Zombie Fortress is a SourceMod plugin and unofficial game mode for Team Fortress 2. There are two opposing teams: the Survivors (RED) and the Zombies (BLU), who wish to eat the Survivors. Survivors need to complete their objective, which may vary depending on the game mode. Survivors have the advantage of having ranged weaponry while the Zombies have the main advantage of having the ability to respawn and convert slain Survivors into Zombies. When a Survivor is killed, they are switched to the Zombie team. When no Survivor players remain, the Zombie team wins. One could compare the game mode to a mix between Arena and Medieval Modes, respectfully, each affecting a different team simultaneously.
The Survivors and Zombies can only select certain classes. The Survivors can choose the Soldier, Pyro, Demoman, Engineer, Medic, and Sniper classes. They are armed with regular weapons and several perk choices for modified effectiveness against the Zombies. The Zombies can only choose the Scout, Heavy, and Spy classes, which are only equipped with their melee weapons (there also can be servers with more or all classes who can be played as Zombies, but they are very rare) , most lunchbox items (such as Bonk! Atomic Punch, and Sandvich), a choice of perks, and the ability to use Kill taunts.
Zombie Fortress is a very versatile mod that can work with many styles of gameplay. The following are a list of the major types of Zombie Fortress maps:
Survival: In survival maps the Survivors attempt to live until the map timer runs out by running away, hiding, or mowing down the Zombies. The Zombies' goal is to kill every survivor before the timer runs out. Good survival maps tend to be enclosed and well laid out. They generally have lots of camping spots but make it easy for players to get around the map. This is currently the most popular type of map in Zombie Fortress.
Attack/Defend: In attack/defend maps one team is charged with protecting various control points from the other team until the timer runs out. Normally in Zombie Fortress the survivors are the attacking team and the zombies are the defending team, due to the fact that the zombies have infinite lives and can simply charge en masse repeatedly to win. Good attack/defend maps have fair control point capture rates compared to the length of the map and usually contain a few traps here and there to snare unsuspecting survivors. The really good attack/defend maps have special kill triggers that kill survivors attempting to delay the round by hiding in spawn or well behind the attacking group.
Capture the Flag: In capture the flag maps one team is charged with protecting an information brief case (sometimes given a special model to be something else) while the other team hunts down the briefcase to return it to their home base. In Zombie Fortress this map style is widely unpopular due to the difficulty of pulling off a fair and balanced gameplay. Usually, however, survivors are charged with capture while zombies are charged with defense. There are currently no maps that have survivors and zombies both capturing and defending.
- Not all servers use the perk system. The perk tidbits are there for people who play on perk-enabled servers.
- All: Survivors should stick together so that the cluster is more difficult to kill, and, on control point maps, to increase the speed at which points cap. In addition, some Survivor perks affect nearby teammates, letting a cluster receive boosts in attack, defense, and crit-chance.
- Soldier: In Zombie Fortress, the Soldier is considered to be the best ally for the Medic when attacking. The Soldier is also the best class against hordes of Zombies due to his rockets' explosion radius (especially with crit rockets) and his ability to use the Buff Banner, Concherer or Battalions Backup to provide mini-crits, healing, or a crit-negating defense boost. In addition, like the Demoman, he can increase capture speed using the Pain Train. In Zombie Fortress, the favored Soldier perk is "Wise" or "Tantrum" due to their ability to further increase the already high damage output of the Soldier.
- Pyro: The Pyro is highly limited in the mod due to the fact that the Flamethrower's ammunition is restricted to 125 rather than the usual 200. Collecting ammo can increase the Flamethrower's ammo past 125, but will decrease by 10 every second. The Pyro is useful against large hordes due to his airblast and afterburn abilities. However, the Pyro uses up large amounts of his ammo every time he airblasts, so the Pyro has to be selective about how often the ability is used. The Pyro's survivability has increased since the Degreaser and Powerjack have been released. The Pyro is also useful for extinguishing survivors that have been set on fire by "Scorching" zombies. The Pyro's ability to attack through Sentry Guns and Dispensers make them an exceptional ally to Engineers in Zombie Fortress survival maps. The favored Pyro perks include "Wise", "Resourceful", and "Psychotic" for the improved damage or for the ability to constantly spam their fire.
