- This brutal exploration and survival game, available today for the first time on console, is inspired by Norse mythology where you can craft powerful weapons, construct longhouses, and slay mighty foes.
- We checked in with Iron Gate Studios about adapting Valheim (Game Preview) to Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S, and how they designed it to be 1:1 to the Windows PC version.
- Valheim (Game Preview) is now available for Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Windows PC with Game Pass.
You may have already heard about Valheim, the Viking survival game that for the last few years has been sending PC gamers into a land of brutal combat, exotic exploration, and resource-scarce crafting adventures. Since hitting Windows PC with PC Game Pass a few months ago, its community has only been growing. Today, Valheim (Game Preview) comes to console for the first time with Xbox Game Pass, and we had the chance to speak to Iron Gate Studio Co-Founder Henrik Törnqvist about bringing their surprise mega-hit to Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S, and why now may be the perfect time to sharpen that axe and journey to Valheim.
When a game, especially one as dynamic as Valheim, migrates from PC to console, one may normally expect variations and differences. That won’t be the case here as Törnqvist shares with us about its journey to this new platform.
“We strive to make all versions of Valheim as similar as possible to each other, and there should be no noticeable differences in the gameplay,” he explains. “We have added an additional controller layout that should be more suitable for console players.”
While overall gameplay between PC and Xbox remains consistent, the console version will also incorporate fidelity mode settings to allow players to select between quality and performance, or even a more balanced option planned for a future update.
“It’s been rather easy to port to Xbox,” states Törnqvist. “The biggest challenge has been to make sure the network backend works and finding the right balance of visual settings. On Xbox Series X|S there will be different fidelity modes. On release it will be Quality (aiming at high fidelity at 30 FPS) and Performance (aiming at 60 FPS). We also aim to add the Balanced mode in one of the upcoming patches (aiming at 40 FPS, but higher Fidelity than Performance).”
The world of Valheim is massive and fraught with danger featuring golems, trolls, and many other dastardly creatures. If that weren’t enough for you to want to keep your axe sharp, each biome is home to a rather nasty boss — thankfully you can bring along some friends to help bring it down if it’s proving to be too difficult. The choice is yours.
One of Valheim’s key features is the option to play alone or with up to 10 players (you and nine others) on player-hosted dedicated servers. Most of the engagements are Player vs. Environment (PvE) with enemies that scale in difficulty, but there is also a Player vs. Player (PvP) duel mode when the option is enabled and if the players consent to participate.
You may be wondering how Valheim addresses multiplayer across multiple platforms. The good news is the game supports cross-platform multiplayer and Xbox Cloud saves, meaning regardless of whether you play on Windows PC or console, you’ll have access to your saved game files, and you’ll be able to play with friends or random party members on whatever platform they are playing on.
“To join any community server, all you need is a password,” explains Törnqvist. “Joining friend servers is even easier; you can simply select them and join (unless your friend password-protected the server). Valheim fully supports cross-play between platforms, as well as dedicated servers (there’s a 10-person limit on each server), and World and Character saves will be automatically transferred between Xbox and Windows PC.”
Valheim has been available in early access on PC for a couple of years now, and in that time the player base has grown as the game continues to develop and evolve. It has received numerous awards including Best Indie Game, Best Multiplayer Game, Most Surprising Game, and more. It’s highly rated and has an active online community. Contributing to this growth was bringing the game to PC Game Pass a few months ago.
“We feel like we’ve gotten a very positive reception bringing Valheim to PC Game Pass…more ways to play is better for everyone!” Törnqvist says. “Probably the biggest benefit is the increase in player numbers and us gaining a better understanding of the network backend, especially regarding the cross-play feature, which is something we at Iron Gate have never done before. Microsoft deserves a shoutout for helping us out with the technical details and getting us the support we’ve needed throughout the development.”
With Valheim (Game Preview) launching on Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S today, the team is now focused on completing development and preparing for the official launch, with Henrik Törnqvist sharing one last little bit of info on what that means for the future of the game.
“The overarching goal is of course to bring Valheim to its final version, which means we’ll be adding more biomes to the game. Next on the feature list is the Ashlands biome, so please look forward to scorching hot lava-lands and nasty fire demons (hopefully) later this year!”
Valheim (Game Preview) is now available for Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Windows PC as well as with Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass. To learn more about the game, visit the official website and follow @Valheimgame on Twitter.
Valheim (Game Preview)
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