Plague has left a trail of destruction across 14th century Europe. Survivors confront sickness and scarce resources in a land rife with banditry. Fight for scarce resources and learn new crafting techniques. But at all times you MUST avoid the plague. This is the land of ‘The Black Death’.
Recent Reviews:
Mostly Positive (21) - 71% of the 21 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
All Reviews:
Mixed (988) - 62% of the 988 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?

“Our release date is still being planned. We are enough time to 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 and are looking 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 (133)

June 15

Patch Notes: V0.30 Hotfix #2

Good day Mercians, Today we have another update with more fixes, more polish and more localisation!

One of the main focus of this updates polish pass has been on updating and adding sounds to the game, like that of the combat swings, damage hits and destruction sounds. We also fixed numerous bugs, most importantly tracking down a rare client side crash when blocking with your fists. We also spent time updating the French translations and implemented a first pass at German translations (reporting any translation errors you see will really help us out). Big thanks to Discord user rAiGa #1949 for sending us a large amount of German translations!

Here are the patch notes in full:

  • 1st pass at German translations

  • Updated French translations
  • Updated the language swap UI to show German
  • Polished the skinning of the male and female player heads
  • Pickups now have a highlight around them, making it easier to tell that they are interactable
  • Updated weapon type swing sounds for the player
  • Updated weapon/fist hit sounds for the player
  • Updated buildings and barricades to now make sounds when they are destroyed
  • Updated per weapon type drawing weapon sounds for the player
  • When an item breaks it now plays a breaking sound based on the material of the item
  • Updated/added some misc combat sounds
  • Added sound to the bandage/heal animation
  • Updated HUD UI when building as a Mason showing the player they have a bonus
  • Updated the sun is setting UI HUD to be a similar theme as the new morning one, also tweaked some new morning pop-up
  • All the main shop NPCs should now have icons above their heads showing what they stock
  • Updated the punching sounds that the hostile NPC's use
  • Updated player placed merchants shop UI to help explain how they work (they have no stock unless the merchant profession owner places items to sell in them)
  • Updated the new merchant shopkeeper trade window to the paper UI look
  • Updated merchant trade window so that you can set the value to sell something for by typing in a value not just using the +/- buttons

  • Fix a client based crash that could occur if you had a shield in your shield slot and you block a hit with your fists while punching
  • Fixes to the who/what killed you text and days survived info in the death screen
  • Fixed main menu UI texture clipping problem on the server browser list, updated some popup textures and fixed some small misc errors
  • Fixed main menu server incorrect password entry error popup and stopped the text input area from constantly losing focus
  • Fixed a bug which would cause a old mesh LOD to appear on the crude shield
  • Fixed quick looting with "T" when in looting mode
  • Fixed double pickup sound playing when picking stuff up
  • Fixed drawing weapon attenuation problem, so drawing weapon sounds are back in
  • Fixed male player heads that didn't have a mouth inside part
  • Fixed character create bugs to do with switching between beggar and other professions (as beggar purposely has no customisation options but other professions do)
  • Fixed base bow pose twitching when encumbered and sprinting
  • Fixed misc blueprint compile errors that were slowing down the game cooking process
  • Fixed death screen early access number being incorrect
  • Fixed resources that require a sickle not playing the cutting animation when you gather from it

  • Optimised animation notifies so that they don't play sounds and VFX on the server
  • Optimised shields
  • Optimised the skinning of player heads
  • Optimised VFX crows actor so they don’t play sounds and VFX on the server

As always, thanks for all of your bug reports and thanks for playing!

// The SIG Team
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June 14

Dev Blog #63: Dev Updates, Polish Extras, Animal Husbandry & World Events Feature

Greetings plagued ones, and welcome to Dev Blog #63!

We wanted to cover the above topics and features in last week's issue but we had so much to show you all from the last 2 months of progress!

This week we take a look at:
  • Dev Updates: Including progress on Localisation and our newly added controller support.
  • Polish Extras: Showing our new NPC vendor types, tweaks to the building system including: new animations, precise rotation and larger land claims.
  • New Features: Animal Husbandry and our Profession unlocking system.
  • Spotlight Feature: Taking a look into our World Events.

