If you’ve never played an open-world survival game before, 7 Days To Die is a nice starting point. Especially if you’re into zombie horror because this game merges an FPS with open-world survival horror in a way that is unique.
It came out in December of 2013, around the same time as DayZ. DayZ is also a zombie survival game with crafting mechanics, but it isn’t exactly terrifying or open-world. At least not on the same level as 7 Days To Die. To date, 7 Days To Die is the only game made by The Fun Pimps.
Is 7 Days To Die cross platform? Well, it certainly is multiplatform. But crossplay is limited to consoles only, which means you can’t play between PC and console. If your friend has it on PC and you have it on console, you’re out of luck. However, if you’ve got the game on Xbox One and your friend has it on PS4, both of you can play together.
Starting out as a low-budget indie title in 2013 on Steam, the game has been gradually receiving upgrades through patches. In April of 2016, The Fun Pimps announced that they would work with Telltale Publishing to port their game onto Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
Later that year, 7 Days To Die was released on both Xbox One and PS4. However, I don’t recommend you play this game on console if you already have a capable gaming PC. And there are some very good reasons for that, which I shall list out later in this article.
Still, if an Xbox One or PS4 is all you have for playing games- there is no shame in purchasing a copy of 7 Days To Die for your console. Granted, you won’t have the same experience as someone on a proper gaming PC but you can at least enjoy a very well-crafted open-world horror game.
Right now, there is nothing else that provides all the same gameplay features while managing to blend so many genres in such a seamless way.
What Is This Game All About?
In 7 Days To Die, you start with your fists and a couple of crude tools. Collecting resources and salvaging parts, you build yourself a stronghold to repel zombie hordes. Initially, you only have access to basic weaponry. Think stone axes, bows, etc. However, you will find old pistols and rifles along the way which can be repaired, upgraded, etc.
Since 7 Days To Die is a survival game, it has resources such as food, fuel, ammo, etc. The game is about cleverly managing your resources, crafting the right equipment, and surviving longer than everyone else. Enemies vary from zombified people to infected bears, bats, and all other kinds of creatures.
I will say this right now- the graphics won’t blow your mind. Even though it has been updated over the past 8 years, this is still a game that prioritizes gameplay features and a vast open-world over shiny visuals.
So, who is this game for? I say it’s for people who are sick of the old FPS zombie games and want something fresh that involves creativity and strategy. The gunplay isn’t anything special, the graphics are kind of dated. But the game melds together horror, survival, shooting, and resource collection/ crafting in a way that no other game manages to do.
Best of all, the game gives you multiple ways to change your experience so every playthrough is different. You can choose to spawn in an existing ruin or you can start from scratch, building your own fortified settlement. Are you a team player or a raider? The game lets you cooperate with other players to create a unified defense.
You can also role-play as the bad guy and raid someone else’s settlement to steal their resources. Either way, 7 Days To Die is a fun experience that may not be for everyone but offers an experience that no other survival-horror game does.
7 Days To Die On Console vs PC
Is 7 Days To Die cross platform? Yep, it has been since mid-2016. With limitations, because it’s only cross-platform for consoles. Console players can’t play with PC players. However, consoles stopped getting updates since December 13 of 2017.
Both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions of this game are stuck on the same build since then (220.127.116.11 for Xbox One and 1.18 for PS4). Why haven’t the console versions been updated?
Well, 7 Days To Die has always been a PC game at heart and was designed to run on powerful PC hardware. Now, the console versions don’t look bad… but they simply can’t match the framerate or graphics on a good PC. When you think about it, The Fun Pimps barely manage to get this game running above 60fps on a semi-decent gaming PC.
Even after all these years they still haven’t ironed out all the performance issues. Now imagine how tough it would be for the PS4 and Xbox One to run this game, one that still isn’t optimized and requires tons of processing power.
That’s not all, the publisher for console ports was Telltale which went bankrupt in September of 2018. Telltale began laying off staff members and liquidating assets, which is why The Fun Pimps terminated their license agreement with them.
The Fun Pimps aren’t exactly a large company, 7 Days To Die is their only IP. And they are spending whatever resources they have on updating the PC version right now, so console development has been sidelined.
