In 7 Days to Die, the player spawns into a randomly generated world or the present world of Navezgane, Arizona, with the objective of surviving for as long as possible. As the days go by, the zombies get tougher and more aggressive. The game features the ability to craft, destroy, and manipulate objects. The game also comes with a physics system in which building a structure with no support such as pillars and walls can lead to its collapse. The game is voxel-based (similar in some respects to Minecraft), allowing for simple building, and destruction of objects in a physics-simulated environment
The game's main focus is to have the players try to survive the night, as the game features a day and night cycle, making the zombies slow and weak during the day, yet fast and aggressive during night-time. The game features a system in which the character constantly needs food and water. Objects in the world degrade through use, so the player has to search for or make new tools as the game progresses.