When you first start your character in Project Zomboid you will notice a pretty extensive tutorial menu appearing at the side on the in-game UI. This tutorial which teach you everything from the basics of movement in Project Zomboid, to combat. One of the things this tutorial doesn’t tell you however, is how to save. I will try my best to explain the save game system in Project Zomboid. This article will include how the game saves and where the save games are located.
Project Zomboid is in Steam’s early access program. This means that the game is still in development and subject to change. To keep up to date with the latest news, visit the official Project Zomboid website.
How to Save in Project Zomboid
Project Zomboid uses an auto-save feature. This means that the game will automatically save at certain points. By default, the game will save whenever you decide to exit the game. Whether that be an exit to the main menu or an exit to desktop. Each time you decide to start a new world in Project Zomboid that world will be saved as a different file. Simply starting a new character in an existing world will overwrite that world’s previous save.
But what is the game crashes? There is another point where the game will save in Project Zomboid. When you use a bed and sleep, the game will automatically save your progress to that point. That means if there is an unexpected crash and your game does not manage to save on exit, it will probably revert to the last time your character slept. There is currently no way to manually save the game outside of copying your save file and pasting it back again into the game’s save directory.
As the story of Project Zomboid goes, ‘this is how you died’.
How to Load a Save in Project Zomboid
If you have started multiple different games and are wondering how exactly you can load an old world, look no further! As you can see from the main menu there are a few different options. The first one reads Continue. By choosing the continue option you will immediately load into your latest saved game. This is just to go straight back into your game. There is another option under Continue which is Load. By pressing the load button, you will open up a list of all of your previous saves.
In the image above, you can see an example of all of my recent save games. This will not periodically save your game for backups, however. These are all different games with different settings. When your character dies in Project Zomboid, you can make another character. This new character will exist in the same world (and save) as the previous one. This will overwrite the previous character. Yes, death is permanent in Project Zomboid, there are no backup saves.
As aforementioned, if you truly do want to back up your saved games in case things go south, you will have to do so manually. Start by going to the save game location on your computer. Here, you can copy your current save and paste it somewhere else. If something detrimental does happen, you can drag this old save back into you save game folder and reload it as you wish.
Project Zomboid Save Game Location
By default, savegames are located in the following location on your PC:
Drive in this case, obviously means your C or D drive. Whichever is used by your computer to write by default. This doesn;t necessarily have to be the same drive that the game is installed on. Even though my game is saved on my D drive, my C drive holds my Project Zomboid save files. I imagine that whichever drive your windows is installed on will hold the save games.
From here if you wish to make backups of your saves or send them to a friend you can do so. Just simply copy the files and paste them in a safe location for later. Or, send them over to your friends who also have a copy of the game so they can play through your save. Save files for Project Zomboid are quite large. If you plan on having multiple save files, I recommend using a USB stick or another drive. You can change the save game location by following this guide.