What is Valheim? Gaming’s latest obsession

Have your friends been talking about Valheim non-stop for the past few weeks? Well, here are the basics of what you need to know about the game so you can decide whether or not it’s for you.

PC gamers have undoubtedly heard of the game Valheim, by now. At least a few of your friends have likely talked about the game or invited you to play. It’s exploding in popularity right now, but should you pick it up?

At its peak, Valheim reached over 364,000 concurrent players on Steam, shattering the expectations of its indie developer, Iron Gate Studio – Valheim is the studio’s first-ever video game release.

So, what’s all the hype about? Is it worth the $20 price tag? How long will this game hang around? We’ll discuss all of that, here.

What is Valheim?

Valheim is a new co-op, PvE-focused survival game that burst onto the scene on February 2, 2021. Within the first two weeks of its release, Valheim was already topping the Steam charts. At the time of writing, Valheim sits at number three on Steam, behind only CS:GO and Dota 2.

If you’ve ever played a game like Minecraft, Ark, or Rust, you know what to expect from Valheim. You will jump into a procedurally-generated world, hunt for food, build shelter, and survive. Like any good sandbox game, the developers allow players to create their own stories.

Each server will have a massive world for you to explore, complete with enemies, dungeons, bosses, and new materials to gather. Unlike a lot of other survival games, however, Valheim gives players a few clear objectives to complete. Instead of constantly wondering what to do next, subtle markers guide you along your journey.

You’ll probably still need to do a fair bit of Googling to find certain materials and strategies, but Valheim isn’t as hardcore as a lot of other games of its kind. This is evident in the survival aspect, as well. Hunger and temperature won’t take your life in this game like they would in games like Ark and DayZ.

The game is new, and we’re still getting into it ourselves – barely scratching the surface with the help of some friends who did much of the heavy lifting for us. Still, the general idea of this game is to survive, loot, build, explore, and advance.

As for the graphics, Iron Gate has opted for a unique style. The graphics are amazing on one hand and simple on the other. The pixelated nature of characters and the world is obvious, but it doesn’t take away from the sprawling beauty and awe-inspiring scale that the game has to offer.

Should you buy Valheim?

Whether or not you’ll enjoy Valheim will ultimately come down to personal preference. Have you sunk thousands of hours into Minecraft or PvE Ark? Then you’re going to love this game. If you like a PvP focus in your survival experience, then Valheim might not exactly be for you.

Your experience will also depend on whether or not you’re playing with friends. The game is designed to play with friends, making solo play a difficult and lonely experience.

The game is brand new, however, and is still only in early access. In other words, we’re experiencing the barebones structure of what Valheim will eventually become. With consistent updates and improvements, we could have another massive survival game on our hands.

We think it’s worth trying for $20, especially if your friends have already started a server. Another great thing about Valheim is that you can transfer your single character from server to server – inventory and all. You’re never handcuffed to one world. With the ability to create player-hosted dedicated servers, there isn’t much holding you back.

It will be interesting to see where Valheim goes from here. With so many one-hit wonders in the PC gaming space, Valheim looks like a game that’s poised to stick around. Let’s see where this goes.

Image Credit: Iron Gate

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