Valheim: Server Lags/Desync/Instability
Have you experienced lags/desync/instability playing on your Valheim server? Continue reading to learn more…
In this article
Why does this happen?
In the game Valheim, server lags are not necessarily caused by the hardware of the server itself. Our servers are run on enterprise-grade hardware with plenty of resources available, so they should not be a bottleneck for the game. Instead, the cause of server lags in Valheim may be due to other factors, such as network issues or a high number of players on the server.
One common issue that players experience in Valheim is multiplayer desync, which occurs when the game data being sent between the client and server becomes out of sync. This can result in delays or other issues with the gameplay experience. The developers of Valheim are aware of this issue and are actively working to improve it.
In Valheim, the game logic is somewhat distributed and runs on the clients rather than the server. This means that the clients, or players' computers, are responsible for running certain aspects of the game logic and communicating with the server to synchronize the game data. If a player has a poor connection to the server or their computer is not able to keep up with the demands of the game, this can cause desync issues.
Player A is in an area, in which they will have control over all creatures and objects. These creatures and objects are synced with the server, meaning that their actions and states are updated in real time on the server, and any changes made will be reflected in the game for all players.
When Player B enters the area, they will also be able to interact with the creatures and objects within the game. However, the game logic for most of these creatures and objects will still be controlled by Player A.
If Player A leaves the area, the control of the creatures and objects will be transferred to Player B.
Source: Richard, Valheim Developer, in a Steam thread comment
This system allows the game to perform a lot of the heavy physics calculations on the client side, rather than on the server, which helps to reduce the load on the server and improve performance.
However, this system is pretty sensitive to players with poor network connections to the server. If the player controlling the object in an area has a high ping and/or packet loss, this can affect the gameplay experience for other players in the same area, even if they have a good connection to the server.
It can be enough for one player in a server to have a bad connection to the server for it to affect the gameplay negatively for everyone on the server.
How do I fix this?
As mentioned before, the system Valheim uses is pretty sensitive to players with poor network connections. Some things you can try out to mitigate this:
1. Switch Server Locations
One easy troubleshooting step is to relocate the server to another location. While it would make the most sense to have the server closest to your physical location, it can be worth trying out a different location in case your routing there is better.
- Go to your DatHost Control Panel
- Click Edit on your Valheim Server
- Now at the top of the page, select your desired location
- Click Save & Reboot your server.
Changing locations just takes a few seconds, and everything will be transferred over. Remember that if you don't have a custom domain set up, though, will require you to add the newly assigned IP address in-game before connecting.
2. Don’t let the poor one lead the pack!
If you're having difficulty navigating new areas, it may be helpful to have the player with the most stable connection take the lead. This is because the player with the best connection will likely have a smoother gameplay experience and be able to control objects more efficiently than players with weaker connections.
To ensure the best possible gameplay experience for all players, it may be helpful to periodically check the connection quality of each player. This can be done by running a network speed test or by checking the ping and packet loss rates in the game's network settings. Players with high ping or packet loss may experience delays or other issues with their gameplay, so it may be helpful to have them follow behind the player with the best connection.
Additionally, it may be helpful to try optimizing your network connection by closing unnecessary background applications, connecting to a wired Ethernet connection (if possible), or disabling any bandwidth-intensive tasks (such as streaming video or downloading large files) while playing the game.