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Official: Engine Testing – 104.0-RC3

Third release-candidate for 104.0!

Changes since RC2
Various fixes

Major Changes since 103.0

  • Added LuaMenu
  • GL3.0 set as the minimum required OpenGL version
  • Improved memory management to allow multiple Spring.Reload() calls.
  • A zillion bug fixes

Changes in Detail:
git diff last rc to HEAD

See the download page for how to get it.

If you find a bugs, please report to Mantis.
Please attach infolog.txt to the report!

Happy testing! :-)


Zero-K: AI difficulty level renames

The circuit AI difficulty levels are now Beginner – Novice – Easy – Normal – Hard – Brutal. Thanks to everyone for their feedback and patience as we dial in appropriate difficulty levels and names. There should be no further big changes to names because we now have a fairly clear idea of the purpose for each difficulty level.


Zero-K: Zero-K v1.5.8.2

Thanks to recent work and feedback we now have tentative AI difficulty levels. Aside from AI, we have been working on smarter and newbie friendly defaults for unit AI and, as always, miscellaneous bug fixes.

AI Difficulty Levels

Renamed the AI difficulty levels for descriptiveness and because ‘Very’ is unimaginative.

  • Beginner: A new AI that barely attacks. It is easier than the old Very Easy.
  • Easy: The old Very Easy.
  • Normal: The old Easy.
  • Hard: The old Medium.
  • Brutal: The old Hard.
  • Insane: The old (well, quite recent) Brutal.

Beginner is very much a sandbox AI for getting the hang of units and controls. It slowly makes a base and after about 8 minutes sends a Flea (or equivalent unit) to wander around the map. Easy and Normal correspond to AIs recently configured by USrankCrazyEddie. Easy is like Beginner but, instead of a Flea, it makes an army out of a few units and sends them to wander around the map. It also has a faster buildup.

Brutal is the old Hard. The new Normal and Hard are effectively Brutal but with a delay on all their construction and less self preservation for their units. Insane is a recent configuration which I was recommended to place as harder than the old Hard. Many thanks to UAranklamer for writing Circuit AI and GBrank[GBC]1v0ry_k1ng for configuration, as well as to everyone else who has given feedback.

We have also added a beginner level chicken to match the Circuit AI difficulty levels.



  • Moved to Strider Hub, no longer buildable by constructors.
  • Cost 500 -> 600
  • Build power 7.5 -> 15 (notably this doubles resurrect speed)

The intention is to buff resurrection and sneaky unit production while nerfing it as a second factory.


  • Cost 200 -> 250
  • Health 1000 -> 2200 (It is supposedly beefy)
  • Damage 1000 -> 1200
  • Reload time 2.8 -> 2.4.

Note that the reload time doubles its stun uptime because it has an EMP timer of 2 seconds. The intention is to avoid swapping Faraday and Stardust in the build menu as well as an attempt to revive a generally ignored turret.

The Cloaky and Shield factories now have a an unbuildable section in front of them to make them harder to accidentally block.

Unit Behaviour

Tactical AI

  • Rockos now try to shoot Stardust from outside its range.
  • Added tactical AI for Goliath.

Skirmishers and particularly long ranged riots are now smarter about skirmishing occluded units. They now detect when their line of fire is blocked and, after a few seconds, stop skirmishing and try to move such that they can fire. This behaviour is disabled for units set to Hold Position because this is the “don’t get baited” movestate.

Disabled hold position by default for skirmishers, now that they are smarter about being blocked. The affected units are Buoy, Hammer, Rocko, Sniper, Scalpel, Firewalker, Placeholder, Moderator, Racketeer, Felon, Recluse, Wolverine and Dominatrix.

Here are the remaining things with hold position by default.

  • Anti-Air – Angler, Gremlin, Flail, Archangel, Vandal, Zephyr, Tarantula, Copperhead, Crasher.
  • Cloaked ‘melee’ – Scythe, Flea, Infiltrator.
  • Expensive artillery – Penetrator, Ronin, Catapult, Pillager, Tremor.
  • Deployable stuff – Crabe, Slasher.
  • Weird stuff – Claymore, Aspis, Scylla, Dart.

These changes should only affect new players.


