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Z-Day9: The Wrap-Up

by Max Barry
Sat, 31 Oct 2020

To those who thought it was in poor taste to have a zombie uprising during a real pandemic, I say: You make an excellent point. That's very reasonable. No-one wants to watch a horror movie when they're already living in one.

But perhaps there's no better time to shoot Cure Missiles at zombie hordes than during a health crisis. It is a time when regions either work together and survive, or else sink in communal apathy. This year, despite extra challenges from an unknown start time and two surprise interventions, many regions again proved themselves to be vigilant and effective, successfully staving off the undead until the very end.


107.3 trillion



257.8 trillion



447.8 trillion


You can find detailed reports via the little "[+] Z-Day" links that will hang around on region and nation pages for the next 24 hours.

Final standings from the Z-Day Tally Board:

And on nation scales:

Thank you for your tolerance of the 9th annual Z-Day. Happy Halloween!

P.S. Regarding the concern that this year's Z-Day News posts were a deliberate lampooning of a particular country's administration, I just want to say that's a little unfair to a lot of governments, who have also been really terrible.

Z-Day9: The End Is In Sight

by Max Barry
Sat, 31 Oct 2020

Wow! Okay! Whoever just hit my location with a Cure Missile, much thanks. I'm feeling a lot better now.

Please disregard everything I said about not taking the threat seriously. That was zombie talk. We absolutely have to fight this thing until the end. Which is soon:

Zombie apocalypse ends in:

Z-Day9: Some Regions Are Letting Us All Down

by Max Barry
Sat, 31 Oct 2020

I didn't want to have to do this. But I'm looking around and I'm seeing a lot of nations who have learned to live positively alongside the zombies being locked out of other regions due to emergency border controls.

This is very unfair to zombie-tolerant nations.

During past Apocalypses, I've always said that border controls are a matter for individual regions. But this needless fear and division hurts us all.

Therefore, I am hereby striking down all Emergency Apocalypse Border Controls.

Regions who had implented such controls will find that they are now removed.

You can reimpose them if you really must. But why would you? Stop cowering in fear and embrace life again! Get out and stretch your legs! Use your brains! Yes, especialLy those. Your soFt, deliciOus braiNs. Get tHem outsIde. Where wE cAn rEach them.

Z-Day9: Sure, There Are Some Zombies

by Max Barry
Fri, 30 Oct 2020

I have received scattered reports of roving bands of undead feasting upon the living. To which I say: Thank you, and we'll deal with those as soon as we can.

The real problem I want to discuss, though, is how some regions have closed their borders, and nations have redirected their resources into researching a "cure," or even exterminating zombie hordes with military force. I can't emphasize enough that this is a complete over-reaction. It is, in fact, this kind of needless fear that stokes division and prevents us from returning quickly to a regular lifestyle.

As such, I am hereby taking the unprecedented step of ordering an immediate halt to all cure-researching facilities world-wide.

I expect this to be completed within the next 30 minutes. Nations in the process of researching a cure will find that that research has automatically stopped.

As these facilities are located within your nations, I can't prevent you from starting them up again. But I urge you not to do so, and to instead embrace a quick return to normal life alongside the zombies.

edit: By the way, and I should have mentioned this earlier, we offer a way for you to ignore zombie-related nonsense: Settings -> No Zombies. This doesn't actually remove them from your nation, but it allows you to believe they're not there, which is practically the same thing.

Z-Day9: Test Apocalypse, Please Ignore

by Max Barry
Thu, 29 Oct 2020

A few minutes ago, we inadvertently displayed some information relating to the previous Zombie Apocalypse, which occurred in 2019. This was due to a technical error and definitely not because of fresh stirrings in the graves of the undead. That's for sure. We have this thing locked down. It's not going anywhere. We are 100% prepared. So please continue to relax and go about your normal business.

