Darwin Project takes the battle royale genre up north, where an impending ice age has given rise to a twisted new reality show in which ten participants must fight to the death under the Show Director's gaze.
Recent Reviews:
Mostly Positive (349) - 73% of the 349 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
All Reviews:
Very Positive (10,492) - 80% of the 10,492 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date:
Mar 9, 2018

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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’re not making just any battle royale game; we’re building fresh features like the Show Director who serves as a master of ceremonies, Spectator Interactions that let viewers directly interact with streams, and we’re tightening up the whole experience with an emphasis on tracking that ensures players are always within arm’s reach of a tense confrontation.

From the first playtests, we knew that player feedback would be key to optimizing these systems. Because Darwin Project leans so heavily into social interaction, the best way for us to realize our vision for the game is to have an active community exploring its features and taking part in a variety of encounters―either as contestants, Show Directors, or spectators. We’re really proud of what we’ve built so far and look forward to continue improving Darwin Project with the help of our Steam Early Access players.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“We will launch Darwin Project out of Early Access when all its systems meet our quality targets for fun factor, balancing, and polish. We’re confident that our new patch schedule will allow us to make regular, substantial updates that will take Darwin Project to full launch before long.”

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

“For the full version, our main objectives are perfecting Darwin Project’s key features, like the Show Director and Spectator Interactions, and increasing the scope of the game with new features, game modes, tools, Show Director powers, and more.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“The Early Access version contains Solo mode, Private Matches, Spectator Interactions on both Twitch and Mixer, dedicated servers, anti-cheat measures, and more. Darwin Project’s core gameplay is proven and solid, and it’ll only keep getting better.”

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

“We do not plan to increase the price when Darwin Project leaves Early Access.”

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

“We have already received great feedback from the thousands of players who participated in Alpha and Beta tests, as well as the friends and family members who join us in smaller-scale technical playtests regularly. We’ll keep monitoring feedback closely across all our channels and working hand in hand with the Darwin Project community to create a heart-pounding battle royale game that isn’t afraid to inject new ideas into the genre.”
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Recent updates View all (46)

September 13

Patch Notes 1.15 - Changes for September 18

Hello inmates,

We’ve got another gigantic set of patch notes for our September content update!

Patch 1.15 is coming to Steam Tuesday, September 18. Expect maintenance to begin at 11:00 AM EDT / 3:00 PM UTC as usual.

Again, thanks to all the Steam players who previewed these changes in our technical playtests and sent in feedback! Don’t hesitate to keep sharing your thoughts about any of this content on our official channels.

See you in the arena!

New Combat Move: Roll

The roll is a new stamina-consuming move that inmates can use in combat as a fast dodge option or to quickly get into close range with an enemy.

We’ve added this first new basic move to deepen gameplay following feedback from players asking for additional ways to achieve more advantageous positioning in combat―something that often determines the outcome of an encounter in Darwin Project.

Players can roll with Caps Lock on a keyboard or by pressing down on the right stick with a controller. With the roll replacing the crouch input on the controller’s right stick, we’ve remapped the crouch to the left stick by default and added an option to swap it with the sprint in Controller Options.

The roll can be used in a variety of different situations depending on the result players are after: swinging the Axe during a roll will combine into a roll attack, trading some stamina for the chance to surprise an opponent, and performing a roll might sometimes be the only way to avoid an incoming projectile spotted at the last second.

We hope inmates enjoy their newfound acrobatic ability and use it to make Darwin Project matches even more spectacular to watch. The roll is the first of major combat enhancements coming to Darwin Project as our Fight Strike Team continues to work on improving fight mechanics.

New Show Director Power: Beach Party

Beach Party is a new Show Director Power that transforms the arena with a tropical atmosphere that warms up all inmates, helps them detect resources (including deer and Loot Chests) in the same way as the Detector, and doubles the amount of items received when inmates harvest all resources except Electronics. It costs 5 action points to activate.

Beach Party is sure to be a hit among inmates on the verge of freezing or low on Wood or Leather. But because this Power affects all inmates still alive, players using this opportunity to chop down as many trees as they can must still be on the lookout for well-placed traps or freshly stocked up enemies flying in on a Glider.

We had a blast putting together the visual and audio effects for Beach Party and hope Show Directors will have just as much fun surprising inmates by changing the climate of the arena!

