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119 players online: 44 of them fighting in 15 battles, 4353 on discord

Commander wanted!

Drive giant robots, build an army of a thousand Fleas, move mountains if needed, bury the enemy at all cost!

  • Real time strategy.
  • Physically simulated units and projectiles.
  • Terrain manipulation.
  • 100+ varied units with unique abilities.
  • Singleplayer campaign.
  • Challenging, non-cheating AI.
  • Multiplayer 1v1 - 16v16, FFA, coop.
  • Multiplayer online campaign.
  • Really free, no in-game currency, no unfair multiplayer.

Fully Utilized Physics

Simulated unit and projectile physics is used to a level rarely found in a strategy game.

  • Use small nimble units to dodge slow moving projectiles.
  • Hide behind hills that block weapon fire, line of sight and radar.
  • Toss units across the map with gravity guns.
  • Transport a battleship to a hilltop - for greater views and gun range.

Manipulate the Terrain

The terrain itself is an ever-changing part of the battlefield.

  • Wreck the battlefield with craters that bog down enemy tanks.
  • Dig canals to bring your navy inland for a submarine-in-a-desert strike.
  • Build ramps, bridges, entire fortress if you wish.
  • Burn your portrait into continental crust using the planetary energy chisel.

Singleplayer Campaign and Challenging AI

Enjoy many hours of single player and coop fun with our campaign, wide selection of non-cheating AIs and a survival mode against an alien horde.

  • Explore the galaxy and discover technologies in our singleplayer campaign.
  • Face a challenging AI that is neither brain-dead nor a clairvoyant cheater.
  • Have some coop fun with friends, surviving waves of chicken-monsters.
  • Cloaking? Resurrection? Tough choices customizing your commander.

Casual and Competitive Multiplayer

Zero-K was built for multiplayer from the start, this is where you can end up being hooked for a decade.

  • Enjoying epic scale combat? Join our 16v16 team battles!
  • Looking for a common goal? Fight AIs or waves of chicken-monsters.
  • Prefer dancing on a razor's edge? Play 1v1 in ladder and tournaments.
  • Comebacks, betrayals, emotions always running high in FFA.
  • Want to fight for a bigger cause? Form a clan and join PlanetWars, competitive online campaign with web-game strategic elements, diplomacy and backstabbing.

Power to the People

We are RTS players at heart, we work for nobody. We gave ourselves the tools we always wanted to have in a game.

  • Do what you want. No limits to camera, queue or level of control.
  • Paint a shape, any shape, and units will move to assume your formation.
  • Want to spend more time on tactics? Use construction priorities.
  • Want to focus on economy? Order units to kite, strafe or zig zag bullets.

Plenty of Stuff to Explode Explore

Zero-K is a long term project and it shows, millions hours of proper multiplayer testing and dozens of people contributing ever expanding content.

  • Learn to use all of our 100+ units and play on hundreds of maps.
  • Invent the next mad team-tactics to shock enemies and make allies laugh.
  • Combine cloaking, teleports, shields, jumpjets, EMP, napalm, gravity guns, black hole launchers, mind control and self-replication.
  • Tiny flea swarm that clings to walls?
    Jumping "cans" with steam-spike?
    Buoys that hide under water to ambush ships?
    Mechs that spew fire and enjoy being tossed from air transports?
    Carrier with cute helicopters?
    Jumping Jugglenaut with dual wielding gravity guns?
    Meet them in Zero-K!

or just view the media

Zero-K v1.11.8.1 - Lobster Brained

Lobsters have been taught to not fire when it would be redundant, making Lobster balls much easier to manage. Overkill prevention in general has a tweak, and some APIs were extended to make modding easier. The Artefact Control game mode which saw some testing about a month ago is now live. In terms of balance, Redback has a bit of a nerf and some of the least used units - Skuttle, Phoenix and Emissary - have small buffs.


Duck can now be dodged by a Glaive trying as hard as it can to run away.
  • Missile fuel time 2s -> 1.5s

Redback is worse at taking map control and assaulting defenses.
  • Cost 230 -> 240
  • Speed 1.85 -> 1.75

Skuttle can see enemies before they break its cloak.
  • Line of sight 280 -> 330

Emissary aims faster and no longer benefits from manually turning.
  • Body turn rate reduced 105 -> 84 degrees/second
  • Gun aim rate increased 40 -> 70 degrees/second
  • Resets its gun between shots (as much as possible) in case it has to move.

Phoenix moves faster and hits its target sooner.
  • Speed 8 -> 8.1
  • Projectile gravity 0.7 -> 0.72

Unit AI

Overkill prevention, the system that prevents ten Scalpels firing at a single Glaive, is now available for Lobster and disabled for units set to hold. It is controlled by a state toggle that is hidden by default because there is very little reason to touch it. The state toggle can be enabled under Settings/Interface/Commands, and per-unit defaults to be set in Settings/Unit Behaviour/Default States, or by holding Space and clicking on a unit, then pressing Edit Behaviour.

