Valheim First Impressions – Is It Worth Playing?

Get Valheim on Steam

Valheim is a brand new survival RPG that sold 4 million copies in its first three weeks after launching on Feb 2, 2021 in Early Access on Steam.

Death by tree at 3:38 🙂

Yes, you can die by a tree falling on your head, as you see at 3:38 in the video above!

It is an open world Viking themed co-op survival game with crafting. You build and battle as you give patronage to Valhalla, a refreshing mix of survival, boss fights and progression that clearly appeals to the four million people who bought it so far.

Let’s look at the pros and cons, but first, watch the video above to get first impressions of the actual gameplay.

Building your base in Valheim


Art styleI like the stylised art style. At first, I thought the textures were not loading properly, but that is how the game looks: different!
PremiseUnlike other sandbox survival games, you actually have a clear long-term goal in Valheim, working towards becoming strong enough to take on the next boss and to survive in the next biome. And you can build a boat to travel there 🙂
ProgressionI was not bored progressing through the game. It actually became more fun and addictive as I ventured further into the world.
PhysicsYou can die from a tree falling on your head! That is how you spell p-h-y-s-i-c-s in a game. And opponents take damage if a tree rolls into them down a hill. Use your environment to your advantage 🙂
MapValheim has a gigantic map. My mind was blown when I had to sail across an ocean, that felt like an ocean! There is so much to explore and I just scratched the surface of this game.
TeamworkThis is not a solo player’s game. It is absolutely fantastic to play with your spouse or a small group of friends. You can play solo, but you will not have as much fun.
HardRemember EverQuest 1 when role playing games were actually hard? This game is hard, so you feel good when you achieve your goals. The risk vs. reward is one reason I will keep playing Valheim.
It works!For a brand new Early Access game, it played well with no crashes and only a few minor annoyances.
Boss fightsThe big boss fights feel really epic.
You are freezing in Valheim


CraftingI think the building aspect of the game needs a lot of work. It was difficult to get things to snap together and it is difficult to create a flat surface on which to build your base.
FPSThe frame rate was low for me using the default settings. I had to turn off motion blur and bloom to get to a smooth FPS (frames per second). Graphics optimization needs some work.
SurvivalI personally do not like survival games that are too strict on weight limits and Valheim feels like one of those games. Hopefully they will increase the weight limits and inventory space as it is currently too tedious to manage much of the time.
StaminaEven with the stamina buff from the first boss, I feel stamina was a real pain to manage. At least they should remove stamina consumption from gathering, as it adds nothing but tedium to the game.
Gathering in Valheim: chopping a log


Valheim is the best survival game I ever played and I am going to continue playing it.

I feel like the design and structure of the game has taken the survival genre forward and I hope more survival games learn from Valheim‘s way of giving meaningful goals for the player to pursue with a world that is actually hard to survive in due to the challenging PvE (player vs. environment).

What do you think of Valheim?

Would you like to see more games combine RPG and survival elements as Valheim does?

Tell us in the comments below!

Death by a falling tree (yes, trees can kill you in Valheim!) at 3:38 in the video above


ProgramFounding Writers
AuthorGeorge Vanous

Leave a Comment