How Long is Night in DayZ? Answered

Hard to check a watch in pitch darkness.
dayZ night
Image via Bohemia Interactive

When you’re living in an extreme situation, to say nothing of a zombie apocalypse in DayZ, your perception of time can blur a bit. Sometimes it feels agonizingly slow, sometimes it seems to fly by. It’s not wise to let your perceptions slip when day and night can present different dangers. So, how long is night in DayZ?

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How Long is Night in DayZ? Answered

DayZ operates on a real-time day/night cycle, just like in real life, albeit much shorter. Obviously, with time zones and everything, it’d be a bit silly to have a 24-hour cycle in-game, especially since that wouldn’t be fair to people who can only play at night. As such, DayZ’s days are scaled down significantly.

Related: How to Make a Fire in DayZ

If you’re playing on an official DayZ server, then here’s the general breakdown of the game’s timescale:

  • Daytime lasts 2-3 hours
  • Dusk lasts 15 minutes
  • Nighttime lasts 1-2 hours
  • Dawn lasts 15 minutes

Generally speaking, nighttime is much shorter than daytime in DayZ. This is likely for balance purposes, as the game world is much more dangerous at night due to low visibility.

Modded Servers

dayZ sundown
Image via Bohemia Interactive

While the official servers all run on more or less the same timescale, modded or fan-operated servers may function differently. The passage of time can be customized by the owners of a server; the day can last for hours on end while night only takes a few minutes, or the entire map could be blanketed in perpetual night.

Make sure you know whether the server you’re joining is official or not before you join so you have an idea of what to expect. Beyond that, you might just have to get a stopwatch out when night falls to determine how the server is set up.


If you’re in the mood for more games about zombies and survival, check out our guide on how to cure infected wounds in Project Zomboid, or our list of games similar to Escape from Tarkov. Don’t forget to visit our Facebook page, too!

About the author

Daniel Trock

Since the first time he picked up a controller as a child, Daniel has been a dyed-in-the-wool gaming fanatic, with a Steam library numbering over 600 games. His favorite pastime, aside from playing games, is doing deep dives on game wikis to learn more about their lore and characters.

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