What to expect from future State of Decay 2 updates

State of Decay 2 offers a vast open world, packed with content to explore during your survival journey. And like any open-world sandbox, uncovering all it has to offer will take time. But looking further ahead, developer Undead Labs is laying the foundations for what comes next. Here's everything we know so far about the future of State of Decay 2 on Xbox One and Windows 10.

State of Decay 2 buyer's guide: Editions, bonuses, and release dates

Independence and Daybreak expansion packs

While many of today's titles adopt a "games-as-a-service" content model, State of Decay 2 pursues traditional post-launch expansions. Undead Labs has outlined two paid downloadable content (DLC) drops for the game, which are expected to build on the existing foundation from launch. The "Independence Pack" kicks off these plans, followed by the "Daybreak Pack." Speaking to Windows Central, State of Decay 2 design director, Richard Foge, broke down the content we can expect.

For the Independence Pack, the team has discussed "some cool consumables, some new variations on vehicles and some new weapons" for players to unlock. This is set to be an extension of the base experience, by ushering new items into the world.

The Daybreak Pack brings a "full new game mode" in the works, departing from the core gameplay loop. While Foge didn't elaborate with further details, its premise could be an ambitious shift into new territory.

Both expansions are included with State of Decay 2: Ultimate Edition, making them a main draw of the premium $49.99 bundle. This edition is currently the only way to pre-purchase the content, with no standalone season pass or add-ons available at launch. Undead Labs has told us it plans to allow standard edition owners to purchase DLC at a later date.

Ultimate Edition owners pay $20 over the base game, valuing these expansions at a similar price point. Assuming Ultimate Edition owners received a small discount, these DLC packs will likely cost between $10 and $15 each.

Free updates, patches and more

State of Decay 2

State of Decay 2 (Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Beyond the main expansions, State of Decay 2 will also see free updates over its lifetime. The team currently hopes the game will feel "well supported" with bug fixes, feature improvements and other refinements after release. The team has previously committed to delivering heavier polish leading up to, and beyond, May 22.

There's a sense that Undead Labs plans to mostly offer new content through expansions, rather than regular updates many are accustomed to. Nevertheless, Foge discussed seamlessly implementing content that didn't make it into the final game alongside updates.

We have a lot of really cool things we've been talking about for a while, that as you come up to release date, the producers tell you to put your pencils down and you stop being able to put stuff in. There's a backlog of all these fun missions and stuff we'd love to get into the game as well, and the structure of the game allows us to pretty easily slot stuff in.

For now, we can assume efforts are being heavily invested in improving the existing game while focusing on future DLC. Stay tuned for announcements on firmer update plans.

No plans for microtransactions

Leading up to launch, Undead Labs has stressed that controversial monetization practices are being avoided for State of Decay 2. There are still no plans to implement microtransactions, paid currencies or loot boxes, betting on transparent purchases instead. Foge elaborated on this decision, citing the team's vision for the game.

The content we built out and just the way we built it, microtransactions don't make a lot of sense for the structure of the game and the way we built things out. […] We didn't want microtransactions or our own currency in the game where you're buying loot boxes and things like that with "zombucks" or anything – it didn't make sense for the game.

While the game leaves microtransactions untouched at launch, keep in mind that plans could change later down the line.

Kicking off your journey

State of Decay 2 is on track for a May 22 release, priced at $29.99 on Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs. The game will also be accessible via Xbox Game Pass – the Xbox One's Netflix-style subscription service for games, valued at a $9.99 flat monthly fee.

State of Decay 2 buyer's guide: Editions, bonuses, and release dates

Matt Brown

Matt Brown was formerly a Windows Central's Senior Editor, Xbox & PC, at Future. Following over seven years of professional consumer technology and gaming coverage, he’s focused on the world of Microsoft's gaming efforts. You can follow him on Twitter @mattjbrown.