Like a lot of people over Christmas, New Year, and the following months, I chose to ignore everything and everyone to play Project Zomboid. The early access zombie survival game received a huge update just in time for the holidays, transforming the game. But for some people, it might not be enough. For those who want more, Zomboid has been in early access on Steam for over nine years now, and it has a healthy mod scene thriving amidst the undead.
The best Project Zomboid mods
Modders moved swiftly to support version 41 of Zomboid, so there’s plenty of add-ons to make the game more (or less) appealing. The hardcore nature of the game’s survival mechanics make for a great, long-term project, but they don’t offer an easy route or a long life. A few mods below will solve that issue, while others will build out areas of the game that are somewhat lacking.
Below, you'll find a list of our favourite Project Zomboid mods, as well as how to install them. And remember, if you're after a more general list of tips and tricks to get better at the game, be sure to check out our Project Zomboid beginner's guide on how to survive the apocalypse as well.
- Bedford Falls
- Raven Creek
- Eris Minimap
- True Actions
- Expanded Helicopter Events
- Better Lock Picking
- Just Throw Them Out The Window
- Authentic Z
How to mod Project Zomboid
There’s nothing complicated about modding Zomboid. Everything you need is available within the game’s Steam Workshop. To download anything listed below, you just need to subscribe to the linked mod. PZ has a mod menu in-game, which lets you enable and disable any mods.
Bedford Falls by ringod123
The town made famous by ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ is also one of the better community maps. The town of Bedford Falls was clearly hit hard by the end times. The streets are littered with cars, far more than in any official map. About half the map is given over to a rigorously planned urban sprawl, where the houses and streets are neatly squared away. There’s the foreboding mass of an asylum in one corner. The rest is fairly rural, with a lot of the landmass ripe for any survivalist looking to hide away from the horde.Download Bedford Falls
Raven Сreek by DavidBlane
On the opposite end of the level spectrum, Raven Creek is a dense city map. It has an abundance of everything, which is a blessing and a curse. Zomboid usually tries to balance out the maps, but Raven Creek is a towering city in comparison to the rest of the areas. Blocks and blocks of wide roads, tall buildings. Seedy feeling warehouse areas. Every building has potential to fill your inventory, but they’re not easy places to loot, given how prevalent the undead are. This is a map designed for multiplayer raids, not solo city-dwelling. Get in, get out, don’t get zombied.
Eris Minimap by eris
Potentially controversial, because a lot of Zomboid’s apparent appeal is in the struggle, which includes learning and revealing the maps. But I genuinely can’t live without Eris Minimap. The replacement minimap (the game has a crude one) shows off the entire world right away. It can swap between top-down and isometric views, tells you coordinates and follows the day night cycle. It will also show you visible zombies. It can track other players in multiplayer. It has a lot of information the base game probably doesn’t want you to have immediately available, but it can be an invaluable add-on if you’re struggling a bit too much in the horrific environment.
Antibodies by lonegamedev
Antibodies presents a more interesting take on the game’s infection mechanic, by treating it like an illness. The mod makes it possible to fight against a zombie bite: rest up, stay fed, take it easy, and entertain yourself. Doing so will give your body the opportunity, over 2-3 days, to create the antibodies to fight off your potential zombie-fication. I like it, simply because it adds a mechanic where self-care is an option to those who might otherwise be overwhelmed. I am a big fan of being cosy. It has a huge number of variables in its menu, letting you tweak how the rest of your condition will affect your recovery, and it works on servers.
True Actions by iBrRus
The first thing I tried to do in Zomboid was have a nice sit down and take stock of what the hell was going on. The problem was that the game didn’t allow that to happen. The stock game still only has limited use of the chairs and furniture that litter the area, and True Actions does what it can to fix that.
So now, yes, you can have a nice rest on that plastic lawn chair, or have a lie down on a bed to make everything feel just a bit more comfortable. Though, amusingly, engine restrictions mean they don’t always work: “Lying is not available on some beds that face north or west. Due to the limitations of the game engine, you can only sit on objects directed to the south and east.” Just pretend it has something to do with feng shui. This also requires Tsar's Common Library.
Expanded Helicopter Events by shark
Zomboid’s helicopter is terrifying: a thudding, invisible call to all the undead in the area that follows you around. But that’s as much as it does, and it can be devastating and feel very unfair, forcing you to survive away from your base without many benefits. Expanded Helicopter Events makes the chopper a more welcome attraction.
For one, you can hide from the blasted things. An indicator that shows you where the chopper is (depending on your character’s vision traits) will let you plan a little, and a chopper directly above the player will cast a shadow. Cover will allow you to cower away from the patrol.
There are several types of helicopter now. Military choppers that will, eventually, fight both the zombies and players. FEMA helicopters that can drop supplies. Other survival groups can bring their own helicopters into the area. And they can crash, enabling players to hide in the wreckage and loot it for supplies. All in all, this is a must-have mod.
Better Lock Picking by Aiteron
Another somewhat under baked mechanic in Zomboid is building access. Better Lock Picking adds better burglary skills to the game, enabling you to brute force your way into a number of buildings. With the correct tools, you can pick a lock to access a building. To complement your burglary ways, you can burst open locks, break into windows with crowbars, and hotwire cars. You can also check potential targets for alarms.
Lock picking adds the standard lock picking mini-game from all games ever (you twist the tools to find the sweet spot, crowbars must be used at the right time, and carjacking is a colour matching game). It requires the Profession Framework to run.
Just Throw Them Out The Window by Co
Zombie problems: you survive an invasion in your base, but now your upstairs is littered with corpses. Just Throw Them Out The Window is the solution to that. Defenestrate those zombies.
Authentic Z by Peach
Though it primarily presents itself as an outfit distribution mod, Authentic Z has a huge number of changes to the game that outstrip its humble claims. To start off, it adds 140 new outfits to the game, and places them in the correct zones. So you’ll find “Hunter Zombies at isolated cabins and hunting stands”, or “Student and Varsity zombies at schools”. It’s heavily influenced by George Romero’s costumed zombies from his movies, and a lot of them will show up.
It’s the zombie hit-list that makes this really shine. Somewhere in the game, you’ll find a list of special zombies to keep an eye out for. They’re picked from the mods list, and categorised. From slightly less generic undead, like fisherman or cops, to famous characters like Shaun of the Dead, or Jill Valentine. It’s a really simple addition, but incredibly satisfying when you deduce that, yes, that is a Jill Valentine zombie, and you cross her off the list.