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Valheim: How to find and mine Iron

How to get Scrap Iron from Muddy Scrap Piles, and smelt it into Iron Bars

A Viking warrior stands in front of a large blue ogre in a forest in Valheim
Image credit: Coffee Stain Publishing

Looking to learn everything about Iron in Valheim? Iron is one of the strongest materials available in Valheim, and key to crafting a new tier of weapons, armor, and tools to help you survive and thrive in this challenging survival game. This guide will walk you through where to find Iron in Valheim, and how to smelt and refine it into powerful gear.

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How to find Iron in Valheim

To find and mine Iron in Valheim, you'll need to equip an Antler Pickaxe or Bronze Pickaxe, and head to the nearest Swamp. Out of all the biomes on the Valheim map, Iron can only be found in the Swamp. Your distance from the nearest swamp may differ depending on your choice of Valheim seed.

Scrap Iron can either be found inside chests inside Sunken Crypts (the dungeons of the Swamp), or by mining Muddy Scrap Piles. These Muddy Scrap Piles can be found only in two places: in the interior doorways of Sunken Crypts; and buried beneath the ground in random areas of the Swamp.

The Wishbone (a drop you receive from the third boss, Bonemass) will help you to find these buried Scrap Piles, but otherwise you'll need to head to these Sunken Crypts to get Iron.


How to smelt Scrap Iron into Iron

Scrap Iron by itself is not very useful in Valheim, so you'll need to smelt it into Iron. You can smelt Scrap Iron using a Smelter.

If you don't yet have a Smelter, you can make one out of 20x Stone and 5x Surtling Cores - the latter of which you can harvest from Surtlings, those fiery creatures found roaming Swamp biomes; or from Burial Chamber dungeons in the Meadows and Black Forests biomes.

Each piece of Scrap Iron will turn into a single piece of Iron in the Smelter. Just remember that you'll need to fuel the Smelter with two pieces of Coal for every Scrap Iron you want to smelt.

A Valheim screenshot of a Draugr wielding an axe and staring at the camera, with another Draugr in the background guarding a chest and a Vegvisir in a Swamp biome.

How to craft Iron Armor, tools, and weapons

Once you've finished smelting all your Scrap Iron into Iron ingots, you can start crafting a new tier of powerful Iron Armor, weapons, shields, and tools. Iron gear is heavy, but it more than makes up for its weight in effectiveness.

Here's the full list of everything you can make out of Iron in Valheim:

Iron Armor & Shields:

  • Iron Helmet
  • Iron Scale Mail
  • Iron Greaves
  • Banded Shield
  • Iron Tower Shield

Iron Weapons & Tools:

  • Iron Axe
  • Iron Pickaxe
  • Iron Atgeir
  • Iron Sword
  • Iron Longsword
  • Battleaxe
  • Iron Mace
  • Huntsman Bow
  • Ironhead Arrow
  • Iron Buckler (added in the Hearth & Home update)

Iron Structures:

  • Stonecutter
  • Smith's Anvil
  • Forge Toolrack
  • Reinforced Chest
  • Private Chest
  • Iron Gate
  • Standing Iron Torch
  • Wood Iron Pole
  • Wood Iron Beam
  • Iron Grate (added in the Hearth & Home update)

Misc Iron Recipes:

  • Iron Nails
  • Iron Cooking Station (added in the Hearth & Home update)

Note: to my knowledge, you (rather arbitrarily) cannot craft Iron Chains out of Iron. Instead, you must find these Chains in Sunken Crypt chests, or harvest them from dead Wraiths (also found in Swamps).


That's the end of our guide to finding and smelting Iron in Valheim. Now why not take a look at our Valheim building guide next, and learn about building stability, chimneys, and much more.

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Ollie Toms

Guides Editor

Ollie is sheriff of Guidestown at RPS, and since joining the team in 2018, he's written over 1,000 guides for the site. He loves playing dangerously competitive games and factory sims, injuring himself playing badminton, and burying his face in the warm fur of his two cats.

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