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The basic idea of Zombie Panic! Source is to create a solid gameplay that is based on a classic zombie outbreak scenario. The living dead are coming for the last remaining humans, and these survivors must fight them off and live through the day.

The game works like this:

At the start of each round, players can either choose to join the human team or volunteer to be the first zombie. If no one volunteers the game will pick one human randomly, and the game begins! The starter zombie's goal is to kill the humans while the human goal is to stay alive as long as possible, complete objectives, or even wipe out all the zombies. The catch is that when a human dies he will simply join the ranks of the undead, now ready to finish off his old living teammates. The humans can't tell by the player list who is alive and who is undead.

Eventually, there will only be one survivor still standing if everything goes wrong, his back against the wall while facing the animated corpses of his former allies. In a survival round, the zombies team only has a certain number of reinforcements (lives), and when a zombie is killed they lose a life from the counter. However, when a human is killed they gain 1 life. When the zombies run out of lives, the remaining survivors win the round by killing off the remaining undead left on the map. In objective rounds, zombies get an unlimited number of lives while the humans must complete a variety of map-based objectives to win.

Human abilities and advantages:

  • Speed - A zombie can only run at about 80% of the top speed of a human player. Though, the more weaponry and ammo a human picks up, the more it will slow him down, making him an easy target for the undead. If they are carrying nothing, a human can easily outrun a zombie. Watch out so you don't get cornered...
  • Weapons - The humans have a wide selection of weapons to use for defending themselves, like firearms, explosives and melee weapons. It is essential for humans to locate weapons and ammo around the map in order to survive, since they only spawn with a random melee weapon and handgun scavenging is a must. Remember that inventory space is limited and hogging weapons will merely slow a survivor down, so sharing with teammates is a must!
  • Numbers - At the beginning of the round, there are only from 1-3 zombies, depending on how populated the server is. Everyone else is a survivor. This means that they can easily watch each other's backs and provide cover fire. However, once their ammo starts to run dry and they begin to squabble amongst themselves for the few precious clips of ammo available.
  • Communication - Instead of typing messages to each other (occupying busy hands), which can be really dangerous when the zombies are lurking in the shadows, the humans have the ability to communicate by voice commands. There is a menu with several commonly-used commands that can help the survivors to organize a defense, trade ammunition and request help.
  • Panic! - Drop everything but what is in your hand and flee! This grants a temporary speed boost, allowing for a quick getaway, but use it wisely. More often than not, panicking just staves off a survivor's inevitable doom.

Zombie abilities and advantages:

  • Regeneration - Over time, zombies regenerate hit points, making it more difficult for survivors to make the undead dead.
  • Carrier - The first Zombie of the round differ a lot from the other undead - he looks different, sounds different, and has abilities that the average zombie can only dream of. He is the Carrier! With the power to infect people (10% infection chance per hit by default), he will cause panic and paranoia amongst the living. He also has the ability to roar, summoning other zombies to his aid.
  • Persistence - Zombies might seem to die often, but they won't give up. They just keep re-spawning over and over until your pistol runs out of bullets, your back is to the wall, and there is no escape.
  • Numbers - Later on in the game, as the undead ranks swell with a fresh dead, the last few humans will find their superior weaponry of small comfort for the hordes of zombies closing in.
  • Zombie Vision - Zombies can't use flashlights, so they have the ability to use Zombie Vision. Z-vision works in a way that it brightens up any possible light source in a room to make it more viewable. More importantly, when humans get tired, they start to glow blood red, making it easier for a zombie to track their prey. To prevent games of hiding and seek a survivor who just sits still will also start to glow red through sheer terror of the unknown.

We want the game to feel creepy and give you a sense of desperation, and yet not take itself so seriously that you can't laugh at the way you just died. Overall, fun and playability is the priority, and while realism and horror are important, those things are just a bonus when possible. We want a game that you can easily play with groups of any size, even with small or uneven numbers. Plus, there's a certain sense of satisfaction in tearing apart those heartless survivors who failed to protect you while you were alive, limb from limb.


