A downloadable strategy game for Windows and Linux

Commander wanted!
Drive giant robots, build an army of a thousand Fleas, move mountains if needed, bury the enemy at all cost!

  • Real time strategy.
  • Physically simulated units and projectiles.
  • Terrain manipulation.
  • 100+ varied units with unique abilities.
  • Singleplayer campaign.
  • Challenging, non-cheating AI.
  • Multiplayer 1v1 - 16v16, FFA, coop.
  • Multiplayer online campaign.
  • Really free, no in-game currency, no unfair multiplayer.


Fully Utilized Physics

Simulated unit and projectile physics is used to a level rarely found in a strategy game.

  • Use small nimble units to dodge slow moving projectiles.
  • Hide behind hills that block weapon fire, line of sight and radar.
  • Toss units across the map with gravity guns.
  • Transport a battleship to a hilltop - for greater views and gun range.


Manipulate the Terrain

The terrain itself is an ever-changing part of the battlefield.

  • Wreck the battlefield with craters that bog down enemy tanks.
  • Dig canals to bring your navy inland for a submarine-in-a-desert strike.
  • Build ramps, bridges, entire fortress if you wish.
  • Burn your portrait into continental crust using the planetary energy chisel.


Singleplayer Campaign and Challenging AI

Enjoy many hours of single player and coop fun with our campaign, wide selection of non-cheating AIs and a survival mode against an alien horde.

  • Explore the galaxy and discover technologies in our singleplayer campaign.
  • Face a challenging AI that is neither brain-dead nor a clairvoyant cheater.
  • Have some coop fun with friends, surviving waves of chicken-monsters.
  • Cloaking? Resurrection? Tough choices customizing your commander.

Casual and Competitive Multiplayer

Zero-K was built for multiplayer from the start, this is where you can end up being hooked for a decade.

  • Enjoying epic scale combat? Join our 16v16 team battles!
  • Looking for a common goal? Fight AIs or waves of chicken-monsters.
  • Prefer dancing on a razor's edge? Play 1v1 in ladder and tournaments.
  • Comebacks, betrayals, emotions always running high in FFA.
  • Want to fight for a bigger cause? Form a clan and join PlanetWars, competitive online campaign with web-game strategic elements, diplomacy and backstabbing.


Power to the People

We are RTS players at heart, we work for nobody. We gave ourselves the tools we always wanted to have in a game.

  • Do what you want. No limits to camera, queue or level of control.
  • Paint a shape, any shape, and units will move to assume your formation.
  • Want to spend more time on tactics? Use construction priorities.
  • Want to focus on economy? Order units to kite, strafe or zig zag bullets.


Plenty of Stuff to Explode Explore

Zero-K is a long term project and it shows, millions hours of proper multiplayer testing and dozens of people contributing ever expanding content.

  • Learn to use all of our 100+ units and play on hundreds of maps.
  • Invent the next mad team-tactics to shock enemies and make allies laugh.
  • Combine cloaking, teleports, shields, jumpjets, EMP, napalm, gravity guns, black hole launchers, mind control and self-replication.
  • Tiny flea swarm that clings to walls?
    Jumping "cans" with steam-spike?
    Buoys that hide under water to ambush ships?
    Mechs that spew fire and enjoy being tossed from air transports?
    Carrier with cute helicopters?
    Jumping Jugglenaut with dual wielding gravity guns?
    Meet them in Zero-K!

Find out more on our website or meet other Zero-K players on Discord.

Install instructions

It is recommended that you use the semi-portable archives, to reduce the load on our download servers. Thanks!

Windows:  Run Zero-K.setup.exe


Download the semi-portable archive, extract to a writable directory, and run Zero-K.exe


Install the following libraries (execute in terminal):

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install libsdl2-2.0-0 libopenal1 libcurl3

Download the semi-portable archive, extract to a writable directory, and run Zero-K_linux64.sh in terminal.


Execute the following in terminal:

sudo apt-get update         
sudo apt-get install mono-complete libsdl2-2.0-0 libopenal1 libcurl3         
mkdir Zero-K         
cd Zero-K         
wget https://zero-k.info/lobby/Zero-K.exe         
chmod u+x Zero-K.exe         
mono Zero-K.exe

Zero-K requires at least 2 GB of available storage, with 4 GB or more being recommended.


