One of the best things about playing Valheim is sharing it with friends. The game supports up to 10 players on a server, and anyone who owns the title has access to the tools necessary to host one themselves. This guide will show you everything multiplayer in Valheim, from local games to hosting dedicated servers and how to join them.
Local VS. Dedicated
The most significant distinction between types of Valhiem games is whether they are local or dedicated. Both variations function the same in terms of gameplay but are slightly different in how they are joined. The max player count is also the same for each, although you can limit that number if desired on private servers.
The quickest way to get into Valheim is to set up a local server. This is done by clicking the start button in the menu after you create your character. Next to the start button, there will be two settings you can access that give friends the ability to join your game. The first is a Start Server check box; this makes your game joinable for other players. The second setting is to launch your server as a community server. This makes your game visible to other players in the join game menu. When you choose to start a community visible server, you also need to set a password so random people can’t join your world. Remember to save this password because even invited friends will need it to join your game once set. Local games save on the computer of the person who created them and are only available when hosted by that player.
Mildly more complicated than local servers, dedicated games allow the world to persist even if no players are online. Larger groups can benefit from this because it allows anyone to play on the server without needing the original creator to be online. Dedicated servers can also help improve gameplay by reducing the stress on your PC hardware. Setting up a dedicated server requires that you download the server tool from Steam. That same tool needs to be running for the dedicated server to be active. To join the server, players will have to know the IP address and ports that the server is being hosted on. When in the Join Game section of the menu, there will be a button marked “Join IP” clicking this will enable players to input the IP address and gain access to the server. For the time being, you do have to do this every time you connect to the server.
Traveling Between Worlds
After you create your character in Valheim, you can freely travel between as many servers as you like. Structures and game progress will be saved to the servers you play on, but everything in your character’s inventory will travel with you, no matter where you play. This will allow you to share items with friends and freely travel between worlds without having to start over every time. You can join friends’ local games via invites or through the Join Game browser. The first time you join a friend’s game, you will be dropped at the starting spawn location. Once you craft a bed and set a spawn point, that will be where you spawn after re-joining in the future.
There are multiple ways to join friends’ games when not entering a dedicated server IP. In-game, you can go to the Join Game tab of the menu and search for your friend’s name before entering the password and joining the server. If that option is not working for you, there are other ways you can play with friends through Steam. By activating the Steam overlay, you can see your friendslist, there you can right-click and either join or invite that person to Valheim. Remember that the world and game progress is saved to the person who started the server. In order to continue your progress, that person needs to host again.
Once you’re on a friend’s server, sharing items with them is incredibly easy. All you need to do to give a friend an item is drag it out of your inventory and drop it on the ground. The other player then needs to walk over or look at the object and press E to pick it up. If you drop an item on accident, you will need to press E to pick it up again, as walking over it will no longer work.
On local servers, save settings are determined by the player hosting the game. Typically, the game world will autosave at regular intervals, and it is barely noticeable to players. There is no manual way to save the game currently, but every time the host quits the game, the server will save automatically. Every time an autosave or quit save occurs, all the items in your inventory will remain on your character no matter what server you play on next.
Pros and Cons
No matter what kind of server you play on, there are pros and cons. Certain play styles may be better suited to one option or the other. Knowing each’s strengths and weaknesses will help you determine which is best for you and your band of Vikings.
- Always online so anyone can play on the server, solo, or with friends.
- Shared game progress allows for multiple parties to progress the story or add to the world.
- Reduced hardware requirements make players on the server experience smoother gameplay.
- Extensive setup can take up game time.
- Updates need to be applied manually, and the server may need to be reset to do so.
- Server maintenance can make the game unavailable at times.
- Quick setup lets you start playing right away.
- The game world waits for you.
- Easy to join and travel between worlds.
- Heavy resource requirements can slow gameplay.
- The server has to be online in order to play.
- Game progress saves to the host’s PC.