New Release: 0 A.D. Alpha 26: Zhuangzi

Wildfire Games, an international group of volunteer game developers, proudly announces the release of 0 A.D. Alpha 26: “Zhuangzi” (pronounced: /ˈʒwæŋˈziː/), the twenty-sixth alpha version of 0 A.D., a free, open-source real-time strategy game of ancient warfare. The release is named after the ancient Chinese philosopher Zhuang Zhou, who is better known as Zhuangzi and who wrote one of the most influential texts in Taoism.




Easy download and install

Download and installation instructions are available for Windows, Linux, and macOS.
0 A.D. is free software. This means you can download, redistribute, modify and contribute to the application under the same licenses: GNU Public Licence version 2 (GPL v2) for code and Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 3.0 (CC-BY-SA 3.0) for artwork.
Although you might find some people selling copies of 0 A.D., either over the internet or on physical media, you will always have the option to download 0 A.D. completely gratis, directly from the developers. No “freemium” model, no in-game advertising, no catch.

How to Download 0 A.D. Instructions for Windows Instructions for Linux Instructions for OS X

Don’t forget to deactivate every mod before updating the game to avoid any risk of conflict.
If you’re a mod creator, please look at this page on how to port your mod to the new version. As always feel free to reach out to us for assistance.

Top new features

  • A new civilization: The Han
  • New campaign maps: Tarim basin and Yangtze.
  • Now units have acceleration.
  • Twenty-six new music tracks.
  • New and updated art.

New civilization: The Han

After the 0 A.D. civilization roster has been constant for some years now, we are excited to announce the inclusion of a new civilization into the game: the Han.

Han city on the tarim bassin map

This development has been in the making for a while. Work on the Han originally began as part of the mod “Rise of the East,” and the civilization was later included in the mod “Delenda Est” and was continuously improved by many volunteers until it ultimately reached a level where it matches the other civilizations in quality.
The Han have beautiful new art, unique technologies, buildings, and (hopefully) also new gameplay strategies to explore. As usual, we tried our best to create a civilization that is extremely fun to play with and that also pays respect to the actual history.

Therefore, now for a bit more of the historic background of the civilization: 

The Han dynasty (206 BC-AD 220) was the second imperial dynasty of China, preceded by the Qin dynasty (221–207 BC) and succeeded by the Three Kingdoms period (AD 220–280). It is considered a golden age in Chinese history, and China made significant progress in arts and sciences during the Han period. The core of the Han empire was around the Wei River, and the Han capital was Chang’an, very close to the Qin capital Xianyang (both are now part of Xi’an, Shaanxi).

New maps

Two new maps accompany the addition of the Han civilization to the game :

  • Tarim basin: This is an endorheic basin in Northwest China, Xinjiang region. It is also called “The Western Regions” by the Han Chinese and represents the furthest extent of their power. The Han Chinese wrested control of the Tarim Basin from the Xiongnu at the end of the 1st century under the leadership of General Ban Chao (32–102 CE), during the Han-Xiongnu War and kept it until the Kushan Empire expanded back into the Tarim Basin in the 1st–2nd centuries CE.
    The map itself is bereft of life and offers little in the way of defensibility. The rugged mountain valleys harbor the only life, in the form of hearty shrub and tree species and some goats.

  • Yangtze: The Yangtze, also known under the name Yangzi, or officially under the name Chang Jiang, is the longest river in Asia, the third-longest in the world, and the longest in the world to flow entirely within one country, from the Tibetan Plateau to the East China Sea. During the Han dynasty, the region of the Yangtze River grew more important to China’s economy essentially by the establishment of irrigation systems (like Dujiangyan) which made agriculture very stable and productive.

These maps were also added to the “Demo campaign – new maps”.


There are various improvements in this alpha, affecting all parts of the game. But the changes that will be most noticeable to the end-users are:

  1. Better formation movement, especially turning and navigating through and around objects for more fluidity
  2. Game interface usability improvements:
    • Most importantly: a slider to adjust the size of GUI elements.
  3. Easier drag & drop mod installation
  4. Interface and performance improvements for the Atlas Editor
  5. AI improvements.


A player search field is now available in the lobby if you’re looking for someone to play specifically.

An extra button for seeing the summary page when quitting a session is now available. You can skip the summary if not needed and the game will return directly to the main menu.

Some tooltips were added to the mod manager screen to help to understand that the mod order matters on settings and possibly to help to solve conflicts between mods.

