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Game of the month: Valheim

Build a longhouse, explore the sea with your Viking boat, and play with your friends in Valheim

Text:
Daniel Haaf

Published:
26 March 2021

This article is written by PriceSpy's editorial staff. No one else has influenced the content of it. There are no paid links or other types of advertising collaborations.

Build a longhouse, explore the sea with your Viking boat, and play with your friends in Valheim

Valheim is an adventure game, similar to Minecraft, but with a Viking theme.

You have a huge, open world to explore, either by yourself or with your friends, and together you can build spectacular buildings, explore the sea in a longboat and take on the game's bosses.

When you open Valheim for the first time, you’re completely unprotected.

You only have the clothes on your body and nothing more. You have to gather food and firewood, light a campfire and build a small house to survive the first night. The first area is always relatively safe, but you are never completely safe (watch out for the wild boars!).

With the basics mastered, it's time to explore the vast gaming world, either on foot or by sailing. But be careful because the further away you get from home, the greater the risks.

Meadow, which is always the first area in Valheim, is not particularly dangerous. But as soon as you enter the Black Forest, it quickly becomes riskier for your little Viking. Here you’ll find both dwarfs, trolls and skeletons that can quickly make your stay very uncomfortable if you aren’t careful.

Important facts regarding Valheim

  • Game type: Action-adventure
  • Playing time: As long as you want
  • Size: 1GB
  • System: Only PC
  • Versions: Normal version
  • Game world: Open
  • Released: 2 February on Steam (Early Access)
This is what the graphics look like up-close.

Pixelated graphics but dazzling light

It’ easy to become careless in Valheim. Sure, the graphics are a bit pixelated in places, but the light is dazzlingly beautiful so don't be surprised if now and then you stop and just look out over the expanses. 

Just don’t stop for too long to watch the sunset, a troll can easily sneak up from behind.

When you die, a death totem is created that houses all the stuff you had on your body. To obtain them again, you must run all the way from the starting point to your totem again. But don’t worry, you can die several times without your totem disappearing.

Valheim opens up more and more to your Viking as you learn new abilities, swing more powerful weapons and meet more difficult bosses. You can make shields, drink protective mead, tame animals and build portals to bases far away.

It's fun to play by yourself, but much more fun to play with friends. Collaborate, challenge each other, and build your Viking world together. There can be up to ten players in the same world.

Valheim has been released on Steam as Early Access, and can be obtained here.

Valheim has stunning light effects.

This is what we think after 120+ hours of Valheim

I have played Valheim for more than 100 hours and don’t regret a single second of it. Huge buildings have been erected, trolls have been killed and longboats have sailed over foamy seas. This is a game that never seems to end.

Today I don’t play Valheim as much as when I first bought the game. But as soon as the first major updates are released, I know that my playing hours will easily be doubled.

It’s certainly noticeable that Valheim is an unfinished game. There are only a few enemies, a small number of area types and a lot of things just feel rudimentarily added or unbalanced. It doesn’t matter too much though as Valheim has a good foundation to stand on and there are many updates left before it’s finished. In addition, it’s great fun to play with friends and the feeling of repeating the same thing over and over again subsides a bit.

You will run a lot back and forth, get frustrated when you die a mile away from your house or when you fall down from your house construction for the thousandth time. But those are small challenges in an otherwise fantastic game.

Valheim has its shortcomings, but I can wholeheartedly recommend it for the price of it on Steam today.

This is what a simple base can look like after an hour or so in Valheim.

Plan your buildings

The first house you build doesn’t have to be particularly remarkable. Just raise a hut so you have basic protection for the night. However, when you want to build bigger homes - then it's time to bring out the drawing pad.

An indoor fireplace needs a hatch in the ceiling for the smoke, portals need free space both in front of and behind them, and workbenches need a lot of space around them when you upgrade them.

Just don’t forget to strengthen your building in the right places so that everything actually holds together well. Use piles under the floor and along the walls so you can build higher and longer.

