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Hi all,


Has anyone got all the explanations of the Sandboxvars file? I have the below for my server with the explanations I know, Please can someone fill in the blanks?;


SandboxVars = {

    VERSION = 3,
    Zombies = 4, (How many zombies when the server starts, 1 is insane amount, 5 is none)
    Distribution = 1, (Where the zombies gravitate to, 1 is urban (in cities), 2 is uniform (everywhere))
    DayLength = 3, (1 is 15 minutes, 2 is 30 minutes, 3 is 1 hour, 4 is 2 hours, 5 is 3 hours, 6 is 4 hours, 7 is 5 hours, 8 is 12 hours, 9 is real-time)
    StartYear = 1, (1 is the 1st year etc)
    StartMonth = 4, (1 is Jan, 12 is Dec)
    StartDay = 1, (1 is the 1st of the month etc)
    StartTime = 2, (1 is 7AM, 2 is 9AM, 3 is 12PM, 4 is 2PM, 5 is 5PM, 6 is 9PM, 7 is 12AM, 8 is 2AM, 9 is 5AM)
    WaterShut = 7, (1=instant, 2=0-30days, 3=0-2month, 4=0-6month, 5=0-1years, 6=0-5years, 7=2-6month, 7=6-12month)
    ElecShut = 7, (1=instant, 2=0-30days, 3=0-2month, 4=0-6month, 5=0-1years, 6=0-5years, 7=2-6month, 7=6-12month)
    WaterShutModifier = 500, (the number of days before water is shut off -1 mean instant)
    ElecShutModifier = 480, (the number of days before electricity is shut off -1 mean instant)
    FoodLoot = 4, (1 is extremely rare, 5 is abundant)
    WeaponLoot = 2, (1 is extremely rare, 5 is abundant)
    OtherLoot = 3, (1 is extremely rare, 5 is abundant)
    Temperature = 3, (1 is very cold, 5 is very hot)
    Rain = 3, (How often it rains, 1 is very dry, 5 is is very rainy)
    ErosionSpeed = 5, (How fast erosion occurs, 1 is very fast (20 days), 5 is very slow (500 days))
    XpMultiplier = 15.0, (Obvious)
    Farming = 1, (How fast crops grow, 1 is very fast, 5 is very slow)

    CompostTime = 1 Determines how long it will take for food to decay in a composter. (1Week=1 2Weeks=2 3Weeks=3 4Weeks=4 6Weeks=5 8Weeks=6 10Weeks=7 12Weeks=8)
    StatsDecrease = 4, (How fast Stats Decrease when not being used, 1 is very fast, 5 is very slow)
    NatureAbundance = 3, (1 is very poor, 5 is very abundant)
    Alarm = 6, (How often houses are alarmed, 1 is never, 6 is very often)
    LockedHouses = 6, (How often houses are locked, 1 is never, 6 is very often)
    StarterKit = false, (To start with some basic essentials)
    Nutrition = false, (To enable the Nutrition system, calorie intake etc)
    FoodRotSpeed = 5, (How fast food rots, 1 is very fast, 5 is very slow)
    FridgeFactor = 5, (How effective refrigeration is, 1 is very low, 5 is very high)
    LootRespawn = 3, (How often loot respawns, 1 is none, 2 is every day, 3 is every week, 4 is every month, 5 is every two months)

    SeenHoursPreventLootRespawn = 0 This value is an integer defining the number of hours. When >0, loot will not respawn in zones that have been visited within this number of hours. [Default=0]
    TimeSinceApo = 1, (How many days since the start of the Apocalypse)
    PlantResilience = 3, (Plants resilience against disease/weather. 1 is very low, 5 is very high)
    PlantAbundance = 3, (How much farm plants produce. 1 is very poor, 5 is very abundant)
    EndRegen = 3, (Endurance regeneration (how fast you regain endurance). 1 is very fast, 5 is very slow)
    Helicopter = 3, (how regularly helicopters pass over the event zone. 1=never, 2 =once, 3=sometimes, 4=often)

    MetaEvent = 2, (how often zombie attacking meta-game events like distant gunshots will occur. 1=never, 2=sometimes, 3=often)

    SleepingEvent = 2, (governs night-time meta-game events during the player's sleep. 1=never, 2=sometimes, 3=often)

