DayZ Standalone

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DayZ Standalone Alpha is OUT!!!! The wiki has now been switched over to focus on the standalone! Please add information to DayZ Standalone Wiki to help make this as great of a wiki as the one for the mod!

DayZ Standalone is the much hyped follow-up to the DayZ Mod created by game developer Dean Rocket Hall. On 14 August 2012, Rocket announced that DayZ would become a standalone game[1] that does not require Arma II. Development of the standalone version was headed up directly by Rocket, in conjunction with Bohemia Interactive, the publisher of Arma II. With this announcement, Rocket turned the mod version of DayZ over to the community for continued development. Some of the main goals for creating the standalone were to fix bugs and prevent hacking, two things very difficult to do under the previous Arma II architecture.[2][3]

DayZ Standalone utilizes the Take On Helicopter engine, which is a branch of the Arma II Operation Arrowhead engine Real Virtuality.[4] The engine has been heavily modified even including code from ARMA III.


Future Features[5]

More Zombies

Target delivery: Ongoing

We absolutely plan to have more zombies. To cope with the current total dynamic entity count of over 10000 we have had to make a great deal of optimizations. If loot is completely removed, we can easily run 4000 zombies in our debug builds. In the new year we will be optimizing the way we handle dynamic objects (such as loot) a great deal more which should give us significant savings - but the change was considered too risky to be done prior to alpha launch. If we had problems, we would have delayed the project further by months.

Multithreaded Server

Target delivery: Early 2014 & Ongoing

To assist with increasing player and zombie numbers, we will be parallelizing the server architecture. Currently RV does offload some extra threads off to other cores, but this is for rendering and file handling - neither of which are issues for the dedicated server which uses no rendering and has a greatly reduced file footprint. This should provide some very, very dramatic improvement in performance where additional cores are available. Note, however, that this will increase the complexity of hosting DayZ - it may mean that we see a greater dispersion in the capacities of DayZ servers.

Respawning Zombies & Loot

Target Delivery: Early 2014

Currently to have the server check if something needs respawning can cause an issue with performance. We did not want to go with a "scripted" solution for respawning, and it is expensive on server performance. Player spawning on the coast is conducted by the engine, and we are going to employ a similar process for managing zombie and loot spawn (possibly parallelized). This is a high priority task and zombie respawn at least is very close to being implemented.

Server Management Options

Target Delivery: Ongoing

Additional options for those hosting servers will be rolled out as soon as we can. We want to encourage a "hardcore" mode that will operate on a separate database, featuring things like first person only, no hide body, etc... In addition, we also want to provide passworded servers that will operate on their own shard of the database. This shard could be grouped, so that a group of passworded servers could operate on their own database. Eventually, we would like to see these different communities on their own db running their own variations of DayZ to meet specific communities needs.

Animals & Hunting

Target Delivery: Early 2014

The AI for animals is based on the new AI for zombies (some will notice the old local ambient animals making zombie noises and acting aggressively!). We have a cutdown version of this we will be using for hosting animals, including those from ArmA2 as well as new animals such as a deer. We already have the meat models made, and we have the basics of cooking. So this functionality is quite close. It does have an impact on the server, and at the moment we could only run about 300 animals per server without seriously impacting performance (until we have started additional server optimization).

Additional Anti-hack and Security

Target Delivery: Late 2013

We are working on additional anti-hack to supplement the implementation of VAC. We have been working closely with Valve for VAC as well as our other anti-hack partner. Details of this will be released shortly. The most important thing to remember is that anti-hack is really the secondary defense - the primary defense should be good architecture. We have already identified (and fixed) several key vulnerabilities in the three days since launch. There are more we know about and I am sure more we don't. The purpose of this early phase of alpha is to identify and fix those. As our architecture now relies on the server controlling and adjudicating everything, we can close off locally controlled functions and back doors - which is what we have been doing.

NOTE: An anti-hack software has been added, the current anti-hack software is: BattlEye [Anti-Cheat Engine]. Note: people who do not have a current version will be kicked from a server they try to connect to, so do update your BattlEye client.

Cooking & Gathering Resources

Target Delivery: Early 2014

This is a system that was not completed prior to the alpha launch so is half-done. Additional work will be done and pushed when we can. This will include gas cookers (already ingame) and the creation of fireplaces. We will be allowing players to gather resources from the world, such as firewood, stones, etc... This will then be utilized by the existing crafting system.[6]


  • Rocket hosted an AMA on reddit about the future of DayZ: Rocket's reddit AMA
  • Rocket interview with PCGamer about the standalone: here.
  • DayZ Developer Session with Rocket at Eurogamer Expo: here.
  • The first look at the DayZ standalone with Dean Hall: here.
  • Follow DayZ standalone on Facebook here.


The initial focus will be to redevelop the existing mod as a standalone, rather than immediately adding new features. This will provide a near identical game to begin with, but will provide a solid foundation upon which to later expand. Rocket has described this philosophy as "small steps, big dreams."

The following are some of the features suggested by Rocket:

  • In-depth story-line
  • Crafting system
  • Underground construction
  • Destructible environment
  • New inventory management
  • Improved HUD
  • Improved audio and visual cues
  • Improved zombie AI/pathing
  • Zombie life cycle
  • Improved security
  • Weapon and gear degradation
  • More accessible buildings
  • and much more


Rocket announced as part of the September 2013 dev blog update[7] that the Arma 2 AI system currently in place will be replaced, written entirely from scratch to suit DayZ:

"The proposal I came up with was that zombies will chase players and avoid collision. The zombies will only pathfind for a short distance in front of them, and otherwise, they'll avoid collision."
— Rocket

Rocket has advised that this new AI will not delay the Standalone release and only be included once finished.

Item and locational damage

Shooting players now runs a high risk of damaging items that the victim is carrying. You will be able to judge the damage taken by the visual appearance of the items (including clothing). It is hoped this will reduce the kill on sight mentality that the majority of DayZ players have.

Inventory system

The inventory system has been reworked and introduced the drag/drop features similar to Arma 3 that allow for easier management of your gear. This system also allows you combine items with ease, or use tools on items (such as using a bayonet to open a can of food).


The Arma 2 engine currently sends updates to all players regarding the state of items, physical objects (doors, vehicles, etc). As the player numbers increase, this introduces a large about of network data being sent and can cause lag/desync issues. As a result, they have starting implementing a 'network bubble'. The aim with this is to only send updates to players in the immediate vicinity of an action occurring, rather than all players regardless of their position. This will reduce the amount of bandwidth needed by the server and increase network performance.

Dev Blogs

Release Date and Pricing

DayZ Standalone was released on December 16th, 2013 on Steam for $30.[8]
The game is available to be purchased as part of the Alpha Development Participation stage, similar to Minecraft's sales model.
An official date for the final release is yet to be set.


  • When DayZ Standalone was originally announced Rocket had originally indicated the desire to see a release by the end of 2012.[9]
  • DayZ standalone will utilize a Minecraft-like sales model; this will allow players to pay a much lower price for early access to the alpha/beta releases while helping to fund development toward the final product.
  • An Alpha version of DayZ Standalone was playable on the floor at E3 2013 and allowed attendees their first actual playthrough of the standalone game.

Multi-platform Development

Rocket has indicated interest in developing DayZ for consoles (Xbox/Playstation), but the PC version will be the focus. A console version will be produced if the standalone version is successful.[10]