Game Rules

(last update: October, 2017)

Humans vs. Zombies (HvZ) is a game of tag of epic proportions. There are two teams, the Human Resistance, and the Zombie Horde. All players begin as Humans, except some who are randomly chosen to be the Original Zombie(s) (Players can opt into being in the pool to be chosen as the Original Zombie). The Original Zombie tags Human players, turning them into Zombies. The Zombies must "feed" on a Human every 60 hours, by tagging them, or they starve to death and are out of the game. The Humans can defend themselves from the Zombies with various game approved equipment covered below.  

The Objectives

Zombies should tag all humans.  Humans should try to avoid getting tagged as long as possible.

Eligibility to Play

  1. You must be registered on the OSU HVZ website, then add yourself to the upcoming game to play.
  2. You must also agree to the OSU OSUndead Humans vs. Zombies Agreement (when you register on the website).
  3. You MUST attend ONE orientation out of the dates specified on the front page, and if you cannot make one of these dates email us at to arrange a separate one (times and locations are posted in the weeks before the game).
  4. You must sign and return the liability waiver at orientation. Note: You will start as deceased if you do not attend an orientation AND return the liability waiver. (Plus, you won't get an armband if you don't.)

Safety Rules

Rules created for the safety of all players are strictly enforced. Violation of safety rules may result in a removal and ban from the game.

  1. Common Sense. If something seems excessively dangerous, don't do it.
  2. No realistic looking weaponry. All Nerf devices must be inspected by a mod before the game. Approved devices will be marked with a zip-tie as proof they've been inspected. Using a Nerf device that hasn't been inspected will result in removal from the game.
  3. All devices except socks and marshmallows must be approved by a Moderator prior to use.
  4. Try to keep game devices out of the way and not prominently visible when inside.  If someone asks you to put it away, put it away.  
  5. Projectiles must not hurt on impact. (If you're not sure about this, ask a moderator).
  6. Play inside buildings is strictly forbidden. Doing so will result in removal from the game.
  7. Stairs are safe for humans only. Zombies can be stunned on stairs, humans can not be tagged as long as they have at least one foot on the stairs.


  1. To count as stairs, there must be three vertical faces.
  2. Doorways:

Doorways function as the boundary between play areas and no play zones. Players must exercise caution around doorways. If the doorway is crowded with people, wait for them to move out of the way.

  1. A human is safe if they have at least one foot within the doorway.
  2. A human is safe if, as they are entering the building, they have one hand on the door handle.
  3. If the door is locked, then you are only safe if you are able to open the door.
  4. Zombies are never safe from being stunned in doorways.
  5. Humans can shoot or toss projectiles from doorways.  
  6. When a human exits a door, they are safe until they move more than ten feet away from the door. Any zombie nearby can remove the safety bubble by audibly counting out ten seconds. Once the zombie reaches zero, the human is no longer safe, and should probably run away or return to the building.

The purpose of the bubble is to reduce clogs around doors. Please use the safety to stand away from foot traffic and avoid blocking exits.

  1. Vehicles: Players on/in vehicles are outside of the game. They cannot be tagged or stunned, and cannot stun or tag. Players on roller blades are always safe because a push will cause them to move. (Please don't ride bikes, skateboards, or rollerblades at missions. You may use them to get to and from the mission location only).
  2. Do not under any circumstances attempt to engage (e.g. tag or stun) someone who isn't a player. Doing so will result in immediate removal from the game.
  3. Play is forbidden 5 feet surrounding all construction zones (sidewalks are a good guide for distance).
  4. No entering or exiting foliage, and no hiding in foliage, at any point after the streetlights come on.  You may exit the foliage if the streetlights come on while you are there.  


  1. HvZ Bandana - to identify people as participants in HvZ. This will be provided to all players at the end of orientation. This is a required item.
  2. 2 Index Cards - to identify players uniquely for the purpose of Zombie feeding. Write your Player ID on your 2 index cards as a human. You can find your player ID under "My Account" at the top. These are required items.
  3. Game approved projectiles and blasters - For Human players only. See section on Nerf devices. These items are optional.

Bandana Rules

Game bandanas are given out at orientation. This is to indicate who is a player. They are green for Fall games and yellow for Spring games, and have “OSU HVZ” spray-painted on the front in varying colors/font. Moderators have an additional pink bandana.

