Project Zomboid – How to Drive a Car

If you’re under the impression that driving in Project Zomboid is a simple matter, think again. Driving a car not only allows for faster travel, but it also adds a layer of strategic gameplay. However, careless driving can quickly lead to collisions, putting your life in grave danger.

How to Get in a Car

Thanks to the high-density distribution of cars in Project Zomboid, finding your dream car is relatively easy. Even when starting the game in a residential house, you may find cars parked outside or in nearby garages. It’s important to choose a car in good condition to avoid the hassle of constantly repairing and replacing parts.

Once you spot a car that catches your eye, stand in front of it and press the “E” key to analyze its overall condition via the Vehicle Mechanics panel. If you notice too many red or orange parts, it’s advisable to search for a better car. Keep in mind that not all cars exhibit the same performance, so it’s worth doing some research to find the best one for your needs.

Assuming you’ve found a suitable car, walk up to the driver’s seat (front left seat) and press “E” to enter the vehicle, as long as you’re positioned within the green rectangle. If nothing happens, it’s likely that the car is locked. In such cases, you can either search for a car key or break the door by right-clicking on it and selecting “Smash Front/Rear Left Window.” Breaking the rear windows is recommended to prevent zombies from biting you while driving. Once the window is broken, press “Z” and choose the first slot to access the driver’s seat. It’s important to equip a weapon beforehand to avoid injuries when smashing the car window with your hands.

How to Drive a Car

In order to drive a car in Project Zomboid, you must first turn on the engine. Once you’re inside the car, click on the ignition on the vehicle dashboard to insert the key. There are three ways to activate the engine:

  1. Left-click on the engine status on the vehicle dashboard until it turns brown or green.
  2. Press the “N” key.
  3. Press the “W” key.

By default, the car is controlled using the following keys:

  • W for acceleration
  • S for deceleration
  • A for turning left
  • D for turning right
  • Spacebar for braking

Once you’ve finished driving, remember to turn off the engine by clicking on the engine status until it turns gray. Failure to do so will result in your car running out of battery.

Tips and Tricks for Driving

Each car in Project Zomboid has its own driving feel and engine power. When starting out, it’s recommended to choose a car with average performance, such as the Chevalier D6, to become accustomed to driving. If you want to practice driving in normal conditions, you can use the Debug mode to spawn a car. It’s important to keep in mind that pressing “A” always turns the vehicle left, while “D” always turns it right. Since the camera cannot be rotated in Project Zomboid, extra caution must be exercised when driving south or west, as the directional movement is reversed.

The condition of the road and the weather also impact your driving experience. For example, driving through forest terrain is slower and consumes more fuel compared to driving on the highway. Additionally, driving at high speeds over corpses or in rainy weather can cause your car to slide off and even flip over.

While driving, you can enable cruise speed by holding the “LShift” key and pressing “W” or “S” to adjust the desired speed. Cruise speed allows your car to maintain a fixed speed, so you only need to focus on turning left or right. The cruise speed is displayed in the top left corner of the vehicle dashboard and can be turned off by pressing the “Spacebar”.

The default view remains fixed while driving, but you can pan the camera for better visibility by pressing “V” and selecting “Open Window” before driving. Then, hold the aim key (right mouse button) and move the cursor to pan the camera while driving. Additionally, you can use the car’s horn (pressing “Q”) to attract zombies or draw attention, but this feature is only available when you’re in a car. Lastly, it’s worth noting that the Sunday Driver and Speed Demon traits significantly affect your car’s handling. If you plan to travel frequently, avoid choosing the Sunday Driver trait.

That’s all you need to know about driving a car in Project Zomboid. If you have any suggestions for this guide, feel free to let us know in the comments below.