In terms of rating a game’s success, mere numbers don’t tell the whole story. You can take a game like Cyberpunk 2077, and just flaunting its high preorder counts isn’t enough. Factors that need consideration include its critical reception, the refund rate, and other surrounding controversies. Meanwhile, a smaller, fledgling title like Valheim is nowhere near that profitable yet. It is still in Early Access, after all, and is a Steam exclusive for now. However, despite the low profile of the game, it has captured the Number 1 spot on Steam in terms of revenue.
This is no small feat for a game that isn’t even released yet. The Early Access designation means that the developers, Iron Gate Studios, currently use player feedback as a way to finalize the game. When Valheim does come out, rest assured that they will have resolved bugs, optimized the game, and balanced the meta. Until then, the game is still even now an enjoyable survival/open-world exploration sandbox. Use whatever means at your disposal to craft weapons and gear, build shelter and settlements and face off in either PvE or PvP.
Despite this sudden rise to fame, Valheim is a game that is difficult to run for many PC players. It suffers from several performance issues even on capable hardware, such as frequent crashes. In addition, constant framerates become difficult to achieve in some cases, and stuttering is common. However, another recent issue has led to frustration amongst players, and understandably so.
Some players report Valheim freezing during gameplay, usually for extended periods of time
An increasingly common issue Valheim players report is the game freezing unexpectedly. This agonizing period of time is unpredictable and utterly inconvenient in a multiplayer game like this. What’s more, the game may freeze and fail to resume, either leading to a complete cessation or a crash. In the case of the game freezing and not resuming, closing the game can become the only way out of the program.
same my game froze the second time after I log in to my game now, I really love this game but I can’t even play it
— Frosttyr (@Frosttyr99) February 8, 2021
The biggest concern about this frequently encountered issue is how persistent it is. Simply closing the program and retrying the game often isn’t enough. The game may continue to freeze as frequently as before. The root cause of the Valheim freeze issue is unclear. However, some theories suggest poor optimization for those without high-end rigs. In that case, we advise you to take a look at the recommended specs for Valheim.
The other, more consistent explanation is the presence of hardware-related issues. For instance, a thermal-throttling CPU is typically the source of minor framerate dips. However, if the CPU, or RAM, is unable to handle the game’s load, it can also fail to render smoothly. Likewise, a corrupted or slow HDD can also lead to loading in assets improperly. Therefore, we have listed only the most straightforward and reliable fixes. With any luck, you’ll be back to exploring your procedurally-generated Norse land in no time!
1) Restart your PC, then run your game again
Like all computers, your gaming rig is not exempt from the essential laws of computation. When your PC runs for extended periods of time, the many intricate processes working together can accrue errors. These errors, along with corrupted data caches, can build up into widespread, systemic failures. This can lead to poor performance in general for all your programs, even your games. This includes Valheim freezes, crashes, stutters and errors.
The best way to deal with a situation like this is the classic (restart your machine) option. This will kill off any misbehaving and corrupted processes and data sets respectively. Furthermore, it clears up space on your RAM, and ensures that everything boots up and launches correctly. Once restarted and booted in, try to run Valheim.
2) Update your game drivers
The most important aspect of AAA gaming is the GPU. Routine updates to the GPU optimization come in the form of game drivers. These bundles of software improvements can drastically stabilize your game. And, equally importantly, they can quash bugs and errors. For this reason, a responsible gamer routinely checks to see if all drivers are up-to-date.
So, Nvidia GPU users, check the GeForce Experience app for the latest drivers. For AMD GPU’s, click here.
3) Defragment your HDD (if you don’t use an SSD)
Depending on your storage type, a lack of memory space can be the culprit to game freezing. Since the past few years, SSD’s (solid state drives) have become the successors to traditional mechanical HDD’s (hard disk drives). However, a significant portion of PC gamers still use the slower HDD, which can accrue errors. There is also a greater risk of mechanical damage and subsequent data loss over time. However, a built-in tool in Windows allows you to reorganize your HDD to improve performance and resolve memory errors. Just don’t do it to your SSD, as the differing architecture can make performance worse.
To defragment your HDD, simply follow the official Microsoft steps given here. This entails opening the Disk Defragmenter and accessing its features. The best part of all? This process spares your memory and files, meaning you don’t need to redownload all of your data and stored content again. After all, this method is far more suitable than formatting an HDD.
4) Verify the game’s integrity using the Steam Launcher
Like the Blizzard Games-owned Battle.net launcher, Steam also possesses a useful tool for gamers. This is the ability to verify game files already installed. This clever method essentially allows Steam to check your file configuration against the layout on its own servers. If something doesn’t add up, the issue is rectified and the installation’s broken/missing files fixed.
To do this, navigate to the Library and view the Valheim section. From here, go to Properties, then start the process to Verify Game as it appears. This is quick, effective and resolves any internal errors.
5) Reinstall your game
Unlike the other fixes here, this one comes at a cost. That is having to redownload your game files all over again, which could take time depending on your internet speed. However, it is also a near failsafe, since many issues like Valheim freezing occur due to corrupted data in the installation.
Reinstalling the game will organize your files, and kill off any abnormal processes. It also ensures you get the most current version of the game immediately. It might take some time, but definitely is worth the effort.