Initial Infection VS Apocalypse VS Survivor VS Builder VS One Week Later VS Survival VS Six Months Later

Different game modes in Project Zomboid and what they entail

There are four different game modes in Project Zomboid: Apocalypse, Survivor, Builder, and Custom Sandbox.

Different game modes in Project Zomboid offer different experiences for players. The “Apocalypse” mode is the default when building a custom sandbox, and offers a realistic and deadly combat experience that is often best avoided. The “survivor” mode is more focused on combat and offers a more challenging play style based on the game’s previous Survival mode. The “builder” mode is more focused on construction, exploration, and farming, and offers a more relaxed experience with fewer zombies.

The tutorial mode is a short introduction that covers the basics of movement, looting, and attacking, as well as teaching players about the yelled mechanic. Once a player completes the tutorial, they can choose from a variety of different play styles, each with its own unique set of difficulties. The play styles include survival, sandbox, and story. In survival mode, players must try to survive for as long as possible while scavenging for resources and avoiding zombies.

Initial Infection VS Apocalypse VS Survivor VS Builder VS One Week Later VS Survival VS Six Months Later



DifficultyZombie Count
Initial InfectionLow
One Week LaterHigh
Six Months LaterInsane


DifficultyWater ShutoffElectricity ShutoffHouse Alarms FrequencyLocked Houses FrequencyFood SpoilageRefrigeration EffectivenessInitial Gas Station Amount
Initial Infection6–12 Months6–12 MonthsExtremely RareExtremely RareSlowHighFull
Apocalypse0–30 Days0–30 DaysSometimesVery OftenNormalNormalNormal
Survivor0–30 Days0–30 DaysSometimesVery OftenNormalNormalNormal
Builder0–30 Days0–30 DaysSometimesVery OftenNormalNormalNormal
One Week Later0–2 Months0–2 MonthsRareRareNormalNormalHigh
Survival0–30 Days0–30 DaysSometimesVery OftenNormalNormalNormal
Six Months LaterInstantInstantNeverNeverNormalNormalNormal


DifficultyFarming SpeedPlant ResilienceFarming’s AbundanceNature’s AbundanceErosion Speed
Initial InfectionFastVery HighVery AbundantVery AbundantNormal (100 Days)
ApocalypseNormalNormalNormalNormalNormal (100 Days)
SurvivorNormalNormalNormalNormalNormal (100 Days)
BuilderNormalNormalNormalNormalNormal (100 Days)
One Week LaterNormalNormalAbundantAbundantNormal (100 Days)
SurvivalNormalNormalNormalNormalNormal (100 Days)
Six Months LaterNormalNormalNormalAbundantVery Fast (20 Days)
  • Farming Speed: Controls the speed of plant growth.
  • Plant Resilience: Will influence how much water the plant will lose per day and its ability to avoid disease.
  • Farming’s Abundance: Controls the yield of plants when harvested.
  • Nature’s Abundance: Controls the abundance of fish and general forage.

Loot Rarity:

DifficultyFresh FoodCanned FoodMelee WeaponsRanged WeaponsAmmoMedicalSurvival EssentialsMechanicsLiteratureOther
Initial InfectionAbundantAbundantAbundantAbundantAbundantAbundantAbundantAbundantAbundantAbundant
BuilderRareRareExtremely RareExtremely RareExtremely RareExtremely RareExtremely RareExtremely RareExtremely RareExtremely Rare
One Week LaterCommonCommonCommonCommonCommonCommonCommonCommonCommonCommon
Six Months LaterRareRareRareRareRareRareRareRareRareRare

Survival Essentials: Seeds, Nails, Saws, Fishing Rods, various tools, etc…


DifficultyXP MultiplierStarter KitRear VulnerabilityWeapon Multi–HitStats DecreasePlayer–built Construction StrengthClothing DegradationInjury Severity
Initial Infection2.0YesHighNoNormalNormalNormalNormal
One Week Later1.0NoHighNoNormalNormalNormalNormal
Six Months Later1.0NoHighNoNormalNormalNormalNormal
  • Starter Kit: Spawn with chips, water bottle, school bag, baseball bat, and a hammer.
  • Player-built Construction Strength: Gives player-built constructions extra hit points so they are more resistant to zombie damage.
  • Injury Severity: Increase and decrease the impact injuries have on your body, and their healing time.
  • Clothing Degradation: Governs how quickly clothing degrades, becomes dirty, and bloodied.
  • Rear Vulnerability: Chance of being bitten when a zombie attacks from behind.
  • Weapon Multi-Hit: When enabled certain melee weapons will be able to strike multiple zombies in one hit.


DifficultyRecent Survivor VehiclesCar Spawn RateChance Has GasInitial GasLocked FrequencyGeneral ConditionCar Alarms Frequency
Initial InfectionHighHighHighVery HighExtremely RareHighExtremely Rare
ApocalypseLowLowLowLowRareLowExtremely Rare
SurvivorLowLowLowLowRareLowExtremely Rare
BuilderLowLowLowLowRareLowExtremely Rare
One Week LaterLowNormalHighNormalRareNormalRare
SurvivalLowLowLowLowRareLowExtremely Rare
Six Months LaterLowLowLowLowNeverVery LowNever
  • Recent Survivor Vehicles: Governs whether a player can discover a car that has been maintained and cared for after the infection struck.
  • Car Spawn Rate: Governs how frequently cars are discovered on the map
  • Chance Has Gas: Governs the chances of finding vehicles with gas in the tank.
  • Initial Gas: Governs how full gas tanks will be in discovered cars.
  • General Condition: General condition of vehicles discovered on the map
  • Car Alarms Frequency: How frequently cars will be discovered with an alarm.

Zombie Lore:

DifficultySpeedStrengthToughnessCognitionMemorySightHearingEnvironmental AttacksDrag Down
Initial InfectionShamblersWeakFragileNavigateShortPoorPoorYesYes
ApocalypseFast ShamblersNormalNormalBasic NavigationNormalNormalNormalNoYes
SurvivorFast ShamblersWeakNormalBasic NavigationNormalNormalNormalNoNo
BuilderFast ShamblersWeakFragileBasic NavigationNormalPoorPoorNoNo
One Week LaterFast ShamblersWeakNormalNavigationShortPoorPoorYesYes
SurvivalFast ShamblersNormalNormalBasic NavigationNormalNormalNormalNoYes
Six Months LaterFast ShamblersWeakNormalNavigationNormalNormalNormalYesYes
  • Speed: Controls the zombie movement rate.
  • Strength: Controls the damage zombies inflict per attack.
  • Toughness: Controls the difficulty to kill zombies.
  • Cognition: Controls zombie intelligence.
  • Memory: Controls how long zombies remember players after seeing or hearing.
  • Sight: Controls zombie vision radius.
  • Hearing: Controls zombie hearing radius.
  • Environmental Attacks: Zombies that have not seen or heard players can attack doors and constructions while roaming.
  • Drag Down: When enabled if multiple zombies are attacking they can drag you down to feed. Dependent on zombie strength.

Advanced Zombie Options:

DifficultyPopulation MultiplierPopulation Start MultiplierPopulation Peak MultiplierPopulation Peak DayRespawn HoursRespawn MultiplierFollow Sound DistanceRally Group SizeRally Travel DistanceRally Group Radius
Initial Infection0.50.51.050240.00.1100555
One Week Later1.00.91.230144.00.212030107
Six Months Later3.02.01.0572.00.53002003010

The number of zombies will grow over time regardless of the initial infection.

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