If you haven’t heard about Valheim yet, then maybe you live on the moon? Don’t have internet? Or maybe even both! Valheim has been a hit out of nowhere and for good reason, so sit back, learn how to get yourself a Valheim server and get ready for one hell of a day.
The first thing you want to decide is how you want to play. If you’re okay with the server just being up when the host is online, or if you want the Valheim server up all the time.
1. Renting a Valheim Server
So, lets jump straight in with the obvious one, renting a server from a hosting company.
When doing this there is the obvious pros and cons, the server is coming from a data center that commonly has a 1GB network and powerful machines designed to take the strain of running several game servers.
But of course, all of that comes at a cost, which for some people might not be possible. I can’t help you with that, other than offering you advice on other ways to set up your own Valheim server.
If you do choose to set up a Valhim server via a hosting company, head on over to Arkservers.io and use the discount code UNBOXEDREVIEWS you get a 20% discount on the first month and we get a small affiliation payout which helps us to keep the site running, win-win!
2. How to Play Valheim with Friends without a Dedicated Server
If renting a server isn’t for you, then it’s time to look closer to home. There are options for setting up your own server on Valheim. Firstly we will look at setting up a non-dedicated session, but this will require the host being on at all times, much like how 7 days to die works for multiplayer.
Getting setup is fairly simple, but it will help if you have an above-average internet connection and a decent computer. Even then there is still a good chance that the further you venture, the more likely it will be that you encounter stutters and lag.
- Launch Valheim and either select your current character, or create a new one if it’s your first time on the game
- On the same window, you will see start-server & community server tick boxes. Make sure to check them
- Add a password. If you want the server locked to you and your friends, this is the best option. Of course, keep it open if you want random guests and don’t set a password
- Press start and once in-game your friends can join by either going to the join game tab or by an invite from you
Depending on your internet connection, and the more people that join the server, you may have to explore alternative options to ensure you can enjoy smooth gameplay as each person that joins might put more strain on your connection.
Create Your Own Dedicated Server for Valheim
When you purchase Valheim it’s not clear straight away that you also get the Valheim Dedicated Server for free with the base game.
Simply go to your library and search for Valheim, as pictured below.
Once you have downloaded the dedicated server in Steam, locate the install directory and look for a file named ‘start_headless_server’. You will need to right-click on this and press edit. If you don’t have notepad++ I highly recommend it for these kinds of edits as it places comments in green and the color-coding makes finding your way around bat files much easier, especially if its new territory for you.
- -name Is what you want to call your server, so for example -name”unboxedreviews server”
- -world This is similar to a Minecraft seed, just make sure that this is unique and not matching the server name
- -password So this one is pretty obvious, if you plan to add a password, this is where you can add it
As the files state, you will need to go into your router & firewall and make sure that you open up ports 2456-2458 TCP/UDP.
Save the file and run it, you will see a small black CMD window open up. This is your dedicated server booting up. Once it has finished booting up, do not close that CMD window, just minimize it and you will be able to see your server up and running and jump in at this point.
When in-game, you will need to enter your IP and the forwarded port to join, this will also be the details you will need to give to anyone else wanting to join the dedicated Valheim server.
Dedicated Server Potential Issues
Much like the previous option, the quality of gameplay will depend on how many players join. More importantly, if you have booted up the dedicated server on your own machine, which could suffer the same lag issues as the previous method, but if you have done this remotely on a rented/owned server at a data center, of course, you will have a much better connection.
If any of your friends have any issues joining the server there are a couple of other options to help get them online:
- If they are a friend, they can join on you via Steam
- You can take a look at adding the server as a favorite in Steam by clicking “view” at the top of Steam and then servers, click the favorites tab and paste the IP and port.
You might wonder, who has a spare remote server kicking about at a datacenter. Well, you would actually be surprised! For gaming communities that play multiple online games, it’s often much more cost-effective for them to rent a dedicated server than it is to rent several individual game servers.