    GeneratorSpawning = 3, (increase/decrease the chance of electrical generators spawning on the map. 1=very low, 2=low, 3=normal, 4=high, 5=very high)
GeneratorFuelConsumption = 1.0, (impacts how much fuel is consumed by generators. No fuel required= 0 . Minimum = 0, Maximum=100)
SurvivorHouseChance = 3, (increase/decrease probability of discovering randomized safe houses on the map: either burnt out, containing loot stashes, dead survivor bodies etc. 1=never, 2=extremly rare, 3=rare, 4=sometimes, 5=often, 6=very often) 
    AnnotatedMapChance = 4, (impacts on how often a looted map will have annotations marked on it by deceased survivors. 1=never, 2=extremely rare, 3=rare, 4=sometimes, 5=often, 6=very often)
    CharacterFreePoints = 10, (adds free traits points during character creation)
ConstructionBonusPoints = 3, (Player-built construction strength. 1=very low, 2=low, 3=normal, 4=high, 5=very high)
    NightDarkness = 2, (Darkness during night. 1=pitch black, 2=dark, 3=normal, 4=bright)
InjurySeverity = 2, (increases and decreases the impact injuries on your body, and their healing time. 1=low, 2=normal, 3=high)
BoneFracture = true, (False=no fractures, true=bones can break)
HoursForCorpseRemoval = 72, (number of in-game hours before zombies corpses are automatically removed from the map)
DecayingCorpseHealthImpact = 3, (governs impact that nearby decaying bodies has on the player's health and emotions. 1=none 2=low, 3=normal, 4=high)
BloodLevel = 4, (how much blood spatter when getting injured or killing zombies. will 1=none 2=low, 3=normal, 4=high, 5=ultra gore)
    ClothingDegradation = 2, (governs how quickly clothing degrades, becomes dirty and bloodied. 1=disabled, 2=slow, 3=normal, 4=fast)
FireSpread = false, (fire can spread or not. false=off, true=on)
DaysForRottenFoodRemoval = 4, (number of in game days before rotten food is removed from the map. -1 means that rotten food is never removed.)

    AllowExteriorGenerator = true This allows generators to power exterior tiles, and for example can get gas pumps working after the electricity has turned off. (True or False)

    ZombieAttractionMultiplier = 1 Use this to multiply or reduce engine general loudness. [Minimum=0] [Maximum=100] [Default=1]

    CarSpawnRate = 2 (Low=1 Normal=2 High=3)

    ChanceHasGas = 1 Governs the chances of finding vehicles with gas in the tank. (Low=1 Normal=2 High=3)

    InitialGas = 2 Governs how full gas tanks will be in discovered cars. (VeryLow=1 Low=2 Normal=3 High=4 VeryHigh=5 Full=6)

    CarGasConsumption = 1.0 The rate in which vehicles will consume fuel. [Minimum=0.0] [Maximum=100] [Default=1.0].

    LockedCar = 4 How frequent the doors of a vehicle will be locked. (Never=1 ExtremelyRare=2 Rare=3 Sometimes=4 Often=5 VeryOften=6)

    CarGeneralCondition = 2 In what condition new cars will spawn. (VeryLow=1 Low=2 Normal=3 High=4 VeryHigh=5)

    CarDamageOnImpact = 3 Governs how much damage a vehicle will take after collisions. (VeryLow=1 Low=2 Normal=3 High=4 VeryHigh=5)

    TrafficJam = true Enable or disable traffic jams that spawn on the main roads of the map. (True or False)

    CarAlarm =  4 The frequency in which a car alarm will be triggered when opening a door. This will attract zombies to the vehicle's position. (Never=1 ExtremelyRare=2 Rare=3 Sometimes=4 Often=5 VeryOften=6)

    PlayerDamageFromCrash = true Enable or disable player getting damage from being in a car accident. (True or False)

    SirenShutoffHours = 1 Number of hours before the siren sound of a car alarm will stop playing. 0.0 means it will play until the car battery is dead. [Minimum=0] [Maximum=168] [Default=0] 

    RecentlySurvivorVehicles = 1 Governs whether the player can discover a car that has been maintained and cared for after the infection struck, i.e. is still in working order. (Low=1 Normal=2 High=3)

    EnableVehicles = true Enable or disable vehicles from spawning into the game. (True or False)

    VehicleEasyUse = false If true, cars will all be unlocked with a full gas tank and low engine loudness. (True or False)