Want to add Beach Party to your Show Director Deck? Just keep leveling as the Show Director to unlock it!

New Electronic Power: Shrink

Shrink is a new Electronic Power that inmates can craft and use on themselves after looting an Electronic resource. It can be equipped in the Crafting Wheel immediately once patch 1.15 releases.

Activating the new Shrink Electronic Power will turn inmates very small for 15 seconds, making them jump higher, leave no footprints, be more difficult to see and hit, and safely walk over Traps without activating them. However, shrunk inmates will deal 100 less Axe and Arrow damage and be knocked back farther when hit.

The Shrink Electronic Power will prove particularly useful for inmates who enjoy sneaking up on their opponents to catch them off-guard, and it can also come in handy in a fight where the only way out is to suddenly become much more difficult to aim at. Use the Shrink to lay Traps and loot defeated players unseen, or whip out the world’s tiniest Glider in a pinch!

New Spectator Interaction Feature: Betting

UPDATE: 9/18: We’ve decided to postpone this update to spectator interactions in order to further test it with your help. Stay tuned to our official channels for more information!

We’ve updated the Darwin Project Twitch Extension with a new feature for spectators: Betting

When watching a livestream on a Twitch channel with the Spectator Interaction Extension enabled, spectators will be able to become even further involved by placing bets on which inmate or team they believe will be the last one standing. Spectators can place bets even if there is no Show Director in the match.

This betting interface will replace the Crowd Favorite vote as the main way spectators can select their champion in each Darwin Project match (votes launched by the Show Director remain unchanged).

To bet, spectators use a currency we’re currently calling Darwin Dollars. Spectators will earn 50 Darwin Dollars per minute they watch the stream, or 100 per minute if they are a channel follower. [Known issue: Refreshing the stream prevent Darwin Dollars from accumulating normally] Spectators will be prompted to choose the amount of Darwin Dollars they want to bet on their preferred inmate, with the payout multiplier based on each player’s performance. The multiplier will update every 10 seconds depending on how spectators place their bets.

Note that betting will be unavailable in Private Matches for the time being, and that spectators will not earn Darwin Dollars by watching the stream when the players are in the lobby.

Spectators will be able to access three leaderboards at any time while watching the stream: Current amount of Darwin Dollars, total gain, and largest gain in one shot (shows top 10 of each). These leaderboards will display the top 10 spectators in each.

This betting feature is just the beginning! We plan to keep improving our spectator interaction feature to further connect Darwin Project broadcasters and their viewers.

Highway Bandit Cosmetics and Change to Boots & Armor

Safety Psycho (male character) and Sentient Hardware Store (female character)

You can purchase these items individually or as 5-piece sets that include the Helmet, Shirt, Armor, Pants, and Boots. The 5-piece sets will be featured during the week of Tuesday, September 18 in the Weekly section of the Item Shop. All Safety Psycho and Sentient Hardware items, including the Nonstop Axe (not pictured) and Screw You Bow, can also be found in Fan Gifts starting September 18.

Plated Denim (male character) and Copper Computer (female character)

You can purchase these items individually or as 5-piece sets that include the Helmet, Shirt, Armor, Pants, and Boots. The 5-piece sets will be featured during the week of Tuesday, September 25 in the Weekly section of the Item Shop. All Plated Denim and Copper Computer items, including the Nuqkarit Axe (not pictured) and Bronze Drill Bow, can also be found in Fan Gifts starting September 18.

Foreign Exchange Student (male character) and Recycling Czar (female character)

You can purchase these items individually or as 5-piece sets that include the Helmet, Shirt, Armor, Pants, and Boots. The 5-piece sets will be featured during the week of Tuesday, September 25 in the Weekly section of the Item Shop. All Foreign Exchange Student and Recycling Czar items, including the Ice Scream Axe and Pink Pipe Bow (not pictured), can also be found in Fan Gifts starting September 18.

Boots and Armors to be Equippable by Male and Female Characters

Patch 1.15 marks a change to the way Boots and Armors can be worn in the Dressing Room. Starting with the Highway Bandit items above, Boots and Armors can be equipped by both the male character and female character. Boots and Armors released after patch 1.15 will also fit both characters in the Dressing Room.