Zero-K installer
Zero-K semi-portable 2 GB
Version 73 10 days ago
Linux .tar.gz archive with installation script 12 kB

Development log


Log in with itch.io to leave a comment.

One of the best strategy games out there, the tactical scope of it is grand. The gameplay is fluid and the battles are epic.

This game is awesome! Thank you devs

is this Supreme Commander 3?

Zero-K/Complete Annihilation is older than Forged Alliance, but not vanilla SupCom.

ok then

Deleted 290 days ago

theres no linux version on steam


Win Installer is very broken. 
Created tones of empty folders and failed to update and install properly. 

Seems this game is not supportetd here anymore still want to give a heads up. 


We make an effort to keep the standalone installer updated and working. We'll look into it.


I did get it to run in the end. Also it does not work through the itch app. 


Deb package requires me to remove 18 packages for no reason


A better Linux port is needed.  Without .exe and without mono.

And _without_ exporting system environment variables that might be used for sth else, you know.

Please, for the sake of Linux (and anything else) compatibility and for performance, DON'T use C#. Just don't. It's a pure poison from Microsoft. Ruined so many games' compatibility I can't count.

An AUR "zerok-git" package would also be quite nice.


Harsh but true, can't install the game as a simple Spring mod right now. It's a turn off.

+1 for AUR

is on https://aur.archlinux.org/packages/zero-k/

(1 edit) (+3)

Instead of uploading installer files, can you please upload a portable Linux verison for use with the Itch app? Just upload a ZIP, the Itch app will handle extracting and launching. Also, please mark this portable version as "Linux" and unmark the installer files so that the Itch app knows what to download. See: https://itch.io/docs/itch/integrating/quickstart.html and https://itch.io/app


I honestly think this game would be the definitive RTS if you could actually make your own units part by part. Plus all the other awesome features. 


Zero-K has that for commanders, the unit you start with, and you an build unit formations with any unit you want. Do you want some kind of mainline unit that you can build or do you want a morphable strider or something else?

how to know the requirement of this game

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If you have 8GB of RAM and a OpenGL core profile version string: 4.5 I am sure you can run the game on Ultra. I haven't experimented yet to find the minimum.


I was able to run this game on minimal graphic on my asus chi t300 [spec here: https://www.asus.com/au/2-in-1-PCs/ASUS_Transformer_Book_T300_Chi/specifications/  ]

only good for 1v1 or max 2v2 though

 more than 300 units at a time would crash you for sure


ZK uses the SpringRTS engine which has requirements listed here: https://springrts.com/wiki/About

You can assume ZK has similar, if not stricter requirements.

(1 edit) (+2)

Manjaro Linux user here, I really Enjoy this game!! looks awesome and plays great! the only problem I had was trying to install it from the AUR Itch desktop client, I had to manually download and run it from the .sh file. Other then that I plan on playing this quite a bit, Thank you for your time and effort making this cool game!


Never thought zk would have an itch page

This has an itch.io page now?


The number of ways to win is amazing.


Nice work! The game is really good.










(1 edit) (+6)(-1)

Playing the game since before it was renamed to Zero-K more than 10 years ago. While it is an open-source "hobbyist" project, the level of gameplay polish is comparable to that of the top E-sports titles.


The best RTS I have ever played!!!

Here is a super easy to read Pro & Cons list I made for you all so you can get the gist of what your going to get when you download this,


Graphics are very detailed! 

No Lag!

Easy To Play!

Simple controls

Tutorials are amazingly well crafted



Sound effects are very busy and appear to be not based on where you camera/screen is located.

well.. that's it. Lol!

Overall Review: 10/10, I will never delete this game from my PC because its a great offline game, you can player it whenever & wherever you want, its fast and easy to use/play. And is very creative seeing as you can edit land, place troops in bulk in precise areas and in precise "outlines" or "Maneuvers". The creativity never ends!



