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Minecraft but with Vikings!

Valheim is a 2021 crafting survival game developed by Iron Gate Studio and published by Coffee Stain Publishing. Set in a world inspired by Norse Mythology, it features third-person exploration and base-building mechanics alongside crafting and a Dark Souls-esque combat system.

Your character is dead. Having fallen on the field of battle, your soul has been collected by the Valkyries and judged by the Norse gods to be sent to the land of Valheim, the tenth realm and a purgatory for beings banished from the other nine worlds of Norse cosmology. Appointed as the land's latest custodian, your task is to defeat six legendary foes known as the Forsaken that inhabit the world and bring glory to yourself in the eyes of the gods. To reach the point where you have the power to challenge these powerful banished spirits, you must explore the realm of Valheim, defeat its lesser inhabitants, craft arms and armour and build yourself outposts and strongholds from which to set out on your adventures. Thus, your work begins...

Valheim was released on Steam's Early Access program in early February 2021, and is currently still under development, selling five million copies in the first month following its release. According to its Steam page, Iron Gate has planned the release candidate for late 2021 or early 2022 and are steadily adding features and content during development.


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  • Alien Geometries: Due to the dungeons being randomly generated, it's possible to go into a dungeon that extends far beyond where it should be able to. Particularly egregious with Burial Chambers, where some are so vertically developed they should stick out of the ground.
  • Alien Sky:
    • Valheim's sky prominently shows Yggdrasil's giant branches, which are visible both during day and night.
    • Bosses will change the sky's color when summoned, including unnatural colors like green.
  • All Trolls Are Different: Valheim's trolls inhabit the Black Forest biome (though they do wander out of it from time to time), the second biome in the game. They are blue-skinned giants at least eight metres tall, wielding their fists, boulders or entire tree trunks to squish the unwary player. They can walk around randomly, or live in caves with some hoarded treasure.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: When a player is in a base (determined by having enough "base structures" like workbenches and beds nearby), the game may randomly send a raid at them. There is a variety of different raids, and each has a certain enemy type spawn, usually in large numbers, for a short period to lay siege to the player and their base. Stronger and more varied raids (inclusing those that trigger even when away from a base) are unlocked as the game progresses.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Branches and rocks (as well as flint) respawn slowly but gradually. This means that even in the worst circumstances, you will always be able to craft a stone (or flint) axe, a campfire, and a hammer to restart base-building.
    • Repairing damaged equipment and structures is free, requiring no resources but a hammer and a functioning workbench; similarly, destroyed structures drop 100% of their crafting cost, minus consumables (such as resin for most light fixtures) so they can be easily rebuilt.
    • After being killed, you are immune to further skill loss for a good number of minutes. This means that, even should you be felled during a Corpse Run, you will suffer no worse than lost time over being killed a second time.
    • Boats and rafts have a tendency to be destroyed by being dashed into the shoreline once you disembark. Luckily, they always refund 100% of the resources spent to build them when they do.
    • Carts and boats drop their stored items as cargo boxes when destroyed, preventing them from sinking or despawning if you don't come back for them soon enough, as they would if dropped directly.
    • Tamed animals will not starve to death if you neglect to feed them. They will simply enter a state of "hungry" and they will not mate and reproduce.
    • One update added difficulty sliders giving the option to reduce the skill and item loss from death, the frequency of raids, the quantity of materials obtained and (finally) allowing ores and metals through portals.
    • Wooden arrows don't require feathers to make, and are sufficient to kill gulls and crows in one hit even when fired from a basic bow, meaning you don't have to spend feathers in order to acquire feathers.
  • Arrows on Fire: Fire Arrows are an early-game type of arrow, which use Resin as fuel for the fire. They deal the least physical damage of all the arrow types, but will set flammable foes on fire.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The second Forsaken, the Elder, is a giant tree humanoid. Your characters will barely reach his knees should you engage him in melee combat.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Lox riding. While a lox at full charge can do a lot of damage, lets you ignore weight limits while riding and puts the player above the range of most enemy weapons, it takes a long time to tame the lox, acquire the materials for the saddle, to get the lox where you want it since they steer like tanks and they don't do too well on terrain that isn't mostly flat, and to get their stamina back up to full (they heal very slowly too). Oh, and "out of reach of most enemy weapons emphatically does not include Deathsquitoes (at least when they aren't busy sucking your Lox dry).
