Valheim Raft - Controls and How to Sail in Valheim

Rafts in Valheim are the most basic way of sailing, and generally traversing across water in the game. They have their pros and cons, but considering you can get them earlier than more complex ships, you might want to figure out how to make and use Valheim rafts asap. Neither of these is immediately obvious, especially the raft controls. So, here’s our Valheim Raft – Controls and How to Sail in Valheim guide to clear things up.

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valheim raft controls and how to sail in valheim
Valheim Raft – Controls and How to Sail in Valheim

Valheim Raft Controls

The raft controls in Valheim are a little complicated. To move using the rudder, grab hold of it, and press W. An icon will appear above the compass, and the raft will start moving. In order to reverse, press S, and the rudder icon should appear again as your raft starts moving backwards. Both of these are used when the sails are up. Steering is relatively simple, since you have to use the A and D buttons.

Then, there’s the matter of lowering the sails. You do that by pressing W once or twice while moving slowly with the rudder. If your sail is pointing with the wind, you’ll begin to sail. On the other hand, if you’re against the wind, you’ll stop. And speaking of stopping, you can do that by pressing S and W until the sails are up and the rudder icon is gone from the screen.

Valheim How to Use Raft

To use the raft in Valheim, you first have to craft one. To do that, you’ll need twenty Wood, six Leather Scraps, and ten Resin. Approach the water, select the Hammer, go into the Misc tab, pick the raft, and put it into the water. Once that’s out of the way, climb onto the raft and interact with the rudder to start sailing. You can consult the descriptions of the controls above.

One thing that requires a little extra explaining is using the sail. Pay attention to the compass on the right, because it shows you whether the wind is favorable or not. If the icon is white, the wind is good, and you can sail in that direction. If the icon is grey, then you can use the sails to proceed in that direction; you have to rely on the rudder. You do have the option to kinda catch the wind and zigzag towards your goal, but the rudder is the simpler option.

A few more things that we have to mention above how to use the Valheim raft. One is that you can’t build any structures on them. Two, creatures like the Greydwarf and the Draugr can attack you if you’re near the shore. Lastly, the raft won’t capsize even in heavy waves, but it can get beached or stuck on rocks, if you’re not careful.

Author JoeTheBard profile picture
A language teacher and video game enthusiast turned rogue, Joe is on a quest to become the ultimate gaming journalist. This is somewhat hampered by his belief that the golden age of gaming ended with the PlayStation One, but he doesn't let that stop him. His favorite games include Soul Reaver and Undertale. Other interests are D'n'D, dad rock, complaining about movies, and being the self-appointed office funny man, which nobody else agrees with.



  1. J

    I get how to “stop” the raft. How do you let go of the rudder so you can get off?

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