This is another work in progress. Please report any quirks you
have experienced but don't see in this list.
Warning: Some spoilers.
Reloading saves or new levels:
Reloading a saved game in the presence of NPCs will usually alert
them to your presence. This may be due to the fact that your
character will "equip" a weapon or tool (e.g., binocs) in a noisy
Dying while the controller's roar is playing will not remove the
roar when you reload the last save made on that level. The
vanilla workaround is to exit the game completely and restart the
game, or go to another level.*
Conversely, the rain sound will be disabled if you change levels.
Going up or down ladders will put your assault weapon away on
most levels. If you are changing levels, then this means that you
will enter the new level with binoculars instead of the weapon
you were holding. To prevent this, equip a first-slot weapon or
jump into a hole to change levels.
Active night vision is not preserved on level changes and reloads
of previous saves, and is turned off when you pick up a suit.
The "Last save" button uses the name preserved from the last good
exit from the game when the user.ltx file was properly written.
After a crash, you should use "Load game".
Be careful with quicksaves. It is bad ergonomic design to
put the quicksave key next to the quickload key; consider moving
them apart. But you can lose some functionality and even corrupt
your game if you save too quickly after a load, before the game
has finished initializing.
One problem is that not all "schemes" are properly attached to
entities in the game. An example is the door control scheme;
if missing this breaks the underground bunker door to Sidorovich
the Cordon trader, as well as the doors elsewhere. The breaking
of doors in Dark Valley is a showstopper because you can't get
the X18 quest update.*
Some NPC bodies will fly violently across the map when they die.
This is due to a collision detection correction performed by the
physics engine; it pushes the body violently away from the spot
of the collision. This can be caused by impact or the sudden
addition or removal of inventory from the NPC.
Should you (the player) die and find yourself flung into a level
changer, DO NOT click the "Yes" button, or you will be
respawned in the next level as a body -- and the autosave will
only have your dead body in it.
A related collision-detection issue can occur when you are struck
by a pseudodog on a leap. You might be flung violently into the
air. This can be reduced by lowering the pseudodog's
Accel_Aggressive parameter in config\creatures\m_pseudodog.ltx.
(This is already tweaked a bit in the latest ZRP versions.)
Some NPC bodies will drop through the ground when they die. They
might reappear moments later, or when you move over them. If not,
center your HUD white spot over the grey spot of the missing
stalker, crouch, and slowly rotate around while looking down.
When you are over the body, you will see a "Search body" prompt.
You can pick up the body and drag it to a spot where it will stay
above the surface, or you can simply search it.*
Stuff that is "in boxes" is created when the box is broken --
except that it might not become physical enough before dropping
through the floor where the box was resting.* Electro artifacts
like the Moonlight can be created when some crates are broken,
but you won't know this if you break the crate between 5 a.m and
midnight.* Sometimes items fall out of the level when spawned, but
will reappear when you return to the area later.
Related to this is the disappearance of items that are in contact
with the ground. Examples are the RG6 grenade launcher and the
special artifacts in Red Forest. You can pull them out of the
ground with a ZRP debug command as a temporary workaround.
Time and Space:
Sometimes you will accomplish a quest without doing anything, as
targets die by other causes (e.g., mutants kill bandits or
mercs). Some autoquests will become completed due to gulag state
changes, as when the camp switches from daytime status to
Then again, sometimes you will fail a quest because of Alife
traffic. For example, certain bandits might be escorting a
prisoner by design, but Alife bandits moving to another area see
that prisoner as an enemy and shoot him. Or you come upon the
Cordon bridge guards when they are engaged in battle, so they
shoot at you, too, even though they normally would let you speak
to them first. Workaround: Avoid the area for a while, to let the
threat pass by so that the game can return to normal.
There are also some arbitrary rules which can cause a task
failure. For example, going south of the farmstead west of the
Freedom base will automatically fail any pending Freedom tasks
if you were neutral with Freedom, as you are made an enemy.*
Some places have invisible walls and ceilings. For examples, see
Pripyat, or throw a grenade from the hills north of the entrance
to the Agroprom level toward the tall trees.
Over time, some permanent corpses will stretch out. You can fix a
stretched NPC by picking up the body and dropping it.
The Permanent Radiation Bug -- and Its Cure:
It is possible to become afflicted with permanent radiation
sickness. It happens on the outer areas of the map where the devs
do not want you to go. It also happens on the south side of the
Garbage train tunnel. While you can eliminate the damage from
radiation, you will still receive a hitch in walking or running
Why does this happen? Well, the game detects when you enter and
leave the radiation barrier areas, but not reliably. It's an
edge trigger that doesn't always fire, so you are considered to
still be in the radiation zone.
A cure is available in the ZRP as of version 1.07. Or you can
mod your game yourself; see the end of the first post on
page 195 in the ZRP discussion at GSC.
The best vanilla treatment is to load a save from prior to the
affliction, so save often, occasionally to named saves. The ZRP
has a quick named save option: Press ESC followed by S.
The Game Cheats:
Shooting at NPCs while they are in their hit animations may seem
like you are not doing any damage. You might not be; various
parts of their bodies (like fingers) don't take damage in vanilla.
Also, your shots might not be going where you think they are.
Wait a moment for your aim to settle, then go for the headshot.
(There is a debug feature in ZRP 1.07 that you can use to see an
enemy's health as you fire upon him.)
If you go back to the Bar after rescuing Kruglov (so that he
makes it to Yantar) without going to visit Sakharov first, you
won't get the "real scientist's suit" that Kruglov promised.
The Duty equivalent of the SEVA suit has a quirk that prevents
you from carrying bodies. This is fixed in a few mods, primarily
by increasing capture_force in kombez_kupol_damage_med.ltx in
the gamedata\config\models\capture\ subdirectory.*
Reloading a weapon is not considered done until the ammo count
changes even though the animation has finished.
Some NPCs will aim to their left when targeting you. When they
fire, their bullets will come your way even though the gun is
pointing somewhere off to your right.*
The "Find the weapon of the Dutyer" task will mark the weapon at
the spot where the weapon was last "visible", usually at the spawn
point of the one carrying the weapon. While this weapon is put
away, the game does not update the coordinates of the rifle until
you are on the same level as the weapon bearer, close enough for
him to be online.
Why is that a cheat? Well, the one that usually carries the rifle
will change levels when a "lager" (camp) opens up that will accept
him -- but the weapon marker won't change at all until you
get close to him.
A grenade or other explosive might temporarily mess up the
animation of NPCs so that they appear to "slide" as they move --
they're walking, but the animation isn't working.
Sometimes grenades are not selectable via keystroke. The
workarounds include dropping a grenade from inventory and
picking it up, or selecting then unselecting another weapon
via keystroke (e.g., press 3 3). After either of these, grenades
should be selectable again.
Sometimes stalkers go online in a "zone fugue" state; they just
stand there, usually near a campfire. If you can't talk to them
and you think you should be able to: Go out of "switch distance"
(default is 150 meters) to switch them offline. This usually
resets the problem stalker. Alternatively, save/reload.*
On rare occasions you will not be able to select items in grids
when searching NPCs. A quicksave/quickload should fix this.
As of 1.0004, bodies seem to "eat" food and drink when you use
them for storage. Or bodies seem to spawn new food or drink when
later examined. The bodies are just temporarily hiding a food or
Some resolutions (800x600 for sure, and 1440x900) don't
display text announcements reliably. You can try a different
resolution to see if that helps.
Quite a few quirks are mentioned elsewhere, like NPCs roasting in
fires or found dead for no reason, due to lack of spawn points around
a campfire or simply the intersection of two NPCs in their random
positioning when switched online.*