7 Days to Die differentiates itself from the sea of survival games through its unique use of zombies. Now many other survival games have zombies incorporated in the gameplay, but in 7 Days to Die, and as the game title suggests, there is the looming danger of the 7th-day zombie horde that will pose a constant threat, and it is what dictates what you will be doing throughout the game.
You will be collecting resources and crafting defensive measures to fend off the horde that comes every 7th day in the game. If you survive to live another day, then it is back to collecting and crafting for the upcoming even harder horde, and this whole process will continuously advance and get harder as you survive and progress.
The first thing you need to understand right off the bat is Game Stage. Difficulty during a horde night is determined by Game Stage. Game Stage is calculated using the days that you’ve been alive plus your level multiplied by 1.2, and because you are not going to sit there and do the math each time, you can just go to the Players tab, and it will show you what your current game stage is at the moment. In the Game Stage calculation, days alive will be subtracted by one for every death that you have sustained.
Game Stage = Days Alive + Player Level x 1.2 (Game Stage Formula)
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The Blood Moon Horde can be broken down into five aspects:
Blood Moon Hordes come in waves. One wave for Game Stage 1 through 9, two waves for game stage 10 through 22, and three waves for game stage 23 and beyond.
- Game Stage 1-9: 1 Wave
- Game Stage 10-22: 2 Waves
- Game Stage 23+: 3 Waves
The first wave is weaker than your Game Stage by approximately 7 to 30 percent, and the difference becomes narrower i.e. lower the higher your Game Stage gets. The second wave while still weaker will only be about 3 to 15 percent below your Game Stage. The third and final wave is equal to your Game Stage.
Each zombie wave has a timer, when the timer expires the current wave ends and the next wave begins. From Game Stage 1 to 53 each wave lasts one in-game hour and from Game Stage 54 and beyond the first two waves last two hours each and the third wave lasts 7 hours. The wave ends early if all zombies within that wave are killed.
- Game Stage 1-53: 1 In-game Hour per Wave
- Game Stage 54+:
- Wave 1: 2 In-game Hours
- Wave 2: 2 In-game Hours
- Wave 3: 7 In-game Hours
The Max Alive mechanic dictates the number of zombies that can exist at any given moment, and it is determined by two settings. First, the Blood Moon zombies setting in the Advanced tab is configurable from 6 to 64.
The setting does not influence the number of zombies that will spawn in total during horde night or the number of zombies that spawn per wave instead, this governs how many zombies of any given wave can be alive at any given moment. Note that the Blood Moon zombies setting is a hard cap meaning the number of living zombies from the Blood Moon spawns will never exceed the number that you have selected in this setting.
Second, the Max Alive setting, which is coded in the game files, also dictates the zombie horde volume. Essentially Game Stage also caps the maximum number of zombies alive at once, and this number increases as Game Stage increases.
The first example, as seen in the picture above, at Game Stage 10, even with the 64 zombies Blood Moon Count setting selected, the Max Alive is capped by your Game Stage at 6.
In the second example, as seen in the picture above, at Game Stage 210 the Max Alive is capped at 66, in this example at this Game Stage the Blood Moon Count zombies number, if set to 64 will kick in and cap the Max Alive down to 64.
So think of the Max Alive as the dynamic soft cap and the Blood Moon Count zombie setting as the fixed hard cap.
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Zombies Per Wave
The maximum number of zombies per wave is not governed by a setting that you can modify but instead is governed by Game Stage and is steadily increasing the higher you get. As seen above at Game Stage 10 you will encounter two waves of a total of 15 zombies each with a Max Alive of 6 at a time.
As seen above at Game Stage 80 you can get a maximum of 113 zombies per wave. Once this number of zombies is killed or alternatively, the timer expires, the horde advances to the next wave.
As seen above, at Game Stage 210 the number per wave becomes 289. So you can see where this is going. Higher Game Stage = More Zombies.
There is an interval of time between waves, ranging from 10 to 30 seconds after the last zombie of the wave is killed or the timer expires. This can be felt as a pause or a lull in the battle before the new wave is unleashed. Be wary, and don’t venture out until you know the horde is over.
There are just a couple of things of note regarding Blood Moon Horde:
- A zombie will spawn once per second during Blood Moon horde night.
- Zombies in Points of Interest will continue to spawn during Blood Moon horde night.
- Ambient zombies will not spawn during Blood Moon horde night.
- Even if you change Blood Moon frequency and day length, all the information is given above still applies.
- Horde difficulty is determined at the beginning of the event and will not change dynamically if you level up during the Blood Moon horde night.
The Blood Moon signals the upcoming zombie horde and is the foundation that influences all of the gameplay in 7 Days to Die, so knowing about its intricacies can be quite beneficial in determining the incoming challenge and being able to appropriately equip yourself to stand your ground.