Valheim Hearth and Home is here and it's brought the players back

Valheim Hearth and Home is here and it's brought the players back

The first major content update for Valheim, known as Hearth and Home, is here, and it's brought the hoards of vikings back to its afterlife realm in the greatest numbers since the game's momentous launch earlier this year. Although not an enormous addition in terms of places to explore and things to see, it adds a number of new items, especially foods and cooking stations, and there are heaps of qualtiy of life improvements that makes the game that bit better and closer to its eventual 1.0 release.

The most expanded mechanic in Hearth and Home is cooking. There are several new cooking items and station elements which require upgrading to, in order to make some of the fancier in-game food. You'll want to explore it too, as now food plays a big part in impacting how you play and fight. Tanky players who want to take all the hits will want to stock up on food, as it'll give them greater staying power and blocking power in fights.

More nimble fighters, however, will want more stamina, because it'll give them the ability to deal out more damage for longer.

Most foods will now offer more of one or the other, so you can't be tanky and quick on your feet, making food an important consideration when you're taking on the next boss.

You'll also encounter a new stagger system in combat, so if you take too many hits, or block too many, you'll be staggered, just like your enemies, making you vulnerable to attack and you'll take greater damage if hit while staggered too. Watch that stagger bar.

There are also a bunch of items and new building materials you'll want to play with in Hearth and Home, so go explore Valheim once again and see what you can discover. Iron Gate recommends starting a new game, but you don't have to. You'll just need to visit new parts of the world to see the new stuff.

All of this has brought Valheim concurrent players to a recent peak of 66,000 at times. That's not a patch on the half a million who were playing in February, but compared to the usual 28,000 or so players, that's a bit uptick.