    • Atgeirs deal good damage and their secondary attack can stagger even a troll. However, they consume ridiculous amounts of stamina with every attack.
  • Back Stab: Attacking an unaware enemy (either from behind or from far enough that it doesn't notice you) does extra damage depending on your weapon. Knives are especially good for this, doing six times their normal damage compared to most other weapons' triple damage.
  • Beef Gate: While it's possible to go to all the biomes from the beginning, it would serve you well to stick to the biomes of the Forsaken you are currently tasked with as the enemies are progressively stronger in the order of the Forsaken quests. Though there are more traditional hindrances to progress, like needing the Swamp Key to get iron, or the Mountains slowly killing you if you don't have frost resistance, the Mistlands' vision-blocking fog...
  • Behemoth Battle: Can occur when kiting a large enemy from one biome to another containing another large enemy (e.g. trolls, abominations, stone golems...).
  • Black Vikings: It's perfectly possible to play one by playing with the skin tone and color sliders when creating your character.
  • Booze-Based Buff: You can brew various types of mead serving as potions, recovering your health and stamina or providing resistance to negative effects.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • The Antler Pickaxe is the first pickaxe you'll acquire and is quickly superseded by more advanced versions. However, since it only needs a simple workbench for repairs, instead of a resource-intensive forge, it's more efficient and useful overall for the lengthy expeditions you'll be undertaking or for digging holes in the ground with the same efficiency as metal picks.
    • Cooked meat can be made anywhere out of raw meat (dropped by most animals) with a campfire and a spit (4 wood and 5 stone, in addition to neither requiring a nearby workbench to build). It provides decent, but not spectacular, boosts for a reasonable amount of time and is a useful fall-back if you find yourself away from your cooking pot for long periods of time.
    • Once you obtain a fishing rod, cooked fish becomes like cooked meat but with better stat boosts. Fish bait is inexpensive, and spending an in-game day fishing can get you at least a dozen or two raw fish, which can then be cooked over a campfire just like raw meat. The main disadvantage is that finding a fishing rod is very much a Luck-Based Mission, and until you find one the only way to catch fish is to wait for them to beach themselves.
    • Swords deal slashing damage. There are no enemies in the game that are vulnerable to slashing damage, but only a few enemy types are resistant to slashing damage (most of them undead). Because of this, swords are a good weapon for most situations.
    • Axes are much the same as swords (if slower), with the added practical side of being used for wood chopping.
    • Spears are one of the cheapest weapons to make in the game, typically costing a third or less of most other craftable weapons in regards to their respective ore. The spear can also be thrown as its special attack, with particularly accurate throws being able to down local wildlife such as deer, boars, or birds; allowing for conservation of arrows for hostiles. It's also one of the earliest unlockable weapons in the game as long as the player finds flint, meaning the player could start leveling up in their spear stat immediately.
    • One of the easiest ways to defend a base is to raise a wall or dig a moat around it, utterly befuddling attacking enemies as they won't try to attack them as they would structural walls.
    • Eikthyr's Forsaken power, the first one you acquire, significantly reduces stamina drain for sprinting and jumping. While nothing flashy, it's one of the most useful powers, letting you explore, outrun enemies, and do corpse runs with much more ease and safety.
    • Killing deer is arduous, time-consuming, and often frustrating. Occasionally checking near burial chambers for deer corpses left by skeletons is much easier if dependent on luck.
    • The Plains are one of the most deadly biomes due to how much damage ranged/fast enemies (spear Fulings and Deathsquitoes) deal. Finding and killing enough Abominations to make a Root Harnesk greatly increases survivability against these due to the massive reduction in Piercing Damage (though it does require higher-tier leg and head armor to defend against other enemies).
    • The Crude Bow naturally deals far less damage than more advanced bows, but also drains much less stamina per second, making it far more useful for things like hunting deer or hares where damage isn't a priority.
  • Break Meter: Player and monsters have a stagger bar, which fills as they take damage, quickly recovers over time, and puts them into staggered state when filled, making them unable to act and doubling all incoming damage. Its maximum value and recovery speed depend on maximum health, so tougher creatures are a lot harder to stagger.
