Project Zomboid is the ultimate in zombie survival. Alone or in MP: you loot, build, craft, fight, farm and fish in a struggle to survive. A hardcore RPG skillset, a vast map, a massively customisable sandbox and a cute tutorial raccoon await the unwary. So how will you die?
User reviews:
Mostly Positive (173 reviews) - 76% of the 173 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Very Positive (11,086 reviews) - 87% of the 11,086 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Nov 8, 2013

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Early Access Game

Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.

Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“Project Zomboid is a much more ambitious game than we could ever have hoped to fund ourselves. It has grown massively over the years, and it’s been a rollercoaster, but we find ourselves in a stable financial situation with an overwhelmingly positive reaction from the Steam community. We hope you will join us, but if not we understand. If you're not ready to jump in yet, then please consider us when we break out of Early Access.

How often do we update the community?

We have weekly newsletters, known as 'Mondoid's, which we publish on our site and as a Steam announcement every Monday (unsurprisingly) as a small tonic to the depressing 'back to work' feeling. These detail what we've been up to during the week, often with sneak peeks of upcoming features, interviews, videos and all that goodness. We've had an unbroken chain of Mondoids for a long time now, and plan to continue them as long as Project Zomboid is developed. We also communicate with our community directly on our own forums and Steam forums, often with changelists for upcoming builds.

How often do we update?

We have a reputation that seems to diverge greatly when it comes to update frequency depending on who you ask. Many consider our game frequently updated, some consider us slow. In recent times it’s rare we don’t have a release within a month (including beta releases), and these always contain new gameplay features or major tweaks to the gameplay.

Some features, particularly NPCs, have taken a long time to implement. This is largely out of our commitment to getting the features right and them not disappointing on release, but it should be noted that we make no apology for delaying their release until we feel they would be enjoyed, live up to people’s expectations, and most importantly do not have a detrimental effect on the gameplay or stability of the game.

We will admit to a few long waits between updates in the past, but we feel from community feedback that the majority of our customers are very satisfied with the development of the game. It should be pointed out too that the game has significant modding support, with map editors and full unrestricted lua modding access. We have a vibrant modding community that can help plug the gap between updates. It should also be taken into consideration that the game is already very far through development, to the point where we now have 1900+ hour players - There is a lot of content to enjoy in the game already and we firmly and proudly believe it worth its current price as it stands. Please consider reading some reviews if you are still unsure about the content of the game or the release frequency.

Details of major milestones can be found below.

What is required for 1.0?

Two major features are yet to be implemented into the game, both of which are currently in full-time development each with dedicated full-time developer support. These are:

NPCS - A far reaching and in-depth NPC system with character relationships, personalities, and an emergent story engine that allows for diverse and emergent character based zombie survival story unique to every playthrough. This also includes the tutorial, a return of Kate and Baldspot who starred in the early alphas of the game.

Vehicles - Fully physics modelled 3D vehicles, siphoning petrol, mechanics skills.

Several features require either significant modifications, rewrites or completion before we could consider 1.0.

Map completion - We still have a major city, an army base, more wilderness, and several small towns to implement to the game map.

UI Rewrite - The UI isn’t perfect by any stretch. We would like to get a more intuitive and ergonomic UI system implemented.

Stealth / Combat - New animations to allow for stealth mechanics (looking round corners, crouching behind walls, cover etc) as well as a rewrite of the combat system to leverage new animations to make combat more involved, intuitive and fluid.

We want to have all this in the can this year. However, we tend to avoid ETAs because Early Access development in particular is often filled with unknowns and we want to ensure we get these highly anticipated features right. 

In the meantime however we will continue to update the game and provide new features for our community to play with. One of our developers full time responsibility is providing frequent and new items, crafting recipes, skills and survival gameplay elements to fill out any holes in gameplay, and provide frequent feature rich game updates in line with community feedback, while the other developers focus on finishing these specific remaining major features.

What about after 1.0?

At this point, once we feel we have fulfilled every promise we gave when the Project Zomboid site first launched (except the last one, ahem, ignore that. Absolutely no one wanted that, it turned out), as well as the extra things detailed above, and the game is sufficiently polished and bug free, we will launch the game as 1.0 and leave Early Access.

