and fight your way past skeletons and ghosts to enter the Burial Chambers. Within, you should find Surtling Cores prominently displayed atop sticks.

You'll need plenty of those to construct a smelter, which begins the process of allowing you to craft with metals and eventually build a forge for much stronger armour, tools, weapons, and boats.

If defeating Eikthyr has you feeling ready to take on anything, check out our guide to battling the game's second boss, The Elder.

For more Valheim tips, here's our full guide hub.

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