How To: Run Your Own Private DayZ Server
Edit: Since this article was originally written, Kronzky has removed the DayZ single player mission from his site. The best information I’ve been able to find as to why that happened is here and here.
The instructions in the article below rely on you being able to find a copy of Kronzky’s DayZ single player mission. Since the file isn’t available from Kronky’s site anymore you’re going to have to be a little more creative should you still wish to proceed. It could be difficult to find. Kronzky explicitly requests people don’t mirror content from his site. Maybe a good place to start looking are in the comments at the bottom of this article?
Another Edit: The DayZ mod is being updated all the time. The problem is that Kronzky’s SP mission is not, and it only supports version 1.7.0 of DayZ. This means two things:
- Official DayZ develops and improves. This private server is stuck on version 1.7.0. Already the difference is features is noticeable. It will only increase. Eventually this private server trick will be so outdated that it’ll hardly seem worthwhile.
- As DayZ increases in version, older versions are becoming harder and harder to find. Finding the files for version 1.7.0 is quite tricky.
At the time of writing, with DayZ currently at 188.8.131.52, you can revert it to 1.7.0 by simply replacing dayz_code.pbo. Google search for a file called dayz_code_v1.7.0.rar — a copy of dayz_code.pbo of the correct version should be in there. (At least, I think this should work. I only did a very quick test myself.)
There will come a point when that fix doesn’t work. All you can do then is search for version 1.7.0 files yourself. Maybe the comments section below is a good place to start looking?
The original article begins below:
Yes, it’s possible. I’ve tested it online. But there are four things you should know before reading any further:
- You are disconnected from the DayZ database. Characters will not persist. Anyone who dies will not be able to respawn. Joining a server in progress may not function correctly. You didn’t expect a perfectly functioning experience did you?
- You should consider whether it’s appropriate to host your own DayZ server. I have only done so in password-protected servers with my own friends for our own private amusement. If you plan to be more public with your server you should consider how the DayZ developers would feel about your actions.
- Don’t give me credit for this. I didn’t write the DayZ mod, these guys did. I didn’t write the single-player adaption, Kronzky did. All I did was see a way to tweak Kronzky’s mission.
- These instructions are aimed at persons confident with using computers. If you don’t fall into that category, may I suggest you consider the single-player version of DayZ as an alternative?
Read on for more information…
What Works? What Doesn’t?
I’ve already mentioned problems with persistence, respawning and joining in progress.
Everything else about DayZ seems to work fine, including:
- zombie spawning
- zombie behaviour
- item spawning
- item usability
- hunger/thirst/blood mechanics
- Install ArmA 2 Combined Operations and the DayZ mod. I used version 1.7.0 of the mod.
- Download Kronzky’s DayZ Single Player mission. I used version 1.3.4.
- See if you can get the DayZ single player mission to work. If you can’t there’s not really any point proceeding. If you need help getting DayZ to work may I suggest the DayZ forums?
- Now that we know the DayZ single player mission works for you, we can get to work tweaking it for multiplayer. First, download the “ArmA Tools” package from here.
- You need to use a tool called cpbo. Instructions to use it are in a text file that came with the download.
- Use cpbo to extract the contents of DayZ_SP.Chernarus.pbo. (It’s part of the file you downloaded in step 2.)
- Go to your ArmA 2 save game location. Inside, look for a directory called missions. Create it if it’s not there.
- Inside the missions directory, create a directory called My_DayZ_Server.Chernarus. Or something similar, as long as it ends in dot Chernarus.
- Copy all the files that were extracted in step 6 into the folder you created.
- Launch Operation Arrowhead, with DayZ as a loaded mod. (If you could get step 3 to work, you should already know how to do this.)
- Single Player > Editor > Chernarus > Continue.
- Click Load. Choose the mission with the same name as the folder you created in step 8.
- Whatever you do, don’t press Preview! You may end up with a black screen you can’t escape out of. Don’t worry… the mission will work multiplayer.
- The editor loads the map. You should be centred on the north-western airfield in Chenarus. If not, scroll there.
- There are a few objects on the airfield. Mouse over them. Look for the one called Survivor.
- Single-left-click the Survivor object. It should go dark.
- Press Ctrl+C to copy the object.
- Press Ctrl+V to place a copy of the survivor. Left-click drag it to position it next to the original (exact position doesn’t matter, we’re just being tidy.)
- Double-click the newly placed survivor. Up comes the Edit Unit dialogue. In the dialogue that comes up, change Control from Non Playable to Playable.
- If you’re feeling advanced, you can also change the unit’s Faction, Class and Unit to give him a unique appearance (e.g. a British soldier rather than a baseball-cap-wearing civilian). If you do this, however, you’ll need to add in the following text at the start of the Initialization field:
removeallweapons this; removeallitems this; removebackpack this;Failure to add that text will result in the unit keeping their soldier gear as well as getting the typical DayZ starting equipment.
Also you should be careful… not all ArmA 2 units are capable of using backpacks. Since backpacks are an essential part of DayZ you should only pick units that can use backpacks. Stick with OA, BAF and PMC units to be safe.
- Click OK to close the Edit Unit dialogue.
- Repeat steps 16 to 21 until you have as many survivors as you’d like players. Don’t go overboard!
- Click the Intel pane.
- In dialogue that appears, change the name and description of the mission to something you can more easily identify (it is, after all, no longer single-player).
- Click Save. Make sure you Export to multiplayer missions.
- You can now Exit the editor.
- You should now be able to host the mission as you would any other mission. Clients should be able to join if they have the same version of the DayZ mod — they do not need the DayZ single player mission (neither the normal one nor the special modified one you’ve created).
Here are some tips for playing multiplayer:
- If you host through the Multiplayer > New option, note that the mission will be called whatever you called in it step 24.
- Always make sure you create the server by pushing Restart. Only ever use Resume if you want to try loading a previous game (which may or may not work).
- Join-in-progress probably doesn’t work so well. I’d suggest you get everyone you want to play with in a slot in the lobby before starting the mission.
- You should probably Disable AI, because who knows what the AI will do controlling survivors. (Will they fight? Will they die? Will they even spawn at all?)
- Sometimes people joining your game will get stuck on a black screen while you (and possibly others) can play normally. You just need to stop and restart the server. Sorry, I know that’s a pain in the arse…
- The single player DayZ mission has its own cheat system (see the mission page for more information). However I don’t suggest you use them when playing multiplayer as strange things may happen.
Yes, this is a rather rudimentary way to play DayZ. I personally hope it will be overshadowed by a proper “lite” version as they have proposed here.
I’ve expended very minimal effort in getting this implementation to work. With a bit more effort it might be possible to implement a working respawning and join-in-progress mechanic. Whether or not I put effort towards such a thing depends on whether this basic “hack” solution appeals at all to anyone.
If you spot any problems on this page, or if you just have general feedback, please get in touch by leaving a comment below or contacting me directly.
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