Valheim is a great game to solo, but it's even better with other players. Exactly how many other players might be changing drastically in the future, if one group of modders is able to bring their vision to life.
VaLNGOS (I'm not sure how to pronounce that, but it stands for Valheim Large Network Game Object Server Suite) is a project that aims to turn the 10-player co-op survival game into an MMO capable of hosting over 1,000 players on the same server. It sounds ambitious, but the team behind it already hosts a custom server called Comfy Valheim that can apparently support up to 64 players at once, so maybe a thousand players isn't that all that far-fetched. I recently checked out Bannerlord Online, a mod that turns Mount and Blade 2 into a surprisingly functional 1,000-player MMO, so it seems like anything is possible.
"By moving all server processing from player's computers to the server and using specialized programming languages designed for writing operating systems, the team is positive that even player counts in the thousands could be managed," reads an email from the modding team sent to PC Gamer.
VaLNGOS will include mod support, which sounds like an excellent idea. Comfy Valheim is a mod-free vanilla server, but with a thousand players I'd expect you'd want to beef up the game with some MMO-like mods. Maybe something like Epic Loot, or Valheim Legends, which adds six character classes with special abilities to the Viking survival game.
It sounds like it could be a neat way to play—I can imagine players building entire towns on multiple continents, creating player hubs, and setting up trading posts all over the world. It could also breathe some life into PvP, which is a bit of an afterthought in Valheim. Competing Viking clans could sail the seas in massive fleets to raid each other's settlements.
There's no word yet on when this server might be up and running, but we'll definitely be keeping an eye on it. You can find a few more details and a link to the project's Discord on the VaLNGOS website.