Valheim, the popular Viking-themed survival game for PC, doesn’t natively support virtual reality, but thankfully there’s a full-featured mod out there that lets you play via PC VR headsets and Oculus Quest via Link or Air Link. The unofficial VR mod has gotten some pretty substantial updates for the new year that have really rounded out the game to feel more like a built-for-VR experience.

Since we last checked in with VHVR, a number of quality of life features have been added which aim to make it feel much more like a VR-native.

Here’s a look at some of the most important features to come to the mod recently, now bringing the mod to its 0.8.1 version:

  • Massive update to HUD to make it more VR friendly:
    • Healthbar, Minimap, and Stamina Bar can now be independently moved between three locations: Left or Right hand, and a Camera locked position
    • Camera Locked UI elements can be moved up, downl, left, or right as well as scaled
    • UI elements attached to the hand can be freely moved around using a custom config menu option
    • Check the “VRHUD” tab of the VHVH menu options to see all the ways it can be configured
    • Options to move the UI elements to the original UI panel if desired (legacy mode)
    • Hid the hotbar
    • Lock the main UI panel in place when the Map or Inventory is open
    • More to come in the future
  • Updates to minimap (in addition to the VR Hud Updates above):
    • Important: When using the new VRHUD map, the map toggle button now toggles the minimap off and on. To toggle the main big map, you must instead use the “Quick Action” menu on the left hand.
    • Oculus Touch users can now zoom the map in and out by holding the right grip button and using the right joystick up/down
    • Map Pins can now be added by holding the “Click Modifier” (left controller trigger) and “left”-clicking on the map (right controller trigger)
    • Players can now ping the Minimap by holding the “Click Modifier” and “right”-clicking on the map (B button on right controller)
  • Fixed compatibility problem with Jotunn mod that resulted in log spamming “Unmapped ZInput” warnings and caused massive performance problems.
  • Fixed Bloom graphical effect, this can now be safely used without graphical artifacts on screen.
  • Tweak to arrow rest position on bow
  • Disabled roomscale movement when attached to things
  • Added option to avoid rotating view with lox when lox turns
  • Added option for “ExclusiveRoomscaleSneak” to force players to physically crouch if they want to sneak (default allows both crouching and joystick when using roomscale sneak feature).
  • Fixed a problem with KB&M controls where users would have to look slightly off-angle to hover over an object to use it.
  • Added option to disable the “Recenter Pose” where holding the controllers in front of the face for 3 seconds caused a tracking reset

You can find VHVR over at NexusMods, where you’ll also find a handy step-by-step guide on how to install. The original article detailing VHVR follows below:

Two updates released this month (versions 0.6 and 0.7) include substantial gains for users looking for a more VR-native experience. Now Valheim VR has included some of the important things mentioned above, but has also fixed things like anti-aliasing, arms not properly syncing in multiplayer, and Vive wand bindings.

Another nice touch: crouching is configurable for room-scale sneaking and a few mechanics were included such as shield parrying, stabbing, and improved fishing. You can check out the full change log here.

The original article detailing the inclusion of motion controller support follows below:

Original Article (June 21st, 2021): Initially released in February by Brandon Mousseau, not only does the mod let you play in VR in the first-person, but also now includes inverse kinematics for articulated upper body and finger animations, and a full assortment of things you can do with motion controllers. You can now do things like engage in melee combat via swinging and punching, naturally shoot a bow and arrow, hold up your shield, and fish.

There are some things that haven’t changed because of the obstinately flatscreen nature of the game, such as some point-and-click interactions like building, gathering supplies, and interacting with menus. The mod however does now include custom controls for switching and equipping items via a more accessible quick menu, and holstering and unholstering weapons, which is a big step in making it feel more like a VR native.

Check out this video from YouTuber ‘Gamertag VR’ to see the mod in action:

There are still a few caveats to the Valheim VR mod. At the time of this writing, all multiplayer users must have the mod installed, otherwise those non-VR player may see some odd behavior such as missing upper-body and hand animations. Mod developer Brandon Mousseau also says full room-scale tracking is still in the works, as all locomotion is still based on joystick movement only (see updates).