    ZombieLore = {
        Speed = 3, (1 is sprinters (fastest), 2 is fast shamblers, 3 is shamblers (slowest))
        Strength = 3, (1 is superhuman, 2 is normal, 3 is weak)
        Toughness = 3, (1 is tough, 2 is normal, 3 is fragile)
        Transmission = 1, (1 is blood/saliva, 2 is everyone is infected, 3 is no transmission)
        Mortality = 6, (This governs how deadly infection is. 1 is instant, 6 is 1 to 2 weeks)
        Reanimate = 1, (How fast zombies come back to life...again. 1 is instant, 6 is 1 to 2 weeks)
        Cognition = 3, (How smart zombies are. 1 is Navigate/Use Doors, 3 is basic navigation only)
        Memory = 2, (How much zombies will remember. 1 is long, 4 is none)
        Decomp = 1, (1 is slows/weakens them, 4 is no effect)
        Sight = 2, (How well zombies can see. 1 is eagle-eyed, 3 is poor)
        Hearing = 2, (How well zombies can hear. 1 is pinpoint, 3 is poor)
        Smell = 2, (How well zombies can smell. 1 is bloodhound, 3 is poor)
        ThumpNoChasing = false, (environmental attacks. zombies that have not seen/heard a player can attack doors and constructions while roaming. true=on, false=off)
        ThumpOnConstruction = true, (damage construction. governs whether or not zombies can destroy player constructions and defences. true=on, false=off)
        ActiveOnly = 1, (governs whether zombies are more active during the day, or whether they act more nocturnally. Inactive zombies will be slower and tend not to give a chase. 1=both, 2=night, 3=day)

        TriggerHouseAlarm = true Allows zombies to trigger house alarms when breaking through windows and doors. Enabling this option will cause zombies to constantly be movie around populated areas, making the early game much more difficult. (True or False)
    ZombieConfig = {
        PopulationMultiplier = 0.5, (Depends on "Zombies" in the SandboxVars. population multiplier: (old var. "zombie intensity") set how many zombies you want to begin with) Minimum=0,Maximum=4,Default=1)
        PopulationStartMultiplier = 1.0, (Adjusts the desired population at the start of the game. it's a start multiplier: how much of the "population multiplier" you want at game start (it will slowly increase) Minimum=0,Maximum=4,Default=1)
        PopulationPeakMultiplier = 2.0, (Adjusts the desired population on the peak day. Set how many zombies you want at X days (and forever after) Minimum=0,Maximum=4,Default=1)
        PopulationPeakDay = 100, (The day when the population reaches it's peak. Minimum=1, Maximum=365, Default=28)
        RespawnHours = 96, (The number of in-game hours that must pass before zombies may respawn in a cell. If zero spawning is disabled. Minimum=0, Maximum=8760, Default=72)
        RespawnUnseenHours = 10, (The number of in-game hours that a chunk must be unseen before zombies may re-spawn in it. Minimum=0, Maximum=8760, Default=16)
        RespawnMultiplier = 0.1, (The fraction of a cells desired population that may re-spawn every RespawnHours. Minimum=0, Maximum=1, Default=0.1)
        RedistributeHours = 12.0, (The number of in-game hours that must pass before zombies migrate to empty parts of the same cell. If zero, migration is disabled. Minimum=0, Maximum=8760, Default=12)
        FollowSoundDistance = 200, (The distance a virtual zombie will try to walk towards the last sound it heard. Minimum=10, Maximum=1000, Default=100)
        RallyGroupSize = 20, (The size of groups real zombies form when idle. Zero means zombies don't form groups. Groups don't form inside buildings or forest zones. Minimum=5, Maximum=1000, Default=20)
        RallyTravelDistance = 30, (The distance real zombies travel to from groups when idle. Minimum=5, Maximum=50, Default=20)
        RallyGroupSeparation = 15, (The distance between zombie groups. Minimum=5, Maximum=25, Default=15)
        RallyGroupRadius = 4, (How close members of a group stay to the group's leader. Minimum=1, Maximum=10, Default=3)




This I am sure will help a lot of people out too.


I also have the settings for the servertest.ini file with the explinations that I know...


