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27 players online: 6 of them fighting in 2 battles, 0 waiting for battle, 21 idling in chat (1282 played this month)

Welcome to Zero-K

Zero-K is a free, multiplatform, open-source RTS game where massive robot armies fight an endless conflict. It has a powerful interface allowing players precision control over high level economic, strategic and tactical decisions. Units interact intuitively using real projectile and movement physics. It boasts over 100 diverse units including Vehicles, Tanks, Hovercraft, Planes, Gunships, Ships, Spiders walkers and dozens of different robots offering unique strategies and constantly moving combat.

or just view the media

Some of the more prominent features:

  • Epic Scale from tiny flea-bots to huge mechs and gigantic superweapons that wreak havoc - hundreds or thousands of units on the battlefield, all easily viewable with a fully pannable and zoomable camera.
  • Realistic Physics mean each shot is physically simulated realtime - you can actually evade bullets if you micro-manage your units! Hills and terrain affect line of sight and radar coverage, and explosions deform the terrain.
  • Planet Wars lets you take control of your own planet and fight for survival in an ongoing online campaign!

  • Natural Balance allows units to depend on their natural characteristics and the benefits of the simulated environment, not contrived special damages to determine their effectiveness.
  • Terraforming - change the terrain: walls, ditches, ramps and more, to provide yourself with an extra tactical advantage.
  • Unique Abilities make sure units are fun to use! From jump-jets, gravity turrets, mobile shields, burning napalm, air drops, commander morphs, EMP, minelayers, burrowers, replicators, and teleporters - we've got it all and more!
  • Streamlined Economy - the economic system is complex without being tedious, with a simple interface and controls. Resources are unlimited and output can be scaled up as the game progresses, allowing for increasingly intense battles. The system is also designed to minimize slippery slope and allow skilled players to make comebacks from losing positions.

Some of the many units to try out include:

There are many even more amazing features, but listing them isn't as fun as trying them out yourself, so visit our Downloads page!

Zero-K is made by the players, for the players. All the game developers are active and experienced players. Balance and fun are assured.

Zero-K v1.4.2.5 - Dynamic Commanders

The core of this release is the dynamic commanders system - commanders with customization ingame instead of pregame. Drone carriers received a nerf intended to make them worse at sustaining a battle when covered by AA, they will want to retreat and re-stock. This release took a while so there are also many miscellaneous fixes.


Commanders can now be configured during the game.
  • Pick the modules for each level upon upgrading your commander (with the cog command).
  • Use site profiles to store and name your favorite loadouts.
  • Decorations are also applied through the site. Ordinary unlocks will be removed.

We have finally removed the Strike and Battle commander models. The models were reasonable but unfortunately they were too close to OTA. The Arm Commander is the iconic face of OTA and Core is not far behind. The Strike chassis received a new model and the Siege and Battle chassis were merged into one.

The commander morph design received a shake-up in the process, some due to design changes and some for technical reasons. The changes are not balanced but they aim to be balanced eventually. Here are some changes:
  • Support -> Engineer (Support is too generic as a word, could be confusing).
  • Engineer and Recon can only equip one basic weapon. It makes sense as they only have one gun. They should be made powerful in other ways.
  • The weapons allowed for each chassis have changed. Some weapons have been removed or modified. There are some new weapons.
  • Some conversions have been removed, mostly the 0-choice ones (those that increase range).

A few experimental features are already possible with the new system. These includes:
  • Commanders have no upgrade limit (base cost increases though).
  • Base commanders can be built from Strider Hub (1000 metal, no economy).
  • Stackable drone modules.

This is just the initial implementation. Once this system is tested we hope to add more interesting features and balance, things not seen in the previous commander system. Each chassis should be able to fulfill a few roles so pregame RPS will not be as worrying as it was before.

Balance / Mechanics

  • Disarm no longer destroys wreckage and map features (trees, rocks etc).
  • Resurrecting now decloaks.
  • Resurrecting now costs 200% of the original energy cost (was 125%).
  • Jumping with jetpack [?] now decloaks.
  • Defender reload time obeys status effects [?]
  • Trident, Flail and Racketeer now home onto radar dots.
  • Reef:
    • time between starting a new drone: 3 › 5 s (can build 4 in parallel)
    • drone build time: 15 › 25 s
    • drone max wander range: 1600 › 1000 elmo
  • Funnelweb and Commander Companion Modules:
    • time between starting a new Firefly (light drone): 10 › 15 s
    • Firefly build time: 3 › 10 s
    • time between starting a new Viper (heavy drone): 20 › 25 s
    • Viper build time: 3 › 15 s
  • Quill less annoying to use through manoeuvrability improvements:
    • turn rate: 81 › 90 °/s
    • time from max speed to full stop: 1 › 0.1 s [?]
  • Tremor can damage itself with stray shots.

