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 (126) - 77% of the 126 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
All Reviews:
Very Positive (14,744) - 86% of the 14,744 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 (228)

April 4

Spiffo’s Round-Up #3

Hey all, here’s the highlights of the last four weeks of Project Zomboid development – compiled from the Thursday blogs that appear at and on the PZ Steam boards.

First off here are a couple of gameplay videos. This first one is a demonstration of ‘zoned zombie outfits’ – which is essentially the system that ensures that firefighter zombies spawn in fire stations, chef zombies spawn in restaurant kitchens and the like. (Please note that there are a few individual animations in this vid we want to speed up, and in most cases already have done)

Next up, meanwhile, we’ve had some significant improvements and fixes made by Bitbaboon Mark to the core animation blending system in past weeks. He’s fixing a whole bunch of issues, snaps and glitches that have been vexxing us for a long time – digging deep into the code, and doing a total rewire where necessary.

In prior Thursday vids we cut around these uglinesses as much as possible, but they still reared their heads. Snaps between character animations, jarring moves when turning to certain compass directions while strafing, and various other ugly things that we just couldn’t account for were plaguing us – but have now finally been fixed, leading to a far smoother animation blending system.

Zac’s prepared a video demoing the new blending – although please note he’s running in debug, so this doesn’t represent gameplay.

Speaking of, please note, that we’ve decided to put the completion of the high-res model rendering work described in the last Spiffo update on ice for little longer, since there were still numerous issues with it that meant it wasn’t suitable to put into the main line – and also it kept getting further broken by the flurry of additions and changes from the team’s work described above.

We feel it would be best approached toward the end of Build 41 dev just before IWBUMS, at the point we could get extra resources on board to get it working right. As such all videos until then will use the traditional character resolution.

Zac’s work on masking out different parts of clothing items has resulted in several extremely useful features. First, it now allows us to wear pieces of geometry clothing on top of other geometry clothing – as opposed to being a texture drawn over the character’s skin. This used to be impossible: the clothing worn underneath would always poke through the geometry of the clothing on top, especially when moving.

So now we can layer clothing appropriately, and also spray blood on individual layers and garments – instead of your survivor’s body as a whole.

Our old solution was to to draw underclothing as textures directly on the character model, which unfortunately led to the side effect of them looking like body paint and lacking the bulk of real clothing. Now we can easily turn off areas of the clothing that are covered, so we are provided with many more options.

This also allows us much more visual indications of damage and clothing wear and tear (quite literally).

As well as putting a player’s newly scavenged/treasured Spiffo shirt at risk of damage, this will allow much more variety with zombies in particular. RJ has been adding code to implement this new system to further randomize zombie’s clothing conditions, and tie potential clothing damage into the various game systems for the player.

Our primary rule with Build 41 is that we’re updating animations to complement and add foundation to our existing gameplay, rather than get too excited and add in loads of new systems that could otherwise wait till a later version.

A good example of this is something that’s been in the game for a while, but have always been hidden slightly: our annotated survivor maps that show you the way to various hidden stashes.

Now though, to create a bit of a breadcrumb trail for players to follow, we have introduced ‘uniformed’ survivor zeds. They are the walking corpse of a survivor like yourself, who will not only carry some handy loot, but also potentially lead you to a place of interest.

They will always be rare and spawned in a big crowd of zombies, but also appear bloodied and messed up and wear a neat backpack. One of our prototype Survivor Zeds looks a little like this:

Over with General Arcade Yuri has been continuing his visual effect work – and has fine-tuned his water so that waves and ripples aren’t as small. When it was windy in-game this was fairly uncomfortable on the eyes of our internal testers, so they now look like this.

Right now he’s also addressing something that’s been an issue with cars since their introduction, but that we were waiting to address once the differently proportioned new character models were in-game. As such, say hello to the more sensibly-sized cars that Yuri’s currently updating the physics for:

Here’s a quick run-down of other items of interest that have gone into the internal branch of Build 41 over the past month.

  • Extended idle animations. Depending on your character moodles, pain or other variable, you’ll sometimes see you character scratching an arm, shivering, checking his weapon, wipe his legs to check for blood etc.

  • New timed action animations, alongside fixes for the current timed actions: digging graves with a shovel, looting on the ground or in shelves, cleaning blood etc.

  • New outfits are also being added along with their own zone - Gigamart employee for example, and branded logo-ed shirts for various locations.

  • New animation variants for the player defending against zombie bites. Three new variations of zombies thumping on objects.

  • We’ve gotten ChrisW’s Sims-style wall cutaway system into the main line, but there are still a few issues to work out before its 100% operational.

  • Garage doors can now be opened. – huzzah. We will also be addressing the size of garages on the main map, and at the same time adding some more signage to the Exclusion Zone road network

  • Support for characters to lower and raise hoods on hooded clothing, for example hoodies and certain coats, have been added alongside several new idle animations used when the character has injuries.

  • Zach continues his great work adding more tools and features, this time to allow Martin and the other devs to quickly add and test new costume pieces through the AnimZed editor and preview them in game.

  • We have added many clothing items such as a poncho, hoodies, scarfs, aprons and swimming outfits. RJ also now has hair and beard styles being associated with zone costumes (for e.g. so you don’t tend to get military zombies or cops with hippy hairstyles and big beards).

    Oh, and just today we found a way to make PZ feel a little more American.

