World War Z Challenge Mode Guide: Live Once And Then Explode

If you're having a hard time in this week's World War Z Challenge Mode, our guide can help you understand where to watch out for lurking enemies, and when to push for the finish, or stick together to protect your teammates. It's one of the hardest we've seen in a while. This week's challenge has been named 'Live Once And Then Explode', because that's all you'll be doing.

World War Z Challenge Mode Guide: Live Once And Then Explode

Check out the latest guides

We produce a guide for World War Z Challenge Mode every week. Check out the latest week, World War Z So Many Zombies, and past challenges, below.

This week’s World War Z Challenge Mode is even tougher than the week that saw Nemesis in World War Z. I know that it’s hard to believe that an undying enemy that haunts you throughout the level could be made to look easy, but this week’s modifiers do just that. If you don’t have a class that’s at least level 30, you’re going to struggle to get through this week. With that said, I have a class at that level, and I found it almost impossible. 


  • Iron Man – You only have one life. When you are downed, you will die with no respawn timer for the rest of the mission.
  • Revenge – When you or a team member dies, your body will explode, killing any zombies around it.
  • Die Hard – Every team member has 50% more health. 

Encounter 1 – Get To The Elevator


Even this easy section of the mission can be dangerous

The first part of this encounter is pretty easy, but you still need to be careful. All you’ll be doing is heading down the stairs from the rooftop, killing a few zombies, and getting into the elevator. However, along the way there are plenty of Lurkers to take you down, so stick together. Remember, if you die, you don’t respawn with the Iron Man modifier active. In this section, since it’s pretty easy compared to the rest of the mission, it’s worth checking all of the optional areas. There are a few doors that have zombies behind them, so kill the zombies and search each room. In the kitchen you can pick up a Heavy weapon occasionally, and in the final room of the encounter, there’s a side room, with one of those optional doors to open, that contains a Virus Sample. Carry that through the level and everyone will earn additional points. 

Restock all of your ammo before heading into the elevator. Once you’ve pressed the button is a good time to do it. The elevator doors will open to reveal a few zombies, and sometimes there will be a Bull in there. Stand back and kill it quick.

Encounter 2 – The Mall


This encounter is effectively two swarms in one

You’ll emerge from the elevator into the lobby of a mall. You’ll be working your way downstairs, but check the shops as you go. Watch out for Lurkers behind the counters though. 

Once you’re down to the walkway, you’ll need to kill all of the zombies walking around below you. Make sure everyone has ammo and is ready before you start shooting. The zombies will come from each side of the walkway, and the group below will climb up to attack you. Watch each other’s backs. This is the point when one or two of you could die. If that happens, you need to kill the body that rises up from the explosion caused by the Revenge modifier quickly. As long as you all pay attention, you’ll be okay. Any Medics on the team should be using the Stim Pistol as much as possible to buff everyone.

Encounter 3 – The Swarm

Even your friends can be enemies if you don't protect them

Even your friends can be enemies if you don’t protect them

With all the zombies dead, you’re heading down an elevator shaft to prepare for a swarm. Watch out for another Lurker as you do. You have just over one minute to prepare for the swarm, so scour for defences and get them set up as best you can. If you can place barbed wire at the point closest to the entrance, do so. It’s the best place for it. You should also have turrets up at the top of the lower stairs from the entrance, they’ll kill a lot of the zombies that you’ll miss. 

When the swarm hits, try to keep it outside. The more zombies that climb the entrance, the worse your chances of survival are. Again, watch out for each other here, because it can be easy to get overwhelmed and be killed. The last thing anyone wants is for their corpse to be the reason the entire mission fails. 

Encounter 4 – Get To The Train


Stick together as you fight to the train

Now you need to get into the subway and down to the train. As you head out into the street, check on the right hand side for any supplies; I found a medkit. As you progress deeper into the subway, you’ll encounter more and more zombies. Stick together and take them down as a group. If you split up, you’ll probably die. There are a few special zombies down here, and they’ll destroy someone on their own. Once you actually get into the train through, you get a bit of a breather. 

Encounter 5 – Get The Goodies

Getting the goodies feels unnecessary, but you've got to do it anyway

Getting the goodies feels unnecessary, but you’ve got to do it anyway

The train driver wants five supply crates from around the subway. These are shown with indicators on your screen, and they’re not hard to find. Head to the supplies in pairs, because as soon as you pick one up, the zombies will swarm in. The zombies seem to swarm at the rate at which you pick up supply crates. Keep two people on collecting crates, and two people on killing zombies in and around the train. This should make life easier for those bringing the crates back, as they’ll run out of ammo pretty quickly. 

Once you have all five crates, you need to survive for a little longer. Shoot the zombies trying to get through the doors, and for the love of god do not go near the doors. If you do, the zombies swipe and kill you. The worst thing would be to die at this point. Just shoot the zombies in the doors from a safe distance, and wait for the mission to end. 

Best Class for the Job

This week, the best class is one that has any sort of fire on them. Keeping the zombies at bay is essential, and while Medics are great, fire is way better. The Exterminator class has a good selection of fiery perks to equip, so my advice would be to have at least one.


Creeping along…


Pay attention to your health and the health of others. Everyone needs to be in tip-top shape for most of the mission, if possible. It might be tedious going slowly and sticking together, but if you do, you’ll all live longer, and the mission will be easier because of it. Just because you have more health, doesn’t mean that you’re invincible. 


Descent is an easy mission, let’s be honest. I replayed it at two skull difficulty prior to trying Challenge Mode just to refresh my memory of every area. It is a very simple mission that even the worst of players can get through. This week’s modifiers turn the mission into what I want to call ‘Live Once And Then Explode’. It’s like a totally new mission, and it’s a really great way of breathing new life into a tired old area of the game. I’ve had a lot of fun replaying this mission in World War Z, despite how tough it is. This week’s modifiers are what Challenge Mode should be about: giving you something familiar, but with a brand new twist that makes it fun to play over and over again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>