What you need to know
- Valheim is a Viking-themed survival game currently in Early Access on Steam, from Iron Gate Studio and Coffee Stain.
- The team has been working on Valheim's first major update for a while now, and release day has finally come.
- The 'Hearth and Home' update is rolling out to Valheim players now with a ton of improvements and new features.
- Highlights include new building pieces, the ability to name tamed pets, changes to the Plains, and much more.
Our list of best PC games is a competitive place, but Valheim makes a good case for it as one of the better survival games on PC right now. Today, Iron Gate Studio and Coffee Stain are finally releasing the long-awaited Hearth and Home update, Valheim's first (hopefully, of many) major releases during its Early Access tenure. Hearth and Home includes a ton of new features and changes to look forward to for players, including all-new building pieces, weapon improvements, naming pets, new Plains features, and much more. There's also a new trailer to celebrate the update's release.
As the name suggests, Hearth and Home places extra attention on the players' homes in Valheim, and features all-new building pieces and furniture, ways to plant additional trees, new food items, new weapons and weapons balancing, and more. There are also a ton of general quality-of-life improvements like new graphics settings, bug fixes, and more. All-in-all, this is a major update for Valheim players, and even includes more new features beyond the changelog, especially in the Valheims Plains area.
You can find the full changelog for Valheim's Hearth and Home update below, or go download the release on Steam right now. If you haven't played Valheim yet, and are interested in one of the best PC survival games you can play right now, be sure to check out our Valheim beginner's guide for some tips and tricks on how to get started.
The full changelog for Valheim's Hearth and Home update includes:
- Weapons rebalanced (all weapons have been rebalanced to be more viable as main weapon and also have more unique playstyles)
- Blocking system overhauled (current maximum HP now greatly affects your ability to block attacks, stagger bar GUI added)
- Naming tamed creatures
- Gamepad sensitivity settings
- Auto-pickup toggle button added
- Graphics settings (active point lights & active point light shadows)
- Tamed creatures affected by friendly fire setting (i.e you can't hurt a tamed creature unless you enable friendly fire or use the new butcher knife item)
- Various other improvements and bugfixes
- Food rebalance (most food items now give mainly stamina or mainly health to make food choices more interesting)
- Food GUI overhauled to work better with the rebalanced food
- Over 10 new things to eat (actually 12)
- Tamed Lox now have a purpose
- Slimy locations & creatures added to plains
- New plantable seeds: birch, oak & onions
- New weapons: crystal battleaxe, silver knife
- New shields: bone tower shield, iron buckler
- Butcher knife (special weapon for butchering tamed animals)
- Thunder stone (sold by trader)
- Lox accessory
- New Darkwood building pieces like shingle roofs, beams, decorations and more
- New types of furniture, including but not limited to a mighty stone throne and a steamy viking hot tub
- Crystal walls
- New types of stacks to show off your treasure and resources
- Cauldron improvements: spice rack, butcher's table, pots and pans
- Cartography table (for sharing map-data with other players)
- Oven added (for baking bread and pie)
- Obliterator added (items be gone)
- Iron cooking station (required to cook some types of meat)
Paradise or purgatory?
Valheim (Early Access)
A thousand generations of wisdom
Valheim won't hold your hand, so it's going to take cunning and wisdom to stay alive in this epic Viking-themed survival adventure game.
Zachary Boddy is the Minecraft Expert and a News Writer for Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life, and have been freelancing for Windows Central and its sister sites since 2019, with a focus on Xbox and PC gaming. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.
Best game to play in the last year.
Unfortunately, the update makes the game significantly more difficult. The center of the problem is the reworked health/stamina system, where you now need to choose between food for melee (high health = blocking) or food for ranged (high stamina = running and dodging); you can no longer be adequate at both at the same time. Stamina also decreases much more quickly - fire off two arrows and your stamina will be depleted. Bosses are not affected by any of this, so if boss battles were difficult before, they're practically impossible now (I'm looking at you, Moder).
An addendum to that: the developers released a patch within the following day which rebalances food buffs, reduces archery stamina use, and helps make the game better again. They've got a small development team who, I think, were completely unprepared for the game's whirlwind popularity, but they're really doing a good job of being responsive and continually improving Valheim.
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