Frequently Asked Questions
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Welcome to the ULTIMATE FAQ for Project Zomboid. On this page we have compiled as many FAQ's as we could on every variety of topic for Project Zomboid. Hopefully your questions will get answered. If not, head over to the forums and see if they can give you a hand.
- 1 Project Zomboid General FAQ
- 1.1 What is Project Zomboid?
- 1.2 Who are The Indie Stone?
- 1.3 Which platforms will be suppоrted?
- 1.4 You've been in development and Early Access for a while. When will you release the game or consider it 1.0?
- 1.5 What about after 1.0?
- 1.6 Do you guys need any help with music, artwork, translation or some other creative endeavour?
- 1.7 How much does/will it cost?
- 1.8 What age rating is Project Zomboid?
- 1.9 When I buy Project Zomboid, what benefits do I get?
- 1.10 Will there be a demo?
- 1.11 How can I follow the game’s progress?
- 1.12 I found a bug! Where can I report it?
- 1.13 So where can I download the current build?
- 1.14 Help! I’m having some sort of trouble with my PZ account!
- 1.15 Help! I’m having some sort of trouble getting PZ working!
- 1.16 Is there Multiplayer?
- 1.17 WHERE ARE THE ACHIEVEMENTS?
- 1.18 I have a suggestion for a really cool feature that could go in PZ! Who should I contact?
- 1.19 Can I monetize YouTube videos, "Let's Play" commentaries etc?
- 1.20 Can I modify the game? Are there terms and conditions?
- 1.21 Is Project Zomboid on Steam?
- 1.22 Will I have to purchase the game again once it appears on Steam?
- 1.23 Will you add Steam Workshop suppоrt?
- 1.24 Will you suppоrt Steam Big Picture mode?
- 1.25 Will NPCs be friendly or hostile?
- 1.26 What is this “meta-game”?
- 1.27 Can I build my own fort? Can I also grow my own food?
- 1.28 I’m not sure what I’m doing in Project Zomboid. Is there a manual?
- 1.29 What is Sandbox mode?
- 1.30 How big is the map?
- 1.31 Is the map procedurally generated?
- 1.32 Can I play this with a Controller?
- 2 Gameplay Questions
- 2.1 Why do zombies notice and follow me wherever I am?
- 2.2 Why are my attacks seemingly ineffective?
- 2.3 How do I break into houses without smashing windows?
- 2.4 What is the loud alarm noise?
- 2.5 Are there other survivors in the game?
- 2.6 What are the gunshot/helicopter sounds?
- 2.7 Hey! That zombie was dead, but it got back up!
- 2.8 Is there a cure for zombification?
- 3 Development/Future Updates
- 4 Tech FAQ
- 4.1 TODO
- 4.2 COMMON SOLUTIONS AND FIXES
- 4.3 Disable the Steam Overlay
- 4.4 Run the 32-bit Version (Windows/Linux)
- 4.5 Submitting a Suppоrt Request
- 4.6 My PC specs are good enough to have a stable 30 or 60 FPS but I am getting really low FPS!
- 4.7 Q. Game doesn't run, error message starts with "org.lwjgl.LWJGLException: Pixel format not accelerated"
- 4.8 Q. I just downloaded the game on Steam and the game simply crashed on launch!
- 4.9 Q: On Linux, character sprites are replaced by single-color blocks.
- 4.10 Q. I see a dark flash, maybe some text, and nothing happens!
- 4.11 Q. The game does not start and I get the following error in the cmd window: “org.lwjgl.LWJGLException: Failed to set display mode (-2)”!
- 4.12 Q. I made my resolution too high and now I can't access the options to change it (because the menu button is off screen)?
- 4.13 Q. I can't seem to change any of the zombie options in Sandbox!
- 4.14 Q. Where are my save files located?
- 4.15 Q. I’m having a hard time to orientate. Sometimes I end up in a large empty area. Is there a map available?
- 4.16 Q. I am having X problem using a Controller and/or Splitscreen Multiplayer!
- 4.17 Q. My FPS seems low
- 4.18 Q. My save doesn't seem to load and nothing in this FAQ helped alleviate the problem
- 4.19 Q. "How do I use a controller with the game?"
- 4.20 Q. "No buttons appear in the start menu."
- 4.21 Q. "The only thing that happens when I try to launch Project Zomboid is the command prompt appears, or a blank window."
- 4.22 Q. "Error: Cold not create the Java Virtual Machine" and "Error: A fatal exception has occured. Program will exit."
- 4.23 Q. A" balloon appears in the Notification Area with "... Display driver stopped responding and has recovered" while playing Project Zomboid."
- 4.24 Q. "I get to the menu, but the game crashes shortly after."
- 4.25 Q. "After 'This is how you died,' the screen remains black, without the HUD."
- 4.26 Q. "After 'This is how you died,' the screen remains black -- but the HUD (inventory, time, .etc) appear.
- 4.27 Q. "How do I get an error log if I'm on a Mac?"
- 4.28 Q. "The UI is out of alignment and overlaps -- it makes it difficult or impossible to do anything."
