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Valheim Elder boss: how to summon and beat The Elder

How to find, summon, and defeat The Elder boss

Looking to find and defeat The Elder boss? Valheim's five unique bosses are tied to the game's progression, and The Elder is no exception. This gigantic tree-like creature is a powerful foe, but finding and defeating it brings great rewards that will help you with the rest of your journey. You must defeat the first boss, Eikthyr, before finding and fighting The Elder.

Our Valheim Elder boss fight guide will walk you through how to find, summon, and beat the Elder, as well as the rewards you'll reap after defeating this legendary foe.

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Valheim Elder boss location

Like all the bosses in Valheim, The Elder must be summoned at a Mystical Altar. While it's possible to stumble across such an Altar, it's very unlikely - so it's best to search for one of the glowing red runestones in the Elder's home biome - the Black Forest.

Your best chance of finding a runestone that will reveal the Elder's location is by searching the stone towers and burial chambers in the Black Forests. You'll likely find these structures in every Black Forest on the Valheim map.

You'll know if you've found the right runestone because hovering over it will reveal the word "Elder". Interact with it to reveal the location of an Elder Mystical Altar on the map.

A Valheim screenshot of a Greydwarf spawner, a source of Ancient Seeds found in the Black Forest.
A screenshot of a Greydwarf nest. Deal enough damage to this nest and it will be destroyed, dropping an Ancient Seed in the process.

How to summon Elder in Valheim

To summon the Elder, place 3 Ancient Seeds in the flaming bowl in the centre of the Elder's Mystical Altar. This is the meaning behind the cryptic phrase "burn their young" which appears if you read the runestone next to the Altar.

Ancient Seeds are found in the Black Forest. They can only be obtained by destroying the purple smokey Greydwarf nests that are scattered about the biome. These nests can be attacked like any enemy, and after sustaining enough damage they'll be destroyed and leave behind an Ancient Seed for you to pick up.

Once you've destroyed 3 nests and obtained their Ancient Seeds, head back to the location of the Elder's Mystical Altar. Place the Ancient Seeds in a stack on your hotbar, then place your crosshair over the flaming bowl and hit the corresponding number key to move the Ancient Seeds from your hotbar into the bowl.

After a few seconds, the Elder will be summoned into the world.

A Valheim screenshot of The Elder, the second boss, flanked by several Greydwarfs of different sizes and varieties.

Valheim Elder boss fight walkthrough

To make the Elder boss fight a lot easier, you should use Fire Arrows against it. The Elder is weak to Fire damage, so bringing a stack of Fire Arrows with you will make this fight shorter and less dangerous.

The Elder may put up a tough fight, but it's actually a very simple enemy. A towering tree-like bipedal figure, the Elder has three attacks which it switches between depending on its distance from its target:

  • If you get too close, the Elder will stomp the ground, causing AoE damage;
  • If no one is in range of the stomp, the Elder's main attack is a ranged attack which fires damaging vines in a conical spray towards the target;
  • Every so often the Elder will summon damaging roots from the ground which must be either attacked and destroyed, or avoided. If the player comes into contact with a root then the player will take damage.

To prevent this battle from getting any harder, I'd highly recommend you scout the area around the Altar before summoning the Elder, and make sure there are no enemies nearby such as Greydwarves or Trolls.

As for how prepared you should be, I would say you can take on the Elder if you have full Leather armor (preferably upgraded a little), a Crude or Finewood bow, and a stack of Fire Arrows with some regular Flinthead Arrows to use as backup in case you run out. You'll also need plenty of Stamina and HP, so try to give yourself enough food to get yourself above 100 max Health before summoning this boss.

A Valheim screenshot of a Mystical Altar for The Elder, the second boss. At its centre is a flaming bowl, surrounded by four pillars.
The Elder Mystical Altar. In the centre is the flaming bowl where you must burn the 3 Ancient Seeds. Around the bowl are four pillars which you should use as cover against the Elder's ranged vine attacks.

This is definitely a fight where use of the bow is essential. Stick to the four pillars around the Altar, because you can hide behind them to avoid the Elder's ranged attack. Whenever it summons the roots, just avoid them and run over to another pillar. Continue to attack from a distance with fully-charged Fire Arrows and you'll whittle down the Elder's health to nothing.

Elder Forsaken Power & loot drops

Once the Elder is destroyed, approach its remains to collect its unique loot: the Elder Trophy, and the Swamp Key.

The Elder Trophy should be taken back to the circle of stones at spawn and placed on the Elder stone to unlock the Elder Forsaken Power. This ability, when activated, gives you increased damage against trees for 5 minutes. It can be activated once every 20 minutes.

The Swamp Key is even more useful, as it enables you to unlock Sunken Crypts in Swamp biomes. These areas are your main source of Iron Ore, without which you won't be able to progress much further in Valheim.

And that's all there is to defeating the Elder and beginning the next chapter of your Valheim journey! Now that you've successfully bested the legendary Elder, why not play around with our cheats guide? If you're looking for more general help, be sure to check out our main tips & tricks guide.

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