  • Cheap units [?] given slightly more attention by long-reload, heavy-hitting units [?]
  • Fixed identified radar dots getting overkilled, especialy by disarm
  • Hammer now has overkill prevention vs static targets.
  • Racketeer now correctly anticipates that disarm is about to wear off.
  • Racketeer now longer unwilling to target mobile units.
  • Racketeer now has a fairly strict priority hierarchy: in-LOS active > out of LOS > in-LOS inactive.


  • Activated “Settings/HUD Presets/Stay up to date” so non-hardcore UI editing players are not left behind as the UI improves.
  • Swapped Defender and LLT in the build menu (yes, everything is ruined).
  • Moved camera hotkeys to the hotkeys submenu.
  • Camera zoom to startbox on comm selection is now configurable [?]
  • Units no longer retarget when their target completes a morph.
  • Default Wind/Tidal Generator build spacing 3 › 2.
  • Units of lagging players no longer flash by default.
  • Double click selection ignores selection filtering (except for rank 0).
  • Alt + Area Mex now creates Wind/Tidal Generators if Solar Collectors don’t fit.
  • Added a unit icon for Infiltrator. Previously it looked like Scythe, now it has spider legs.


  • Fixed Wyvern being able to shoot as soon as it starts rearming.
  • Fixed jumpies being unable to jump directly from their factory.
  • Fixed newly teleported units with a move order being temporarily stuck.
  • Fixed Sumo gravity guns sometimes causing light in the other direction.
  • Fixed the tooltip in the middle of the screen issue.
  • Fixed some cases where the tooltip was cut off.
  • Fixed the facplop graphical effect being covered in lines.
  • Fixed Recon Commander moonwalking during and after jumping.
  • Fixed Dart sometimes standing at an angle.
  • Fixed cloaked units setting themselves to fire at will when they decloak.
  • Fixed “Catching up” panel showing up after game over.
  • Fixed mex ghost showing in economy view regardless of the ability to build it.
  • Fixed wrong units being highlighted for selection when the mouse was outside the game window.
  • Fixed Strider Hub, Wind Generator and Solar Collector ambient occlusion.
  • Fixed an error with zombie mode.
  • Fixed an error when a unit dies during teleporting.
  • Fixed an error when a plane dies when it is just about to sit on an airpad.
  • Fixed an error when changing transport orders near a drop point.
  • Fixed an error causing invisible units when using shiny units without shadows.
  • Fixed an error where stockpiled tacnukes don’t explode on silo death.
  • Fixed a build ETA UI bug.
  • Fixed a transport AI issue with constructor following.
  • Fixed commanders occasionally failing to continue their construction when they morph.

Zero-K: Change to UI layout updating

Starting from the next stable we will keep player UIs up to date, with the default preset, unless they opt out. To opt out disable ‘Simple Settings’ and disable ‘Settings/HUD Presets/Stay up to date’. The current form of the setting is inactive and just exists to give advanced users some time to disable it.


Zero-K: Downloading game as .sdz archive

[If you’ve just downloaded the game for the first time, you can safely ignore this message]

For debugging reasons (details here), the lobby client launcher/wrapper (but not the client itself, once you log in) will re-download the latest Zero-K stable as an .sdz archive instead of the ‘rapid’ incremental format currently in use. This will occur even if you already have the newest stable downloaded via rapid, but will only happen once per stable ZK release.

Due to the large file size involved (275 MB), this will lead to some wait time the next time you try to launch the game. To do the downloading ahead of time:

  • Go to this page
  • Download zk-v1.5.8.0.sdz to <gamedata folder>/games (this will usually be where you installed/downloaded the lobby client executable Chobby.exe to)

Official: Engine Testing – 104.0-RC2

Second release-candidate for 104.0!

Changes since RC1
Various fixes and speedups

Major Changes since 103.0

  • Added LuaMenu
  • GL3.0 set as the minimum required OpenGL version
  • Improved memory management to allow multiple Spring.Reload() calls.
  • A zillion bug fixes

Changes in Detail:
git diff last rc to HEAD

See the download page for how to get it.

If you find a bugs, please report to Mantis.
Please attach infolog.txt to the report!

Happy testing! :-)


Zero-K: Zero-K v1.7.7.8

To stick with the theme of crazy Defender changes we’ve cooked up something that few thought was even possible. Defender now has a reload bar. Trident is another benefactor of this change and its fancy new bar even convinced Angler and Hacksaw to make the switch to Defender-style independent reloads.