What happens at this point depends entirely on whether the game is making money or not, but given the past solid performance of the game we see no reason why it shouldn’t be. Several developers within the team will likely start exploring our second project at this point, however we have dedicated and passionate developers who were brought into the company via the Project Zomboid modding community, emotionally invested in the game, who are already a big part of the development and communicating with the community. As long as Project Zomboid is making enough to support their continued development of the game, and they are happy to continue working on it (which seems likely), we will continue making Project Zomboid indefinitely as long as there is interest.

That all said, we can’t make any solid promises beyond the 1.0 mark, however there are countless things we would love to do that go way beyond 1.0 and sales make us confident that we’ll get the opportunity to explore them. Truth be told, given that it was Zomboid that put the money in the bank in the first place, as long as our company is secure and we can fund any other project's development comfortably, it's very probable we'd be willing to put some money back into the game beyond the point it's sustaining itself if there are any features in particular we can't bear to leave out of the game. Words are wind though, and all we can do is guess where we'll all be by then. We really want to keep this train going as long as we can though, as long as it continues to the benefit of the game. At which point the modders will hopefully take the mantle with almost unlimited access to the game's core.

Development Costs

Here we hope to give you a better idea of how the sales revenue from Project Zomboid will support development of the game. While we will keep particular developers salaries confidential, we would like to offer a breakdown of developer and office locations, along with the average rent costs, reported on for the Indie Stone offices, along with each developer's location to give you an idea of relative studio costs. It's become clear to us recently how significantly this factors into Early Access games chance of continuing development and we hope others will follow suit in divulging this information.

All percentages are in comparison to New York City (100%) - Other examples would be San Francisco (98.66%), London (93.81%), Moscow (52.71%) and Delhi (9.53%). The lower the % the further your purchase of an Early Access game will go to fund development (or more crucially how long that money will last), as accommodation costs correlate pretty closely with expected salaries and costs of living and working in that location. (Please note that in several cases the developer lives sufficiently outside the given city to make the actual %s likely much lower than reported)

3x Developers + Office
Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom - 32.37%

1x Developer
Brighton, United Kingdom - 56.37%

1x Developer
Toronto, Canada - 51.78%

1x Developer
Surrey, Canada - 30.87%

1x Developer
Lille, France - 31.59%

Monthly development costs are currently recouped within approximately the first 1.5 weeks of the month on average, which means at present each month produces extra funds to further develop the game should sales dry up. This does not include sales or other promotions.

What if PZ stopped making any money tomorrow?

The Indie Stone have made sufficient sales since launch on Early Access to ensure that if the game stopped selling any copies tomorrow, the entire PZ dev team could carry on funded development as at present, with no reduction in workforce, for at least the next two years, potentially longer. This would not be an ideal situation for us, of course, but we are committed to finishing every major planned feature before we consider moving the game to 1.0. Considering the financial situation we are in at present, the chances we will not be able to fund the remaining development of the game are quite small.

In the worst (and least likely) possible of financial cases that required the disbandment of all paid developers of the game, 4 of the listed developers are directors of The Indie Stone with an invested interest in the success of the game and company, who would cut their income significantly and/or supplement development of the game with other work to get through any financial difficulties. Despite this no doubt causing progress to slow significantly, the 4 directors hold all required skills to continue development of the game during this nightmare scenario.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“See above!”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“See above!”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“See above!”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“It will likely be £5, $8 more expensive once we hit 1.0. Due to our commitment to making sure early adopters get the cheapest price in appreciation of their early support, we will never appear on bundles, or in sales that take it to or below the original alpha price of £5, $8 until a long time post 1.0. This commitment also means that, until 1.0 and the price increase, we will never be willing to go beyond a 40% sale.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“See above!”
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Recent updates View all (173)

August 14

Project CarZ

[Notice: Last Weeks Mondoid can be found here]

Current focus is getting 38 out of the door, while putting roots down for the initial vehicles release in Build 39 and beyond. And so…

We’re fixing up and polish Build 38 for release, and want it to be as clean as possible so we can drop the vehicles build straight into IWBUMS beta testing afterwards as Build 39 – with the new map expansion that includes the new town of Riverside and the Knox Heights Country Club.

This includes ironing the final kinks out of ChrisW’s rooftop rendering and peeking changes – as right now in the beta we’ve still got a few irritations like occasional see-through roof slants, canopies around the edges of buildings that never disappear and wonky player-built second floors. It’s ‘tidy up’ work more than anything, but we want it all to be as seamless as we can make it once it hits public.

