How to Host a Friends Only Server


  • Players can host servers in-game or through dedicated server files
  • Dedicated servers are more demanding than listening servers
  • Increase server memory based on the number of players joining the game

Build 41’s multiplayer version for “Project Zomboid” is arguably the best the game has ever had so far. With better animations and less latency across the board, players can now experience the zombie apocalypse at its best.

This update also features an easier way to host multiplayer games. Here is a quick guide on how to set up an online lobby for a game of “Project Zomboid” with friends.

How to start a server

Players can host a listening server or a dedicated server, which will determine whether the server is reachable or not, even if the host is not playing the game.

Listening servers will only be active when the host is also playing the game. On the other hand, dedicated servers can be left active (even on a separate machine from the host’s main PC) to allow players to join and play at will.

To start a listening server, simply start the game, click “Hosting” from the main menu, then click Start Game. This will automatically set up a game with the default settings that anyone on the friend list of host can join through Steam.

To start a dedicated server, players will need to download the separate dedicated server files found in their Steam library. After downloading the files, navigate to the Dedicated Server installation folder in the Steam directory, then double-click the “StartServer64MP.bat” file to launch the Dedicated Server.

Server settings

Individual server and game related settings can be changed in-game after tapping the “Host” button and clicking the “Manage Settings” button on the next screen. If players want to change settings outside of the game, go to C:Users[username]ZomboidServer, then edit the .ini file inside.

Project Zomboid’s server settings can be changed from within the game Photo: Zomboid Project

The .ini file in the Servers folder will also affect the Dedicated Server settings, so feel free to modify it if necessary.

Server memory

When changing the settings, players will notice a Server Memory drop-down list which will dictate how much memory the game will reserve to run the server. For small groups of two to four players, only allocate about 2GB of memory to prevent the game from suffering performance issues.

“Project Zomboid” players with high system RAM can allocate more memory for the server, but this is only recommended for dedicated servers with a high maximum player limit.