Game Rules

Humans vs. Zombies, or HvZ for short, is a game of tag on an epic scale. There are two teams: the Human Resistance and the Zombie Horde. Most players begin the game as Humans and a few brave volunteers begin as Zombies. Humans can defend themselves with Nerf blasters and thrown projectiles but if a Zombie manages to tag a Human, that Human is now a Zombie too!

The Objectives

Zombies try to turn all the Humans by tagging them. Humans try to survive for the entire duration of the game. During the game players may choose to partake in Missions that have special rules and objectives. These can provide boons to participating players or to the entire winning team.

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 read and sign 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. If you cannot make one of these dates email us at to arrange a separate time. Group orientation 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 or do not return the liability waiver. Contact a moderator if this happens to you.

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. Stairs:
  1. Be careful on stairs. Be conscious of other people also on the stairs.
  2. Stairs are any set of steps with three or more vertical faces.


  1. Stairs are safe for Humans. Humans are considered safe as long as they have at least one foot on the stairs.
  2. Zombies can be stunned on stairs.
  1. Doorways:

  1. Avoid doors when possible.
  2. Doorways function as the boundary between play areas and indoor 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.
  3. A Human is safe if they have at least one foot within the doorway.
  4. A Human is safe if, as they are entering the building, they have one hand on the door handle.
  5. If the door is locked and the player cannot open it the door is not a safe zone. Surprise!
  6. If the door is locked and the player can open it with a key or combination, they are safe while opening it. This includes walking over to a key card reader.
  7. Zombies are never safe from being stunned in doorways.
  8. Humans can shoot or toss projectiles from doorways.
  9. 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.
Note: The purpose of the bubble is to reduce clogs around doors. Please use the safe zone to stand away from foot traffic and avoid blocking exits.
  1. Avoid using vehicles when possible. Players on/in vehicles are outside of the game. They cannot be tagged or stunned, and cannot stun or tag. Vehicle use is not allowed during Missions but you may use them to get to and from the Mission if needed. Vehicles are any mobility enhancing device that are not required for you to move. For example, cars, bikes, pogo-sticks, jetpacks, and magical double jump boots.
  2. Do not under any circumstances attempt to engage someone who isn't a player.
  3. Play is forbidden 5 feet surrounding all construction zones.
  4. Play inside buildings is strictly forbidden.
  5. Do not traverse or hide in foliage after the streetlights come on. You may exit the foliage if the streetlights come on while you are there.
Note: This is to prevent frightening non-players or potentially triggering PTSD.
  1. Do not play near moving vehicles.

Equipment Rules

Any object used for the purpose of gameplay (blasters, socks, etc...) for Humans vs. Zombies is considered Equipment.

  1. Common Sense. If something seems inappropriate, don’t use it.
  2. All Nerf blasters must be inspected by a mod before the game. Approved blasters will be marked with a zip-tie as proof they've been inspected.
  3. No realistic looking weaponry.
  4. Try to keep game equipment 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).
Note: Squirrels may no longer be used as projectiles, or trained to tag/attack Humans.


  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. Approved Projectiles and Blasters - for Human players only. These items are optional.

Bandana Rules

Game bandanas indicate who is a playing the game. They are given out during Orientation. They are green for Fall games, yellow for Spring games, and have “OSU HVZ” marked on them. Moderators have an additional pink bandana.

  1. Game bandanas must always be worn while outdoors and within the game boundaries. Barring a few exceptions the game is always active and you are always playing. You are out of the game and may remove your bandana if:

If you have other circumstances that you believe should take you out of game contact a moderator.

Note: Laptops in backpacks do not count as equipment.
  1. Humans wear their bandana around their upper arm. Zombies wear their bandana around their head.
  2. Game bandanas must be worn a few minutes prior to exiting a building.
  3. Game bandanas must be clearly visible. Do not attempt to hide or diminish their visibility in any way. Do not color match your clothes to the bandana.
  4. You must wear a bandana from the current game. You may wear bandanas from previous games, or craft additional bandanas, in addition to the current game’s bandana as long as the current game’s bandana is visible and in the correct location.

Safe Zones

Humans in Safe Zones cannot be tagged. Humans are considered safe if they have at least one foot inside the Safe Zone. Humans may fire out of a Safe Zone to stun Zombies. Players may flee to a Safe Zone.

  1. The North MU Landing (also safe for zombies).
Note: These are the Mod Steps. There will be able to find a mod here.
  1. Stairs
  2. Mission briefing areas during the briefing. These locations will be sent out by email prior to the Missions.
  3. Special areas declared during Missions.

No-Play Zones

No-Play Zones are places where your safety outweighs the context of the game. No-Play Zones are out of play and no one can be tagged or stunned within them. If you are in one you should exit immediately. Players may NOT flee into a No-Play Zone to escape pursuing players.

