From DoomWiki.org


55 (pistol), 90 (machine gun and shotgun), 110 (shield)

Attack Damage

4 per round (pistol), 3 per pellet (2 in BFG Edition), 7 pellets total (shotgun), 3 per round (machine gun), 6 per round (shield)

Found in
  • Doom 3: Mars City Underground - Alpha Labs Sector 4, Communications Transfer, Communications, Monorail, Delta Labs Level 3
  • RoE: Erebus Sector 2 - Erebus Sector 4, Phobos Labs (all sectors)
  • Lost Mission: EnPro Sector 1 - Exis Labs (Part 1)
Cheat spawn

1. "spawn monster_zsec_pistol" (spawns a z-sec with pistol)
2. "spawn monster_zsec_pistol_slowfire" (ditto, but attacks slowly)
3. "spawn monster_zsec_shotgun" (spawns a z-sec with shotgun)
4. "spawn monster_zsec_machinegun" (spawns a machine gun z-sec)
5. "spawn monster_zsec_shield" (spawns a machine gun z-sec with a pistol and shield)

The Z-Sec (Zombie-Security) is Doom 3's re-creation of the classic former human. In contrast to the civilian zombies, they carry firearms. Unlike the classic former human variations, all Z-Secs wear black uniforms and armor, possibly as a reference to the classic shotgun guy.

Z-Secs were originally Mars City Security guards employed by the UAC that were possessed and mutated by evil demonic spirits. The few soldiers who avoided this fate were soon overrun by demonic forces; the player witnessed one marine being strangled to death by a pistol wielding Z-Sec through a communication terminal. In trailers and early in the game, an in-game monitor shows one being possessed by a ghostly skull, which causes his skin to turn white and his eyeballs to explode. Several of the Z-Secs have their eye sockets hidden due to their helmet visor, although it is clear from the blood splatter on the visor that they have lost their eyes. Despite this, they are still able to "see" the player, presumably due to the capabilities of the hellish spirits controlling them.

There are four types of Z-Sec, each with its own distinct characteristics and firearms. These are the pistol guard, shotgun trooper, machine gunner, and riot shield trooper.

Combat characteristics[edit]

Unlike regular zombies, Z-Secs do not suffer from slowed movement, and possess the same speed and agility as a normal human soldier. They are notable for their artificial intelligence (AI), which makes them fight like soldiers. They duck behind objects, lean around cover to take shots at the player, and occasionally rush the player's position. When shot or out of the open, they can sometimes sidestep to attempt to dodge further attacks (this can effectively allow them to dodge a follow-up shotgun blast at close range). However, they do not shoot and move at the same time, leaving them vulnerable to the player's fire when advancing forward from one position to another. They also run noticeably slower than the player does, making them relatively easy to hit when not hiding behind cover.

Like most of Doom 3's monsters, head shots do twice as much damage as regular body shots. Compared to their classic Doom counterparts, Z-Secs are more focused and intelligent, advancing towards and focusing on the player instead of wandering semi-randomly. They also have better aim and are more aggressive, firing more frequently. When alerted, they respond in a radio-distorted voice, and unlike the player, Z-Secs do not need to reload their weapon.