UI / Misc

  • LoS view is no longer enabled in the pregame setup.
  • Added time display to spectator panel.
  • Added Unit Shapes highlighting to units under the cursor[?] and inside a selection box.
  • Added option to Unit Shapes to show ally selections with each player's colour while spectating.
  • Selection: renamed "DGun" reload timer to "Special".
  • Added an option to hide command panel when spectating.
  • Improved Blastwing explosion effect.
  • Reduced Claw missile hit sound.


  • Fixed some cases where late spawning commanders spawned outside their start box.
  • Cloaker and shield jitter now disable during morph (these are effects high graphics settings).
  • Control groups are maintained through morph.
  • Nanoframes leave the correct debris.
  • Tidal generator wreckage has the correct tooltip.
  • Fixed Numpad Enter not working for chat.
  • Fixed a crash caused by resigning during "Wait or Win".
  • Fixed spec panel crashing on AI games.
  • Fixed an UI crash when using build hotkeys with an Athena.
  • Unit selection shapes and unit outlines effects now respect depth.
  • Healthbars are no longer shown for dying units, EMP is drawn correctly.
  • Fixed music sometimes not playing while messing with the volume slider.
  • Most hovercrafts no longer create dust when cloaked (this is so they don't give away their position).
  • Improvedstartbox rendering performance.
  • Teleportation noises are no longer audible in the fog of war.
  • Jumpers which die in mid air now have appropriate velocity for their wreck.
  • Morph no longer resets shield charge.
  • Crabe has minor model and animation improvements.

Content creation

  • Startboxes exposed to Game Rules Params.
  • Skirmish AI can now ask whether a start position is valid.

Posted by AUrankAdminGoogleFrog 7 days ago - comment

Zero-K v1.3.12.1

There are more balance changes here than in recent versions. Effectively we have a Cloaky and Hovercraft un-nerf with a small change to Scalpel. Units should be a bit smarter with the unit AI and target priority improvements, especially Scorcher. Visible but non-damaging ground napalm has been removed in the case of Dante and Pyro. The aim is to remove all misleading fire effects.


Cloakybot has a reduction of the nerfs for some of its previously most powerful units.
  • Rocko: Health 350 -> 390 (was 450)
  • Spectre: Reload time 18 -> 17s (was 15s)

For Hovercraft we have a small nerf to Scalpel and minor buffs to Dagger and Mace. The changes are mostly to missile physics to give units a bit more time to fight or flee.
  • Dagger:
    • Cost 85 -> 80 m
    • Sight 500 -> 560 elmo
  • Scalpel:
    • AoE radius 96 -> 80 elmo
    • Unit turn rate 79 -> 73 °/s
    • Missile homing 132 -> 115 °/s
    • Missile velocity 200 -> 180 elmo/s
    • Missile duration 3.5 -> 3.1 s [?]
    • Horizontal angle of fire 43 -> 66 °
  • Mace: Speed 63 -> 66 elmo/s

Pyro death explosion now applies ground fire. This is to make its mechanics match the flame effect. Previously the explosion applied 21-30s of burning (315-450 damage) which tended to guarantee a kill against light raiders.
  • DPS: 20
  • Radius: 128 elmo [?]
  • Linger time: 13s
  • Burn time 25s -> 2s [?]
  • Initial damage: 50 (unchanged)

Duck is now slightly worse at avoiding consequences. The underwater Duck vs Duck game may also no longer be one of blindly running into each other.
  • Missile range 250 -> 240 elmo
  • Torpedo range 150 -> 120 elmo
  • Sonar 250 -> 350 elmo

Recluse has a buff to see what it takes to use Recluse:
  • Range 540 -> 570 elmo
  • Sight 594 -> 627 elmo [?]

Funnelweb lost combat regeneration for consistency [?]

Raised most units' eye height by 10-20 elmos [?]

Terraform now has its minimum thickness more strictly enforced. No more 1-wide walls around structures. Walling mexes and fusions is now slightly more expensive.