Z-Day9: Everybody Relax

by Max Barry
Wed, 28 Oct 2020

Some people seem to think there will be a zombie apocalypse around the end of October, with the undead rising from their graves to unleash a global wave of devastation, just because that's what's happened for the last eight years in row.

To these people, I say: Relax! This year, we are fully prepared to contain and control the situation. So I'm pleased to say that there will be no need to panic, close your borders, or anything else. Just keep going about your business.

There is a small chance that you may spot a few isolated zombies here and there. We can't completely rule that out. But if that happens, nobody should throw themselves into disarray over it. Instead, simply phone the international response hotline and we'll take care of it. Simple!

That Way MADness Lies

by Pogaria
Mon, 05 Oct 2020

This post comes courtesy of Issues Editor Pogaria.

Good evening, my fellow nations.

The Issues Editors, as promised, have maintained the closest surveillance of possible dilemmas that may be of interest to world leaders. Within the past few years, it has become apparent that there are even more intriguing situations that are not adequately covered by a single issue. The purpose of these multi-issue "chains" can be none other than to provide worthy quandaries for testing your nation's resolve. This latest effort was created to challenge those of you who have weapons of mass destruction.

My fellow nations, let no one doubt that this is a difficult and dangerous effort on which we have set out. No one can foresee precisely what course it will take or what costs or casualties will be incurred. However, we do know that dismissing any issue in a chain will forever prevent your nation from ever receiving the chain again. No matter how dire the situation appears, or how close your nation is to annihilation, choosing one of the options will only lead to more issues, not the end of your nation.

The cost of issues is always high, but the great leaders of NationStates have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose is the path of inactivity or ceasing to exist, because the greatest danger of all would be to do nothing.

Thank you and good night.

N-Day5: Aftermath

by Max Barry
Sun, 27 Sep 2020

N-Day5 is over! And it was an incredibly tight battle this year, with three Factions closing things out within a nuclear whisker of each other. In the end, Augustin Alliance couldn't be stopped from marching to their third N-Day victory, beating out An Alliance of Potatoes and Ba Sing Se.

Final Leaderboard

In time-honored tradition, last year's winners, Horsemen of the Apocalypse, were everybody's favorite targets, finishing in last place with a world record-breaking amount of radiation (821,369). In fact, I believe that's 4.4 times more radiation than the previous record, which just goes to show: If a lot of people want to nuke something, it can get really nuked.

On the other hand, Ba Sing Se deserves special credit for not only finishing 3rd overall, but doing so with zero radiation.

1.Augustin Alliance287,4885,375 NationsAugustin Alliance
2.An Alliance of Potatoes284,8475,938 NationsThe Potato Alliance
3.Ba Sing Se275,8324,853 NationsThe City of Ba Sing Se
4.CRAB107,9702,979 NationsCRAB
5.Fuster Cluck Coalition44,956633 NationsNorthern Ocean
6.Second Best Test29,19425 NationsBig Farma
7.RAILGUN18,531265 NationsThe Flyin Miniverse
8.Antinosean Army8,8029 NationsAntinosean Card Farm
9.Alnobian Nuclear Defense Alliance8,2901 NationAlnobia
10.German Nuclear Force6,2365 NationsMG Puppet Storage

Global stats:

  • 475 factions were created.

  • 38693 nations joined a faction.

  • 4,359,585 nukes were targeted.

  • 3,715,752 nukes were launched.

  • 1,800,098 nukes were shot down.

  • 1,916,864 strikes occurred for 1,536,382 radiation.

And for the record, and in a confusingly slightly different format, here are Highest Scores Per Nation (with a minimum of 10 nations):

FactionRegionScoreScore Per Nation
Second Best Test Big Farma 29,194 1,167.8
Gholgoth Gholgoth 4,817 133.8
BAD Corps BAD Auxiliary 1,825 121.7
Neon Dreams Teremara 2,397 109.0
Fuster Cluck Coalition Northern Ocean 44,956 71.0
RAILGUN The Flyin Miniverse 18,531 69.9
Ba Sing Se The City of Ba Sing Se 275,832 56.8
Augustin Alliance Augustin Alliance 287,488 53.5
An Alliance of Potatoes The Potato Alliance 284,847 48.0
CRAB CRAB 107,970 36.2

Thank you for participating in N-Day5! And remember: Several people in the world today have the power to plunge us into a nuclear conflict at the press of a button. Have a nice day.

