Valheim celebrates the launch of 'hard mode' by offering up a custom-made viking tankard for the fastest and hardest speedrunner

Valheim screenshot
(Image credit: Iron Gate)

A patch for the open world survival game Valheim went live on the public test server back in June that, among other things, added world modifiers that enable players to change the game's difficulty in various ways. With that update, called Hildir's Request, now fully live, developer Iron Gate is celebrating in an appropriately viking-ish fashion with the Trial of Tyr, a speedrun competition that challenges players to race through the entire game—in hard mode—on their own.

Details on the competition are available in the full rules, but the basics are pretty simple:

  • You play the full game, by yourself, from start to finish without dying.
  • No dev commands or other forms of "external help" allowed.
  • You must play in the official Trial of Tyr world seed: MX7L9GYcf2
  • "Hard" preset in the world modifier settings must be used.
  • Runs must be either livestreamed on Twitch or YouTube, or recorded "without splits in footage"
  • The run ends when you defeat the final Mistlands boss The Queen and mount her head at the Ancient Stone Circle. Or when you die horribly at the hands of some grotesque, otherworldly horror, as the case may be.

The Trial of Tyr contest runs until 2:59 pm PT/5:59 pm ET, and you can submit multiple entries if you manage to beat the time of a previous submission. To put your name in the hat, you'll need to tweet a link of the stream or recording to @valheimgame with the hashtag #Trialoftyr, and also upload it to this Google form.

The winner of the Trial—that is, whoever completes the hard mode speedrun the fastest—will be given a custom-made viking tankard engraved with their name and winning speedrun time. In my book, that is definitely a prize worth fighting for.

For those who maybe aren't into videogame masochism but are curious about what the big Valheim update actually brings to the game, the abbreviated patch notes are below. The full patch notes—which contain numerous spoilers, to the extent that the whole thing is redacted—can be found on Steam.

New Content:

  • New NPC: Hildir the merchant
  • New locations
  • World modifiers added
  • 2 new crafting extensions
  • New hair and beard styles
  • New items


  • Hair and beards are now visible when equipping helmets
  • Various visual improvements
  • Quick-stack button added
  • Manual snapping for building added
Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.