Valheim has hot tubs now and you know what that means

Valheim's first major update, Hearth & Home, is now live and adds a huge amount of stuff to the Norse afterlife. The clue's in the title: this adds many tools for players to create a fancier dwelling for themselves, as well as a plethora of new cooking options. It adds so much, in fact, that developer Iron gate hopes it will tempt players to start all over again.

The update's contents have previous been detailed but there are still some surprises big and small. Players can now name their pets, share maps (via a cartography table), plant additional tree types, and destroy items with something called 'the obliterator extension'. There's an auto-pickup toggle, you beauty! The new recipes come alongside a reworked food system that allows players to "fine tune their Viking diet to suit their playstyle," which in practice means most food items now give mainly stamina or mainly health.

And then the big moment, what we've all been waiting for: new types of furniture, including but not limited to a mighty stone throne and a steamy viking hot tub. Move over Tub Geralt, it's viking time!

Valheim vikings enjoying a soak together.

(Image credit: Iron Gate Studio)

Elements of combat have been tweaked, including the blocking mechanic: now your current maximum HP greatly affects your ability to block attacks, and a stagger bar interface element has been added. All weapons have been rebalanced to be more viable as mains and to have more individual playstyles.

Also, it appears you can now make your lox fall in love with you.

A lox falls in love with a viking in Valheim.

(Image credit: Iron Gate Studio)

"As the first major update, we wanted Hearth & Home to truly expand the Valheim experience and make the core gameplay richer and more complex while still adding new content for players to return to and explore," says Henrik Törnqvist, co-founder of Iron Gate. "While it’s taken a little longer than anticipated to make sure it’s the quality people have come to expect, we’ve listened to our community every step of the way and with some much-requested features added we’re glad that they can finally get their hands on it."

The big mystery with Hearth & Home, for the moment anyway, is the addition of some sort of goo to Valheim's overworld. Across the plains you'll now find slimy locations & creatures, which are doubtless building up to something that, as of yet, remains unknown.

Here are the patch notes for Hearth and Home:

General improvements:

  • Weapons rebalanced (All weapons have been rebalanced to be more viable as main weapon and also have more unique playstyles)
  • Blocking system overhauled (Current maximum hp now greatly affects your ability to block attacks, stagger bar gui added)
  • Naming tamed creatures
  • Gamepad sensitivity settings
  • Auto-pickup toggle button added
  • Graphics settings (Active point lights & Active point light shadows)
  • Tamed creatures affected by friendly fire setting (i.e you can't hurt a tamed creatures unless you enable friendly fire or use the new Butcher knife item)
  • Various other improvements and bugfixes


  • Food rebalance (Most food items now give mainly stamina or mainly health to make food choices more interesting
  • Food GUI overhauled to work better with the rebalanced food
  • Over 10 new things to eat (Actually 12)


  • Tamed Loxes now have a purpose
  • Slimy locations & creatures added to plains
  • New plantable seeds: Birch, Oak & Onions


  • New weapons: Crystal battleaxe, Silver knife
  • New shields: Bone tower shield, Iron buckler
  • Butcher knife (Special weapon for butchering tamed animals)
  • Thunder stone (Sold by trader)
  • Lox accessory


  • New Darkwood building pieces like single roofs, beams, decorations and more
  • New types of furniture, including but limited to mighty stone throne and steamy viking hot tub
  • Crystal walls
  • New types of stacks to show off your treasure and resources
  • Cauldron improvements: Spice rack, Butcher's table, Pots and pans
  • Cartography table (For sharing map-data with other players)
  • Oven added (For baking bread and pie)
  • Obliterator added (Items be gone)
  • Iron cooking stations (Required to cook some types of meat)
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."