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Project Zomboid helicopter: what is the helicopter in Project Zomboid?

Learn more about the Project Zomboid helicopter event

Looking for information on the Project Zomboid helicopter? If you just heard a helicopter flying overhead in Project Zomboid, you might feel very confused. There aren’t NPCs in Zomboid (right now) and working cars are hard enough to find. Unfortunately, you can’t see or pilot this helicopter yourself, but it can have a major impact on your world and potentially lead to deadly scenarios.

If you’ve heard the chopper and want to know what all the buzz is about, look no further. Below, we’ll explain everything you need to know about the Project Zomboid helicopter and other world events that can occur during a save.

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What is the helicopter in Project Zomboid?

The Project Zomboid helicopter is a world event that will occur once in every save, by default. On a random day in your world, the helicopter will appear and make a lot of noise as it travels overhead. This noise will attract zombies, potentially causing hordes to migrate as they follow the helicopter around. While it is not a physical object that you can interact with, the helicopter can and will spot you if you don’t hide during this event. You can hide in buildings or under cover, such as trees, but we recommend trying to set up a base in Project Zomboid early if you want to guarantee you've got somewhere safe to hide during this event.

When the helicopter spots you, it will follow you around for about a day. As mentioned above, this will make zombies move in your direction and could easily get you killed. With that in mind, do not go back to your base if you are spotted. If you do, zombies will follow and they won’t politely knock on the door. Instead, use this opportunity to lure zombies away, making them follow you down long highways or into forests far from your base.

How to avoid the Project Zomboid helicopter

If you’re concerned about getting caught as the helicopter flies over unannounced, you can use a radio to find out when this event will happen. To do this, you’ll need to use a radio to tune into the Automated Emergency Broadcast System, or AEBS. Radios are commonly found in houses, so we recommend hunting for one in Zomboid's suburban areas.

The frequency for the AEBS randomly generates each time you start a new save, so you'll have to spend some time tinkering with the radio if you want to tune into the emergency broadcast. You can tune into this channel every hour to learn about the weather forecast for the current and following day, upcoming extreme weather events, information about the power shut-off, and the helicopter event. The AEBS will announce when the helicopter event is scheduled to happen with the warning “Air activity detected”. If you hear this on the radio, the helicopter will randomly appear later that day.

A screenshot of Project Zomboid showing a player on a street at night, barricaded by some cars, as a swarm of zombies shamble towards them.

What are the gunfire and screams in Project Zomboid?

There is another in-game world event that can occur in Project Zomboid which happens more often. Once per day, you may hear gunfire or screams in the distance. Like the helicopter, you can’t actually find the source of these noises, but they will make zombies move in their general direction.

If you hear gunfire or screams in your Project Zomboid world, we recommend finding a building to hide in. While this might not be the most interesting response, it’ll certainly keep you alive and ready to survive another day. You should be able to hear any zombies that walk past the building, so simply stay put until the groans of the undead stop.

That’s everything you need to know about the helicopter event in Project Zomboid. If you're just starting on your apocalyptic adventure and want some more help, take a look at our Project Zomboid beginner's tips and tricks. If a zombie has attacked you and you're worried about getting ill, take a look at our Project Zomboid illness and infections guide.

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About the Author
Hayden Hefford avatar

Hayden Hefford

Former Guides Writer

Hayden was a guides writer for RPS between 2021-2023. They're a big fan of survival games, especially those that focus on the undead. Zombies. Walkers. Shamblers. Whatever you call them, Hayden is definitely a fan.