As such, while this is done and in the build-up to release, we’ll continue to fix and polish RJ’s existing 38 work with graves, sandbox options and other stuff – alongside turning as much of the Bug Tracker from red to green as possible.

Yuri meanwhile, he of Vehicles Build fame, is going to transfer as many of his branch’s optimizations as we can into the IWBUMS version – so they’re not stuck in a holding pattern. He’ll also transfer his current work on improving gamepad controls and making sure that screens like in-game maps, foraging and sandbox game creation can all be navigated without a keyboard.

As regular readers will know we’ve now got Mark and Steve from Bitbaboon, both established Technical Directors from the land of AAA, bedded down with the team to help with animations (Mark) and MP/general optimization (Steve).

Steve’s first task is to optimize MP connectivity – and so we’ve set him up with a build so he can get some detailed stats back on bandwidth, cpu and memory for servers, and track what happens when latency rises. While he does so he’s also marking targets for when his role turns to more general FPS optimization.

Mark, meanwhile, is approaching the point at which the new animation system is merged into the main game code, but on a (development side debug) toggle. This means that it will always be integrated into the PZ build, allowing our coders to flick its various visual/gameplay switches ‘on’ as we go and start releasing test versions – keeping it in date with the main game

We released Vehicle Test Build 16 on Friday, which was something of a ‘wider IWBUMS testing’ preparation build as it put vehicles on a toggle accessed from the Game Select screen. It also corrected and darkened shadow positioning as well as, hopefully, prevented unrealistic car-climbing and bouncing on zombie corpses.

Next up Yuri will be integrating Mash’s redone burnt car models, an example of which is below, before moving onto a spot of optimization. This said, in amongst it all, there are a few other aspects we’d like to see integrated before/during the 39 IWBUMS: specifically clearer headlights, red brakelights, car horns, sirens and accurate numbers of seats for each car model. We’ll see how much we can fit in, basically.

If you fancy holding out somewhere new and different than can we also suggest you check out the wide range of awesome maps that Woldren has created? Over the River, especially, is pretty awesome – as it creates a huge bridge over from West Point, with its own docked ship nearby, and a range of interesting locations for you to explore on the opposite bank. Definitely one to check out.

Something we’ll need to be adding to the main game in build 39+ are player-built gates that’ll allow vehicles inside. In the meantime the lovely Mister Nolan has you covered with his new Log Wall Gate mod. Vid here.

Today’s featured image from Boop. A general list of stuff added to PZ, and vids of features being worked on, is kept here – so you don’t have to plough through endless Mondoids for info. The Block of Italicised Text would like to direct your attention to the PZ Wiki should you feel like editing or amending something, and the PZ Mailing List that can send blogs like this and patch notes direct to your mailbox. We also live on Twitter right hereOur Discord is open for chat and hijinks too.
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July 31

Rise of the Baboon

In ‘general beta updates’ news we’re continuing to chase bugs in both our IWBUMS public beta and the public vehicles beta. The IWBUMS beta needs to be polished and bug-crunched until it’s ready for release, and the vehicles beta needs to be fixed up until the cars are in a good enough state to be released as an ‘experimental vehicle’ toggle in the Build 39 IWBUMS beta very shortly afterward – alongside the new map extension.

We’ll be releasing a new IWBUMS version once Chris W has finished off his rooftops/building rendering fixes (primarily the issues surrounding player-built constructions) later this week, while a new vehicles build will probably appear beforehand – which will make cars climbing on top of other cars and burnt-out wrecks impossible and make cars ‘jump’ less when striking zeds.

Vehicle Build 15 also came out last Thursday which, among other bugs, improved fluidity should cars come to a stop and need to start moving again.

Work has also continued to improve the sounds that vehicles make and, while still a work in progress, we hope that you agree that they are far improved on what we had last week.

As you may know from previous Mondoids, we now have Mark Rowley working alongside us to integrate the long-awaited animations system we’ve constructed – which will in turn open the door to all manner of improvement and features that’ve been cooking backstage. Now his work is becoming a part of our internal animations build we thought it high time to drop the curtain on him, and have a Mondoid chat.

Before we begin it’s probably also worth mentioning that Mark’s colleague at Bitbaboon, Steve, will also be joining us for a little while each week to help out with MP issues – primarily looking at a fix for zombie lag and its resultant unfair injuries. [General Arcade’s Stas was initially being set on this, but was called away elsewhere and will hopefully return to PZ a little further down the line].