nightlengthmodifier=1.0 (Length of the night, 0.5 would make the night go twice as fast)
PVP=false (False is PvE, True is PvP)
PauseEmpty=true (time in game pauses when the server is empty)
GlobalChat=true (Enables in game chat)
Open=true (Allows anyone to join)
ServerWelcomeMessage= <RGB:0,0,0> To chat locally press 't', to global chat press 'y' or add '/all' before chatting <LINE> Type '/help' to have a list of available commands <LINE> <RGB:0,0,0> (Message that is displayed when joining the server)
LogLocalChat=true (Logs all local chat for server admins to view)
AutoCreateUserInWhiteList=true (Adds user to Whitelist when they join the server)
DisplayUserName=true (Displays player’s usernames in game)
SpawnPoint=0,0,0 (Use this to define a custom spawn point instead of the random one from character creation)
SafetySystem=true (Allow the user to change their safety (if false and if PVP=true, then the safety will always be off)
ShowSafety=true (Allow the players to see if someone have his safety off with the skull icon)
SafetyToggleTimer=100 (When the player disable safety it take some times before HE enable it (tho the other players see it instantly), define it here)
SafetyCooldownTimer=120 (Every time you hit someone in safety off, add this timer to the cool down before you can actually toggle safety off)
SpawnItems= (Define specific items for everyone to spawn with)
DefaultPort=16261 (Your server game port)
ResetID= (Leave alone)
Mods=Hydrocraft (Mods added to server)
Map=Muldraugh, KY (Maps added to server)
DoLuaChecksum=true (Do the lua checksum. Players with modified Lua files that differ from the server files will not be able to connect. true=Lua check, false=no lua check)
Public=true (Everyone can see the server in the server list)
PublicName= (Name of the server)
PublicDescription= (Description of the server that is displayed in the server list)
MaxPlayers=64 (Max number of players for the server)
PingFrequency=10 (How often to ping clients in seconds)
PingLimit=400 (Max ping in ms, if client exceeds this amount they will be kicked)
HoursForLootRespawn=2 (How many in-game hours for loot to re-spawn)
MaxItemsForLootRespawn=6 (Max items to spawn in each container)
ConstructionPreventsLootRespawn=true (If you start building on a house for example, loot will stop respawning in that house)
DropOffWhiteListAfterDeath=false (Takes you off the Whitelist if you die)
NoFireSpread=true (Fire doesn’t spread)
NoFire=true (No Fire)
AnnounceDeath=true (Death is announced to all players)
MinutesPerPage=1.0 (How long books take to read. Lower number faster, higher number slower)
HoursForCorpseRemoval=2.0 (How many in-game hours before corpses disappear)
SaveWorldEveryMinutes=10 (How often to save the server in minutes)
PlayerSafehouse=true (Allows players and Admins to claim houses etc as safehouses)
AdminSafehouse=false (Allows only Admins to claim safehouses)
SafehouseAllowTrepass=false (Allow players to trespass through other players safehouses)
SafehouseAllowFire=false (Allow fire in safehouses)
SafehouseAllowLoot=false (Allow players to loot other players safehouses)
SafehouseAllowRespawn=true (Allow owner of safehouse to respawn in their safehouse)
SafehouseDaySurvivedToClaim=1 (How many days you need to survive before you can claim a safehouse)
SafeHouseRemovalTime=144 (If you do not visit your safehouse in this many game days it will be released)
AllowDestructionBySledgehammer=true (Allow walls to be knocked down with the Sledgehammer)
KickFastPlayers=false (Kick players that appear to be moving faster than is possible. May be buggy -- use with caution)
ServerPlayerID= (Leave alone)
RCONPort=27015 (Port for RCON)
RCONPassword= (Password for RCON)
Password= (Password for server. Leave blank if you want anyone to join your server)
MaxAccountsPerUser=0 (Limits the number of different accounts a single Steam unser may create on this server. Ignored when using the hosts button)
SleepAllowed=false (Enable sleep)
SleepNeeded=false (If true you will need to sleep when exhausted)
SteamPort1=8766 (Leave alone)
SteamPort2=8767 (Leave alone)
WorkshopItems= (MOD IDs - When you run the server with these ID's in the Mods will auto update)
SteamScoreboard=true (show steam usernames and avatars in the player list. true=visible to everyone, false=visible to no one, admin=visible to admins)
SteamVAC=true (Steam anti cheat)
UPnP=true (attempt to configure a UPnP-enabled internet gateway to automatically setup port forwarding rules. The server will fall back to default ports if this fails)
UPnPLeaseTime=86400 (port lease time in seconds (86400 == 24 hours). This should not be changed)
UPnPZeroLeaseTimeFallback=true (retry with zero lease time if port-mapping fails (helps with some routers). This should not be changed.)
UPnPForce=true (remove existing port mappings. This should not be changed)
VoiceEnable=true (In game Voip)
Faction=true (enable Factions)
FactionDaySurvivedToCreate=2 (How many days you must survive to create a Faction)
AllowTradeUI=true (Allows you to trade among players)



If anyone can fill in the gaps, I and i'm sure the whole community would be very thankful.


Cheers all,



Edited by M700N
Updated For Vehicle Build
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  • 1 month later...

Keep in mind that all the default number you'll find when creating a "default" server are the ones from Survival, if it helps you finding which number is which condition. 


Now for the blanks, elec/watershut I don't really know. My guess is that these lines correspond to the choice you made for the shutdown period (between 0 and 6 months, within a year, never, etc...) and then the two next lines (modifiers) are the actual number of days before shutdown, randomly generated according to your two previous choices. Now again, this is an uneducated guess so maybe try it out first! 


