Once Human release date and time: PC, mobile, launch countdown, preloads, and more

Once Human
A "Meta-Human" in Once Human fighting against bizarre entities born of the influence of an alien lifeform called Stardust. (Image credit: NetEase)

One of the most highly anticipated multiplayer games of the summer is Once Human, and soon, the launch of the free-to-play survival shooter will be upon us. After running several beta tests, developer Starry Studio (and publisher NetEase) is finally preparing to release its debut title to thousands of excited players.

Given that Once Human is currently the fifth most-wishlisted game on Steam, it's no surprise that there's a ton of buzz for the game's impending arrival. But when does the game actually come out? That's a question you're probably asking right now if you're reading this, and luckily, Starry Studio has given an answer.

Below, you'll find a complete overview of everything there is to know about Once Human's release date. In addition to the latest information about its launch time on both PC and mobile devices, I've included what's known about preloading the game and how much storage space it will require as well.

What is Once Human?

Once Human Gameplay Trailer - YouTube Once Human Gameplay Trailer - YouTube
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In case you haven't heard of Once Human before, here's what you need to know about it (check out our Once Human FAQ for a more comprehensive overview). The game is a free multiplayer open world survival shooter with both PvE and PvP, and it takes place in a post-apocalyptic near-future in which Earth has fallen to a mysterious alien lifeform called Stardust. Stardust is parasitic in nature, and is capable of infesting everything from humans and animals to bodies of water and the soil itself. The creatures born of its corruption vary wildly, though you can expect to encounter plenty of bizarre monstrosities that combine Lovecraftian design principles with familiar objects and types of wildlife.

You play as a Meta-Human — AKA, one of the few who's immune to Stardust's influence and can even control and wield it as a weapon. With these unique powers as well as armaments like firearms and melee instruments, it's up to you to fight back against the spread of Stardust while scavenging, building bases, and defending your territory from hostile entities and factions.

You can construct massive bases in Once Human, and some can even be mobile. (Image credit: NetEase)

The overall gameplay experience in Once Human seems to be largely focused on combat, with its world filled with "Deviant" enemies and bosses to defeat that reward you with special Deviant Powers to use. With that said, exploration, base-building, and crafting are all big parts of the experience as well, and you'll need to engage with these systems to gather important resources, perform upgrades, and create valuable weapon parts and attachments.

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Another thing to know is that Once Human is intended to be a very social experience, as it's an always-online game with servers that will support hundreds upon hundreds of players at once. Its gargantuan 16x16 kilometer map will have plenty of activities like public events and raids you can form four-man teams for, and you can also join larger clan-like groups called Warbands; there will be contestable PvP zones, too, and if you're in a PvP-focused server, it'll be open season for anyone over Level 10 (in PvE servers, PvP is only possible by toggling "Chaos" mode and engaging other Chaos players). Ultimately, if you like the sound of large-scale PvPvE, Once Human might be one of the best PC games of 2024 for you.

Like many other multiplayer games, Once Human will have seasons (they'll be six weeks long, which is rather short), with each new one wiping your basic resources (but not things like bases or crafting blueprints) and resetting the game's world while simultaneously moving the story forward and introducing fresh gameplay elements. It will also have cosmetic microtransactions like skins and base decorations, as well as purchasable battle passes with items like these that players can progress through after buying them. Notably, Starry Studio has promised that these won't be "pay-to-win" in any way.

Once Human: Release date and time

The official artwork used to announce Once Human's release time. (Image credit: NetEase)

The release date for Once Human on PC is very close, though its arrival on mobile is more complicated. Here's what you need to know.

Once Human release date on PC

As confirmed by the official release date trailer for the game that was shown during Summer Game Fest in June and a new announcement made on X (Twitter), Once Human is scheduled to release on Windows PC via Steam and the Epic Games Store on July 9, 2024. Specifically, Starry Studio plans to push the game live at 2:00 p.m. PT / 5:00 p.m. ET on that day.

Note that Once Human's launch on PC will be a global one, meaning it will become available for all players around the world at the same time. The table below shows exactly when the game will release in every major time zone in the world (if you live in an eastern region, you'll have to wait until the morning of July 10 to play).

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Time zoneLaunch time (PC)
Pacific Time (PDT)July 9, 2:00 p.m.
Central Time (CDT)July 9, 4:00 p.m.
Colombia Time (COT)July 9, 4:00 p.m.
Eastern Time (EDT)July 9, 5:00 p.m.
Brazil Time (BRT)July 9, 6:00 p.m.
British Summer Time (BST)July 9, 10:00 p.m.
Central European Summer Time (CEST)July 9, 11:00 p.m.
South African Standard Time (SAST)July 9, 11:00 p.m.
Eastern European Summer Time (EEST)July 10, 12:00 a.m.
Moscow Time (MSK)July 10, 12:00 a.m.
Atlantic Standard Time (AST)July 10, 12:00 a.m.
Gulf Standard Time (GST)July 10, 1:00 a.m.
UTC+7July 10, 4:00 a.m.
UTC+8July 10, 5:00 a.m.
Singapore Time (SGT)July 10, 5:00 a.m.
Japan Standard Time (JST)July 10, 6:00 a.m.
Korea Standard Time (KST)July 10, 6:00 a.m.
Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST)July 10, 7:00 a.m.
New Zealand Standard Time (NZST)July 10, 9:00 a.m.

If your time zone isn't included in this table, you can use a time zone converter to figure out when you'll be able to play Once Human.

Once Human release date on mobile

While Once Human's PC launch is mere hours away, there hasn't been any official word about when players can expect the survival shooter's mobile release. Starry Studio said it "will post the game's release date on mobile platforms separately," though at the time of writing, it hasn't done so yet.

With that said, Once Human's iOS App Store page shows an expected release date of September 26, 2024, so that could be when it will arrive on iOS and the Google Play Store. It may also be a placeholder or an outdated launch date, though, so we'll have to wait for a concrete announcement from the developers before we know for sure.

Once Human: Launch countdown

Can you preload Once Human?

Once Human features both PvE and PvP, along with many different weapon types to use. (Image credit: NetEase)

As you'll see in the section below, Once Human does not appear to be a particularly large game — at least not compared to the triple-digit file sizes of many other titles released in the last several years. With that said, the option to preload it ahead of its launch date would be nice, as it would allow folks to install it before it releases so they can jump in right when it does.

Unfortunately, though, there's currently no way to preload the game, even though it's now just a few hours away from releasing. That means you'll need to download it once its servers go live, which is rather disappointing, and also fairly odd since its beta tests did have preloading has an option.

Once Human: Storage requirements

A player fires an RPG at a structure in Once Human. (Image credit: NetEase)

According to the system requirements on the game's Steam page, Once Human will require 60GB of space on PC, with Starry Studio recommending having 70GB available. On top of that, the developer also strongly suggests having an SSD, as you'll want to have speedy loading times when joining servers as gigantic as Once Human's.

Once Human is almost here, and the multiplayer open world survival shooter might just end up being one of 2024's biggest and brightest PC games. Notably, it'll be completely free to play, so you can check it out without spending a penny once it drops on July 9.

Once Human | Free at Steam

Once Human | Free at Steam

Once Human — a free-to-play multiplayer survival shooter set in a post-apocalyptic future where an alien lifeform overruns Earth — looks to be one of 2024's biggest game releases. It's scheduled to launch on July 9 on Steam and the Epic Games Store, and is coming to iOS and Android as well.

Also at: Epic Games Store | iOS App Store | Google Play Store

Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.