Humans Vs Zombies : A How To Guide

November 5th, 2017

IMPORTANT: This is not my creation. I originally got this from Youth Collection, you can see the original link HERE. All the graphics can be downloaded from there as well.


  • If you are a HUMAN – Collect enough of the CANNED GOODS you need to survive the winter. You need to return the CANNED GOODS to HQ so the community can survive. Each CANNED GOOD gets you closer to the community goal AND with each can your name will be entered into the HQ RAFFLE
  • If you are a ZOMBIE – attack all the humans.

SUPPLIES – For 50-80 students

  • Game Supplies
    • Fabric Strips x 80
    • Canned Goods x 12
    • Nerf Guns x 10
    • Nerf Darts x LOTS
    • White Socks x 4 dozen
    • Small Health Kit x 100
    • Brown Envelopes Medium Size x 30
    • 4 White Shirts with big “Z” in red
    • Air Horn
  • Set-up Supplies
    • Colored Lights x 10-15
    • Wall sockets for lights x 10-15
    • Big House Light (example) x 3
    • Green Painters Tape x 6 rolls
    • Cardboard x lots
    • LARGE Sharpie x 4 (Black and Red)
    • Playlist for music
    • Caution tape
  • Printing Needed
    • Large Extra Health Kits x 20
    • Ammo Pack Labels x 30
    • Rules sheets x 4
    • Sign-In Sheets
    • STAY OUT signs x 15 (HvZ logo)


  • 5:00-6:00 Leaders Arrive
  • 6:00-6:15 Students Arrive
  • 6:15-7:00 Pizza Time
  • 7:00-8:30 Game: Human Vs Zombies
  • 8:30-9:00 Break
  • 9:00-9:45 Game: Survival


This game can be a lot of work to set-up, especially if you want to go all out with decorations. I have found that I need at least a whole afternoon with a team of people. I often use students for this as they are pumped. You will need to modify this to meet your needs but this will get you started. Lots of things can be done ahead of time.


  • This is best played in a church with multiple floors, rooms and places to hide things. If you don’t have that kind of space find a friend and use their church. This game can be played with 25-200 people no problem.


  • You need to set up one key room that will serve at the HQ and safe room for the Humans. Decorate it however you want.
  • The rest is really up to you but here are a few suggestions.
    • Cardboard signs with things like “Stay Out” or “Help Us” or “I need water” placed all around the church
    • Rope off doors and entrances with caution tape, or “beware” or “stay out”. They are often on sale at Halloween or you can order BIG rolls online for cheap.
    • In some rooms we flip tables and chairs. This is to create obstacles and hiding places for the humans throughout the game. Basically, you’re going for the “someone tore this place apart look”


  • This can be a HUGE part of the decoration and game because lights create moods. Here are some recommendations.
    • Colored lightbulbs: These can be combined with a light plug that can be put in an electrical socket. When you place a red light in the corner of a dark room it creates an epic effect. Try to have one in every room. They don’t cost too much money and they come in all kinds of colors. If you can find a Black Light, even better.
    • Christmas Disco Lights: Right now, all the rage is those yard lights to shine on your house at Christmas. One of those lights can create an amazing effect in a room. Combine that and some cool music and you have a great look.
  • If you can safely do it, try and block out or keep off the overhead hall lights. Again, the darker the better, if you can’t turn them off then use garbage bags and tape to cover them up. However, this is VERY time consuming.

Sound / Music

  • You want sweet fun epic music to be playing all the time during the game. However, it’s also fun to add some creepy effects in some of the rooms. For example, you could turn a TV on and leave it to the static channel, which functions as both light and effect. You can also set keyboard in music rooms to play the demo… super creepy.

Hiding Items

  • Hide your 12 canned goods in your playing area. You don’t want it to be too easy or too hard.
  • Hide the 20 Extra Health Kits in the playing area.
  • Hide the Ammo Packs (Ammo Pack Labels + Brown Envelopes + Nerf Darts) though out the playing area. You can also scatter some extra loose ammo.
  • Nerf Guns and Socks should be hidden throughout the game but keep some for the “Starting Lottery”.

Leaders Needed

  • 4 Leaders to be Original Zombies
  • 1 HQ Mayor to help kids along (non-running role)
  • 1-2 Game Referees
  • Everyone else is playing with kids.  


Core Human Rules

    1. Wearing a Bandana: Humans must wear their “Bandanas” around an arm at all times
    2. Stunning a Zombie: Humans may stun a Zombie for 30 seconds by blasting them with a NERF GUN or by throwing a SOCK at them
    3. When Tagged by a Zombie: When you’re tagged by a Zombie, you officially become a Zombie. You will hand over your Health Kit to the Zombie (Or one of your extras) and move your “Bandana” from your arm to your forehead. You are now a ZOMBIE.
    4. HEALTH KIT: You must carry your HEALTH KIT CARD with you at all times. You may find additional HEALTH KIT CARDS in the game.
    5. Staying Inbounds: You must stay within the game boundaries at all times.

