A horde is a large group of zombies. Hordes can consist of any zombie type but all gathered together and all following the same walking path (except Screamers), and some hordes can include wild animals as well. The behavior of the horde depends on the type of horde.
Roaming Hordes are hordes that spawn once every morning and once every night. They consist of any combination of zombies and sometimes will include wolves, dogs, bears, or vultures. The Roaming Horde will spawn at some distance to a player and begin traveling towards that player's location at the time the horde spawned. If the horde does not detect any players, it will continue walking in a straight line for a short distance before finally stopping. Unlike Blood Moon Hordes, the Roaming Hordes do not automatically detect any players. The Roaming Hordes start on day 1 with a single zombie and then three zombies at night. This slowly ramps up through day 5. When the roaming hordes come back on day 9, they have grown a great deal. On some days, the roaming horde will be a small pack of zombie dogs. This continues through day 19 before resetting on day 22, which will have roaming hordes identical to day 1.
Screamers are attracted by the Heat of the area, so high levels of activity will cause them to appear. This activity can include operating a Forge or Chemistry Station or using Torches. These Screamers summoned by the heat activity will scream to attract Hordes of zombies of various types depending on player gamestage, including other Screamers. Summoned zombies, unlike other hordes, come from all directions. The Screamer will repeatedly call for more zombies, but will lose this ability after few calls.
Post Blood Moon Hordes
(Legacy versions only) After a blood moon night, there is a chance for a Post Blood Moon Horde to appear, at least in single player. It may consist of such animals: Zombie Dog, Zombie Vulture, Wolf, possibly other animals.
They follow hordes early in the morning usually, before 12 AM. So far, there have been observed 4-6 Dog hordes. Seven wolves hordes (including 2 Grey wolves). 12 Vulture horde. Last one is least dangerous. They are not necessary programmed to cross players path, as Vultures were very passive, but this could be due to programming limitations of Vultures.
Blood Moon Horde
For in depth information see Blood Moon Horde The night horde can be a bit tricky because, depending on your game settings (see Blood Moon Horde) the zombies may run faster than even normal nighttime zombies. You cannot hide from the Blood Moon Horde, they know exactly where you are at all times. So your options boil down to one or a combination of these three options:
- Build a base (possibly in a converted POI) and endure or fight
- Equip and skill your character to fight out in the open
- Stay mobile and evade the horde
There are dozens upon dozens of videos and tutorials available for building a Blood Moon Horde base as well as for open fighting or evasion. It's beyond the scope of this Wiki page to enumerate all of the strategies and tactics. Note that zombie AI can change from Alpha to Alpha, so choose a tutorial that is for the version you are playing (at least the major version i.e. A18 or A19).
Combat and Defenses
With the roaming horde, it is quite tricky but not impossible to dodge them completely. Zombie Dogs are extremely fast, even in daytime, and they can catch you off guard if you happen to be preoccupied with something else. It is not recommended to hide in a house without heavy defenses and very durable walls if the player has been spotted because of the Infected Police Officer's corroding vomit and large amounts of zombies hitting the walls. This could possibly bring the house, and the player, to the ground.
A Shotgun with plenty of Shotgun Shells and good dodging skills will allow the player to take down most of the zombies. A .44 Magnum with plenty of ammunition will make quick work of the horde. Pipe Bombs are also a big help because the zombies tend to group up pretty closely. It is recommended that all Zombie Dogs be killed first because of their speed. After that, Infected Police Officers will most likely be in range and can be killed. Feral Zombies should normally be avoided and saved to be killed last because they drop the best loot and are quite the ammo dump.
- A .44 Magnum with plenty of .44 Magnum Bullets is one of the best choices for the roaming or night hordes because of its three-shot kill potential anywhere on the body to normal zombies or head to Infected Police Officers.
- A Shotgun or Pump Shotgun is not recommended for use on Infected Police Officers because of their ability to explode if they are approached, almost always killing the player instantly.
- Feral Zombies take a lot to kill and hit very hard. They run, regardless of server settings.
- Concrete structures fare better for overall defense but are slightly more time-consuming to repair.
- In current versions, the make up of the zombie hordes is based on the levels of the top 5 characters in the area.
- Shotguns are best used on Feral Zombies and dogs because they have a large spread and hit these two faster moving zombies.