Valheim’s new frost caves give Vikings a reason to love the Mountains

The long-awaited ice caves of Valheim have been added in the latest patch, giving the Vikings a few more reasons to visit the mountain biome besides collecting wolf skins and finding silver mines. I haven’t really spent much time in the mountains since defeating the Valheim Moder boss, but today I took a little walk to find a couple of new cold dungeons and face the enemies lurking inside them.

It’s dark, so take your torches with you. It’s dangerous, so bring a good selection of weapons with you. And consider crafting an extra set of armor to leave by your bedside: you might end up doing a hurried corpse run through the snow to collect your gear when you meet the new inhabitants of Valheim.

Note: will be some spoilers below if you want to check the caves on your own without knowing anything in advance.

The frost caves of Valheim closely resemble the burial chambers found in the Black Forest and the crypts found in the Swamp, consisting of narrow corridors and dark rooms with very little wiggle room. Frost Caves, however, are much more vertical. I’ve been in burial chambers that had a second level, but some of these ice caves can go down and down and down again. Distant wolf howls and ominous sounds of moving stones are added to the disturbing atmosphere. It’s fucking creepy in there.

(Image credit: Iron Gate)

And just like the other procedurally generated dungeons in Valheim, some of them are quite small and some are quite massive. The first frost cave I found was on the small side, and as I was breaking through the ice wall with my pickaxe, I encountered the first new frost cave enemy: a group of bats.

To be honest, bats are annoying, as are most flying enemies in games. They are somewhat similar to Walheim’s suicide bombers, only they attack you in small groups rather than alone, and thankfully they are nowhere near as deadly. The best way to deal with them is to block them with a shield, after which they will hover in place for a moment, giving you the opportunity to turn them into a pile of skin pieces. But they can also fly away from time to time and just hide nearby, which annoys me. You just know that they will fly in and attack again at the most inopportune moment.

Parts of the frost caves are just caves. They look like rough natural caves with some crystals to collect here and there (much nicer than killing stone golems for them). But other rooms are stone corridors, obviously handmade, and there are decorations such as braziers, altars, carvings, and furniture. There are also doors, which is good news for anyone who has ever found themselves out of sorts in a burial chamber. Slamming the door on a skeleton or ghost is a good way to catch your breath and spice up the fight, and that applies here in the ice caves as well, because there are worse things than just bats.

(Image credit: Iron Gate)

Get to know the Ulva, a kind of shaggy wolves, although they are not as difficult to fight as wolf packs in the mountains. There are a lot of ulvas in the caves, but on the other hand, they often doze on the floor, so I managed to land a couple of blows before they jumped up and attacked me. Yes, I squatted through the caves, not so much because I considered myself invisible, but because I was genuinely afraid to be there.

But Ulva and bats are not your main concern. That’s all I found in the first small ice cave I visited, but then I kept looking for snow peaks until I found the second cave. And there were some big surprises. After crushing several bats and Ulva with my mace, I opened the door. And I got the face of fire.

The true inhabitants of the frost caves are the cultists, another new enemy that looks like werewolves dressed in red robes, but, despite their hairiness, is not afraid of fire. In fact, they blow it right out of their hands at you. I don’t know what cult worships wolf gods and wields flamethrowers, but they seem to work in concert.

Even worse, after slamming the door in the cultist’s face, after recovering my breath and drinking potions of stamina and health, I flung open the door and rushed in with my iron mace. Unlike wolves and lives, which my mace is quick to deal with, the cultist had little to no concern for my blunt weapons. Luckily, I also had my iron ax, and its slashing damage did a much better job of damaging the cultist than a blunt mace.

This second cave was the big one I mentioned and wow. I just kept finding more and more stairs leading down and less and less motivation to keep going down them because these big caves are just packed with cultists, sometimes in groups of up to four or five people. There are too many mean two-legged wolves spitting fire from their furry paws for me to deal with.

(Image credit: Iron Gate)

However, I will definitely have to go back because I have collected a new resource called Fenris hair from all the hives I have killed. And, as you may know, touching a new resource in Valheim immediately shows you what you can craft with it. There’s a brand new armor set that I can make from the shaggy remains of the frost cave dwellers, the Fenris set, that not only increases your speed but also adds fire resistance. That sounds like what I need to deal with these mobs of fire-breathing cultists.

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