Valheim dev confirms work has started on the game's next biome, the Ashlands

Valheim
(Image credit: Iron Gate)

The Valheim Mistlands update launched back in December, adding a slew of additional content, including a new biome as well as new enemies, weapons, and materials to the survival sandbox. With Mistlands done and dusted, developer Iron Gate Studio is getting the ball rolling on its next big biome, the Valheim Ashlands update

In a blog post (opens in new tab), Iron Gate Studio revealed that the Ashlands is now in the pre-production phase and will offer an experience that is distinctive from what's come before. "It will be quite different from what we're all used to, given that the Ashlands is a large chunk of land at the far south of the map, rather than small islands spread out over the world," the developer explains.

It's also taking a different approach when it comes to development, choosing to share what it's working on as much as possible with fans rather than taking the "very secretive" approach it did when creating the Mistlands. Naturally, this will give you the best idea as to what to expect when the Ashlands eventually arrives, but as the developer points out, "you will see things in their early stages, and maybe even things that won't end up making it into the game at all."

As part of its first batch of info on the new location, Iron Gate Studio showed off concept art of some of the enemies that call the Ashlands their home. The first shows sword and staff wielding skeletons called "The Charred" with glowing red eyes that make them look seriously spooky. Then there's "Morgen," an equally unsettling four-legged creature with a mouth full of pointy teeth and skulls. "As you might be able to guess from these images, our current design vision for the Ashlands is that it's a land of the dead, as well as a place with quite a volcanic nature," says the developer. 

Valheim is targeting a spring release on Xbox Series X/S and Xbox One, and crossplay will be fully supported between all platforms. In the meantime, Iron Gate Studio is also working on an update it's dubbed Hildir's Quest, which as well as adding Hilder as an NPC, offers brand-new clothing options and the ability to restyle your character's hair. Lastly, the developer is working on ways to make the game more accessible and welcomes any solutions players might have "so that more people can enjoy Valheim."

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Anne-Marie Ostler
Freelance Writer

Originally from Ireland, I moved to the UK in 2014 to pursue a Games Journalism and PR degree at Staffordshire University. Following that, I've freelanced for GamesMaster, Games TM, Official PlayStation Magazine and, more recently, Play and GamesRadar+. My love of gaming sprang from successfully defeating that first Goomba in Super Mario Bros on the NES. These days, PlayStation is my jam. When not gaming or writing, I can usually be found scouring the internet for anything Tomb Raider related to add to my out of control memorabilia collection.