Valheim – How to Fix the ‘Incompatible Version’ Error while playing

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Take a look on Steam today and you’ll find a new entry in “Most Played”. Of course, you can still expect to see Counter-Strike: Global Offensive reposing in its position in the “Most Played” category. Though even that may change soon, however. A new contender has emerged, aiming to take that throne from Counter-Strike. Its name, as you must have guessed by now, is Valheim, and it is the second most played game on Steam right now.

Eight days after launch, the game came to the ‘one million copies sold’ milestone. The next milestone, at two million copies sold, took just five more days. This meteoric rise, and the accompanying fanfare, has likely been the highlights of your news feed the last week, and rightly so.

Valheim is a wonderful twist on the well-worn fantasy open-world game genre. It’s a game that takes the best concepts from its predecessors, like Rust and Ark: Survival Evolved and marries it with the same concepts that inspired life into The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. At its core, it’s a survival game powered by a robust crafting system.

But unlike any other crafting system, Valheim uses its Northern European aesthetic to personalize every step of the way. Every moment playing Valheim is an insight into a world that almost did exist – and it’s that much more enjoyable for it.

We’ve seen a lot of games explode in the last few months. Fall Guys did it, Among Us did it, and this is the next step in the series. Of course, comparing the two to Valheim isn’t quite fair. The former and the latter are one-trick ponies, indie games that went further than most. Valheim is different. It’s a new take on a yet to emerge category of games.

Multiplayer is the best part of Valheim – unless you get errors blocking you from it

There’s nothing as fun as surviving the wilderness and exploring with a bunch of friends. Even playing with random strangers is bound to result in memorable moments and chaotic fun. As Rust and other games pioneered before it, multiplayer is the optimal way to play.

Of course, not everything is as smooth as advertised. The game is far from a fully complete title and certainly looks like it needs massive revision on its textures. If Cyberpunk 2077 did one thing right, it was raise the bar for how beautiful games should look if they want to charge full price. Just like the notorious CD Projekt RED game, at launch, Valheim is also suffering from a few bugs, though in its early access stage, it’s easier to forgive.

One of these bugs is the Incompatible Version Error, which pops up whenever you try to hop online. In particular, it happens whenever you try to play with friends on a server. Obviously, this might not really be a case of incompatible versions but a deeper glitch underneath. No matter – we’ve got the solution for you.

How to fix Incompatible Version Error on Valheim Servers

The first thing to check is whether you really are playing with different versions of the game. Simply look up the latest version of the game released, and ask around to see if everyone in the party is using it. At time of writing, the latest patch is 0.145.6. Following that, here are some steps to try out if you’re facing an Incompatible Version Error in Valheim.

1. Check for the latest updates on Steam

Head on over to Steam from which you purchased the game. Go to the game library where updates are shown if they’re available. In case you had automatic updates turned off, manually download the update and ask your friends to do the same. Also, turn on automatic updates, because it’ll make your life easier. Confirm that you’re all on the same game version post-update, and hop online to resume Valheim.

2. Use SteamCMD to download updates if they don’t show up

In case you can visibly see you’re on an old version of the game, but Steam isn’t offering any updates, this is the way to go. Thankfully, you’re not on console, so you can take matters into your own hands.

This is probably the most complicated option you’ve got, but don’t worry. Just follow our simple steps and you’ll be all set. Here it goes:

i) Click this link to download SteamCMD, a free tool provided by Steam just for cases like this.

ii) Go into Valheim’s game directory and open it with Notepad, the Windows app.

iii) Create a new file, naming it Update.bat 

iv) Make sure you have access to both Valheim and SteamCMD’s directory path, and if you don’t, pause right here and go get them.

v) Back in Update.bat, the new file you made back in step iii), enter in the following:

[SteamCMD directory path] + login + force_install_dir [Valheim directory path] + app_update896660 validate + exit

Just to be completely clear, first you want to enter your SteamCMD directory path, followed by the rest of the line, and then your Valheim directory path in the second pair of square brackets. Don’t forget to write both directory paths inside the squarish brackets.

vi) Go ahead and run the program you just created, i.e. Update.bat

If it works, then congrats! You should be up to standard as far as game versions go. There should be no more encounters with Incompatible Version Error any longer.

3. Update Game Drivers

In case you’ve just finished with the above steps to no avail, don’t fret. This one trick has solved game errors since time immemorial. And it’s a lot less complicated, too.

All you’ve got to do is check whether you’ve got an Nvidia Graphics Processing Unit, also known as a GPU, or an AMD Radeon GPU. Since GPUs are the powerhouse of the 3D worlds generated by a computer, they’re extremely essential to your game. However, as updates are released every second for games out there, the programs that transfer data between computer and GPU, called their drivers, need to be updated too.

Go to system specifications where it is easy to see all your PC parts. In case you have an Nvidia card, then head on over to this link to get the latest drivers for your card. In case you’ve got a Radeon GPU, follow this link to get the newest drivers for your card. With any luck, this should do the trick, and you’ll be all set to set sail in Valheim.

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