Valheim patch overhauls terrain, buffs hoe

Valheim patch
(Image credit: Iron Gate Studios)
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(Image credit: Iron Gate Studios)

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For all you Vikings toiling away at massive terrain modification projects in Valheim, and suffering fps woes as a result, there's a new patch that may bring relief in more ways than one. Valheim's 0.150.3 patch, released today, introduces a new terrain modification system that is intended to cut down on performance issues:

"The new terrain modification system is made to reduce the number of network instances and make loading faster and smoother," Valheim's devs posted today. "Technically it’s a pretty big change but hopefully you should not notice that much of a difference except some minor behaviour changes to the hoe and pickaxe and of course much smoother loading of areas with a lot of terrain modifications. All terrain modifications after this patch (using the hoe, pickaxe or cultivator) will automatically use the new modification system."

This update won't automatically apply the new system everywhere in your game world, however. In existing worlds where heavy terrain modification has already been made, a new console command has been added that players can use to convert existing terrain modifications to the new system manually. The command, "optterrain" (without quotes), will convert modified terrain within range (reportedly about 150 meters) to the new system when entered in the developer console.

I'd be a bit wary about using the new console command in your world, however. Most players have been reporting that it doesn't overwrite their landscaping work, and some also say it improves their fps in modified areas, like around their bases where they've made extensive terrain changes. A few others, however, report that certain areas they've done extensive terraforming on have reverted back to the map's original state when they used the new console command, erasing some of the digging and shaping that had been done. So before trying out the command yourself, you might want to wait a bit and keep an eye on the subreddit to see how other players are getting on with it.

I gave it a try in my world, where I haven't done a whole heck of a lot of landscaping. The console tells me it still made quite a lot of changes when switching over to the new system, though I didn't detect any visually and didn't notice any change in fps:

(Image credit: Iron Gate Studios)

Another change in the patch should make you Viking landscapers out there pretty happy. The amount of stone needed to raise ground while using the hoe has been cut in half, from 4 stone to 2 stone. Huzzah! That should certainly speed things up on your latest project.

Update: However! This patch is also something of a nerf for the hoe, if you used a particular method when raising ground. You can see the method in this CohhCarnage video, where players could raise an entire section of the ground with a single click provide they pointed the cursor at just the right spot. 

That method seems to have been patched out in the update (it did seem like a bit of an exploit, honestly, considering how little stone it used), so if you did use that method while landscaping then this patch probably feels like a major hoe nerf instead of a decent hoe buff. Sorry, Vikings.

Here are the full patch notes:

  • Swamp draugr spawner location fix to prevent draugrs from spawning inside stones
  • Lox pet-sfx fix
  • Torches in locations should no longer support constructions
  • Dolmen location stone size fix
  • New terrain modification system
  • Terrain-modification priority changed (Terrain modifications in an area should load before buildings, only applies to the new terrain modification system)
  • World loading tweaks (to fix issues with ships and buildings getting damaged while loading)
  • Stop server list download when leaving the start menu (to decrease network bandwidth usage)
  • Lowered the amount of stone required to Raise ground using the hoe
Christopher Livingston
Staff Writer

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.