Our Valheim Server Guide will tell you what you need to know about setting up a Valheim server -- and we'll help you figure out if you need a server at all. Whether you're setting up a server locally, hosting one through steam, or purchasing a dedicated Valheim server for Xbox or PC(affiliate), we've got you covered on the settings you'll want to know!
Do You Need a Valheim Server?
Before you get a dedicated Valheim server, you should ask yourself whether or not you need a server at all. A server will have to either be hosted on a PC or server you own (which costs money and wears down the parts) or you'll have to rent a server from a company (which also costs money).
However, Valheim has multiplayer built right into the game. Players can join you (or you can join them) via Steam. The only disadvantage is that you will not be able to join a game if the host is not running it.
You probably don't need a Valheim server if you're occasionally playing with the same group of people at the same time. If you and your friends are playing at different times, however, it may be worth the money to invest in hosting a Valheim server.
How to Play Valheim Multiplayer Without a Server
Here's how to play Valheim multiplayer without a server:
- Start the game.
- Select your character.
- On the "Select World" screen, check the radio button for "Start Server." This will allow other people to join your game.
- Optionally, you can check "Community Server" and it will be included in the in-game server list.
- Enter a Password in the "Server Password" field.
- It's a good idea to enter a Password to prevent unwanted people from joining your game, even if you don't list your session as a Community Server. Better safe than sorry!
- Click the "Start" button to begin hosting your game for multiplayer.
- Invite your friends to join the game through Steam.
Remember, your multiplayer session will only be active as long as you are playing the game. If you leave the world, the session will shut down and everyone else joining you will be kicked out of the game.
How to Set Up a Valheim Server
If you'd prefer to host a server yourself, you can do it for free with the Valheim Dedicated Server that is available on Steam. You don't even need to own a copy of the game to host a server!
Here are the basics of how to do it:
- Open up your Steam Library.
- Type "Valheim Dedicated Server" in the search and you should see the Valheim Dedicated Server pop up on the left.
- Click on the server and then click the "Install" button to download and install the dedicated server on your PC.
- Once the server is installed, right-click on the Valheim Dedicated Server in your Steam Library and select "Properties."
- Select "Local Files" on the left.
- Click "Browse" to open up the folder containing your Valheim Dedicated Server files.
- Right-click on "start_server_headless.bat" and select Edit. Make the necessary edits (such as setting your World name, see more below).
- Start your Valheim Server. Players should now be able to join your game.
You'll have to do a bit of configuration to get the server going properly. This can be found in the aforementioned "start_server_headless.bat" file; you can edit it with Notepad by default.
Here's what an unaltered start_server_headless.bat file looks like:
echo "Starting server PRESS CTRL-C to exit"
REM Tip: Make a local copy of this script to avoid it being overwritten by steam.
REM NOTE: Minimum password length is 5 characters & Password cant be in the server name.
REM NOTE: You need to make sure the ports 2456-2458 is being forwarded to your server through your local router & firewall.
valheim_server -nographics -batchmode -name "My server" -port 2456 -world "Dedicated" -password "secret"
There are four key elements that you'll probably want to change before starting your server:
- -name "My server" - Change the text within the quotes to set a name for your server.
- port 2456 - Leave this alone. However, you may need to do port forwarding on your router in rare cases. You may also, as a result, need to change this number to a different port; consult your router documentation if you have any issues with the default port.
- -world "Dedicated" - This is the name of the World that will be created when you first start the server.
- Alternatively, you can copy the files from an existing World and place it within your Valheim server directory. In that case, you will have to change this name to match the World you intend to use.
- -password "Secret" - This is the password required to join your server. You should change it from the default to something else.
There are several other additional options that you can add to start_server_headless.bat according to the Valheim Dedicated Server Manual included in the same directory:
- -public 1 - Set to 1 for your server to be searchable in the in-game server directory. Set 0 to have it hidden.
- If you set this to 0, people will only be able to connect to your server by entering the exact IP address on the Connect screen.
- -logFile "d:\log.txt" - Determines where the directory where the server log file will be stored.
- -saveinterval 1800 - Determines how often the server saves in seconds.
- -backups 4 -- Determines how many automatic backups will be saved on server storage.
- -backupshort 7200 - Determines how much time elapses before the first server backup in seconds.
- -backuplong 43200 - Determines how much time elapses before subsequent server backups happen in seconds.
Once this is all set up, people will have to connect to your external IP address (which you can easily find through services such as WhatIsMyIP).
How to Get a Hosted Valheim Server
If you would prefer to offload the trouble of hosting a Valheim server to a third party, there are a number of companies available that can do it for you. The offerings between each company vary; but we would recommend our affiliate partner Survival Servers, who provide Valheim Servers for Xbox and PC for a low cost!
You can easily start a fresh Valheim map on any third-party server host. However, moving an existing map onto a hosted server will be different depending on which server host you go with; refer to your host's documentation for more details.
That's the end of our Valheim Server Guide. Make sure to check out the rest of our Valheim Guides below!