N-Day5: Lessons of History

by Max Barry
Tue, 22 Sep 2020

Nuclear conflict: Are there any winners? I mean, yes, there are. We have a leaderboard. But what about the 549 out of 574 Factions who failed to finish last year's N-Day with a positive score? That's a lot of nations who wound up as radioactive dust.

I think the lesson here is that for most people, nuclear war is brief and fatal. You can do your best and still wind up flattened because larger forces decided to swat you. Something to ponder.

Not here, though! Here on NationStates, your citizens are only temporarily annihilated when some madman decides to extinguish millions of lives. So that's different.

Nuclear resolution begins in:

Click/tap here for your local time:


N-Day is an opportunity for nations to come together and exchange nuclear weapons in a fiery Armageddon of mutually assured destruction.

To Participate

  1. Once registration opens, you can create or join a Faction. Nations outside a Faction can't attack or be attacked. You can join a Faction when you're ready and leave when you're not (to stay safe).

  2. When the event begins, nations will be assigned a random Specialty and begin to accumulate Production. You will now be able to spend Production, fire nukes and deploy shields.

  3. Watch your nation automatically generate Production at a rate of 1 every 2 minutes. Use it to build Nukes and Shield.

  4. Launch Nukes at other nations and use Shield to shoot down Nukes that are launched at you.


The simplest way to play N-Day is to join whichever Faction seems most fun and start targeting Nukes at its enemies while shooting down anything incoming. Your Faction page's icon bar shows everything you need to know, including who's targeting anyone in your Faction, and who your fellow Faction members are targeting.

Attacking: Step by Step

  1. On your Production screen, spend some of your Production to build Nukes. These go into your Stockpile.

  2. On another nation's Nuke page, click/tap the TARGET button and select the number of Nukes to use.

  3. Once Targeted, it takes 10 minutes for your Nukes to reach a READY state (3 for Intel Specialists). Note that your Targeted page is public: All nations can see who is targeting whom.

  4. When your Targeted Nukes are ready, click/tap LAUNCH.

  5. Your Nukes are now categorized as Launches for you and Incoming for your target. Launched Nukes take 3-5 minutes to reach their target. When they do, they earn Strikes for you and inflict Radiation on the target, which reduces their rate of Production. This also earns Score for your Faction and reduces the enemy Faction's Score.

Defending: Step by Step

  1. On the Production screen, spend Production to build Shield.

  2. Find Launched Nukes to destroy. Your top priority is any Incoming Nukes launched at you. Secondarily, you may wish to target Incoming Nukes on anyone in your Faction (see your Faction's Incoming page), and also keep an eye on Targeted Nukes that may threaten you or your Faction in the near future.

  3. Click/tap DESTROY to deploy 1 Shield per Nuke.


Strategically, it may be wise to avoid attacks on nations or Factions until you are confident of obliterating them, since this eliminates the possibility of counter-attack. Smaller-scale attacks, which damage but don't destroy an enemy, can lead to an escalating series of grudge-related nuclear exchanges.

On the other hand, targeting an enemy can be an effective warning. And it takes Nukes 10 minutes to be ready to launch, so you can't leave it too late.


Each Nuke that reaches a target causes Radiation damage, which reduces the target's rate of Production generation and counts as a Strike for the attacker.

A Faction's Score is Strikes minus Radiation.


N-Day lasts for 24 hours, after which point, an Arms Control Agreement means that no Nukes can be launched. (In-flight nukes can still land, however.)

