How to survive enemy invasions in Valheim

The forest is moving...

Despite the seemingly passive setting in the Valheim Meadows biome, threat looms around every corner. It’s easy to burn or drown yourself, and chop a tree onto your squishy body. The most unpredictable death of the lot is getting swarmed in an enemy invasion. These enemy events will happen randomly and at an instant, and will catch you when you least expect it. We’ll cover some of the best ways to defend and survive enemy invasions in Valheim.

Beware: there are spoilers for late-game enemy types below!


Depending on where you are at progression-wise in Valheim, certain enemies will spawn with the sole purpose of breaking your home and body.

There are two types of invasions: story-based events and enemy-based events. Greydwarfs and Greylings will spawn in the early game, and this would gradually escalate to Draugrs, Skeletons, Trolls, Surtlings, and even Drakes.

The moment these events happen (invasions as we’ll call it), a giant notification will pop up on screen saying something along the lines of “The forest is moving…” or “A cold wind blows from the mountain”. There are variations based on where your progression is at.

When these invasions happen in Valheim, a transparent circle with an exclamation mark will pop up on the map and remain there until the invasion is over. The trick is to survive!


Kiting isn’t the best strategy by any stretch, but it’s definitely a viable maneuver to keep enemies from your base. The trick is to pull aggro and make enemies follow you away from the invasion destination. Try your best to pick them off one by one instead of fighting them in one large group. If you can establish a distant defensive post – like on top of a watchtower or across a moat – that might be the most effective way of kiting enemy invasions in Valheim.

Island Fortresses

It’s a big ask, but sometimes it’s better to put in the work for a heavy duty island fortress. If you build your ground foundation tall enough while maintaining a large surrounding body of water, you’ll have better odds of defeating the swimming enemies trying to raid your base. Add some huge walls while you’re at it too! The easiest enemies to kill are the ones who can’t land a hit on you, after all.

While creating bridges to the shore, try creating janky pieces that don’t fit seamlessly into the bridge. Any floor misalignment can mess with the Valheim enemy AI and prompt them to swim to your location instead of crossing the bridge.


Spikes are essential for slowing down enemy invasions in Valheim. Will they kill most of the raiding monsters? Probably not, but the spikes take out a fair amount of health. Just sit back and watch the spikes knockback and minor stun for anyone trying to run through, and fire away with a bow and arrow.

Watch Towers

Watch Towers are a classic defensive point from which to watch out for enemies. With that said, there should never be a person stationed as a dedicated Watchperson, because that’s super boring. Use tall elevated buildings like these to serve as a safe haven from which you can launch volleys of ranged attacks at incoming enemies.

At very worst, use it as a place to recoup stamina or health. It’s not like most of the enemies could climb stairs or a ladder (*knocks on wood, hoping that doesn’t get changed in a future patch*).

Valheim – Don’t fuck with the Forest from valheim

Health food chests

When we say health food chests, we’re not talking about kale chips or avocado smoothies. We’re talking about leaving chests filled with some food in strategic defensive places around your case. There might be a personal emergency of getting the snot beat out of you by some Draugrs or a troll, and in those cases you’ll need some health ASAP. If you’re farther along and can generate health potions, these are also the chests to put these potions in.


Similar to what you get with an Island Fortress, creating a moat with a deep drop can slow down invading enemies or prevent them from getting to you. Creating a giant ditch will feel like a waste of time as you’re digging away, but these moats can end up paying off when you have some separation between you and the enemies.

The only catch is making sure you’re not falling in there yourself – so create a janky bridge that only you and your fellow vikings can cross.

Stay tuned to SQUAD for more Valheim content!

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Aja Jones

Writer from Toronto, Canada. Can taste the difference between Coke and Pepsi. Learned how to play drums through Rock Band. Named after a Steely Dan album.
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