State of Decay 3 FAQ: Platforms, gameplay, news, trailers, release window, and other questions answered

State Of Decay 3 Ice
State Of Decay 3 Ice (Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)
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State of Decay 2 originally released over six years ago, and since then has evolved significantly with DLC and free major content updates. However, Undead Labs and Xbox Game Studios have also been working behind the scenes on its follow-up. State of Decay 3 will overhaul the iconic MMO-esque community-management zombie survival game for an all-new platform, and millions of players are eager for it to arrive.

Undead Labs has been keeping all its cards close to its chest, but we're keeping an eye on all the hints, teases, and reveals for State of Decay 3. We'll be updating this page anytime we learn something new, so be sure to bookmark our State of Decay 3 FAQ to stay up to date with all the latest information on Undead Labs' most ambitious game yet. Without further ado, let's dive into everything we know about State of Decay 3, including when it's coming, what platforms it'll release for, and if it'll have what it takes to become one of the best Xbox games.

Recent updates

June 17, 2024 — Updated with the new trailer from the Xbox Games Showcase 2024, as well as all surrounding new information on the game.

What is State of Decay 3?

Best answer: State of Decay 3 is the long-awaited sequel to State of Decay 2, a community-management and zombie survival game from Undead Labs and Xbox Game Studios.

Oh, look, State of Decay 3 will have zombies. (Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

State of Decay 3 is the third entry in the State of Decay franchise, and the follow-up to State of Decay 2. State of Decay 2 has enjoyed dozens of content updates and a community millions strong, but never quite reached the ambitious vision Undead Labs originally had for the franchise. State of Decay 3, with the full backing of Xbox Game Studios and an expanded team of developers, is expected to significantly expand in scope and increase in quality.

State of Decay 3 was originally revealed during the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase 2022 with a short teaser trailer, and finally got a new in-game trailer during the Xbox Games Showcase 2024. We know that, as of July 2020, State of Decay 3 has been in active development, with the developer mentioning at the time that it had been working on it for "some time" already.

In a previous interview, Xbox Game Studios head Matt Booty noted that they expect State of Decay 3 to be a much bigger, persistent online game and that Microsoft's investment would help Undead Labs to get there sooner. We even know that Undead Labs is working with The Coalition of Gears of War fame to develop State of Decay 3 in Unreal Engine 5, according to an interview between Larry Hyrb and Matt Booty, as well as Obsidian Entertainment's Grounded team to develop more advanced and seamless online multiplayer.

When we first started working on State of Decay, we had a much bigger game, a much more persistent online game, and I know that Undead Labs will get there eventually, but by bringing them into the Microsoft family, I think we're able to accelerate that and get us there sooner which is great. In the case of Undead Labs, we absolutely want to go make State of Decay 3. That is a clear goal. That studio will have some other incubation, they'll work on some things, but this is a State of Decay 3 team.

Matt Booty, Xbox Game Studios

There's still much we don't know about State of Decay 3, but the recent reveal around 2024's Xbox Games Showcase shed a lot more light on this bloody, zombie-infested survival game.

Where can I watch State of Decay 3 trailers?

Here, you can find all the State of Decay 3 trailers that have been released so far. Right now, they count only two, but now that the dam is broken we expect to see a lot of more of this game moving forward.

State of Decay 3 reveal teaser

State of Decay 3 in-game trailer

What will the State of Decay 3 gameplay be like?

Best answer: State of Decay 3 will likely play similarly to State of Decay 2, but we expect to see considerable improvements to moment-to-moment gameplay, multiplayer elements, and more.

Something tells me this deer isn't a friend. (Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

State of Decay hasn't really had a wintry setting as of yet, and from the trailer, we can see a survivalist in a vast frostbitten wilderness. Every State of Decay area has been set in fictional counties in America so far. What we might be seeing here is the Rocky Mountains, or perhaps even Alaska or Canada. Could temperature factor into gameplay, as seen in similar survival games like The Long Dark? Will we have to try to keep warm in addition to managing hunger and zombie-induced injuries? It's an exciting prospect.

Beyond the setting, we also get a look at a really awesome scene showing how the plague has manifested in the new game. In a disturbing role reversal, we see an undead deer devouring the corpse of a wolf, before screeching into the camera. Previously, State of Decay only featured human and mutated human enemies, indicating that the plague has now spread from humans to animals as well.

Given the wintry setting, practically any wild animal is a potential candidate for zombification. Zombie wolves, zombie moose, zombie bears? The last one is particularly terrifying to think about. At the very least, the plague has evolved and spread in all-new ways, including the horrifying Plague Hearts at the core of it all.

Seems like a friendly person. (Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

The information from the initial reveal trailer is decidedly limited, but we got more information from the Xbox Games Showcase 2024 trailer.