  1. Game bandanas must be used at ALL TIMES (except for the noted exceptions below). This includes going to/from class, to/from exams, etc. If you suspect someone of violating this, please report it to the mods.
  1. Exceptions: outdoor class, ROTC, work, transporting heavy/fragile/expensive equipment (does not include laptops in a backpack), physical injury. If you feel you have an exception not listed here, please contact the mods.
  1. Game bandanas must be worn at minimum several minute prior to exiting a building. Placing on a bandana, then exiting several seconds later to chase/escape a player will result in disciplinary action. We encourage players to wear bandanas inside as much as possible!
  2. Game bandanas must be clearly visible in a 360 degree manner (i.e. from all angles). Do not fold them lengthwise to make them thinner. Tape may be used to repair damaged edges.
  3. Clothing cannot color-match game bandanas (e.g. if your bandana is yellow, don’t wear a yellow rain jacket).  
  4. Game bandanas from previous game may not be worn.  You must wear a band given to you at the orientation for the current game.

Safe Zones and No-Play Zones

Players that are in safe zones cannot be shot or tagged in these places. Human players can however fire from within a safe zone to clear exits.  If a Human has any part of their body touching a safe zone, they cannot be tagged.

  1. Residence Halls. Humans may not shoot out of windows, balconies, roofs, or from fire escapes.
  2. Bathrooms (includes porta potties)
  3. All Buildings (four walls and a ceiling)
  4. Stairs are safe for humans only.
  5. Dining Halls
  6. Reser Stadium (inside, not on the plaza waiting for tickets)
  7. Personal Tents
  8. Cars 
  9. Anywhere else needed due to safety or as declared by a mod.

No-Play Zones are places where your safety outweighs the context of the game. The game is not to be played in these areas and if you are in one you should exit immediately (see below). You may NOT use a no-play zone as a safe zone.

  1. The area surrounding buses and shuttles (not bus stops). Busses and Shuttles count as vehicles; players on them are safe.
  2. Crosswalks: If you enter a crosswalk you must cross to the other side. You may not shoot into or out of a crosswalk. Zombies may not tag Humans that are crossing a crosswalk
  3. The Parking Garage
  4. Construction Zones (plus the additional 5 feet surrounding a construction zone).
  5. Fire Escapes
  6. During fire drills (when there are people sent outside to wait, the group is in a No-Play Zone until everybody has dispersed)
  7. Around emergency vehicles
  8. Off Campus.
  9. Around cultural and diversity centers. (Do not camp outside of these buildings, it's not cool!)
  10. Jobs, Labs, classes which take place outdoors (take your head/armband off so as to not interrupt the class.)
  11. Anywhere else as declared by a mod.

Transportation Rules

OSU is a very large campus, and transportation is often used by many players to get to their classes in a timely manner. Transportation devices take players temporarily out of play. As such, please only use them if you really need them! They are not mobile safe zones, they place you in a no play zone. You can not make tags, be tagged, stun, or be stunned while on a transport device.

  1. There are particular rules associated with transport to be aware of. Do not do the following:
  1. Puppy guarding: This is the act of using a vehicle to chase a player down to stun or tag them. This is against the rules and doing so may result in removal from the game.
  2. Transport jumping: Carrying a transport device (such as a skate/longboard) and quickly jumping on and off upon spotting another player is effectively using a mobile safe zone. This is against the rules, and doing so may result in removal from the game.
  3. Hovering: Closely stalking a player on a transport device by running alongside them waiting for them to stop so they can be tagged/stunned is be unsafe. Particularly for the individual on the transport device. Don't do it.
  1. Bicycles: If you are straddled over the bike (moving or not), you are out of play. Simply walking the bike or standing one peddle on the side does NOT count.
  2. Scooters: You are out of play when you are moving. If you are stationary you are in play.
  3. Skateboards and Longboards: You are out of play while on one, moving or not.
  4. Rollerskates and Rollerblades: You are out of play while they are on your feet. We ask players to please not use them during the game unless it is absolutely necessary.
  5. Segways: If you are standing on one, you are out of play.


Areas on campus that are safe to play in and not listed as a Safe Zone or No-Play Zone are fair game.

Click here to see what is defined as on and off campus, in addition to construction areas, non-crossable campus borders, mod locations, and unique buildings.