The "winner" is the Faction with the highest score; if, that is, nuclear war can be said to have a winner. Which we say it can. It's the Faction with the highest score.


Once registration opens, Factions can be founded by a Regional Officer of any region. Any and all Regional Officers of that region can update the Faction's official text to issue instructions to Faction members.

Factions can be made open to all members, or restricted to the region's members only.

You can leave your Faction, which is a good way to stay safe if you're signing off for the night. However, you can only do this if you're not engaged with the enemy! That means:

  • You must not have any nukes targeted or launched at another nation; and

  • No nukes can be targeted or incoming on you.

Note that in practice, this can make it challenging to leave a Faction, since you may be frequently targeted.

While outside a Faction, you cannot be targeted, and do not generate any Production.

Before joining, it's worth making sure a Faction isn't currently under mass bombardment.


Nations are randomly assigned a specialty.

Military Specialists build Nukes faster: They receive 50% more Nukes when converting Production.

Strategic Specialists build Shield faster: They receive 50% more Shield when converting Production.

Economic Specialists can accumulate more Production: Their production cap is four times larger than the other specialties.

Intel Specialists can finalize targets faster: Their targetted nukes reach READY in 3 minutes instead of 10. They have no Production advantages.

Cost of Nukes/Shield in Production Points

Military Specialist

Strategic Specialist

Economic Specialist

Intel Specialist

1 Nuke





1 Shield





Non-WA nations automatically generate Production at a rate of 1 Production per 2 minutes, up to a maximum of 50 (200 for Econ Specialists).
WA nations automatically generate Production at a rate of 10 Production per 2 minutes, up to a maximum of 150 (600 for Econ Specialists).

Production can be spent on Nukes or Shield.

World Assembly members will accumulate Production 10x faster than non-WA members, and have their Production limits increased by 3x.
It is allowed to switch WA membership to receive this benefit for different nations, but (as per regular site rules) you are only allowed to have one nation in the WA at a time.
Keep in mind that if your Production is over the non-WA limit when you resign membership on a nation, the Production on that nation will decrease down to the limit (i.e. if you resign with 75 Production on a non-Econ nation, the Production will drop to 50).

We ask that you refrain from switching WA for N-Day purposes more than once every two minutes. You will not be punished for this, but it is against the spirit of this change to the event mechanics.


Nukes are purchased with Production, kept in stockpile until ready, then targeted and launched at an enemy nation.

Launched Nukes take 3-5 minutes to reach their target. While in-flight, they can be shot down by any nation using Shield. If they're not, each Nuke generates 1% of Radiation in the target and earns 1 Strike for the attacker.


Shield can be used to knock out Launched Nukes. You can shoot down any in-flight Nukes regardless of who they are aimed at.

Locate in-flight Nukes under Launches or Incoming, and use the DESTROY button to eliminate them at a rate of 1 Shield per Nuke.

It is possible to waste Shield if multiple nations deploy Shield simultaneously to knock out the same Nukes.


Target a nation by viewing their Nuke page and clicking/tapping TARGET. You may then select how many Nukes to target from your Stockpile.

It takes a short time for a Targeted Nuke to reach a READY state, after which it may be launched. This is normally 10 minutes, but Intel Specialists are faster, finalizing targets in only 3 minutes.

If not launched after 1 hour, Targeted Nukes automatically return to your Stockpile.


Radiation is generated in a nation when it is struck by a Nuke.

Radiation proportionately reduces a nation's Production generation rate. For example, 20% Radiation reduces Production generation by 20%.

When a nation is 100% Radiated, it is destroyed and no longer able to launch any Nukes nor use any Shield.

Radiation is irreversible.

You can leave a Faction when irradiated, but this does not affect your Faction's score.


A Faction's score measures strikes and radiation that occurred while those nations were a member. It is unaffected by nations joining or leaving the Faction.





