The Valheim Hearth and Home update will be the first major addition since its release on February 2. Since then the game has rallied over 6 million Vikings to fight and craft their way through its mythical realm. While most players are still enjoying themselves sailing the seas, fighting giant mosquito’s, and exploring the limits of Valheim’s architecture, we’re also looking forward to this first drop of new content.
Developer Iron Gate presented a roadmap for 2021. The first update on the list is called ‘Hearth and Home’. As the name suggests, it will add more home-related items and activities to the game. Here is everything we know about the upcoming update so far, from the Valheim Hearth and Home release date to the mysterious teaser.
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Valheim Hearth and Home release date
Although Valheim Hearth and Home is the first of the four major updates planned for 2021, it doesn’t have a specific release date yet. Luckily, we have reason to believe that the Hearth and Home release date will be a few weeks from now.
Back in February, Iron Gate co-founder Henrik Törnqvist explained in an interview with PCGamer that the team would focus on bug fixes first. Due to Valheim’s massive rise in popularity and the relatively small size of the Iron Gate team (which, as Törnqvist points out, is only five people), there were a lot of things in need of improvement. Törnqvist confirmed that the team would start working on Hearth and Home as soon as they felt ready.
It looks like that time has now come. On March 19, Iron Gate released a statement on Steam saying “as things are calming down since launch, we can spend more time working on our first big update”. Given that Valheim’s roadmap schedules three more big updates for 2021, the team will likely plan the Hearth and Home release date as soon as possible. Assuming they are indeed currently working on it, the update will hopefully arrive in April or May.
Valheim Hearth and Home new building options
So, what can we expect from the Valheim Hearth and Home update? The Valheim team has been quite secretive so far, but we do know that Hearth and Home will add more Valheim building options and food-related content. As many Valheim fans have taken a liking to building entire Viking cities, this is exciting news.
Although we haven’t seen any new building-related gameplay yet, Henrik Törnqvist already disclosed the release of more building pieces, as well as “more stuff to do in and around the house”. The new building pieces could include new structures as well as new materials. Additional furniture and decorations may also be on the agenda.
As most building materials are currently made of wood and stone, it’s possible that Hearth and Home will add more building items made of iron. There could be more crafting structures as well, or updates to current crafting stations such as the Stone Cutter or Artisan Table. As it is, the Stone Cutter only has one recipe and the Artisan Table has none, making them likely candidates for a Hearth and Home update.
Valheim Hearth and Home new food options
Robin Eyre, Iron Gate’s lead artist, addressed the upcoming update in one of his streams. According to him, we can expect more home-oriented stuff, a lot more food, and food-rebalancing. He also suggested that they might add more cooking stations, as there are currently only two.
There are almost two dozen food items and recipes in Valheim, but there is plenty of room for additional content. Hearth and Home will likely add more crops to the game, and perhaps more farmable animals. As for re-balancing the food; Eyre may be referring to food stats, or to the fact that you currently can’t die of starvation in Valheim. After Hearth and Home releases, we may no longer be able to go on for days without cooking.
Valheim Hearth and Home raven teaser
The developers recently shared a teaser for the Hearth and Home update (see picture). The question that keeps us all awake at night is: what does it tell us?
At first glance, the teaser may give the impression that the bird is resting on an extended hand. Upon closer inspection though, it looks like the raven is actually resting on a rooftop, which makes a lot more sense given the name of the update. The roof itself looks different from the thatch roof currently available in-game, so this teaser may be a sneak-peek of new building materials.
Furthermore, Valheim already has a similar roof adornment in the shape of a dragon among the building options. It’s possible that the structure in this teaser is simply a new decoration which will be added in Hearth and Home. It’s hard to tell with certainty whether the raven is part of the woodcarving or a living bird though.
If it’s the latter, perhaps the teaser is simply telling us that Hearth and Home will let us keep birds for pets. Then again, there may be a deeper meaning behind the image. Valheim is based on Norse mythology after all, so it could be that this raven is no ordinary raven, but one of Odin’s ravens. Who knows?
Valheim’s 2021 roadmap
Apart from Hearth and Home, Iron Gate has three other big Valheim updates planned for 2021. Here’s a short overview:
- Hearth and Home: building and food updates.
- Cult of the Wolf: new combat and exploration features, likely taking place in the Mountain biome (the only biome where wolves can spawn).
- Ships and the Sea: more content for the Ocean biome and more crafting options for ships.
- Mistlands: this update will add an entirely new biome to the game. The Mistlands can already be found, but the biome is still empty for now.
Do keep in mind that the roadmap was already created when Valheim launched. As the team was unaware of the game’s success at the time, they may have underestimated their workload. Since a good part of 2021 has already been dedicated to bug fixes and scaling Deathsquito’s, it’s possible that part of the planned content will be delayed to 2022. We’ll just have to wait and see, and in the meantime; let’s build another longhouse!