Game Mechanics

Stunning a Zombie:

Humans may stun a Zombie for 15 minutes by shooting them with a Nerf marker, throwing a sock at them, or landing a hit with a marshmallow. All projectiles must leave a blaster or hand to be valid. A stunned zombie must place his/her headband around his neck.

When Tagged By a Zombie:

When tagged by a Zombie, a Human is required to give the Zombie one of their ID cards, which the Zombie will use to register the tag. The player is now a Stunned Zombie and will become an unstunned Zombie fifteen minutes after being tagged.

Wearing an Armband:

Humans must wear provided bandanna around their bicep to identify at all times that they are in a game-on zone to identify them as Humans players in the game. (This will come in handy when you become a Zombie!) Zombies must wear the bandanna on their head, OVER hoodies, hats, hair, etc. so that it is visible at all times from all angles.

Zombie Feeds:

Zombies must "feed" to survive. A Zombie feeds by reporting their tag to the website, within 2 hours of the tag (please contact a moderator if you are having difficulties ASAP). If a Zombie's clock runs out from lack of feeding, they "starve", and are out of the game as a "deceased" player, who occasionally have minor roles in the game (so still keep your bandana). When a Zombie feeds, they gain 48 hours of time. A zombie's feed clock maxes out at 60 hours.


Deceased players are zombies who have starved out of the game by failing to feed within 48 hours as a zombie. They are indicated by wearing their bandana on their upper thigh. They may not make tags, stun, be stunned, or interact with regular gameplay. All deceased players become regular zombies during the final mission. If you become deceased for an unknown reason, please contact the mods.

Wearing Your Headband:

Zombies must wear the bandanna around their head at all times while playing. Again, make sure it is over hats, hoods, hair, etc. See headband rules for more details.


A tag is a firm touch to a Human, including any items on their person excluding blasters held in the hand. (Keep in mind where an appropriate place to tag a Human is. Use good judgment; any violation of this rule is against game policy as well as being incredibly disrespectful, and will result in removal from the game at the very least). After tagging a Human, the Zombie must collect one of the Human's ID card, and must report their tag to get credit for feeding.  You will receive an email automatically when you have officially been turned on the game website.

Getting Stunned:

When hit with a Human Nerf device, a Zombie is stunned for 15 minutes. A stunned Zombie may not interact with the game in any way. This includes shielding other Zombies from bullets, continuing to run toward a Human, or providing information to the Horde. If shot while already stunned, the Zombie's stun timer is not reset back to 15 minutes.

If a stunned Zombie encounters human players, they should raise one hand and identify themselves as stunned. Stunned zombies should not stalk human players, as this can sway the game, and isn't very sportsmanly. A good rule is to stay out of nerf dart range from humans when stunned. Excessive gameplay interaction when stunned may result in disciplinary action.

Volunteer Zombies (Original zombies):

The Volunteer Zombies are randomly chosen at the beginning of the game. (You can opt-in to this pool in “Account Settings” on the OSUndead website). If you do NOT receive an email from a mod informing you that you are an OZ, then you are NOT an OZ.  Moderators cannot be OZs.

Altered Mechanics:

As a reward for missions, mechanics above may be modified. If this occurs all players will be emailed the conditions. Keep an eye on your emails.

Nerf Devices, Equipment, and Projectiles

Specifically banned game devices:

