There are many features missing from Valheim in its early access period. Currently, there is no manual save function to ensure player progress is preserved, which likely causes many fans anxiety after a complex build or tough boss. Valheim also doesn’t let players pause the game; whether the menu is open or the inventory screen is engaged, Valheim‘s game work keeps running. This may come as a nasty shock to first-time players killed when they pull up the menu to grab a cup of coffee.
Valheim is a hardcore survival sandbox game with a focus on small-group multiplayer gameplay. From the minute the player spawns into their world seed, the harsh reality of the wilderness they now call home assaults them on all sides. Players will need to collect reimgs, build tools, perfect armor, and find a decent location to build a Valheim Viking base. While many of these bases start out as shacks, potentially repurposed from existing structures, they can quickly become sprawling properties run by one or more players. Because each step in Valheim takes dedicated work, many players would likely appreciate safety of a pause button to protect their progress if they need to step away.
Valheim doesn’t let players pause the game because of the continuous servers running each world. Any world can be opened to multiplayer at any time, so each Valheim save runs as its own server. This may be familiar to those who have played Minecraft online or created local servers to play with friends. However, for those playing Valheim alone, not being able to pause can be frustrating, and many fans on Reddit are calling for a pause function to be added in an upcoming patch.
Because there is currently no way to pause the server, players have to exit the game if they need to step away form their world for a few minutes. While this is a cumbersome way to handle minor disruptions during gameplay, it will ensure the player doesn’t lose hard-earned Valheim armor and weapons thanks to an accidental death. Players working with others on a server can ask a friend to guard their character while they are away, but, otherwise, quitting the game is the only certain way to avoid a tragic loss of progress.
Although Valheim’s roadmap doesn’t mention it, hopefully a pause feature will be high on developer Iron Gate AB’s priority list. The frustration of opening and closing the entire game when a distraction arises can create an unpleasant and clunky experience, which might make some players wait to try Valheim when it’s more complete.