Dev Update

Localisation Status

We talked about our progress on Localisations for both French and Russian for The Black Death in a previous Dev Blog. We have since added French and Russian localisations into The Black Death! To access these, when you have loaded up the game, look to the bottom left hand corner on the Main Menu screen where the flag is. Clicking on the flag will bring up the Language options, French is situated in the centre, Russian is situated on the right hand side and English (UK) is on the left. Clicking to and from these will change the localisation for The Black Death.

Please note that our Quest text and NPC chat trees are currently still in English (UK) for all languages. These are still being worked on and will be added at a later date, as these systems are separate to other elements of the game

Partial Controller Support Info & Bug Form Updates

When submitting Bug Reports to us, you can now select your input method that you are using, whether this is a mouse & keyboard or a type of controller. Selecting this along with your bug report details will help us greatly to fix any issues relating to controller support within The Black Death.

Let us know how you get along playing with a controller in The Black Death!

Along with the above, you can also highlight the co-ordinates and now right click and select "copy" on the Unreal Engine context menu that appears. Making it easier to copy co-ordinates for bug reports too.

Polish Extras

More NPC Merchant Variety

As another addition to our ongoing polish to The Black Death, we have added more merchant types to the world of Mercia! These include: Plague Doctor, Tailor and Hunter! The Hunter NPC merchant can be found roaming around the outskirts of Freeman's Port, whilst the Plague Doctor can be found to the left of the Blacksmith, and the Tailor can be found facing the food vendor across the central bridge in Freeman's Port.

Both our new and existing NPC merchants have white glowing icons above their heads, making them more identifiable whist throwing in some new faces into the mix! These NPCs should be moving into Raven's Reach in the future too.

Barricade Door Mini Polish

We have given our breakable barricade doors a polish. Upon smashing these doors, they now break into smaller pieces of wood and drop to the ground in a pile! Check out this Dev Blog over on our website to see a video of this in action. Dev Blog #63

Building Tweaks & Polish

We have some tweaks to our building system, these include a change to Land Claims, rotation of structures and animations too.

We have changed the region zone for our Land Claims. When you are looking to place a Land Claim you will now notice the region that is covers is much larger than before! Also, if you place a Land Claim on a raised platform such as the inside of a house, when placing structures within this volume the ground area will be lit correctly.

Jump over to this Dev Blog over on our website to see a video clip of our new rotations, with our Wattle Wall used as an example. Dev Blog #63

Another polish to our housing system is that we have changed the rotation on placeable structures. Rotation on structures is no longer fixed at 90 degree increments. Structures can now be rotated with much smaller detail, this is great for placing walls and wall corners around tricky spots on stable ground, or making unusual designs. The video clip above shows our Wattle Wall as an example of the new rotation.

Jump over to this Dev Blog over on our website to see a video playlist of some of our new building animations! Dev Blog #63

When placing structures on your stable ground, as of our new V0.30 Professions update, each craftable and placeable item has it's own animation. We have selected a few in our video reel above for you to check out.

Animal Husbandry Feature

Animal Husbandry is a new feature included in the release of our V0.30 Professions update! You can now purchase Cows and Chickens from a Peasant Merchant, place them in your own plot, feed them and gain resources!

Going back to an earlier section of this Dev Blog, Cows and Chickens can be purchased from a NPC Peasant Merchant, such as the one next to the barn in Freeman's Port, for a price of course!

After purchasing your livestock, when you have found a good place for your animals, simply place them on your Quick Slot Bar and then press the assigned key and place and rotate them like you would with a house structure.

Jump over to this Dev Blog over on our website to see our video clips showing our new Cows and Chickens in action. Dev Blog #63

Crafting either a Small Animal Feed or Large Animal Feed, place this on your Quick Slot Bar, then press the assigned key, then highlight your chosen animal, then press E. You will then use the feed and receive Milk or an Egg in return.

New World Events System Feature

We showed off a teaser of our new world events system in last weeks Dev Blog. This system is still being worked on as we iron out issues, add more events, test the gameplay and focus on how it all flows together with other elements of the game such as combat.

This feature released with our new V0.30 Professions update, we are working on polishing this system as we receive feedback from the community and work on adding new events too.