- Demoman: The Demoman is the best ally for the Medic in defensive situations due to his ability to lay sticky traps over entrances. The Demoman is also deadly in melee fights, especially if he gets a few heads with his Eyelander. In addition, on CP maps he can help increase the cap speed by using the Pain Train. A Demoman will often use the "Juggernaught", "Selfless", or "Ninja" perks due to increased damage and their talents in melee combat.
- Engineer: The Engineer is the most defensive class, but can be useful when attacking by using the Gunslinger. The Engineer's buildings are also changed in the name of balance. The Sentry Gun starts off with reduced ammo and cannot be upgraded past level 1, the Gunslinger's Mini-Sentry starts with reduced ammo, loses ammo at 1 bullet per second, and cannot be repaired, the Dispenser is unable to heal or dispense health or ammo but can be used as a blockade, while the Teleporter works as it would normally but cannot be upgraded. Due to balance issues, server administrators often disable the ability to teleport. An Engineer will often use the "Supplier" perk for he can gain additional metal to help build Sentry Guns and Dispensers when in times against a horde, or the "Resourceful" perk due to its ability to restore ammo, metal, and health.
- Medic: The Medic is an extremely useful asset in Zombie Fortress. His Overheal does not decay and his Syringe Gun does not need to be reloaded. He can also use the Crusader's Crossbow to heal survivors out of range of his Medi Gun and his health regenerates. However, the Medic should constantly watch his primary ammo so he does not run out and leave himself vulnerable. A Medic will often use the "Charitable" perk to increase his allies threat against the Zombies or "Turtle" to allow them to withstand great punishment while their allies take care of the zombies. With the Australian Christmas update, the Medic can also use the Amputator taunt to heal a group of Survivors without the need to use his Medi Gun but will suffer slightly more damage from all sources while doing so.
- Sniper: On open maps, the Sniper is extremely useful due to his long range of fire. In smaller maps, however, the Sniper may have to resort to using his Huntsman to deal with close-range threats. His ability to give teammates mini-crits by using Jarate and the Sydney Sleeper can come in handy when dealing with hordes. The Sniper's SMG does not need to be reloaded, although care should be taken not to run out of ammo in a critical situation. Snipers using both the Bushwacka and Jarate can defend themselves against most zombies with the Bushwacka's crit attribute. Using the Razorback while sniping is also a viable option since Spies will most often aim for Snipers. The favored Sniper perk is "Zenlike" in survival maps due to its ability to grant Sniper Rifles nearly insta-kill capabilities against zombies (even with body-shots). In other maps most Snipers will resort to perks such as "Trapper" or "Leader" to improve the effect of their melee and support items.
- Scout: The Scout still maintains his speed and double jump. The Scout excels at distracting Sentry Guns and ambushing lone Survivors due to the ability to use Sandman, Bonk! Atomic Punch, Mad Milk and Crit-a-Cola. A Scout in Zombie Fortress will often use the "Thieving" perk, which can create havoc among survivors in maps with limited ammo packs, or the "Scorching" perk, which can be coupled with the Boston Basher to cause panic on survivor teams without a Medic. The Flying Guillotine is allowed, though limited, on many servers and can be used in conjunction with other perks for an even greater effect.
- Heavy: The Heavy in the mod functions much the same as he does in regular gameplay. The Heavy excels at picking off stragglers in a Survivor group and then attacking the bulk of the Survivors using his Showdown taunt kill and the Crits from the K.G.B.. The favored Heavy perks include "Alpha", "Vindictive", "Roar", and "Vampiric", all of which can either increase damage output or allow the Heavy to live far longer.
- Spy: The Spy still remains a very large threat due to retention of his Cloak (the maximum Cloak he can have is 80%) and backstab but is unable to disguise. The Eternal Reward cannot grant a disguise due to it acting like the Knife. A Spy in Zombie Fortress will often use the Magnetic perk so they can disable Sentry Guns while cloaked with the Cloak and Dagger but "Thieving" is also a great favorite due to the Spy's Ambassador and Enforcer being incredibly useful. The Dead Ringer can be used but is pointless because it needs 100% Cloak to work.
