How to Update a Valheim Dedicated Server

Why update a Valheim dedicated server in the first place?

Valheim is one of the latest and most successful Early Access games, to ever hit Steam. Early Access games enable game developers to release their game onto the Steam platform while it’s still being actively developed. Being that Valheim is enrolled in the Early Access program, it will receive frequent updates for the foreseeable future. These updates can apply to both server and client files as the game progresses forward.

Game updates generally contain new features and functionality improvements, bug fixes, security patches, and more. So, when Valheim releases a new update, it may require the files on the server-side to be updated in order for players to connect. Let’s get into the details of how to update your Valheim dedicated server.

What type of dedicated server are you running? 

There are two different methods for installing, running, and updating a Valheim dedicated server. Depending on how you installed your server files will determine the necessary steps required for updating your server. The two primary methods are:

  • SteamCMD Installation – Installed by downloading the SteamCMD application and having manually set up a Valheim dedicated server.
  • Steam Library Installation – You installed your server using the Steam Library.

Once you’ve identified the type of server you’re running, you’re ready to move forward.

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3 steps to update a Valheim dedicated server

  1. Save the latest server game state
  2. Stop the Valheim server process
  3. Run the Valheim update script

Step 1: Save the latest server game state

Before you update a Valheim dedicated server, you should ensure your server has saved the latest game state. If your server is not actively running, then you can skip this step and move on to the next.

By default, Valheim servers will automatically save their game state every 20 minutes. In the Valheim server console, you will frequently see a message repeated that looks similar to the following:

02/21/2021 14:10:07: World saved ( 773.1636ms )

This is important to note, as you’ll know what to look for in the command prompt when seeking the last completed server save.

As an admin connected to the Valheim server, you can run the save command in the F5 console. This will force the server to save the latest game state so that there isn’t a substantial rollback when the server restarts. To ensure you don’t corrupt your game world, it’s a best practice to ensure all players have exited the server before you begin.

If you have players actively connected, it’s a good practice to inform them of the impending server update and restart. Be sure to be a good Valheim admin and give them at least a 5-minute heads up so that they have enough time to return to a safe location to log out and prepare for the server update. Otherwise, players who are unaware may return to the game and experience a “rollback” or find themselves in a precarious position to contend with.

Step 2: Stop the Valheim server process

When a Valheim dedicated server is running, there will be an open command prompt running the valheim_server.exe application. The command prompt is your window into the state of the server, as it displays various information about the server, from player connections, server events, and more.

To send the termination signal to the command prompt, press the CTRL and C keys together. In most cases, this will automatically and forcefully close the command prompt. In other cases, you may be prompted to confirm the termination signal by pressing an additional key.

Terminating the Valheim Command Prompt

If your command prompt failed to close, be sure to read the last line for further instructional steps. The Steam Library Installation will require you to press the Y key to confirm termination.

When a  command prompt has successfully been terminated, the command prompt application will no longer be present on your Window’s taskbar.

Step 3: Run the Valheim update script

Updating with the SteamCMD Installation method

You will need to run an update script before starting the server.

If you used our guide to setup a Valheim dedicated server, your custom server batch file will already have the update script needed. The update script will automatically check to see if there is an update needed and if so it will update the server files for you.

Otherwise, if you didn’t use our guide, you will need to add an update script to the top of your server’s batch file. You can choose to have two separate scripts, one to update and one to run the server, or simply combine them both together into one script. Here’s an example snippet of the update script required:

C:\steamcmd\steamcmd.exe +login anonymous +force_install_dir C:\Valheim\ +app_update 896660 +quit

This script should be inserted at the top of your batch file, as it needs to run before the valheim_server.exe file is executed. Don’t forget to modify the paths for the SteamCMD application and the forced install directory to your relative paths. Once the paths have been corrected, run your batch file with the update script.

At this point, you should now have updated the Valheim dedicated server files.

Updating with the Steam Library Installation method

The process to update a Valheim dedicated server installed with the Steam Library is straightforward. Follow these steps to quickly get your server patched up.

  1. Open & login to the Steam application
  2. Click on the “Library” tab
  3. In the search input, type in “Valheim Dedicated Server”
  4. In the search results, left-click once on the “Valheim Dedicated Server” option
  5. Click on the “Update” button (See image below)Steam Library Update Button
  6. Once the update button is complete, the button will turn green and read “Launch”
  7. At this point, you’ve successfully updated your Valheim Dedicated Server
  8. Now you can join the Valheim Dedicated Server 

Wrapping it all up

If you are using a game service provider to host your Valheim dedicated server, be sure to look through their documentation for specific update instructions. Regardless of which method you’ve chosen for your server, knowing how to quickly update your server is a necessity to administering it.

As mentioned earlier, Valheim is in the Early Access program and server owners should expect to see many future updates in the coming months and years. Become comfortable with updating your Valheim dedicated server so that when updates are announced, you’re able to get on top of it! Now

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About Digital Ghost

Dg is the founder and co-owner of Corrosion Hour, a niche gaming community established in 2016 focusing on the survival game RUST. He is an active and contributing member of numerous other RUST communities. As a community leader and server owner for over 15 years, he spends much of his time researching and writing guides about survival games, covering topics such as server administration, game mechanics, and community growth.

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