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Valheim: How To Open Sunken Crypts And Find Iron

by Daniel Tack on Feb 10, 2021 at 11:25 AM

If you’ve been roaming the world of Valheim, maybe you’ve come far beyond the Meadows and Black Forests and are ready to start exploring the more dangerous Swamp biome. Sure, the Swamp is crawling with advanced skeleton enemies, blobs, leeches, and more, but it’s also home to a number of Sunken Crypts.

Sunken Crypts are a small dungeon type, much like the Troll Caves or Burial Chambers you may be familiar with from the Black Forest. However, if you’ve just wandered into the Swamp from another biome without doing your homework, you may discover one unfortunate aspect to these Sunken Crypts. Unlike the dungeons before them, the Sunken Crypts are locked. Still getting started? Check out our starter kit here, our Black Forest delve here, and our introductory cooking class here.

Have no fear, these Sunken Crypts can all be unlocked with one non-consumable item held by The Elder. Yep. Basically, if you want to crack these crypts and continue with standard progression (without any very bold and incredibly dangerous sequence-breaking like sailing into the Plains biome, which I don’t recommend at all), you’re going to have to take down The Elder to crack into the many, many crypts located in the Swamp. One key will open all the gates you need, so you can open the door to many dungeons for your friends if they haven’t beaten The Elder, or you can tag along with someone else who has one.

If you’re playing with friends, absolutely tackle the Sunken Crypts as a group affair. The reasoning behind this isn’t because of the dangers involved, as a little careful and cautious gameplay within can keep you at a safe distance to the poison slimes and assorted skeletal melee combatants, but because of what kind of goods you’ll be collecting.

This is your first shot in Valheim to begin obtaining scrap iron to turn into iron, the next big tier of goods for improving your base, ship, tools, and armaments. Iron is a big, big deal. However, it’s also incredibly heavy. You’ll find big storage piles of iron inside chests inside the Sunken Crypts and also be able to collect it chunk to chunk in the large trash piles contained within. Bring your best pickaxe, as you must crush a good deal of rubble to maneuver inside these dungeon areas. Since iron is so heavy, once you find a good supply it may take several runs to ferry it back to your operating base depending on how many people you have working on it.

The preferred method of iron transport

Iron and other ores have a special property in Valheim that keeps things from getting too easy. You cannot bring iron through a portal. What this means is that if you have your big awesome base far, far away from the dangers of the Swamp, Plains, and other nasty biomes, you’re going to have to carry it home without the benefits of just walking through a portal. For most game travel, portals allow you to move from any point to another simply by walking through the magic door, so setting up a ton of them and labeling them properly is just good business. When moving large quantities of high-quality ore as we’re doing here, you’re going to want a good ship to cart them back to your main base.

As you investigate the Sunken Crypts, chances are you will also run into the next important runestone that locates on your map the next tier boss, the Bonemass. You’ll need withered bones to summon the Bonemass, which you can also find littered about the Sunken Crypts. Basically, your time in the swamps should be focused on crypt running and farming the surtlings outside for huge quantities of coal and surtling cores to have portal capabilities around the world. A portal room in your main base is highly recommended as you continue to explore the world further.

Are you playing Valheim? Let us know how your Viking journey is going in the comments below!

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