State of Decay 2 is a game I'm particularly fond of, but I think even the game's staunchest fans would be remiss to ignore the game's rough edges. Whether it's the limiting tether-style co-operative play, or the game's crazy physics anomalies, State of Decay 2 is a game that was let down by a litany of issues that only serve to take you out of the game's immersive simulation setting.

With State of Decay 3, we'll likely see improvements to moment-to-moment gameplay, base and community management, and more. We know that Undead Labs is pouring a lot of attention to detail regarding how the world has evolved years after the beginning of the zombie apocalypse, including requiring players to salvage components and materials to craft unique, handmade weapons, clothing, armor, and other gear.

SoD3 will also place a lot more focus on building your community than previous State of Decay games, giving characters more personality and lasting impact. It'll be interesting to see the end result of this effort, as it could make each conflict far more harrowing. Most exciting, the team's work with Obsidian has all but confirmed that State of Decay 3 won't have the limited co-op tethers of its predecessors.

What will the story be for State of Decay 3?

Best answer: State of Decay 3 will be set in the same world as its predecessor, but is expected to embark in a new location and focus more on character building and development.

I expect nothing bad to happen to any of your survivors in State of Decay 3. (Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

State of Decay 2 is a ton of fun and does an excellent job building a compelling world, but its story elements unfortunately leave a lot to be desired, such as how your community members barely change over time or develop bonds with each other. State of Decay 3 is expected to focus more on this aspect, with more nuanced and multidimensional characters that are more capable of interacting with the world.

Undead Labs is working with Xbox Game Studios (specifically The Coalition) on improving its animation and cinematic quality, as well, so the wider story for State of Decay 3 could also be more involved with a higher production quality, alongside significantly improved environmental detail. The specifics of the story remain shrouded in mystery, however, so we'll simply have to wait to find out more. Undead Labs is also working with support teams Blind Squirrel Entertainment and Wushu Studios to improve the technical polish of State of Decay 3, which is exciting.

What platforms will State of Decay 3 come to?

Best answer: State of Decay 3 will release on Xbox Series X|S, Windows PC, Xbox Game Pass, and Xbox Cloud Gaming. It is not expected to release on Xbox One, and is unlikely to come to PlayStation 5 or Nintendo Switch (at least at launch).

Who knows what new dangers players will face in State of Decay 3. (Image credit: Microsoft)

State of Decay 3 may be a very mysterious upcoming game, but its expected release platforms probably won't be very surprising. We know State of Decay 3 is releasing on Xbox Series X|S and Windows PC, and will be a day one addition to Xbox and PC Game Pass and Xbox Cloud Gaming. With major expected advancements in visuals and gameplay, State of Decay 3 is almost guaranteed to skip releasing on the aging Xbox One platform, which Microsoft has begun to stop supporting with its new first-party output.

There's also very little chance that State of Decay 3 will release on PlayStation 5 at launch, although there's always the possibility that the game will eventually come to PS5 in the future, given that it's expected to have expanded multiplayer gameplay elements and could benefit from a larger player base. After all, Xbox has begun to move away from permanent console exclusives in recent months.

However, it's highly unlikely that we'll ever see State of Decay 3 on Nintendo Switch, given how graphically intensive the game will be. For now, though, the possibility of a PlayStation or Switch release for State of Decay 3 is merely speculation without any official confirmation from Xbox.

When will State of Decay 3 release?

Best answer: State of Decay 3 has no confirmed release date, and it's improbable that the game is close to an official launch. I wouldn't expect SoD3 until 2025 at the very earliest.

We'll unfortunately be waiting a while longer to play this game. (Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

State of Decay 3 may have been teased in 2020, but it was supposedly still in pre-development in 2022. Given the difficulties the pandemic introduced in video game development and the ambition of the project, State of Decay 3 isn't likely to be right around the corner. Even with the game being shown off at the Xbox Games Showcase 2024, this hasn't changed — there wasn't even a release window in the latest trailer.

I personally wouldn't expect to see State of Decay 3 arrive on Xbox and Windows PC until late 2025 at the earliest, and early 2026 is very well a possibility. For now, though, there simply aren't any concrete confirmations regarding the game's release date. We can only speculate and wait for Undead Labs and Xbox to reveal more about when we can expect to actually play this upcoming Xbox game.

Zachary Boddy
Staff Writer

Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer for Windows Central, primarily focused on covering the latest news in tech and gaming, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting Windows and Xbox hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life starting with the original Xbox, and started out as a freelancer for Windows Central and its sister sites in 2019. Now a full-fledged Staff Writer, Zachary has expanded from only writing about all things Minecraft to covering practically everything on which Windows Central is an expert, especially when it comes to Microsoft. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.

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