Valheim’s Hearth and Home update has officially arrived for the early access sandbox

    
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First announced back in June, Valheim’s Hearth and Home update is finally upon us, and before you ask, the multiplayer survival sandbox game has still not exited early access, although it’s pretty cheap right now – $15.99 – on Steam if you’re so inclined. Hearth and Home is a pretty hefty update, particularly for crafters and builders:

“Focusing on enhancing the core base building and survival mechanics of the critically-acclaimed hardcore co-op survival game, the Hearth & Home update gives players even more tools to create the longhouse of their dreams and cook up a feast fit for an Aesir. […] While many features introduced in Hearth & Home have already been revealed by the development team on Steam and social media, not even Odin has spied some of the new features being added with the update, including something dark and mysterious that seems to spread across the plains. Builders and architects will surely toast the gods, as a slew of new Darkwood and stone building pieces will be available to players at launch. Whether it be Darkwood beams and poles decorated with intricate viking embellishments, a new Darkwood roof type and ornaments, or a stone throne for those who rule with an iron fist, Valheim’s building system will now offer an expanded selection of pieces to spark players’ imaginations as they build their settlements.” [Emphasis ours.]

There’s gobs more, including pet naming, map sharing, new plantable trees, the “obliterator extension,” cooking enhancements, new meat and food types, food overhaul, new gear, and so on. The studio is still riding pretty high on having hit 500,000 concurrent players on 7M sales last winter; while it hasn’t quite reached those highs since, it’s still seen almost 50K concurrent players on Steam just in the last month, not that far away from blockbuster survival title ARK Survival Evolved – a very good sign indeed.

Source: Press release, Steam, patch notes
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IronSalamander8 .

It’s not a bad game but it never grabbed me like it obviously did many others, although I checked the Steam charts out of curiosity thanks to Fisty’s comment below and it’s peak was very high, but it lost a lot of that population although it’s certainly not in bad shape.

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Dankey Kang

It’s good now, but it’ll be a very good game in a few years (think of it like Terraria which started off barebones, and is now one of the best games ever imo)

That aside, I had pretty low expectations for this patch and I’m still disappointed. 8months for a few housing items, some weapon balancing and a handful of QoL changes.

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2Ton Gamer

Valheim is a great game, but it more than some suffers more from survival burn-out and lack of replayability. This update, while cool is not enough to really bring me back.

You mentioned Ark so let’s compare why Ark is better in terms of replayability. First and foremost at least for PC players are mods. Ark did a smart thing supporting mods early on. All of the things in this Valheim update are things that modders added into Ark within a month or so of it being out so before anyone got burned out there was something else to do. Also the Ark devs were better about putting out QoL updates frequently and often introducing new dinos, weapons and building materials early and often. I know that Valheim was created with a very small team, I am simply stating why it has not had as much long-lasting appeal as Ark did. This update offers very little to entice people who played it for 4-6 weeks and left to come back, but I do hope it comes out with new biomes and more content soonish…

Fisty
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Fisty

While valid, steamcharts disagrees.

EmberStar
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EmberStar

I just checked. For most of the time since the initial hype swarm ended Valheim has been at around 20,000 to 30,000 people per day on Steam. Which is really good for a survival game, I think. Especially one in Early Access that’s clearly not “feature complete” yet. Ark tends to wobble around at the 30,000 to 40,000 mark.

For comparison:
7 Days to Die: 20k to 30k
Raft: 7000
Space Engineers: 6000

And just for laughs
Atlas: 1500

*Edit* Valheim jumped from “around 25,000 people per day” to nearly 60,000 with the patch. And has held at that level for a couple of days. I’d say that’s a success, even when it starts to drop off. Because it means right now, there’s still a *lot* of people paying attention to this game to want to jump in on even a relatively “content free” patch.