Valheim has just received its first-ever big update since the launch in February. For months we’ve been waiting for the new content, items, and enhanced gameplay mechanics. On September 16th, Iron Gate Studio finally dropped "Hearth and Home", bringing us all that we want and more.

If you haven't caught up with the tenth realm of Norse mythology, buckle up! Grab your popcorn because this will take a while. Here's all the fun features in Valheim Hearth and Home Update.

Valheim Food Update
There's now more diversity on the table for a proper Viking dinner.

1. Food Rebalancing

When Valheim first came out, the majority of players have something against the game's food system. Though it was a nice break from the boring eating mechanics in other survival games, things can get repetitive in Valheim. You could just keep munching on the same three types of food over and over again to easily keep both your health and stamina high.

However, the food system functions quite differently after Valheim Hearth and Home Update. There are now three types of food items that you will have to choose from:

  • Health food (increase health): marked by a red fork icon in your inventory.
  • Stamina food (increase stamina): marked by a yellow fork icon in your inventory.
  • Hybrid food (increase both health and stamina): marked by a white fork icon in your inventory.

After the update, you and your Viking friends would need to be a little more careful about what you eat and when you eat. Yet, there's still no starving in the game. Your health will never drop below 25 points from hunger. But having less HP does mean a group of Greylings may send you straight back to spawn.

Iron Gate also introduces some changes to the food UI. Now, instead of a somewhat complicated, multi-colored bar, there are timers on the three food slots. These will indicate when it’s time for you to chow down more food.

Naturally, the food system update further specifies different playstyles in Valheim. You can choose to optimize stamina for constant spamming the bow or hacking down enemies. Or if you want to take the Troll first-hand and tank for your team, go for more health. And bring a shield, it's important.

2. New Cooking Stations, Edibles, And Recipes

Along with the food system balances, Iron Gate also introduces 12 new things fit for a Viking meal. Onions, oaks, and birch trees can now be cultivated to use in new recipes. On top of that, players can craft an Iron Cooking Station and a Stone Oven. They unlock new food items, like bread and pies. There are also cooking station extensions as well. Build yourself a spice rack, butcher table, pots, and pans to unlock new recipes.

Valheim Cooking
Extend your kitchen and make better-quality food items.

Here are a few of the new food items in Valheim Hearth and Home Update:

  • Boar Jerky: 20 HP, 20 Stamina.
  • Muckshake: 10 HP, 50 Stamina.
  • Deer Stew: 40 HP, 8 Stamina.
  • Minced Meat Sauce: 45 HP, 9 Stamina.
  • Wolf Jerky: 30 HP, 30 Stamina.
  • Wolf Skewer: 65 HP, 13 Stamina.
  • Onion Soup: 12 HP, 60 Stamina.
  • Black Soup: 50 HP, 10 Stamina.

Valheim Hearth and Home Update also introduces different kinds of meat. Instead of dropping just a generic type of meat, boars, deer, and other animals will drop unique meat. For example, you'll get ‘lox meat’ from lox and ‘deer meat’ from a deer. Naturally, different recipes require different meat types.

Valheim Food Update Onion
You can now farm onion in Valheim after its latest update.

Last but not least, say hello to the "bukeperries". It's a kind of foraged food item in the new Valheim update. This berry will immediately empty your stomach to free you from any horrible things you don't wish to consume.

3. Combat Changes

Just like the food system, Valheim's combat system receives some tweaks as well. For starters, let's talk shields.

  • Tower shields are now stronger with a higher knockback power compared to other shields in Valheim. It's a great defense tool against larger groups of enemies or the icy breath attacks from Moder. In trade, the tower shields are heavy and hard to maneuver.
  • Buckler shields are much smaller, hence, fit for those who love swinging their axes or Frostner. They won't have the same blocking power, but you can use them to parry incoming attacks.
  • Round shields marry the best of both worlds. It provides medium blocking power while being light enough for you to easily carry around.
Valheim Wallpaper
If you don't know what shield to pick up, go for the round ones.