- 4.29 Q. "I'd like to have the most recent update on Steam, but I can't use Steam to get it" or "I can't download the game through Steam, but don't want the Desura version."
- 4.30 Q. "How do I backup my saves?"
- 4.31 Q: I'm getting the following error: "AL lib: alc_cleanup: 1 device not closed". What do?
- 5 Multiplayer FAQ
- 5.1 Q: How do I get to play Multiplayer?
- 5.2 Q: How do I set up a server in Windows/Mac/Linux?
- 5.3 Q: How do I use more/less RAM?
- 5.4 Q: How do I reset/start a new world?
- 5.5 Q: Are LAN servers possible/how?
- 5.6 Q: Can I use mods on my mp server?
- 5.7 Q: How do I change my characters appearance for multiplayer?
- 5.8 Q: Can I change the length of days or the amount of Zombies/loot? Is there a way to respawn loot?
- 5.9 Q: How do zombies spawn?
- 5.10 Q: Why can't people connect to my server?
- 5.11 Common Errors
- 5.12 Q: I’m trapped in a server! The map won’t load anymore, what’s going on? It looks like a black border.
- 5.13 Q: I’m getting some console messages about… “Delay Packets”
- 5.14 Q: My server keeps crashing with people on it!
- 5.15 Q: I get this message of… Client version (956) doesn't match server (958) when I try to connect to a server. What’s going on?
- 5.16 Q: I was on a friends server, it was working fine but then we restarted and we started having problems. What do I do?
- 5.17 Administrating a server
- 5.18 Server Settings
- 5.19 Administrative commands
- 5.20 Nothing helped?
Project Zomboid General FAQ
What is Project Zomboid?
Project Zomboid is an open world zombie survival RPG set in a post-apocalyptic, obviously zombie-infested world where you are challenged to survive as long as you can until you inevitably die. This is the story of your death, not how you overcame the apocalypse against all odds.
Who are The Indie Stone?
We are people. We also have faces and you can see them here: http://projectzomboid.com/blog/about-us/
Which platforms will be suppоrted?
Project Zomboid will be available for Windows, Linux and Mac. There are no plans for other platforms at this point in time.
You've been in development and Early Access for a while. When will you release the game or consider it 1.0?
Two major features are yet to be implemented into the game, both of which are currently in full-time development each with dedicated full-time developer suppоrt. These are:
- NPCS - A far reaching and in-depth NPC system with character relationships, personalities, and an emergent story engine that allows for diverse and emergent character based zombie survival story unique to every playthrough. This also includes the tutorial, a return of Kate and Baldspot who starred in the early alphas of the game.
- Map completion - We still have a major city, an army base, more wilderness, and several small towns to implement to the game map.
- UI Rewrite - The UI isn’t perfect by any stretch. We would like to get a more intuitive and ergonomic UI system implemented.
- Stealth / Combat - New animations to allow for stealth mechanics (looking round corners, crouching behind walls, cover etc) as well as a rewrite of the combat system to leverage new animations to make combat more involved, intuitive and fluid.
We tend to avoid ETAs generally because Early Access development in particular is often filled with unknowns and we want to ensure we get these highly anticipated features right.
In the meantime however we will continue to update the game and provide new features for our community to play with. One of our developers full time responsibility is providing frequent and new items, crafting recipes, skills and survival gameplay elements to fill out any holes in gameplay, and provide frequent feature rich game updates in line with community feedback, while the other developers focus on finishing these specific remaining major features.
What about after 1.0?
At this point, once we feel we have fulfilled every promise we gave when the Project Zomboid site first launched (except the last one, ahem, ignore that. Absolutely no one wanted that, it turned out), as well as the extra things detailed above, and the game is sufficiently polished and bug free, we will launch the game as 1.0 and leave Early Access.
What happens at this point depends entirely on whether the game is making money or not, but given the past solid performance of the game we see no reason why it shouldn’t be. Several developers within the team will likely start exploring our second project at this point, however we have dedicated and passionate developers who were brought into the company via the Project Zomboid modding community, emotionally invested in the game, who are already a big part of the development and communicating with the community. As long as Project Zomboid is making enough to suppоrt their continued development of the game, and they are happy to continue working on it (which seems likely), we will continue making Project Zomboid indefinitely as long as there is interest.
That all said, we can’t make any solid promises beyond the 1.0 mark, however there are countless things we would love to do that go way beyond 1.0 and sales make us confident that we’ll get the opportunity to explore them. Truth be told, given that it was Zomboid that put the money in the bank in the first place, as long as our company is secure and we can fund any other project's development comfortably, it's very probable we'd be willing to put some money back into the game beyond the point it's sustaining itself if there are any features in particular we can't bear to leave out of the game. Words are wind though, and all we can do is guess where we'll all be by then. We really want to keep this train going as long as we can though, as long as it continues to the benefit of the game. At which point the modders will hopefully take the mantle with almost unlimited access to the game's core.”
Do you guys need any help with music, artwork, translation or some other creative endeavour?
A. We’re fine right now; we’ve got a full complement of developers and helpers, but feel free to send over whatever you’d like. If you’d like to help out then the best way would be through our modding community.
How much does/will it cost?