You will also find several gameplay variations between the PC and console versions of 7 Days To Die. For starters, the way skill points and perks work is very different in console. The amount of skill points you need to unlock a skill or perk varies from 1 to 5 points, whereas on PC it is mostly 1 point to unlock or improve skills.
Plus, the way you acquire these points is more streamlined on PC. Using an item repeatedly makes you more proficient with said item.
Items and crafting are also different on PC. On console, in order to repair or craft something like a pistol, you need schematics. Just having the parts isn’t enough. On PC, you don’t need schematics as long as you have the perk unlocked to craft said item. Console lets you combine multiple copies of the same part to create a single higher quality part.
That mechanic is absent from PC. On PC the quality of item you create depends on your perk level. And the highest quality items are either available as loot or purchasable from the trader. Talking of traders, console has them but the experience on PC is vastly superior thanks to trader quests which makes the traders a lot more versatile.
Even the zombies themselves are better on PC, there is more variety so you get more types of zombies. And the zombie AI is more advanced on PC, so they can use strategies and reach places that the zombies on a console just can’t. One example- in console the zombies can’t do anything to an underground base. However on PC, they know how to dig so you aren’t safe in your underground bunker.
Finally, and most importantly- PC just performs way better. Not just visuals, but also loading. Parts of the environment take so much time to load on console that your game essentially freezes for a second or two as you watch a red circle spin on the top right. This usually happens when you’re out in the open world riding a vehicle.
7 Days To Die also feels way more responsive on PC, and runs at higher framerates, provided you have the necessary hardware. But what kind of hardware am I talking about? Read on to find out.
What Kind Of PC Hardware Do You Need To Play This Game?
You don’t need a super-strong gaming PC to play this game, it will run on a mediocre build from 5 to 6 years ago. However, to take advantage of the latest HD textures and models you need a better GPU than most. Especially because this game is very taxing on hardware, even people with GeForce GTX 2080s have trouble maxing it out.
So I recommend you tweak the settings until you get a smooth 60fps at most times. If you have a mid-range or higher video card released in the last 2 to 3 years, this shouldn’t be an issue. You also need at least 12GB of RAM for a smooth experience, with 8GB being the minimum requirement. Then again, RAM is easy to upgrade. Unless you’re using a laptop.
As for the CPU, a simple quad-core with 8 threads will get the job done. For highest settings and good FPS during fights with lots of zombies you want a good processor, something like a Ryzen 5 5600x or Intel i5 11600k. And finally, don’t forget the internet. You need a stable connection to play online. Or, you can just play single-player mode if you don’t have good internet access.
The Combat in 7 Days To Die- Is It Immersive?
Not really, the combat isn’t the main draw of the game. I’m not saying it’s boring or anything, it’s just really basic. Think every generic FPS ever. You either whack a zombie on the head with a club or shoot it from a distance with bows/ guns. The fun is obtained by exploring the wasteland, searching for parts to build your next dream gun/ trap, and building it. Shooting is the final result of all your hard work. The journey is what matters.
Survival Mechanics And Crafting
You can collect everything from metals and wood to fiber and plastic/ glass, etc. In 7 Days To Die, you can use your experience points (obtained by killing zombies) to upgrade perks that let you craft various items. You can make boots, jackets, body armor, pistols, rifles, booby traps, etc. You can even make vehicles and design your very own fort.
There is a bit of tower defense in this game, which is put into focus when you fortify a building to hold off against waves of zombies. Install cannons, guns, traps, etc. to decimate any invading force. And there is a teamwork aspect to it because you can cooperate with squadmates to do all this. Say one guy is in charge of the turrets, another in charge of traps- you get the idea.
Customization And Co-Op
7 Days To Die isn’t just any open-world game, it’s a fully customizable sandbox. You can choose where you spawn and how many zombies you have to fight. You can adjust difficulty and alter how the world looks. There are prefabbed levels and randomly generated levels.
With 2000 unique building blocks and a fully-fledged painting system, you can create your very own post-apocalyptic zombie-infested hellscape. And you can share the experience with your friends by playing co-op via the internet. There are traders and NPCs who will give you quests, and you gain skill points/ exclusive items upon finishing these quests (which you can also do with friends). Farming and hunting are also in the game.