  • Call a Smeerp a "Rabbit": "Hares" in Mistlands indeed resemble real hares, but are much bigger and have scaly hides.
  • Carry a Big Stick:
    • The club can be crafted straight out of the gate and is likely to be the first purely combat-focused weapon you can access. Although it has no flint/stone variant (it's upgraded by adding bone shards), maces are craftable once you advance into the metal stages of the game. As they deal blunt damage, they are your best weapon against skeletons. Surprisingly enough, this weapon is very effective against the third boss, Bonemass, due to its weakness against blunt damage.
    • Trolls will occasionally be found carrying entire tree trunks they use as clubs. This makes the already-deadly troll even deadlier.
  • Challenge Run: "World modifiers" introduced in Hildir's Request update make the game harder for no benefit other than bragging rights. These modifiers include harder enemies, scarcer resources, harsher death penalty (up to complete permanent loss of items and skills), no portals, and no automap.
  • Cooking Mechanics:
    • Cooking stations let you roast meat over fire to make it edible. Overcooking meat turns it into coal.
    • The cauldron allows your character to make recipes, which are unlocked once you've picked up all the ingredients for the recipe at least once. These dishes have longer durations and offer better bonuses than raw berries and vegetables or cooked meat.
    • Ovens are unlocked in late game, and certain foods need to be baked after crafting them at the cauldron.
    • Mead and wine are made as bases in the cauldron and fermented for days in the fermenter barrel.
  • Cordon Bleugh Chef: Most of Valheim's recipes are inviting, but there are a few which use some questionable ingredients.
    • Eyescream is a late game, high stamina food that is very easy to make. And also uses Greydwarf Eyes and dragon glands as its primary ingredients.
    • Sausages are an extremely useful mid-game high energy food that is produced in bulk. All it requires is common boar meat, common thistles, and the entrails of decomposing, swamp-bound, re-animated zombies.
    • Muckshakes are made from the substance of swamp-dwelling Blob Monsters (which can also be used to make poison arrows) seasoned with berries.
    • Brewing Medium-Healing Mead involves fermenting blood-sacs that come from giant swamp leeches.
  • Creepy Good: Odin the All-Father, King of the Gods, will personally come down and check how you're doing, and he will scare the shit out of you when he does, because he only comes at night, clad in black, with a glowing fog around him and carrying a long staff. About the only reason you know it's him, and not Death come to claim your soul, is if you manage to get close enough before he vanishes you will see he has only one glowing blue eye.
  • Critical Encumbrance Failure: You are either under your encumbrance limit, which lets you move at full speed, sprint, jump, and recover stamina normally, or you're over it, which halts all stamina regeneration and reduces you to a slow shuffle, and a single dandelion over the weight limit is just as bad as two tons of iron ingots.
  • Critical Existence Failure: Due to peculiarities of the game's engine, ore and stone deposits work like this once unearthed: a giant mass of rock can float in the air supported by a single piece touching the ground, and will instantly burst into a shower of chunks when that piece is destroyed. Silver veins are particularly easy to pull this off with.
  • Damage Discrimination: Monsters cannot accidentally hurt other monsters, except if they were hostile to each other in the first place - coming from different biomes, or certain types in the same biome.
  • Dead Guy on Display: Defeated enemies and bosses often drop their heads as trophies, which can be mounted onto appropriate vertical item displays on your wall. Do it to the Forsaken, and their spirits will sometimes speak through the trophies to comment on their deaths.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: As your character is already dead to begin with, you cannot be permanently slain. Instead, you will respawn in your base (or the circle you arrived in Valheim) with no equipment and have to make your way back to the site of your death. You will also lose some skill points.
  • Defeat Equals Explosion: Many enemies explode into a puff of pink smoke a few seconds after death.
  • Dem Bones: Skeletons are one of the more common enemy types; they can be encountered in Meadows and Plains at night (either spawning from certain stone monuments at first or from anywhere after killing Bonemass), in Black Forests near and inside tombs and ruins, in Swamps pretty much everywhere, and in Mountains also inside ruins. They're tougher and deadlier than most other examples, as a starting character unlucky enough to encounter one when lightly armed and armored (if at all) will get killed by one pretty fast.
    • Apart from 1- and 2-star varieties, they have an elite version called Rancid Bones whose hits will poison you. They are also ludicrously aggressive towards non-undead creatures so any encountered outside Swamps are likely to be found running after or fighting anything they notice.