A. The game is currently available for 9.99 GBP / 13.99 EUR / 14.99 USD on Steam
What age rating is Project Zomboid?
A. We currently have no fixed age rating, but would underline that this is a mature game dealing with adult subjects. Parental discretion is certainly advised.
When I buy Project Zomboid, what benefits do I get?
A. Project Zomboid is a game that’s still in development. When you purchase a license you gain access to every build we release, up to and including its completion.
Will there be a demo?
A. There is! In it, you will start off as infected, so you can play as much/often as you like, but you will only last so long. Please give it a try if you're unsure whether PZ will run on your machine. As of now, it is a bit out of date but we'll make sure to release a more up-to-date version of it once we're further down in development, and for sure once we're out of Early Access.
How can I follow the game’s progress?
I found a bug! Where can I report it?
A. The best place with the highest probability of it being noticed is our bug tracker on our forums http://theindiestone.com/forums/?app=tcbugtracker
So where can I download the current build?
A. The latest stable builds will auto-update (if you have that option selected). If you'd like to test the buggier, but sometimes more current, beta-builds read how to access them here:
Please keep in mind, we're always looking for feedback about our "IWBUMS" beta branch.
Help! I’m having some sort of trouble with my PZ account!
A. First of all check out our Suppоrt section on the forum, if your answer doesn’t lurk there then fire off a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, but be sure to include your receipt of purchase.
Help! I’m having some sort of trouble getting PZ working!
A. In 99% of cases our Suppоrt pages will be able to help you, but if the issue persists then post up in the Suppоrt section of the forum.
Is there Multiplayer?
A. Yes! Multiplayer has been available for a while now.
WHERE ARE THE ACHIEVEMENTS?
A. We'll most likely add those down the line. Expect them at some point in the future.
I have a suggestion for a really cool feature that could go in PZ! Who should I contact?
A. Go to the Suggestions part of our forum, search to find out whether anyone else has ever dreamt it up – and, if not, then dazzle us with a post about your zombie survival know-how.
Can I monetize YouTube videos, "Let's Play" commentaries etc?
A. Yes! YouTube is the lifeblood of our game. Go crazy! Post this up in the video description to be on the save side: http://projectzomboid.com/blog/youtube-terms/
Can I modify the game? Are there terms and conditions?
A. You're very welcome to modify PZ! We got terms and conditions covered here: http://projectzomboid.com/blog/2013/09/terms-conditions/
Is Project Zomboid on Steam?
A. Yes! We officially launched on Steam Early Access on the 8th of November! People who already have it on Desura can already grab their Steam key: http://projectzomboid.com/blog/2013/11/returning-to-pz/
Will I have to purchase the game again once it appears on Steam?
A. No. Everyone who already bought the game before Steam is able to get it on Steam for free. Go here for all the info you need: http://projectzomboid.com/blog/2013/11/returning-to-pz/
Will you add Steam Workshop suppоrt?
A. Short one: Yes!
Will you suppоrt Steam Big Picture mode?
A. We plan to do so! Controller suppоrt is currently in and we’ll work on the UI to fit Big Picture mode.
Will NPCs be friendly or hostile?
A. Neither and both. We don’t want to make it that simple. NPCs may gain your trust and then back-stab you horribly. We’re trying to make this as dynamic and most importantly non-predictable as possible. Crusader Kings 2 is a pretty inspiring game ;)
What is this “meta-game”?
A. It’s essentially what keeps the world around you on being interesting by “living”. Think of it as an abstract level of simulation for NPCs and Zombie population, from where they're plucked and made concrete when you enter the area. This abstracted simulation accesses various metadata about the world (rooms, building definitions and their locations) and is the underlying system coordinating the actions and events in the world that happen without you being in the immediate area.
You might want to think of it as a complex puppet theater where the puppets are playing behind the curtain. When you open it, the game looks at the state of the actors and spawns them into the world as concrete characters in their corresponding states. They will still be driven by the puppet master (the meta-game) so their (inter)actions and interests play out in the same way, but now with the curtains wide open for you to see them playing out.
Can I build my own fort? Can I also grow my own food?
A. Yes and yes! We also have plans for other methods of obtaining food.
I’m not sure what I’m doing in Project Zomboid. Is there a manual?
A. First off make sure you play our tutorial, which covers the basics. We also have a Survival Guide on this wiki. Check out the PZ wiki and our forums which will definitely help. Also, community member EreWeGo created a pretty cool manual which you can check out on our forums!
What is Sandbox mode?
A. Sandbox mode lets you customize the lore to your fitting. You love the “28 Days Later”-kind of sprinting Zombies or just want a harder challenge? There are too many/too few Zombies and you want less/more? Want more/less NPCs? You want to set the speed of the ingame-time to real-time? Sandbox mode lets you edit these settings and more to your liking. The Zombie lore is completely customizable to the point, where you can edit the kind of transmission, the reanimation time after death as well as the infection mortality. You can also edit Zombies’ abilities to hear, see and smell as well as abilities such as memory and cognition.
How big is the map?
