Valheim is an exciting Viking-themed sandbox survival game first released in early access in 2021 for Windows and Linux users on Steam. This game features amazing graphics, elaborate procedurally-generated worlds, and a complex health and stamina system. Before players eventually slay all five bosses and beat the game, they will have the chance to build, craft, and cooperate with other players.
While Valheim was an instant hit, with more than five million copies sold in the first month alone, fans of the genre have plenty of other choices, too. If you enjoy Valheim, you’ll love these games just as much.
Valheim Game Features
|📅 Release Date:||Early Access 2 Feb 2021|
|⚙️ Developer:||Iron Gate Studio|
|📀 Publisher:||Coffee Stain Publishing|
|🎮 Platforms:||Linux, Windows, (Coming Soon: Xbox One, Series X/S)|
|🕹️ Genre:||Sandbox, Survival|
|🚀 Setting:||Procedurally Generated Viking Land|
|🧑 Game Modes:||MultiPlayer|
Minecraft, which remains the most popular video game in the world until this day, was first released in “way back” in 2011.
This classic voxel sandbox game from Mojang Studios, now owned by Microsoft, has a reputation for being aimed at a younger audience, and not everyone enjoys the graphics style, which is often deemed to be simplistic.
Minecraft does, however, share more than a few passing similarities with Valheim — and procedurally-generated terrain, boss fights, and hours of multiplayer fun are just the start.
Those gamers who have not looked at Minecraft in years may be thrilled to discover the new challenges that the latest version, 1.19, offers; Mojang’s annual updates ensure that there is always fresh and exciting content, both blocks and enemies, and the newest release gives players the challenge of beating a brand new boss, the terrifying Warden.
Minecraft’s biggest strength lies in the fact that this game is completely open-ended; Minecraft is exactly what you want it to be, no matter what that might be.
Whether you’re in it for the PvP, exploration, survival elements, or you simply prefer to enter creative mode and create intricate and elaborate builds, you will always find something to do in this sandbox game.
- Developer: Markus “Notch” Persson, quickly succeeded by Jens “Jeb” Bergensten
- Publisher: Mojang Studios
- Release Date: November 2011
- Platform: Microsoft Windows, MacOS, Linux, Xbox (and a whole lot more, because Minecraft is for everyone!)
2. ARK: Survival Evolved
ARK: Survival Evolved is a multiplayer survival game set in a terrifying world and created by Studio Wildcard. This game was first released on Steam in 2017, after being available through early access for around two years.
Players spawn stranded, and freezing cold, on an island called ARK, where they’ll have to survive among over 100 different dinosaurs and other mysterious but definitely deadly creatures.
They can choose to kill these dinosaurs, but taming them may be the better choice, making it possible to ride the creatures. The player can also breed many different dinosaurs, and even raise babies.
Dinosaurs aren’t the only key to success in the world of ARK: Survival Evolved. The multiplayer game allows players to fight or team with hundreds of other players.
The game’s tribe system allows players to team up effortlessly and attack other tribes to achieve total domination. Other mechanics of ARK include farming, tools with durability limits, exploring the vast world, and even building your own structures and shelters.
ARK: Survival Evolved is perfect for Valheim players who are looking for a challenging survival experience where they can team up with their friends to fight powerful creatures. ARK is popular for its unique world, which players can explore endlessly.
- Developer: Studio Wildcard, Instinct Games, Efecto Studios, Virtual Basement LLC.
- Publisher: Studio Wildcard
- Release Date: August 2017
- Platform: Microsoft Windows, MacOS, Linux, Xbox, One PlayStation 4, Android
3. Subnautica: Below Zero
Subnautica: Below Zero is an exciting sequel to the original Subnautica.
Released via early access in January 2019 and fully released in May 2021, Subnautica: Below Zero can best be described as an open-world survival game focused on adventure and action, meaning Valheim fans will find plenty to like about it.
Set in an underwater environment on a frozen alien planet, Subnautica: Below Zero invites players to advance and complete the objectives — if, that is, they manage to survive.
This is easier said than done, as the game calls on players to gather the resources they need from the far corners of the world, and to craft the equipment needed to stay alive.
