Modding

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ModdingModding
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PlushSpiffo.pngThis article is about an overview about modding. For PZwiki project, see PZwiki:Project Modding.
Spiffo's Workshop is the home of Project Zomboid mods on Steam

Terms & Conditions

By playing Project Zomboid, you agree to the Terms & Conditions.

By modding Project Zomboid, you also agree with the Modding Policy.

Key restrictions

  • The Indie Stone reserves the right to implement any features in the game irrespective of whether mods exist that accomplish the same goal.
  • Modders are solely responsible for their mod, including (but not limited to compliance with any hosting platforms (such as Steam Workshop). They are also responsible for obtaining third party consents for any third party materials in the mod. Legally, we have to ask that modders to ‘represent and warrant’ (i.e., promise legally) that their mod is their own original work and any third party contents are fully and properly licensed by the modder.
  • Creation of mods is subject to our modding policy, which may be updated from time to time with any technical requirements regarding how PZ mods must work.
  • Project Zomboid modders are free to receive monetary/gift donations from the players who use their releases, and appreciate the time and effort put into them. However, having mods created exclusively for those who choose to donate (or separate ‘in-mod’ content and bonuses) is not allowed. Mod creators cannot sell modifications to Project Zomboid.

Installing and using mods

Tip: join The Indie Stone Discord server to get access to #mod_support channel, where you can ask question about using mods.

To start a mod up, first make sure the mod is installed in the correct directory. Once you have done this, start up Project Zomboid. Once you get to the main menu, down at the bottom of the screen when you see menu options, you will also find a menu option called MODS. Click on it, which will then lead you to the mod menu.

In there you should see the list of mods that you have installed. Double-click on the mod you wish to start, and a green tick should appear next to the mod.

The next thing to do is shut down Project Zomboid and start it up again. Once started, your mod should now be ready to go. Instructions on using the mod are usually contained in README's or information in the thread.

Current mods

Main article: Mods

Creating mods

In modding for PZ, there are several main directions:

  • Changing scripts - scripts in the game describe the parameters of items, recipes, and vehicles. Making a mod that changes the values ​​of items, vehicles, a recipe, or adds a new item is not a difficult task. This does not require programming knowledge; any text editor may be used. Scripts are in .txt files and have a specific structure.
  • Writing Lua code - the main direction in PZ modding. Most mods contain Lua code. PZ is developed mainly in Java and Lua, so using Lua code in mods is closely related to the exploration of Java and Lua game code. When creating more complex mods, you will have to dive into the decompiled Java code of the game. We will cover the basics of the Lua language, but you should be familiar with the basics of programming. A general understanding of the syntax of the Java language is also desirable, as it may be necessary to explore the game code to figure out how some functions work.
  • Creating 3D models - at the moment, with the help of mods, you can add new models of vehicles, weapons, ordinary items, and clothes to the game. The game uses 2 model formats - .X and .FBX. For us to create mods with models, the .FBX format will be enough.
  • Creating animations - creating animations for the character. Includes creating an animation file and integrating it into the game.
  • Creating textures, pictures and icons - this direction complements the others. Models will need textures, items will need icons, the interface will need certain images, and maps will need textures for new tiles (new objects to be placed on the map).
  • Map creation - creating locations, buildings, and general environments for the game. See #Mapping.
  • Translations - translating the game to various languages, see Translations.

Tip: Join The Indie Stone Discord server to access the #mod_development channel, where you can ask any question about creating Project Zomboid mods.

Working tools

Modding tools

Resources

Mapping

Main article: Mapping
Tutorial Author Last updated
The One Stop TileZed Mapping Shop RingoD123 January 30, 2017
How to Combine Map Mods RingoD123 June 11, 2017
Full list of current Room Definitions RingoD123 February 7, 2014
Making new room definitions RingoD123 June 10, 2017
Mapping Tutorial's and Videos Thuztor April 20, 2015
Mapping Tutorial's and Videos (Outdated) Thuztor September 12, 2017
VegMap to Testing Custom Map Cpt_Paradox January 28, 2017
Making rooms with the place wall tool, item spawns, ortho and more! Cpt_Paradox November 30, 2017
Sliding Glass Doors, New Textures, Here's How! Cpt_Paradox November 30, 2017
How to make a map Start to Finish Full Video Tutorial BlackBeard January 30, 2017
All player made Building Archives BlackBeard May 31, 2019
Custom texture packs and tile definitions EasyPickins June 5, 2014
Card's Tutorial for Terrain Generation Cardenaglo February 22, 2017
Video Tutorials mapping Atoxwarrior June 26, 2016

Mapping resources

Notes

A note regarding optimization and timestamps

This numerical information in the console.txt output log is a timestamp, such as in "LOG  : General , 1669904231941" If you need to evaluate the runtime impact of code it is a good metric.

A note regarding updating and/or changing mods

Removing .txt and .lua files from a mod before updating them to the steam workshop may result in file mismatch errors etc. on account of steam not automatically removing said files from clients and/or servers. One solution is manually deleting these files from the installation directories of the server and/or clients. As well modders can avoid this issue by keeping those files, instead of removing them, but editing those files so they are empty instead of having any functional content. Including commented text explaining the reason for this in the files is also a good practice.

A note regarding Mac, Linux and case sensitivity

Note that, unlike Windows, Mac and Linux OS are case-sensitive regarding file and directory names. Although people playing PZ on Linux is uncommon, it's far more common with server hosting services. To avoid issues, make sure and follow the vanilla PZ capitalization conventions for file and directory names.

For example: with clothing mods fileguidtable.xml works for Windows and Mac, but will cause serious issue for Linux as it will be looking for "fileGuidTable.xml", as that is how the vanilla PZ file is capitalized. Although Client, Server, and Shared will work for the lua directories for non-Linux systems. it won't work for Linux; consequently use the vanilla capitalization, "client", "server" and "shared" for those.

See also

  • Mods
  • Talk:Modding – for some raw guides to extracting images. The text needs to be cleaned up.

External resources

Tutorial Author Last updated
Project Zomboid Modding Guide (WIP) Fenris Wolf January 22, 2023
RoboMat's Tutorials RoboMat July 24, 2013
Java Scripting Guide (very out of date, only the item and recipe sections seems to be applicable to current builds) Lemmy101 July 24, 2013

Javadoc reference to Project Zomboid codebase

Typescript modding

You can now use Typescript language to write your mods which are then compiled into lua. However it is not necessary to use Typescript to write mods.

Important additional modding resources

General additional modding resources

Clothing modding resources

Old and more specific additional modding resources