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Here's how Valheim's food mechanics are being overhauled in Hearth and Home

Forked lightning.

Iron Gate has served up a few more morsels of information about upcoming Valheim update Hearth and Home, and this time, it's all about changes to the game's food system. The way snacking works is being given an overhaul - and it looks like some food items are getting a nerf in the process. Ah crumbs.

In the game's current form, simply shoving some food in your mouth will result in (somewhat) even amounts of health and stamina, but the system arriving in Hearth and Home will change that. Food will soon be divided into three categories: items that provide more health, items that provide more stamina, and items that provide an even split. As explained in the video below, that means you can bulk up on meat and HP before a big battle - or slurp down a stew to increase your stamina for an afternoon of building.

Hearth & Home Spotlight: New Food System

The different categories will be marked by a coloured fork icon, with red indicating a focus on health, yellow for stamina, and white for a balanced meal. The food bar is also being replaced by a timer system to indicate how long the foods will last.

The teaser video also gave a very brief look at the stats provided by food, and it looks like some meals are getting a slight nerf to the maximum amount of health and stamina they can provide. As spotted by PC Gamer, Cooked Lox Meat currently gives you 70 health and 40 stamina, but after the change it will only provide 50 health and 10 stamina. As another example, Blood Pudding currently provides 90 health and 50 stamina, but after the update it will give a maximum of 14 health and 70 stamina. Until this point Blood Pudding provided the biggest HP buff of all the food items in the game, so that's quite the shake-up.

It also looks like these items won't last for quite as long, either: Cooked Lox Meat will now last 20 minutes (1200 seconds) instead of 33.3 minutes (2000 seconds), while Blood Pudding will last 25 minutes (1500 seconds) instead of 40 minutes (2400 seconds). The way things currently work in Valheim, however, is that the potency of food steadily decreases over time - so if the new system provides the buffs at maximum strength for a longer period, things could balance out. And indeed, one developer has confirmed that the new system will have a "less linear curve", with little deterioration for the most part and items only deteriorating quickly towards the end of the timer. It should at least make managing your health a little more predictable.

Hel's kitchen.

Some players are questioning whether the new focus on health versus stamina will actually be beneficial: in a fight, for instance, you'll need plenty of both health and stamina if you want to do anything other than stand around as a healthy ball of bait. So you might need to snack on a mixture of foods to get the right mix - which could result in players just eating the balanced foods, or sticking with a combination of three that will max out their stats. Which, er, doesn't exactly encourage players to create a mixture of foods - which I think is the intention with this update.

At least the update will also provide a wider variety of food items that can be crafted, with new foods like Eyescream, Shocklate Smoothies and "wolf meats" added to the mix. So gathering ingredients for food should be a little easier - I hope you've been storing all those Greydwarf eyes. It might put further strain on your inventory, however, as it sounds like we'll now need to carry and store more ingredients to keep up with the new food system. Iron Gate - I am politely requesting that you add a craftable leather backpack.

Anyway, we also know that the update - which is due to arrive sometime soon - will also add new ways to store treasure and your stacks of gold.

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Emma Kent avatar

Emma Kent

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A former Eurogamer intern and reporter, Emma loves delving into communities and modding scenes in search of the weird and wonderful. Oh, and be prepared for puns. Lots of horrible puns.

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