Controls

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PlushSpiffo.pngThis article is about the general controls of Project Zomboid. For customising controls/key-bindings, see Options.
Note: This page was updated with Version 39.66.3 of Project Zomboid in mind. If the page turns out to be outdated please add an outdated Notice banner.
Controls.png
Screenshot of the in-game Key Bindings section of the Game Options - Version 39.57

The default controls are displayed below; most (not all) key bindings can be customised in the game options along with gamepad/controller configuration. In order to customise a key binding, the desired key change must be left-clicked, followed by the desired keystroke. If done correctly, the desired key will be displayed within the box.

General

Contextual Menu:RMB
Pressing will display the contextual menu, which will contain all available interactions with that object.
Select:LMB
This is context specific and will vary depending on what it interacts with, such as picking up items, opening and closing of doors, windows curtains and light switches.
Camera Zoom: Zoom in EQUALS Zoom out MINUSorSCROLL
Zooms the camera in closer to the player, or out farther from the player, increasing or decreasing the field of view.
Manu Menu:ESCAPE
Pauses a singleplayer game.
Displays the pause menu, allowing the player to adjust options, exit game, etc.

Player Control

Movement: Forward W Backward S Left A Right D
The basic directional movement of the player. Holding both a horizontal and vertical movement key will cause the player to move diagonally.
Pressing the RMB and selecting move here, will cause the player to move to that location.
Running:LSHIFT
Press and hold (depending on the toggle run option) to increase movement speed, at the cost of generating more noise and exertion.
Interact:E
Pressing once will perform the first action on the contextual menu, without displaying it. (e.g. Opening a door, window...)
Holding will perform the follow up action on the contextual menu (e.g. Going through a window after opening).
Tapping rapidly will make an urgent action, causing the player to take drastic measures (e.g. Smashing a window with their arm).
Cancel Action:ESCAPE
Cancels any Action the player is currently performing.

Combat

Aim/Sneak:LCONTROLorRMB
Holding causes the player to face in the direction of the mouse cursor.
Moving while held causes the player to sneak, generating less noise.
The longer it's held down, the more accurate the attack will be.
Fire/Attack:LMB
Pressing will cause the player to fire or attack in the direction the player is facing.
Melee:SPACE
Causes the player to perform an unarmed melee shove, or stomp in the direction the player is facing.
Rack Firearm:X
Unknown
Reload Weapon:R
Reloads the currently equipped firearm.
Depending on the reloading difficulty, pressing will load/unload the magazine of a held pistol.
Holding will add bullets to a held magazine.
Equip/Unequip Weapon: Blunt weapon 1 Firearm 2 Stab weapon 3
Equips/Unequips the desired weapon type into the primary weapon slot, thus making it the active weapon/tool.
If there are multiple weapons of the same type, the chosen weapon is the one with the highest maximum damage. [verify]
Activate/Deactivate Light:F
Equips a light source as the secondary item if there is one available in the player's main inventory and activates it.
Activates/deactivates an already equipped light source.

Inventory

Toggle Inventory:I
Toggles between the inventory windows being displayed and hidden.
Display Contextual Menu:RMB
Can be used on any item in the player's or a container's inventory to display their uses - whether they can be eaten, drunk, equipped or used in crafting recipes.
HighlightingLMB
This will highlight the selected item.
Holding and dragging will select all items within the selection box.
After selecting an item, CTRL + LMB can be used when selecting a second item, highlighting the second item while keeping the initial one highlighted.
Alternatively, SHIFT + LMB can be used when selecting the second item, also highlighting all items between the two selections.

Build/Move Mode

Rotate building:R
Will rotate the selected item 90° each press when in build/move mode.
Toggle mode:TAB
Cycles through furniture-moving modes:
Furniture Pickup.png Pick-up: places the object in the player's inventory.
Furniture Place.png Place
Furniture Rotate.png Rotate: moving the mouse will rotate the object to face that direction.
Furniture Disassemble.png Disassemble: alternatively the RMB can be pressed on the desired object followed by selecting "dismantle" in the context menu.
Cancel Action:ESCAPE
Exits the build/move mode

Vehicle

General Vehicle Operation

Accelerate/Forward:W
Brake/Reverse:S
Turn left:A
Turn right:D
Hand brake:Spacebar

Vehicle Radial Menu

Vehicle Radial Menu:V
Displays the vehicle radial menu, which can be used to perform all the vehicle's available actions.
VehicleRadialMenu.png
Toggle Vehicle:F
Toggles the headlights between an on and off state.
Start Engine:NorW
Attempts to start the engine, either by key or hotwiring.
Heater:O
Toggles the heater panel which can be used to adjust the vehicle's heating and cooling.
Device Options:
Displays the panel of the installed radio.
Open Window:
Opens the player's seat window, making the inside temperature the same as the outside temperature. Will also allow zombies to attack the player.
Info:U
Displays the vehicle mechanics/info, which can take a few seconds - the player must be outside the vehicle, otherwise they'll be removed from the vehicle before opening the panel.
Sleep:
Allows the player to sleep in the vehicle.
Enter/Exit Vehicle:E
The vehicle can be entered when standing next to a door (displaying a green square) or through the radial menu. The player exits the vehicle from the side based on their current seat.
Switch Seat:Z
Displays the vehicle's seats, showing the player's and any occupied seats. The player can move seats by either clicking the desired seat, or by pressing the designated numbered hotkey shown on the seat. The player may also choose which seat to exit the vehicle from this menu.
Horn:Q
Sounds the vehicle's horn until the key is released, or if using the radial menu, it will sound for 2 seconds. Attracts any zombies towards the vehicle.

