The Zombie team consists of the players who were chosen (voluntarily or not) to begin the round as a zombie, as well as any survivors who have been killed during the round, either directly or by infection. The goal of the zombies is simply to kill all survivors, either before the timer runs out (in Survival maps with infinite zombie lives), before the zombie lives run out (in Survival maps with finite zombie lives), or before the objectives are completed (in Objective maps).
The only tool at the zombies' disposal is their claws, but they can use them in many effective ways. Direct attacks will do the most damage when aimed at the head, and attacks by the Carrier have a 10% chance of infecting the survivor who is hit. Zombies are also able to push objects using the secondary attack, and this can be used to propkill a survivor or to clear a barricade.
Zombies must use teamwork and organized attacks when attempting to defeat the human team, as the humans are better equipped and (at the beginning of the round) have greater numbers.
For guidance on effectively playing as a zombie, see Playing as the Undead.
The Carrier, also known as "Whitey", is "patient zero" of the zombie apocalypse. The first player to join a round as a zombie will become the Carrier, and if the Carrier is disconnected from the round, another player will be randomly selected to become the new Carrier. In Hardcore Mode, all players who start as zombie will play as the Carrier. The Carrier has 250 Health points (50 More than a normal zombie), he moves slightly faster than regular zombies, he has the ability to infect survivors, and he has the ability to use the Roar and Spot commands.An infected survivor will appear in a hue of sickly green to zombie players and their name will be green on the scoreboard. Infecting survivors helps the zombie team immensly by having a human suddenly changing into a zombie due to infection, creating chaos behind survivor lines. That zombie can either attempt to kill the human team directly or open barricades to let the rest of the zombies in. It takes approximately a minute for a survivor to turn into a zombie from the moment of infection. A survivor will know that they are infected when their health icon on their HUD turns into a biohazard mark, and one will begin to hear their character breathe heavily, as well as the character's heartbeat becoming audible.
Once a survivor reaches this stage of infection, the survivor may not use voice chat, text chat, or voice commands to indicate to their team that they are infected. Infected survivors in this stage may also not make use of their flashlight, or pick up additional ammo or weapons. During this period, a survivor can kill an infected survivor before they turn into a zombie. Moments before one turns into a zombie, the characters' hearing will become deafened, and they will then drop all of their ammo and weapons, and turn into a zombie, in which one is free to attack the people who were their comerades moments ago.
Many players often keep signals for each other incase they are infected, such as flickering their flashlight or picking up and dropping ammo. If they cease to do this action shortly, the other teammate will presume that they are infected. Another way to tell is that survivors will keep hitting the survivor in question with a melee weapon, so they have little to no chance of doing harm. One way some people use is when they become infected and unable to communicate, they will simply flail thier mouse around aimlessly and shoot their weapons to attempt to indicate they are infected. The carrier zombie has several quotes when using the Carrier Roar ability or lunging, such as:
- "I feeeell them..."
- "I sense thier presenceeeee..."
- "Find themmmm..."
- "Rain death upon them..."
- "Join usssss..."
- "Your grave awaitssss..."
Regular zombies have 200 HP and move slightly slower than the carrier, and roughly at 80% speed of a non-fatigued survivor carrying defaut equioment. When a player is a zombie, they will look the same as their selected Survivor model, but in zombified form. Regular zombies are the grunts of the zombie army, and have strength in surprise and numbers,especially the latter of the two. The easiest way to overtake a survivor team is to rush them with as many zombies as possible. When attempting to use the taunt key (Z by default) or the use key (E by default) to use an object as a zombie, the zombie will simply make a grunting noise.