Improved tooltips and visibility across the game.

The scale of the GUI is now resizable, using a dropdown menu. There is also a confirmation box with a countdown to revert scale changes.


A lot of production and improvement for this release, here is a resume (you can find all the details in this list):

  • Lots of texture improvements, better portraits, color adjustments, and fixes
  • Lots of 3D model improvements and better animations, new portraits
  • Complete restructuring and improvements on the Han before their integration into the release
  • 26 new music tracks including two themed for the Han


There is now a checkbox in the game setup to allow players to have Cartography auto-researched from the start of the match: it means that allies can share the parts of the map each of them discovered if the option is selected.
Formations can now be selected as a whole with one click, making them more of a “battalion” than before. Note that this behavior can be adjusted in the options. Use (civ-specific) standards.

It is now also possible to push items to the front of the Production Queue. This means you can now task a unit to do one task immediately and then return to the tasks they had before, without repeating the orders. This can be done by using the hotkeys, so be sure to check out the hotkey editor.

There is now also a “Call to arms” button, which allows players with one click to order their soldiers to drop resources at the nearest drop site and then move to the destination (and attack everything on the way there) with a single button.
The number of idle workers is now displayed on the respective button.

The olive tree is now a source of wood (as it was hard to see that it was a food supply).

With this release, we are introducing the Official community mod for Alpha 26 found here, where balancing and gameplay changes if introduced will be ported over to the next release of 0ad.

Balancing adjustments

With the help of several of the top-ranked players in the A25b lobby and the balancing team, many balance tweaks have been made in the past year. These tweaks mostly address concerns from the community, for example:

  • Decreased attack of Iberian fire cavalry.
  • The increased cost of mercenary cavalry.
  • Ships are less effective against humans.
  • Spear cavalry is now more effective against other cavalry.
  • Pikemen have lower armor.
  • Rework of the Ipicratean Reform (Athenians).
  • Catapults are stronger.

The end result is a sleeker and hopefully more balanced gameplay experience in A26 compared to A25b. On top of the changes that were made to address concerns, there are also other balance changes, the biggest one being the addition of the Han, but also:

  • Units now have a slight acceleration (some more, some less).
  • Fruit and fish now have a small regeneration as long as they are not exhausted.
  • The Mauryan worker elephant is able to build (again).
  • Standardized animal loot experience.
  • Increased arsenal garrison limit.
  • Macedonian bonus: Instant storehouse technology research time.
  • Adjust Kushite Pyramids to be more used.
  • Removed tower and fortress limits.
  • Many other small tweaks and corrections.

Engine Improvements

This release introduces Texture quality and Anisotropic filtering in the renderer: you can choose between Texture quality Low, Medium, and High and Anisotropic filtering from 1x to 16x.

The engine got support for FreeType fonts but, unfortunately, Asian, Arabic, Hebrew, and other languages still have to be bundled separately.

  • Added config settings for borderless fullscreen and window modes.
  • Use the high-performance GPU on Windows by default.
  • Many performance improvements and ongoing refactorings.

You can find a list of all the changes on the page wiki:Alpha26.

Team Changes

lyv and marder joined as team members. Silier retired. We wish to take this opportunity to thank them for their contributions.

Next Events

Play Sorbonne U, Festival Paris, 1st October
Open Source Experience, Paris, 8th-9th of November
Capitole du Libre, Toulouse, 19th-20th of November

What’s next?

This release cycle was one year long, and it was a bumpy ride.
As usual, for the next alpha, we welcome fan suggestions for words relating to the ancient world beginning with the letter A. Keep it original and related to the time frame portrayed in 0 A.D. (c. 500 BC – 1 BC).

Support us

The work is still in progress and we need your help to bring new features to life. Whether your interest is in art, sound, music, game design, Javascript, Python, or C++, 0 A.D. needs your help and the team will gladly welcome contributions!
You can support us by translating the game in your language at Transifex, contributing art or code, or simply donating.

If you experience a technical problem with the game, please report it at This is also the first address to visit when you wish to dedicate some of your time to help patch the code.
Got any further questions or suggestions? Discuss them with other players and developers at the forum or talk with us directly in the IRC chat rooms: #0ad and #0ad-dev on QuakeNet.


See our new LinkTree.

For press/media inquiries, please DM @play0ad on Twitter or webmaster at wildfiregames dot com.