Note that this change will not apply to existing Boots and Armors.

Report System Improvements

Players who violate the Code of Conduct will be more quickly warned, with higher level sanctions continuing to be applied if the violations persist

As part of our ongoing efforts to minimize the amount of hateful language that Darwin Project players are exposed to, warnings for abusive chat will now be delivered more frequently. Players who receive a warning for abusive chat are strongly advised to pay closer attention to their use of voice chat; failure to improve this behaviour may result in a voice chat restriction, temporary suspension, or permanent suspension. Note that this also applies to other Code of Conduct violations such as teaming.

When action is taken against a player who has violated the Code of Conduct, a “thank you” message will appear for players who have reported the offender

A big part of our improvements to the report system is letting our players know that their reports actively help keep Darwin Project matches fun, safe, and positive. We’ll now display a message to players who have helped us take action against an inmate violating the Code of Conduct the next time they go to the main menu. We hope this small gesture helps demonstrate our appreciation for your help!

It will now be possible to report teammates for match sabotage when playing Duos

We’ve heard feedback from players who had unpleasant experiences in Duo Mode when playing with a teammate who deliberately attempted to throw the match. With patch 1.15, it will be possible to report an ally who is inactive, intentionally disruptive, or otherwise engaging in sabotage during a Duo match.

Please review the updated Code of Conduct.

  • Improved the Axe’s visual consistency
    Developer comments: As part of our continued efforts to make Axe combat feel better, we tweaked the Axe collisions and trajectory so they are more visually consistent with the character animation.

  • Temporarily undid the change from patch 1.13 that made it easier for inmates to hit enemies above or below them with the Axe by looking up or down
    Developer comments: Because we don’t have specific animations in place for these directional Axe swings, this change from patch 1.13 proved difficult to understand and led to fighting inmates believing some missed Axe swings should have connected. We’ve undone this change until corresponding animations are ready. The drawback is that fighting on uneven terrain will become more difficult.

  • Show Directors will no longer be able to activate a targeted Power on a player engaged in a fight
    Developer comments: We understand that it felt frustrating for inmates to have the Show Director interfere in a fight with such influential targeted Powers as Heal or Speed Boost. By limiting the use of those Powers to inmates not in combat, Show Directors will still be able to impact the overall match while letting the outcome of individual fights be determined only by the inmates’ skills.

  • Removed jump height and distance bonus when stamina is full
    Developer comments: This change from patch 1.14 was meant to address how the jump made player trajectories so predictable that the first advice any new player would receive is “don’t jump.” However, the jump height and distance bonus made it a bit too difficult to calculate and time Axe swings, resulting in fights with many swings that don’t connect. Note that we did not make changes to the air control and gravity.

  • Reintroduced the Canyon Tile
    Developer comments: The Canyon Tile (North-West zone prior to patch 1.13) was incompatible with some configurations generated by the Tile Mapping system, so it was removed in patch 1.13, but our level designers have tweaked it and it’ll now be back in the bank of possible Tiles that can appear in the map!

  • Added more BoomShrooms in the On-The-Rocks Shipping Co. Tile

  • Being hit by a Turret will no longer interrupt players drawing their Bow

  • Added a slight aim assist for targeting enemy Turrets with the Bow when playing with a controller (can be turned off in the Controller Options)
    Developer comments: We’ve received feedback from players using a controller about the trouble that Turrets have been consistently giving them. The Turret alone was never designed be an insurmountable threat, but it was significantly more difficult to take down when playing with a controller as opposed to keyboard and mouse.

  • Players can now Hook an ally with the Hook

  • Increased the delay between two Hook throws by 0.2 seconds
    Developer comments: This change is meant to make it less likely that players will successfully land another Hook on an enemy just being released from one.

  • Holomaps will no longer display player names (does not apply to Private Matches)UPDATE: Holomaps now will not display player names in Private Matches either

  • Damage notifications will now only display damage dealt to you or by you, and to or by an ally in Duo Mode
    Developer comments: By limiting the information players receive passively about their opponents, we hope to increase the importance of tracking mechanics.

  • In Duo Mode, quitting when an ally is still alive will not result in any Fans for that match, and the quitting player’s final match rank will be determined by their current position, with no chance to be improved by their ally’s performance.
    Developer comments: This change is intended to further encourage strong teamwork between allies in Duo Mode, even when one has been defeated.

