Playing Valheim with friends is the best way to enjoy Viking survival game. To do that, you will need to create servers in the game so that other players can join or join you on their servers. However, Valheim’s menus can be a bit confusing to navigate, especially if you really don’t know much about local hosting or dedicated servers. And even joining games can be a bit tricky, requiring you to use Steam’s menus to find servers using IP addresses.
Check out the guide below for everything you need to know to set up your own servers or join someone else in Valheim. It’s also worth noting that if you’re looking for new cooperative Viking friends, you can check out the community server list and join other people you don’t know, although you should do so at your own risk as you never know if your new friends will be they will become afflicted. It is also good practice to check if the Discord servers go with your Valheim servers so you can talk to other players.
We have even more coverage of Valheim, so be sure to check out our guides to upgrade your workbench, craft armor, hunt down Iron, and beat The Elder.
Join a server
The Join for Valheim feature can be a bit silly. We had trouble finding the servers created by our friends when going through the game client. Your should being able to join a friend’s Valheim server from the main menu using the server name or IP address. If the server is configured correctly, it should appear in the list of community servers by name; use the “Filter” text box to find it. You will need the password in order to login. If that doesn’t work, use the “IP” button to search the server by its IP number and enter the password.
However, if none of those options work, there is another way to avoid using Steam. Exit Valheim and go to the Steam window that you use to launch the game. Find the menu at the top of the window and select “View.” Go through the list to “Servers” and click on it to open a new window.
In the servers window, go to the “Favorites” tab and click the “Add a server” button in the lower right corner. Another menu window will appear where you can enter the IP address of the server you want to join. Do that and enter the password when prompted. Steam will start Valheim automatically and allow you to choose your character; You will have to enter the password again to enter the server, but it shouldn’t load any problems from there.
That should add the server to your “Favorites” list, so it will appear in the Servers window from now on. You can enter it again in the same way, from the View menu. Just double click on the server you want and enter the password to enter the game.
Create a local game
This is a relatively simple option for players who want to hang out in small groups and do not intend to play alone. Creating
Start the game and choose a character. When you press Start, you will have the option to create a random world, make a custom one based on a specific seed, or join a game created by someone else. If you create your own world, you can start a server that other players can join by clicking the “Start Server” radio button. That will allow other players to log in with you; just set a password and a name for your server and voila. Other people you provide that information to should be able to find your server and join you while you play.
Making a local server uses the computer you’re playing Valheim on to host everyone else playing with you, which has a few drawbacks. First, it is somewhat limited in the number of people it can accommodate. Valheim’s game worlds can support up to 10 players at a time, but your computer is likely to struggle as more players enter, so try to keep your groups closer to four or five.
Also note that since a local server uses your computer to host the game, it is not available when you are not playing. If you log out of Valheim while others are playing on your local server, you will also be logged out of the game and they will have to wait for you to log back in to play on your server again. With that in mind, it’s best to use a local server when you’re going to reliably play with the same small group at predictable times.
Create a dedicated server
You can also create a dedicated Valheim server that will not require you to log into the game in order to play. You will need a computer that can stay online to allow your group to log in, or consider paying for a service to rent a server that you can use for the game.
Before doing anything else, you will need to configure port forwarding on your internet router to ensure that other players can access the server from the internet. Check your router and internet service provider’s website for more information on how to do this. Make a note of the port number you use for this step, because you will need that information later. By default, Valheim servers use ports 2456-2458.
To start a dedicated Valheim server, you will need to download a tool from Steam that came with the game when you purchased it. Find it by clicking on the drop-down menu on the left side of your Steam interface, labeled “Games” and selecting “Tools.” Searching for “Valheim” will bring up the Valheim Dedicated Server Tool, which you will need to download.
From there, the steps to set up a server are pretty straightforward, though you’ll need to do a quick text edit to get started.
1. On the Valheim dedicated server page on Steam, click the Settings gear icon in the upper right corner. Go to “Manage”, then “Find local files”. You can also get this same menu by right-clicking on Valheim Dedicated Server under Tools.
2. In the local files window, search for “start_headless_server.bat”. You will need to edit that file with a text editor like Notepad, but first, make a copy of the file to serve as a backup in case something goes wrong.
3. Right click on start_headless_server.bat and choose “Edit” to open it in Notepad. Go to the last line of the file, which begins with “valheim_server”. You will need to make some changes to this line to configure your server parameters
4. Find ‘-name “My server”‘ on the line and change “My server” to the name you want to give the server. It can be anything, but it is good to choose something that your friends will recognize. Your name must remain in quotes, so if you were to name your server GameSpot, the entry would look like this: -name “GameSpot”
5. Find ‘-port 2456’ on the line and change the number to the port number you used for port forwarding on your router.
6. Find ‘Dedicated world’ on the line and give your game world a name instead of ‘Dedicated’. If you’ve already created a Valheim world (which you can do from the start menu when you start the game), you can use that world, just enclose its name in quotes. Otherwise, a new game world will be created with the name you use here.
7. Find ‘-password “Secret”‘ on the line and set your server password. Anything you put in quotes will be the server password and will be case sensitive. You will need to give this password to anyone else you want to be able to access the server, so it is a good idea to write it down for quick reference.
8. Find ‘Savedir [PATH]’ On the line. By default, Valheim saves your game worlds and various permission files to a specific folder in the AppData folder within your Windows username folder. If you want the game to save those files elsewhere, you can specify the file path.
9. Save “start_headless_server.bat” and run the file to start your dedicated server. You will know that it is ready for other players to connect to it when you see the message “Game server connected” in the server program window. If the server program triggers a Windows Firewall popup, be sure to allow full permissions by checking all the boxes so that other players can connect to your server.
10. Allow other players to join your server by adding it to the Community server list from the Valheim menu when you start the game; players should be able to find your server by the name you gave it. You can also take the server’s IP address once it’s up and running and give it to your friends so they can search the server that way. As mentioned in the Join section above, if Valheim’s server list and IP address lookup feature is working, use Steam’s “Server” page (under the View menu in Steam) to find the server that way. . Make sure to give your friends the server password or they won’t be able to join.
That’s it! If you need more information, you can find the “Valheim Dedicated Server Manual” in the local files on the Valheim Dedicated Server, where start_headless_server.bat is located.
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