A. The game takes place in Muldraugh, KY and we’re expanding to the surrounding areas, eventually. Muldraugh itself is a relatively small town, so don’t expect huge office buildings while you’re there. A good overview of the map can be found here (thanks to the awesomemest blindcoder!): https://map.projectzomboid.com/ Cities and other locations will eventually be included. We’re going for “huge” rather than big, so you’ll have to actually prepare for longer trips. Also, our lovely modding community will be able to provide a lot of interesting (additional) maps!
Is the map procedurally generated?
A. No. We have a clear story in mind and have plans on where the story will take you. Random map generation does not work very well with generating cities or towns that are supposed to actually feel different. However, it does work well for creating natural terrain, so we might end up using random generation to provide an infinite map size beyond the borders of the hand-crafted map. This would require a fair amount of work, though, so it is fairly low on our priority list. We're sure that some modders will take up the challenge at some point :)
Can I play this with a Controller?
A. Yes! Considering we want to suppоrt Steam Big Picture mode, you will be able to play the game without the mouse and keyboard in the future. Controller suppоrt is fairly raw at this point but will be fixed and polished very soon! Community member Kevlar_29 created a handy guide how to use your controller in PZ which you can check out on our forums.
Why do zombies notice and follow me wherever I am?
You are probably making too much noise while moving. If you're within close proximity to a zombie, hold CTRL to go into sneak/combat mode which will result in the least amount of noise while moving. Once you're a safe distance away, you can probably safely walk as normal. You should never run unless you need to get out of a desperate situation quickly. Line of sight is also incredibly important. If you can see zombies through a window, then they can see you. This will most likely cause them to come a knockin' and won't stop until dealt with.
Why are my attacks seemingly ineffective?
Your attack needs to be charged by holding down the attack key before striking.
How do I break into houses without smashing windows?
Stand beside the window while facing it and press the 'e' key. It may take some time, but the window often can be forced open. After the window is open, hold the 'e' key to climb though. The window can be closed by facing it and pressing the 'e' key again.
What is the loud alarm noise?
You have triggered a burglar alarm while entering a house. It will attract zombies from far and wide. Run!
Are there other survivors in the game?
No, but NPCs will eventually be implemented.
What are the gunshot/helicopter sounds?
Until NPCs are implemented, these event sounds have been employed to facilitate the migration of zombie hordes, so beware.
Hey! That zombie was dead, but it got back up!
Just because a zombie is down on the ground doesn't mean it's dead. Technically it's already dead after all. Always make sure to approach a zombie and crush it's skull in, otherwise it's just going to get back up and come after you.
Is there a cure for zombification?
No, and there will never be a cure. Prevention is your only friend.
What happened to NPCs?
These features were present in early demo versions of the game, but have been temporarily removed. We are aware that the delay has been huge but we're simply not implementing them until we are happy with them. While frustrating, the delay is also a good thing for you. Every member of the Indie Stone is working on the game full time in order to provide you with content in the meantime. We can't have 6 months or a year of no updates while we tick off our last remaining big bullet point planned features. We can't go 1.0 until NPCs are in. If that took a gazillion years that means a gazillion years of updates and suppоrt for PZ. If you think of all the many many great features that have been added into the game in the past couple of years since NPCs were removed. A lot of them would have made it in anyway, of course, but many of them may not have been.
- Make sure that you know what OS you have installed, as well as if it is 32Bit or 64 Bit.
- You will also want to make sure that your OS is up to date.
- For Linux users, make sure you have the latest version of Java installed. Please do this through your package manager.
- For Linux users, make sure you are running the corresponding game version. The 64x version of the game will not work when you have a x64 system but only 32Bit Java installed.
- Some graphical glitches might be related to old or outdated video drivers. Make sure they are up to date. If you think they are, download them again anyways. This is to double check.
COMMON SOLUTIONS AND FIXES
Update your video drivers
- Note: Some manufacturers (Alienware, Toshiba, Dell, HP etc) release their own drivers. While convient, these are are not the same as implementations provided by AMD, Intel, and nVidia. Please grab your drivers directly from them.
- Note: Do not trust Windows or Steam with updating your drivers
- For downloading ATI/AMD Drivers, head over to http://suppоrt.amd.com/us/gpudownload/Pages/index.aspx
- Your Catalyst Control Center is also able to tell you if your driver is out of date and update it.
- The drivers for your nVidia GPU can be downloaded here: http://www.nvidia.com/Download/index.aspx?lang=en-us
- To automatically detect your video driver updates for your nVidia GPU, check http://www.nvidia.com/Download/Scan.aspx
- To download the drivers for Intel graphics chipsets, head over to http://downloadcenter.intel.com/
- You can also check the following link to let them look for updates automatically: http://www.intel.com/p/en_US/suppоrt/detect/
Note, some computers may require working around the manufacturer of that system or antiquated hardware to install a new, up-to-date driver. This is typically a generic driver if none of the above providers suppоrt your card. This is an advanced process and requires research on your part. See the Work-Around section here for an example: http://www.intel.com/suppоrt/graphics/sb/CS-022355.htm
Disable the Steam Overlay
Right click Project Zomboid in your game library and select Properties. On the first page (the General tab) disable the Steam overlay.