  • Pistol guard: Similar to the zombieman from the classic Doom games; a bald man with no helmet, glowing white eyes, and armed with a pistol. They have the unique ability to dodge by rolling sideways, and always retaliate with a few pistol shots after a successful dodge. They occasionally fire multiple shots in rapid succession and are generally decent shots, but of all three Z-sec types, these are the ones that are the most likely to miss. They have about half as much health as the other Z-Sec types, and take around four pistol bullets to the body to kill. Drops a pistol when killed.
  • Shotgun trooper: Similar to the classic Doom shotgun guy, but he wears a helmet and a broken visor, and his eyes are missing. He is about twice as tough as the pistol Z-Sec, but still reasonably easy to kill. Unlike the player's shotgun, a Z-Sec shotgun trooper's weapon has narrower spread, but it is considerably less powerful than the player's version. Can sometimes rapid-fire at a faster rate than the player. Drops a shotgun when killed.
  • Machine gunner: Wears a closed helmet with an intact but blood-spattered visor (obscuring his eyes) and a breather, ultimately covering his entire face. Unlike shotgun Z-secs, instead of rushing the player's position these zombies will often dig in behind cover and aggressively spraying the player's position with bullets. If the player hides behind cover, these Z-secs will suppress them with continuous machine gun fire. Arguably the toughest of the three types. Drops a machine gun when killed.
  • Riot shield trooper: The rarest Z-Sec type. In addition to a pistol, this type carries a large riot shield and wears a helmet, protecting it from attacks. The shield effectively protects it from anything that hits the shield, and being fully armored himself, he is still fairly tough (similar to the machine gunner) when hit where his shield does not protect him. AI is the standard Z-Sec combat tactics. The pistol sound is the same as that made by the player's pistol.

Tactical analysis[edit]

Although Doom 3 Z-Secs serve a cannon fodder role when compared to the game's tougher demonic enemies, they are comparatively tougher than the classic zombie troops and equipped with better AI, and should not be underestimated.

Using cover is extremely important when fighting these zombies, as their projectiles cannot be dodged by circle strafing. The machine gun is generally a good basic weapon against these pests and a good tactic is usually to mow them down with concentrated pistol or machine gun fire, switching to the shotgun to finish them off if they rush the player at close range. It is usually a bad idea to use the shotgun right away as the shotgun has short range and the Z-Secs are tough enough to potentially survive anything less than a direct point-blank blast, leaving players vulnerable after the initial shot. A head shot with the shotgun will kill a Z-Sec instantly, however. With practice, it is relatively easy to ambush Z-Secs by lurking just behind a corner and killing them with a point-blank shotgun blast when they come around the corner to give chase. If they hide behind cover, grenades are also a viable option.

More powerful weapons like the chaingun and the plasma gun are effective against Z-Secs too, but both are arguably worse at the job than the machine gun. It only takes a brief burst from the machine gun to kill a Z-Sec (ten bullets against the shotgun or machine gun variety, or six bullets against the pistol Z-Sec), and your machine gun can achieve this quicker than the plasma gun or chaingun due to the plasma gun projectiles having a travel time and the chaingun having a spin-up delay.

  • Pistol guard:

The pistol works well against this type, but the machine gun gets the job done quicker. It is a good idea to keep at a distance, as he is more likely to miss his mark when the player is far away. Due to their low health, the shotgun is also effective against them even when fired from range.

  • Shotgun guy:

This type should be brought down as quickly as possible, as he is capable of dealing a great deal of damage if left unchecked. Using the machine gun to soften him up at range and then finishing him off when he gets in close is an effective strategy, but caution should be taken only to come out of hiding after he has fired a shot. More powerful weapons should be considered. Running straight at him is not recommended, as you risk yourself to his highly damaging attacks.

Shotgun Z-Sec

Alternatively, hide behind a doorway when available, shotgun at the ready. Wait for him to charge through the door and blast him in the face. This nearly always works, but be prepared to fire again if for some reason the first shot did not kill him.

  • Machine gunner:

Although he fires more than the other types, his bullets are less powerful. Patience is a good tactic, as he tends to pin down the player with prolonged sprays. It is effective to wait for him to come out of hiding, shoot and quickly duck down behind cover before he opens up. It is a bad idea to fire prolonged bursts at him, as he is tough enough to recover swiftly from hits, often enabling him to retaliate swiftly. Machine gunners do not fire and move at the same time, and so they are vulnerable to return fire when advancing forward towards the player's position.

Alternatively, you can use the same doorway tactic as with the shotgun guy. This tactic works better against machine gunners than shotgun guys because even if he survives the first shot, he will take the time to kneel before shooting the player, allowing the chance to score a finishing shot.

