Project Zomboid has been one of the most successful hardcore top-down RPGs coming out of Steams early access program. Through constant development and updating the game’s player base has grown exponentially and deservedly so.
The latest stable beta build for Project Zomboid, Build 41, has seen a ton of new features and content added to the game. Features like the ability to exercise, new survival mechanics and actions and a bunch of other random things. One of the things unfortunately missing from the latest branch is multiplayer. As the multiplayer is not yet at a great playable state the option for multiplayer has been temporarily removed from the iwbums branch of the game. Luckily there is a way that you can still play multiplayer with a friend online through steam.
To stay up to date with the latest multiplayer development news you can check out the official developer blog. They recently released a statement regarding the multiplayer aspect of the beta version (Build 41) which you can read here.
Playing Online Co-op in Build 41
By utilizing Steam’s remote play together feature you can have another player from your steam friends join a local multiplayer game on your steam library. Check out this guide to setting up remote play together.
To start up a multiplayer game, connect a controller to your computer via bluetooth or USB. Start up a game as usual. The game natively supports coop for 2-4 players on one screen. You can start any save as usual if you plan to play multiplayer with friends over steam. Due to the drop-in drop-out functionality of the game, at any time more player can join in.
For starters, you will just need to launch the game and press shift+tab to open up the steam overlay. Once you have made it to the steam overlay, simply right click a friend and invite them to play together remotely. The other players can either play using the keyboard and mouse or a USB controller connected to their computers. Be aware due to input and video lag a decent internet connection is suggested for both players as streaming video games a lot of bandwidth.
Quick-Start Guide to Remote Play Project Zomboid
Here is a quick guide on how to get started with Project Zomboid multiplayer over Steam Remote PLay Together:
- Start up Project Zomboid on Steam
- Press the Shift+Tab key to open up the Steam overlay.
- Navigate to your friends list and right-click a friends name.
- Select the option Remote Play Together. This will open up the Remote Play panel where you can configure some settings.
- Your friends can play with a Steam Supported gamepad as long as it is connected to their computer. (From the panel you can also give them access to the mouse and keyboard if you would rather use the gamepad)
- On the second controller press the A button (If it’s an xbox controller) and select Add new player from the menu at the top-left of the screen.
- Create a character, decide a spawn location and enjoy playing the latest build of Project Zomboid with your friends in split-screen!
How Many Players?
Project Zomboid supports up to 4 players locally. When you invite others to play you are essentially just streaming you game to them and allowing them to also control things on the screen. The best part about playing Project Zomboid multiplayer over Steam is that the other players don’t even have to have the game to be able to play it in multiplayer.
If playing with only 2 players, the second player is able to use their mouse and keyboard if the first (host) player has a controller plugged in. That being said, if the second player also has a controller they can choose to use it through the Remote play feature as well! Simply connect the controller and select the option through the remote play together interface.
Native Multiplayer in Project Zomboid Build 41
Until build 41 has a stable release of multiplayer this is the only way that you can play the Build 41 of Project Zomboid together with friends. The developers have been sharing their successes and failures of their usual tests for the multiplayer branch of the game. You can check out the official Project Zomboid blog here to see how the developers are going with the multiplayer aspect of the game. On the latest multiplayer test some of the participants are describing that the general state of multiplayer is definitely improving but there is still some work to go in order to squash out the bugs and deliver a solid experience.