Ravenhearst is a mod that is often touted as “not for everyone” and for good reason. Its modding team’s primary aim is to flip the entire 7 Days to Die experience on its head, making it as challenging and grueling as possible.
Currently at version 8.5.1, this mod has been a labor of love for the development team who’ve put in a lot of effort to make it meet their vision. From overhauled mechanics to the unique ways the world adapts to your progression, Ravenhearst is an experience all of its own that beckons you to give it a go.
Below, you’ll find out everything there is to know about this excellent overhaul mod.
What is Ravenhearst?
Ravenhearst is an overhaul mod that focuses on both making the 7D2D experience far more challenging and much more varied. The modders describe it as your nightmares come alive and that’s quite close to what you can expect.
Not only does the world respond to your progression by upping the ante, but also it introduces more creatures and enemies than any other mod out there. Of course, it wouldn’t be a challenge without a few tweaks and changes to the mechanics of the game.
The mod tries to keep things more limited, including loot and the pace at which you develop your character. This way, you really feel the ramp-up in difficulty, forcing you to make careful decisions on how you go about each day.
What Makes Ravenhearst Different?
The main ingredient that makes Ravenhearst a delicious bowl of hard soup is its gamestaging. What this means is that the game world changes depending on your character progression. For instance, you start the game with normal zombies. As you develop along the way, the game world responds by giving you tougher enemies that spawn more frequently and in unexpected areas.
On the one hand, this keeps things under control during the opening days of the game. However, once you reach gamestage 50 and above, things start to get really nutty. In other words, Ravenhearst puts a lot of focus on progression to ease you into its world of pain and suffering.
Overhaul mods are expected to have a slew of mechanics they bring to the 7D2D table. Ravenhearst is no different.
Three Gamestage Tiers
As we mentioned above, Ravenshearst utilizes gamestaging that ties the world’s difficulty to your progression. The more levels you gain, the more stuff comes out to hunt you. What’s important to note is that the staging system works in three tiers.
At gamestage 1 (GS1), you’ll essentially encounter normal enemies and zombies. Once you climb to GS50, you hit Tier 2 which means more nasties appear and more frequently. This all reaches a whole new level of challenge when you hit GS100 and Tier 3.
On top of the increasing number of enemy spawns, you’ve got another problem to look out for as your gamestage progresses. Night Walkers are a special type of zombie that moves far faster than regular ones. In the early GSs, these blood-thirsty creatures only appear at night and disappear by morning. As you grow stronger, though, the chances of them sticking around beyond that increase as well.
Overhauled Farming System
Growing your own sustenance is a big part of any good survival game and Ravenhearst attempts to make it a solid experience. In their latest update, the modders have completely overhauled farming. For one, farming plots have now been relegated to endgame stages of the game. This gives you a better goal to strive for and, by extension, encourages you to develop your farming further.
The Fertilizer system also makes a return, including the Composter and Turds. By making your own plant food, you can further improve the return of your crops. On top of that, working with a hoe will allow you to progress towards developing an irrigation system. Finally, there’s a host of new crop types, including tomatoes, lettuce, and wheat.
If the endless zombies and creatures weren’t enough, in Ravenhearst you can also be infected. And when it gets a hold of your body, it doesn’t mess around as it will kill you on Day 3. The only way to deal with this plague is to find a cure to treat it.
In the past, you could chew glass to clear it up but that is no longer possible. Your best bet is honey which can be procured in a variety of ways, including building beehives and having honey combs drop from trees.
Progression That Matters
Have we mentioned that Ravenhearst is a challenging mod? Well, we’ll say it again. This mod doesn’t mess around and the modders are constantly working on it to ensure it meets that expectation.
This is why the progression system was slowed down in the latest 8.5.1 update. This encourages you to get out in the world, explore, and get stuff done. The develop your character, you need to complete quests and actually make use of the weapons and tools you pick up.
The way perks and attributes are acquired is also dependent on your level. As you level, you’ll be able to distribute points and develop your skills. After rebalancing these perks, it will no longer be possible to have a mega character too early while still ensuring you feel more powerful as you grow.
Quality and Degradation
It wouldn’t be a hardcore 7D2D mod experience without some good ol’ fashioned weapon and tool systems. Specifically, both have quality and degradation attached to them in Ravenhearst. Every item you acquire has a set of stats, making every find an interesting experience.
Every weapon and tool can have a quality rating from 1 to 1000. This encourages you to go out there and look for better stuff. And if that’s not encouraging enough, your items will also degrade the more you repair them. They specifically lose 100 quality points with each repair.
Home Sweet Home
A big part of Ravenhearst is the near-endless possibilities for customizing your post-apocalyptic home. The mod already had a sizeable amount of decoration items, furniture, interactable appliances, and a whole lot more. Update 8.5.1 upped the ante with even more of these items, including streamer logos, flags, and tons of decor blocks.