Perks are special abilities that both the Survivors and Zombies can use. They can change health, defense, attack, speed, and introduce new gameplay mechanics. Some perks stack up on each other when used by several players. Perks have been updated by various users, namely the original mod creator Sirot, the person who took after him Dirty Minuth, the most recent public updater Weenie, and the current updater Requiesta de Silencia.
|Athletic||You have innate speed and rate of fire bonuses. You have an innate attack and crit penalties.|
|Charitable||Each kill or assist grants 'gift points.' Call for Medic to redeem these points and toss out a gift for other survivors (or zombies). Gifts grant various temporary bonuses and increase the Charitable's health. Zombies can steal gifts to absorb health.|
|Carpenter||You have an innate defense bonus. You have an innate attack penalty. Call for Medic to place a barricade. Barricades have 400 health and can be destroyed by anyone. Ability has a cooldown of 25s.|
|Cowardly||You have a passive 'panic' ability. When hit, you gain temporary speed and defense bonuses. Panic ability lasts 10s and has a cooldown of 25s.|
|Friend||Call for Medic to select a friend (must be looking at target, setup time only). Friend is randomly selected otherwise. When near your friend, you have attack and regen bonuses. You gain crit time for each kill or assist with your friend. Crit time is activated when your friend dies.|
|Heroic||You have innate attack and defense bonuses. You gain Crit time for each kill or assist. Crit time is activated when you're the last remaining survivor.|
|Holy||When crouched and not moving, you heal yourself and nearby survivors.|
|Juggernaut||You have innate attack and defense bonuses. You have an innate speed penalty. You are immune to self and fall damage. You knockback zombies with melee hits and stun with fall damage impacts. When you avoid self damage you suffer a small attack penalty.|
|Leader||You have an innate Crit bonus. You grant attack and defense bonuses to nearby survivors. Call for Medic to place a rally point. You gain attack and defense bonuses for each survivor near your rally point, and survivors gain attack and defense bonuses when they are near your rally point. Rally lasts 90s and has a cooldown of 120s.|
|Ninja||You have an innate speed bonus. You have an innate defense penalty. Call for Medic to place a decoy retreat point. When hit, you will retreat to that point. Decoy ability lasts 7s and has a cooldown of 7s. You jump slightly higher than other survivors and inflict more damage with melee weapons.|
|Nonlethal||You have an innate attack penalty when using bullet-based weapons. Bullet damage causes knockback.|
|Psychotic||You have an innate speed bonus and crit penalty. Each kill grants you a temporary attack bonus and a temporary defense penalty. When your attack reaches 80% you will be surrounded by a green flaming aura which boosts your speed and slows the rate you lose your bonuses and penalties.|
|Resourceful||You receive ammo, health, and metal from kills. You receive temporary attack bonuses from ammopacks and temporary defense bonuses from medpacks and ammopacks.|
|Selfless||You have attack and defense penalties. You grant a defense bonus to nearby survivors. You explode on death.|
|Stash||Call for Medic to place a secret stash. Stash can't be placed near other stashes. Stash becomes active after 40s and grants ammo, health, and a temporary attack bonus. Ability has a cooldown of 30s.|
|Stir-crazy (depreciated, replaced with Psychotic)|
|Supplier||Your reserve ammo is resupplied periodically, and can hold twice the normal limit. Call for Medic to place supply boxes. Other survivors can resupply ammo from these boxes. Supply ability has a cooldown of 10s.|
|Tantrum||Call for Medic to throw a tantrum. Tantrum grants 100% Crits and lasts 15s. Ability has a cooldown of 30s, during which you have a speed penalty.|
|Traitor||You have a crit penalty. Zombies nearby get added Attack. When you die nearby survivors are poisoned for 30 seconds.|
|Trapper||Call for Medic to place proximity mines. You can place up to 3 mines. Ability has a cooldown of 10s.|
|Wise||Bonuses are permanent. +Att on kill or Assist. Defense bonus when hit in melee.|
|Zenlike||When crouched and not moving, you regenerate health and accumulate a Crit bonus. Crit bonus decreases after each attack or while moving around.|
|Alpha||You acquire minions by killing survivors or assisting existing minions in killing survivors. You receive attack and regen bonuses when near other zombies or minions. Call for Medic to summon up to 3 minions. Ability has a cooldown of 7s per minion summoned.|
|Bloodlust||You have an innate attack penalty. As your health reaches 0 your attack bonus goes up to a maximum of 80%.|