    • The Hildir's Quest update added Brenna, a giant burning skeleton. Once defeated in her dungeon, she can show up as a raid (a respawning one at that).
  • Disc-One Nuke:
    • Abyssal Razor has damage equivalent to iron weapons, and can be crafted potentially as soon as you defeat Eikthyr - all you need is a boat (or even a raft) and a pickaxe to find and mine Leviathans for chitin.
    • Serpent Stew is as good as Mistlands foods and can be made in iron age, as long as you can find and kill a sea serpent.
  • Easter Egg:
  • Elemental Crafting: The weapon and armor tiers follow the stereotypical cloth→leather→bronze→iron→precious metals→fantastic metals scheme. Subverted as the ultimate endgame armor so far is iron armor forged with bug carapaces and infused with this setting's equivalent of mana.
  • Elemental Weapon: Frostner and most Mistlands weapons deal elemental damage in addition to their usual physical. Unlike regular weapons, upgrading them increases their elemental damage while leaving physical damage the same.
  • Elite Mook:
    • Many enemies have a chance to spawn as star versions. 1-star versions are stronger than regulars, while 2-star versions are the strongest variant. Star versions are often bigger and/or differently coloured. While star versions of early biome enemies are only somewhat stronger than the previous tier, later enemies can feature ludicrous increases in health and damage output.
    • Draugr Elites are this to regular Draugr, with their own model and trophy, and (usually) only spawn from Corpse Piles.
    • Taken to extreme heights with Fulings. Regular Fulings are dangerous enough as they have a base damage of 110, but 2-star versions deal a ludicrous 220 damage a hit. This not only eclipses that of any boss in the game, but is enough to one-shot all but the players with the best, upgraded gear and food.
  • Equipment Upgrade: Equipment can be made from different-tiered materials, and each tier of equipment can further be upgraded by investing more of those materials into it. A fully upgraded piece of equipment is usually as good or slightly better than a baseline equivalent of the next highest tier, and will usually have more durability to boot.
  • Eternal Equinox: The game has no seasons, and its day and night are of fixed length. Of course, since Valheim is a flat world floating near a branch of Yggdrasil with the sun and moon visibly orbiting around it, day length is the least of its issues.
  • Explosive Breeder: Tamed boars and wolves will produce offspring at a rapid rate if you keep them fed. Wolves are quite capable of hunting food on their own and defending themselves from enemies, so if you leave a few tamed wolves alone in the meadows you may soon find yourself with a large pack.
  • Exposed to the Elements: Averted. Unless you're standing near a fire or have recently consumed cold-resist mead, being outdoors at night will give you the cold debuff (which slows health and stamina regeneration) unless you are wearing at least one article of warm clothing. The mountain biome is even more extreme; entering it will give you the freezing cold debuff which actually damages you unless you're dressed warm.
  • Fake Longevity: Metal ore and ingots cannot be transported using Fast Travel portals, requiring players to either run, hitch a cart, or sail a ship back to their bases with it, risking losing all their effort if they die or their cart or especially ship is destroyed. Metal ores and ingots are also extremely heavy and a lot of them are needed to make equipment, necessitating either many trips to transport the ore or the construction of a substantial temporary base to smelt the ore and make equipment on-site. It's especially noticeable with silver as silver is the heaviest metal and the Mountain biome it's located in is conducive to neither carts nor ships.
  • Fishing Minigame: Once you manage to obtain a fishing rod and fish bait, you can catch fish to use as a food item. It's also possible to catch fish by pushing them onto land.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: On occasion, ships continuously take damage as if running into an invisible obstacle, even in the open sea with no waves. While it's not completely limiting close to land (as it only requires putting down a workbench and repairing the ship), navigating away from the coast is a death sentence if it happens.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: According to the runestones, the Forsaken are apparently active and moving around rather than only being summoned into existence at their altars.
  • Geo Effects: The weather changes from day to day. Rain makes your character wet, which reduces stamina regeneration, fog reduces your sight range, and wind direction changes which directions you are able to sail. Nighttime makes you cold, which further reduces stamina regeneration, and the freezing cold of the Mountain biome will constantly harm the player.