  1. No barrel attachments may be added to blasters.
  2. The following blasters are banned for campus safety reasons because it has been indicated that their appearances resemble a real firearm:
  1. a. Nerf Centurion
  2. B. Buzzbee Snipe
  3. C. Buzzbee Rangefinder
  4. D. Any blaster from the brand Xplorer.  
  1. The Rotofury is banned in its stock form. You however may down-spring it and get it mod approved.
  2. Blow guns using Mega darts and velcro darts are not allowed.  
  3. Items balled up in or inside of socks.  Socks can only contain other socks.  
  4. Jumbo or mini marshmallows.  
  5. Face masks or face coverings-- refer to campus’s rules on face coverings.  
  6. No melee weapons or shields expect if the mods issue you one.  This includes shield attachments on blasters such as the Stampede and the Modulus.  
  7. No duck blinds, deer blinds, or hunting equipment (this includes ghillie suits, crossbows, fake weaponry, camouflage).  
  8. No hard-tipped darts.  
  9. No modified darts, excluding moderator-approved specialty ammo.
  10. Blasters of any variety are not permitted if it has a all silver or black portions of the barrel. You may do this in any manner you choose (paint, orange tape, etc.)  We will have orange tape at orientations for your convenience.  If your blaster does not have silver or black on the barrel in its stock form you don’t have to worry about this rule.  
  11. All blasters must be checked at orientations. We require that toy blasters have a brightly colored tip. If you're in doubt, ask a mod ahead of time. Approved devices will be marked as such by a zip-tie. You may clip the tie for modding purposes at any time, but to be used in HvZ it must be re-checked and re-tied.  
  12. Projectiles must not hurt on impact.
  13. Blasters may be modified. However, they must still fall under the aforementioned guidelines.
  14. Nerf blasters can not fire anything except their intended projectiles such as darts or balls. Socks must be clean. Socks must be thrown; they can be modified, but only by adding more socks.
  15. All ammunition must be cleaned up by whoever fired it. Don't leave darts and marshmallows and socks lying around. Be respectful of campus - ours is a beautiful one, let's keep it that way.
  16. Anything else a mod says is not allowed.  They do not have to cite a rule.  


Throughout the game’s duration, there will be various missions posed to both teams (sent via email). By completing these missions, you earn benefits for your team, or detriments for your opposition (such as decreasing stun timers for zombies, or adding a safe zone for humans).

Failure to complete mission may have negative consequences for your team, or positive consequences for the other team. Missions are completely optional, but highly recommended, because they are fun. The end of final mission marks the end of that HvZ game.  The missions are supposed to add some depth to the game, suspense to events, and to give the Humans a reason to get out and fight!

Special mission rules:

  1. No vehicles at mission! Vehicles may be used to get to or from missions, but their use during missions to complete mission objectives or help with the mission in any way is banned.
  2. Buildings may not be used as cover or passage during missions.  If you enter a building for any purpose other than to use the bathroom, you are removed from the mission and cannot come back.  Tell a moderator before you use the restroom so there’s no confusion.  
  3. Stairs may not be used as a play zone unless specifically told by a mod for the purpose of moving from one location to the other.
  4. Mods can change other rules for the parameters of the mission.  You will be notified of which rules are modified/lifted during the mission, and they will be put back in place as normal after the mission’s end.


Costumes are permitted (and encouraged!), but they must not be alarming to the public. For safety reasons, the following rules will be enforced:

  1. Camouflage may not be worn in bushes. No FULL camo is allowed either.
  2. Ghillie suits may not be worn at all.  
  3. Costume must be nonthreatening.  
  4. The costume may not contain banned weapons or devices, even for looks.

Rule Violations

In the case where a rule has been violated, moderators will make a decision on the appropriate course of action.

Most of the time, this is simply a warning, or nothing at all. For more serious occurrences, the rules head and or executive council may be involved. Possible actions include, but are not limited to:

  1. Verbal notice.
  2. Written notice.
  3. Action nullification (i.e. tag or stun doesn't count).
  4. Temporary removal from the game (we will Decease you on the website, send you an e-mail and ask to talk to you).
  5. Banned from the current game.
  6. Banned from HvZ.
  7. University is contacted and notified, and you are banned from HvZ.

Other Rules

  1. A mod does not need to cite a rule to make a ruling during game.
  2. The mod squad will never use Facebook, twitter, etc. to distribute mission details.
  3. People who are not part of the game cannot interact with it. This includes spying or bringing supplies to barricaded Humans.  
  4. If there is a dispute over a tag and or stun (i.e. a tag and stun happened at the same time), this is settled by way of rock, paper, scissors. If a mod is nearby we will officiate this. Winner best 2 out of 3.
  5. A tag on a backpack is considered a tag on the player (otherwise the backpack would be a shield, which is not allowed).

If there is a real emergency, call 911. For game-related, non-emergency help please try to find a mod (wearing a pink arm/headband) or email, or text us at 541-862-1628.

Finally, be fair, have fun, and be kind to each other. This is a game, and only a game! If at any time you think you are violating this rule, stop and think about it. If something seems unfair, it probably is. If it seems un-fun, then something is probably wrong. This is a game, and games are meant to be fun. Try and play the game in a way that makes it good for everyone involved. Don't be selfish. And lastly, HAVE FUN!