Gray Zone Warfare: Early access release date & time, platforms, gameplay, more

Nathan Warby
Gray Zone Warfare player in jungle

Content creators are raving about Gray Zone Warfare after getting their hands on it, but what exactly is the game and where can you play it? Here’s everything you need to know about Gray Zone Warfare, including the early access release date.

While the likes of Call of Duty and the upcoming XDefiant have the more fast-paced, arena shooter genre covered, there’s always a section of players looking for something with more depth. Enter Gray Zone Warfare, a new tactical FPS developed by Madfinger Games that’s already drawing Escape from Tarkov comparisons.

The game is receiving plenty of hype after streamers got hands-on time with it, so here’s everything you need to know about Gray Zone Warfare.

Gray Zone Warfare early access release date & time

Gray Zone Warfare arrives in early access on Tuesday, April 30, 2024, at 12 PM PDT / 3 PM EDT / 8 PM BST. The game was previously in alpha, but the trailer which dropped on April 29 announced that players could get their hands on its early access period just one day later.

There’s no word yet on when the game’s full launch will take place, but we expect it to stay in early access for some time while the devs expand and polish the experience.

Is Gray Zone Warfare free-to-play?

No, Gray Zone Warfare isn’t free-to-play and can only accessed by purchasing it. However, there are plenty of different versions depending on how much you want to spend.

The cheapest option is the Standard Edition ($35), which comes with the base games and a handful of bonuses like $10,000 of in-game cash. At the other end of the spectrum, the Supporter Edition costs $99 and features tons of additional bonuses, including an exclusive Support Badge.

You can check out our guide on every Gray Zone Warfare edition and prices for a full breakdown.

Gray Zone Warfare platforms

Gray Zone Warfare is only available on Steam when it launches in early access. There has been no mention of a console version so far, and the sheer scale and realism of the shooter make it much more at home on PC platforms.

However, the Creative Director, Marek Rabas, did reveal in a Game Rant interview that they’re eying a console release in the future.

He said: “We are planning it, you know. We want to support consoles. We won’t do it immediately because we need to stabilize it first. We need to do everything on the PC, do the first updates on the PC, and if the game will be suitable to put on consoles, we will do it. Even during the Early Access, we will try to do Early Access on the consoles.”

Gray Zone Warfare gameplay explained

Gray Zone Warfare is a tactical extraction shooter that makes realism the central focus of its gameplay and is set on a massive open map called Lamang – an island in southeast Asia. It’s a primarily PvE experience with PvP mixed in, as the map is home to just 48 real players at once with over 1000 AI enemies.

Just like other games in the extraction genre, such as Tarkov, players are tasked with completing missions to earn valuable gear and weapons that must then be successfully extracted to be saved for future runs.

However, the key difference is Gray Zone Warfare’s emphasis on immersion and how it uses the map to its advantage. Instead of reaching an extraction point to leave the world, you can call in a chopper to your specific location which will then fly you to a faction safehouse still found on the island.

The same is true when you inevitably die and lose all your gear. Rather than returning to the menu and starting over, Madfinger Games let you head back out into the same game world, albeit with significantly worse equipment, and try to reclaim what you lost.

Another aspect that sets Gray Zone Warfare apart is the realistic gunplay. The game’s official website mentioned the devs wanted “damage to go above mere numbers,” so takes many different factors into account when determining how much a shot hurts.

It uses an advanced ballistic model, which allows different ammo types and weapons to penetrate multiple structures at once and ricochet off surfaces. Each character also has a detailed anatomy, meaning you can aim for vital organs rather than gunfights being boiled down to the usual head, chest, and limb multipliers.

It’s a formula that has already struck a chord with content creators, who were given access to Gray Zone Warfare on April 18. ModernWarzone called it “phenomenal” and praised it for feeling “like Tarkov and DayZ had a child,” while TacticalBrit posted that he was “absolutely loving” what he’s played so far.

Gray Zone Warfare PC system requirements

Check out the minimum and recommended PC requirements for Gray Zone Warfare below, as revealed on the official Steam page:


Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system.

  • OS: Windows 10 64 Bit (latest update)
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-8600 / AMD Ryzen 5 2600
  • Memory: 16 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 / AMD Radeon RX 5700 / Intel Arc A770
  • DirectX: Version 12
  • Network: Broadband Internet connection
  • Storage: 40 GB available space

Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system.

  • OS: Windows 10 64 Bit (latest update) / Windows 11 64 Bit (latest update)
  • Processor: Intel Core™ i7-9700K / AMD Ryzen 5 3600X
  • Memory: 32 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti / AMD Radeon RX 6800
  • DirectX: Version 12
  • Network: Broadband Internet connection
  • Storage: 40 GB available space

Gray Zone Warfare engine

Gray Zone Warfare uses Unreal Engine 5 to make its sprawling map and complicated systems possible. The devs have said they intend to “push the boundaries of realism in PC gaming” by making a game that keeps players gripped at all times.

“Harnessing the full power of Unreal Engine 5, GZW strives not just to look stunning but also to provide immersive gameplay and a persistent world that keeps living even when you’re not playing,” they said on their official website.

That was everything you need to know about Gray Zone Warfare. For more on the biggest upcoming games, check out our other pages:

Grand Theft Auto 6 | The Division Heartland | Marathon | Wolverine | Elder Scrolls 6 I Black Myth: Wukong I Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree I Stalker 2: Heart of Chornobyl

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