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 (528) - 72% of the 528 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
All Reviews:
Very Positive (9,789) - 81% of the 9,789 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’ll take the time we need, but we estimate to launch around summer 2018.”

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 (40)

July 19

Patch Notes 1.13 - Changes for July 24

Hello inmates!

Patch 1.13 is headed to Steam on Tuesday, July 24. Thanks again to all of you who participated in the technical playtest and sent us your thoughts about the Tile Mapping system and Ice Bolt! We’ve improved them with your help, but don’t hesitate to continue sending in feedback!

See you in the arena!

Tile Mapping System

The Tile Mapping system will build a fresh map for each match by pulling tiles (the hexagon-shaped areas) from a bank and seamlessly assembling them in various configurations. The seven areas that long-time players are used to will still be present, but they will often be rotated and appear in different zones, making it very unlikely that players will ever play on the same map configuration twice.

We’ve introduced the Tile Mapping system for two main reasons:

We wanted to make each match more distinct both visually and in terms of players’ first few actions. Before patch 1.13, players often fell into a pattern of starting off a match in the same way when spawning in a known area. With this update, players will have to stay on their toes and quickly adapt to the map as they discover it. Winners will be able to pride themselves on having the superior survival and adaptation skills and rather than having memorized the map layout.

More excitingly, the Tile Mapping system will make it easier for our team to introduce brand new tiles in future updates, populating the bank of possible tiles as Darwin Project continues to grow. So yes, we can confirm that we have new tiles in the works! Our long-term goal is to introduce tiles that are thematic departures from the snowy, mountainous areas that currently make up the entirety of the map―effectively combining distinct pieces of land to form an arena where one minute, players are fighting in the Canadian Rockies, and the next, they could find themselves in a [REDACTED].

While it may sound farfetched to haul massive chunks of land from across the world and drop them into the arena, Darwin Project landscapers are currently attempting just that. They’ve actually gone home early most days and left the work to a quasi-sentient crane that seems like it knows what it’s doing. It will take more time to work out the many deadly kinks of the research, so it won’t be possible for these pieces of land from far away to be imported immediately. But the technology is advancing nicely and the Darwin Project landscapers seem weirdly confident that a new tile from nearby the facility could be added in the coming weeks.

Ice Bolt Electronic Power

The Ice Bolt is a new Electronic Power that inmates can craft and use after looting an Electronic.

Unleashing an Ice Bolt on an opponent will cause them to become frozen for 4 to 6 seconds and lose 60% of their remaining cold meter. Inmates will be invulnerable while they are frozen by the Ice Bolt.

Note: The 4-6 second freeze range allows a counterplay opportunity for the frozen inmate by decreasing the chances that an opponent can predict the moment they will thaw out and launch an unavoidable Arrow.

Like other Powers, the Ice Bolt needs to be equipped prior to the match, and costs 1 Electronic resource to craft.

While most of the other Electronic Powers available to inmates are movement-focused, the Ice Bolt provides a more aggressive option that we hope will reinvigorate combat as inmates create new strategies around it. With its stun effect and impact on the cold meter, the Ice Bolt grants players some time to plan out their next move― whether that’s crafting some Snowballs, setting some Traps in the area, or using a Tool to make a quick escape.

Gladiator-Themed Cosmetics Added to the Shop

Beastly Bestiarii (male character) and Boastful Bestiarii (female character)

You can purchase these items as 5-piece sets that include the Helmet, Shirt, Armor, Pants, and Boots. They are both available starting Tuesday, July 24 in the Weekly section of the Item Shop.

Keep an eye out for the Bestiarii Bow and Bestiarii Morning Star in the Daily section of the Item Shop.

Onary Onyx (male character) and Ominous Onyx (female character)

You can purchase these items as 5-piece sets that include the Helmet, Shirt, Armor, Pants, and Boots. They are both available starting Tuesday, July 31 in the Weekly section of the Item Shop.

Keep an eye out for the Onyx Bow (not pictured) and Onyx Morning Star in the Daily section of the Item Shop.

Vicious Venator (male character) and Vengeful Venator (female character)

You can purchase these items as 5-piece sets that include the Helmet, Shirt, Armor, Pants, and Boots. They are both available starting Tuesday, August 7 in the Weekly section of the Item Shop.