On top of that, blocking power now scales with players' health. It's most ideal for tankers to consume better health food to take a hit for the team. Why? Because you can now be staggered in combat. The Valheim Hearth and Home Update adds a stagger bar. It depletes whenever an enemy hits your shield.

The stagger bar is now something to notice, especially when you're fighting hordes of enemies. Once the bar's empty, you can do nothing but watch the enemies giving you a good pounding. Try to dodge as many attacks as you can and only block what you cannot dodge.

Valheim 1st Boss
Bows are much weaker after the update.

4. Weapon Balances

Hearth and Home update brings with it some changes to the game's weapon arsenal. You will now find bows with a longer draw time, somewhat nerfs the power of rangers and encourages more close combats. The two-handed axe, on the other hand, receives a buff. It has a faster swing, higher stagger damage, and can cleave onto enemies more effectively.

Additionally, Iron Gate also introduces new shields and weapons as well in Valheim Hearth and Home Update:

  • Iron Buckler: A relatively small shield for the agile warrior.
  • Bone Tower Shield: A large, intimidating shield made from bones.
  • Crystal Battleaxe: A new drop from Golem.
  • Silver Knife: A weapon for mobile warriors who fancy some stealthy actions.
  • Butcher’s Knife: To slay your tamed animals.
Valheim frostner
Face your challenges like a real Viking in close combat.

5. New Building Pieces 

This is a quality-of-life improvement. The new update brings about a bunch of new building pieces for you to feed your imagination. Also, you now have the option to destroy items. Finally, you can get rid of that worn rag tunic.

  • Here's the list of all the new building pieces you can try in the game:
  • Darkwood building pieces: Players can now craft and use building pieces with a jet black exterior. There are more shapes to match your creativity and decorative options.
  • The Raven and Wolf home decorations: Two worthy decorative pieces as the finishing touches on your longhouse.
  • Crystal Wall: A clear, transparent wall, more like a window. You need to drop some Stone Golems to collect the materials first.
  • Cartography Table: Share map data with other players on your server.
  • Viking Hot Tub: Nothing beats a nice warm bath after a long hard day of mining, crafting, and fighting.
  • Cages: Perfect for building a beautiful dungeon.
  • Stone Throne: Fit for a king.
  • Obliterator: A handy item that destroys everything you throw in it within seconds.
Valheim Tiger Tank
Let your imagination roam free and build whatever you want!

6. Hoarding Treasure

Valheim has added a new feature in the Hearth and Home update. It allows you to show off your riches to other players. You can heap your gold in piles, create coin stacks, and even fill the soon-to-be-added treasure chest with your hard-earned gains.

And of course, you have to protect your treasure. An iron grate is also being added so that you can keep your plunder under lock and key.

Valheim Cooking Treasure Hoarding
Keep your ill-gotten gains safe and sound behind forged iron doors.

7. Plains Biome Update: Tar And Lox Mounts

This may not be as important for your survival in Valheim, but this is arguably the best part of the Hearth and Home update. You can now mount loxes. After you tame a lox (exclusive animals in the Plains as before), you can equip it with a Lox Saddle. There's a new way to explore the world. And you can also name your tamed animals from now on.

But that isn't the only reason why you want to visit the Plains Biome. Apart from finding a lox to tame, you can farm the new Tar material used to create Darkwood items. Before you set out onto the plains of death, remember to build a portal. Those Deathsquitos and Fulings are not easy challenges to take on.

Lox Mount Valheim
There's your new companion to explore the Viking world with.

8. FAQs

Is Valheim Still Being Updated?

No. The new Hearth and Home update has already rolled out on September 16th, 2021. If you set your Steam option to "Automatic update", then just launch the game and enjoy. Otherwise, you have to update Valheim manually.

Is Valheim Still In Beta?

No. Valheim has concluded its beta phase. The game is now in Early Access on Steam. It has not set an official release date yet.

That should cover everything there is to know about Valheim Hearth and Home Update. It's time to gather your friends and get back to the unforgiving tenth realm of Norse mythology. Have fun lox riding, hot-tubing, and tar collecting for you all. Valheim is currently available on Steam.

Valheim Coins
The new Hearth and Home update is already online.

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