  • Ghost Amnesia: The player character is a dead warrior's soul and doesn't remember their life, at most seeing vague dreams of their life and death. Runestones left by previous Chosen state the same thing, with some pondering on what they were in life.
  • Give Chase with Angry Natives: Running from a group of enemies into another group of enemies from a different biome can be a way to get rid of at least one group. Sometimes you don't even need to change biomes, such as graydwarves and skeletons in the Black Forest, or golems against anything else in the Mountains.
  • Glowing Eyes: Your character's eyes are solid blue and always glow faintly. Greydwarfs and Greylings also have glowing, colour-coded (yellow for Greylings, blue for Greydwarves, green for shamans, and red for Brutes) eyes.
  • Glowing Eyelights of Undeath: Skeletons' and Draugr's eyes glow, as do your character's (when wearing a hood, they're the only visible element of the face).
  • Gradual Regeneration:
    • Food provides slow health recovery. Various conditions, like being rested, wet, or cold, can improve or hinder this recovery. Even Health Potions provide a short burst of regeneration.
    • Stamina regenerates naturally, at different rate depending on how much you have remaining, and is affected by your condition just like health recovery.
  • Green Hill Zone: The Meadows, the starting biome, consists of a lot of open grassland and light-to-heavy forest inhabited mostly by wildlife (but the further you get in the game, the more dangerous it gets).
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • Obtaining serpent scales. If you kill a serpent in its natural habitat, the scales will sink, and you won't even know they exist as a material unless you've read it elsewhere. An important tool for hunting serpents properly is the harpoon, and it requires chitin harvested from ocean-dwelling Leviathans, which you can only meet by chance.
    • Learning how to tame animals is a small quest in and by itself, and every tameable animal requires its own food and plan for capturing and containing them while you try to tame them.
    • There's a hidden damage penalty for hitting multiple targets at once, which is not explained anywhere in the game. While an observant player might figure it out from damage numbers, it's less apparent that ground counts as a target too, so striking an enemy on high ground can cut your damage seemingly for no good reason, and so can mining from any position except right above the ore. Furthermore, unlike all other weapon types, swords ignore this penalty, which also goes completely unmentioned.
    • Fishing requires certain types of bait for different types of fish. The only in-game source of this information is trying and failing to use normal bait, and experimentation afterwards.
  • Humongous-Headed Hammer: While mundane maces and hammers stay realistically small, the magical ones have heads bigger than a human's. Especially noticeable with the two-handed clubs: the Stagbreaker looks like a maul surrounded by a cage of deer antlers, while the Iron Sledge and Demolisher have heads the size of an anvil.
  • Inexplicably Preserved Dungeon Meat: Subverted: Meat Piles found in Frost Caves are preserved because, well, frost cave, but they don't provide meat but entrails (which can be used to make food).
  • "Just Frame" Bonus: A well-timed block will stagger the enemy, making it vulnerable to a counterattack. This even applies to ranged attackers.
  • Justified Tutorial: Provided in-game by Hugin the raven, who will usually drop in to provide in-character hints and tricks on what do to next during the early-game.
  • The Lost Woods: The Black Forest biome leans into this aesthetic, being dark, inhabited by trolls, tree-men and undead, and dominated by giant pines and firs. It is also the home of the second Forsaken, a giant treeman known as the Elder.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Shields are essential tools for melee-focused characters. They provide the absolute best blocking ability (which allows you to convert health damage to stamina damage) and very good returns for parrying (blocking before an enemy hits, which can stun an enemy for a few seconds). Of course, they're separated into three different shield types of which offer differing benefits:
    • Bucklers offer the best parrying bonus, but suffer from a weaker blocking bonus.
    • Round shields are the balanced option, providing a nice balance between parrying and blocking bonuses.
    • Tower shields completely rid the player of the ability to parry in exchange for a higher blocking bonus. They also slow the player down significantly.
  • Mana: Mistlands biome introduces "eitr" as a mana-like concept:
    • "Refined eitr" is extracted as sap from Yggdrasil's roots and purified, and can be used to craft enchanted weapons and armor.
    • Sap and magic mushrooms let you make food that grants your character an eitr bar, which can be spent on using magic staves.
  • Mêlée à Trois:
    • With the exception of Meadows and Black Forest, creatures from different biomes are invariably hostile to each other, which can be exploited by canny, fast-on-their-feet players.