|Combustible||You have an innate defense penalty. You explode on death (unless hit by a melee weapon). Can't Cloak or use Bonk!. By pressing E you can "prime" yourself to explode in 3 seconds. If you are killed before you explode after "priming" you will not explode.|
|Horrifying||You have an innate attack penalty. Each melee hit causes temporary defense and attack penalties to survivors. If you are slain, nearby survivors affected by your curse rapidly recover from the effects.|
|Hunter||Call for Medic to place a spawn mark. If there are survivors near when you spawn, the point is destroyed. Att bonus temporarily on spawn.|
|Leap||You have innate attack and defense penalties. You are immune to fall damage. Call for Medic to perform a long jump. Scouts have a cooldown of 2 seconds, while other classes have a cooldown of 4 seconds..|
|Magnetic||You have an innate attack penalty. Disable nearby Sentry Guns and proximity mines. While disabling either Sentry Guns or mines your attack and health regeneration will rapidly increase.|
|Marked||One survivor is randomly selected as your mark. You gain an attack bonus when attacking your mark and an attack penalty otherwise. New mark is chosen after current mark dies. If your mark is the last remaining survivor your attack bonuses are cut in half.|
|Rage||Call for Medic to active Rage. While Enraged you gain extra health and speed. When Rage fades you suffer a 50% attack penalty for 15 seconds.|
|Roar||Call for Medic to push back nearby survivors in front of you and give them -Def. Ability has a cooldown of 15s.|
|Scorching||You have a speed bonus. You have an attack penalty. You are immune to fire sources. You ignite survivors when you hit them with melee or touch them. Can't Cloak or use Bonk!.|
|Shield||You have innate attack penalties and defense bonuses. Call for Medic to turn yourself into a beacon. While beaconed, the Shield zombie cannot move and suffers heavy attack and defense penalties, but grants nearby Zombies heavy defense and regeneration bonuses. If a beaconed zombie is killed by a survivor, the survivor gains a temporary attack buff. Shield zombies cannot Cloak or use Bonk!.|
|Sick||You have an innate attack penalty. Call for Medic to spit acid. Acid lasts for 30s or until you die. Damage caused increases the longer survivors stand inside it.|
|Swarming||You have an innate speed bonus. You have innate attack and defense penalties. You have instant respawn, and zombies that die near you have instant respawn. You cannot backstab survivors.|
|Tarred||You have an innate attack and speed penalty. Call for Medic to spit tar. Tar slicks last for 30s or until you die and slow enemies within them. You slow survivors with melee hits or when hit with melee.|
|Thieving||You have an innate attack penalty. Striking a survivor with melee allows you to steal a portion of their ammo, metal, and ubercharge. If a survivor using a primary weapon loses all their reserve ammo to a thieving, the zombie can steal their weapon. Stolen weapons disappear when they run out of their limited ammo supply. Thieving zombies can also steal weapons by killing survivors.|
|Toxic||Poison survivors on hit. More hits = more time poisoned. Damage near survivors when not moving. -100%Att.|
|Vampiric||Suffer an attack penalty. Leech HP per hit based on damage. You have a regen bonus and can overheal while leeching health.|
|Vindictive||+Att +Def on killing a survivor. Buffs carry when you respawn or change classes.|
Super Zombie Fortress
Super Zombie Fortress works the same as perk-less Zombie Fortress. If running on an officially endorsed server, survivors only start with melee weapons and collect randomly generated weapons from spawn and from certain areas around the map. Players can only pick up class-specific weapons (multi-class weapons such as the Shotguns can be picked up by all classes who can use this weapon). This makes class variety and teamwork even more important due to limited firepower (and for the Medic, healing power) and distribution of weapons. Other servers cannot run this private mechanic, but Super Zombie Fortress is still playable without it.
It is not uncommon for survivors to lack key weapons such as the Medi Gun or the Rocket Launcher for the majority of the map, especially on smaller teams. Therefore teams should have a variety of different classes to ensure that most weapons can be used and less weapons need to be passed up due to the lack of the corresponding class in the team.
Most Super Zombie Fortress maps that are successful are Attack-type maps where the survivors capture points from zombies. Other map types such as survival-based maps are usually developed for Zombie Fortress instead.
- Zombie Fortress Steam Community Group
- Zombie Fortress Intox Gaming Forums
- Zombie Fortress GFL Forums
- Zombie Fortress Thread on AlliedMods
- Super Zombie Fortress Thread on AlliedMods
- Zombie Fortress maps on GameBanana