General UI

  • COFC smooth mesh just affects scrolling again.
  • Build ETA has size and draw height menu options.
  • Menu option paths: renamed AutoGroup to Control Groups.
  • The interface for walling a structure with terraform (Ctrl + click) now gives a rectangle command[?].
  • The unit lock modoption now works on AI and accepts unit names as parameters.

Unit AI

Unit AI has been improved, mostly regarding targeting.
"Ignore" means the units still automatically shoot the target, but will not stop to kill and instead move on if they are on Fight command and there are no better targets.
  • Spectre will now avoid all mobile ground units.
  • Puppy on Fight dodges better and closes in faster.
  • Scorcher will now move close to the target when on Fight command.
  • Units with slow projectiles will now disprefer shooting at fast units and will ignore them. [?]
  • Units are less inclined to shoot at Fleas and Darts [?].
  • Penetrator, Sniper and Racketeer disprefer LLT and Defender.
  • Airborne units no longer ignore Razors.
  • Crusader will now ignore gunships.
  • Armored units are now deprioritized correctly.


XP has always been very unreliable as a measure of unit performance. This has been addressed. The rank of a unit now directly reflects how many times over a unit has paid for itself.
  • Rank 1 = 1x cost
  • Rank 2 = 2x cost
  • Rank 3 = 3x cost
  • Silver Star = 4x cost
  • Gold Star = 7x cost
  • Super Gold Star = 10x cost


Content creation

  • Maps can now have less than 6 metal spots.
  • Custom AIs now select their own commanders. Ones that do not, are given Strike Trainer. [?]
  • healthbar labels for features [?] are now subject to localisation.


  • Fixed slow damage permanently increasing turn rate inertia.
  • Fixed Dante incendiary rockets using napalm visuals.
  • Fixed rank icons disappearing while spectating.

Posted by AUrankAdminGoogleFrog 51 days ago - comment

Zero-K 1v1 Tournament December 12th 2015

Owing to the unavailability of the normal tournament organisers, the 1v1 tournament for November hasn't been run yet. Better late and under inexperienced management than never, right?

The tournament will be run by Aquanim on Saturday 12th December at 10AM UTC.

Signup list:


Tournament format & rules:
- Registration is open until 1 hour before the official start time of the tournament, at which time the bracket will be shuffled.
- Double elimination
- Random seeding
- First map of each round is predetermined, the following maps in the winners bracket will be selected by the loser of the previous game from the featured 1v1 map pool.
- All winners bracket games will be best of 3 (including finals). All losers bracket games will be best of 1 with the exception of the losers finals (bo3).

It is possible to substitute for players who don't show up. If you have signed up, make sure to show up on time. Those who fail to show up will likely be subbed out by 10:30AM UTC (half an hour after tournament start).

The players coming first, second and third will receive special unique collectible awards to their player profile, and receive tournament points which will at the year's end determine the year's altogether best tournament player.

The initial maps for each round will be chosen from the following pool (plus some if required) when I have a better idea of how many rounds are required:

Isle of Grief 0.2
Into Battle_v3
Flooded Valley v2
Iced Coffee v4.3

The bracket can be seen at a link which will be added below.

Sign up in the comments!

Posted by EErankAdminAnarchid 2 months ago - comment

Tourney players replaced with robots

Due to lack of availability of all the organizers, the month's tourney will be postponed until first week of December.

While it would be possible to hold the human tournament this weekend, convening an adequate amount of human players with an announcement on Wednesday seems impossible.

With that in mind, this Saturday will still hold a tournament, with players who are much easier to assemble: AI's!

The machines will duke it out round-robin BO3, ranked by win count. All ties will be resolved by additional games.

The tourney will likely be hosted on SpringGrid operated by JPrankNapoleongajop in a massively parallelized fashion, and the replays will be published after the games are resolved in this case. If the grid is somehow not available, the games will be manually proceeded at 4x speed on Springie hosts.

Maps for each game will be determined randomly by the tournament host device from this list:

Red Comet
Victoria Crater v2.1

The initial participant list is as follows:
Shard (as shipped with engine version 100.0)

All these will be assembled in their latest available binary form (compiled linux64) and frozen at Friday, 27th November 2015, 23:59 UTC.

Additional bots can be submitted before that time as well in compiled binary form or source, compilation of which will be attempted but not guaranteed.

The only requirement is that the bots don't use cheats.

And thus, glory to the robots.

Posted by EErankAdminAnarchid 2 months ago - comment

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