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The Valheim community continues to make crazy-ass forts

Even the dirtiest, meanest Viking knows the importance of apartment therapy. After a long day of mining iron in the muck of a deep swamp crypt, you need somewhere warm and bright to come home to, a place where you can grab a horn of mead, a bowl of carrot stew, and truly unwind.

For me, home is a wooden shack with a single torch the greydwarves want nothing to do with. I am not sure what their deal is. But with talented architects now a month into Valheim, we're seeing homes with true square footage and lovely interiors crop up every day. I'll never be able to afford places like this, but for once it's not because I don't have enough money. I just don't have enough time or talent. What a relief.

Unlike Steven in his last Valheim home survey, I don't have a weird obsession with Architectural Digest, but I do think about buildings sometimes. How did they get there? What are they for? Did a prison architect design this? As an apartment dweller doing his best to maximize the form and function of tiny spaces, my critiques will feature 80 percent fewer comments about converging beams drawing my eye and virtually no instances of the phrase "open concept." Unfortunately for me, Valheim doesn't have any way to construct houseplants or Ikea furniture. Let's get to it. 

An oasis in the plains

I wanted to try something new apart from my usual uninspiring bases and I have to say this one isnt too bad at all from r/valheim

Estimated worth: Countless human lives

If AirBnB ever makes it to Valheim, this place will be a hotspot. It's a simple design, elevated by its windy plains setting and humble permaculture focus. This ain't a fortress for adventurers or warmakers. It's an old farmstead, updated and kept functional. Besides, what better defines extravagant modern leisure than going somewhere no human should live and staying in an ancient house there? Deathsquitos won't stand a chance against these walls. And should you remember that you're in the plains and actually decided to live here, why not step out into the arboretum, where our gracious host and architect planted a little forest? 

For anyone praying for death or fresh air, take a stroll to the gardens, where organic carrots and turnips are grown and prepared for a fresh meal, every meal. You'll never tire of stew. You won't have the choice to tire of it. And if you're brave enough to stay exposed in the plains for more than a minute at a time, swing by the bee fortress, where our host's bees are keeping buzzy making honey and also planning a coup. Yes, the bees built those walls and spiked defenses themselves but they're worthless out here. Fuling berserkers are like eight feet tall and have one helluva sweet tooth. We're in the plains, in case you've forgotten. 

Public Treensit

(Image credit: Iron Gate )
Friends: "build a.... wait what?!" Me: "I present to you... PORTAL TREE!!" from r/valheim

Estimated worth: The confidence of all the other smaller trees nearby

Building looks like a tree. And that's the magic of buildings. They can look like other things. Necrotex understands this better than most players because they figured out how to use a fairly limited toolset to make something with smoother curves than any object in Valheim. It's not all tangled roots and moody green lighting, either. 

The crown of branches up top serves as a scenic portal hub, the kinda thing I imagine Gandalf would get a kick out of. But deep within the heart of the tree burns a raging fire, more portals orbiting its ominous glow. I like to imagine these all go to the swamp and plains while the crown portals all lead to pleasant biomes and dedicated party longhouses. Anyone else reminded of the cursed tree from The Witcher 3?  

Hagrid's Hut

Haven't seen too many Harry Potter builds, tried my hand at creating Hagrid's Hut! from r/valheim

Estimated worth: The simple life? Priceless. 

All I know about Harry Potter is what I remember about the last two movies filtered through a little too much box wine. It was dark and I had to squint to make out the faces, just like I have to squint to make out the silhouette of this homely little hut modeled after Hagrid's hut by Reddit user Niytrus. It's not much to look at from the outside, but hey, my apartment building was tossed up in the '70s and looks like a chunk of the Dover Cliffs fell off and landed in a parking lot. Valheim's a harsh place, so we should expect some rough exteriors. Inside though, good lord, we've got a winner. Welcome to Cozy Prime. 

The small space works in the hut's favor, the cold grey stone overwhelmed with fur rugs and orange light playing off the hearth and torches lining the walls. It's a space that actively feels like it's beating back the cold, and with ease. Nothing is wasted. There's plenty of storage in arm's reach on shelving around the perimeter, making space for a workbench and forge, with their upgrades arranged decoratively. The tool rack above the fireplace is a nice touch. Banners give the space some color, particularly in the bedroom where they're paired with decorative shields and weapons as a nice expressive touch. Most Valheim homes are feats of engineering and ingenuity, but this is a humble home I'd actually want to live in. 

The human touch

Valheim homes

(Image credit: Iron Gate )
200 hour solo base no cheats from r/valheim

Estimated worth: If these walls could talk they'd give us a quote

Eat the rich! I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I see a construction this big and it's my first instinct. Even though I desperately want to tag FallenQsnow's fancy base with the runic symbol for anarchy, I won't because it took them 200 hours alone to piece together this ritzy estate. This is a solo project, folks. Strict uniformity giving way to a chewy human center is the highlight of this build. The walls feature the same walkway barrier design at the top, and the towers balance out the base's uneven shape, each wrapped in an imposing wheel of teeth. The ornate design gives the impression of order and power, a simultaneously welcoming and intimidating fortress for passersby. 

Most impressive, though, is how the uniformity gives way to a more casual, natural mess of buildings inside. Besides some impressive latticework within, the village itself doesn't look like it's laid out with much intent. The buildings are crowded and angled without uniformity, but not so close or carelessly that getting around would be a pain. It just looks like how a village would naturally progress from the first log to building five. I love that you can see the history here. Something's lost in a big, meticulously planned development, impressive as they are. 

Valhallywood

Under rock builds seem to be the new thing. My WIP home so far. from r/valheim

Estimated worth: A big house can't buy you friends

I know Valheim is a good survival game because I regularly see people taking on ludicrous challenges for the sake of it. Take Fyxate's home, for example. They carved out a damn mountain to make it. The front door swallows you whole, with planks forming a symmetrical tangle of arms that look like they're about to clamp down on the next person passing through. It's not exactly a welcome mat, but hey, I'm not a Viking. The first floor looks right out of the Hollywood hills, a space built for the nice view and entertaining guests. There's plenty of room to roam and eat and wrestle bears, but it does all feel a bit ostentatious. 

A quick trip downstairs and I'm back in. Fyxate chipped away at a sizable chunk of mountain to build a bedroom that juts out over the edge of it all. It makes for one hell of a bedroom, hanging out over the open air, a few logs the only thing between a great night of sleep and a very bad night of sleep in which you tumble down the mountain and invariably die. This is excess done right. 

James is PC Gamer’s bad boy, staying up late to cover Fortnite while cooking up radical ideas for the weekly livestream. He can still kickflip and swears a lot. You’ll find him somewhere in the west growing mushrooms and playing Dark Souls.