This first-person game gradually grows more and more complex. Those players who enjoy more of a challenge can choose hardcore mode, while those who want to explore in peace can do exactly that in freedom mode.
- Developer: Unknown Worlds Entertainment
- Publisher: Unknown Worlds Entertainment
- Release Date: May 2021
- Platform: Microsoft Windows, MacOs, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 & 5, Xbox One, Xbox X/S
Rust is a survival multiplayer game set in a brutal world where anything could try to kill you at any time. This thrilling game was first released in 2013 and continues to get new content updates to this day.
Players need to find food, water, and shelter to survive, not to mention the right weapons.
The dynamic world of Rust features never-ending threats, as players can and will kill each other, loot bodies, and steal from their enemies (or unsuspecting passers-by).
The main goal of Rust is to survive the incredibly violent world, but other than that, players can also engage in many other activities that make the world truly immersive.
These include farming, building, joining factions, raiding other players, exploring an entire train network, and securing vehicles.
Rust quickly gained in popularity after Twitch streamers dove into this world in 2020, and the game even gives big streamers the ability to reward their viewers with unique drops.
Any player who’s a fan combat, forming factions, and surviving in a brutal world is bound to fall in love with Rust.
- Developer: Facepunch Studios
- Publisher: Facepunch Studios
- Release Date: December 2013
- Platform: Microsoft Windows, MacOS, Xbox One, PlayStation 4
5. The Forest
The Forest is a survival horror game that calls for players to engage in exciting plot-driven campaigns on a wild, forest-rich peninsula after surviving a plane crash.
Its open world environment, which allows gamers to create their own gameplay, is one of The Forest’s greatest strengths.
Whatever decisions players make, they can be certain that they’ll encounter plenty of cannibals along the way — and not nearly as many key resources essential to survival.
Do you have what it takes? Players who prefer to brave the world of The Forest alone will soon discover the answer to that question, but fans of multiplayer games can instead choose to embark on this adventure with up to seven other gamers.
The ultra-realistic graphics give a very similar feel to Valheim, and the world players encounter is equally interactive.
- Developer: Endnight Games
- Publisher: Endnight Games
- Release Date: April 2018
- Platform: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4
6. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is an open-world survival game themed around Norse mythology. Players assume of the role of Eivor Varindottir — a Viking shieldsman from Norway.
From there, the options are limitless. Gamers can lead a crew of raiders, make their own settlements, engage in intense combat, or create their own custom Vikings, to name just a few options.
This action RPG will definitely satiate combat-hungry gamers, but the world of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla also has an immersive story line to keep players excited.
First published in 2020, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla continues to get regular updates to keep its players engaged with fresh content.
Players will inevitably get stuck in by fighting other Vikings, but they can also try their luck against an amazing variety of tough and unique beasts.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla even allows players to start romances with other NPC Vikings to keep things interesting.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is perfect for gamers who particularly loved the Viking aspect of Valheim and are looking to get into Norse mythology.
With so many different options, and many more to come in future updates, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will keep you on your toes.
- Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
- Publisher: Ubisoft
- Release Date: November 2020
- Platform: Microsoft Windows, Playstation 4 and 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
7. Conan Exiles
Conan Exiles is an open-world survival game in which players are tasked with the challenging task of staying alive in the prehistoric Hyborian Age.
Players face a harsh, scorching world dominated by powerful NPC enemies as well as human opponents.
They will not, however, have to survive alone — Conan Exiles allows gamers to team up with friends and strangers alike, and forming powerful clans gives you the best odds of dominating this world.
Those who want to go it solo, meanwhile, can opt for singleplayer mode.
Gamers who have enjoyed the mechanics and graphics found in Valheim will effortlessly slide into the world of Conan Exiles, where they will also have to race against nature to stay alive, gathering resources and building shelters as they hunt creatures and battle the hostile NPCs.
Look forward to extensive character customization options and swear allegiance to one of the many Gods to enjoy unique perks.
- Developer: Funcom
- Publisher: Funcom
- Release Date: May 2018
- Platform: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox X/S
8. Don’t Starve Together
Don’t Starve Together, the much-requested sequel to Don’t Starve with the main difference being the new multiplayer mechanics, was published in 2016 and still remains a fairly popular game.