Run the 32-bit Version (Windows/Linux)
Go to the installation directory of the game by right clicking on Project Zomboid and selecting Properties in the Steam game library then press the Browse Local Files button shown here: http://i.imgur.com/PFy0kmJ.png
Find the ProjectZomboid32.bat file (blue gears for an icon, not a red and black egg) and double click it.
If you've tried everything above, but the game will still not load, go to %username%\zomboid and delete its contents. Be sure to backup these files, as they contain your saves.d
Submitting a Suppоrt Request
To effectively assist you, the more data you can provide the better: operating system name and version, CPU name and code, graphics processing unit name, in particular.
To get any error codes generated by the game, go to the installation directory of the game by right clicking on Project Zomboid in your Steam library and selecting Properties. Then go to the "Local Files" tab and hit the "Browse Local Files" button.
Find the ProjectZomboid32.bat file (blue gears for an icon, not a red and black egg) and double click it. If the game crashes, take a screenshot of the console and upload in on a site like imgur.com and post it either on the Steam Discussions Hub or the suppоrt forum.
My PC specs are good enough to have a stable 30 or 60 FPS but I am getting really low FPS!
A. We have plans to improve the framerate dramatically in the upcoming weeks, so performance might indeed vary from what you would expect. Please consider playing the game in a lower resolution (1280*720, lower if necessary). Please also try locking the game to 30 (or 45/60) FPS in the options menu. If you are using Gamebooster or an equivalent application, please turn it off, as testing has shown that it drastically reduced performance in many cases. For further tips and performance reports, please check out the following thread on our forums:
Q. Game doesn't run, error message starts with "org.lwjgl.LWJGLException: Pixel format not accelerated"
A: This message Indicates outdated video driver, please see Update your video drivers above.
Q. I just downloaded the game on Steam and the game simply crashed on launch!
A. Please reinstall the game. Right click the game in your Steam library and select “Delete Local Content…”. Once that’s done, download the game again.
If you've installed a mod prior to update, it may be necessary to manually delete the local contents -- this can be found by right clicking on Project Zomboid in the Steam Library and selecting properties. Go to the Local Files tab and click on Browse Local Files. Delete everything within the Project Zomboid folder. In newer versions of the game, some mods install to %username%\zomboid\mods. Delete its contents, as well.
Finally, if you haven't disabled the Steam overlay, see Disable the Steam Overlay, above.
Q: On Linux, character sprites are replaced by single-color blocks.
A: Suppоrt for S3 texture compression (also known as DXTn or DXTC) is missing or disabled on your system. You may have a package available for your distro to remedy this. Try searching for keywords such as dxtn, s2tc, s3tc, or texture compression in your package management system. For some versions of Debian and Ubuntu the package name is libtxc-dxtn-s2tc0.
Q. I see a dark flash, maybe some text, and nothing happens!
A. Most of the time (on Linux), this is the “The system cannot find the path specified” means your Java installation cannot be located.
Otherwise, on Windows, this can happen when you run the ProjectZomboid file as an adminstirator. This forces it to start in System32 instead of the game's installation directory. Please don't run the game as an administrator.
Q. The game does not start and I get the following error in the cmd window: “org.lwjgl.LWJGLException: Failed to set display mode (-2)”!
A. Resolve this by deleting the content of the following directory: C:\Users\*yourUsername*\Zomboid\Options.ini
If this error persists, it is due to the inability of the game to create a rendering context for the resolution selected. Open Options.ini and set the resolution to something else. Forcing the game to run in windowed mode (with the same file) may also help.
A. Delete your "options.ini" file in \username\Project Zomboid\ folder, or manually edit it and change the resolution to smaller.
Q. I can't seem to change any of the zombie options in Sandbox!
A. Be sure to uncheck "Proper Zombies" to enable customized zombies
Q. Where are my save files located?
A. Save files are located in %username%\zomboid\survival and %username%zomboid\sandbox (e.g. C:\Users\YourUsername\zomboid\ and Zomboid\laststand)
Multiplayer files ar located in \Multiplayer\
On Mac and Linux the saves are in Users/<Username>/Zomboid/ or /<Username>/Project Zomboid/]Note, Project Zomboid by default makes use of your Home directory.
Q. I’m having a hard time to orientate. Sometimes I end up in a large empty area. Is there a map available?
A. A map can be found at the PZWiki: http://www.pzwiki.net/wiki/Knox_County
User Blindcoder has created a fully zoomable and panable map, which you can find here
We plan to implement in game-maps, at some point in time.
Roads without markings and lane stripes are usually a good indicator that you’re currently in an unfinished area.
We could have put markers in surrounding the filled areas but this would slow down map development down with repeatedly having to move markers back and on top of that, doing that would imply that there is nothing beyond the borders which isn't entirely the case. There is stuff out there, it's just sparsely distributed.
Q. I am having X problem using a Controller and/or Splitscreen Multiplayer!
A. Controller and Splitscreen Multiplayer suppоrt is currently just experimental and will be revamped in the future.
Q. My FPS seems low
A. First, verify that your FPS is low by using an external program, such as FRAPS, or by pressing the 'F' key (note: the in-game frame counter is only an approximation of FPS, but shouldn't be too far off).
