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?
Recent Reviews:
Very Positive (214) - 80% of the 214 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
All Reviews:
Very Positive (14,383) - 86% of the 14,383 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 now find ourselves in a stable financial situation with an overall 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 'Thursdoids’ which we publish on our site and on Steam every Thursday. These detail what we've been up to during the week, often with sneak peeks of upcoming features, interviews and videos. If a blog is fairly dry they’ll sometimes only be posted on our website, but we've had this unbroken chain of ‘doids for a long time and (although when milestones have been reached we may switch to doing them every two weeks) we certainly intend to continue them for the foreseeable future.

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. Some public builds have arrived after three months, others with bigger features have taken more than six. You can see all our public build content, and the dates of release, here.
After a build is released and patched we reopen our public unstable beta, known as the IWBUMS (I Will Back Up My Save) branch – so the community can test it, and help out by reporting bugs. During these times, the greater proportion of the development calendar, we try to update the IWBUMS beta every Thursday.

Some features, particularly NPCs and the new animation system required for their implementation, have taken a very 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 now work in partnership with several other companies to facilitate all this (General Arcade, and The Eccentric Ape for example) and have also greatly expanded our own staff in the past year.

We will admit to a few long waits between updates in the past, and far longer waits for big features, but we feel from community feedback that the majority of our customers are 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, and as such have a vibrant modding community for players to check out.

It should also be taken into consideration that the game is already very far through development, we’d estimate that we’re 75% complete at this point, and we also now have many 1000+ 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, the release frequency or the debate over the features that have been implemented and those still to come.

Again, full details of all updates to PZ since the release on Steam can be found here.

What is required for 1.0? 

Now vehicles have been released to PZ players there are two major features that are yet to be implemented, the first of which is a requirement for what we want to achieve with the second.

New animation system – a new animation and model system that will allow for more varied and engaging interactions within the Knox Event Exclusion Zone. Allowing better character clothing, more variation in zombies and far greater modding power for the community.

This system is now being developed alongside our friends at The Eccentric Ape, and will also allow for new animations 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. 

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 will also include the return of Kate and Baldspot who starred in the early alphas of the game. 

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

Map completion - We still have a major city (our fictionalised version of Louisville, built to a more PZ scale) and an Army base. The rest of the map, which is already pretty vast, can be found here.

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

We avoid ETAs because Early Access development in particular is often filled with unknowns. 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. While certain developers work alongside our friends at T.E.A. and General Arcade on the ‘bigger’ features we have others devoted to the day-to-day maintenance of the current game: balancing, new crafting recipes, vehicle gameplay, weather systems, professions etc.

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, however we have dedicated and passionate devs 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. ”

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 PZ will never appear in sales that take it below the original alpha price of £5/$8 until we are 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 (225)

January 10


Hey all, quick run around the houses talking about who’s on what this week.

In anims-land for Build 41 Zac’s been looking at optimization, which we’ll be coming back to pretty routinely from this point – as we want to make sure everything is nice and smooth. Here he’s sorted out some locks in the render thread, and from the Before and After you can see a marked improvement in quality.

He’s also working on getting the shiny helmet / coats / leggings shader effect going for different clothing items, and also investigating with Mark as to why over the course of development with the animations system we’ve lost some of the earthy colours and harsher lighting that tended towards a slight over-saturation and bleached effect that doesn’t quite make the new character models fit the scene.

Animator Martin, meanwhile, is looking at all the different locations we’ve got on the map (and those still to come) and creating new outfits to discover in their cupboards and lockers – and likewise to find the local zeds dressed up in.

In other news:
Xeonyx, the creator of the much-loved New Denver / Slocan Lake map, is now working on Challenge Maps for the main game. These, including the Film Studio map we’ve discussed previously, will most likely be a part of Build 41. His current mission is a fictional map called Kingsmouth – a ‘paradise island’ vacation resort in the Caribbean. The map will feature vast hotels, seaside locales, a military installation and much more – but we’ll go quiet on it for now while Jamie gets on with his work. Here’s a quick screen from the map editor though.

Chris W continues his work on improving visuals within buildings – aiming for more Sims-style cutaways and the removal of the circle stencil we currently use. Here’s a quick before and after of the start of this work – the second image showing walls in the foreground cutting away to skirting height – with smooth transitions curving up to full height.

NOTE: Very much WIP and not a finished system, of course. The other room currently isn't cut but will be in the final version. This is just a sneak peak for the WIP system and showing off how the rounded corners look; the goal for the final version is improving vision, not limiting it.

  • Yuri is working on improvements to the way we render the ground surfaces, especially road textures that have been rained on, to complement his recent improvements to how water appears in-game. (This said, right now, he’s shackling a hilarious car physics demon that’s sprung up on an internal server.) 
  • Stas just released an updated Controller Test beta for those helping out with our gamepad improvement scheme. If you are interested in getting a free PZ code for your troubles, then join our band of testers
  • While BitbaboonMark does some TEA-side code repository movements and merging: RJ is doing some improvements to food crafting and prepping a (non-anims) forum test for his new loot table improvements, EP is doing some very exciting experimental work with a new player map system and Turbo is plotting his next move after the successful integration of his weather/shaders in Build 40. (Most likely picking up on his work on in-game devices, or maybe those seasonal sound effects we discussed before).

Community stuff:
We’d like to direct your attention to the new Hashima Island map by Woldren, a map based on an IRL location you might recognise as the place where James Bond shot a woman who had whiskey on her head in Skyfall. It’s pretty damn cool.