In Don’t Starve Together, gamers can decide to play with friends or try the challenge of surviving with complete strangers.
While exploring, building, and fighting threats, players will need to keep an eye on their hunger, as it’s very important not to starve.
Players can explore the multiplayer mechanisms of Don’t Starve Together in a variety of ways, including through network, LAN, and there’s even a matchmaking service for those looking to play with strangers.
Players can build a base together, make a farm with many different crops, and fight all kinds of creatures together in the unique world of Don’t Starve Together.
Teamwork is especially important in this survival game, because if players can’t work together well, they may just end up starving.
Players who are looking for a unique and fun survival experience to play with their friends will definitely enjoy Don’t Starve Together.
- Developer: Klei Entertainment
- Publisher: Klei Entertainment
- Release Date: April 2016
- Platform: Microsoft Windows, MacOS, Linux, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
The classic action-adventure sandbox game Terraria may first have been released in 2011, but its unique 16-bit graphics and 2D gameplay style is still going strong, and the game, which was developed by Re-Logic, had sold more than 44 million copies in 2022.
Valheim players who would like to enjoy a more relaxed playing style for a while can explore the expansive procedurally-generated terrain, build, craft, and fight.
Players, who can customize their character at the outset as well as during the game, via quests, will never get bored as there are always NPCs in need of rescuing — and of course, the Terraria universe is a perpetually hostile one where monsters are never far away.
Despite the 2D structure, Terraria allows for creative base-building efforts.
Terraria makes it possible for up to eight players to cooperate on multiplayer mode, but those who would like to see how far they can get on their own can also explore singleplayer mode, and create elaborate worlds as they dive deeper and deeper below the surface.
- Developer: Re-Logic
- Publisher: 505 Games
- Release Date: May 2011
- Platform: Microsoft Windows, Android
Outward, first published in 2019 and now also available for PS5 and Xbox, is a multi-layered fantasy RPG that will easily capture the attention of anyone who is tired of the hero trope.
Players spawn into the role of a shipwrecked Cierzo inhabitant, who is broke and in debt. Players face a challenge right at the start — will they lose everything, or can they pay off the blood price?
Angered by the injustice they face, the character now has to plot vengeance or forge alliances that will gain them their freedom.
While Outward is a highly-immersive game with gorgeous graphics, players can’t just worry about strategy and exploration.
This is a survival game, after all, and those who can’t soothe their grumbling stomachs, protect themselves from the elements, or manage to dodge infections like colds won’t be able to make it to the end.
The most interesting aspect of Outward lies in the fact that every choice players make as they embark on NPC quests has permanent consequences that will impact the rest of the game.
By making different decisions next time, Outward can remain an evergreen game that never gets boring.
Outward is quite fun to play on your own, but as with Valheim, some of the most rewarding and interesting aspects of the game can be found in the multiplayer experience.
- Developer: Nine Dots
- Publisher: Deep Silver
- Release Date: March 2019
- Platform: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 & 5, Xbox One, Xbox X/S, Stadia
11. Drake Hollow
Drake Hollow is an interesting co-op game where players build a village to defend local villagers known as Drakes.
The game, which was released in 2020, is great to play with a group of friends, as it allows up to four players to work together cooperatively.
Drake Hollow is set in a world called The Hollow, in which you’ll be able to take care of vegetable-like creatures.
Players can explore the endless world of Drake Hollow together while battling beasts, gathering resources, building up a village with food, water, and entertainment for the Drakes, and defending the village from threats.
While this game does have a singleplayer mode, Drake Hollow is much more fun with a couple of friends to help you protect the cute Drakes.
Drake Hollow is a great game for players who are tired of video games filled with lots of gore, as this game’s cute design will capture your heart, while still allowing you to fight enemies.
- Developer: The Molasses Flood
- Publisher: Curve Games
- Release Date: October 2020
- Platform: Microsoft Windows, Linux, Xbox One
What would you do in a post-apocalyptic world — one where you are, in fact, the only human left alive? DYSMANTLE takes this tired genre to an exciting new place, because in this game, the answer to that question is clear. “DYSMANTLE” everything in sight, of course.
