Zero-K is a free, open source RTS game with gameplay similar to Total Annihilation and Supreme Commander. You start out with a commander and use it to construct a base, expand across the map, and defeat your opponent. A game can have thousands units on the map at once, creating massive battles of epic proportion. There are over 100 unique units that can be made at 1 of 12 different factories. One defining characteristic of Zero-K is that it features a flat technology tree, so you can build any unit from an appropriate factory. There are also dozens of other structures that can be made to help defend, attack, scout, collect resources, and more.
The game's development has been quite active, with updates coming fairly frequently. Also, the player base is pretty active. There's always a 4v4 or 8v8 game beig played, as well as some 1v1s and 2v2s. Nothing like Starcraft, but pretty good nonetheless, considering it's open-source and not particularly well-known. It's never too hard to find a game to join and play, anyway.
If you've played Total Annihilation or Supreme Commander before and are looking for a game with a similar feel, this may be your best bet. If you've never played either of these games, you ought to give it a try, since it's really fun to control such huge armies. It is free after all.
- Epic Scale - Hundreds or thousands of units on the battlefield
- 12 Factories - To create over 100 unique units + Show Spoiler [List of Factories] +
- Cloaky Bot Factory
- Shield Bot Factory
- Jumpjet/Specialist Plant
- Spider Factory
- Light Vehicle Factory
- Heavy Tank Factory
- Hovercraft Platform
- Amphibious Operations Plant
- Airplane Plant
- Gunship Plant
- Strider Hub
- Cloaky Bot Factory
- Realistic Physics - Shots are simulated realtime and can be avoided with micro
- Terraforming - Build walls, ditches, ramps, and more to gain the advantage
- Unique Abilities - Jump-jets, gravity turrets, mobile shields, teleporters, air drops, unit morphs, and more
- Streamlined Economy - Two resources of unlimited supply, output can be scaled up
- Powerful UI: Queue hundreds of units for production, queue dozens of orders for units, custom formations
+ Show Spoiler [Features Trailer] +
Zero-k features both single-player missions as well as multiplayer games. Are are a wide variety of single-player missions:
- A sandbox where you can play with the units without fear of being attacked
- A couple of tutorials on how to play the game
- 1v1 against an AI opponent
- 1v2 against 2 AI opponents
- 2v1, similar to 1v1 except you have an AI ally
- Chickens, which is a horde mode game type where alien "chicks" spawn frequently and try to kill you
- Other missions with various victory conditions
Multiplayer games typically range from 1v1 to 8v8. You can also add AI players to balance out a team or if you like comp stomps. Furthermore, you can play the "Chickens" game type cooperatively with others.
Here's a 1v1 game featuring two prominent players in the Zero-K community.
+ Show Spoiler [1v1 Game] +
If you decide you want to play Zero-k, you can download it at the website. After the game is installed, this video should guide you from there. It will explain some of the lobby's functions, how to start a new game, and the very basics of how to play.
+ Show Spoiler [Getting Started] +