  • When playing as the Show Director, middle-clicking on the mouse or pressing down on the right stick of the controller will toggle follow camera to the nearest player (to easily switch points of view between two players in combat)

  • Pressing the Show Director Megaphone button again while using it will turn it off
  • Optimized lighting day cycle, storm, particles, ambient lights, northern lights, birds, footprints, Fire and smoke effects, Electronic activation effects, and Arrow trail effects
    Developer comments: In response to player feedback, we are now undertaking continuous optimization efforts to improve framerate in each content update. With patch 1.15, we focused on the most performance-heavy elements of the game.
  • Reworked the equipment menu layout

  • Updated various buttons (work-in-progress)

  • Added a small axe icon to player avatars when in combat that is visible only to the Show Director and spectators

  • Players will now see their Boots, Armor, and Cloak in the lobby (they will still not be visible in the arena until related Perks are crafted)

  • Added a visual icon to cosmetic items in the Shop, Dressing Room, and Fan Gift menus to indicate whether they were obtained as part of a special event

  • Added an exclamation mark to indicate new Shop items

  • Added new animations for inmates hit by an Axe from the side, from the back, and from a spin attack (currently only available for the male character, but we plan to add them to the female character as well)

  • Added a new animation when propelled as a result of attacking a BoomShroom (currently only available for the male character, but we plan to add it to the female character as well)

  • Added a sound effect when players are out of stamina

  • Reduced Loot Chest sound range by 30%

  • Added a sound effect when purchasing an item from the Shop

  • Reworked the Shop layout

  • The Shop will now offer 4 weekly items and 4 daily items at a time, and is now split into tabs

Hunter sets return! Didn’t get a chance to pick up the shop-exclusive hunter-themed sets released in May? Keep an eye on the Item Shop in the coming weeks as the Dead Survivalist, Cheerful Forest Murderer, King Cold Shoulder, Icebreaker Prime, Islander Slayer, and Samoan Smasher styles will return alongside the featured Highway Bandit styles!

  • Leaderboard resets will occur on the first day of each month starting October 1st (information about Top 100 Showdown scheduling changes to come soon)

  • Starting October 1st 2018, players’ Official Rating after a reset will be based on their Rating from the previous season
    Developer comments: This change aims to improve matchmaking by reducing the probability for high ranked players to be matched with less experienced players.

  • Improved matchmaking in Duo Mode

  • Added a message when trying to purchase an item with insufficient Ramen

  • Updated the default controller sensitivity
    Developer comments: This change should help new players to get acclimated with the basic movement controls.

  • Changed controller input to purchase an item in the Shop from A to X

  • In the lobby, the Mute All button will now also mute players who join after pressing it

  • Reporting a player for abusive chat will no longer mute them by default in future matches
    Developer comments: We expect that improvements to the report system will ensure players who make inappropriate use of voice chat have those privileges restricted.

  • Fixed an issue with the way match rankings are tracked for the first player to be eliminated in a Duo team [Patch 1.14 known issue]
  • Fixed an issue where the female character would sometimes not react to collisions in the same way as the male character
  • Fixed some collision issues at the junction of few Tiles
  • Fixed a visual issue in the Director section of the Career menu where Prestige would appear to increase each time the menu was accessed
  • Removed the Report button in the bottom right corner of the pause menu (players can still be reported in the pause menu using the yellow icon next to their names)
  • Fixed an issue where swinging the Axe in mid-air would sometimes cancel the next swing’s animation
  • Removed the Play Again button from the end-of-game screen for players in a party but not party leader
  • Fixed an issue where the Rigged Chest sound was slightly different than the Loot Chest’s
  • Fixed an issue where the square avatars would change to circles in death notification
  • Fixed an issue where sound waves would sometimes appear red instead of blue when an ally harvests an Electronic
  • Fixed an issue where the Show Director could sometimes use their Powers twice
  • Fixed an issue where most animations would not play when caught in a Bear Trap
  • Fixed an issue where selecting a report category in the report menu would display the definition before the choice was confirmed
  • Fixed an issue where it was possible to reset keyboard and mouse settings with a controller in the Options menu
  • Fixed an issue where the UI would not correctly adjust in the career menu when switching from controller to keyboard and mouse
  • Fixed an issue where the UI would not correctly adjust when switching from controller to keyboard and mouse as a spectator or Show Director drone
  • Fixed an issue where numbers on player portraits would appear as “inmate” when switching from keyboard and mouse to controller in the lobby
  • Fixed an issue where pressing B on a controller would not work in the Quit Game confirmation message
  • Fixed an issue where it was possible to navigate the main menu with a controller before selecting Continue in the Latest News pop-up
  • Fixed an issue where it was not possible to report more than one player per match
  • Fixed an issue where it was not possible to report the Show Director using a controller
  • Fixed an issue where the voice chat icon was not set to muted when entering spectator drone mode

