Being a Project Zomboid server administrator is a lot of work, especially if you’ve never been the admin of a server before. Here are some handy tips for both admins who have a lot of experience and ones who are brand new!
1. Don’t enable UPnP unless you’re using a LAN server:
Enabling UPnP when you’re not using a LAN server can cause several problems, such as clients being unable to connect. It’s a common mistake for server administrators to make, and it can result in an awful experience for players trying to join your server. I made this mistake many times when I was first starting. I restarted the server every time it happened, trying to fix the problem, but it kept occurring. Learn from my mistakes and don’t use UPnP unless you’re in a LAN server.
2. Hardcore servers don’t need store mods:
A hardcore server is designed to be as challenging as possible for players. Adding a store mod or something similar takes away from what makes a hardcore server great, making gameplay too easy for it to be considered hardcore anymore. The powerful weapons and equipment sold at the stores might seem awesome at first, but they make surviving too simple. Although they have to use in-game currency to get these weapons, the game isn’t nearly as fun once you have them.
3. PVP can extend the lifespan of your server:
Like many new players, I once felt afraid of PVP servers. I never enabled PVP before, but I realized how much more fun the game could be if PVP is included.
A server without PVP consists of surviving, looting, and farming alone. Although it takes some time for players to accomplish a sustainable way of life, they’ll quickly run out of things to do once they’re able to easily survive the wasteland. There’s no story to keep them going, and although some players might be satisfied with this, adding PVP to your game will increase your server’s longevity because it creates an ongoing challenge for players to deal with.
You should wait to enable PVP if your server has a large number of new players. That way they’ll have time to learn the game’s mechanics, and will be on even footing with some of the senior members of your server when PVP is enabled. The server owner/admin can turn off PVP if someone is unbalancing the game until the situation is taken care of.
4. Set the refresh time of resources according to the game mode:
PVP servers should have a longer refresh time to give players incentive to trade or “steal” from other players to survive, while PVE servers need a shorter refresh time so that players will be able to survive.
5. Admins can help to create a more balanced game by interacting with the server.
This last tip isn’t necessary for your game, but I’ve learned from my own experience that admins can greatly enhance gameplay by dropping resources in certain areas to simulate NPCs who would sell items or to spark PVP between players. Admins can also make the game more difficult by adding zombies. Although it’s up to an individual’s personal preferences, admins who are involved in the game can spice up the ordinary gameplay and make things more fun.
With a little preparation and effort, it can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience. These five tips will help make your job a little bit easier.