    This is the third monthly Steam round-up of development news for Project Zomboid, but weekly Thursdoid blogs are posted both on our website and on the Steam discussion boards. 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 here! Our Discord is open for chat and hijinks too. Our thanks to our good friend Xeonyx for creating the header image using the internal anims build. That’s all for now, keep tabs on our website for more every week!
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March 7

Spiffo's Roundup #2

Hey all, here’s the highlights of the last four weeks of Project Zomboid development – compiled from the Thursday blogs that appear at and on the PZ Steam boards.

First off, a general ‘recently implemented animations’ video to whet your appetite along with some new Zach Beever musical goodness that will be coming in build 41.

A key aspect of PZ mapping is zoning – which we primarily use to mark up areas that are (for example) suitable for foraging and car spawns. Now however, with different clothing for zombies, we can flag which parts of the PZ map can spawn which particular zombie – or which group of particular zombies.

This, then, is how we can spawn only guards and orange jumpsuit-wearing prisoners in Rosewood prison.

Likewise, RJ has created a ‘wedding’ spawn zone over one of the churches on the map – which ensures that all zombies inside it, and outside for the selected area, have a very high chance of dressing in smart clothing, with a guaranteed bride, groom and church minister amongst them.

This system will allow us to have many and varied different pockets of particular zeds – police in police stations, lumberjacks at McCoy logging, military in military areas etc. Likewise, we will be examining the best methods to make sure that zeds in bathrobes or not wearing clothes are only found in homes and home bathrooms in particular.

(It should be noted that aspects of this will also involve a very slight rewrite of PZ lore in terms of the outbreak, but we had intended to return to the radio/TV broadcasts soon in any case).

We’ve been waiting for some important/complex work on rotational anim movements from TEA for a fair amount of the past few weeks – but there’s still been plenty of other areas for us to work in this time.
A few examples of this includes knife attack animations, and tying survivors and zeds getting bloodied by attacks in general in-game.

This has also involved us adding some additional combat skills, and in the process removing the skill point system. From Build 41 onwards skills will automatically level up when you gain the XP requirements, as we felt the manual skill point system never worked particularly well and would do so even less with many more skills.

RJ also adds a note on how running through crowds of zeds will now be a little more fraught with danger.
“One thing that’s new and that people might be interested to see in action, is an effort to make sure players can’t dash through hordes without getting slowed down.”

“As seen in the video below, we’ve now added bumping against zeds. Colliding with one or two while you’re running isn’t dangerous, you’ll just get slowed down, but try running through a horde and you’ll stumble and fall – leaving you temporarily exposed to the encroaching zeds. We might add in a few more different sorts of animations for nudges/pushes, but right now it looks like this:”

Next up, the issue of character and zed model visual fidelity.

An area that was proving strange in terms of 41 development was that somewhere along the way some of the visual fidelity of characters had been lost – and simultaneously, somehow, models looked far more buff/hunky than intended. Feet, also, seemed a little on the large side. After a bit of a dig, we finally located a bug in the exported model data that explained it.

Due to this bug, the lighting of the characters was broken, which resulted in very washed out characters with little lighting shading – which in turn removed definition that made muscles look bulkier. This has now been fixed and, after re-exporting all the clothing, has allowed us to achieve much better character model rendering and lighting than we’ve shown off previously during this recent leg of anim development.

As ever, please keep in mind that we’ll continue to balance/tweak to make sure characters fit their surrounds as well as possible – as well as adjust the models themselves seeing as you can now see individual facial features much more clearly. These caveats notwithstanding, however, we’re pretty happy how they’re looking.

During this process we also focused on another prominent issue: that the character pixel resolution when zoomed in was extremely blocky and lacking in detail. Due to the ways that our initial zoom system handled things, characters were too harshly pixellated. This caused them to be extremely jaggied compared to what it was in the old days, when we were rendering characters to an off-screen sprite before placing them into the world.

So over the past few weeks we’ve been doing some significant work on changing how the game handles the zoom, which in addition to fixing this issue should ultimately lead to slightly more optimized rendering of the game – as well as providing the character models much more detail to play with.

The branch with this system on it isn’t complete – navigating indoors presents issues, mouse input hit-testing isn’t fixed up yet, and we’re having issues with seams between tiles when zoomed out – so it’s not quite ready for integration into the main test build. Here’s a quick video of us running aimlessly around zombies under lights to show it off though.

(Along with some new Zach Beever musical accompaniments!)

Zac and Mark from TEA have continued their work on the tech, ironing out the last few issues with the animation blending, as well as providing some extra cool tools to help us implement and debug the animations (as well as the modders once it releases!)

  • Zac has been doing a whole bunch of optimization work, with fun example vids of his wares seen here with his zombie spawning, and here with multi-threaded rendering.
  • RJ has implemented his previous work on looting improvements – giving us more control over general clutter, and more realistically placed items in houses.
  • Mash has begun creating icons for new clothing and weapons, Will had begun setting naming conventions for them.
  • Connall and Turbo have continued to implement new timed actions.
  • Yuri has finished adapting his water/puddles into Zac’s revamped shader system, and is now experimenting with a particle system that will provide the bedrock for his fire improvements.
  • The other Zac meanwhile, Young Zach, continues to deliver the new South-tinged PZ score that can be heard at playing over the initial video in this blog.
  • Xeonyx is chasing/fixing map bugs in his now complete Kingsmouth Island challenge map.  

This is the second monthly Steam round-up of development news for Project Zomboid, but weekly Thursdoid blogs are posted both on our website and on the Steam discussion boards. 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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