If your FPS is legitimately low, in Options
- Set your resolution to the minimum suppоrted
- Lock the game to 30 FPS
- Lower lighting quality to low or very low (note: very low may result in some unpleasant looking visuals)
Q. My save doesn't seem to load and nothing in this FAQ helped alleviate the problem
A. Please follow the instructions in this thread: http://theindiestone.com/forums/index.php/topic/2096-my-save-wont-load-what-to-do/
Q. "How do I use a controller with the game?"
A. Ensure the controller is hooked to the computer prior to starting Project Zomboid. Ignore any prompts by the game after starting it. Start a new game / character without using your controller. Once the world loads and you can see your character, press ESC then go into Options. Scroll down until you see the Controllers section. Select your controller form this list, then press save.
A. Delete the contents of your Steam\Common\ProjectZomboid directory and the contents of %username%\zomboid. (Note: the folders Surival, LastStand, Sandbox, and Multiplayer within %username%\zomboid contain your saves. Back them up if you value them.)
If the above doesn't alleviate your problem, check the console for any errors and report them on the forum.
Q. "The only thing that happens when I try to launch Project Zomboid is the command prompt appears, or a blank window."
Please see above about getting console output from the game.
Q. "Error: Cold not create the Java Virtual Machine" and "Error: A fatal exception has occured. Program will exit."
A. Most likely the game is unable to get enough RAM from the operating system to run the game. This is most often caused by a MineCraft install, as MineCraft uses the same launcher as ProjectZomboid.
This can be caused by incorrect environment variables interfering with the game: In the start menu, type Edit the System Environment Variables. See if you have a _JAVA_OPTIONS, JAVA_OPTS, or JAVA_HOME variable. If you do, delete it (though you might want to keep a note of whatever it says).
Or by having less than 1 GB of RAM available when launching PZ. For all other instances, please create a post in Suppоrt with your specs and any messages received.
Q. A" balloon appears in the Notification Area with "... Display driver stopped responding and has recovered" while playing Project Zomboid."
A. This is most commonly caused by drivers sourced from Windows Update rather than directly through the manufacturer of the graphics card. Get the most recent driver from Intel, AMD .etc Note: If an automatic driver checking-thing on a Website is telling you that you have the newest version of the driver, be sure to verify this yourself.
A. Distable the Steam overlay: Right click on Project Zomboid in the Steam Library and select Properties. On the first page, you'll see the options to "Enable Steam Community In-Game." Deselect it.
Q. "After 'This is how you died,' the screen remains black, without the HUD."
A. Most likely, there's a problem with your saved game. See Q. My save doesn't seem to load and nothing in this FAQ helped alleviate the problem above.
If this is on multiplayer, check the console output as mentioned ealrier in this FAQ. Most likely. you'll have to disable map_meta.bin (prior to build 28) to get the save to work.
Q. "After 'This is how you died,' the screen remains black -- but the HUD (inventory, time, .etc) appear.
A. Disable Zoom and Shaders in Options.
Q. "How do I get an error log if I'm on a Mac?"
A. Follow Rathlord's video here: http://theindiestone.com/forums/index.php/topic/4289-game-wont-launch-mac/#entry57943
Q. "The UI is out of alignment and overlaps -- it makes it difficult or impossible to do anything."
A. It's probable you've recently changed the resolution without restarting the game. Though, in most cases, the game with adjust the UI to the resolution, sometimes this doesn't work -- restarting the game can force it's update.
If restarting the game doesn't work, go to %username%\zomboid and delete the Options.ini and Layout.ini files.
Q. "I'd like to have the most recent update on Steam, but I can't use Steam to get it" or "I can't download the game through Steam, but don't want the Desura version."
A. Currently, the only option is to wait for the offline build released through Desura -- this won't happen until the current, unstable, updates are made stable.
Q. "How do I backup my saves?"
A. Go to %username%\zomboid and copy Survival, LastStand, Sandbox, and Multiplayer folders. These contain your saves.
This is the only sure-fire method of backing up saved games and should be done any time you reach a critical stage in your game to prevent losing the file due to corruption.
Q: I'm getting the following error: "AL lib: alc_cleanup: 1 device not closed". What do?
A: This isn't an error, but something the game does normally. If you are having problems, post the full error.log file contents, not just the last line.
Q: How do I get to play Multiplayer?
A: Multiplayer is currently a separate test build. You can download it by right-clicking Project Zomboid in your Steam library and clicking "Properties". Then, navigate to the "Betas" tab and select "onlinetest" from the drop-down menu. There is no code required so leave the code-field blank. The game will now update to the Multiplayer testbuild and when you start the game, you will see "Join Server" as the only game-mode option.
Q: How do I set up a server in Windows/Mac/Linux?
A:For Windows you can use this tutorial: http://theindiestone.com/forums/index.php/topic/5795-how-to-run-a-server/
People running a Linux server can follow the instructions posted by Connall here: http://theindiestone.com/forums/index.php/topic/5841-buying-running-a-linux-project-zomboid-server/
To host a server, navigate to your game installation folder (for Steam users, the default location is Steam\SteamApps\common\ProjectZomboid) and find the batch-file called ProjectZomboidServer.bat. Start it by double clicking it. A command prompt window will pop up saying "*** SERVER STARTED****".
