- This article is about the general controls of Project Zomboid. For customising controls/key-bindings, see Options.
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.
||Pressing will display the contextual menu, which will contain all available interactions with that object.
||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.
|= / MSW
||Zooms the camera in closer to the player, decreasing the field of view.
|- / MSW
||Zooms the camera out farther from the player, increasing the field of view.
- Pauses a single-player game.
- Displays the pause menu, allowing the player to adjust options, exit game, etc.
- 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.
||Press and hold (depending on the toggle run option) to increase movement speed, at the cost of generating more noise and exertion.
- 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).
||Cancels any Action the player is currently performing.
|L. Ctrl / RMB
- 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.
||Pressing will cause the player to fire or attack in the direction the player is facing.
||Causes the player to perform an unarmed melee shove, or stomp in the direction the player is facing.
- 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 Blunt Weapon
- 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]
||Equip/Unequip Firearm Weapon
||Equip/Unequip Stab Weapon
- 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.
||Toggles between the inventory windows being displayed and hidden.
||Display Contextual Menu
||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.
- 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.
- Rotate building: R
- Will rotate the selected item 90° each press when in build/move mode.
- Toggle mode: TAB
- Cycles through furniture-moving modes:
- Pick-up: places the object in the player's inventory.
- Rotate: moving the mouse will rotate the object to face that direction.
- 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
General Vehicle Operation
- Accelerate/Forward: W
- Brake/Reverse: S
- Turn left: A
- Turn right: D
- Hand brake: Spacebar
- Vehicle Radial Menu: V
- Displays the vehicle radial menu, which can be used to perform all the vehicle's available actions.
- Toggle Vehicle: F
- Toggles the headlights between an on and off state.
- Start Engine: N or W
- Attempts to start the engine, either by key or hot-wiring.
- 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.
- 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.
- Displays the current status of the vehicle. Some icons can be activated by clicking with the LMB.
- Numbers in red are status icons and those in green are accessories.
Displayed in red
- Engine Light: displays engine status. Turns engine on or off.
- Battery: displays battery status.
- Outside temperature: displays the current temperature outside the vehicle, measured in degrees celsius/centigrade (°C).
- Gearshift position: displays the current gear the vehicle is in.
- Tachometer: gauge that measures the current rotation speed of the engine's crankshaft, displayed in revolutions per minute (RPM).
- Fuel gauge: gauge that displays the amount of fuel in the fuel tank, measured in litres (L).
- Speedometer: gauge that displays the speed the vehicle is currently travelling, measured in miles per hour (MPH).
- 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 hot-wired.
Displayed in green
- Door locks: toggles door locks.
- Headlights: toggles headlights.
- Heater: toggles heating/cooling.
- Trunk Lock: toggles trunk lock.
The head-up display or just HUD is the method of displaying information to the player as part of the user interface.
- Pause: F3 or
- Pauses the game. Different to ESCAPE as it does not bring up the menu.
- Play: F4 or
- Changes the game speed back to the default speed.
- Fast-Forward x2: F5 or
- Increases game speed to 2x the default.
- Fast-Forward x3: F6 or
- Increases game speed to 3x the default.
- Fast-Forward x4: F7 or
- Increases game speed to the fastest possible. Ideal for waiting long periods of time.
- Display time: or
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- Toggle Safety: P
- Local Chat: T
- Global Chat: Y
- Push-to-Talk key: LALT
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.
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
- Navigate radial menu
- 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
- 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
- X button
- Display contextual menu, displaying available interactions
- Quick loot/drop item
- 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)
- Press and hold to display radial menu
- Hold "Back" to display radial menu
- Move the "Left stick" to the desired option
- Release "Back" before the "Left stick" to select the option.
- Player Info (Info, Skills, Health)
- Move Furniture
- Zoom In
- Zoom Out
- Fast-Forward Time
- Tap once to only pause the game, or tap twice to open pause menu