New Valheim update brings world modifiers, creative mode, and finally lets you see your hair with a helmet on

Two characters talk to each other in some Valheim concept art.
(Image credit: Iron Gate Studios)

Valheim's latest update has just hit the public test server, which means it'll be released for all very soon, and introduces the long-promised world modifiers that will allow players to tweak the experience to exactly the atmosphere they're looking for. As well as this, it adds a new quest-giving NPC, new locations, new hair and beard styles (very important in a viking game), and excellent-looking manual snapping when building.

The new world modifiers allow players to change the difficulty, but also add a creative mode called Hammer mode that should result in some spectacular creations. The modifiers are:

  • Casual mode: In casual mode monsters will not attack you until provoked, there are no raids on your base, resources are more plentiful, you will not drop equipped items or lose skills on death, and combat is a lot easier and events are based on your individual progress.
  • Hammer mode (creative mode): You can build all buildings for free. There are no raids on your base, and monsters will not attack until you provoke them. Other difficulty settings are normal.
  • Immersive mode: You have no map (!) and may not use portals (!!) so you will need to use your wits to keep track of where you are in the world.
  • Easy mode: Combat is easier and there are fewer raids on your base.
  • Hard mode: Combat is harder and monsters will raid your base more often.
  • Hardcore mode: Combat is a lot harder and monsters will raid your base more often. When you die all items you are carrying and skills are lost forever. You have no map and may not use portals.

A video posted by Iron Gate's Jonathan Smårs shows off various of the additions, and at the end shows a player gazing at a foreboding tower in the distance. This is one of three new dungeons added in this update, two of which are in Valheim's classic style and one of which is open. Other additions include three new mini bosses, a bunch of fireworks (and a sparkler item!), new clothes, new materials and furniture, and new music tracks.

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There's also a bunch of fixes and improvements, such as your hair and beard now being visible when your avatar equips a helmet. The game's fire effects have been overhauled completely, a minor levelling bug has been squished, water in caves will no longer "be affected by wind", and various quality of life improvements to the UI and controls.

You can also for some reason now be damaged in God mode, though you'll only ever go down to 1 health. Best of all for the macabre among us, you can now spawn tombstones to your heart's content with a new console command.

Jonathan Smårs previously clarified that the world modifiers can be changed at any point in the game, so you'll be able to build a giant fort in creative and then switch to hardcore and battle off the incoming hordes. You'll also be able to apply them to any existing worlds you have. The new creative mode will probably produce the most eye-catching results here, and is a brilliant fit for the game: players were so keen for something like it that, before this, there were even cheats to do it.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."