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September 6

September Playtest: Combat Update, New Electronic Power, and New Show Director Power

Hello inmates,

We’re once again opening up a work-in-progress version of the upcoming patch for you to try out! This time, we’re holding Technical Playtests on two days instead of just one! As you know if you’ve checked out our content update schedule, the September patch will contain a new combat update, Show Director Power, Electronic Power, and more.

Don’t forget that the features you’ll see in the Playtest are still in development, so you may experience small issues.

What exactly am I testing?
We’re looking for your feedback about the combat update, new Show Director Ability, and new Electronic, in particular, but you’ll be able to share your thoughts about everything in this version in the post-playtest survey. Stay tuned to our social media channels for some details in the next few days, or go in blind for a surprise in next week’s Playtests!

When is the Technical Playtest?
The Technical Playtest will take place on Tuesday (September 11) and Wednesday (September 12) from 4 PM EDT / 8 PM UTC to 6 PM EDT / 10 PM UTC.

How can I participate in the Playtest?
1. Go to your Steam library

2. Right-click on Darwin Project and select Properties

3. Go to the Beta tab and enter the playtest code: playtest73423482

4. Click Check Code, then select Playtest from the drop-down menu

5. Restart Steam and launch Darwin Project

Important: Don’t forget to opt out of the Playtest branch once it is over! You can do this by going back to the Beta tab in the game’s Properties and selecting None from the drop-down menu.

Can I stream the Technical Playtest?
Yes! Don’t forget to opt out of the Playtest when you are done playing before continuing to stream Darwin Project.

How can I send you my thoughts about this preview?
We’d love to hear your feedback about the September patch content! We will be posting the link to the post-playtest survey in the playtesting build, as well as our social channels. Please do take the time to fill it out!

When will the content in this Playtest be officially added to the game?
Darwin Project content updates land on the third Tuesday of each month, so you can expect the features you previewed to arrive on September 18.

Want more information about other features we have in the works and the frequency of updates? Watch our Behind the Scenes: The Road to Release video!

See you in the arena!
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“Darwin Project is part survival game, part battle royale, and it mixes both of these genres into a fun and unique combination”

“tense and hilarious”

“the closest thing to 'The Hunger Games' we've played yet”
Digital Trends

About This Game

Darwin Project takes place in a dystopian post-apocalyptic landscape in the Northern Canadian Rockies. As preparation for an impending Ice Age, a new project, half science experiment half live-entertainment, is launched. It's called "Darwin Project" and it challenges 10 participants to survive the cold and fight to the death in a treacherous arena.

Track the position of enemies, by using environmental clues they left behind and be creative with your use of crafted traps to take the upperhand. The biting cold of the Northern Canadian Rockies will also slowly freeze you should you be careless.

The Show Director is the living bridge between the players and spectators. He/She is the host and master who controls the arena with nuclear bombs, zone closures, gravity storms, and the power of their voice. This could be a real tool of self discovery; the start of your new career as a charming but deadly game show host.


Stream viewers can also bet live on the competitors they think will reign supreme, in addition to helping the Show Director choose targets for their arena-shaping powers. Whether they’re voting on which player deserves a death-defying heal or which zone to nuke, it’s time for spectators to become active participants in the manhunt!

System Requirements

    • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
    • OS: Windows 7 and above
    • Processor: Dual Core 2.4Ghz+
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: GTX 750, GTX 660
    • DirectX: Version 10
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 6 GB available space
    • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
    • OS: Windows 7 and above
    • Processor: Quad Core 2.4Ghz+
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: GTX 970, GTX 1060
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 6 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Microphone

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