Create new ruins from the ruins of the old world — nearly without limits, because almost everything in this immersive RPG game can be broken.
Gamers can build a character from scratch, so whether you’d like to brave the terrifying mutants that dominate the world of DYSMANTLE in your underwear or you’re going for a classic Walking Dead look, you’ll be able to break stuff in style.
Players will, of course, use the resources they gather in this ominous universe to make new inventions and upgrade their weapons.
The ultimate goal? Beyond destruction and survival, gamers aim to escape the island they are stranded on.
DYSMANTLE is a highly-underrated game, especially for people who have simply had enough of the world for a while and would like to smash things, but who are up for some logic puzzles to get out of a dire situation.
- Developer: 10tons Ltd
- Publisher: 10tons Ltd
- Release Date: November 2021
- Platform: Microsoft Windows, MacOS
13. The Wild Eight
In the open-world survival simulation game The Wild Eight, each player spawns in as one of eight survivors of a plane crash, stuck in the the punishingly cold outer regions of Alaska. Survival is, of course, their top priority, and they will have to make a choice.
Will they go it alone or team up with other players, who may later betray them? This game requires players to always be on the alert for danger, and to survive they’ll need to gather resources and avoid mutated wolves.
The Wild Eight is about more than survival, though. Those who are skilled enough to keep going in the frightening world also need to try to uncover the mystery behind the plane crash that got them there in the first place.
Players will be able to loot abandoned buildings, set up camp, and try to survive the unforgiving blizzards of Alaska as they discover why they crashed.
The Wild Eight is reminiscent of Valheim in some ways, but it’s also bound to challenge players in a new and exciting way while they try to find out exactly what is going on.
- Developer: FNTASTIC
- Publisher: HypeTrain Digital
- Release Date: October 2019
- Platform: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4
14. Ancestors Legacy
First released for Microsoft Windows in 2018, Ancestors Legacy will appeal to those gamers who love the Norse aspect of Valheim and who are up for a strategic challenge.
Ancestors Legacy is a thrilling action game in which players can choose to lead an army of Vikings, Anglo-Saxons, Teutons, or Slavs, on a campaign of bloodshed. Will you be victorious?
One of Ancestors Legacy’s main strong points lies in the fact that singleplayer and multiplayer mechanics unfold completely differently — whether you’re looking for a lazy afternoon by yourself, or you want to plan a campaign against your friends, Ancestors Legacy adapts to your playing style by offering unique challenges.
Ancestors Legacy will appeal to history buffs, because this game is based on historical events. Those who most enjoyed the sandbox aspects of Valheim will, however, prefer to try out one of the other games on this list.
- Developer: Destructive Creations
- Publisher: 1C Company
- Release Date: May 2018
- Platform: Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Eco, released in 2018, invites players to interact with the world in a variety of creative ways — just like Valheim. There’s an interesting twist, though, because as the name already suggests, players have don’t just have to stay alive themselves.
They also have to create a thriving ecosystem. That is, players have to make sure that they don’t destroy their world before the meteor that is destined to hit it does, technologically advancing enough to try to avert impending doom.
Created by Strange Loop Games in partnership with the University of Illinois, Eco was originally designed to be an educational tool.
That does not mean, however, that this game cannot pose a fun challenge as well. Despite its very different setting, free from the gore that dominates most other games, Eco is ultimately about strategy and risk.
Just like in Valheim, every choice the player makes has consequences. Will you doom your world or can you save it? That partly depends on your choices, but because Eco is a multiplayer game, your opponents may just cause your downfall.
- Developer: Strange Loop Games
- Publisher: Strange Loop Games
- Release Date: February 2018
- Platform: Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Which Game Should You Choose Next?
Gamers who enjoyed the sandbox survival aspect of Valheim most should try out Minecraft, Terraria, ARK: Survival Evolved, Eco, or DYSMANTLE.
Those who love problem-solving should will find themselves right at home in Outward, The Wild Eight, Conan Exiles, Drake Hollow, or Subnautica: Below Zero.
If you’re looking for another Viking game, meanwhile, Ancestors Legacy or Assassin’s Creed Valhalla are your best bet. Having said this, all of the games on this list feature the same exciting sandbox features that make Valheim so great.