We recently spoke to Iron Gate Studios about Valheim’s roadmap, and what changes are on the horizon for the massively popular Viking survival game in Early Access.
But as we’ve been exploring the world, sailing the seas, and battling bosses, we’ve come up with our own handful of ideas about what we’d like to see added to Valheim in the months ahead. Based on what we’ve been having the most and least fun with, here are a few changes we’d like to see for Valheim while it’s in Early Access.
This may very well be on the way with Valheim’s first roadmap update, Hearth & Home, which will include a focus on food preparation and new recipes. I just hope that includes new farming options, too. I’m happy growing my little plot of turnips and carrots, and I know there are some late-game farming options I haven’t yet unlocked. But it would be nice to have even more plants to grow and tend to for players who are just as content hanging around the base as they are sailing to the edges of the map.
There’s a tricky balancing act, though, when it comes to farming. While it would be nice if we could plant berry bushes and mushroom patches, and maybe even thistle, being able to farm these plants next to our forts could make certain parts of the game a little too easy. These are key ingredients in some of Valheim’s most important recipes, and having a farm generating rows and rows of precious berries and thistle could turn players into complete homebodies and negate the need for regular gathering missions. And that wouldn’t be great.
So, hopefully, if we’re granted the ability to grow new crops, it’ll come along with an added challenge. Maybe having to water crops (with a craftable bucket) or tend to the soil a bit more, or create specific conditions for each type of crop. You probably can’t grow mushrooms in the same patch as blueberries, right? I’d welcome added complexity and challenges for farming if it means I can have more of it.
Creative and hardcore modes
There’s already a sort of creative mode if you use Valheim’s console commands to enter debug mode, which allows for building without resources or restrictions (plus, you can fly). But a proper creative mode, like Minecraft’s, would be nice. Not everyone wants to get swarmed by greydwarfs while mining for copper. Heck, not everyone wants to mine for copper at all. A proper mode that gives you unlimited resources and lets you build to your heart’s content without facing threats from enemies would be attractive for people who just want to create interesting forts and settlements, or even just sail the world without getting killed because they floated a bit too close to a dangerous biome.
The flip-side would be welcome, too: a mode that makes Valheim even tougher. A mode with starvation, hydration, illness, broken limbs, food spoilage, and other challenging systems would give hardcore survival enthusiasts a new way to play. It could also be appealing for players who have beaten all the bosses but aren’t ready to move on to other games yet, and want a fresh start with some tougher challenges. There are a few Valheim mods that let players tweak systems for both easier or more difficult versions of the game, but official modes would be an excellent addition.
Equipment slots and hotkeys
I’ve come to really love and appreciate Valheim’s limited player inventory. As in survival RPG Outward, being faced with tough choices about what to bring with me on excursions adds to the feeling of adventure. Preparation before journeys takes me a while as I rush around to my various crates grabbing things from storage and leaving other items behind, stocking my ship’s hold with supplies but always taking care to leave enough room for what I might need to transport back. Having to create stashboxes in the wilderness when I get overloaded with resources, and make extra trips to collect everything, is just part of the fun. Every trip into the world feels like a proper mission, even if I’m just going out to collect a few minerals or explore a new landmass.
However! I would like to see dedicated inventory slots for my chest armor, leg armor, helmet, and cape, similar to the Equipment and Quickslots mod by randyknapp. I don’t even know why, it just feels more RPG-y that way than with my armor just sitting in an inventory slot alongside my collection of bloodbags and boar trophies. And having just recently perished in the mountains after running from a stone golem and into a pack of wolves, a few dedicated hotkeys for mead would be nice, too. It’s hard to open an inventory pane and slug back a stamina potion when I’m getting mobbed.
I mean, no shock here. We like to ride animals, and Valheim is no exception. Players are so desperate to sit on creatures they’re jumping onto deathsquitos and letting themselves be carried away into the unknown.
I’d definitely love to see wild horses or other mounts in Valheim, that we can tame (and name) and craft saddles for, that we can ride around the world and train to pull our carts. I can already envision players building lovely stables alongside their forts and farms, and… well, yes, players will probably also kill horses and cook them and eat them, so that will be one unfortunate side effect. I’m not sure we really want horses for use in battle—I’ve seen a deer running and it’s so erratic I don’t think sitting on a horse would be appropriate for a fight. But as mounts for travel and friendly pets we can adorn with saddles and blankets and love (and probably mourn when they die horribly), I think it’d add a lot.
You can’t move in Valheim without tripping over bleating deer and furious boars, but a few more types of wild animal, both passive and aggressive, would be welcome, even if they’re rare. Maybe especially if they’re rare! Imagine coming across a massive bear in the Black Forest, but only once every few weeks. Or occasionally seeing a giant squid or a whale while out at sea? It’d certainly change up the parade of greydwarfs and trolls you usually encounter in the forest or the one stubborn sea serpent that tries to bite your boat when you cross the ocean. I barely ever go fishing because the only thing to catch is A Fish, as opposed to a variety of different fishes. Maybe knowing there was a rare chance to pull up a special fish, or something more interesting, would have me break out my rod more often.
Steam Workshop support
This is probably a big ask, especially since it’s just a small team of five people currently working on Valheim, but it would be great to someday see Steam Workshop integration for Valheim. New mods keep popping up, and will continue to roughly forever, so being able to easily subscribe and unsubscribe to them would be a huge help for players. The community is clearly eager to share things with each other, especially cool forts, and I’d love to not just browse through a gallery of player creations but to be able to quickly download them while in-game and try them out in my own worlds as well.