7 Days to Die Alpha 21: what's inside? Background

7 Days to Die Alpha 21: what's inside?

August 1, 2023
4 minutes to read

The Alpha 21 update for 7 Days to Die is the biggest update for the popular horror-survival game in a while and offers a lot of new features - which is absolutely impressive and the developers have put a lot of work into it. What the Alpha 21 update roughly contains, we show you in the following blog.

Beautiful new world - graphics update

A lot of love and work was put into the revised graphics and environment, because not only does the world in 7 Days to Die look more lively and realistic, there were even completely new visual appearances for the interiors in various buildings. But not only the environment was graphically improved, even completely new items and props found their way into the game, for example magazines, posters and labels for food, flags and wall art.

The water is also supposed to look more natural in some places in 7 Days to Die, which you should notice especially when swimming while moving through the water. Previously in the game, when you would loot different items like trash bags or lockers, they would not disappear or stay open - this is now changing. Looted lockers will remain open after all items have been collected and trash bags will now despawn.


Note: not only have the graphics been heavily reworked and many new items added, the performance has also been worked on indulgently and the game has been packed onto a new Unity version.

New doors and mechanics

Previously you were unable to use destroyed doors to shoot through or otherwise fight, this also changes now. Use holes and cracks in doors to shoot zombies, but note that the enemy side can now also use the loopholes in doors and punch through them. Not only the mechanics of the doors have been adjusted, there are also numerous new doors and among them is also the long-awaited double door.


New quest type, dangers and revised POIs

Additionally new in 7 Days to Die is also a quest type called Infestation, which is supported by almost 400 POIs (Points of Interest) and hangs together. Starting at level 2, you can choose this quest type and should team up with your friends against the large zombie hordes.

Besides the new quest type, there are over 75 new quests that have been added to the game by the developers. Also new is a danger system, which ensures that in certain places you have to fight obstacles made of fire first in order to progress on your way - the fire, as long as it burns, harms everyone who gets too close, including enemies, so choose wisely which ones you put out first and which ones you use in your favor for now.

All POIs have been reworked and almost 200 have even been added completely new or at least heavily reworked. Also, the Navezgane map has been updated with new terrain and POIs, and the merchant locations have also been completely reworked to include custom and appropriate graphics. The POIs have also been given new names and these will also be integrated into the new top right window and quest system.

Difficulty levels and hordes

Also brand new is a difficulty level indicator when you enter a new biome or POI. A small window will pop up in your HUD showing the name of the location and the difficulty level. The level is measured in the biome by orange skulls and in POIs with red skulls. How this builds up follows below:

  • Forest = 0 Skulls
  • Burnt biome (only in Navezgane) = 0.5 Skulls
  • Desert = 1 Skull
  • Snow biome = 1.5 Skulls
  • Wasteland = 2 Skulls


Note: the total difficulty of a biome and POI is made up of the orange and red skulls, which means that a POI in the Wasteland, for example, is more difficult and contains more enemies than the same POI in the forest.

Until now, you might have avoided the roaming hordes so as not to draw any attention to yourself, but the developers of 7 Days to Die are giving you a great incentive with Alpha 21 to maybe take on the hordes after all, because you are very likely to find bags of valuable loot among them.

New features in survival and crafting

Gathering and obtaining water has been made more difficult by removing empty jars and cans, and requiring you to have a cooking pot to boil water over a campfire. Additionally, water and other drinks have been generously removed from the loot you can find in the game - though you will now find more drinks in drink vending machines. A new feature is the dew collector, which allows you to collect water in the open air. To build the dew collector, you need a water filter, which you can find at a merchant. In 24 hours of gameplay you will receive about 3 glasses of water and it is possible to set up more than one dew collector.

The new update has separated the crafting system from the skills, which means that you now need to read magazines to upgrade your crafting skills and level up. The magazines can be found in containers of loot, loot bags from zombies and air drops, or obtained from successfully completed quests or traders. Additionally, you can now choose the level before crafting a tool or weapon without losing resources.

Previous problems with the crafting system, such as skipping individual levels of craftable items like weapons and tools and depending on certain skill levels before you can craft more items, are a thing of the past with the new crafting system. Even though the skills no longer have anything to do with crafting per se, there are ones that give you a boost that ensures you can find matching magazines. Of course, the other skills have been reworked as well.


Chunk reset system and RWG update

There seems to be no end to the new features. The new setting called "Chunk Reset Time" is disabled by default, but if you enable it, the chunks you visit in the game will be reset if you have not visited them for a while. However, if there are game character related items and saved zones in the chunk and the surrounding area, nothing will be changed in the state and everything will remain as it is. So the point of the chunk reset system is also to restore and reset previously visited, destroyed, and lotted areas, and therefore not take up too much memory.

The Random World Generator (RWG) has also been completely reworked with the update and is supposed to stand for faster speed and better placement of POIs. The generation of the RWG has been sped up by 4-5 times, connecting highways between different land tiles has been improved, there is a new scoring system so POIs don't repeat too often, road smoothing has been improved and land tiles have been added to make the environment look more natural and beautiful and more believable for POI spawning.

Even more news

We have tried to tell you about the most important and biggest new features and changes of 7 Days to Die Alpha 21 in our blog, but that's not all. If you want to know exactly about the changes, you can have a look at the full patch notes of the Alpha 21 update here.

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