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Project Zomboid Build 42: Release Date Window, All New Content, & Everything We Know So Far

Posted on by justin
(Estimated Read Time: 9 minutes)
Project Zomboid updates are often massive shakeups that add valuable new features to the game while updating old ones, and we can expect nothing less from Project Zomboid Build 42, the next major update in line. It’s been over a year since the developers released Build 41, and with its features now fully explored, it's natural that players are looking forward to what's next. So what new game mechanics can we expect, and when can we expect the Project Zomboid Build 42 release date? Here's what we know so far from the game's developers, The Indie Stone.

What's Coming in Project Zomboid Build 42?

Project Zomboid Build 42 Project Zomboid developer The Indie Stone first announced that Build 42 would be one of the highlighted updates for 2022. However, different challenges arose that delayed the update’s release. Still, all is not lost, as the developers continue to update the fans of the game with details regarding the development of the upcoming patch. In a March 2023 article on the Project Zomboid official blog, the developers announced that they’re still not at a point of releasing a stable Build 42 soon. Nonetheless, we now know what to expect when Build 42 finally arrives in Project Zomboid.

Performance Updates

Even though The Indie Stone released Project Zomboid over a decade ago, the game continues to adapt to modern computer processing standards. However, some CPUs and GPUs still have trouble handling the heavy requirements to render multiple elements simultaneously. Build 42 aims to correct some problems associated with the game’s graphical performance. That way, more players can play the game than before without relying on mid to high-end CPUs and GPUs to enjoy it to its fullest.

Additional Orientations For Stairs

At the time of writing, players can only set stairs that face in the north and west directions. In Build 42, players should now be able to orient stairs that face the north, west, east, and south.

Enhanced Lighting System

Currently, Project Zomboid players on Build 41 are experiencing lighting at the tile level. That means that light sources rely on the tiles’ locations to produce ambient lighting. For example, the area around you will darken if you lock yourself in a cupboard or locker. When Build 42 arrives in the game, lighting should follow a more ambient style than before. For instance, barricading the windows in a room won’t leave your character in complete darkness. Instead, the game’s algorithm should follow a “natural” scheme, wherein the room should still be fairly visible, thanks to the ambient glow from outside.

Variable Height Limitations

If you were to develop buildings in Project Zomboid now, the maximum height would always be eight stories. With the upcoming Build 42, the developers aim to redefine how players create buildings and structures with a variable height system. In particular, height restrictions will now depend on the land. It may also be possible that some players could develop 32-story buildings in suitable locations. Apart from building skyscrapers, it would also be possible to develop underground bases. Build 42 will introduce basements to the game, providing more hideouts and storage space options.

Negative Map Coordinates

One of the main challenges the developers mentioned for Project Zomboid is the need for negative map coordinates. Without those distinct geographic positions, the game’s map has difficulty expanding. The developers aim to change that restriction with Build 42. With the addition of negative map coordinates, Knox Country’s map should continue northwards and westwards, giving players more room to explore.

Revamped Crafting System

In a July 22 blog post, developer Indie Stone said that they're focusing on a survivor's extended survival in the months or years beyond day zero of the Knox Event outbreak. So, the studio is revamping the crafting system to have more "RPG-like variable attributes." In particular, the game's crafting system will depend on the creator's relevant skill.

Expanded Map

Knox Country is about to get bigger than usual when Build 42 launches. A September 1 post mentions that the developing studio is pushing the map "on all sides."

Animated Doors

Soon, the days of doors flipping between open and closed will be over. In Build 42, doors now have proper opening and closing animations, enhancing the game's immersion. Gates also get the animated treatment in the upcoming major patch.


Melee weapon lovers, rejoice! Soon, you can craft short-range weapons like knives, spiked clubs, and spears in Project Zomboid through blacksmithing. This crafting mechanic will also have unique tiers, materials, and workstations.

Gas Station Overhaul

Build 42 also lets players change how gas stations function. In particular, players can alter if gas pumps have an infinite or finite fuel through new gas station settings. Plus, some enhancements to vehicle visuals will arrive, including a fuel-side indicator icon and visible fuel caps.

New Voices

Creating a new character in Project Zomboid will become more immersive than before, thanks to new voice sets. In Build 42, players can choose between four male and four female voices at the character creation stage. These voices include whispering, shouting, and combat variants.

Gear Recommendations

Many fans of Project Zomboid know that the game tries to dabble in realism as much as possible, and this idea is enhanced in Build 42. In particular, gear and clothing will have set definitions. For example, wearing a bulky jacket will require the player to use appropriately sized arm guards. Additionally, certain pieces of clothing can affect other traits. For instance, wearing a helmet or mask can impair your character's vision, reducing the ability to detect zeds from certain angles.

Other Changes In Build 42

Aside from the planned updates mentioned, the developers also plan to include the following changes and improvements with Project Zomboid Build 42:
  • Additional background sounds
  • New mass media-related items, including music CDs, VHS tapes, and home-recorded tapes
  • New locations like electrical power stations with pylons
  • Introduction of domestic and wild animals
  • Additional zombie growls and screams
  • Additional TV and radio channels
  • Fluid mixing (e.g., creating a hair dye color)
  • Enhanced visuals when playing at 4K resolution
  • Additional signs outside stores and churches
  • A Wild West tourist attraction, complete with appropriately themed undead

Project Zomboid Build 42 Release Date Window Revealed

Project Zomboid Build 42 Release Date At the time of writing, there is no official Project Zomboid Build 42 release date. However, The Indie Stone, the game's developers, has revealed a release date window, which is that we will have the update by the end of 2024. This vague window was explained by the developer in a post which reads, "...we don't like giving out long-range external ETAs; we take pride in our non-crunch work environment, where developers are freer to work to their potential without outside pressure. However, we can say that B42 will be out this year". Nonetheless, you can enjoy everything about Project Zomboid Build 41 along the way with a dedicated server here!
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