Eat different types of food

You always start with 25 health points. To increase your health score and at the same time your endurance, you need to eat different kinds of food, for example berries, meat, drinks and vegetables.

There are 21 different types of food, all with different effects on your Viking’s health. Carrot soup, for example, gives long endurance but few health points, good when you chop wood or stone. Black pudding, on the other hand, gives many health points, which is good when you explore Plains.

You can eat three different kinds of food and have all three effects at the same time. When the effect starts to subside, a small food icon flashes, indicating that you need to eat again. Keep an eye on the health meter in the lower left corner.

Settle near water

If you want to be sure to have many basic resources right from the start, you should settle near water. You’ll find wild boar and deer to eat, flint and tin to make tools, and it’s easier to build a boat when it’s time for adventure.

A tip is not to build too close to the water’s edge. When there are storms in Valheim, the waves can reach much higher than when it’s calm. Water does not damage what you’ve built, but it’s not great seeing water flooding your building.

Another good thing is to place your base relatively close to the Black Forest so you have more resources nearby. Just watch out for the trolls and the weevils, and keep some distance.

Watch out for the trees

You will cut down large numbers of trees in Valheim. Planks are needed for your buildings, firewood for fireplaces and tools.

It's pretty straightforward to chop wood. Start by making a stone or flint axe, look for a tree and start chopping. But beware, the trees are fickle when they are felled, and if you are careless, they can kill you.

The physics engine in Valheim allows the trees to fall naturally and can pull nearby trees with them if you are lucky. If you are unlucky, you’ll be standing under them, and have to run to find your death totem and all your stuff.

Another tip is to never stand under a tree if you cut wood on a slope. Why is that? Trees roll in the direction of the slope and they don’t take into account who is standing in the way.

Minimum computer requirements for PC

  • OS: Windows 7 or later (64-bit)
  • Processor: 2,6GHz dual core
  • Memory: 4GB
  • Storage space: 1GB free space
  • Graphics card: GeForce GTX 500 or equivalent for AMD

Recommended requirements for PC

  • OS: Windows 7 or later (64-bit)
  • Processor: Core i5 3GHz or faster
  • Memory: 8GB
  • Storage space: 1GB free space
  • Graphics card: GeForce GTX 970 or equivalent for AMD

Four major updates are planned

As Valheim is far from fully developed, there are great opportunities for improvement. Iron Gate Studios has at least four major updates planned for 2021.

“In the finished version of the game, there will be nine different areas and a boss for each area, and we are investigating the possibility of adding mini-bosses and stuff. So yes, there will be more bosses”, says Henrik Törnqvist, co-founder of Iron Gate Studios.

Update 1: Hearth and Home

The first major update gives us more building blocks and a greater opportunity to make the buildings more personal. There should be more to do both around and inside the buildings, but it’s a bit unclear what that means. Hearth and Home will probably also include new ways to get food and have more recipes.

Update 2: Cult of the Wolf

If we have a decent idea of what Hearth and Home will look like, we can’t say the same about Cult of the Wolf. Here we know only a few details. The update focuses on exploring this vast world as well as the combat system. New collisions are also promised on your voyages of discovery, however, it’s unclear what this means.

Update 3: Ships and the Sea

After the two updates for landlubbers, Ships and the Sea follows. And just as the name suggests, the focus is on improvements in seafaring. There should be more to do on the seas and a greater opportunity to make boats more personal.

Update 4: Mistlands

Mistlands is an area in Valheim that you can already visit. But it’s completely empty of creatures and there is nothing you can do there except run around and explore. With this update, Mistlands comes to life with new enemies, new items, a new boss and much more.

Other news that is planned for the future is the introduction of black elves, more unique areas to explore, the opportunity to expand how many things you can have on your player simultaneously, and also moon phases. There’s also talk of interactions between players, tar pits and a so-called sandbox mode.

This article is written by PriceSpy's editorial staff. No one else has influenced the content of it. There are no paid links or other types of advertising collaborations. Daniel Haaf can be reached at [email protected]