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If you want to play Valheim in VR, you’ll need a few things outside of a SteamVR-compatible VR headset, VR-ready PC, and a legit copy of the game. You’ll also need to download the BepInExPack installer to inject custom code, and the VHVR mod hosted over at NexusMods.

If you’ve never installed a mod for Valheim, Mousseau also created a handy step-by-step installation guide. You’ll find everything you need there.

Thanks goes out to Twitter user OXIOXI for the tip. 

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 4,000 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • Reminds me a bit of The Forest, albeit far less realistic. Not enough people talk about The Forest, it’s by far the best VR Survival game out there. It even does multiplayer!

    But having played it to death (200+ hours), I’d certainly be up for something new.

    • ADHD Gamers

      The Forest is definitely the best VR survival game ATM.

      • 3872Orcs

        I agree. I’ve spent over 100 hours completing it in co-op, it is buggy though but super fun nonetheless. Hopefully Green Hell is just as good when it arrives for VR later this year.

        I also hope we get VR for the next The Forest game. With the original getting so much praise one would think the developer would do it.

        • MaverickMartyn

          I was just about to mention Green Hell, having discovered it in the past couple of days.
          I expect it will pick up quite a lot of steam real soon.
          I have not played it myself, but it looks fairly promising.
          As far as VR of the next The Forest game, I wouldn’t hold my breath, but I certainly hope so.
          The first one was awesome, and like you said by far the best of its kind at the moment.

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    • HomeAudio

      O man! To say that it is the best survival game it is not enough! “The Forest” is the best VR game and one of the best games EVER! Shame that the second part (“Sons Of The Forest”) is not going to get VR sspport at start (and who know if it gets at all).

  • 3872Orcs

    Bad framerate; it seems capped at around 45fps. Performance is nearly always what kills the fun for me in VR :( Just give me a stable 90fps throughout the game and I’ll be a happy camper.

    I guess this has something to do with this being a mod of the pancake game?

    • Charles

      Strange it would struggle with framerate, given the 20-years-ago graphics quality.

      • Tom Taylor

        Sorry Charles, but I have to say this – you seem to have no idea about Valheim and never played it, the graphical atmosphere is one of the best I’ve ever seen and I’ve been playing for over 40 years.

        @3872Orcs, I did not tried the mod yet, I hope the performance issues can be fixed in future.

        • Charles

          See my reply to MaverickMartyn below.

      • MaverickMartyn

        Yeah. Play the game on max settings, and it’s absolutely beautiful.
        Take a look at a few screenshots.
        The VR version will of course have to have lower graphics.

        • Charles

          I’m just going off the screenshot and video in this article. I’m not saying the artwork isn’t good – it has its own charm. But in regards to pushing GPU limits… it looks like an average PS2 game, except mixed with mid-90’s “Doom 1” style giant-pixelation. As such, I can see no technical reason for low framerates other than just extremely inefficient coding.

          • n0vi

            It uses shader and lighting effects not possible on even the Xbox 360. It has an almost-fully voxel destructable world, with physics engine events dictating emergent moments often. Please stop lol

          • Tommy

            Sounds like you have to just play it to understand. I’ve played the flat version and have experience the great atmosphere but I can also see why Charles would think differently by what it shown in a trailer.

          • Hivemind9000

            You have to play it to understand how good the overall effect of the graphics are – it “feels” great. It’s part lighting, and part being a dense, rich realistically generated world I think.

        • Octo

          It does look like it could have been an older game, the “Graphical atmosphere” has little to do with performance.
          The destructible voxel world and physics is mostly done on the cpu so why this game is demanding is likely because the target platform simply doesn’t require much optimization so little time is wasted on it.

    • MaverickMartyn

      That is unfortunately way easier said than done.
      VR is by nature quite demanding, and Valheim is – the last time I played it (at least a couple months ago) – not the most optimized game yet.
      It’s in early access though, so hopefully that will change in time.
      The mod itself has also only existed for about 4 months.
      The first code was committed late march. Give it time my guy. :)

  • Trenix

    The GUI and controls need significant work. Have to let it bake a little longer.