As mentioned the World Map will play a very important part within these events, it's your indicator for knowing where these events will be, or if you are not feeling up to it, you can avoid them until you have some better gear! In the top left hand corner of your HUD you will see an event notification, if you open your World Map, you will notice a glowing exclamation mark, this is where the current event is located.

The image gallery above shows off one of our events the "Bandit Construction Site". This event spawns inside the Bandit caves found around Mercia. There's only one entrance and exit with this event, so be careful not to get trapped in the Bandits nest!

Within this event you will see a half built structure, lying on the floor of this will be a nice pile of resources. Killing the enemy Bandits will give you some nice loot, then searching this construction pile will yield a nice selection of materials! These can include; Iron Nails, Forged Bricks, Clay Tiles and more.

The gallery above shows another one of our events you can find in the world of Mercia. This event has a Plague Doctor who has been tied to a stake by the Templars. Sadly, the Plague Doctors fate has been sealed as there is no way of saving them from the grip of the Templars.

Guarding the deceased Plague Doctor will be an array of Monk Fanatics, Templar swordsmen and a Templar Grand Master. The Grand Master is the main target of this event, and will have a crown icon above his head.

Killing the Templar Grand Master will yield some nice loot, the Plague Doctor at the stake will also have some Doctor tools and other healing items for the taking.

We hope you enjoyed reading this weeks Dev Blog and we hope you are all getting stuck into our new Professions update! As always, thank you for playing, that's all for this week, see you next time!

// The SIG Team


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“How The Black Death's developers simulate the plague”
PC GamesN

“There's a kernel of something special here, and if it keeps building, I'd love to come back, dreary as the Middle Ages may be.”
PC Gamer

“Two NPCs charged at me with clubs raised and death in their eyes, trying to end my miserable existence. Outnumbered, my “Fight or Flight” decision process very heavily favored the second option – so I mashed the “Sprint” key and made a run for it.”
MMO games

About This Game

A catastrophic plague has left a trail of destruction across 14th century Europe. Survivors confront sickness and scarce resources in a land rife with banditry.

To survive you will need to fight for scarce resources including food and learning new crafting techniques will certainly improve your chances. But in the desperate times, you will need to defend yourself in a land full of bandits looking to profit at your expense and at all times you MUST avoid the plague

Conditions are harsh, times are dark - this is the land of ‘The Black Death’.


Embark on a journey through a dark and gritty open-world depiction of a plague-infested Medieval Europe. Team up with other players and work together to prosper and survive or enforce a world where the sly, the strongest, meanest take everything by force. But be careful who you trust…


Was it God or was it the devil himself that despatched this evil plague on Europe’s population? No one knows for sure, but everyone knows that it will kill.
Watch as the plague slowly rolls across the towns and countryside with the world event system, do you avoid the plague or attempt to combat it and prevent it spreading? If you find yourself in a plague area too long or are in contact with a plague victim, it is only a matter of time until you will succumb.


Take advantage of different realistic medieval professions: Crafting fine armors to protect yourself from deadly raiders as a Blacksmith, taming animals and farming the land as a Peasant, tricking players with counterfeit goods as a Bandit, and much, much more.

Try to rebuild society by building a homestead by yourself, or with friends. Develop your building skills and turn a rickety shack into a powerful estate, complete with an ultimate medieval research lab to help you perform your experiments and find a cure.


  • Large scale multiplayer, with up to 50 players per server
  • A huge open world (8km2) based in 14th century Western Europe. Explore thriving castles, bandit camps, busy ports and abandoned mines.
  • Avoid the plague sweeping across the land
  • 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 deeds to houses, upgrade them, and hire staff to work on your estate.
  • Learn skills from a number of different professions to help you survive.
  • Learn more about the plague through physical examinations and autopsies of infected animals and humans.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows 7 / 8 / 10 (64bit OS)
    • Processor: 2 GHz Dual-Core 64-bit CPU
    • Memory: 6 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Compatible GPU with 1 GB Video RAM
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 10 GB available space
    • OS: Windows 7 / 8 / 10 (64bit OS)
    • Processor: 3 GHz Dual-Core 64-bit CPU
    • Memory: 12 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Compatible GPU with 2 GB Video RAM
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Storage: 10 MB available space
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