    • Certain enemies have the "wrong" faction type for the biome they can spawn in (such as Undead-type skeletons in Meadows and Black Forests), which can lead to fights even before players get there to take advantage.
  • Modular Difficulty: The Mistlands update added a number of adjustable difficulty settings, such as the frequency of raids, minimap availability, how much is lost (items and experience) is lost when dying, damage taken and received, amount of resources dropped by enemies (from half to three), an option to use no materials when building, and the much-requested ability to bring metal ores through portals. There are also a number of preset modes that combine those settings in different quantities (Hammer Mode for those who just want to build, Hardcore for the opposite, etc.).
  • Mundane Utility:
    • Atgeirs have a special Spin Attack that works great for crowd control. It's also a very efficient way to harvest crops.
    • Obliterator device uses Thor's lightning for trash disposal.
  • Mutually Exclusive Power-Ups: You can only have one Forsaken power available to use at any time, and have to visit the sacrificial stone circle to change it. However, you can have multiple powers active on you if several players with different powers use them in each other's proximity.
  • Named Weapons:
    • Most Mistlands-level weapons have names instead of usual labels like "[material] [weapon type]". Most of them are also Elemental Weapons.
    • The bow Draugr's Fang and the mace Frostner are earlier examples and are also elemental (or poisonous in the former's case).
  • Nice Day, Deadly Night:
    • The world of Valheim in general is not without its ample dangers, but at night the player is urged to be extra on their toes. For one, enemy spawn rates increase, including odds of encountering 1 and 2-star versions. There are even some enemies that will only spawn at night, such as Wraiths and Fenrings, which are among the deadlier creatures in their respective biomes.
    • The peaceful Meadows become increasingly dangerous at night as the player progresses through the game. Once at least one boss has been defeated, Greydwarves will start spawning in the biome at night. Later on Skeletons and eventually even Fulings and Seekers will make an appearance at night.
  • No "Arc" in "Archery":
    • Averted with arrows, which always have some degree of arc depending on the bow used (stronger bows provide more arrow velocity).
    • Crossbows fire bolts at much higher velocity, so there's little to no arc at any reasonable distance.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: The Mistlands in their unfinished pre-2022 iteration. No enemies or even neutral creatures, no music... just the player in an eternally dark, silent forest of colossal dead trees, cobwebs and giant skulls.
  • Not the Intended Use:
    • Log-wielding trolls will tear through an entire forest trying to smash you... and that's exactly what some players use them for. By dodging and blocking while leading the trolls to trees, minerals and rocks, a well-geared player can harvest half a forest's resources without ever swinging their own axe.
    • Graves remain until their items (a player's inventory) are all reclaimed. Players have noticed the advantages of an unkillable chest with more than three times the capacity of a regular wooden chest and often use conveniently-located graves as storage.
    • Flame geysers constantly spawn Surtlings, fire elementals who take damage from water. Digging up the ground around a geyser in a swamp means a spawned Surtling will almost immediately die, making it a good source of coal and cores.
    • Dvergr crates contain extractors essential to progressing to the next tier. The dvergr will immediately turn on you if you attack the crate directly, but if the damage comes from a different source (the sparks from an eitr refinery or repeatedly ramming a cart into it) they won't react.
    • Greydwarf nests constantly spawn greydwarves of all types and level, making them very dangerous to a pre-iron tier player. Once the iron tier is reached, even brute attacks are survivable, and a nest instead becomes a neverending source of wood and stone.
  • Non-Human Undead: According to one runestone, greydwarves are essentially the souls of criminals and murderers animating the stone and wood near the place their body lied. Meanwhile, the Abomination is a giant multi-limbed Botanical Abomination stated to "be so old it forgot it was dead" (yet is hostile to the greydwarves).
  • Opening Scroll: A brief backstory of the realm of Valheim appears as scrolling text when you start a new game.
  • Organ Drops: Several enemies drop body parts beyond just meat, hides or trophies, such as greydwarf eyes, draugr intestines, leech bloodbags and drake freeze glands, which usually can also be used in food recipes. Can cross into I'm a Humanitarian, if the player makes and eats sausages from draugr intestines - the draugr are undead humans.
  • Orphaned Etymology: Hugin mentions tanking as though it were a common practice in the Viking age.