  • Riot shield trooper:

This type requires accurate aim and cool nerves as his shield is impenetrable to most weaponry, although it can be breached by explosives or the chainsaw. Keeping one's distance is strongly advised if weaker weapons like the machine gun are used. Arguably the best way to dispatch him is to throw a grenade towards him at a low angle so that it bounces along the floor and hits his feet, where the shield will not protect him. In the Lost Mission, the rocket launcher can also be used against the Riot Shield trooper (this is not an option in the original Doom 3 campaign, since the rocket launcher is not available before this enemy ceases to be encountered). Furthermore, his shield does not protect him against the chainsaw, if the player is willing to rush into melee combat against him (or, preferably, wait around a corner for him to walk into a revving chainsaw).


  • The term "Z-Sec" appears on many computer consoles in Doom (2016) within the UAC's facilities, but seems to be used to refer to living human personnel as opposed to zombified versions thereof.
  • The PDA of Seamus Blake in Communications contains an e-mail which is a receipt for a CD of music called "Champagne Tomiko" by "The ZSecs". This is an in-joke referring to the unintelligible radio chatter heard from the Z-Secs in-game, some of which could be said to sound something like "champagne tomiko". Doom 3 also contains a deathmatch level named "Tomiko Reactor" referencing this same thing.
  • Z-Secs appear unofficially in some classic Doom mods, such as Project Brutality.

Appearance statistics[edit]

Doom 3[edit]

The Z-Secs appear most commonly in early and middle level of the game, before being replaced by the commandos in later levels.

The enemy count on Nightmare is the same as on Veteran.

Pistol Z-Sec[edit]

This Z-Sec type is only common in the beginning of the game, and is quickly replaced by the other types. The amount of pistol Z-Secs is the same on all skill levels.

Doom 3 (original & BFG Edition)
Level Amount
Mars City Underground 4
Mars City 9
Administration 5
Alpha Labs - Sector 1 1
Alpha Labs - Sector 3 5
Alpha Labs - Sector 4 4
Monorail 1
Total 29

Shotgun Z-Sec[edit]

This type of Z-Sec is moderately common, usually encountered sparsely in the levels. The BFG Edition removes only one shotgun Z-Sec from Alpha Labs - Sector 4.

Doom 3
Level Recruit Marine Veteran
Mars City Underground 4 5
Mars City 1 3 4
Administration 1
Alpha Labs - Sector 1 4
Alpha Labs - Sector 2 2
Alpha Labs - Sector 3 5 10
Alpha Labs - Sector 4 9
Communications Transfer 5
Communications 13
Monorail 3
Delta Labs - Level 3 3
Total 50 58 59

Machine gun Z-Sec[edit]

The most frequently encountered Z-Sec type. The BFG Edition removes only two machine guns Z-Secs from the game, one from Alpha Labs - Sector 4, and another one from Delta Labs - Level 3.

Doom 3
Level Recruit Marine Veteran
Mars City 16 20 21
Administration 3 4
Alpha Labs - Sector 1 9 11
Alpha Labs - Sector 2 4
Alpha Labs - Sector 3 4 5
Alpha Labs - Sector 4 14
Communications Transfer 3
Communications 10 11
Monorail 5 6
Delta Labs - Level 3 6 8
Total 74 85 87

Shield Z-Sec[edit]

One of the rarest enemies in the game, with only a few encountered in only one level.

Doom 3 (original & BFG Edition)
Level Amount
Communications 4
Total 4

Resurrection of Evil[edit]

Only machine gun and shotgun Z-Secs appear in the expansion.

Shotgun Z-Sec[edit]

The amount is the same on all skill levels.

Machine gun Z-Sec[edit]

The enemy count on Nightmare is the same as on Veteran.

The Lost Mission[edit]

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See also[edit]