Hello Mark! First off, can you give a bit of background about who you are and the sort of stuff you’ve worked on previously?
Well I taught myself how to program way back on the C64, then progressed onto the Amiga and the demo/cracking scene. Then later on I studied electronics and decided to get a ‘real job’. I worked in fire detection, weights and measures and almost made a career at the Ministry of Defence before I was lucky enough to get offered a position at my first games company… that was 17 years ago and I haven’t looked back since.

Since then I have worked at many companies all over the world, on many titles. In terms of animation systems specifically I’ve worked on multiple games engines, but the largest would be the Assassins Creed Engine, Don King’s Prizefighter for Take2, procedural animations for Prince of Persia while at Ubisoft and then London 2012 Official Olympics game at SEGA.

There have been many others in between though. A good data-driven animation system can really allow content creators to bring a game to life. There’s a video of my GDC talk that covered animation issues and the Olympics game here, if anyone’s interested.

Where’ve you encountered PZ before and what brought you into its orbit?
PZ has always been a game I have enjoyed and followed, so when I heard they were looking for some help, I jumped at the chance. I know Lemmy from long ago, during our mutual time at Reflections on Driv3r, and I have heard a lot about Will from colleagues at SEGA. It’s a very small industry!
While we had crossed paths a couple of years ago during my time at SEGA, it’s only been recently that I have been in a position to help out.

Just to get everyone up to speed – where was the new animation system when you joined us, and what have you added/improved in the past month or so?
It’s pretty impressive, lots of features and efficient, so my focus has been to make it easier to maintain and extend, and get it delivered to the players.

Over my career I have found the enormous value in data driven systems, and we have now implemented the foundation systems into PZ to allow data driven animation and character states that should mean its robust, easy to extend and more importantly easy to maintain.

You’re currently merging your work in, so what’s next? What plans have you and the team concocted?
The animation system is being merged system by system, and then we will hook each of them up. Each character ‘state’ will be implemented and updated to use the animation system as much as possible so in the future it becomes really easy to extend.
My work is also a drive to reduce code and eliminate bugs before they happen. As an example, let’s take ‘climbing over an object’ which in the initial anims build required code to pick a new animation for each and every type of object. This meant that whenever we wanted to add a new type of object and a new climb animation it would mean diving into the code and manually hooking up all the data.

Now we’re driving this logic through the animation system with much simpler queries to the player’s state and world which makes the change through pure data, and to help manage it we have a nice simple editor to go with the changes called AnimZed.

As a PZ player, during your work with the animation system so far and having access to Martin’s model and movement databanks, what aspects of the new animation system have you spotted that you reckon will bring cool stuff to the game? Will it be worth the (lengthy) (very lengthy) wait?
Firstly it will just be the way animation seems much smoother, but over time as we evolve the systems we can start to add more depth and subtlety. We have also looked at extracting the velocity and motion of character from the Animation data, so changing the pace can be controlled by Martin a lot more precisely.

Couple this extracted motion with the ability to blend between states of animation, and we will start to see more than just simple switches in animation. Imagine instead of walking and then suddenly limping when you get an injury, seeing that limp get progressively worse and really slowing you down the worse it gets… which will be even more fun when you’re slowing down those Z’s and watching them limp mindlessly after you.

It’s pretty evident that the wait has been a really long one, but I think it will be worth it when players start to see much more depth to the way things move, but also for the developers with the ability it creates to add more dynamic content – adding greater variations of players and zombie movement without the massive amounts of work it would previously involve.

It’s also making it much easier to bring other things, like animals, to the world without writing lots of complex code. I know the whole team is looking forward to unleashing this guy on the world.

This week we’ve also been getting your colleague Steve wired up to the PZ coding mainframe. I’m sure we’ll talk to him at a later date blog-wise, but in the meantime would you mind introducing him and the sort of work he’ll be doing?
Sure, I have worked with Steve for over 10 years now at various studios around the world, and around 4 years ago we started our own company specializing in helping out other studios and developers with their projects. I won’t steal his thunder, but Steve is one of the most thorough and skilled engineers I have ever worked with … for us both to working on PZ is awesome.

I believe he’s going to be looking at a backlog of network features and fixes, but we’ll let him explain his plans himself later.

Thanks Mark! We genuinely love you.

