The Black Death is a dark multiplayer survival game set during a plague-ridden medieval era.
User reviews:
Mixed (40 reviews) - 52% of the 40 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Mixed (809 reviews) - 61% of the 809 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Apr 19, 2016

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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?

“We have brought The Black Death to the Early Access community because we want players to join us in shaping this new medieval role-playing experience that offers a unique take on survival. As a multiplayer game, continuous community feedback is vital for us to enhance and evolve the strong foundations that we have built. This is your chance to get involved. Those who choose to take part in the Early Access scheme should expect bugs and potentially game-breaking issues, but can look forward to a dramatic and rapidly evolving simulation of medieval life.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“We anticipate that a full release of The Black Death will be ready in 8-12 months. This will allow us to act on invaluable community feedback, add and extend features, improve performance and fix bugs.”

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

“The full release version of The Black Death will include a whole host of features, many of which we have already begun work on. Server stability is a big focus for us, and testing through Early Access should allow us to incorporate an even more dense population and thriving world without sacrificing performance. The full release will have more playable professions and an increase in the size of the playable area and content included within the game.

We have a roadmap for new ideas, such as questing, horse riding and bounty systems, and look forward to working with the community with iterating and including their ideas.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

The Black Death currently has a strong foundation on which we can continue to build, with core mechanics such as combat, trading, hunger, crafting and plague systems already in place. We have a large Western European themed world, with a range of NPCs, animals, towns, mines, castle ruins and dramatic landscapes, providing an engaging sandbox experience.”

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

“Yes, the game price will increase after Early Access.”

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

“We have exciting plans for the future of The Black Death and will work actively with the community to gather issues, feedback and ideas to further enhance the game. We’ll continue to provide updates, keeping players informed of changes/improvements through Steam and social media and will work closely with the community to create a roadmap of future features.”
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Recent updates View all (84)

August 18

Patch Notes: V0.18

Welcome adventurers to update V0.18!

This update we have progress on combat, door decay and buffed storage chest capacity!

Version 0.18 also brings some big fixes to key issues. Such as the “double stutter” that has been plaguing the game since our last patch.

This is what’s in Patch V0.18…

Door Decay & extended Chest Storage

We’ve added a door decay system to combat abandoned houses. This will mean doors will break once their health reaches 0. If you inhabit the house your doors will require maintenance.

The basic door will break after 2.6 (Real world days) without repairing.
The reinforced door will break after 3.5 days
The iron door will break after 8 days
The gold door will break after 11 days

We’ve also extended storage in houses!

Wooden shacks now have 50 slots, regular houses and estates have 80 slots.

New AI Changes To Combat

Here is a gameplay video showing off our new Combat changes for our AI. They now have states such as aggressive, hostile and cowardly. Some Bandits will now be more alert to your presence and will pursue and engage in combat even if you are father away. Other Bandits will be more unsure and will walk backwards away from the Player in combat and then walk around and towards the Player in a more cautious manor. Other Bandits will be very aggressive with their attacks and will block quickly whilst facing the Player for a more aggressive fight.

AI now also block more attacks and fight in a more defensive way, getting strikes on Bandits will now require more strategic actions than before. When AI now successfully block an attack spark particles will appear when weapons are struck together.

Head on over to our Blog to see a gameplay video showing off our new Combat changes for our AI and also a video showing our previous system.
Patch Notes: V0.18

New Torch Model

We have updated our Torch for a new and improved model! This one is smaller and more compact but still gives off the same amount of light to help guide the way…

New UI Changes

We have updated our Hunger, Thirst and infection statuses and swapped them out fora more readable format. These are now displayed out of 100 and infection rate is now displayed as a percentage.

We felt this change was needed as a lot of Players were feeling the need to eat and drink as soon as the statuses were appearing on screen rather than when they hit the red coloured text, which is when Health starts to deplete. With the new number system Players can now keep an eye on their current statuses and choose to conserve their food and drinks throughout a play session.

