There are a number of different games modes in Project Zomboid. The list of game modes below is correct as of version 32. In all modes, death is final. There is no reloading from a saved game.
This is a quick introduction on a small map to introduce the user interface to new players. You don't get to choose any character traits or professions.
This mode is played on the main Project Zomboid map, but with fairly easy settings. This is the mode to start with after you have done the tutorial. You can choose to start in either Muldraugh or West Point in Knox County, Kentucky, USA and you can also customise your Player. The player can choose from a selection of heads and skin tones, and a list of professions and traits. Negative traits give positive points while positive traits spend these points, so you must take negatives to obtain positives.
The same as beginner, except all of the settings have been made more difficult. This is how the game is supposed to be played once you are experienced, but is not for beginners.
The map is the same as for Beginner or Survival Modes, but the settings are customisable. In the Saved Presets box at the top, the Beginner option (1) is the same settings as the Beginner game mode and the Default option (2) is the same as the Survival game mode with 8 Months after the Apocalypse (3) being a further extremely hard setting. The defaults for those presets are shown below with the numbers next to them.
- Zombie Count can be None, Low (1), Normal (2), High or Insane(3)
- Zombie Distribution can be Urban Focused (1,2,3) or Uniform
- Day length can be 15 minutes, 30 minutes (2), 1 hour (1,3), 2 hours, 3 hours, 4 hours, 5 hours, 12 hours or Real-time. How fast you get hungry or thirsty is based on the in game time of day, so the longer the game day in real time, the longer it will take you to get hungry or thirsty.
- 'Start Year can be from 2012 onwards.
- Start Month can be anywhere from January to December. July (1,2) and December (3) are preset defaults. The time of year will affect Foraging and Farming.
- Start Day and Start Time Can also be set
- Water Shutoff can be Instant (3), 0-30 Days, 0-2 Months (2), 0-6 Months, 0-1 Year, 0-5 years, 2-6 months or 6-12 months. This is the random time period during which the water in houses will fail. After this time, you may still get a little out of some taps before they fail completely.
- Electricity Shutoff can be Instant (3), 0-30 Days, 0-2 Months (2), 0-6 Months, 0-1 Year, 0-5 years, 2-6 months or 6-12 months. This is the random time period during which the electricity in houses will fail, meaning refrigerators and lights will no longer work.
- House Alarms Frequency can be Never, Extremely Rare (1), Rare (3), Sometimes (2), Often or Very Often. This is how often you will come across houses with Burglar Alarms
- Locked Houses Frequency can be Never, Extremely Rare (1), Rare (3), Sometimes, Often or Very Often (2). This is how often houses will have their doors locked.
- Food Spoilage can be Very Fast, Fast, Normal (2,3), Slow (1) or Very Slow. This is how fast food will go off
- Refridgeration Effectiveness can be Very Low, Low, Normal (2,3), High (1) or Very High. This governs how long [refrigerator]]s in houses will stop food going off.
- Loot Respawn can be None (1,2,3), Every Day, Every Week, Every Month or Every 2 Months. This is how often loot will respawn in containers if the area hasn't been visited in that time.
- Zombies Respawn Interval can be None, Every Day (2,3), Every Week (1), Every Month or Every 2 Months. This governs how often new zombies will appear, at midnight, in areas away from the player and with a lower than needed level of zombies present.
- Zombies Respawn Amount can be 10% (1,2), 20% (3) all the way up to 100%. This is how many of the starting number of zombies will respawn each interval
- Months Since The Apocalypse affects erosion and food age. Defaults are 0 (1,2) or 8 (3)
- Temperature can be Very Cold, Cold, Normal (1,2,3), Hot or Very Hot. This will affect the Weather and therefore your temperature Moodle.
- Rain can be Very Dry, Dry, Normal (1,2,3), Rainy or Very Rainy. This will affect how much rain there is and therefore your wet Moodle.
- Erosion Speed can be Very Fast (3), Fast, Normal (1,2), Slow or Very Slow. Affects the speed of Erosion of roads and buildings
- Farming Speed can be Very Fast, Fast (1), Normal (2,3), Slow, Very Slow. Affects how fast your crops grow in Farming
- Plant Reslience can be Very High, High (1), Normal (2,3), Low or Very Low. Affects how often your plants will get diseased
- Farming's Abundance can be Very Poor, Poor, Normal (2,3), Abundant (1) or Very Abundant. Affects how many of each crop will be produced from each tile you farm.
- Nature's Abundance can be Very Poor, Poor, Normal (2), Abundant (1) or Very Abundant (3). Affects fishing and foraging
- Food can be Extremely Rare (3), Rare (2), Normal (1), Common or Abundant
- Weapon can be Extremely Rare (3), Rare (2), Normal (1), Common or Abundant
- Other can be Extremely Rare (3), Rare (2), Normal (1), Common or Abundant
- XP Multiplier affects how much experience you get from various tasks. Defaults are 2.0 (1) and 1.0 (2,3)
- Stats Decrease can be Very Fast, Fast, Normal (1,2,3), Slow or Very Slow. This affects how fast hunger, thirst and fatigue will increase.
- Endurance Regeneration can be Very Fast, Fast, Normal (1,2,3), Slow or Very Slow. This affects how fast fatigue will decrease.
- Starter Kit will give you a Hammer, Baseball Bat, School Bag, Water Bottle and some food.
- Speed: Shamblers (1), Fast Shamblers (2,3), or Sprinters
- Strength: Superhuman, Normal (2,3), Weak (1)
- Toughness: Tough, Normal (2,3), Fragile (1)
- Transmission: Blood + Saliva (1,2,3), Everyone's Infected, None (the player won't be infected)
- Infection Mortality: Ranges from instant, seconds, minutes, hours, days (1,2,3), weeks, or never
- Reanimate Time: Ranges from instant, seconds, minutes (1,2,3), hours, days, weeks
- Cognition: Navigate + Use Doors, Navigate (1,2,3), Basic Navigation
- Memory: Long, Normal (2,3), Short (1), None
- Decomposition: Slows + Weakens (1,2,3), Slows, Weakens, No effect
- Sight: Eagle, Normal (2,3), Poor (1)
- Hearing: Pinpoint, Normal (2,3), Poor (1)
- Smell: Bloodhound, Normal (2,3), Poor (1)
There are currently 6 challenges, particularly hard encounters set in their own maps.
- 1. You Have One Day
- 2. Opening Hours
- 3. Winter Is Coming
- 4. House In The Woods - Last Stand
- 5. House In The Woods - Last Stand (Accumulator)
- 6. A Really CD DA