Tons of Zombies
Ravenhearst includes the vanilla zombies but it also has a whole host of custom ones, each more horrifying than the last:
- Heat Stroke Victim
- Electrified Utility Worker
- Girl Biker Zombie
- Rocker Female Zombie
- Corporal Zombie
- Little Girl Zombie
- Little Boy Zombie
- Mercura Zombie
- Bolivar Zombie
- Sinder Zombie
- Emma Zombie
- Zombie Ana
- Michione Zombie
- Brutal Zombie
- Old Lady Zombie
- Rotten Walker
- Night Terror
- First Nightmare
- Second Nightmare
- Third Nightmare
- Fourth Nightmare
- Fifth Nightmare
Ravenhearst has a whole smorgasbord of other features including the following:
- Radiation and irradiated POIs
- Roaming bandits that’ll ruin your day
- Vehicle development system
- Complex crafting for making the perfect items
- Tons of new POIs, each with its own set of challenges
- Backpack system that expands as you find more in the world
- Action skill leveling
- Weapon customization system
How to Install Ravenhearst
Ravenhearst can be installed on both the PC version of 7 Days to Die. It’s compatible with A20 but it won’t work with EAC so you’ll need to turn it off.
To install on a Windows PC, you need to download the Ravenhearst Launcher from GitLab. You’ll also need a fresh install of 7 Days to Die but be sure to give it its own folder. The modders recommend naming it RH and the version numbers (ie. RH_8_5_1). Once you have 7D2D in that folder, unpack and run the Launcher. This will ask you to choose a folder so you need to choose the one you created above. The instructions will ask you to download the mod so let it do that. Once the full download and sync have concluded, run the mod through the Launcher and enjoy.
A slight disclaimer here. The following instructions were applicable with the Ravenhearst version that ran on A16. It hasn’t been trialed on the current version so you’ll have to try them for yourself and see if they work.
- Uninstall 7dtd. Open Finder, from taskbar choose Go -> Home. Open Library -> Application Support -> Steam -> steamapps -> common. Delete 7 Days to Die folder. Reinstall 7 Days to Die.
- Unzip the downloaded mod. Open the unzipped folder. You should see 4 folders: 7DaysToDie_Data, 7DaysToDieServer_Data, Data, and Mods. I will be referring to this as a “home screen”.
- Open Steam. In your games Library, right-click 7 Days to Die and choose Properties from the drop-down menu. Choose the LOCAL FILES tab and choose BROWSE LOCAL FILES.
- Copy & paste (do not drag-and-drop) the Mods folder to this location.
- Open 7DaysToDie_Data -> Managed.
- Right-click 7DaysToDie.app and choose Show Package Contents. Here you should see 2 folders: Contents and Data. This will be the other “home screen”.
- Open Contents -> Resources -> Data -> Managed.
- Copy & paste (do not drag-and-drop) the .dll files into this location. Mac OSX will ask if you want to keep both or replace them. Choose Replace.
- Navigate back to each home screen.
- Drag-and-drop the 7DaysToDie_Data, 7DaysToDieServer_Data, and Mods folders into this location.
- Open the Data folders in each location. You will see there are Config, Prefabs, and UMATextures folders in each.
- For each of these three folders, open up its corresponding folder so you can see the contents. Drag-and-drop the mod’s contents into its respective folder. For duplicate files, mac OSX will ask if you want to Skip, Stop, or Replace. Check the “Apply to All” checkbox, then choose Replace.
- Start 7 Days to Die and enjoy the mod.
Ravenhearst Beginner Tips
Although Ravenhearst isn’t as hard as other overhaul mods, it can feel a bit different when you first dive in. Here are some quick tips to help you get started:
- Getting food can be quite challenging. One solid source of sustenance can be found at your nearest natural body of water. If you have one near your base, make a fishing spear, and eventually a pole, and start using them to fish for your food.
- Earning money from quests is also a great way to get some easy food through vending machines. These will always contain something that can keep your hunger levels at bay while you figure out more sustainable food sources.
- If you’re dying a lot, don’t feel bad. Ravenhearst is a mod that expects you to die over and over, like some twisted Dark Souls version of 7D2D. Try and learn from your mistakes with every death and bring those lessons to your next playthrough.
- For your first few playthroughs, start with weapon-based classes. Anything that doesn’t start with a weapon will have you at an instant disadvantage which you’ll likely not be prepared for.
Best Servers to Play Ravenhearst
Now that you’ve built up your knowledge of Ravenhearst, you’ll likely want to dive into some servers and give the mod a go. There are plenty of great servers to check out but if you want the very best experience; The best recommendation however is to start your own. You can easily get one from 7d2d.net.