Core Zombie Rules

    1. Wearing a Bandana: Zombies will wear their “Bandanas”at all times. Original Zombies will be marked by their “Z” shirts.
    2. Tagging: A tag is a firm 2 hand touch on a human. After tagging a Human the Zombie must collect their HEALTH KIT CARD and keep it until the end of the night. There is a PRIZE for the Zombie with the most attacks.
    3. Getting Shot: When hit with a dart or sock, a Zombie is stunned for 30 seconds. The stunned zombie must count to 30 out loud as this symbolizes that they have been stunned. A stunned Zombie cannot in ANY WAY interact with any nerf weapons, ammo, health kits or canned food. Remember your dead so you don’t need those things.


This is a basic rundown of how to play the game. Please remember that you will need to modify this to fit your needs. This game is basically over glorified tag so keep that in mind.

Starting Positions

  • All players will start as humans, with their bandanas on their arms.
  • There will be 4 ORIGINAL ZOMBIES that will already be out in the wild. When you hear the AIR HORN the game will commence. HQ is the only safe position in the playing area.

How to Play

  • Human look for the CANNED GOODS and avoid Zombies
  • If a Human chooses to attack a zombie with a weapon and they hit the Zombie. The Zombie is frozen for 30sec and the zombie counts out loud.
  • When a Zombie attacks (tags) a human they collect their HEALTH KIT, and the Human moves his BANDANA and becomes a Zombie.
    • If they have an additional HEALTH PACK the Human will hand it over to the ZOMBIE and get a 15sec free walk/run away from the Zombie. Think of it like a FREE EXTRA LIFE.
    • The Zombie will function as if they were stunned and freeze for 30 seconds.
  • The remaining humans will continue trying to ward off zombie attacks and survive, while at the same time finding the CANNED GOODS and returning them to the HQ.
  • If a human is carrying a CANNED GOOD they may not shoot at zombies.
  • If a human is turned into a Zombie while carrying a CANNED GOOD, they must set it down immediately and leave it there along with any weapons or ammunition they may have.

Final Reminders

    • Zombies are not permitted to interact with CANNED GOODS, AMMO, WEAPONS, or HEALTH KITS that they find lying around. If a Zombie turns a human they can collect that humans HEALTH KIT.
    • A stunned zombie may not interact with the game in any way.
    • Don’t forget to move your BANDANAS
      • Humans are ALWAYS on an arm.
      • Zombies it’s on your foreheads
    • There will be Game Referees moving around the playing area. If you have any questions or disputes then check with them. Their decisions are LAW.
    • HQ Mayor is who you can give your CANNED GOODS to.

Starting Lottery

  • Some humans will get supplies to start the game and some will start with nothing and need to find their stuff. My recommendation is to give every student a number when they sign-in and then draw numbers and handout supplies. About half your students should get something. You can hand out…
    • Health Kits
    • Nerf Gun without ammo
    • Nerf Gun with ammo
    • Sock bombs
    • Nerf Darts

End Game

    • When all the humans are eaten and turned into zombies
    • When 75% of the CANNED GOODS are returned to the HQ
    • When the set amount of time expires.

EXTRA GAME: Survival

You can play a second round but skip the game set-up from before. Everyone is a HUMAN except the ORIGINAL ZOMBIES. The goal is to survive and not get caught. You only have one life and you can use whatever material you can find in the playing area.

  • Humans win if they survive the time
  • Zombies win if 90% of the population is turned into a Zombie


This is a great game but when it’s all over make sure you review how things went.

  • What worked well?
  • How did the scoring go?
  • Were leaders fair?
  • How could we have added to the event?
  • Where else could we play Human vs Zombies?


The goal with this Walk through is to give you a glimpse of the top to bottom plan for an event. There are a few things I have always tried to remind myself, my leaders and my students at every event we do.

  • Flexibility is primary: Things always need to be adapted. As much as this guide works it need to be modified to fit your context, location and needs. But more importantly things always come up the night of any event. Our job is to be flexible and adapt on the fly. Its why it’s so important to have a plan and a guide to the event.
  • 10% Rule: Never forget that 10% of people that come to anything that you do will not be happy. Some part of what happens will bother them. We need to listen and learn from the 10% but don’t let it override the 90% that are having a fantastic time.
  • Have Fun: Just enjoy yourself, have fun, and follow the above things and you will have a BLAST.

If you have any questions or any ideas to add please contact me through Fresh Ministry Consulting.

Jesse Criss is the Grade 11/12 Pastor at Willingdon Church and he recently founded FRESH MINISTRY CONSULTING. He is a veteran Youth Pastor with 17 years worth of experience, is married and has beautiful twin girls.


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the YS Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of YS.