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Valheim Karve guide: How to build, for what use, controls and more

The Karve is the second-highest level of ship you can build in Valheim but it comes with some weird controls that players will have to master.
Valheim Karve guide: How to build, for what use, controls and more
At some point during your Valheim journey, you’ll need to make use of a ship to navigate the Ocean and small rivers. 

There are simply some locations that are only accessible by boat in Valheim’s procedurally-generated world. While this can be somewhat annoying if you only have a starter Raft, there is something you can do to make your watery adventures easier. 

That something is building a Karve, which is the second tier of ships in Valheim. 

Unlocking and building a Karve in Valheim 

Valheim Karve guide
The Karve is the best early-game boat you can access in Valheim. (Picture: Iron Gate AB)

To use the Karve, you’ll, of course, have to unlock it first. This can be done once you reach the Bronze Age, which starts after you defeat the game’s first boss, Eikthyr. After defeating the stag, you’ll have access to the Antler Pickaxe and the mining skill. 

Once you mine some Tin and Copper, smelt down the materials to make a Bronze bar. Take the bar to your Forge and you’ll have the option of creating Bronze Nails. Craft this item and you’ll instantly unlock the recipe to the Karve. 

To build the ship, you’ll need the following resources: 

  • Fine Wood x30
  • Deer Hide x10
  • Resin x20
  • Bronze Nails x80 

Obviously, that’s a hefty amount of resources but it’s worth it to be able to sail the open waters with ease. Also, this means you can successfully take on a Sea Serpent.

Once you have the materials to build a Karve, construct a Workbench near a body of water and bring out your Hammer to drop the ship into the water. 

When you want to take the boat out sailing, you need to access the back of the boat with the tiller. This will let you steer the ship but to accelerate, you need to hit “W”. There are three levels of speed and each can be accessed by hitting W twice. If you want to pull back on your speed, hit “S”. 

How to build a karve resources
A Karve is extremely useful for navigating Valheim. (Picture: Iron Gate AB)

To manoeuvre the waters’ turns, you can tap either “A” or “D” to move left or right. This can become quite tricky if you’re moving at maximum speed, so if you need to make a tight turn, decelerate, perform the turn, then speed up again. 

However, if there’s a wind in the air, turning won’t always work. If you find yourself not moving, look up and find the directional white lines. These indicate which way the wind is moving. In order to regain speed in wind, you need to accelerate in the direction of the wind, not against it. 

If you’ve done all of this, then you can successfully navigate the waters of Valheim.