Valheim is an easy game to fall in love with. The exploration, the crafting, the base-building, all of it had me hurrying through real-life tasks so I could get back to the Viking afterlife. I honestly didn't think I could be any more excited about it—and then I found out you could tame wolves.
To say I got a little carried away may be a bit of an understatement. Two wolves became three, became ten, then suddenly it seemed like my entire base—and the surrounding countryside—was inundated with the goodest of boys (and, apparently, girls). Before long, I had a small army that could take down invading trolls within seconds. But I got to thinking: Why stop at guard duty? Surely I could put my wolves to work some other way?
The idea came to me as I was browsing mods. I hadn't used any with Valheim, but it's cool to see what weird and wonderful things people have come up with. This time, a couple of mods caught my eye and immediately got me thinking about my wolf army.
The Beasts of Burden (opens in new tab) mod lets you attach carts to any tamed animal in Valheim. It also adds the 'follow' command to boars and lox, which is super handy if you hope to control where the contents of your cart are taken. Anyone that's played Valheim for more than a couple of hours knows how annoying it is to transport large amounts of material from one location to another. It's fun at first, especially when you discover carts, but it can become a little tedious after a few trips. It seemed that this mod could put an end to my problems—and put my wolves to work into the bargain.
The real icing on the cake, however, is the Mount Up (opens in new tab) mod. This one allows you to use any tamed animal as a mount. I mean, how perfect is that? Especially if both mods work together. I can already see myself riding at the head of a train of wolves, Frostner in hand, transporting precious cargo from one location to another. So with a plan firmly in mind, I loaded up my newly modded Valheim game.
After whipping up a cart at my nearest crafting table, I tried hitching it to a wolf and was surprised by how well it works. Just get the wolf to follow you so it's standing close to the cart, interact with the cart as you would usually, and it attaches to the wolf. And as a bonus, you can indeed ride a wolf pulling a cart by holding Shift+E. Now we're talking.
The only slight downside is that, despite having a vast number of wolves, I'm not able to put them all to work—not simultaneously anyway. Valheim restricts the 'follow' command to four animals by default. That's probably for the best—even four carts will take a fair amount of time to fill. Carts can also be difficult to pull over rough terrain, so I will choose a reasonably clear path across the meadows.
As it happens, I need more stone to finish building the walls around my harbour, and I know just the spot to gather some. I collect the materials I'll need to make four carts, put four wolves on follow, and head out. Once I've found a decent spot, I let the wolves wander as I set about gathering the stone and loading it into the newly crafted carts. I'm not going to fill the carts completely because that would take far too long, and honestly, I'm not sure how this will go.
As it turns out, attaching carts to multiple wolves isn't as easy as you might think. I initially had them all follow me, and secured the first cart to one wolf—easy, until it knocked over the second cart as soon as it turned to face me. I tried a few times to realign them all, but that just ended with a pile of overturned carts and howling wolves.
Once I'd untangled wolf from cart and put everything back in a neat line, I decided to change tactics. Putting one wolf on follow at a time, I attached the cart, then let them wander. I repeated this with the remaining three. Everything was going to plan until I mounted one and recalled the rest to me.
Wolves like to group up when they follow you, but they take up considerably more space when towing a cart. It started well, but then as they all converged behind me the carts overturned, suspending the wolves in the air. Okay, so four carts may have been a bit ambitious—I decided to try again with three.
This worked surprisingly well. After some initial shuffling, the wolves behind me settled on walking side-by-side, just behind the cart my own wolf was pulling. I kept a slow pace so as not to disturb the formation, and we made good progress. For a while, at least.
The first mishap was when I stopped to repair the carts, and one of the trailing wolves decided that it seemed an appropriate time to give birth. I'd fed the wolves before we set off to give them the 'happy' status—I didn't want to deal with disgruntled workers on the first trip, after all—but the wolves had other ideas. New life is a beautiful thing. But perhaps not so much when the new life in question's first memory is getting run over by a cart. The wolf cub was fine, and soon wandered off, so we continued on our way.
We'd only gone a little further when one of the carts got stuck on a tree. As I was pondering the least disruptive way to retrieve it, one wolf broke formation and ran off after a deer that clearly needed to be taken care of right now. Luckily, the cart followed, but both wolf and cart managed to take out several saplings and a small bush before the cart overturned and the wolf came wandering back looking embarrassed.
It took several minutes to get the cart back up the right way and attached once more, then several more to get the tree-bound cart and set the two trailing wolves to follow in the nice side-by-side formation they'd had previously. It didn't help when one cart hit a rock, tipped backwards, and pushed its wolf flailing into the air. Home was close though, and the rest of the journey went without mishap.
All in all, I think the experiment was a success—I managed to get the stone back to my base—though the carts were looking a little worse for wear towards the end. While I haven't started the industrial-scale wolf haulage operation I had in mind, there's still some fun to be found with these mods. It's certainly helpful to have a wolf pull an extra cart from one area of your base to another, and using them as mounts has so many possibilities when out exploring.
For now though, I'm going to let my wolves have a well-deserved rest. These mods were great to test out, but I think I will keep my furry friends solely for guard duty.