How to Sail in Valheim

In this Valheim guide, we will tell you how How to Sail in Valheim. Essentially, how you can build a raft, sail it and its controls. Without any further ado, let’s get started.

How to Sail in Valheim

In the Viking-inspired world of Valheim, players can travel long distances through water, starting with a raft and eventually onto other seaworthy ships.

You cannot explore the whole world of Valheim on foot and you will need to travel on water.

The raft is one of the most basic vehicles that you can use to sail through water. It is not easy to sail on a raft and we will make that easy for you.

You can also use a Longboat to sail, but we will get into that in another guide.

Build a Raft

At the early stages of the game, a raft can be very useful in exploring the unknown. As you progress through the game, you can build bigger and better boats to sail through the water quickly.


To build a raft and sail in Valheim, you will need some materials.

  • A Workbench nearby
  • 20 Wood (Gathered from trees with the help of a pickaxe)
  • 6 Hide (Gathered by killing deer or boars)
  • 10 resin (Dropped by Graydwarves)

Once you have the required materials, perform the following steps to build a raft.

  • Stand near the water with a workbench nearby.
  • Select the Hammer from your inventory
  • Select the Raft from the Miscellaneous Tab.
  • Left click to drop the vessel into the water.

How to sail a Raft?

Building a raft is a piece of cake but sailing on it is not. Once you have built the raft, hop onto it, and interact with the rudder. The rudder will let you maneuver the ship.

The wind is very critical in your sailing. Sailing with the wind is easy but sailing against the wind is tricky.

Sailing Speeds
There are three speeds at which you can sail on raft slow, medium, and fast. You can also reverse a raft if you want.

Wind Direction
There is a compass on the right side of the screen through which you can know the direction of the wind with respect to the position of your raft.

Sailing with the Wind
Look at the compass on the right side of the screen and

  • If the wind symbol is white, that means that the wind is favoring you.
  • If the wind symbol is greyed out and the wind is blowing from the bow of the raft, that means the wind is against you and you have to use a rudder to sail. That will cause the sails to turn into the wind.

Sailing with the Rudder
The rudder is used to maneuver the ship. While in slow speed, the rudder can be used to travel into the wind and to turn the boat quickly.

  • Press W while holding the rudder to move the raft forward without the sail.
  • Press S until the Rudder icon appears to move the raft in the reverse direction without the sail.

Sailing with the Sail
Press W while moving slowly with the rudder to lower the sail

  • The raft will stop if you are pointed into the wind and the gust symbol is greyed out.
  • The raft will begin to sail if you are sailing with the wind.

If you want to travel against the wind or into the wind, players have to tack back and forth in a zig-zag pattern while keeping the sails at 45 degrees to the oncoming wind. Players also have to turn into the wind at each tack.

Sailing Controls

Steering the Raft
Pressing A or D will turn the boat. Pressing A will turn the raft to left and D will turn the raft right.

The raft will stop if your sails are down and you turn into the wind. To avoid this, you have to raise the sail while turning into the wind.

Stopping the raft
You can move the raft forward with W and backward with S. Pressing W key will lower the sail. You have to press S or W until the rudder icon is not showing and the sail is up.

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