Valheim is a Viking inspired strategy game for up to 10 players. You build, survive, conquer, and explore the world. It's become very popular in recent times because it combines strategy of building your town stronghold with tough adventures and encounters with the enemies of the world. In the massive procedurally generated world you can build settlements, castles, and ships using the game's extensive crafting system, where survival is in your hands.
Valheim is similar to games like The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild in the cooking, exploration and open world. It also includes the big boss battles of games like Genshin Impact, Monster Hunter and Demon Souls. Similar games to Valheim also include multiplayer experiences like Sea of Thieves where you work together with friends to complete missions.
The game is not yet rated by PEGI. It's worth nothing that this is an online experience players can chat and interact with other people. Players can attack and damage each other. You can set-up your own server to play with just people that you know.
In terms of Valheim's Age Rating, the developer states this is "a brutal exploration and survival game". When you die you a tomb stone appears and your body disappears with large splashes of blood on the ground. This is an experience for older teenagers.
Valheim is out in beta on PC via Steam for £15.49. A Mac version is expected, but currently Valheim Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 are not planned. Although the developer has said it "won’t rule out console versions in the future".
There is no subscription required to play Valheim online. As with most PC games this feature is available as part of the price of the game.
This early access release is to enable the developers to refine the game for releasing it more widely. "We want to make the best game we can, and even in beta we’ve learnt that working directly with our community is the best way to do that. Valheim is a huge world and we have lots that we want to add, and Early Access is a way for us to receive constant valuable feedback, collaborate with our players on what they want to see, and keep our players in mind at every step of the development cycle.”
The final version will have additional content, such as "new biomes, new enemies, new bosses and new materials to find. We want to expand the crafting system with new crafting stations, and of course more recipes. We also want to add more types of weapons and build-pieces so you can further customize your viking stronghold, and make it withstand new threats.”
Although the game itself doesn't offer parental controls, you can use the features on Windows 10 to specify how and when the game is played. This also offers some control over online interactions.
If your child would like to play Valheim but after reading our guide you think they are not old enough, the following games offer a good alternative.