Aside from the Defender we have mostly been working on polish, fixes and stability. Constructor movement is much improved with the application of raw move. The crash reporting system is working well as the engine seems to have become much more stable over the last few months. A noticeable performance boost should be noticeable thanks to the fixes for this ticket:



  • Removed weapon AoE [?]
  • Movement speed 106.2 › 105 elmo/s


  • No longer has to use all 4 missiles at once [?]
  • Delay between individual missiles in a salvo 0.40 › 0.32 s
  • Range 750 › 820 [?]


  • No longer has to use both missiles at once [?]
  • 100% faster vertical aim [?]
  • 16% slower missile speed [?]

Solar Collector:

  • No longer toggleable manually (still closes on damage)

Increased the footprints of some units. This reduces their ability to clump so whether it is a buff or a nerf depends on the situation.

  • Roach, Tick, Flea and Skuttle footprint sizes increased to 2×2 (up from 1×1).
  • Buoy, Hammer, Thug, Outlaw and Felon footprint sizes increased to 3×3 (up from 2×2).


  • Added reload bars for the special reload system used by Defender and Trident (as well as, now, Angler and Hacksaw).
  • Added a setting to remove non-terminating commands (guard and patrol) from constructor command queues when they have a command added to their queue. Guard orders now cancelled by further commands unless they are given just after Guard. Enabled by default, lives under under `Settings / Unit Behaviour`.
  • Camera fast/slow movement can be bound as a hotkey in the misc hotkeys menu.
  • Builders now take a straight path towards their repair/reclaim/construction targets (if possible) and are much less likely to become stuck. This behaviour is already present for move commands.
  • Factories now draw an arrow indicating their exit direction. Drag the mouse to change their exit direction.
  • Added an option to show build ETA for icons on strategic zoom.
  • Added an option to set tooltip opacity.
  • Waiting units now have an overhead icon to indicate that they are waiting.
  • “catching up please wait” now shows server time and a more accurate ETA.
  • Enemy resign votes no longer show vote buttons.
  • Unit value lost/killed is now tracked by endgame graphs.
  • Added an option to deselect units that start retreating (default enabled).
  • Add an option to make retreating units treated as different selection rank (default enabled, rank 1).
  • Units now obey direct orders when retreating – the unit is still considered retreating during that time (for selection rank override and icon purposes) and will resume retreating (potentially getting deselected) after it becomes idle.


  • Roach, Tick, Skuttle models are 20% bigger. This change does not affect game mechanics. Flea is similarly 10% bigger.
  • Replaced 2D tree sprites with 3D models on some older maps.
  • Added boxes for Trojan Hills v03.
  • Zombies now raise commanders from the dead.


  • Fixed being unable to go back to the default camera if it was changed to another
  • Fixed Smart Bombers disobeying manual fire state override
  • Fixed tooltip overlapping the minimap when looking at ping on the default layout.
  • Fixed a COFC free mode crash.
  • Fixed a crash when killing a nanoframe and using old engine.
  • Fixed double click attack move no taking into account mouse movement.
  • Fixed teamcolors looking very similar.
  • Fixed gesture menu with raw move.
  • Fixed keep target with line move.
  • Fixed Limpet using a weird metal chunk for wreck.
  • Fixed Mace leaving a lingering green trail.
  • Fixed a crash when a spectator moves to a player team (with cheats).
  • Fixed many shader errors.
  • Fixed bombers circling a target unable to reach it properly.
  • Fixed Cobra aiming from hunched position (potentially thinking it’s blocked).
  • Fixed Flea burrowing while attacking.
  • Fixed a chicken queen morph crash.
  • Fixed Stardust not prioritising close enemies.
  • Fixed construction at zero storage when on a team of players who are also constructing.
  • Fixed cases where very low income (eg from just a factory) would not be spendable without storage.
  • Fixed Pylon and Zenith tooltip description not updating.
  • Fixed disabled economy units income icons not updating.
  • Fixed some cases where missile OKP failed to work against rapidly incoming enemies
  • Fixed killed nanoframe debris tooltip showing full value.
  • Fixed Engineer commander failing to shoot at very close targets.
  • Fixed weapon lights rendering.
  • Fixed crashing unit translations.
  • Fixed shield colours.
  • Fixed Circuit AI to obey unit disabling.
  • Fixed Crude player list showing dead teams as alive.
  • Fixed tactical AI getting stuck on useless targets such as Solars.
  • Fixed Engineer commander and Infiltator spider having bad walk animations.