How to get the Steel Pickaxe in Return to Moria

Return to Moria with these guides

(Image credit: North Beach Games)

Return to Moria fast travel: Move around the mine
Return to Moria coal: Fuel your fires
Return to Moria Muznakan Carvings: Praise the ancestors
Return to Moria Orc Keys: Raid enemy camps

The Steel Pickaxe is the first gear upgrade in Return to Moria that might leave you a little stumped. While making your way through the Elven Quarter, you’ll find your progress barred by a barrier of Compacted Dirt. The way through? Crafting yourself a sturdy Steel Pickaxe to dig a passage into the main Mines of Moria area.

The only issue is that you don’t have a blueprint for the Steel Pickaxe—or even Steel Ingots for that matter—and you’ll have to reactivate an ancient Dwarven forge to get your hands on them. Here, I’ll explain how to fix this forge so you can craft yourself a Steel Pickaxe and continue your adventures in Return to Moria.

How to repair the Great Forge of Narvi

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You’ll need to replace the missing parts of the forge by finding them nearby (Image credit: North Beach Games)

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If you examine the glowing spaces you can get blueprints to craft replacements too (Image credit: North Beach Games)

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Remember you can throw parts if you’re struggling to carry them up (Image credit: North Beach Games)

To get yourself a Steel Pickaxe, you’re first going to have to repair the Great Forge of Narvi in the Elven Quarter area. If you sneak past or fight your way through the Goblin Man camps, you should find it in the centre of the mini-region. The forge is missing three parts which you can recognise by the glowing spaces showing where they’re supposed to go. For me, both the Gear and Crank parts were lying about in the forge room, so I just grabbed and slotted them into place. 

The third part was a little more complex, though. If you go and examine the glowing space where the parts are supposed to be, you’ll get blueprints allowing to craft replacements. For me, the missing part was a Replacement Pipe. If you can’t find a part nearby, head back to camp—or your nearest available forge—and use some Iron Ingots to craft it. Now, you’ll have to carry it back and slot it in. If you’re struggling to get the part where it needs to be, remember you can quick build wooden platforms by pressing V or throw objects with R.

Before you slot the last piece into place, make sure you have a shield and a weapon, since repairing the forge will summon a horde of enemies—just keep moving and using your shield to survive. Alternatively, you can just run away back to camp to escape them. Now, you’re ready to craft some steel.

How to craft the Steel Pickaxe

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Re-activating the forge will unlock Steel crafting but also attract a horde (Image credit: North Beach Games)

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You can craft the Steel Pickaxe at either your home forge or the great forge (Image credit: North Beach Games)

Now the Great Forge of Narvi is repaired, you’re able to craft a Steel Pickaxe, but more importantly, you will have also unlocked the recipe for smelting Steel Ingots at a furnace. To craft the Steel Pickaxe, you’re going to need:

Three Steel Ingots: Each of these costs three Iron Ore and three Coal.Four Elven Wood: Chop down the trees in the Elven Quarter to get this.One Hide: Hunt a bear or the deer-like creatures in the Elven Quarter.

With all three in hand you can craft your Steel Pickaxe at a forge and use it to break through the Compacted Dirt barrier into the Mines of Moria area. The Steel Pickaxe also works on the Copper and Tin Ore deposits you’ll find there for your next set of equipment and camp upgrades. 

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