Lobster is smarter, no longer firing unless there is a visible valid target.
  • This prevents it from firing when it would do absolutely nothing, provided there are no invisible enemies nearby.
  • As a result, telling a tight clump of Lobsters to fire causes only two to shoot.
  • This behaviour can be configured with the hidden Overkill Prevention state.
  • Removed the Force Fire command by default. This can be configured via another hidden state toggle.

Overkill prevention is now suspended by default when units are set to Hold Fire.
  • Added the "Enable for Fire at Will" and "Enable for auto targeting" states. Previously it just had enabled/disabled.
  • Most units default to "Enable for Fire at Will". The theory being that if you set a unit to hold fire you care more about its target dying than about overkill.
  • Nothing defaults to "Enable for auto targeting", but it may be useful to try out.

Impaler now has an even stronger preference for targeting structures over units.


  • Added a minimum wind icon and number to the left column of the wind generator tooltip during placement (thanks Porkchop)
  • Cleaned up some inconsistent unit highlighting and selection. Units under interface panels cannot be clicked on by default, tooltips do not appear, and units are not highlighted.
  • Selecting through the panel at the bottom of the screen can be configured under Settings/HUD Panels/Selected Units Panel.
  • Drag selection can still terminate over a UI panel.
  • Add some translations for the commander selector.
  • Updated Global Build AI with some fixes and documentation (thanks esainane).
  • Added username team colour in chat and removed white outlines for dark names (thanks Birdulon)
  • Local widgets are no longer disabled for spectators on rooms with local widgets disabled.
  • Added Italian translations for the main menu (thanks fvasco)


  • Tweaked campaign text and replaced some Artefacts with more suitable structures (thanks Thorneel)


  • Added boxes for Onyx Cauldron 2.0
  • Improved lighting on Skulduggery (thanks Shaman)
  • Improved water on Cull, Lost v2 and Lowland Crossing Revised v2.
  • Fixed an issue with void water with new shaders on some graphics cards.

Artefact Control

Added a control point game mode called Artefact Control under Experimental.
  • Several artefacts are spawned on each side of the map.
  • Each team controls half at the start of the game.
  • Artefacts have 11k health and heal at 100 hp/second.
  • Artefacts respawned with switched allegeance when destroyed.
  • If a team controlls all the artefacts, they win.


Changed some keys in unit def files to match the lua UnitDefs table. Mods with the old keys are still supported.
  • buildCostMetal -> metalCost
  • buildCostEnergy -> energyCost
  • energyUse -> energyUpkeep
  • metalUse -> metalUpkeep (vanilla ZK doesn't use this)
  • maxDamage -> health
  • maxVelocity -> speed

Other changes.
  • Unit defs no longer require unitname since it must match the table key, so it is redundant.
  • Unit defs are now also read from subfolders of 'units'.
  • Set undefined burst rates to 0 (rather than 0.1) as it can interfere with weapon modding.
  • The game exits to menu when unit defs fail to load, rather than crashing.
  • Added game-side GG.UnitModelRescale(unitID, scale) from Unit Level Ups.
  • Added backwards compatibility for Spring.GetUnitIsBeingBuilt.
  • Fixed backwards compatibility for Spring.GetPlayerRulesParams.
  • Added customparams.buggeroff_angle for factories, in radians.
  • Added customparams.metal_extractor_mult to support the creation of higher tier metal extractors.
  • Fixed modding away the Sniper reload move penalty breaking the script.
  • Cleaned up the build icon generator gadget.
  • Napalm effects now contain an example of sin (replaces taylor series).
  • Improved modded energy generator tooltips.
  • Mexes suport morphing.


  • Fixed commshare sometimes preventing resign or causing a crash when the game ends.
  • War music no longer counts morph as violence.
  • Fixed missing vote resign button.
  • Marginal turret overshoot can no longer be circumvented with command insert.
  • Fixed a few build icons incorrectly implying that a floating structure is built underwater.
  • Fixed commander selector button image.
  • Fixed backwards 'motion blur' on ejected shells.
  • Fixed some large structure wreckages having much too large collision volumes.
Posted by AUrankAdminGoogleFrog 36 days ago - comment

Zero-K v1.11.6.5 - Sudden Death

This is mostly a small fixes update for the previous patch. It has a few balance chanegs and features though. Most notable are a slight Redback nerf and a sudden death mode. The sudden death mode might see use in the upcoming tournament to put a cap on very long games, but we are still waiting to see what people think of it. In any case, it seems like a useful mode to have.


Redback is worse at dodging projectiles.
  • Increased collision shape width by 11% and length by 25%.
  • Reduced turn rate by 5%.

Ogre now ignores terrain and wrecks when aiming and firing. It has sufficient AoE and arc for making the attempt to often be beneficial.

Zeno now homes onto the actual position of a radar target earlier - early enough to hit it.


  • Holding Alt while selecting units now filters out rank 3 (ie army units).
  • Added a sudden death mode game option, under Map. It causes the game to end shortly after a specified time via a contracting death circle.