Used to buy Nukes and Shield. Automatically generated by all non-destroyed nations in a Faction.


Unholy instrument of death and destruction.

Stockpiled Nuke

A Nuke that has been purchased with Production and is sitting idle, awaiting a target.

Targeted Nuke

A Nuke that has been targeted at a nation. A targeted Nuke takes 10 minutes to achieve a READY state, after which it may be launched.

Launched/Incoming/In-Flight Nuke

A Nuke that has been launched at a nation and is currently chewing up 3-5 minutes of in-flight time.


A unit of defensive technology. Possibly involves lasers or satellites or something.


A record of how many Nukes have successfully landed on targets.


A record of how many Nukes have struck the nation. Reduces Production generation.


A group of nations sharing a common interest in survival and/or bloodlust.


Strikes minus Radiation.

Read dispatch

Vault 41 discussion forum

The Rich Were Temporarily Unable To Get Richer

by Max Barry
Tue, 08 Sep 2020

In The Mafian Economic Extremist of The Dark System, a Compulsory Consumerist State with wealth inequity like you wouldn't believe, a problem arose: The rich grew too rich. They are, in fact, so rich right now that they exceed the World Census's ability to track it. That's the thing with the ultra-rich: They always have even more wealth than you expect.

But it turns out that if you're prepared to put the screws to the middle and working classes, you can have the richest 10% of your populace pulling down 8-figure averages. This blew a gasket at the World Census and left them unable to track The Dark System on any scale at all.

A fix is landing tonight to address this and similar issues. As a result, you may notice a slight loss of precision in your Average Income of Rich, which will no longer be tracked down the last cent, but instead rounded off to your nearest standard monetary unit. This is a little easier to handle when there are 11 million of them to track (on average, per wealthy Dark System citizen).

No Major Biggie, But Update is Canceled

by Max Barry
Mon, 31 Aug 2020

What with the 215,000 active nations and everything, we here at NationStates Laboratories are working hard to keep your connection with your nation snappy and responsive. Right now we're in the process of switching over to new hardware, which means things are a little slow and choppy, and there may be a few brief outages over the next 48 hours.

Most relevantly, today's Major Daily Update is canceled. This means a whole bunch of things will not update, including population counts, WA Delegates, and some census rankings. Unfortunately it's too much for our poor systems to handle while also migrating data.

Sorry for the inconvenience! Aside from this Major Update, everything should continue to function as normal.

Issue Contest Update: Let's Talk About Your Issues

by The Free Joy State
Mon, 20 Jul 2020

This post comes courtesy of Senior Issues Editor The Free Joy State.

Hey, guys, gals and non-binary people!

Well, it's been a wild ride, but the issue contest is over, the votes are cast and some very capable hamsters have tabulated the votes.

So, in alphabetical order, here are our top ten issues from the contest:

Look out for those issues as they start to appear in the game in the near future.

Please join with the team in congratulating the authors of our top ten issues. See this post in GI for further details.

Issuin' Nine-to Five

by The Free Joy State
Thu, 30 Apr 2020

This post comes courtesy of Senior Issues Editor The Free Joy State.

Ladies, Gentlemen, and Non-Binary people, it's time to clutch your quills, don your thinking caps and trawl your thesauruses.

We are very excited to announce our "Anything-But-Pandemics Issue Contest". Not only is this the latest chance to potentially join our friendly Issues Editing team, but the top ten finalists will also be revealed in a follow-up News announcement, allowing you bragging rights for years to come!

Like you, we all want to think about anything that isn't a pandemic right now, so please choose any other topic for your maximum of three competition entries (per player). That's a lie... not anything: disco dancing dino-robots probably overstretch verisimilitude. For drafting tips and advice, check out our issue-writing resource and the Got Issues? subforum (which is where we'd encourage you to draft your issues).

Please submit your entries by the deadline of 14th June 2020 (inclusive) by the usual method. Make sure you are fully happy with your submission before entering, and don't forget to tick the checkbox to mark it as belonging to the Issue Contest.