New Graphical Changes

the ambient occlusion is a great way of defining interesting shapes but unfortunately it was effecting the grass far too much making the overall all image too dark and patchy, removing the ambient occlusion from them has allowed greatly picture quality through them blending correctly with the ground.

Optimisations, Fixes & More

  • Stabilised character movement memory cost, which has greatly reduced the “stuttering” players experience whilst travelling
  • Over 8000 actors merged to improve the overall performance
  • Optimised timers in the HUD UI

  • Fix for bleeding status in the HUD UI staying on screen after being cured
  • Fix to stop “heavily wounded” pop-up from appearing when using consumable items
  • Fix to allow Ai to hear your footsteps and will turn to react, making it harder to sneak up on them
  • Stuttering issues has been greatly reduced with a new system to update the client's position

  • House Doors now decay with a rate of 2.5 real world days. 3.5 days for reinforced door, 8 days for Iron door and 11 days for Gold.
  • Blocking is now in game instead of parrying (default key bind right click) you will suffer little damage when blocking however durability of weapons will be affected
  • NPCs loot has been improved. They now drop a new range items including clothes, weapons and armour

  • Headshots incur double damage but helmet armour values reduce the double damage amount.
  • House storage for beggars is now 50 slots, and higher tier storage is now 80.
  • Ambient occlusion tweak to prevent “patch dark grass” and small objects and better definition on larger objects, this has also address the haze that occurs on wet surfaces
  • Player footstep sounds have been reintroduced back into the game
  • Basic emote system has now been reintroduced, with 7 new unarmed emote animations
  • Sitting on chairs/benches has been reintroduced, with new sit animations
  • You are no longer become frozen in place while encumbered, instead you move at a heavily reduced speed
  • They way we display infection, hunger and thirst values on the HUD has changed to make it easier to understand
  • Updated version number
  • Heavy attack is no longer a wide swing, instead it is a off root stab animation (This will change per weapon as we progress further with the combat mechanics)

  • Players and NPC’s armour, health and weapon damage have been greatly re-balanced to ensure fights are enjoyable and tense. This is also to prevent issues with “one shot kill” scenarios.
  • Increased speed of light swing

Known Problems:
  • Using the intractable stocks will cause you to play sitting animations
…See you in Mercia!

// The SIG Team
14 comments Read more

August 17

Dev Blog #36

Welcome one and all to our weekly Dev Blog!

A big one this week! We have blocking, damage and armour values, helmets and head shots, door health and decay, storage chest capacity, NPC combat, animation progress and AI spawning! It’s a big 'un!

The update forecast: This Friday the 18th! Yes we’re going live early 🙂

Blocking with weapons

Continuing to polish combat as promised, parrying is something we have always wanted to be a core aspect of combat but after a while of internal testing we felt blocking, instead of parrying, is more fun, responsive and easier for new players to understand.

Parrying (right click by default) for all weapons will be replaced with a block in which you can hold, this however comes with a downside (to ensure shields still have a purpose) weapon durability is affected by blocked hits.

Depending on the weapon blocking and the weapon being blocked ,some damage will get through. Example scenario: holding a block with a bone club against a silver blade weapon will only prevent 50% of damage due to the bone club’s blocking armour value being low. In this new system weapons will now have armour values for blocking purposes as well.

Damage and Armour Values

The new blocking system meant that, whilst using our current weapon values, you would still get killed in one shot in some scenarios. For example using a Flamberge against someone blocking with a stick club.

So, we have re-balanced all weapons and armour to not only make this system more enjoyable but to also address issues with some weapons killing players and A.I. in one shot regardless of equipped armour. No longer will weapons be able to deal damage in such un-fun deadly amounts, there should always be a certain amount of back and fourth, even if it is short lived!

Even though damage for weapons have been greatly re-balanced don’t fret so has armour , your finely crafted war swords are still essential to winning a fight, this is all to make sure combat isn’t over in one hit and become a more polished part of the game.