See you there!

-Zombie Panic! Team

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RSS Articles

After 2 years in public beta testing, the ZPS v3.1 update is finally OUT for everyone! Time to gather your fellow survivors, carry only what you need, and split some zombie skulls! The update features the long-awaited Linux support, brand new animations, achievements, and melee weapons, improvements to classic maps, game balance adjustments, countless bug and exploit fixes, community-made content, Steam Workshop enhancements and much more!

Update Notes

Highlighted Features

  • Linux Client support for Ubuntu and SteamOS machines.
  • Revamped recoil system to allow players to have more control
  • Major source code clean-up and rewrite from the ground up to remove all code from HL2DM.
  • New first-person and third-person animations for firearms, explosives and cell phone.
  • Improvements to player hitbox registration synchronizing with the player's model animation.
  • Reworked the melee system with 'hit rays', creating an arc of line tracers in the player's FOV.
  • Enhancements to the Steam Workshop support with additional "Add-ons" menu.
  • Implemented Steam Rich Presence.
  • 30 new Steam Achievements.

Key Changes

We have plenty of new content hidden in the update that we couldn't fail to mention! Here are some of these minor but important changes you should know...

  • Unarmed survivor's punch and push abilities.
  • A 30-60 second warm-up round after a map change.
  • Support for crosshair customization and style, available in ZP Options.
  • A portable inoculator for self-heal, healing your teammates or delaying the infection.
  • New sound effects, three new melee weapons, and a brand-new grenade model.
  • Achievements can now be earned on Custom Servers and Levels (the official map restriction still applies).
  • New community-made content added officially into the game for Survivor and Zombie textures.
  • Zombie are able to see their teammates glowing through nearby walls within a short range.
  • Glock 18c is now a fully automatic weapon, but is much more inaccurate than other pistols.
  • Biotec and Club Zombo have been redesigned with visual and gameplay improvements.
  • New Game Instructor hints for survivors and zombies regarding basic gameplay.
  • Feed-O-Meter now automatically regenerates slowly over time.
  • New Berserk zombie bar, now separate from the Feed-O-Meter.
  • New options for classic, modern and minimal ammo bank HUD visuals.
  • Improvements to voice wheel menu system.
  • New "Round End" stats panel.
  • New UI vote menu panel.
  • Updated ZPS Angelscript API doc.

General Bugs Fixed

We also want to take a moment to address some of the v3.0.9a issues that have caused problems for years and have finally been fixed in v3.1!

  • Fixed "scooby-doo" survivor walking animations.
  • Fixed spectator camera freeze bug when joining servers.
  • Fixed fake player ragdolls spawning in mid-air at the center position of the map.
  • Fixed SDK 2013's QuickTime video provider issue, using Bink instead.
  • Fixed randomly infected Survivor not turning into a Carrier if needed.
  • Fixed a bug during map changelevel through RTV/admin command.
  • Fixed Steam Workshop mounting for Dedicated Servers.
  • Fixed many client game crashes and memory leakage.
  • Fixed lobby players spawning outside the lobby room.
  • Fixed weight issue with delivery items and grenades.
  • Fixed all ZPS Steam Achievements reported broken.
  • Various security and stability improvements.

Public Beta Overview

It has been a long and difficult road during the public beta testing period for this update. Essentially, the goal of the beta was supposed to be a major code rewrite to address the unfixable bugs from v3.0.9a which would be released as soon as possible. However, as time went on, we began work on a bunch of new features and game changes that would affect other areas of the game, especially regarding game balance. This, along with community and playtester feedback, made us realize how awful some things were functioning in the game, and that forced us to continue working on these issues for a while instead of shipping what was planned at first. That also meant more things to fix, monitor, and playtest, further delaying the release of 3.1 to the public, and even more minor issues had to be shelved due to complexity, necessity, or time constraints.

We've expanded this update beyond its original scope and we're sorry for this inconvenience. Hopefully, we can continue to focus on releasing frequent quality-of-life updates in the future, rather than holding off for a huge patch that could take many months to develop. We want to thank everyone who has supported us and helped us with the beta testing of 3.1, and everyone who has provided their feedback in the forums!

