One of 2021's gaming success stories, Valheim has only been in Early Access for a few weeks, but it's already enjoyed a meteoric rise up the Steam charts — selling over three million copies in its first three weeks and boasting 500,000 concurrent players at its peak.
Though the game doesn't officially support modding, there's no way a PC title this popular wasn't going to attract a host of fan-made mods sooner rather than later. The game came out of nowhere in early February, and it's taken a few days for the modding community to catch up, but we are now beginning to see the release of some mods that are proving popular.
As ever with third-party mods, be aware that you install at your own risk. Where possible, read reviews before downloading anything to ensure that the mod files are legit. Finally, it's always a good policy to back up any save files you can't bear to lose before playing with mods.
And with that warning out of the way, here are some of the best Valheim mods we've seen so far:
- Valheim Plus
- First Person View
- True Creative Mode
- Valheim Vanilla HD
- Useful Trophies
If you've only heard of one Valheim mod, it's probably Valheim Plus. This mod — uploaded to NexusMods by user nXxyz — combines a number of quality-of-life improvements with an Advanced Building Mode, to the delight of many of the more architechturally-inclined Vikings out there.
Little improvements include the ability to easily modify your character's carry weight, food duration, and stamina usage — effectively allowing you to customise your character's strength and constitution under a different name. It also adds easier map sharing between players in co-op.
The headliner, though, is definitely the building mode introduced by the mod. Valheim doesn't currently have an in-built creative mode, though you can use debug cheats to unlock some similar effects.
With Valheim Plus, however, you can place objects much more precisely than you can in the vanilla game even with snapping turned off. It also allows you to move building pieces without having to destroy and re-craft them, saving everyone some time and removing a source of frustration for anyone building with an artistic vision.
We've already seen players taking on some extremely creative building projects in Valheim, so it'll be great to see what these builders do in Advanced Building Mode.
You can install Valheim Plus on either a local save or a shared server you host — there are instructions on how to do both on the mod download page.
First Person View
Valheim is designed as a third-person game, but that doesn't mean that fans of first-person views are entirely out of luck.
NexusMods user kailen37 has uploaded their First Person View mod, a "work in progress" that is nevertheless already perfectly playable.
After installing the mod, entering first person view is as easy as zooming all the way in on your character.
True Creative Mode
If you want a building-focused mod but aren't too bothered about the other features of Valheim Plus, True Creative Mode might be of interest. Inspired by Minecraft's Creative Mode, this mod works very similarly.
This mod sounds like some kind of roleplaying total conversion, but is in fact a highly useful quality-of-life improvement.
Death isn't particularly punishing in Valheim. Since your character is already dead, getting killed is mainly a matter of respawning at a spawn point and trudging back to wherever you left your old body. This spot is marked by a gravestone, which you can interact with to reclaim anything you had on your person when you went and died.
While this is pretty generous as far as survival games go, getting back to your gravestone can be arduous if your spawn point is far away. Potentially, you can even end up trapped in a loop of getting killed on your way to pick up all your gear.
The Gravekeeper mod, uploaded to NexusMods by user MTNewton, averts this by simply respawning you with all your stuff already in your inventory. If exploration without the need for caution is your preferred play style, this mod can be a great time saver.
There are some amazing player-created Valheim builds out there. Players with an architectural flair have been proving that the game's deceptively simple base building system is unexpectedly flexible — with everything from the Millennium Falcon to Notre-Dame de Paris getting a Viking-style makeover.
Sadly, the only way to get these grand designs in your own game is to painstakingly recreate them for yourself. But if you lack the time or just the confidence in your own skills, there is an emerging alternative.
The BuildShare mod, available on Nexus mods from user CRdev, does pretty much what it says on the tin. It allows you to save and load Valheim buildings as a new ".vbuild" file type.
This is useful even if you're playing solo, since it allows you to back up your favourite creations, move them around the map, or even transplant them into a different save. And while you still can't get hold of another player's buildings unless they also have the mod and are in the mood to share, it has allowed Valheim's burgeoning building community to begin sharing their designs.
Valheim Vanilla HD
Valheim's retro graphics are a deliberate feature. The devs' stated aim was to create a visual style reminiscent of early-2000s games like RuneScape, while freeing them up to focus on gameplay and performance.
And while you can't deny it's an approach that's worked out pretty well — the game sold 5 million copies in its first month, after all — several intrepid modders have taken it upon themselves to give the game a bit of a visual polish.
For my money (well, these mods are all free, but you know what I mean), the best of these is Valheim Vanilla HD by Nexus mods user ZDante. ZDante has made a point of upscaling textures and removing pixellation while otherwise leaving the game's distinctive feel alone.
As someone who likes Valheim's nostalgia-inducing aesthetic, but has sometimes been frustrated by its muddy graphics, I'm a fan of what they've done here.
Planting crops in Valheim is technically optional, but it's a big part of establishing a base. Having a kitchen garden is basically essential for making sure your characters are keeping fed with the best HP and stamina-boosting recipes.
It can be a bit frustrating, then, to take time over planting a garden, only to find that some of your seeds haven't grown. The game has a hidden measurement for deciding whether crops have been planted too close together, but there's no way of working out what this is in-game without simple trial and error.
That's why I'm fond of FarmGrid, uploaded to Nexus Mods by Sarcenzzz. Using the cultivator to plant seeds will bring up a visible grid that shows you how far apart your crops should be placed. Furthermore, it introduces a handy snapping feature like the one used in building, which automatically places seeds at a suitable distance for planting.
Trophies are dropped by slain enemies in Valheim, and they're an interesting feature. While some of them are essential items for progressing the game, others are solely decorative. And although the game is fairly well balanced when it comes to trophy drops, you're eventually bound to end up with more than you could possibly need.
Useful Trophies is an aptly-named mod by Nexus Mods user Khairex. It allows you to consume the spare trophies that would otherwise just be taking up space in your base. For your disgusting act of eating the head of a creature you probably killed several days ago at least, you'll be rewarded with a skill increase.
The mod picks at random which skill to increase, but the amount will be based on the rarity of the trophy. Plus, if you somehow happen to have a spare boss trophy knocking about, you can consume those for a special effect: resetting your Guardian Power cooldown.
You can enable and disable these two effects separately, so you can leave that last part off if you're worried about accidentally consuming a boss trophy instead of placing it at the Sacrificial Stones.
We'll keep adding more cool Valheim mods to this page as we find them!
In the meantime, check out our Valheim tips page for all your Viking needs.