Vehicle Dashboard

Displays the current status of the vehicle. Some icons can be activated by clicking with the LMB.
VehicleDashboard Alt.png
Numbers in red are status icons and those in green are accessories.

Status

Displayed in red

  1. Enginetrouble light.png Engine Light: displays engine status. Turns engine on or off.
  2. Battery light.png Battery: displays battery status.
  3. Outside temperature: displays the current temperature outside the vehicle, measured in degrees celsius/centigrade (°C).
  4. Gearshift position: displays the current gear the vehicle is in.
  5. Tachometer: gauge that measures the current rotation speed of the engine's crankshaft, displayed in revolutions per minute (RPM).
  6. Gas light.png Fuel gauge: gauge that displays the amount of fuel in the fuel tank, measured in litres (L).
  7. Speedometer: gauge that displays the speed the vehicle is currently travelling, measured in miles per hour (MPH).
  8. Ignition light.png Ignition: displays whether the key is in the ignition. Key can be stored in the ignition with the engine off. This will drain the battery if any of the accessories are left on. Displayed as two wires instead if the vehicle has been hotwired.

Accessories

Displayed in green

  1. Doorslocked light.png Door locks: toggles door locks.
  2. Headlights light.png Headlights: toggles headlights.
  3. Heating light.png Heater: toggles heating/cooling.
  4. Trunk light.png Trunk Lock: toggles trunk lock.

HUD

Time Controls

TimeDisplay.jpg
Pause:F3orPauseAnim.gif
Pauses the game. Different to ESCAPE as it does not bring up the menu.
Play:F4orPlayAnim.gif
Changes the game speed back to the default speed.
Fast-Forward x2:F5orFFwd1Anim.gif
Increases game speed to 2x the default.
Fast-Forward x3:F6orFFwd2Anim.gif
Increases game speed to 3x the default.
Fast-Forward x4:F7orWaitAnim.gif
Increases game speed to the fastest possible. Ideal for waiting long periods of time.
Display time:Digital WatchorAlarm Clock
Having either a digital watch or Alarm clock in the player's main inventory, will display the in-game time, day and month in the upper-right corner. The date and time format can be adjusted in the options menu.

Left-side HUD Icons

Leftsidehud.jpg
1. Primary Item
Displays the primary equipped item.
2. Secondary Item
Displays the secondary equipped item.
3. Toggle Inventory UI:I
Hides/shows the inventory when left-clicked.
4. Toggle Health Panel:H
Hides/shows the player health panel, which can be used to navigate to the info J and skills C panels.
5. Toggle Crafting UI:B
Hides/shows the crafting panel, where the player's known recipes can be found.
6. Move Furniture
Enables furniture-moving, which may require certain skills and tools depending on the furniture.

Information/Help

Toggle Survival Guide:F1
Hides/shows the survival guide, which is an brief in-game contextual tutorial describing certain aspects of Project Zomboid.
Toggle UI:V
Will hide/show the HUD, excluding moodles. Ideal for taking uncluttered screenshots.
Note that this will not function when nearby a vehicle, and will instead trigger the vehicle radial menu.
Display FPS:K
Doesn't currently seem to do anything.
Toggle Lua Debugger:F11
toggles the Lua debugger window, which can be used by modders. Requires the -debug launch option.

Miscellaneous

Toggle Music:M
Turns the in-game music on/off.
Shout:Q
Causes the player to shout, drawing nearby zombies.
Take screenshot:F10
Pressing will take a screenshot and store it in the \Users\USERNAME\Zomboid\Screenshots folder.
There is no in-game confirmation that a screenshot has been taken, therefore the player should be aware that each keystroke will save a new screenshot.
Toggle Moveable Panel Mode:RBRACKET
Locks/unlocks the ability to reposition panels, such as the inventory. [verify]
Doesn't currently seem to function.

Multiplayer

Toggle Safety:P
Unknown
Local Chat:T
Unknown
Global Chat:Y
Unknown
Push-to-Talk key:LALT
Unknown

Controller

It is possible to use a gamepad rather than the standard mouse and keyboard, which is ideal for local 4 player split-screen co-op. To use a controller, it must first be connected and installed correctly in the operating system.

Any controller can be tested from the controller tab in the game options, to ensure all buttons are functioning correctly. The controller sensitivity can also be adjusted there.

360 controller.png
Controls of a standard XBox 360 controller

The controls for a controller are usually context based and can change depending on the action, however they will usually be displayed on-screen. The general controls for a controller are displayed below.

Left stick
Player movement
Left stick (press)
Toggle between walking and running
Directional Pad
Navigate contextual menus
Right stick
Sneak/aim
Navigate radial menu
Abutton.png A button
Primary button to interact with world objects, such as opening doors, windows and turning on/off lights.
Context specific and will vary depending on what it interacts with
Bbutton.png B button
Secondary button to interact with world objects, such as smashing windows and climbing over fences.
Close/cancel contextual menus and panels (excluding inventory)
Expand inventory item lists
Xbutton.png X button
Display contextual menu, displaying available interactions
Quick loot/drop item
Ybutton.png Y button
Open/close inventory menu
Left bumper
Navigate tabs - rotates through player inventory tabs
Cycle build mode
Right bumper
Navigate tabs - rotates through container inventory tabs
Left trigger
Shove/stomp (triggered on release)
Right trigger
Fire/attack (triggered on release)
Back
Press and hold to display radial menu
Usage:
  1. Hold "Back" to display radial menu
  2. Move the "Left stick" to the desired option
  3. Release "Back" before the "Left stick" to select the option.
Options:
  • Player Info (Info, Skills, Health)
  • Crafting
  • Move Furniture
  • Zoom In
  • Zoom Out
  • Pause/Play
  • Fast-Forward Time
Start
Tap once to only pause the game, or tap twice to open pause menu