From PZwiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Language policy Language: English • français • Deutsch • русский • 日本語 • Nederlands • polski • norsk • español • 中文
PlushSpiffo.pngThis article is about the general controls of Project Zomboid. For customising controls/key-bindings, see Options#Key Bindings.
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.


Key Function Description
RMB Contextual Menu Pressing will display the contextual menu, which will contain all available interactions with that object.
LMB Select 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 Zoom-in Zooms the camera in closer to the player, decreasing the field of view.
- / MSW Zoom-out Zooms the camera out farther from the player, increasing the field of view.
ESC Main Menu
  • Pauses a single-player game.
  • Displays the pause menu, allowing the player to adjust options, exit game, etc.

Player Control

Key Function Description
W Move Forward
  • 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.
S Move Backward
A Move Left
D Move Right
SHIFT Run/Sprint Press and hold (depending on the toggle run option) to increase movement speed, at the cost of generating more noise and exertion.
E Interact
  • 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).
Q Shout
ESC Cancel Action Cancels any Action the player is currently performing.


Key Function Description
L. Ctrl / RMB Aim/Sneak
  • 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.
LMB Fire/Attack Pressing will cause the player to fire or attack in the direction the player is facing.
Space Melee Causes the player to perform an unarmed melee shove, or stomp in the direction the player is facing.
X Rack Firearm Racks a round into a firearm in hardcore reload mode. 'R' will remove and insert magazines, 'X' will rack a round into the chamber, making it ready to fire.
R Reload Weapon
  • 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.
1 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]
2 Equip/Unequip Firearm Weapon
3 Equip/Unequip Stab Weapon
F Activate/Deactivate Light
  • 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.


Key Function Description
I Toggle Inventory Toggles between the inventory windows being displayed and hidden.
RMB 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.
LMB Highlighting
  • 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

Key Function Description
R Rotate building Will rotate the selected item 90° each press when in build/move mode.
TAB Toggle mode

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.
ESCAPE Cancel Action Exits the build/move mode


General Vehicle Operation

Key Function Description
W Accelerate/Forward
S Brake/Reverse
A Turn left
D Turn right
Spacebar Hand brake

Vehicle Radial Menu

Key Function Description
V Vehicle Radial Menu
  • Displays the vehicle radial menu, which can be used to perform all the vehicle's available actions.


F Toggle Vehicle Toggles the headlights between an on and off state.
NorW Start Engine Attempts to start the engine, either by key or hot-wiring.
O Heater Toggles the heater panel which can be used to adjust the vehicle's heating and cooling.
U Info 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.
E Enter/Exit Vehicle 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.
Z Switch Seat 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.
Q Horn 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.
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.
Allows the player to sleep in the vehicle.

Vehicle Dashboard

Note: This section has been updated to version 40.43, and may not match the whole page's last updated version.

Displays the current status of the vehicle. Some icons can be activated by clicking with the LMB.
Dashboard 4043.png
Numbers in red are status icons and those in green are accessories and other interactables.

Status Icons

Displayed in red

1. Engine Status

  1. Dashboard Engine Off.png: The engine is off(not ignited).
  2. Dashboard Engine Igniting.png: The engine is currently in the process of ignition.
  3. Dashboard Engine Ignited.png: The engine is on(ignited).
  4. Dashboard Engine Broken.png: The engine is broken or not present in the car.

2. Battery

  1. Dashboard Battery Off.png: The car key is not inserted into the key slot, no info is given.
  2. Dashboard Battery On.png: The battery is charged and functional.
  3. Dashboard Battery NoCharge.png: The battery is discharged or not present in the car.

3. Door Lock

This icon does not need the car key to be inserted into the key slot to display the current state.

  1. Dashboard Door Unlocked.png: The car doors are unlocked and can be opened without car keys.
  2. Dashboard Door Locked.png: The car doors are locked and can only be opened using car keys.

4. Gearshift Position

  • Displays the current gear the vehicle is in.

5. Tachometer

  • Gauge that measures the rotation speed of the engine's crankshaft, displayed in RPM.

6. Speedometer

  • Gauge that measures the vehicle's current speed, displayed in MPH.

7. Fuel Gauge

  • Gauge that measures the current amount of fuel in the fuel tank, displayed in Litres (L).


Displayed in green

1. Headlights

This icon does not need the car key to be inserted into the key slot to display the current state.

  1. Dashboard Headlights Off.png: The headlights are off.
  2. Dashboard Headlights On.png: The headlights are on.
  3. Dashboard Headlights Broken.png: The headlights are broken, damaged or not present in the car.

2. Heater

This icon does not need the car key to be inserted into the key slot to display the current state.

  1. Dashboard Heater Off.png: The heater is off.
  2. Dashboard Heater On.png: The heater is on.

3. Trunk Lock

This icon does not need the car key to be inserted into the key slot to display the current state.

  1. Dashboard Trunk Unlocked.png: The trunk is unlocked and can be opened without car keys.
  2. Dashboard Trunk Locked.png: The trunk is locked and can only be opened using car keys.

4. Key Slot

  1. Dashboard Key Empty.png: The car key is not inserted into the key slot, therefore the engine is not ignited and is off.
  2. Dashboard Key NotIgnited.png: The car key is inserted into the key slot, but is not turned, therefore the engine is not ignited and is off.
  3. Dashboard Key Ignited.png: The car key is inserted into the key slot and turned, therefore the engine is ignited and is on.
  4. Dashboard Key Hotwire.png The car key is not present, but the vehicle has been hot-wired. There is no way to tell if the engine is ignited or not by looking at the key slot in this state.

The key can be stored in the key slot with the engine off, draining the battery if any of the accessories are left on.


The head-up display or just HUD is the method of displaying information to the player as part of the user interface.

Time Controls

Pauses the game. Different to ESCAPE as it does not bring up the menu.
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

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.
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.


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.

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
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)
Press and hold to display radial menu
  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.
  • Player Info (Info, Skills, Health)
  • Crafting
  • Move Furniture
  • Zoom In
  • Zoom Out
  • Pause/Play
  • Fast-Forward Time
Tap once to only pause the game, or tap twice to open pause menu