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Valheim Hearth and Home update: Everything we know

Valheim character in front of his house
(Image credit: Iron Gate Studios)

Valheim's Hearth and Home update is here. Iron Gate Studios' Viking survival game exploded onto Steam's Early Access in February, and its popularity took the five-person development team completely by surprise. The Hearth and Home update was initially planned for early summer, but thanks to the vast Viking fanbase, significant updates were put on hold to iron out some minor bugs and issues first.

Hearth & Home is the first of several planned updates for Valheim, with 'Cult of the Wolf' and 'Ships and the Sea' planned in the future. Hearth and Home—as the name suggests—concentrates on improvements to the building aspect of Valheim, as well as food rebalancing and adjustments to blocking and staggering enemies. So while you won't see massive changes when you play after the update, the devs suggest starting the game over for Hearth and Home.

If you're ready to find out more, here's everything we know about the Valheim Hearth and Home update.

Release date

Valheim Hearth and Home update release date

Valheim's Hearth and Home update released on September 16 at 9am ET / 3pm CEST / 2pm BST.

Due to the larger-than-expected bump in players, Iron Gate revised its development roadmap: Valheim won't be getting four major updates this year. "The new roadmap will be much smaller, but we’ve made the decision to focus on the big Mistlands update directly after we’re done with Hearth & Home," the studio says.

The latest Valheim Hearth and Home details 

This 30-minute fireside chat (above) with assistant community manager Josefin Berntsson, creator and lead designer Richard Svensson, and generalist artist Robin Eyre goes into detail about the development process of Hearth and Home. Sat around a virtual campfire in the Black Forest, the developers have a frank discussion about what you can expect from the update, as well as the problems they've encountered. 

While the update itself focuses on the 'home' aspect of the Viking afterlife, there have been many balancing changes across the board. As well as food, weapons, armour, enemies have also been balanced in the update.

Valheim Hearth and Home trailer

Yes, there's a special trailer just for the update, and hey! It's kinda anime! We're into that. Check it out above.

Building pieces

(Image credit: Iron Gate Studios)

Valheim Hearth and Home: More building pieces 

If you've played more than a few minutes of Valheim, you'll have at least built yourself a rudimentary shelter. And for those of us that focus on base building rather than actual progression, the Hearth and Home update is worthwhile.

As the name suggests, it will focus on base building and Törnqvist has confirmed that additional building pieces will be added, as well as "stuff to do in and around the house." This is fantastic news if you've spent more time than you'd like to admit striving to build the perfect base. 

While players are already finding some seriously impressive ways of building with what's already present in Valheim, the addition of extra building pieces is sure to open the flood gates to yet more weird and wonderful player creations.

In the studio's June update, it revealed darkwood roof pieces and window hatches.

(Image credit: Iron Gate Studios)

Valheim Hearth and Home: Hoarding treasure

One new feature being added in the Hearth and Home update is the ability to show off your riches to other players. You can heap your gold in piles, create coin stacks, and even fill the soon-to-be-added treasure chest with your ill-gotten gains. As you'll want to make sure no one pilfers your plunder, an iron grate is also being added, so you can create your own treasure hoard and keep it under lock and key.

Food rebalancing

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Valheim Hearth and Home update - a table full of new food items

(Image credit: Iron Gate Studios)
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Valheim

(Image credit: Iron Gate Studios)
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Valheim

(Image credit: Iron Gate Studios)

Valheim Hearth and Home: Food re-balancing 

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Valheim Stagbreaker war hammer

(Image credit: Iron Gate Studios)

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Currently, there's no way to starve in Valheim as your health will never drop below the base value of 25 without damage from an external source. You need to step outside your base at some point, though. When you do, make sure you're stocked up on food, especially when you're venturing into tougher biomes. And while there are plenty of meals and meads currently available, the Hearth and Home update will also take a look at the food in Valheim and make additions and improvements to the system.

"We've also implemented a new food system that places more importance between boosting health and stamina, making food choices more interesting based on your playstyle," Iron Gate explained in June. "To this end, we've also made some changes to how stamina/health affects your poise in combat. If you want to play a tanky, defensive Viking you should now stock up on health, since this will boost your ability to deflect incoming hits and mitigate damage."

Iron Gate have mentioned new cooking station extensions such as a spice rack, butcher table, and pots and pans. The studio says there are also ten new recipes, including Eyescream, Shocklate smoothie, and various wolf meats. We'll also be able to plant and harvest onions!

Combat

Valheim Hearth and Home: Blocking and Staggering are getting some changes

In a new spotlight feature, Iron Gate revealed some more changes that came with Valheim: Hearth and Home—this time it's blocking and staggering. The video below explains the changes in depth, but essentially, the effectiveness of your blocks will now be based on maximum health rather than stamina. A new stagger meter is also being added to the UI, and if this ever gets filled, it means an enemy can knock off-balance.

Valheim Hearth and Home: Weapon balancing 

Weapons have been rebalanced in Hearth and Home, though some have received more significant changes than others. As explained in the short video below, the two-handed axe has a faster swing, higher stagger damage, and can cleave onto enemies more effectively.

In contrast, the bow has received draw-speed adjustments and will cost less stamina to hold the bow while draw, giving you more time to aim.

Sarah's earliest gaming memories involve playing Jet Set Willy on the ZX Spectrum at a friend's house. These days, and when not writing guides, most of her spare time goes into MMOs—though she's quite partial to JRPGs too. She has spent much of the last decade playing the likes of Star Wars: The Old Republic, TERA, Final Fantasy 14, and World of Warcraft. Sarah has been writing about games for several years and, before joining PC Gamer, freelanced for the likes of TechRadar, GamingBible, and Rock Paper Shotgun. One of her fondest hopes is to one day play through the ending of Final Fantasy X without breaking down into a sobbing heap. She probably has more wolves in Valheim than you.