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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 v1.4.7.0 (and earlier)

Three weeks ago we released several small versions, mostly to keep up with engine fixes. However, some features got into these releases and many of the Interfaces features are from this period and I have not written a complete list. The two balance change are from v1.4.7.0.

Spring 102.0 has been released (sort of) and it is well tested so we should be able to stick with it. This comes with a lobby update which allows Spring 102.0 to be downloaded so make sure to update.

The screenshot is showing off the line of sight and radar improvements since Spring 100.0. The LoS and radar updates faster, has higher resolution and is much better at finding cliffs. The interior colour can be set through Settings/Interface/Map/Radar Color.


Racketeer is a bit of a problematic unit so we've reduced its ability to keep two units disarmed. Two raiders fighting a Racketeer tended to be ridiculous.
  • Rackteer reload time 5s -> 6s

The Plasma Artillery for Battle Commander was not just working out so it has been removed. Massive earlygame health and a Leveler sidearm remove the usual counterplay to artillery.
  • Removed Commander plasma artillery weapon.


Newton launcher widget:
  • Increased accuracy of impact location with interpolation between the impact step and previous step.
  • Applied impact prediction to all units launched by Newtons. Not just those affected by firezones.
  • Added transport drop location prediction.
  • Added menu options for controlling when either type of prediction is displayed.

Other features:
  • Added a new Skydust UI. Press B to toggle height mode. C and V change height (much like Z and X change spacing in normal mode). The height selected in height mode is persistent per-unit type. Height does not work with line build.
  • Zenith now obeys fire stats. Defaults to Hold Fire for new players. Defaults to Fire At Will for current players.
  • Added an option to make clicking on construction tabs activate their hotkeys.
  • Added an option to disable Ping and CPU display on Deluxe Player List.
  • Added an option to show decloak ranges of units. Configure through Settings/Interface/Decloak Ranges.
  • Ferry and Set Retreat Zone now appear as a minimap button. Not on the command menu.


  • Terraform cost tooltip now shows its estimated cost.
  • Fixed a Build ETA bug which can appear while spectating and using /specfullview.
  • Energy and metal income graphs now include reclaim.
  • Fixed Cloak State hotkey and tooltip.
  • Restored marker placement hotkey for German keyboards (dev engine).

Posted by AUrankAdminGoogleFrog 49 days ago - comment

Zero-K v1.4.6.0

With this release the old 1faction branch of CA fullfils one of its major goals, a mere 6 years after creation. Each factory now has a unique constructor, something we wanted to do and never got around to. The Gunship Plant now as Wasp as its constructor. Wasps are slower and more expensive than Cranes but come with much increased build power and more health.

In other news, contrived constructor connotations continue with a newly conforming Constable, err, Freaker. The old name always lacked descriptiveness whereas Constable matches Moderator and the slowbeam theme.


Gunships now have their own constructor: Wasp. Crane is unchanged and is now restricted to Planes. It compares the Crane as follows:
  • Cost 220 › 300
  • Speed 180 › 93 elmo/s [?]
  • Build Power 4 › 7.5 M/s
  • Health 240 › 600
This change fixes the inconsistency dual-factory nature of Crane and is also is meant as a nerf to earlygame Gunships. The new constructor is slower and bulkier so is a better fit to the theme of its factory.

Claws (Wolverine mines) now spawn if their Wolverine died before impact. Previously they did not.

Target Behaviour

There are a lot of target behaviour improvements/fixes in this version so we've given them their own section.
  • Heatrays now have a significant preference for nearby targets. They previously had a preference but it was weaker than most other factors. Heatrays still target armed units before unarmed ones.
  • Gravity guns no longer target nanoframes. Gravity guns never affected nanoframes so this is a fix. Note that gravity guns have never targeted structures, regardless of whether the structure is a nanoframe.
  • All weapons now prioritize identified radar dots as if they were a full health unit of their type. Previously all radar dots were given uniform priority.
  • Spectre, Annihilator, Penetrator and Impaler now have an additional priority penalty to target radar dots of mobile units.
  • Outlaws move closer to their target when firing.
  • Slashers now target everything with a fight order. This is to make them stop and fire at things which other units consider not worth stopping for (Razor, Solar and Dirtbag).


