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:
Mostly Positive (161) - 79% of the 161 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
All Reviews:
Very Positive (13,215) - 86% of the 13,215 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 (212)

August 2


Welcome to this week’s Thursdoid! (Last week's Thursdoid can be found here) We’re a bit light on the team this week as a few of us (including, as you can probably guess, the developer in charge of Thursdoid punnage) are having a well deserved holiday after the exhausting and mega stressful vehicle push for so many months finally came to an end, and like buses several of those holidays coincidentally happened to come at once, but still a few things to report.

Weather Build Update
We’ve just updated the weather branch. The main addition is the first version of our overhauled multiplayer chat system developed by Stas at General Arcade. The new chat is a bit fancier and more functional and more in line of what you’d expect on an MMO or similar types of games. You can activate the window to chat by pressing T or Enter. Let us know how you get on with it and if there are any problems

Various fixes include reintroducing the low lighting mode, and an option for disabling the new building hiding system, which will provide better performance on low end machines (more on this subject in a moment), removed the weird sound echoes, various Linux compatibility / java fixes, fixed multiplayer zombie attacking / defending issues, and many more. We’ll try to get you a complete change-list soon.

Work continues apace with animations, nothing flashy to show or talk about, but many fixes have been made to the tool and Martin the animator now has access to regular builds to help integrating all the anims. Steve at BitBaboon nears completion of the new build system overhaul, which will vastly improve our internal organisation of builds, and should allow us quicker testing and releasing of builds. With this we’re making wider changes to the team organisation to help us deal with the bigger team size and the various irons we have in fires.

Shaders & Compatibility
We’ve had a small number of people reporting that cars are invisible on their low end machines. This is due to the fact that the way the vehicles are rendered require shaders to overlay damage and other effects, so cards that are unable to use shaders, as with the 3D characters which use GPU skinning, will not be able to render the vehicles.

We’ve fought for many years to keep our minimum specs where they are, wanting to keep our potato running Zomboiders in the game for as long as possible. However, as the years progress, the numbers dwindle as more people upgrade, and at this point we’re talking about an extreme minority of PCs, bottom end Intel laptops any of them close to or over a decade old, at least in terms of technology, and constituting less than 1% of all our customers – It’s gotten to the point where retaining compatibility with machines mostly over a decade old is starting to hamper development in several ways.

1) For example to add support for vehicles for this minority of machines, including testing and bug-fixing would take a substantial amount of development time, which at this stage could be spent working on the features, optimisations and improvements the vast majority of our customers would benefit from and that would take us toward the fabled 1.0.

2) There are a whole host of avenues for optimisation that we’ve for a long time written off because they would end up raising the minimum spec by requiring shaders to work and would be too fundamental to switch off. Since the game and simulation have become massively complex at this point, optimisation is becoming ever more important. Vehicles at one stage ran so badly on top end machines that we simply had to spend significant time doing extreme and very disruptive optimisation work, and the game still doesn’t run adequately in built up areas on machines that should on the face of it be able to handle it.

However the available routes for optimisation are becoming extremely sparse–there’s only so much blood you can wring out of a stone and we’ve shaved practically every millisecond we can from the game’s frame time, so we really need new directions to be able to explore to keep the game running well particularly when features such as Louisville, the new animations (which will bring performance benefits and pressures, and it’s unclear what the net result will be) and of course the NPCs go into the game.

The way the rendering system works with the lighting, shading and isometric perspective is hugely costly and it’s difficult to see how it can possibly be improved having no guaranteed access to literally any of the rendering advancements developed in the past 13 years.

Having guaranteed shader support will open up many optimisation opportunities in the future, our rendering being far and away the biggest bottleneck, and there comes a point where it becomes unfair to the huge majority of our customer-base not to exploit these. While it’s frustrating the game not running well on an old laptop, it’s certainly much worse for it not to run well on a top of the range gaming PC and that’s something we have more responsibility to fix and avoid in future.

So while we understand this decision will upset a few of you (though it’s a decision we hope you appreciate we did not take lightly, and resisted as long as humanly possible to give as many the opportunity to upgrade as possible), we hope that the few affected by this understand why we’ve come to this decision. In the meantime, build 38 will always be available via the Steam betas, and there are many affordable old laptops with GPUs that have the requisite shader support, so hopefully we’ll see you back in the new builds before long.

This week’s tense disagreement from QwencGames. 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 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.
37 comments Read more

July 19

Too Hot For TV

Hey everyone! This week on Thursdoid:

We’ve just released a new test build into the weather branch, which contains many improvements to the new weather system, and in addition contains a whole slew of fixes and additions. However, we’ve had a few issues confined to only a couple of testers and think a couple of bugs have slipped into the mix that we’re having trouble tracking down or replicating reliably, and we’d love to get some wider testing done to try and figure out if this is a widespread issue or not, so multiplayer feedback would be much appreciated! Details on the build can be found here, we’ll look to get you a complete change-list in the next day or so but this is a combination of various branches so general feedback on any issues would be very appreciated!

Multiplayer optimisation
Recently we’ve had a sharp uptick of streamers playing our game, and have been paying close attention to Klean’s awesome Blacksite server (Long live Trader City) which has managed to amass 100 concurrent players on a couple of occasions–which while we were impressed it functioned at all, did start to fall down under the load. We’re hoping we can use our observations to improve the multiplayer syncing and server performance.

One thing we’ve observed repeatedly in recent times is that it appears certain players seem to suffer worse with getting delayed or missing packets leading to much more extreme lag to other players. This doesn’t seem to be tied to ping, so we’re looking to investigate the lower level networking code to see if a problem could reside there that would cause some players to be starved of packets on busier servers – we’re currently looking to organize a large non-Steam multiplayer test with which to test if the Steam communication layer may be causing any additional interferance, after which we’ll hopefully be closer to nailing down these issues. We’ll post on the forums about such a test when it has been organized.

We’re also noticing some oddities with sound pop up here and there, seeing people not hearing other player’s guns, and a few reports of inaccurate ranges for different sounds, so feedback on this would be much appreciated!

Thermal Expansion
On the weather front, the test build in the weather branch has also had an update to the weather overhaul – the big focus of this build is to improve the game’s simulation of player body temperature, to more accurately model how a player will get hot or cold within the environment, with internal body temperature interacting with the character’s surrounding with various modifiers based on the character’s situation, dress and health. Extra elements are simulated such as sickness lowering resistance to cold, wind and rain reducing the player’s body temperature, as well as adding hyperthermia and hypothermia into the mix.

We’re aware we may have to provide more ways for the player to handle extreme heat or cold, such as more varied clothing – some of this will clearly need to wait until the animation build, so we’ll decide in a future test build whether we need to disable or reduce the more extreme temperature effects until these features or added.

If people are giving the new temperature system a try out, you can pull up some debug information to track the player’s body modifiers. This will hopefully show the depth of these systems!

Full details on the weather build can be found here, with instructions on how the new body temperature system works.

Yuri’s been improving the look of the vehicles, adding environment maps to make cars look much less matte and have the reflective shine one would expect.

We’ll probably have a lot of fun tying the reflective values into how clean a car is, and providing another weirdly in-depth mechanic to the vehicle system in Zomboid in future!

Today’s somber goodbyes are from Rzeznik. 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 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:
  • 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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