Does Loot Respawn in Project Zomboid?

One of the most important parts of hardcore survival RPG Project Zomboid is the loot that can be obtained out in the world. With hardcore mechanics such as hunger, thirst and a full medical and injury system you will need to constantly loot or find new items in order to survive and thrive. One of the aspects of the systems that isn’t explained is whether or not loot actually respawns in the game. I’ll talk a little about the loot spawning options and sliders and what settings the game has by default on each difficulty setting, By the end of this you will know if loot respawns in Project Zomboid or not.


Loot Respawn Explained

How Long Does Loot Take To Respawn in Project Zomboid?

Changing The Loot Respawn Settings


What Does Respawning Loot Actually Mean?

In video games, respawning is a term used for an item or character coming back when they have perished or been removed. In terms of loot, respawning would be new items appearing in the container to replace the items that have been taken out. This makes sure that the game never runs out of items and resources in a video game. If resources never respawned the player would hopefully have other means of aquiring the items needed to play the game.

a Player looting food and water in a Project zomboid kitchen
Looting is one of the most important parts of the game

Let’s say for example that the player was to loot all of the containers on a certain house in Muldraugh. The loot may eventually be refreshed and new items available in that house. This is called respawning loot. If the player leaves the area and comes back after say, 3 days there may be new items inside. The rate at which loot respawns in Project Zomboid is subject to the world settings defined by either picking a difficulty level, server settings or changing the world settings when starting a custom sandbox game.

How Long Does Loot Actually Take To Respawn?

Depending on the server setting for Project Zomboid, items in multiplayer may respawn. If you want to know the exact rates and times that loot will respawn you should contact the server administrator. By default in Project Zomboid on all difficulty levels from Apocalypse to Builder the loot is set to never respawn. If you have chosen one of the games difficulty settings then I’m sorry to say that once you have looted a house the containers will never be refreshed.

If you do want loot to respawn there are two settings that can be changed within the game’s custom sandbox configuration that I will talk about now. If you select a custom sandbox from the start menu of the game you are able to completely customize your world and zombie setting experience. 2 values in these settings can effect how the loot respawns in the world once the player has already taken it. In the sandbox options go into the section on the left which is titled “World”. This includes some general settings and options for the world.

Two settings that change how long it takes for loot to respawn in project zomboid build 41
The two settings for loot respawning

There are two values we are looking for in these settings, Loot Respawn and Loot Seen Prevent Hours.

Project Zomboid Loot Settings Explained

By tampering with the setting sof the world the player is able to have loot respawn across the map. This can be customized with drop down menus for two different settings aforementioned and shown in the image above. The first loot setting that I’d like to talk about is the Loot Respawn setting.

Loot Respawn

The Loot Respawn value governs how long it takes for loot to actually respawn back from a container which it has been taken. Select the drop down box and you will see a bunch of different possible time settings for loot to respawn in. Obviously by choosing a value such as One day, loot will respawn 24 hours after the player had looted the containers of that certain place.

The loot respawn setting changes how long it takes for loot to respawn in project zomboid
Different time settings for loot respawn

As you can see in the image above there are 5 different time periods for loot respawn. Each time period refers to in-game days, not real life. The 5 time settings are:

  • None: Loot will never respawn. This is the default setting in Project Zomboid for all difficulty levels.
  • Every Day: Loot will respawn every single day.
  • Every Week: Every 7 days loot will respawn.
  • Every Month: Every 30 in-game days loot respawns.
  • Every 2 Months: Every 60 in-game days loot will respawn. This is the longest loot respawn period.

All of these time periods are dependent on the other loot respawn value however, which will be discussed below.

Loot Seen Prevent Hours

The Loot Seen prevent Hours is another setting which changes how loot respawns in Project Zomboid. This one might need a little bit more explaining than the Loot Respawn setting, however. In this box, you can input whatever number you wish. You pick an amount of hours that will decide how long the player has to be away from an area before it will start to respawn. For example, If the Loot Respawn value is set to One Day and the Loot Seen Prevent Hours is set to 4 hours, the loot will only start to respawn 4 hours after the player has left the area of the loot. If the player returns to the area and the 4 hours are not up, the value will be reset again and you will have to wait another 4 hours for the loot to start to respawn.

the loot seen prevent hours setting in Project zomboid
The Loot Seen Prevent Hours Value

One of the reasons this value is important is that if a player decides to take over a building that was already generated in the game and stays there. If this value is set to 0 hours and the loot respawn rate is set to a day then loot will respawn in the player’s base every single day making it very easy to farm and taking away a lot of immersion. Adding at least 1 hour to the Loot Seen Prevent Hours time will mean that the player will have to not be in the area of the loot for at least an hour before it starts to respawn. This kind of setting encourages the player to loot different areas of the map rather than stay in one place constantly looting.


In the current stage of the game, picking any of the default difficulty options will mean that loot will never respawn in your game. You can change the default settings of any of the difficulties with the custom sandbox option from the main menu when starting a new game. If playing multiplayer, consult the admin as the settings for loot respawn are customization and are likely to have been changed from the default value.

Related: How to Forage in Project Zomboid | The 5 Most Popular Project Zomboid Map Mods