Valheim Ashlands update, Hildir’s Quest and roadmap

Valhiem Ashlands
(Image credit: Iron Gate)

The Valheim Ashlands update will add the next major biome to the 10th Norse world. On top of that, they’ve announced the first of a series of smaller updates, called Hildir’s Quest. While the Ashlands release date is still a way off, Iron Gate has already shared some truly creepy concept art and details.

Here’s everything we know about the Valheim Ashlands, plus everything else on the current roadmap.

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, and we shouldn’t 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 late 2023 or early 2024. 

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. In other words, while the wait for the Ashlands may feel quite long, we can look forward to some fun gameplay additions in the coming months.

What are the Valheim Ashlands?

Unlike previous biomes, the Valheim Ashlands occupy a permanent location in the deep south of the map. This means that instead of the usual mix of biomes, all of the southern islands are part of the 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”.

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!

Valhiem Ashlands

(Image credit: Iron Gate)

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.

Valhiem Ashlands

(Image credit: Iron Gate)

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!

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 roadmap

Valheim will receive some smaller updates before the Ashlands biome arrives. In short, here’s what to look out for (not in order of release):

  • New difficulty settings
  • Hildir’s Quest update
  • Xbox Game Pass release
  • Accessibility update

First of all, the developers are considering the addition of new difficulty settings, which should allow you to make those Deathsquitos a lot less intimidating... Or a lot more.

Secondly, Valheim will receive a new NPC, Hildir, in what is called the “Hildir’s Quest” update. Hildir’s Quest also adds a possibility to restyle your character’s hair, plus a bunch of fancy new clothes, which you can admire in the picture above.

While Valheim has been available on PC Game Pass for several months now, Xbox players haven’t been so lucky. The Valheim Xbox release, which includes crossplay support, is still planned for early 2023.

Finally, the developers want to make Valheim more accessible. If there’s anything that affects your Valheim experience, Iron Gate is welcoming emails with accessibility suggestions. 

That’s all we know about the Ashlands and the Valheim roadmap for now. Happy sailing, Vikings!

Marloes Valentina Stella

I’m a freelance journalist who (surprise!) kind of has a thing for videogames. When I’m not working on guides for GamesRadar, you can probably find me somewhere in Teyvat, Novigrad, or Whiterun. Unless I’m feeling competitive, in which case you should try Erangel. You can also find my words on PCGamesN, Fanbyte, PCGamer, Polygon, Esports Insider, and Game Rant.