Keep an eye out for the Venator Bow (not pictured) and Venator Morning Star in the Daily section of the Item Shop.

  • Rigged Chests will no longer damage allies in Duo Mode
    Looting an ally’s Rigged Chest will yield a Rigged Chest (if equipped in the Crafting Wheel) or the material cost of the Rigged Chest (if not equipped in the Crafting Wheel)
  • It will no longer be possible to shoot an Arrow through a wall if the player is behind cover (“right side peek”)
  • Swinging the Axe while looking up will now damage opponents above the player, and swinging while looking down will damage opponents below
  • Looting a defeated player will now allow players to find Tools, provided they correspond to Tools they have equipped in their Crafting Wheel
  • Increased Bear Trap deploy time from 1 second to 2 seconds

  • Added a rebindable option to disable the HUD on F10
  • Improved the visual consistency of buttons in the options menu

  • Updated sound effects when Warm Coffee, Health Pack, and Speed Drink are used to better distinguish between the three
  • Improved 3D sound placement of Loot Chests so they are more easily located

  • Updated the weekly item rotation in the Item Shop from Thursdays to Tuesdays
  • The Item Shop will now apply a Ramen discount if some items in a set of cosmetics are already owned

  • Reporting a player for abusive chat will now cause them to be muted by default if encountered again by the reporting player in future matches
  • Disabled country flags on player icons now that the World Cup is over
  • Added the possibility to enter a value instead of using the slider to change various settings in the options

  • Fixed a bug where you are in a forbidden zone for a second when match starts
  • Fixed an issue where resetting a specific set of options to default would affect all options
  • Fixed an issue where cancelling a video setting change in the options would revert any changes to the Gamma Correction
  • Fixed an issue where the Show Director Toggle Light and Activate Megaphone would sometimes default to the same key (the Megaphone will now always default to G)
  • Fixed an issue where various options would not correctly reset to default
  • Fixed an issue where Harvest a Clue as a spectator input could be mapped to a key that is already in use
  • Fixed an issue where exiting the confirmation of a setting change would bring the player back in-game instead of to the main options menu if the options were accessed during a match or while in the lobby
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July 10

Technical Playtest on July 13 - How to Participate

Hello inmates,

You might've heard that we're allowing Darwin Project players to check out an upcoming feature early as part of a technical playtest. Originally scheduled a couple weeks ago, the Tile Mapping system playtest was postponed due to a technical issue. After some more tweaking, we're ready to give you a first look at the Tile Mapping system and a brand new Electronic Power: the Ice Bolt!

Don't forget that these systems are works-in-progress, so you may experience small issues during the Playtest.

What is the Tile Mapping system?

The Tile Mapping system will keep the Darwin Project arena fresh by pulling tiles (or zones) from a bank and assembling them in various configurations to create a map that will be different in each match. Without the possibility of relying on a map whose layout they've memorized, inmates will have to stay on their toes as they discover and adapt to the arena they're fighting in.

What is the Ice Bolt?

The Ice Bolt is a new Electronic Power that contestants can craft and use after looting an Electronic. Unleash the Ice Bolt at an opponent to temporarily freeze them in place and cause their cold meter to deplete, gaining you some time to think about your next move. The Ice Bolt must be slotted into your Crafting Wheel like other Electronic Powers, so don't forget to make a spot for it by going to your Crafting Wheel from the main menu or the lobby to use it in this Playtest!

Here’s a sneak peek! Keep in mind that it’ll look even cooler when it’s finished:

When is the Technical Playtest?

The Technical Playtest will take place Friday, July 13 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. 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 the Tile Mapping system and Ice Bolt?

We'd love to hear your feedback about the Tile Mapping system and Ice Bolt Power! Please fill out the survey below to tell us what you thought. It should only take about 8 minutes of your time!

Survey link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NXSD3HV (cannot be completed before July 13 at 4 PM EDT)

When will these features be officially added to the game?

The Tile Mapping system and the Ice Bolt will be added in the next patch, along with more content! We'll review your feedback and announce when that next patch is as soon as we can.

Want more information about other features we have in the works? Watch the Behind the Scenes: Summer Roadmap video!

See you in the arena!
15 comments Read more
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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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