Project Zomboid hotwire car: How to hotwire cars

Project Zomboid hotwire car: How to hotwire cars
Images via The Indie Stone

Written by 

Tarran Stockton


15th Mar 2023 12:20

Learning how the Project Zomboid hotwire car mechanic works is a key way of procuring a car when you can't find the keys to one, as vehicles are important for storing loot and exploring the large open-world map. 

In Project Zomboid everything is out to get you, and if you manage to survive the first night, you may want access to a vehicle for extra storage and a means of travel. With keys not being plentiful or easy to find in the game, hotwiring is the next best option, so take a look at our explainer of how to hotwire cars in Project Zomboid.

Project Zomboid Hotwire Car: How to hotwire a vehicle

Project Zomboid Hotwire Cars
Click to enlarge

Firstly, to hotwire a car you need to a find a vehicle, which is the easiest step in the process, as they can be found in carparks, drive-ways, and parked out on the streets - just watch for zombies when approaching one.

You will also need a way to access the inside of the vehicle. Some can be found unlocked, some will require the key (in which case you probably won't need to hotwire), and you can also smash or remove windows by accessing the mechanics menu outside the vehicle. 

Once you have access to the inside of a vehicle, you can attempt the Project Zomboid hotwire cars mechanic, however, you will need at least one point in the electrical skill, and two in the mechanics skill.

These skills can be upgraded by finding relevant magazines, or acquiring XP and gaining an upgrade point.

If you meet all these criteria, you can learn how to hotwire a car. Inside, get up the radial menu and select the 'Hotwire Engine' option. You will begin an animation, and should you succeed, you will now have full access to the car. It's also worth noting in multiplayer, anyone can access a hotwired car.

If you fail the hotwiring animation, it will not damage the car or yourself, but it's likely to attract zombies if the car's alarms begin to sound. Sticking around in this case will be certain death, so leave the car and try again later.

If everything went correctly though, you will have access to a car and can use it to help you survive the harsh Project Zomboid environments. A car will also help you get to all the Project Zomboid VHS stores and tapes.

That's our rundown of the Project Zomboid hotwire cars mechanic, and you should now be able to hotwire a car with ease.

Make sure to also check out our Project Zomboid Electrical guide, which explains the Electrical skill, its uses, and how to level it up. 

Tarran Stockton
About the author
Tarran Stockton
Tarran is a Senior Guides Writer at GGRecon. He previously wrote reviews for his college newspaper before studying Media and Communication at university. His favourite genres include role-playing games, strategy games, and boomer shooters - along with anything indie. You can also find him in the pit at local hardcore shows.
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