We’d also like to direct your attention to the Redboid server, which had a season refresh/reboot/restart yesterday and is a grand place to start your PZ MP adventures if you haven’t done so yet.

If you run a PZ server and would like a shout-out in a future blog, then please get in touch. And while you’re at it -please use these values in Bitbaboon Steve’s recent networking optimization options, as they certainly seem to be helping those currently using ’em.





This week’s infested neighborhood from Dark Oracle. 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 dev blogs 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 MailingList 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.
57 comments Read more

December 20, 2018

Spooky Santa

Hello! Merry impending Chrimble.

On Tuesday we ran a pretty successful Community Megatest using our new MP networking system that Bitbaboon Steve has concocted for us. Users generally reported a much smoother experience in overall play, and had a lot of fun with the storms, snow and admin-created blood moons.

This said, we did see a few potential issues around mega-hordes and vehicles that we need to investigate deeper – so didn’t want to inflict our Megatest settings as default ones on players over the Xmas break until we’re sure they’re the right ones.

To this end we’ll be running more Community Megatests in the near future, with different system settings – and some handy network debug tools that Steve is currently coding into the system.

We have, however, also released it into the public build today in Build 40.43 for server owners to play around with – and have already heard some positive feedback. In essence, and with a video deliberately set to explain it best, it looks a bit like this:

In this video there are the two visible circles around the MP player, and then the mini-circles which appear around the zombies. Essentially: every time a circle appears around a zombie it means it’s getting a position update over the network from the server and then wired into your game. The client’s zed placement signals are received – and then the game knows where to show the zed.

The essence of the system is that server operators can now adjust the circle of ‘close dangerous zeds’ and the circle of distant ‘no trouble zeds’ – and the update times. This will cut down on the network traffic taken up by faraway zombies on your screen, and reduce strain on servers as a whole.

[Please note that this vid is an example only and made to explain the system – we haven’t judged what the best radius for these circles are yet and will be running a series of Community Megatests to help us judge what works best.]

So… here comes the science!

In the vid the low priority (larger radius) dictates the zombies which are going to update on the update delta. So every x seconds they will get an update, and in the video you can see these as the pulses. [It’s set purposefully long on the video to highlight it].

Meanwhile the high priority zombies get updated every server frame, and it will send out the closest Y zombies within the smaller circle around the player.
  • ZombieUpdateHighPriorty is the radius around the player for sending the high priority zombies.
  • ZombieUpdateMaxHighPriority is a cap on the number of high detail ones to send, and it will send the closest zombies to the player up to this limit.
  • ZombieUpdateRadiusLowPriority is the maximum radius to send the lower frequency updates to – at 45 this is essentially the entire screen at 1440p fully zoomed out.
  • ZombieUpdateDelta is the time between sending these lower frequency larger blobs of zombies
In the Megatest the values we used were, so if you run a server give it a spin with these and see how it goes:

ZombieUpdateMaxHighPriority 6
ZombieUpdateDelta 0.7
ZombieUpdateRadiusLowPriority 45
ZombieUpdateRadiusHighPriority 20

The next Megatest, meanwhile, will use a smaller high priority radius but a larger cap – to see how it all responds to hordes. It’s all a balancing act, really, so let us know how you get on if you have a play with it yourself.

Sorry for the technical stuff! Here’s some Build 41 stuff to compensate, along with something seasonal that will be one day be stashed in a cupboard in the mall awaiting the Xmas season.

Grant and Zac have been finetuning the clothing and animation modules. Clothes are now shader-driven and individual Clothing items can have custom shaders for special fx. Animations now auto-reload when modified from the Editor, and Martin has also been hard at work adding new clothing outfits, and adding more variety to existing outfits. Here’s a quick vid.
That’s about it for today but Russian holidays mean that Yuri and Stas will continue their 41 work over the Western Xmas on current issues with upturned vehicles and the gamepad bindings screen, respectively, while there’s plenty of other stuff bubbling under too.

There will be a Thursdoid next week, but it’ll be a brief one featuring anything people have done over the holidays, and then back properly in the New Year. Have a great one if you’re celebrating!

This week’s Walking Dead-style not belonging here from non_curo. 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 dev blogs for info. The Centralized 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 MailingList 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. Merry Xmas etc hohoho
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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:
  • Vehicles with full physics and deep and realistic gameplay mechanics.
  • 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
SteamOS + Linux
    • 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: Vista, 7, 10
    • 64bit OS required
    • Processor: Intel 2.77GHz Dual Core
    • Memory: 4Gb Ram
    • Hard Disk Space: 3gig
    • Video Card: Intel HD 3000 or above. Radeon 4xxx series (or below) graphics cards / Please make sure to try the demo before purchasing!
    • Sound: FMOD 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: 4Gb Ram
    • Hard Disk Space: 3gig
    • Video Card: Intel HD 3000 or above. Radeon 4xxx series (or below) graphics cards / Please make sure to try the demo before purchasing!
    • Sound: FMOD 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.

    • Processor: Intel 2.77GHz Dual Core
    • Ubuntu LTS 16.04/Steam Machine. Requires Libgcc 6 or higher
    • Memory: 4Gb Ram
    • Hard Disk Space: 3gig
    • Video Card: Intel HD 3000 or above. Radeon 4xxx series (or below) graphics cards / Please make sure to try the demo before purchasing!
    • Sound: FMOD compatible sound card

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