- This article is about vehicles as an overview. For a guide on how to use them, see Vehicles Guide.
Vehicles are a means of transportation used to traverse the landscape of Kentucky and as a place to store items. They can be almost anywhere on the map, usually appearing in parking spaces and driveways. Although it is also possible to find vehicles among wreckages on roads and main highways. Vehicles can be found in a range of conditions – sometimes with badly damaged parts, lacking fuel, or a dead battery. Most vehicles will be driveable after changing the battery and filling the gas tank, while others may have a badly damaged engine, making it near impossible to start without repairing the engine. Certain are often required to replace parts, whereas a specific recipe magazine is required depending on the type of vehicle being repaired.
Vehicles are currently persistent in the world, regardless of what happens to them, they will never disappear/despawn (with the exception of admin abilities and closing the game incorrectly), likewise they will never respawn without server commands. It has been mentioned by devs, specifically on the Project Zomboid Discord, that there are plans to have vehicles catch fire and explode, likely damaging the engine to a certain point, thus leaving a burnt out wreckage, appearing similarly to those that spawn naturally.
You can tow a car by driving a next in front of it, walking into the middle of both cars, and pressing the vehicle radial menu(V) and select the plus sign. Towing doesn't require any towing rope or any other equipment. This is useful when you want to bring a car to your base without filling it with gasoline or avoiding having multiple trips.
Note: although it can't be seen, a helicopter can be heard at one point towards the beginning of the game. This is part of the metagame and not a physical helicopter.
Vehicle disappearing after game crash
Loading a game after a crash or closing/exiting the game incorrectly can result in the save file rolling back to the previous autosave, however the vehicle will have disappeared and cannot be found anywhere. There is currently no workaround for this other than spawning the vehicle in using server commands.
Vehicles rendering as solid black
Vehicles appearing black (as seen to the right) has been a constant issue that the devs have frequently attempted to patch, however due to the plethora of systems available, there are still some rare cases that pop-up. Common fixes include: ensuring 3D models are properly enabled in Options
, turning off/on shaders, running in compatibility mode, as administrator or performing a clean install of graphics drivers.
On Linux, the problem might be related to the fact, that Linux filesystems are case-sensitive and some of the game updates altered the filenames. For Steam version, go to ~/.steam/steam/steamapps/common/ProjectZomboid/projectzomboid/media/textures and remove the whole "Vehicles" directory. Next, in Steam, in the game properties select "Local files" tab, and click "Check game files integrity". This will force download of the missing files, but now they will have proper case. For non-Steam version, delete and reinstall the game.
Often the game can appear to run in slow-motion, usually identifiable by zooming in and out or checking the FPS, as it will result in no change compared to normal gameplay. The issue usually lies with RAM usage, however due to the way Java uses RAM, allocating more will often result in no change. A couple of fixes include lowering the resolution, reducing the number of 3D characters, close any background programs, make Project Zomboid high priority in task manager or perform a clean install of graphics drivers.