Today’s featured image from Jim. A general list of stuff added to PZ, and vids of features being worked on, is kept here – so you don’t have to plough through endless Mondoids for info. The Block of Non-Italicised Text would like to direct your attention to the PZ Wiki should you feel like editing or amending something, and the PZ Mailing List that can send blogs like this and patch notes direct to your mailbox. We also live on Twitter right hereOur Discord is open for chat and hijinks too.
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“What can I say? This game's interface looks so simplistic by today's standards, and yet the Indie Stone team has managed to possibly create one of the best post-apocalyptic zombie survival games in existence to date.”
Max Power! (105 hrs)

“Most realistic zombie apocalypse scenario game to date.”
democar821 (81 hrs)

“The gameplay is surprisingly addicting, sometimes I look at the clock and wonder where the last 4 hours went, but looking at my fort shows me where they went.”
syfy2K4 (1,021 hrs)

About This Game

Project Zomboid is an open-ended zombie-infested sandbox. It asks one simple question – how will you die? 

In the towns of Muldraugh and West Point, survivors must loot houses, build defences and do their utmost to delay their inevitable death day by day. No help is coming – their continued survival relies on their own cunning, luck and ability to evade a relentless horde.

Current Features

  • Hardcore Sandbox Zombie Survival Game with a focus on realistic survival.
  • Online multiplayer survival with persistent player run servers.
  • Local 4 player split-screen co-op
  • Hundreds of zombies with swarm mechanics and in-depth visual and hearing systems.
  • Full line of sight system and real-time lighting, sound and visibility mechanics. Hide in the shadows, keep quiet and keep the lights off at night, or at least hang sheets over the windows.
  • Vast and growing map (loosely based on a real world location) for you to explore, loot and set up your fortress. Check out Blindcoder’s map project:
  • Use tools and items to craft weapons, barricade and cook. You can even build zombie proof forts by chopping trees, sawing wood and scavenging supplies.
  • Deal with depression, boredom, hunger, thirst and illness while trying to survive.
  • Day turns to night. The electricity falters. Hordes migrate. Winter draws in. Nature gradually starts to take over.
  • Farming, trapping, fishing, carpentry, cooking, trapping, character customization, skills and perks that develop based on what you do in-game.
  • Proper zombies that don’t run. (Unless you tell them to in the sandbox menu).
  • A ton of amazing atmospheric music tracks by the prodigy that is Zach Beever.
  • Imaginative Challenge scenarios and instant action ‘Last Stand’ mode, on top of regular Sandbox and Survival 
  • Full, open and powerful Lua modding support.
  • Xbox Controller Gamepad support on Windows. [Others pads can be set up manually. Gamepad support not currently available on Mac]

    We’re a small team at the moment, but we’re also committed to providing the following:

    Planned Features:

  • The return of our PZ Stories mode that also serves as first ever tutorial actively trying to kill you at every turn. Kate and Baldspot return!
  • In-depth and varied NPC encounters driven in a persistent world, powered by a metagame system that turns each play-through into your very own zombie survival movie with emergent narrative gameplay.
  • Constant expansion of the countryside and cities around Muldraugh and West Point
  • Full wilderness survival systems, animals and hunting for food.
  • More items, crafting recipes, weapons and gameplay systems.
  • Steam Workshop and Achievements support

For more details on the game follow us on @theindiestone or visit

A huge thanks to the wonderful MathasGames and Dean Cutty for making the awesome intro video. If you love indie games their channels are well worth a sub.

System Requirements

Mac OS X
    • Nb. This is an Early Access game. A demo has been provided so you can be sure the game runs on your set-up to your satisfaction.

      Radeon 4xxx series (or below) graphics cards / Please make sure to try the demo before purchasing!

    • OS: Windows XP, Vista, 7, 10
    • 64bit OS required
    • Processor: Intel 2.77GHz Dual Core
    • Memory: 2Gb Ram
    • Hard Disk Space: 1.23gig
    • Video Card: OpenGL 2.1 compatible dedicated graphics card
    • Sound: OpenAL compatible sound card
    • Nb. This is an Early Access game. A demo has been provided so you can be sure the game runs on your set-up to your satisfaction.

    • OS: OS X 10.7.3, or later. 
    • Processor: Intel 2.77GHz Dual Core
    • 64bit OS required
    • Memory: 2Gb Ram
    • Hard Disk Space: 1.23gig
    • Video Card: OpenGL 2.1 compatible dedicated graphics card
    • Sound: OpenAL compatible sound card
    • Controllers currently unsupported in Mac
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