(1 edit) (+5)

I am also playing this game for 7 years lol. Best game ever. Give it a try!

EDIT: make sure also to check the forum!

Years ago Cavedog's Total Annillation was my best RTS game I ever played, superior to many later games.

Only RTS game I consider superior to TA was Supreme Commander by original creators of TA. SC1 got older, SC2 was not so good, I played SC1 with 3rd party launucher Forget Alliance Forever, but large battlefield games were not working correctly on modern PCs.

Meanwhile I played with Spring as part of my TA obsession, before SC1 came out. Somewhat I missed Zero-K mod  for Spring.

I am happy I found it  3 months ago - on Steam. It is a great game. Superior that most contemporary games, more complex than Ashes of Sigularity etc.

First game you can reshape your map!

Chapeau bas, devs! Great job.


I'm playing this game for 7 years now, and its still my favorite.

There is a friendly community trying to help new players.

Many different strategies, tactics, units maps, etc... 

Oh, and the best Clan :D.
Mumble for the WIN!
I want to use the chance to invite every new player who wants some help, or just prefers to talk to others while playing to join us on mumble. 

(Adress: mumble.springrts.com)


really. Nice!  I will give it a try ^6^

cool. We're waiting for you

(2 edits) (+6)

The greatest RTS of its kind,  ZK takes all the best parts of Total Annihilation/Supreme Commander style games, and throws out the need for extensive eco basebuilding or teching up.  It's possible to make maps with an extremely fine level of detail,  with lots of room for modern lighting, normals, and other shaders. Extensive community contribution framework.  A joy to both play and contribute to.


I've been playing this game for three years, long before the ITCH.io release was even a thing.

Still not tired of it.


I took allot of time to figure out how to play the game, but it was so worth it. This is a surprsingly deep game with tons of content. I had allot of fun playing and will continue to play in my own time. I would definetly reccomend this to anyone ho is a fan of RTS games. 

(1 edit) (+3)

Great video, thanks!


This game has kinda ruined other RTS for me. It's the real hidden gem of the genre.


download file is HUGE, it could literally destroy my limited internet usage. DESTROY. cant play this game.

(2 edits) (+4)

The standard install is 1.6 GB. That contains the game, most common maps and the tutorial missions. 

If you play online, the Matchmaker map pool is another 540 MB. You will probably end up trying out some more of the hundreds of available maps anyway, so I'd recommend to allocate at least 4GB.

Keep in mind that this is a full 3D RTS game and those graphics don't come out of thin air ;)

When  install the installer, that's when it took forever. I waited over 40 minutes for the blue bar to fill, but it only got about 25% way through.


I also don't get why I got -3 dislikes, I never said anything bad lol the game looks cool, sheesh people are so offended these days lol.


maybe it has something to do with you declaring the game unplayable because of download size and nothing to do with the game play.

I am given to understand that people usually frown on that kind of thing. Not that I am any kind of expert mind.

never said it was unplayable, was looking for help in the comments on how to properly download it signaling I cant because the file was to large at the time (found another way to get it eventually)


Based on your descriptions your internet sounds to be about the same speed as mine. Yes, you will have to be patient with downloads as maps take up a lot of room, the new campaign has 29 missions and each uses a unique map.

Anyways point being my slow internet isn't much of a bottleneck when actually playing, ZK is pretty bandwidth efficient and doesn't require fast ping.  Assuming you have a nice GPU (amd or nvidia) and you can wait for all the content you should be able to play fine.


Hey Moose,

Thanks for your reply, I use hughesnet and we get a small amount per 1 month so its hard to download large files, speed isn't an issue.

I got the game downloaded and its SUPER fun 10/10, I didn't declare the game unplayable I said I cant play it lol. Thank you for your reply it is very informative.

My rating for this game: 10/10 I cant stop playing it. So fun, just now learning how to properly terraform!


Glad to hear your enjoying it, terraform is fun but can get expensive in metal real quick for big projects. It's good for protecting explosive structures. You can ctrl+shift+click one of your buildings (like geothermals) to terraform a wall around it.


We have asked itch.io for an increase in file size for the portable version. This would allow for a faster download through the itch.io app