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same:
    • Played with with Haldor the merchant. He's short (for a dwarf, as he'll tell you himself) and bearded and as he's interested in gems and precious metals and sells you stuff at high prices, he fits most of the standard dwarf tropes; on the other hand, Intrepid Merchant isn't quite a standard dwarven profession, and blue is an unusual skin color.
    • The Mistlands are inhabited by dvergi, gruff, short blue-skinned dwarves. They also differ from standard depiction in that they consist solely of crossbow-wielding rogues and Wizard Classic mages. Their homes contain end-tier crafting materials, unfortunately, killing them (or looting their corpses if something else kills them) is the only way to get the materials.
  • Our Goblins Are Different: Fulings are small, goblin-like beings that live in the Plains biome. They are amongst the deadliest creatures in the game and mistaking them for a standard nuisance-level mook will not end well for you, especially if your world seed puts Plains where a player might encounter it early on.
  • Patchwork Map: The existing biomes fill out across your map as it is explored, leading to swamps, plains, and ice-capped peaks sharing common terrain. Of course, this might make sense in a Patchwork World where Odin has the Forsaken sealed in their own locales.
  • Power-Up Food: Instead of healing you or using a hunger mechanism, eating food increases your health and stamina caps temporarily, and grants faster Gradual Regeneration. You can only eat three different pieces of food at the same time, and different foods offer different stamina and health cap bonuses, so you are encouraged to look out for the highest-quality food you can cook and mix and match different meals depending on which stats you want increased.
  • Portal Network: Portals can be crafted and paired with each other to allow you to move between places you've already visited and jump from base to base. Unfortunately, metals and ores of all kinds cannot be teleported.
  • Purely Aesthetic Gender: You can play as a man or a woman. Gameplay-wise it makes no difference.
  • Retraux: Valheim intentionally features graphics and textures that mimic 3D from around the turn of the millennium. However, the game uses modern-day shaders which make the game looks indistinguishable compared to some modern games at a first glance or at a distance.
  • Rare Random Drop: While most drops from monsters are guaranteed or have at least 50/50 chance, non-boss trophies have 1 in 10 or 1 in 20 chance. Most of them are only useful as decorations, but some are used in crafting, so recipes that involve trophies can become something of a Luck-Based Mission (especially those trophies from enemies that spawn randomly).
  • Ridiculously Fast Construction:
    • Downplayed with building houses - each element (floor tile, wall piece, pillar, etc.) is made instantly, but putting them all together and aligning properly takes some time.
    • Played straight with complex objects like crafting benches, carts, or ships, which are also built instantly.
  • Scary Stinging Swarm: Bees inhabit abandoned buildings in the Meadows. Exploring these buildings without noticing their nests can lead to a quick death (or at least a lot of pain) for a beginning player. Player-built beehives can do the same to attacking enemies if any of them hits the hive.
  • Set Bonus: Some armor sets provide a bonus when all pieces are equipped. For example, troll skin armor improves your sneaking skill, while root armor makes you better with bows.
  • Sequence Breaking: A downplayed example. You are free to visit the biomes in any order you wish, but the local fauna will likely flatten you without proper equipment and each of the Forsaken tend to drop something that you'll need in order to fully access the next biome and the resources within it. It is possible to obtain some items from higher-level biomes (like trollskin armor or obsidian) that will help you defeat earlier Forsaken, but they will be limited.
  • Set a Mook to Kill a Mook: Enemies from different areas or factions will attack each other on sight, potentially leading to skirmishes with four or more different sides. If you're being chased by something you can't defeat, running into enemies from another biome can provide you with a life-saving distraction.
  • Shock and Awe: The game's first Forsaken, Eikthyr, can shoot lightning from its horns.
  • Shop Fodder: Amber, amber pearls, silver necklaces and rubies serve no in-game function other than to be sold to Haldor the Dwarf for gold.
  • Shows Damage: Building elements become visibly broken down or green and rotten as they are damaged by enemies or exposure.
  • Silver Has Mystic Powers: Weapons made of silver do extra damage to undead foes (skeletons, draugr and ghosts) by inflicting spirit damage, a burn-like effect. Werewolves are particularly vulnerable to it, naturally.
