Valheim Raft: How To Build, Use & Sail

by Vlad
February 22, 2021

The Valheim Raft is your first method of transportation across the water in the video game developed by Iron Gate, and even though it’s quite basic, sailing or using the raft in Valheim is not.

As such, below we’ll talk about sailing in Valheim or, if you want, how to build and use the Valheim raft.

This simple watercraft is mandatory if you want to move between islands in order to expand your settlement or reach new biomes.

So let’s start by building one.

How To Build A Valheim Raft

To build a raft in Valheim, you’ll need several crafting materials and a Workbench.

The first thing you’ll have to do is to find a good spot for the Workbench, and that spot must be close to the water. Not on rivers, but on one of your island’s shores.

Remember that you have to be able to sail your raft, so building it on a small river or a lake that doesn’t have access to the ocean is not a good idea.

In the image below, you can notice that my Workbench is very close to the water.

Valheim Raft How To Build
Place the Workbench on the shore

If you remember from the Valheim crafting guide, the Workbench is a basic structure. You can place it anywhere, and it doesn’t need a roof or walls. So don’t worry about that.

The Valheim Workbench requires 10 Normal Wood (not Fine Wood). You can gather Normal Wood from branches, you can chop trees, or you can get it from other buildings.

Place your Workbench by selecting your Hammer, then the spot next to the water.

Good, now that we have the location, it’s time to get the required materials for our first Raft in Valheim.

Raft Crafting Materials

To build the watercraft, along with the Workbench above, you’ll need the following:

  • 20 Wood – obtained from all trees via chopping, branches, or other structures
  • 6 Leather Scraps – these come from Wild Boars. Just hunt them down; however, you can also find Leather Scraps in random chests or in Muddy Scrap Piles
  • 6 Resin – you can get it from falling trees, but the best sources are the Greydwarfs. These enemies spawn in the Black Forest Biome, and their number increases after you kill the first boss

Once you gather these materials, return to the Workbench, then select your Hammer.

Go to the Misc tab and then select the Raft.

Now, place it on the water, as you can see in my screenshot above.

Awesome. So you have your first Raft, but now you’ll need to figure out how to use it in Valheim; or how to sail.

How To Sail A Raft

The whole sailing process in Valheim may look a bit complicated at first; however, it’s quite easy to understand how it works.

But in order to use the Raft, first, you’ll have to be on it.

Getting On Your Raft

Assuming you placed your watercraft too far from the shore, or if you jumped into the water, you may notice that while swimming to your Raft, you won’t be able to get up on it by normal means.

Or you can’t simply jump on your Raft and sail away.

So, how do we get up?

Simply by using the ladder on the back.

You can see it in the screenshot below, and when you get close, all you have to do is to press E. Now you’re back on your Raft.

Valheim Raft How To Get On
Use the ladder to get on your raft

Valheim Raft Controls

The Raft in Valheim features several controls you’ll need to master fully.

In order to control your basic boat made of logs, you’ll need to use the rudder. You can see it below, and it’s next to the ladder we talked about.

Valheim Raft How To Use Sail
Full speed ahead!

Interact with it to take control of your Raft.

Now things get a bit complicated because you also have to control your sail.

To lower your sails, tap S several times, and to raise them, tap W.

W and S are also used to move forward and backward, but instead of tapping, you’ll need to press and hold these keys. To steer, you’ll use A and D.

Finally, you need to understand how wind works, which means that you have to know its direction.

You can see this in the picture above on the right side, just below the map.

The idea here is simple. The wind must always hit the back of your sail in order to move at maximum speed. As an example, if it blows from the left (west), your sail must face the right side (east).

And that’s it, friends! Now you know how to build your raft and also how to sail in Valheim!

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