Setting up a Valheim Server on the Raspberry Pi?

Valheim has become one of the most popular survival games since its early access release in 2021. Its open-ended gameplay in a procedurally generated world allows for endless adventures with friends.

Setting up a Valheim Server on the Raspberry Pi?

However, official Valheim dedicated servers can be complex and expensive to manage. Setting up a Valheim server on a Raspberry Pi provides a simpler and more affordable option to host games for you and your friends.

What You’ll Need

  • Raspberry Pi 4 (2GB RAM minimum)
  • MicroSD card (8GB Class 10 minimum)
  • Power supply
  • Case (optional)
  • Ethernet cable or WiFi dongle
  • Port forwarding capabilities on router

Installation and Setup

Follow these steps to install and configure a Valheim server on your Raspberry Pi.

Enable SSH on Raspberry Pi

  1. Connect the Raspberry Pi to a monitor and keyboard.
  2. Open the Raspberry Pi configuration menu from the desktop or terminal
  3. Navigate to the “Interfaces” tab and enable SSH

Flash Raspberry Pi OS to MicroSD Card

  1. Download the latest Raspberry Pi OS Lite image
  2. Flash image to MicroSD card with balenaEtcher
  3. Insert MicroSD card into Raspberry Pi

Configure Local Networking

  1. Connect Raspberry Pi to local network via Ethernet or WiFi
  2. Find the local IP address of the Raspberry Pi
  3. SSH into the Raspberry Pi

ssh pi@LOCAL_IP

  1. Change the password for user ‘pi’

passwd

Set Up Port Forwarding

  1. Access router admin console
  2. Find port forwarding/virtualization section
  3. Forward TCP port 2456 to Raspberry Pi local IP

This allows external connections to reach the Valheim server.

Install Valheim Server Dependencies

Update repositories and install required packages:

bash

sudo apt update

sudo apt install curl unzip pwgen openjdk-8-jre-headless -y

Download and Install Valheim Server

Create folder for server files

bash

mkdir ~/valheim-server

Change directory

bash

cd ~/valheim-server

Download server files

bash

curl -o valheim_server.zip -L https://github.com/Nimdy/Dedicated_Valheim_Server_Script/archive/master.zip

Unzip downloaded package

bash

unzip valheim_server.zip

Remove ZIP file

bash

rm valheim_server.zip

Launch server install script

bash

valheim-server/Dedicated_Valheim_Server_Script-master/install.sh

Follow the prompts to complete installation.

Connect Raspberry Pi to Valheim Server

  1. Start Valheim server process

bash

valheimserver/start_valheim_server.sh

  1. Port forward 2456 TCP on router to Raspberry Pi IP
  2. Connect via Valheim client using Raspberry Pi local IP
  3. OR connect externally using router’s public IP

Customize Server Configuration

Key server options like world settings, difficulty, passwords etc can be configured in server_config.cfg located in the installation directory.

nano ~/valheimserver/server_config.cfg

After saving changes, restart the server process.

Congratulations! You now have your own Valheim server running on a Raspberry Pi. Continue customizing as desired and invite friends to join you in the 10th world!

Optimizing the Raspberry Pi Valheim Server

The Raspberry Pi is not the most powerful machine, so here are some methods to optimize performance when running a Valheim server.

Overclock the Raspberry Pi

  • Overclocking the RAM and GPU boosts overall performance
  • Set overclock values in /boot/config.txt
  • Test stability with stress tests before launching server

Add Swap File

Adding some swap space allows more data to be handled than the 2GB base RAM.

  • Create a 1GB swap file with sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/var/swap bs=1M count=1024
  • Make it usable swap with sudo mkswap /var/swap && sudo swapon /var/swap
  • Set it to enable on boot by editing sudo nano /etc/fstab

Update Software

Keep Raspberry Pi OS and Valheim server software updated for optimizations and fixes.

sudo apt update && sudo apt full-upgrade -y

Check https://github.com/Nimdy/Dedicated_Valheim_Server_Script for updates.

Restart Regularly

Over time memory gets fragmented, restarting clears it out.

sudo shutdown -r now

Add a cron job or systemd timer to automate restarting.

With these tweaks your Raspberry Pi can reliably host games for you and a few friends. Load times may be slower than more powerful hardware, but gameplay should be smooth.

Key Takeaways

  • A Raspberry Pi makes an affordable, low-powered Valheim server
  • Install process involves networking setup, dependencies, and software config
  • Overclocking the Pi, adding swap, updating software and restarting helps optimize
  • Overall gameplay performance will be good for 5-10 concurrent players
  • Editing the config file allows customization of world settings as desired

Conclusion

By completing the steps outlined here, you can have your own customized Valheim server running on a Raspberry Pi to play with friends.

The lightweight nature and low cost makes it more manageable to host than renting from a game server provider. Put your Raspberry Pi to work and unleash your creativity by designing structures and shaping the world of Valheim on your own terms.

The process does involve networking configuration and optimizing performance given the Pi’s hardware constraints. But ultimately it provides a fun way for you to control the gaming experience on a Valheim server.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Does setting up a Raspberry Pi Valheim server require Linux experience?
    Some basic Linux familiarity helps, especially with executing commands via SSH, but the guide covers all necessary steps. Refer to documentation linked if you have trouble.

  2. How many people can play on a Raspberry Pi Valheim server?
    Performance is best optimized for 5-10 players. The Pi may struggle with more than 10 players as world states get more complex with bases.

  3. What is the advantage of hosting your own Valheim server?
    You control the server configuration – world settings, player permissions, installing mods, restricting access etc. You aren’t bound by the third party provider’s management policies or costs.

  4. Is there risk of data loss with a self-hosted Valheim Server?
    As long as you regularly backup the world data and maintain the system, the risk is low. No hardware lasts forever though, so backups are still recommended.

  5. Do you need multiple network adapters for a home Valheim server?
    No, the Raspberry Pi only has one built-in network adapter. Set a static IP and port forwarding to make the server accessible from other networks/Internet.

  6. How can I change the difficulty settings for my Valheim server?
    The difficulty settings like player counts, enemy damage taken/dealt etc can be tweaked in the server_config.cfg file after installation.

  7. What performance impact does overclocking have for a Raspberry Pi Valheim server?
    Increasing the CPU clock speed, GPU memory bandwidth via overclocking provides significant boosts to frame rates and load times. But it produces more heat so cooling solutions are recommended.

  8. Should mods be added to a Raspberry Pi hosted Valheim server?
    Mods put additional strain on servers so be selective in adding them. Simple UI tweaks are safer than complex scripts or gameplay overhauls. Always thoroughly test mods before players connect.

  9. Why do you need Java installed for a Valheim server?
    Java enables the Valheim server updater script to run. This provides notifications when new game or server package releases become available.

  10. Is port forwarding required for remote access to the Valheim Server?
    Yes, TCP port 2456 needs to be routed from the Internet to the Pi server for external players to connect. Without port forwarding only the server LAN will have access.

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