Lastly, here is the list of major changes we've made since the Beta 5 release based on community feedback:

  • The new character Larry has been postponed indefinitely due to voice recording issues.
  • Major adjustments to the recoil system for rifles and pistols, removing the static pattern (on-going).
  • Removed walking and running accuracy penalties. Jumping was moderately reduced. Crouching still improves your aim very slightly (untouched since release).
  • Refined the objective list panel, now it uses the O key instead of using the phone. You can now also walk and move while in this screen.
  • Removed the "Custom Server" tab that was separating community servers from vanilla and official servers if they were running any modified plugins.
  • Reduced ALL melee hit arcs slightly, preventing players from hitting areas that they weren't really aiming at (on-going).
  • All prop_door_rotating props in official maps have had their speed increased by 150 (default) and their breakable HP tweaked.
  • Various changes to player movement values, making movement smoother for both teams (e.g. climbing ladders is faster now).
  • New optional classic ammobank adapted for v3.1.
  • Reverted both Revolver and Remmy models and textures to the stock versions.
  • Added Characters Update by Mage and Silent.

Known Issues

  • Barricade hammer still uses the new system - we're planning to revert it soon.
  • [Linux] Users may experience their main game menu to be completely blank due VGUI.
  • [Linux] NVIDIA users with Nouveau might face few problems related to anti-aliasing (AA), causing a black screen. If you're getting this, please disable your anti-aliasing to fix this issue.

You can check the FULL list of v3.1 changes in our Changelog thread.

What's Next?

We've invested quite a bit of energy and time into other stuff behind the scenes that were put on hold during the development of the version 3.1 update, but there are plans for this content and other new features to be released to the public. We'll be sharing these features with the community in the near future, and we hope that you will give your input on what sort of new content should be added to the game by responding to community threads and public surveys!

In the meantime, enjoy the update as much as you can and be sure to tell us what you think in our Steam Discussion forums!

v3.1 Beta Update 5

v3.1 Beta Update 5

News 2 comments

Recoil revamp, game balance changes, Linux support and more!

Happy Holidays! - v3.1 Status Update

Happy Holidays! - v3.1 Status Update

News 1 comment

Happy holiday wishes from us, and a status update on the next v3.1 beta patch.

Beta Update - Requiring Linux Testers

Beta Update - Requiring Linux Testers


We've shipped an update to the public beta with many improvements and fixes. We're also looking for Linux testers to verify our upcoming Linux client...

Dev Blog - Upcoming Major Balance Changes

Dev Blog - Upcoming Major Balance Changes

News 1 comment

We'd like to finally share more improvements to the game's balance that you all have been asking for, and some that we felt was necessary!

RSS Files
WorkHazard OST

WorkHazard OST


Pithole (WorkHazard) OST made by our sound designer KaempeLaeske

Zomboeing OST

Zomboeing OST


Zomboeing OST made by our sound designer KaempeLaeske.

FrozenHeart OST

FrozenHeart OST


FrozenHeart OST made by our sound designer KaempeLaeske.

ZPS - Horde

ZPS - Horde

Music 2 comments

New Zombie Panic: Source ambient track "Horde" - By KillahMo

ZPS - Barricade System

ZPS - Barricade System


Zombie Panic: Source v1.5 will introduce the ZPS Barricade System. Here is a short preview of it in action. (Note: The HUD display is not visible in the...

ZPS - Descent

ZPS - Descent

Music 1 comment

New Zombie Panic: Source ambient track "Descent" - By KillahMo

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One of the best mod out there!!!

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Amazing mod !!! :)

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i needed No More Room In Hell soundstracks for zps! very good

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verry good !!!!!!!!!

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good job on the constant updates! i might come back to it if the player count grows a bit )

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Well...this is the greatest HL2 mod I've ever play! and i hope you guys can keep your hard works on the new mod! it looks awesome!

Dec 15 2010 by oceaneyes


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