Starterkit states if you spawn with or without a backpack with useful supplies (weapon, food, etc).


Nutrition activates or deactivates the nutrition system (taking into account not only hunger reduction but also carbs, prots and lipids to manage your health and weight).


Thumpnochasing deals with the environmental attacks, setting whether zombies will thump on doors/windows without noticing you or if they only do so when they're looking for you. 


That last group of commands is pretty self-explanatory, they're used if you want to set your own zombie population dynamics  and you have many tooltips to help you if you set them in the game itself. I don't know them by heart!

Edited by Teesee
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Thanks for the advice. I really want to know what the values mean, so on the WaterShut and ElecShut what does 1, 2, 3 mean etc?


I am guessing that Helicopter and MetaEvent are how often the helicopter turns up and how often the other events happen, gunshots etc but what do the values mean?


And SleepingEvent, I guess that is the length of time it takes for you to become tired and require to sleep but again what do the values mean?





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  • 3 months later...

It would be awesome for the Devs if they put a line by line explanation of everything on the Ini and Vars files.  Instead of guessing and trial and error.  It's mostly done.  Especially when some things are IRL hours and others are Game hours.  Like Zombie spawning.  I assume it's game hours, but I don't know.

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Tool-tips are provided in-game either through the settings manager (ESC -> Hosts -> Edit Config) or through the admin account, on the server (ESC -> Admin Panel).

It's not necessary to use the text files now that there's a proper GUI for it. Though do let us know of any omissions or confusing tooltips.

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  • 8 months later...

I was also interested in. Especially to compare settings of servers I was playin on and to improve the settings of our project-zomboid.de community server.


There's the solution "A line by line explanation of everything on the Server.ini and Sandboxvars.lua files".


GUIDE:  Project Zomboid: Server.ini and Sandboxvars.lua descriptions / explanations [ENG]


And for everybody who likes to read the informations directly inside the Server.ini and Sandboxvars.lua files you'll find the DOWNLOADS over here:


DOWNLOAD: Server.ini (descriptions/explanations)

DOWNLOAD: Sandboxvars.lua (descriptions/explanations)


This informations are related to the PZ build versionNumber=38.30.





Edited by ScOoBy
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  • 2 weeks later...



I've got several questions to the settings at all:


PlantResilience = 3, (Plants resilience against disease/weather. 1=very low, 2=low, 3=normal, 4=high, 5=very high) -> means that on 5 the plants are the most resistent once? Uncelar description inside the ingame-server-editor.




-> setting to 1 would mean that the plant will not loose so much water per day and it can't avoid a disease so good?  (contradictorily)


ConstructionPreventsLootRespawn=true -> affects the respawn inside safehouses too? F.e. when it's set to false, is their smth. respawning in claimed Safehouses too?


HoursForLootRespawn= 2 -> related to real-time-hrs?

HoursForWorldItemRemoval=0.0 -> related to real-time-hrs?


Basics to the following questions:


Distribution = 1, (1=urban focused(inside cities), 2=uniform(everywhere)) -> are the zeds dirstributing from urban regions to uniform regions after some time?


RespawnHours = related to ingame-hrs?

RespawnUnseenHours = related to ingame-hrs?

RedistributeHours = related to ingame-hrs?


When an admid or mod is passing the cells or tiles in ghost-mode, does this affect the values (RespawnHours, RespawnUnseenHours, RedistributeHours, HoursForLootRespawn) ???


If the server reboots are the time-counters related to these values resetted?

If there's a soft-reset would it also be resetted?


What does the Soft reset do at all?


We obeserved that there are increasingly less zombies inside the cities after some time and player acitivities. The cities became dead. That's why I'm asking in detail to ensure some suppositions.


If you like to consult our settings in detail, you'll find them under: project-zomboid.de server-settings.


Kind regards



Edited by ScOoBy
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  • 3 years later...
On 8/26/2016 at 3:15 AM, M700N said:

WaterShut = 7, (1=instant, 2=0-30days, 3=0-2month, 4=0-6month, 5=0-1years, 6=0-5years, 7=2-6month, 7=6-12month)
    ElecShut = 7, (1=instant, 2=0-30days, 3=0-2month, 4=0-6month, 5=0-1years, 6=0-5years, 7=2-6month, 7=6-12month)
    WaterShutModifier = 500, (the number of days before water is shut off -1 mean instant)
    ElecShutModifier = 480, (the number of days before electricity is shut off -1 mean instant)

I'm confused on what the difference between watershut/elecshut and watershutmodifier/elecshutmodifier are. Also I see 7= two different values not sure if thats a typo.

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