An Exhaustive List of Ridiculously Detailed Survival Features in Project Zomboid

Should I wear this cap like Fred Durst or my dad?

If you’re looking for an in-depth survival game set in a zombie apocalypse, Project Zomboid is one of the most ambitious. It’s complex, ruthless, and more welcoming than it seems. For the first couple hours, the experience embraces you with complete freedom and a myriad of mechanics, from hotwiring cars to banding together with others in multiplayer. But when you least expect it, you need to make all sorts of silly decisions as you try to understand why the developers went this hard with the survival aspect.

The depth of Project Zomboid is both daunting and hilarious, showcased in an array of features that are detailed to a ridiculous degree. Back in 2018, the Early Access release of Devolver Digital’s Scum left me in awe with its in-depth metabolism monitoring screen, displaying vitamin and mineral levels individually, among other stats. I also have fond memories of desperately looking for shelter in The Long Dark to do a quick calorie count so my character wouldn’t die from hypothermia. But both of these games are in full 3D. Despite its simpler interface and almost minimalistic approach to visual style, the features in Project Zomboid help to create a sense of immersion that would otherwise be lost in its isometric view.

After I spent dozens of hours worrying about my body wetness rather than whether or not I was infected, here are a couple personal favorites that stood out.

An Exhaustive List of Ridiculously Detailed Survival Features in Project Zomboid

  • Before you equip a cap, the game asks if you want to wear the visor forward or backwards.
  • You can sterilize bandages with boiling water.
  • While using the oven, you can choose between Fahrenheit or Celsius for the temperature.
  • If you don’t have bandages, you can use stripped sheets instead.
  • Sheets work great as curtains as well, preventing zombies from spotting you inside houses.
  • If you can’t find a safe place to rest, you can sleep in a car.
  • But there is a chance of a nightmare waking you up regardless of where you sleep.
  • Sleeping tablets exist in Project Zomboid, as well as antidepressants.
  • You shouldn’t mix them with alcohol.
  • Heavy mist occasionally appears, which you can use to your advantage to take a screenshot and post “just like Silent Hill lol” on Twitter for two likes and one unfollow.

  • Reading books reduces your stress. Apparently I should read more.
  • If you find a wrist watch, keeping it in your inventory or equipping it on your wrist automatically displays the in-game time.
  • If it’s a digital watch, you can also see the date and temperature.
  • Digital watches also come with an alarm, which can be great to wake up your character at a certain time or to attract that one zombie you were trying to avoid when it suddenly goes off.
  • TV news shows can keep you up to date with the changing weather and time of day. There’s even a whole ass TV schedule with a few shows that can help you level up specific skills depending on the moment you tune in.
  • You can watch a VHS tape called The Danger In Your Bed, amidst others.
  • If you have a pair of headphones or earbuds, you can listen to the radio without alerting any undead neighbors.
  • Eating burnt food can increase your unhappiness and boredom levels.
  • Cutting a watermelon will give you 10 slices of it — or you can just eat an entire pineapple.
  • Cutting a piece of bread will give you three slices. Not two nor four. Three. This makes no fucking sense.
  • If you don’t have the Nutritionist trait, you can only see the nutritional values of packaged food.
  • Just like the Squirrel-on-a-Stick in Fallout games, dead mice are a common snack in Project Zomboid.
  • How thick are those bread slices anyway??
  • You can collect rainwater using coffee mugs, because perseverance is the last thing we lose.
  • Your character will only crouch fully if they’re close to a wall, fence, or car.
  • Your character can be both Agoraphobic and Claustrophobic at the same time, fearing both indoors and outdoors simultaneously. Though this is comical and somewhat relatable, it’s still ridiculous.
  • It’s likely that your clothes will get damaged. You can use individual patches to repair them, and these will actually be displayed on your character.
  • No one prevents you from being in your underwear. In fact, it can be helpful during the Summer so your character doesn’t get too hot (the opposite happens during Winter). You won’t have any scratch resistances as a result, though.
  • If you create a character with a Male-type body, you can choose whether or not to have chest hair.
  • You can monitor the core temperature and body heat of your character in real time. An expanded menu also indicates current Skin Temperature, Shivering/Perspiration, Body Wetness, Clothing Wetness, Insulation, and Wind Resistance. Yeah…
  • I don’t even know what else to say about the menu for individual vehicle parts. Judge it yourself:

Project Zomboid Features List 1

  • You can exercise at any time (squats, push-ups, sit-ups, burpees, and more!), but this will cause fatigue on the affected body parts the next day.
  • You can plumb your sink.
  • If you’re crouched and press Q, which opens up the emote wheel, you can whisper at zombies, which is helpful when attracting them individually from larger groups.
  • Combining cigarettes with water and a gardening spray can to create an insecticide spray can, which is great for farming.
  • Depending on your difficulty settings, you can expect both water and power cuts across the city after a couple in-game days or weeks.
  • There is also a random event where a helicopter will get close to your location, making enough noise to attract pretty much every zombie in the vicinity, for no fucking reason. Like, whoever is piloting it isn’t there to rescue you or anything. The best you can do is either hide so the helicopter can’t see you and wait, or find somewhere far from your base so it’s not overrun by zombies.
  • I had an actual power cut while writing this piece, which was a bit on the nose.