As the Valheim Ashlands update comes closer, we’ve collected many bits and pieces of information on this upcoming biome. Honouring its name, the next Valheim update adds barren wastelands full of burned trees and lava pools. As we navigate the fiery Ashlands biome, carefully watching our step, we may run into something even more dangerous though; have you seen the gruesome “Charred” skeletons or macabre “Morgen” concept art yet?
If you can’t wait for the Valheim Ashlands update, we’ll also explain the Valheim roadmap, which contains smaller updates arriving before the Ashlands. Hildir’s Quest is now live for example, and gives you access to a new merchant, Hildir. She's Haldor’s sister and has three dungeons for you to take on if you want to unlock all her new clothing items. Check out our guide for a full walkthrough there.
Here’s everything we know about the Valheim Ashlands update, and every other update so far!
There's no Valheim Ashlands release date yet
Developer Iron Gate announced the next Valheim update on January 16 and currently there’s no official Ashlands release date yet, nor should we expect one for quite some time. Given that it took more than a year to finish the chunky Valheim Mistlands update, the Ashlands could easily arrive in mid-2024, so we could be playing the waiting game for a while.
Keep in mind that Iron Gate dropped several smaller updates in between Hearth and Home and the Mistlands, and they’re planning on doing the same for the Ashlands. The first smaller update, Hildir’s Quest arrived in June 2023. We’ll explain Hildir’s Quest and the Valheim roadmap in more detail below.
What are the Valheim Ashlands?
So far, we know that the Ashlands are intended to become a “land of the dead” with, as the name suggests, a “volcanic nature.” Unlike previous biomes, the Valheim Ashlands occupy a permanent location in the deep south of the map, which means that instead of the usual mix of biomes, all of the southern islands are part of the Ashlands. As confirmed in a recent Valheim development blog, the Ashlands are separated from all other biomes by water, so you can’t reach them over land. Let’s hope the seas separating the Ashlands from the other Valheim biomes aren’t home to monstrous sea serpents…
You can already visit the Ashlands in the current version of the game, but you’ll find nothing but an empty, desert-like ‘filler’ landscape, which provides little indication of the biome’s final version. A bunch of fiery Surtlings are the temporary occupants of this filler biome.
Should you wish to explore this area nonetheless, beware that uncovered parts of the map usually can’t be ‘regenerated’ after an update. If you want to explore the finished Ashlands in your current world, don’t go there yet!
Valheim Ashlands creatures
Despite the (very) early development stage, Iron Gate has already shown some Ashlands concept art. The picture above shows a bunch of skeleton warriors called The Charred. They’re likely intended as a common Mistlands foe. By the looks of it, there are two melee types (one with a big sword and a dual-wielder) and a mage. If the number of skulls on their body is any indication, the Charred with the dual blades and the mage are the most dangerous.
While this nightmarish undead bird model may show us an additional Ashlands creature, it could also be a more advanced version of the Charred, as suggested by the visible skull underneath the beak and the overall body shape. What do you think: is it just an undead bird, a skeleton cosplaying as a plague doctor, or a candidate for the role of Ashlands biome boss?
The second piece of concept art shows another creature that clearly fits the “undead” theme; Morgen. Looking somewhat more intimidating and unique, this creature could be a mini boss, perhaps found inside an Ashlands dungeon. Who knows, it could even be the next big biome boss!
To make your journey to the Ashlands extra scary, the Valheim devs are planning on putting a BoneMaw Serpent in your way. These giant sea snakes will guard the fiery shorelines -and we bet they’re a lot more dangerous than the ‘regular’ ocean serpents. Based on the latest creature model, we may be able to spot these Bonemaw Serpents by the spikey bones on their head as we navigate the seas around the Ashlands.
Luckily, not every upcoming Ashlands creature is a viking-killing monster. This vulture will become one of the region’s passive creatures, so even though it doesn’t look too friendly, it won’t attack you.
Do keep in mind that this is just concept art, not a finished design. As the developers mentioned, some of these creatures may not even make the final cut.
Valheim Ashlands weapons and armour
A new biome comes with new weapons, and based on the concept art, the Ashlands will provide the materials needed to craft some truly spooky swords. There’s a two-handed Slayer greatsword, a one-handed Niedhogg sword, Berzerkr Axes for dual-wielding, and the mysterious Eldner weapon. Based on a more recent developer update listing the Ashlands weapon types, the Eldner could be a mace.
The green, red, and blue glow on the Ashlands weapons may indicate a link to Valheim Eitr (blood or elemental magic), much like the Mistlands staffs. However, as the developers disclosed, you need to do something to unlock these special powers – and no, they won’t tell us what that special something is. Without their magic, the Ashlands axes and swords will appear as regular weapons.
Looks like melee combat won’t be the only type of fight we’re facing, as the Ashlands update will most likely introduce some siege weapons needed for “fortress time” (more on that below). In a recent tweet, Valheim developer Robin Eyre said that this might involve a coal-fueled battering ram, and perhaps even a catapult.
Whether it’s for melee, ranged, or siege weapons, the Ashlands’ crafting recipes will likely require some of the local creatures’ drops. So far, we know that those drops will likely include feathers, large teeth, and hearts.
This Valheim update would not be complete without new Viking fashion, so the developers have promised to add three brand-new Ashlands armour sets, thus granting every player the opportunity to find something that befits their playstyle. The picture above shows concept art for the light armour set on the right, and what looks to be an Ashlands Eitr mage armour set on the left. As explained in a developer’s blog, the latter is named after one of the two first humans in Norse mythology to symbolize rebirth and new beginnings: Embla.
Valheim Ashlands buildings and terrain
Based on recent sneak peeks, the Valheim Ashlands are formed by two types of terrain: a dark, rocky landscape flooded by lava, and ashy patches with nothing but barren trees – a remnant of the once lush forest.
As for buildings, the developers posted three models of potential Ashlands fortresses, which could become dungeons or the biome boss’ lair. The first one, as shown above, is clearly filled with lava. The second fortress exhibits a bright red light instead of lava, while the third fortress is enclosed by circular walls. To see the full collection, take a look at the original tweet.
Speaking of dungeons, the developers announced a slight change to the usual biome progression, which (for now) is called “Fortress Time!” As we know that the Ashlands update will include siege engines, it’s highly likely that we’ll need those machines to capture fortresses guarded by The Charred. Whether this is the Ashlands dungeon challenge or merely gives us access to the dungeon’s entrance… That remains to be seen.
Our first glance at Ashlands architecture shows a bunch of cathedral-like archways. For now, it’s unclear if these same shapes and materials will become available as building materials.
The mysterious Ashlands machine shown above may look like an Obliterator, but it will have a different function. For now, its purpose remains a mystery – perhaps it’s used to “charge” the Ashlands weapons, thus unlocking their Eitr powers, or maybe it’s used to clear the ground of lava.
Valheim will receive a bunch of smaller updates before the Ashlands update arrives. The first of these was added on February 7, when the developers released a patch with several bug fixes, a new Fishing Hat equipment piece, and a Hexagonal Gate build piece. The largest mini-update so far was Hildir’s Quest which, released in August 2023, added a new NPC and several new items. The Hildir’s Quest update also included new difficulty settings.
As Iron Gate abandoned their initial Valheim roadmap in June 2021, we don’t know what the next update will be following the release of the Ashlands. As the original Valheim roadmap contained a “Ships and the Sea” section, which is the only item that hasn’t received many updates since, this could be the team’s next focus.