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No, birds are not flying away with boats in Valheim

Valheim
(Image credit: Iron Gate Studios)
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There are plenty of strange sights in Valheim, from the mysterious shadowy stranger (opens in new tab) to the occasional Millennium Falcon (opens in new tab). But there's recently been a new sighting in the sky, and it definitely shouldn't be there.

Some players have reported (and recorded) ships flying around in the air, which isn't typically a thing ships should be doing. We're not talking about the ships being deliberately launched by sliding them down mountainsides and off ramps (opens in new tab). We mean boats simply just taking off and zipping around in the sky like airplanes:

The Flying Dutchman - an absolute staple of Norse mythology. from r/valheim

Rumors quickly spread that the reason the boat was flying was because a bird had landed on it, and that somehow transferred ownership of the boat to the feathered creature. When the boat-owning bird took off, it carried the boat with it. At least that's what some players said.

But that's apparently not the case. We emailed Iron Gate Studios about the rumor, and their PR representative told us the bird isn't actually picking up the boat and taking it for a spin.

"Haha," reads the email response. "We’ve had a few queries on this. Nope, I’m afraid it’s not real."

No suggestion was given as to why boats might be flying around, however. In fact, you can actually see a bird in the boat at one point in the clip above, though Iron Gate didn't comment specifically on why that might be the case. All we know is, an AI-controlled bird isn't controlling the ship.

So, what's happening? I tried using Valheim's debug mode (opens in new tab), a cheat which lets you fly, but I still couldn't carry my ship along with me. Is a player using some sort of flying mod on a server? It wouldn't be the first game where a mod could be used to inhabit the body of an animal (opens in new tab) in an open world game. We'll update this story if we learn more.

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.