If you want to host a server with lots of people, you should make sure your internet connection is fast and you have enough RAM in your rig. See “How do I use more/less RAM” for how to allocate more memory to your server. To allow people to connect to your server you will need to forward the necessary ports. The necessary ports to forward are 16261 (UDP) which serves as a handshake port for communicating with the server. For each possible player slot on your server, you need to forward additional TCP ports, which are used to stream the world to the player clients. If you want a server with 10 slots, you would have to forward 16261 UDP 16262 - 16272 TCP
Good guides on how to forward ports are found all over the internet. http://portforward.com/ has good guides on hand and covers a lot of routers. Port Forwarding sounds harder in theory than it actually is. It mostly just involves getting into the menu of your router. If you have no access to your router, please consult whoever is in charge of your network (parents, roommates, admins, etc).
With this we’re making the assumption you understand your way around linux. For a more in depth guide, go visit: http://theindiestone.com/forums/index.php/topic/5841-buying-running-a-linux-project-zomboid-server/
You’ll want to install default-jdk and screen onto the server if you don’t have these already.
Now we need to grab the Steam CMD so we can download the actual Project Zomboid software. It’s recommended that you run SteamCMD on a separate user.
You should add a new user by doing:
Once that’s sorted we need to switch over to the new user. It should be noted anytime I refer to “steam” in the file directory context, then it means the user folder. If you decide to name the user something else the directories change also. Something to keep note of. “Steam” is not the same as “steam” in the directory context as well.
su - steam
this will switch the user from root, to steam.
Now we need to actually get the SteamCMD. To do this we run this command:
It should eventually download and once it does we need to actually get the contents out of the folder. To do this we run
tar -xvzf steamcmd_linux.tar.gz
Now we got to run SteamCMD
To do this we can do:
./steamcmd.sh +login steamusername steampassword +force_install_dir directory/you/want/to/install/to +app_update 108600 -beta onlinetest validate +exit
Steamusername being your steam username and password being the steam password.
You should have a projectzomboid-dedi-server.sh file in your ProjectZomboid folder, if not you will need to rerun the command up above.
You will also need to create a Zomboid folder in the users home folder. You will need to create a folder of “db” in that folder as well and download this db file and place it in the “db” folder: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/28553835/world.db
Whether or not you will whitelist the server it’s best to put the file in. You’ll now need to edit the projectzomboid-dedi-server.sh and set your RAM values. This is dependent on how much RAM your server has, I personally didn't set them to use my complete server capacity, I did about half but the choice is up to you. (Kirrus: Don't set more than 80% of your VM's capacity.) Use WinSCP and double click on the file and it should open it up in an editor, find these two lines:
-Xms1024m \ -Xmx1024m \
And edit the values to your choosing.
Now we need a certain script:
bash wheezy-glibc-sid.sh This is only required for those who are running a Debian OS, Ubuntu (I am told) should be fine.
We’re almost there. So here’s what we got to do now.
It will start the server. You need to run the server in screen, or when you close the terminal program you’re using, the server will shutdown as well.
Q: How do I use more/less RAM?
A: You’ll need to edit the projectzomboid-dedi-server.sh file or the ProjectZomboidServer.bat file and find lines that look like:
-Xms1024m \ -Xmx1024m \
These are your RAM values. It is advised that you don’t use more than 80% of your available RAM. If you’re running the server from a home computer, then the RAM values should be toned down significantly more.
Q: How do I reset/start a new world?
A: To reset the servers world you will need to navigate to your server’s /Zomboid/Sandbox folder. In there should be a folder called “servertest” deleting this will folder will reset the world. Make sure to do this when the server is off (or the server program is not running) and restart the server.
Q: Are LAN servers possible/how?
A: Yes. LAN servers are completely possible, the usual installation instructions need to be carried out with regards to setting up a server. This info can be found at: http://theindiestone.com/forums/index.php?/topic/5795-how-to-run-a-server/ You should then be able to connect the server.
Q: Can I use mods on my mp server?
A: To use custom maps and/or mods for your server, please read the following thread on the official forums. http://theindiestone.com/forums/index.php/topic/7897-build-26-custom-maps-spawn-locations/?p=103784
Q: How do I change my characters appearance for multiplayer?
A: At the moment there is no easy way to change a characters appearance and is just left to luck. If you really wish you can connect to a server, and if you don’t like the appearance, then you can disconnect the delete the save associated with the server and reconnect. Rinse and repeat if need be, but keep in mind it’s always random.
Q: Can I change the length of days or the amount of Zombies/loot? Is there a way to respawn loot?
A: Sandbox settings of the server are set up via the SandboxVars.lua which should be saved in Zomboid\Server\*servername*_SandboxVars.lua. If the file doesn't exist, it can be created with the PZServerSetting.exe from your PZ installation folder.
If necessary, use the PZServerSettings.exe located inside the game's install directory. On a Linux box with Steam, in the home directory there should be .local/share/Steam/SteamApps/common/ProjectZomboid/projectzomboid/PZServerSettings.exe (execute using wine)
Q: How do zombies spawn?
