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Project Zomboid Dedicated Server Set up Guide

Project Zomboid has been out for a while, but how do you start a server to play with your friends? This guide will show you how to set up a Project Zomboid Dedicated Server using SteamCMD and get you on your way to playing Project Zombod!

Step 1: Server Requirements

  • Make sure you are running Windows 10
  • 10GB of storage is available
  • Make sure that you have at least 4GB of RAM to run the server.
  • (Preferably) A wired internet connection. Wifi can get unstable and can cause issues with people connecting to your server. 
  • A Static IP address on your computer (Not sure how to do this? check out this guide!).

Step 2: Installing SteamCMD

The following steps will guide to through the SteamCMD installation:

  • Download the Latest SteamCMD Zip file.
  • Create a folder for SteamCMD. (In this guide, we will use C:\steamcmd)
  • Extract the contents of the steamcmd.zip to the folder you have created
  • You should now have something like the screenshot below:
a screenshot of the Steamcmd folder with a steamcmd.exe executable inside as preparation for the Satisfactory Dedicated Server

To make sure that you’ve done everything correctly, please do the following:

  • Press + to open a run window.
  • Type CMD and press enter.
an image of a windows run box with cmd typed into it
  • Execute the following 2 commands:
cd C:\steamcmd
an image displaying the output of running the steamcmd command

If an output is shown as the example above, good job! You’ve now got SteamCMD up and running! For now exit this window by typing:


Step 3: Preparing the folder

Now you’ve got SteamCMD up and running; it is time to prepare the folder. This step is quite simple.

  • Open up windows explorer with + E.
  • Navigate to the Desktop folder
  • Create a folder called ProjectZomboid (you can name this folder anything you want, but for the sake of clarity, we’ll use this name)
  • Go into the ProjectZomboid Folder
  • Take note of the path you are currently in by clicking on the navigation bar:
Project Zomboid Folder Path

Now you are almost ready to start your server. We will use two batch scripts for this guide, one to install/update and the other to run the server. 

The install/upgrade script

  • In the ProjectZomboid folder, you’ve just created, open up a notepad.
  • Copy and Paste the following in that file:
"C:\steamcmd\steamcmd.exe" +login anonymous +force_install_dir "C:\ProjectZomboid" +app_update 380870 validate +quit
  • Click on Save As
  • Give it the same name and type as the image below:
install_server.bat as file type "All Files" to automate the Satisfactory Dedicated server installation
  • Save the install_server.bat in the Project Zomboid folder.

Step 4: Running the Project Zomboid Dedicated Server

Now all files are in order and we are ready to move forward and start the server!

  • Right Click the install_server.bat and select “ Run as administrator
  • This will install the server in the right directory (the process can take a while depending on PC speed).

Now, if you’ve done everything correctly, your folder should now look like this:

Project Zomboid Server Folder fully installed
  • Start the Project Zomboid Dedicated Server by Double Clicking the StartServer64.bat

Now the server is running! Let’s move forward with connecting to the server.

You’ll be prompted to set the Administrator password of the server when you start it for the first time:

Enter a secure password and share that password with your friends so they can join the server.

Step 5: Firewall Rules

Before you and your friends can connect to the Project Zomboid server, you’ll need to make changes to your firewall to allow connections on specific ports.

By default, a Project Zomboid server uses the following ports:

Default Port Port Usage Description
16261 Client Port This port must be opened for client connections.
16262 Direct Connect Table Body

Now you can add these port exceptions to the firewall by hand, but let’s not; that takes way too much time. Let’s do something different:

  • Press + to open a run window.
  • Type PowerShell and press Ctrl+Shift+Enter to run it as administrator.
  • Type the following three commands:
netsh advfirewall firewall add rule name="ProjectZomboid Port 16261" dir=in action=allow protocol=UDP localport=16261
netsh advfirewall firewall add rule name="ProjectZomboid Port 16262" dir=in action=allow protocol=UDP localport=16262

And now your firewall has been magically configured!

Step 6: Port forwarding

Now, let’s move forward by port forwarding. Before doing that, you would want to set a static IP address on your computer

After you’ve done that, you can move forward with the actual port forwarding:

First, you’ll need to know what the IP addresses of your computer and router are. This can be done by doing the following:

  • Press + to open a run window.
  • Type CMD and press Enter. (This should open a black window.)
  • Please type “ipconfig” and press enter.

You’ll see some information about the network settings:

A Picture of a Commandprompt which just executed the ipconfig command

You’ll want to make a note of the “Default Gateway” & IPv4 address; in my case, it is:

  • Default Gateway:
  • IPv4 address:

You’ll need to enter this address in your browser and log in to your router. Visit this site to find your specific model and were to find the Port Forward settings.

Once you’ve navigated to the Port Forwarding rules, please enter the following information:

Rule Name IP Address Port Range Protocol
Project Zomboid Client Port -Your IPv4 Address- 16261 UDP
Project Zomboid Direct Connect -Your IPv4 Address- 16262 UDP

Now hit save, and your Project Zomboid server is open to the public!

But your friends still don’t know where to find you. For that, you’ll need your public IP address. You can use a site like www.whatismyip.com to get your public IP address.

Step 7: Connecting to your Project Zomboid server

Woohoo! You’ve made it to the last step! You’re in the home stretch.

Now you can finally boot up Project Zomboid. 

Once in the main menu, click on Join. 

This will pop up a new window.

In this window, you can enter the following:

Project Zomboid Server Information
  • Favorite Name: A name you can easily recognize your server by.
  • IP: The IP of your server (You need to enter “localhost” your friends need your public IP). 
  • Local IP: You can leave this empty
  • Port: 16261
  • Server Password: The server password set in step 4.
  • Description: Optional, you can leave this empty for now.
  • Account Username: Zomboid Account Username.
  • Account Password: Zomboid Account Password

That’s it! You now have a running Project Zomboid server using SteamCMD!

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By Thijs van Loef
Posted on: 01/12/2022

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