Project Zomboid Summary
Project Zomboid is the early-access open-world zombie survival game from developer The Indie Stone. While development dates back to 2011, two laptops containing the game’s source code were stolen that same year. This resulted in major setbacks for the developer, with the title finally released in early access on Steam in 2013. The most recent build of the game is Build 41, released in December 2021. Since hitting early access, Project Zomboid continues to be a success for The Indie Stone and the developers continue to support the title as it approaches full release.
Unlike many other popular survival titles, whose gameplay is typically in first-person, Project Zomboid adopts an isometric third-person perspective. As a result, the title looks very similar to classic PC games like the original titles in the Fallout or Diablo franchises. The game takes place in the year 1993 in the fictional city of Knox Country, Kentucky (which is based on the real-world city of Louisville, KY). Subsequent Builds of the game have added new cities and locations for players to explore.
After initially releasing as a single-player experience, a multiplayer mode arrived in early 2014. Since the initial arrival of multiplayer, the developers have removed and reinstated the mode throughout subsequent builds as they change the game’s mechanics and balance. Notably, the developers are very active in the game’s community, regularly soliciting feedback from players regarding satisfaction and requested features.
Project Zomboid Premise
The player’s ultimate goal in Project Zomboid is to survive as long as possible in the zombie apocalypse. Players begin the game by creating and customizing their survivors, including their appearance and traits. From there, it’s up to the player to choose which area of the fictional Knox Country, Kentucky they want to start in. Additionally, the occupation and traits chosen for the player character impact exactly where players begin the game.
Outside of contending with the ever-persistent zombies in the game’s world, players must also carefully manage their character’s stats. Much like other survival titles, players have to keep a close watch on their hunger, thirst, stress, and other factors. To balance these aspects, activities such as scavenging for supplies and resting become just as important as combat and base building. The developers cite zombie films, as opposed to zombie games like Resident Evil, as the primary inspiration for the setting and gameplay. The title bears a striking resemblance to iconic moments from films such as Dawn of the Dead and 28 Days Later.
As the player progresses through the game, the town gradually becomes more and more desolate and the zombies greater in number. This equates to survival becoming increasingly difficult the longer players are successful. Outside the open-ended survival gameplay, there are several fixed “challenges” that operate as quests or missions. Many of these challenges take place on their own unique maps and with special twists to the core gameplay.
Project Zomboid Main Characters
Although Project Zomboid features plenty of characters, almost all of them are randomized. Even the player character (the Survivor) is customizable and, therefore, different for each person. Still, there are a handful of common characters across all playthroughs. The main characters in Project Zomboid include:
- Survivor: The main Survivor is the player-created character and the main character of Project Zomboid. Completely customizable in terms of appearance, occupation, and skills, the Survivor is a blank slate for the player to craft their ideal avatar for the zombie apocalypse.
- Bob Smith: Bob Smith is the player’s introduction to the world of Project Zomboid as the character controlled during the tutorial. Bob’s wife Kate is bitten by a zombie, prompting Bob to seek shelter in a safehouse and gather supplies. The events that play out for Bob and Kate in the tutorial introduce players to the game’s mechanics and dynamic world.
- Kate Smith: Kate Smith is Bob’s wife and a victim of a zombie attack. Now bitten, she is infected and only has a matter of time before turning into a zombie. No matter what choices the player makes as Bob, Kate will not survive.
Games in the Project Zomboid Series
Project Zomboid is the first and only title from developer The Indie Stone. Since the game was released in early access in 2013, it continues to be a popular survival title with an active community. The title will eventually leave early access and release in full 1.0, but until then it is receiving continual support from the developer. The games in the Project Zomboid series include:
- Project Zomboid (2013)
Project Zomboid Cheats
Cheats in Project Zomboid are easy to activate and can completely transform the experience. Players are practically encouraged to use the in-game cheats to customize the experience to their liking using numerous options. Additionally, the game has a thriving mod community supported by the developer. Project Zomboid can be a notoriously difficult game in the starting hours. Thanks to the Debug Menu, surviving the zombie apocalypse becomes that much more bearable.
To activate the Debug Menu, players will need to add a launch option to the game via Steam. Whether playing on PC, Mac, or Linux, players will need to first open Steam. In the Steam library, find Project Zomboid and do the following:
- Right-click on the game
- Select “Properties”
- In the “General” section of “Properties”, find the “Launch Options” field
- Type “-debug” into the Launch Options field
Afterward, simply boot up the game and either start a new save file or load an existing one. You should now see an icon on the left side of the screen that looks like a mosquito with a red background. Clicking this icon opens up the Debug Menu, which has a massive variety of options to customize the game. Sorting through all of these options can be overwhelming, but some of the more useful cheats are outlined below.
God Mode, just like in other games with this classic cheat, renders the player invulnerable. At the top of the Debug Menu, select “General Debuggers” and then select “Moodles and Body.” Scroll down towards the bottom to find the God Mode option, making the player invincible. There are also options for invisibility in this same menu, making the player undetectable.
With the Debug Menu activated, players can max out all of their skills should they choose to do so. In the Debug Menu, navigate to the “Player’s Stats” menu. Clicking on this will open a window with a table displaying Perks, Skill Levels, XP Needed, and other info. Clicking on a perk will give you three options – Add XP, Add Level, and Remove Level. Leveling up a perk 10 times will max it out.
With the Debug Menu activated, right-click on any ground tile and select “Metalwork” or “Carpentry” from the menu that pops up. From here, you can build any structure or item in the game without needing the required materials or resources.
One of the greatest boons to having the Debug Menu activated is the ability to Teleport. With Debug Menu on, simply right-click any tile near the player character and select the “[DEBUG] UIs” option, and then “Teleport“. You will need to know the coordinates of where you want to teleport to, but this helpful Project Zomboid map made by the community lists all known relevant locations along with the necessary coordinates.
Project Zomboid Cheat FAQs
Are there cheats in Project Zomboid?
Yes, cheats are actually built into the game thanks to the developer-enabled Debug Menu. Simply adjust the game’s launch parameters in Steam to activate the Debug Menu and then experiment with various settings in-game.
How do I activate the cheat menu in Project Zomboid?
To activate the Debug Menu in-game, players will need to adjust the launch options for the title in Steam. Right-clicking on the game in the Steam library will bring up a menu. Select “Properties“. Under “Launch Options” there is a field in which players can type. Type in “-debug“. Now when players launch the game, the Debug Menu is enabled. The icon for the Debug Menu options is a mosquito with a red background.
What does the Debug Mode do in Project Zomboid?
The Debug Menu allows players to make various changes and tweaks to gameplay as if they were operating from a pre-release developer build of the game. Players can make themselves invincible, max out their stats, change their appearance and occupation, instantly build without supplies, and more.