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Zero-K





Status Updates

2016-06-03: item has been marked as Incompatable
2016-06-04: item has been marked as Compatable
2016-07-28: item has been marked as Incompatible
2016-07-29: item has been marked as Compatible
2018-04-11: status changed from 'Greenlit' to 'Released'
Zero-K is a free, multiplatform, open-source RTS game where opposing Commanders wage war with increasingly large robotic armies. With design and balance refined over many years of development Zero-K offers many interesting strategies and ways to play.

  • Start with a single commander, build large armies and test your strategies.
  • Enjoy endless variety of tactics and strategies with over 100 units and 3000 hand-crafted maps.
  • Let the powerful interface and unit intelligence help you control large armies while leaving room for smart micromanagement.
  • Change the shape of the battlefield with deformable terrain and terraforming.
  • Join our community of smart, friendly players with ladders, campaigns and tournaments.


Zero-K boasts over 100 diverse units including Vehicles, Tanks, Hovercraft, Planes, Gunships, Ships, Spiders and giant Striders. The amount of unit diversity really is extreme; from the well armored Jack beating your units to death with a spear to glass cannon saturation artillery. Add this to special abilities such as cloaking, terraforming, jetpacks and EMP warfare and there is plenty of room for innovative strategies.

We are dead set against tedious micromanagement. A lot of work has been dedicated to make implementing a plan about as complicated as the plan itself. Other games may limit your ability to implement simple plans such as "move to stand in an arc" or "engage the enemy and stay at your maximum range" but Zero-K has smarter units than that. That is not to say that Zero-K plays itself, far from it, you just won't have to click frantically to make your armies understand simple concepts. Fight your opponent, not the interface!

Units are balanced intuitively using physics. Your robots are armed with many weapon types; Lasers, Missiles, Lightning, Plasma to name a few. These weapons have different characteristics, some are slow and inaccurate while others travel as fast as light. These physical characteristics are used to give units a readily understandable role, for example the small speedy Glaive excels at dodging slow missiles. There are no armor tables to memorize here.

This game has been designed with 1v1, Teamgames and Free For All in mind as well as skirmish AI and cooperative Chicken Defense (alien invasion). So whether you are looking for intense competitive play or more laid back epic battles there is something for you. For competitive players Zero-K offers 15-20 minute long intense battles with very little messing about at the start. Other players may prefer a small tactical teamgame or a larger slugfest where economies can ramp up to produce battles of epic scale. Free for all gameplay actually works quite well with many ridiculously expensive superweapons to create tension and break stalemates. Development of a singleplayer campaign is underway and there are currently some stand alone missions to play.

Some superbly cast 1v1 games can be seen here:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLmJnvU5T53FkhANkO0ByE8s9QZ5QJZVMb
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLmJnvU5T53FkQE4BB78cV2_q3CL9Ql3DC

http://zero-k.info/