  • Tooltips now have an option to make them larger, for larger screen resolutions.
  • Many menu categories and subcategories now have icons.
  • All menus have a consistent size, left justified category text.
  • Changed HUD Skin and Gesture Menu paths.


  • Freaker is now called Constable.
  • Improved Crane, Rapier and Vindicator wingtrail and jet effects.
  • Fixed CAI artillery production.
  • Added startbox to Seth's Ravine.
  • Fixed ATI error with map edge extension.
  • Fixed aircraft constructors turning around when construction is initiated.

Highlights from v1.4.5.0

We missed the release notes from the previous version so here are some highlights:
  • Swifts now pull up near the end of their strafing run. This is a buff against low ranged ground units, especially those with AoE weapons.
  • Smoothing weapons (Quake, Big Bertha etc..) now have smoother terrain at the edge of their smooth radius. This makes tanks more likely to be able to climb a Quake ramp. In addition, Quake impacts now jiggle units and can cause them to fall off cliffs.
  • Double pressing 'L' with a mixed selection of transports and units will cause the transports to load the units. This command is an action which can be rebound through 'Game/Command Hotkeys'.
  • Right clicking a geothermal vent with only constructors selected will queue a Geothermal Plant.
  • Geothermal vents now have a tooltip.
  • Added a toggle to make cloaked units (exept Gremlin and Spectre) automatically hold fire when cloaked. [?]
  • Endgame graphs now have a toggle between individual players and entire teams.
  • Commander initial unit state now works for priority.

Posted by AUrankAdminGoogleFrog 2 months ago - comment

1v1 Tournament June 4th 2016

AUrankSoldierSortale is organizing another tournament with actual prizes: Steam keys, kudos credit, and account trophies.

This time the mode is 1v1.

Find out more and sign up here.

Posted by EErankAdminAnarchid 3 months ago - comment

Zero-K v1.4.4.0

Muster your AA, Raven has a buff! And Phoenix! Actually, those are the only two balance changes and they should both be minor. The real focus of this release is on the user interface, bug fixes and other improvements.


  • Phoenix can target gunships.
  • Ravens dive faster. Their minimum speed is now 75% of max speed (from 50%).


  • Right-clicking on a mex spot in Eco view (F4) when only cons are selected now queues a mex.
  • "Skydust" UI now works with mexes and during pause.
  • Reworked the gunships radar icon set
  • Idle constructor select:
    • Now works with Shift - adds the closest unselected idle con to selection [?]
    • The UI button now shows both the select-1 and select-all hotkeys
    • Treating unfinished cons as idle is now toggleable, default false [?]
    • Space+click brings up its options menu [?]
  • Comm Selector screen:
    • Has a toggle to hide trainer comms [?]
    • Disables itself when no longer relevant [?]
  • Factory Panel ETA display has the same rules as the inworld display [?]
  • Advanced tacnuke range displays (vertical, emp aoe) can now be toggled, default off [?]
  • Added a hotkeyable action to select a ready Raven [?]
  • The old COFC tiltzoom behaviour of drifting the object under the cursor to screen center is now an option independent of tiltzoom [?]
  • Initial queue now works with disabled units properly.
  • Menus: general clutter reduction.
  • "Command Console Activated" plays when the game is ready instead of halfway through loading.
  • Text to speech now obeys the master volume slider and has its own volume slider in the menu [?]
  • Free For All games now default to shuffle start boxes.
  • Strike Comm now the default comm.
  • Resign votes now use team names (like Team North).
  • Polish translations for misc tooltips, Russian translations for units.


  • Units wading through shallow water now leave wakes; some trees sway with the wind.
  • Endgame graphs now measure damage in metal cost instead of health.
  • Purple Heart award now tracks environmental damage and friendly fire.
  • Added mex config for Tandem Craters and Silo Valley.
  • Added a health multiplier modoption.


  • Improve lategame performance somewhat by dramatically reducing the performance cost of windgen farms.
  • Per-unittype build spacing is now correctly saved between games.
  • On/off initial state setting now works correctly.
  • Vertical Aircraft Lines now work.

Minor: [Spoiler]

Posted by AUrankAdminGoogleFrog 4 months ago - comment

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