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Valheim Dedicated Server and local server: How to set up and requirements

If you want to play multiplayer co-op with friends, you will need to set up either a local server or a dedicated server. We've got you covered with guides on both.
Valheim from Iron Gate is taking the survival genre by storm on Steam, and for many, it is best played with friends. If you prefer multiplayer co-op with friends instead of going out in the world of Valheim alone, then you need to either set up a local server or a dedicated server. 

How to set up a local server in Valheim

Setting up a local server in Valheim is much easier than a dedicated server, so we will start with this option to play multiplayer co-op with friends.

Keep in mind this is for those who have a couple of friends who plan on playing together. Choose the player with the strongest gaming rig to set up the local server in Valheim.

Valheim dedicated server local server hosting how to set up requirements(Picture: Iron Gate AB)

To set up a local server in Valheim, follow the simple steps below.

  • Create a world and pair it with a custom or random seed.
  • Choose "Start Server".
  • Enter your server's password and simply click start.

Friends can join your local server in Valheim by clicking on the Join Game tab. They will see your server if they are Steam friends with you. Alternatively, you can join via "Community Servers". 

The most important aspect is simply to share the local server's password with your friends, allowing for a painless experience.

Valheim Dedicated Server: How to set up

If you want your very own Valheim dedicated server, you will need to jump through several technical hoops.

While it is possible to host a dedicated server for Valheim with a powerful gaming PC and join the server with the same one, it is recommended you use a different, dedicated PC for the server.

You will need a beefy PC (i7 or Ryzen 7) with at least 16GB of RAM for a smooth Valheim Dedicated Server experience. You will also need a solid internet connection with, for example, 100/50mbps fibre. The more players joining your dedicated server, the higher the requirements will become.

This guide also assumes you know how to do Port Forwarding on your router. 

Valheim dedicated server local server hosting how to set up requirements(Picture: Steam)

Follow the instructions below to set up  your Valheim dedicated server:

  • Get the Port Forwarding out of the way. In your router settings, open ports 2456-2458 TCP/UDP. The server hosting port should be 2456. If there's a firewall on the PC, check to make sure if those ports are open.
  • Head into Steam and search for Valheim Dedicated Server app. Install this app. 
  • Find the folder where you installed Valheim Dedicated Server. The default is: Program Files(x86)>Steam>steamapps>common>Valheim Dedicated Server)
  • In the folder, you will find a file called "start_headless_server". Right-click and edit this file.
  • You will see a line in the file which reads: "start valheim_server -nographics -batchmode -name X -port 2456 -world X -password X -public 1"
  • Change the "X" portion to the Valheim dedicated server name you would like to use. The X after -world is the name of your world save, which can't be the same as your server name.
  • Add your unique password after the -password text replacing the X.
  • If you want your dedicated Valheim server to show up in community servers, keep it as public 1. If you want it completely private for friends to search for via Steam servers, change it to 0.
  • Save the "start_headless_server" file and back it up. Otherwise, after a game update, you will need to repeat the process again.
  • Start your own Valheim dedicated server by double-clicking "start_headless_server" file. Logs will appear, so just leave them open. Closing the window will close your server.

If you've followed all these steps correctly, your server should appear in the community servers list after less than 30 minutes.

The IP address for your Valheim dedicated server is your server PCs external IP, which will look something like this: XXX.XXX.X:2457 with the server port 2457 at the end.

It is important to note that if you changed the -public value to 0, your friends will have to join via the Steam server browser, where they will need to add your server IP.

Following these steps, you should be able to set up your very own Valheim dedicated server for friends to join.

Remember, while you can possibly host it on the same PC you are playing the game on, a dedicated server PC is recommended for a smooth experience.