In Valheim the player’s character has been defeated on Earth and has been sent to Valheim to bring order to the world by defeating Odin’s greatest enemies. The player will find themselves fighting multiple smaller beasts and strong opponent apart from the main boss battles in the game. This post will tell the reader a little about the game from a solo player’s perspective and try to help you decide if you will have fun playing the game solo or whether you will be able to beat it.
Keep in mind that everything found here is my general opinion on the game and I don’t earn anything from anyone purchasing the game or looking into it. I am here to merely give my opinion on the game and let you know what the game is like as a solo player.
Map Generation and Game Genre
Valheim is a survival exploration RPGlite. The game features randomly generated worlds through seed generation. This type of world generation can be found in other popular titles such as Minecraft and Rimworld. Using a different seed, (or series of numbers and letters) will result in different world generation. This results in (almost) limitless worlds generated by the game. The random generation affects what the map looks like, including different islands and biome spawns.
There are things that remain constant in Valheim, however. None of the enemies or NPCs in the game are randomly generated. In the meadows you’ll find deer and boar and in the Black Forest you will find creatures known as the Greydwarfs. This remains constant across all versions of the game and all different random seeds. The game always has a series of islands on the map. As far as I’m aware there isn’t a random seed which features a full land mass yet.
The Gameplay Loop
The game follows similar tropes in the survival game series. You will find materials such as wood and stone to begin with to make basic equipment. As you progress through the game you will be able to level up your equipment and have access to new materials to upgrade your equipment. This is the general gameplay loop, although there are many things to do in the game to keep the player busy!
The general goal of the game is to defeat the forsaken in your biome, upgrade your equipment and train your skills, then move onto the next boss. The combat is rewarding and fun and is very solid for an early access title. Hit detection is very good and the player has a block and dodge-roll as defensive abilities. Combat could be compared to The Witcher (2 and 3) or a lite version or the combat found in the dark souls series.
If you’re a fan of grinding survival games, chances are you are going to like Valheim even as a solo player. The game focuses mainly on PvE and has a pretty solid building system at the moment. If you like building up beautiful bases and taking pictures of them to share with other Valheim has things that you will like. The thing is though, as you are playing alone, materials will take longer to gather, building will take longer and combat will in general be harder. Everything will take you a bit longer without that extra set of hands. If you don’t mind the grind then no problem!
Is the Game Harder Solo?
Valheim is all about combat. Your main goal of the game is to destroy all the forsaken creatures found in this world. Although it isn’t explicitly stated in the game, Valheim does have scaling difficulty. The game in general, will be slightly easier when playing solo. If there are more players on the server the game will raise the difficulty slightly by raising the enemies health and damage values. Players may think that playing solo will be easier then but that is not the case.
When playing the game in multiplayer co-op the game will get a bit easier. Although having more players will raise the stats of the enemies, the more players you have with you, the easier. Think of it this way, if you are by yourself with a large group of enemies they are all going to attack you. With another player bring another target to the game and more combat options. For example, one player could kite the enemies and build a large tank character while the other picks them off with their bow.
The developers of the game recommend playing the camp co-operatively with 3 players. A lot of the mechanics seem to allude to this as most of the ships feature seats and the option to hold the mast when travelling by boat. The game is designed to be played co-operatively with friends although it can be beaten and enjoyed by playing solo.
Should I Buy Valheim to Play Solo?
This one kind of depends on the kind of player you are. Technically speaking the game can be played, enjoyed and beaten all whilst playing solo. If you’ve played and enjoyed games like Minecraft, Ark: Survival Evolved and other crafting survival games, chances are you are going to love playing Valheim. I have played a lot of the game by myself and beaten many bosses alone.
Although I have enjoyed the game solo I would have to say the game really came alive to me whilst playing with friends. Some of the experiences are just genuinely more enjoyable with a friend nearby. Playing the games co-operatively opens up a lot of the boss fights to more strategy rather than cheesing. You could actually determine roles in your Viking clan rather than just trying to do everything yourself.
Finding People to Play Valheim With
If you do plan on getting the game to play solo but feel as though you need to find other players, you can always check out the Valheim Subreddit and try to find players that way. I have personally seen many people commenting and posting about loving the game, but looking for a friend to play with. Luckily Valheim makes it very easy to set up a world and play co-operatively with other people. You can even bring your character to different servers without affecting your skill levels and inventory.
With the client-side player saving, you can easily switch your character from your solo world, to playing with friends without losing progress. This is great if you’re waiting for one of your friends to get online and just want to gather some more materials for that next big build solo. Every server in Valheim can host a maximum of 10 players.
You could also think about joining a server. There are many, many dedicated servers available to find on Valheim’s server browser. Simply select the join game from the in-game menu and you can see which servers are currently online, although every server will be password protected, so you’ll have to find a member of the server to share the password with you first. There is also an official Discord for the game which can be joined by clicking that link. The Discord has a dedicated chat for people looking to find others to join a co-op session.
At the time of writing there are no Official Valheim servers.
Summary + Editor’s Note
To summarize, if you enjoy grinding games of a similar genre to Valheim you will enjoy the game as a solo player. Solo players will face a greater challenge than co-op players although if you enjoy a challenge you should have no problems. There are resources and channels available to you if you do feel like making friends and joining others in co-op. Read the Steam reviews for the game, read my personal review of the game here and see if it’s the kind of game you can get into. You’d be supporting a small 5-person development team called Iron Gate Studio with your purchase of the game.
I really hope that this post has helped sway your decision on purchasing or not purchasing the game. Personally, I’m having a great time in the game and hope that like-minded players can find this gem of a game for themselves. I really can’t wait to see what the future brings for the development of Valheim. If you have any further questions or want to know anything at all about the game, check out different guides on the site or leave a comment here or on any other relevant page.