  • Sound of No Damage: As you gain stronger armor, attacks that once staggered you have their impact sound replaced with a cloth tearing sound as their attacks now only deal even less than one full HP of damage.
  • Splash Damage Abuse:
    • The Stagbreaker can be used to damage and kill enemies on the other side of a door. It's best used in dungeons and base raids rather than buildings, because it's possible to destroy the surrounding walls faster than killing the enemy.
    • Another use for the Stagbreaker is looking for buried objects, such as treasure chests and silver veins - the splash hits them, showing either damage numbers or a "too hard" message.
  • Super Drowning Skills: While the player character can swim and reduce the stamina cost with enough practice, running out of stamina in a body of water causes the player to quickly run out of health and die. One can drown in a waist-high river if they linger for too long; large bodies of water are completely impassable unless you can find a land route, build bridges, or build a boat to cross them.
  • Swamps Are Evil: The Swamp biome is constantly dark and overcast once you enter it, damp and filled with twisted, gnarled trees, ancient sunken crypts and several flavours of The Undead, with the only living inhabitants being the giant, poisonous leeches that infest its waters.
  • Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors: Some enemies have resistance to one or more types of damage (indicated by grey text) and vulnerabilities to others (indicated by yellow text). For instance, trolls are resistant to bludgeoning and weak to piercing, while skeletons are the opposite. Higher-level weapons deal different types of damage simultaneously.
  • Teleportation with Drawbacks: You can't bring ore and ingots through portals by default, which makes mining much more difficult than gathering other resources. However, they still allow metal equipment, and you can bring materials to make a cart or a boat to transport the metal.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: The Mistlands update gave Haldor several new voicelines, most of them insulting or rude or telling the player to stop talking and start buying. The Hildir's Request update reverted him to his cheerier personality.
  • Town with a Dark Secret: Meadows sometimes features groups of empty buildings that can be used to set up your own bases or torn down for resources. In the larger ones, however, the buildings are infested with draugr.
  • The Nothing After Death: One runestone tells the tale of a Dwindling Party of adventurers used to waking up in their beds once they die, but two of them have yet to come back. The writer wonders if this is what happens when you lose the will to keep going.
  • The Undead: Several enemies are undead, and are mostly encountered in the Black Forest and Swamp biomes:
    • Skeletons and rancid remains, ghosts and wraiths, and draugrs, and it's implied that blobs and oozers and almost certainly Bonemass are also a form of them.
    • Even Greydwarves are said to be this, with a rune stone describing them as the souls of evildoers that clothe themselves in dirt, rags, and branches. Note that they and "traditional" undead are hostile to each other. Oddly, so are the undead-tree Abominations.
  • Unusable Enemy Equipment: Some enemies, such as skeletons, use weapons similar to ones the player can acquire. Those weapons can't be picked up after their death (you can, however, use the bodies of enemies to make weapons).
  • The Usual Adversaries: Skeletons. They can be found in any of the first five biomes (Meadows at night, Black Forest near and inside burial chambers and ruined towers, Swamps anywhere, Mountains in ruined keeps, Plains at night); fortunately they tend to be easily distracted by and attack anything that isn't native to Swamps.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Aptly-named "bukeperries"note  cause projectile vomit when eaten. While sounding unpleasant, it has the benefit of clearing active food buffs when you want to change them to something different.
  • Walk, Don't Swim: While most creatures will swim after a sailing player, undead like skeletons and draugr will run across sea floor instead. This makes them harmless since they can't attack from there, but occasionally lets them surprise a player who thought they're in the clear after landing somewhere nearby.
  • Warm-Up Boss: Eikthyr, the boss encountered in the first biome of the game. It has relatively low HP and damage, heavily telegraphed attacks that are easy to dodge, and no resistances to any weapon types, so the player can use whatever they're comfortable with.
  • Where the Magic Went: Valheim is set in the "10th world" (Norse mythology only has nine), a kind of purgatory/prison for Odin's enemies along with other monsters like trolls and dragons which no longer exist in Midgard.
  • Worthless Yellow Rocks: Some enemies will drop gold coins when killed, which have no crafting utility at all (except as decorations) and simply take up space and weight. There is a merchant who takes gold as currency in return for rare items, but his spawn location is random and it can often take players a long time to come across his camp. It also doesn't help he has a very limited selection and few items you would need to buy more than once.

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