  • Fixed a missile impact indicator error.
  • Fixed a pathfinding issue to do with construction orders on terrible terrain.
  • Tactical missiles no longer have inconsistent half-prediction of enemy velocity. They now fire exactly where they are aimed.
  • Fixed contrast adaptive sharpening scaling with zoom level.
  • Fixed moderator tooltip colour in the lobby.
  • Improved Pylon collision and selection volumes.
Posted by AUrankAdminGoogleFrog 3 months ago - comment

1v1 Tournament July 8th 2023 With Prize Money!

Duelers, brawlers, fighters, lords
Sing with me these mighty cords
It's the day to ravage lobsters
Smash machines and purge all toasters!

There will be a 1v1 tournament at 19:00 UTC on Saturday July 8th - Click on the link to see the tournament thread and sign up by leaving a comment!
Posted by NOrankAdminKingstad 3 months ago - comment

Zero-K v1.11.6.2 - Don't Nuke Your Allies

The 3v3 tournament finished earlier today with an excellent turnout of 19 teams. The results and videos will be posted in this thread in the coming days. The upshot for this patch is that we are free to make a few balance changes. The aim of these changes is to work on a few of the more maligned units, while nerfing some of the most prevalent strategies. This mostly means buffs for Gunships and nerfs for Lance and cloaked Snitch.

The update also has some exciting features. A big one for team games is that allied nukes and missiles now automatically show where they were aimed, which should halve the number of people that panic when a nuke is fired. Another is the ability to watch any game while waiting for a different one to start without missing out on the chat, as chat from non-started lobbies is now sent ingame. Superintendent has also added a few more tracks to his alternate soundtrack.


Snitch is slower to nerf its use with cloaker, without making it worse as a pure ambusher.
  • Speed 117 -> 108

Iris is a bit easier to find and its area cloak radius now matches area shield radius.
  • Speed 57 -> 54
  • Decloak range 180 -> 210
  • Cloaker radius 360 -> 350

Lance is less effective when set to fire at will.
  • Reload time 20s -> 23s

Scallop is still the slowest riot but is a bit tankier than average.
  • Health 1100 -> 1200
  • Speed 48 -> 51

Emissary can afford to be fast since it takes so long to pack up.
  • Speed 60 -> 63
  • Range 1120 -> 1150

Blastwing takes less time to deal its damage and deals slightly more.
  • AoE 128 -> 144
  • Fire DPS 25 -> 32
  • Fire linger 25s -> 20s

Gnat needs more health to survive long enough to stun the juiciest target.
  • Cost 90 -> 85
  • Health 370 -> 440

Revenant can be brought back now that commanders are more resilient.
  • Health 3600 -> 4200
  • Missiles 8 -> 9
  • Reduced missile wobbly be 6.7%

Stardust has a small buff to its damage output but might still need a larger change later.
  • Heat per shot 3.8 -> 3.5

Lucifer can see as far as it can shoot (thanks Majo).
  • Range 780 -> 1280

Game Features

  • Added predicted impact time and location for allied nukes and stockpiled missiles (thanks esainane).
  • Added a new Superintendent music track.
  • Hovering a unit with the mouse now highlights it slightly. This can be configured under 'Settings/Graphics/Unit Visibility'.
  • Alt+N terraform preset is slightly higher to block Phantoms firing at Engineer Commander.
  • Added Set Target (instead of Force Fire) on Right Click option under 'Settings/Unit Behaviour'.
  • Added time and space leeway settings to make selection easier, under 'Settings/Interface/Selection'.
  • Added an explanation of selection rank to 'Settings/Interface/Selection' as people find fiddling with it surprisingly useful.
  • Embiggened cursor hitboxes of Grizzly, Jugglenaut, Cyclops, Shield Factory and Cloak Factory.
  • Singularity Reactor size now fluctuates.
  • Impaler fire sound is slightly fainter and only five can play at once.

Lobby Features

  • Battles can now be watched by right clicking on them in the battle list and selecting 'Watch'.
  • Chat from any lobby you are in is sent ingame if the lobby is not running.
  • Added a new Superintendent track that plays when the lobby opens.
  • Mention Imp burrow in the tips for the Imp campaign mission.
  • Added a game option to override the names of teams for tournaments.
  • Added a game option (under Experimental) called Notes that just writes text to a window at the start of the game. Use it to explain unit tweaks or other complicated set of options.


  • Preselection highlight (when hovering over units) now highlights units correctly in edge cases.
  • Fixed the player count in the battle lobby status box updating slowly.
  • Fixed units set to avoid radar wobble not firing at identified structure dots that left radar.
  • Fixed Advanced Geo aim point (thanks dyth68).
  • Fixed Mariner special build icon size.
  • Healthbars and Build ETA now draw in front of unit outlines.
  • Fixed an error that could occur when destroying all the units of the losing team.
  • Phoenix gibs no longer include a near-complete copy of its fuselage.
Posted by AUrankAdminGoogleFrog 3 months ago - comment

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