Please see this thread for full information. Good luck!

New World Assembly Secretary-General!

by Max Barry
Sat, 04 Apr 2020

The Election is over! After four days of stump speeches, tense back-room negotiations, and political deal-making, we have a brand new office-holder: Congratulations to WA Secretary-General Kuriko!

This Election saw the introduction of Running Mates, so for the first time we also have a nation ready to step forward should the situation demand it: Vice Secretary-General The Salaxalans.

I have to say, this was an amazingly positive and good-spirited campaign period. Well done to everyone who participated, whether you ran for office, boosted for a candidate, or just tossed in a vote!

And thank you to outgoing WA Secretary-General Caelapes, who, you have to say, didn't put a foot wrong during a fine four years in office.

New Thing By Guy Who Made The Site

by Max Barry
Thu, 02 Apr 2020

People often ask me, "Max, why don't you stop writing novels and just work on NationStates full-time?" And I'm like, "Uh, that's kind of offensive. Writing novels is my passion. It's what I love to do." But by then they've wandered off because they don't really care unless there's a web game.

But guess what? This time, there's a web game!

Play the Providence Battle Simulator

It's no NationStates. I'll be honest. But you might find it a fun diversion during these turbulent times.

There's also a book. You might have heard of Providence from the ads on this site. It's about four people on a spaceship who are trillions of miles from home and have to fight aliens who spit black holes.

Providence by Max Barry

“★★★★★ Extremely smart... This is Barry’s masterstroke... page-turning anticipation which pays off beautifully.” —SFX

“Brain-bending adventure” —Newsweek

“★★★★★ Easily the first, best book to beat this year” —Bradley Horner's Book Reviews

“A light-hearted thriller with a superb dark, existential sting in its tail.” —The Sunday Times (UK)


Learn MoreBuy NowReviews

If you're looking for a good book, or a way to support authors who make satiric web games in their spare time, give it a look! Thank you.

Election 2020: WA Secretary-General

by Max Barry
Tue, 31 Mar 2020

Has it been four years already??

Yes! It has! Which means it's an election year!

Once again, the coveted position of World Assembly Secretary-General is up for grabs. This is widely regarded as the most sought-after prize in all the world, and comes with unspeakable power, in the sense that no-one has said what it actually is.

★ Your 2020 Election Hub ★

For the last four years, we've labored under WA Secretary-General Caelapes, but has life actually gotten better? I mean, really? I'll leave that to the voters.

Election 2020 will run through three Minor Rounds, during which unviable candidates will be weeded out. Then a final General Election will be held to decide between the Top Five.

Voting is open to most WA member nations. If you have at least five endorsements, you can toss your hat into the ring and run!

And if you help run a region, you can boost for your favored candidate by erecting prominent signange on your region page via Admin → Appearance.

Election 2020! Because we have to do this every four years! Democracy says so!

Moderation During COVID-19 Pandemic

by Max Barry
Mon, 23 Mar 2020

Hello everyone! As you might have noticed, there is a worldwide shutdown going on to combat the spread of a particularly nasty coronavirus.

During this time, we want to do our part to ensure that accurate information gets out to people. Normally, of course, NationStates is a hotbed of discussion and debate--which tends to come with a healthy serving of bias, lies, and misinformation. And normally that is fine. People have opinions.

But today, misinformation about COVID-19 is dangerous, so moderators will be taking action to remove it, including issuing bans against people who post it. The kind of thing I'm referring to here are posts that claim the virus is a government conspiracy, or that people should ignore expert medical advice.

This is an extraordinary situation, and it's a little uncomfortable for our volunteer moderators to try to be the arbiters of truth. Please extend them your patience while they work through this.

In the meantime, I hope you and your loved ones are doing well, and remember, your nations could always do with a little more attention.

P.S. This year's April Fools event will not be virus-related.