A: Zombies "respawn" in defined areas where it makes sense (e.g. the highway and other high density areas). In your ServerOptions.ini the server host has two options for zombie respawn:
HoursForZombiesRespawn = 0 //Amount of hours a zone has to be unseen to respawn zombies. IncreaseZombieRespawnBy = 0 //Ammount of additional zombies you want to have spawned if HoursForZombiesRespawn > 0.
Example: An area spawns by default 10 Zombies. You define IncreaseZombieRespawnBy=20. Now the area will spawn 30 Zombies (10 naturally and 20 additional zombies).
Q: Why can't people connect to my server?
A: There can be a number of factors surrounding why people can’t access your server. For the most part this sort of stuff applies to people who are hosting servers from their homes, if you’re using a VPS or dedicated gameserver provider to host the server you shouldn’t encounter these problems. If you do, first refer to any available guides that may help resolve the issue, then contact your server provider to see if they would be willing to help.
For home computers here’s what you can check:
1. Check your ports. Chances are your ports aren’t accepting connections, and for good reasons as this is generally a security feature for the routers. Routers are so varied, that we can’t actually give a lot of specifics for you. However visiting a site like: portforward.com and finding your router model should give you an idea on how to set up your port forwarding.
The following ports that should be forwarded is the 16261 as UDP as it’s considered a handshake port for the server. All further ports are configured as TCP and are used to configure map data to each user. So one port should be forwarded for every player you wish to have on the server. So for example 16262 - 16272 would allow ten players.
If you want to test if the port is forwarding then you can use a port checker such as http://www.yougetsignal.com/tools/open-ports/ to test and see if the port is open. Make sure that your server is running before testing the port as some routers, won’t open the port until there’s a connection running.
2. Firewalls and antivirus. The oldest trick in the book, these could be causing problems for the server and may wish to turn these off or add PZ/Java to the exception list.
3. Correct IP. There are two types of IP, an internal IP and an external IP. Internal IPs are used for connecting within the computer or network while externals are for people connecting from outside the network. Make sure you are giving people an external IP and not an internal one. To check your IP, you can just google “What’s my IP” or visit http://www.whatismyip.com/
If you’re absolutely certain it’s none of these problems post to the multiplayer help board on the official forums: http://theindiestone.com/forums/index.php/forum/72-help/
Q: I’m trapped in a server! The map won’t load anymore, what’s going on? It looks like a black border.
A:You have either lost connection to the server, or the server has crashed. You’ll need to check your internet connection, or the server owner will need to restart the server. If you’re certain this is not the case, then the server may not have the ports configured correctly to allow map streaming to each player. If you’re the server owner here’s some info on the matter.
The following ports that should be forwarded is the 16261 as UDP as it’s considered a handshake port for the server. All further ports are configured as TCP and are used to configure map data to each user. So one port should be forwarded for every player you wish to have on the server. So for example 16262 - 16272
Q: I’m getting some console messages about… “Delay Packets”
A: This seems to be a common problem affecting a lot of users. There’s no known concrete fixes, just a couple of hot fixes.
One such fix is to try and disable firewalls or anti-virus which might be causing the issue. If you have been able to connect to the server but has now changed and you’re getting these messages you can try removing the save folder associated with the server. If it’s still not working you might be unfortunately stuck. It is possible that it’s a server specific issue, try connecting to a different server and see what happens.
Making sure the username is using a proper file name characters (as the username is saved to a folder, so if you’re using improper characters (like “/” “!” etc) it won’t work. It’s also entirely possible that the server is full, or all the ports opened by the server operator are in use. This means that you won’t be able to connect to the server and will instead, need to connect to a different server.
Q: My server keeps crashing with people on it!
A: Odds are you don’t have enough RAM or you haven’t allocated enough of your RAM to the server. If you’re running a public server on a home computer, this will be more of an issue. If running off a VPS it’s still a possibility. Generally 2GB gets around 10-15 players and 4GB can cover 20-30 possibly.
Q: I get this message of… Client version (956) doesn't match server (958) when I try to connect to a server. What’s going on?
A: This is indicating that there is a Project Zomboid build mismatch between the client and server. Say the message was like this “Client version (x) doesn’t match server (y)” If Client (x) number is less than server (y) then that means that the server is running a newer build and the client is running an older build. So best way to check is to make sure that steam has updated your game to the newest version possible. If server (y) number is less than (x) then that means that the server is outdated from the client and the server still needs to be updated.
It has been known that builds have accidentally been pushed to the onlinetest branch, so make sure to check the forums and see if anybody else is having problems regarding compatibility issues.
Q: I was on a friends server, it was working fine but then we restarted and we started having problems. What do I do?
A: There are a couple of possible solutions to this. The first is try deleting the save associated with the server, in the event that’s causing a conflict. If that doesn’t work, it might mean the server host has not quite configured the ports correctly and isn’t allowing map streaming.
Administrating a server
If you haven’t found the answer to your technical issue, you can check in on the following links for additional help
Project Zomboid Wiki (The site you are on now.)