Helmets and Headshots

To reward skilled players, headshots are even more essential to winning a fight, a player wearing full plate but no helmet can be killed with a low tier weapon in a few strikes to the head so be careful and remember to craft/buy the best helmet possible when dealing with other skilled players. A good armour value of a helmet can prevent the full double damage being dealt from a headshot, it can save your life.

Door Health and Decay

Door’s amour values have been removed to prevent any confusion over any damage that isn’t being dealt by your weapon but we have increased health to the door to negate issues with doors being too weak (also doors will save their current health values correctly).

Also, I am pleased to announce that doors will now suffer a decay rate meaning if a house is left unprotected and has had no recent repairs the door will destroy over time allowing other more active recent players to take houses from players that are no longer playing the game.

This does mean your houses will require more gold to keep we will add more benefits to housing in the near future to make it feel worth it including…..

Storage Chest Capacity

Now we are starting to eliminate more performance issues we are now confident in expanding player’s capacity for their storage chests. Low tier houses will have a small increase but high tier ones with have a considerable boost to their capacity.

NPC Combat

A.I. have once again had another “pass”, they now deal damage similar to players (to also prevent any one shot kill scenarios) and their health and armour reflects their gear better to prevent some A.I. feeling that damage sponges, they die in fewer strikes but are deadlier in terms of tactics, they will use the new blocking system against you to wear you down. This again is to make sure the game is tense, fun to play but hard to master.
Animation progress

The old emote system was limited. So we’ve been working on expanding it, so that it can be used in more situations. We have 20 new animations completed for it and more to come! There is also work to do on how this new system will function. Keep a look out for details soon…
A.I. Spawning

Considerable effort has been made to make sure enemy A.I. no longer spawns within player’s houses/territory this also prevents other actor types like infection areas spawning with your walls. This was a big bug bear amongst a lot of players, so glad that we’ve finally got round to working on this.
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“Players are surprisingly helpful in this multiplayer Middle Ages wasteland”
PC Gamer

About This Game

Note on Early Access:

The Black Death will launch on to Steam’s Early Access program. This means the game is still in active development and is liable to change. The Early Access program will not only allow the player enjoy the fantastic gameplay experience that is The Black Death, but will also allow the player to make a real difference to how the game progresses.

The Game:

Welcome to the gritty medieval world of The Black Death. The plague has left a trail of destruction across Western Europe. Those who endure struggle against sickness, scarce resources and other desperate survivors.

Start as a beggar and work your way up to a number of realistic professions, each with their own ways to survive. Enter a huge multiplayer open world, set in 14th century western Europe. Trade at fisherman’s ports, loot disease infested cities, hunt wild animals in dense forests, fight in bandit camps, upgrade your properties and much more. Loot, pillage, craft and survive in an epic struggle against The Black Death.

Key Features in Early Access -
  • Rich profession based role playing combined with medieval era survival.
  • A huge open world (8km2) based in 14th century western Europe. Explore thriving castles, bandit camps, busy ports and abandoned mines
  • Unique medieval professions to unlock, each with a rich skill tree and their own way of surviving.
  • A living world with hundreds of NPC’s and day / night cycle. Trade with merchants, hunt animals, talk to townsfolk and fight bandits.
  • Over 300 in game items. Craft over 40 different weapon and armour pieces, using medieval tools and utilities.
  • Buy and upgrade properties - and protect it from other opportunistic players…
  • Large scale multiplayer, with up to 50 players per server

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows 7 / 8 / 10 (64bit OS)
    • Processor: 2 GHz Dual-Core 64-bit CPU
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: DirectX11 Compatible GPU with 1 GB Video RAM
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Storage: 20 GB available space
    • OS: Windows 7 / 8 / 10 (64bit OS)
    • Processor: Quad-core Intel or AMD, 2.5 GHz or faster
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: DirectX11 Compatible GPU with 2 GB Video RAM
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Storage: 20 GB available space
Customer reviews Learn More
Mixed (40 reviews)
Mixed (809 reviews)
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