  1. Buildings. Any structure with four walls and a ceiling is considered to be a building. For example:
  1. Near moving vehicles.
Note: The respawn time for being hit by a car is quite long.
  1. Anywhere else needed due to safety or as declared by a mod.
  2. The area surrounding buses and shuttles (not bus stops). Busses and Shuttles count as vehicles; players on them are safe.
  3. 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.
  4. The parking garage.
  5. Construction zones plus the additional 5 feet surrounding a construction zone.
  6. Fire escapes.
  7. During fire drills. When there are people sent outside to wait, the group is in a No-Play Zone until everybody has dispersed.
  8. Around emergency vehicles.
  9. Outside the game boundaries.
  10. Around cultural and diversity centers.
  11. Jobs, labs, and classes which take place outdoors.
  12. Anywhere as declared by a mod.
  13. Special areas declared during Missions.

Game Boundaries

Note: Follow this link to see a detailed view of the game boundaries.

Vehicle Rules

You may need to use a vehicle such as a bus or bicycle to move around campus in a timely manner. For safety there are some special rules surrounding vehicle use.

  1. Avoid vehicle use when possible.
  2. If you are on or in a vehicle you are out of play. Here are some specific cases:
  1. Bicycles: If you are straddled the bike (moving or not), you are out of play.

Simply walking the bike or standing one peddle on the side does NOT count.

  1. Scooters: You are out of play when you are moving. If you are stationary you are in play.
  2. Skateboards and Longboards: You are out of play while at least one foot is on the board, moving or not.
  3. Roller Skates 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.
  4. Segways: If you are standing on one, you are out of play.
  1. There are behaviors associated with vehicles which are disallowed:
  1. Puppy Guarding: This is the act of using a vehicle to chase a player down to stun or tag them.
  2. Transport Jumping: Carrying a transport device (such as a skate/longboard) and quickly jumping on and off upon spotting another player.
  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.

Game Mechanics

Stunning a Zombie:

Humans may stun a Zombie by hitting them with an approved projectile. A stunned Zombie must place their headband around their neck. Zombies become unstunned after 15 minutes. Special rules may allow them to unstun more quickly.

Tagging a Human:

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 Human is now a stunned Zombie.

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 until the final mission. 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 may not make tags, stun, be stunned, or interact with regular gameplay. All Deceased players may become Zombies during the final mission. If you become Deceased unexpectedly, the mods are likely trying to contact you. Talk to them to figure out why.


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.

Starting Zombies:

The starting Zombies are the players that willingly start the game as a Zombie (You can opt-in to this pool in “Account Settings” on the OSUndead website). If there are lots of volunteers, there will be a random drawing in the volunteer group. If there are not enough starting Zombies, moderators will announce how zombies get started via email.

Original Zombies:

The Original 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. barrel attachments.
  2. Blasters of any variety are not permitted if they do not have an orange tip for legal reasons.
Note: For quick and temporary modification of barrel color, use tape. There will be orange tape at the orientation.
  1. All blasters must be checked at orientations. 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.
  2. Projectiles must not hurt on impact.
  3. Blasters may be modified. However, they must still fall under the aforementioned guidelines.
  4. Nerf blasters can not fire anything except their intended projectiles such as darts or balls.
  5. The following blasters are banned for campus safety reasons, including because it has been indicated that their appearances resemble a real firearm:
  1.  Nerf Centurion
  2.  Buzzbee Snipe
  3.  Buzzbee Rangefinder
  4.  Any blaster from the brand Xplorer.
  5. BoomCo. Halo MA5 Blaster (That big airpowerd blaster)
  6. Brainsaw
  7. Crosscut
  8. The Dude Perfect bow
  9. The Rotofury is banned in its stock form. You however may down-spring it and get it approved by a mod.
  1. Allowed Darts: Darts not on this list may not be used for play in HvZ.
  1. Nerf Elite + Elite reskins
  2. Nerf Streamline + Streamline reskins
  3. Nerf Suction
  4. Nerf Whistler (not allowed in blowguns)
  5. Nerf MEGA (not allowed in blowguns)
  6. Buzzbee
  7. BoomCo
  8. “Waffle” Darts
  1. Here’s an example of “waffle-type” darts:

All brands of “waffle-type” darts are currently legal for use in HvZ.

  1. Koosh Darts
  2. All stock non-dart foam projectiles (Titan rocket, bow arrows, rival rounds, etc…)
Note: It may be a good idea to label your darts. This can help you recover them after use.
  1. Blow guns may not use Mega darts or velcro darts.
  2. No Items balled up in or inside of socks. Socks may only contain other socks.
  3. Socks must be clean. Socks must be thrown; they can be modified, but only by adding more socks.
  4. No jumbo or mini marshmallows.
Note: Don’t use flour coating on marshmallows as players may be allergic. Fine cornstarch is an excellent alternative.
  1. No face masks or face coverings. Refer to campus’s rules on face coverings.
  2. No melee weapons or shields except ones issued by mods. This includes shield attachments on blasters such as from the Stampede and the Modulus.
  3. No duck blinds, deer blinds, or hunting equipment such as ghillie suits, crossbows, fake weaponry, and camouflage.
  4. All ammunition must be cleaned up by whoever fired it. Don't leave darts, marshmallows, and socks lying around. Be respectful of campus–ours is a beautiful one, let's keep it that way.
  5. 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 non-threatening.
  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 Moderators will meet to discuss the issue. Possible responses 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. Additionally, you will be 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!