Zed Run Guide: How to Play, Features, Pros and Cons

Zed Run is a blockchain horse racing game that allows players to buy, breed, and race virtual horses.

Quick facts

  • Zed Run is a blockchain horse racing simulator.
  • The game is built on Polygon and uses Polygon ETH as its currency.
  • Earn crypto by winning races or through breeding and selling racehorses.

Zed Run Review

What is Zed Run?

With over one million completed races, Zed Run is a leading blockchain horse racing game that allows players to buy, breed, and race virtual horses. Horses are split up into four bloodlines that range from the rarest — Nakamoto — to the most common — Buterin. 

The likelihood of a horse winning a race is determined by rarity characteristics such as bloodline and breeding characteristics such as genotype. You can earn crypto by winning races or by breeding and selling prized horses. 

History of Zed Run

Zed Run was established in Australia in 2018 and was founded by Chris Laurent, Rob Salha, Geoff Wellman, and Chris Ebeling. The parent business is Virtually Human Studio. The Zed Run team have said that the game is intended to be a skill and strategy game, not a chance-focused game. 

How does Zed Run work?

Players begin the game by creating a “stable,” or an account, through the Zed Run website and purchasing a starting racehorse through the official Zed Run OpenSea collection or through Hawku. Once a player gets their first horse and completes a few introductory races, they’re ready to race for prize money! 

To compete in races with a prize pool, players must pay a buy-in fee. The higher the buy-in, the higher the prize pool! For most of these races, 12 horses of a similar class compete against each other, and the first six horses to cross the finish line earn a share of the prize money. Of course, placing higher in the rankings nets you a higher portion of the prize pool. 

While many other horse racing sims on the market randomize the chances of winning a race (regardless of the player’s horse), in Zed Run, the unique characteristics of your horse determine its speed and likelihood of winning. 

Of these characteristics, bloodline, breed type, and genotype are the most important. The more rare your horse, and the fewer times it’s been bred down, the faster it will be and the higher your chances of winning! This breed mechanic also allows players to earn crypto without ever competing in the actual races, but just by breeding and selling horses.

Prize funds are available in the player’s wallet and can be transferred out at any time. 

Zed Run tokens explained

Zed Run operates on the Polygon blockchain and uses Polygon ETH as its in-game currency. The horses in the game are NFTs and can be bought and sold. Players can breed horses to earn even more NFTs. 

Zed Run price 

Racehorses are available for purchase for as little as 0.005 ETH. Since the Zed Run platform transacts on Polygon, gas fees are minuscule, allowing new players to purchase their first horse for less than $10.

How to play Zed Run

The game world

zed run gameplay
Photo Credit: Community.Zed.Run

The Zed Run world throws players into a futuristic, neon race track where a lineup of cybernetic horses await at the starting line while electronic music thumps in the background. When it’s time to race, the game counts down from three, and the horses are off! Once all horses cross the finish line, the race is over, and the winners are declared.


Zed run horses
Photo Credit: Community.Zed.Run

Each of the 200k+ horses currently in the game belongs to one of four bloodlines: Nakamoto, Szabo, Finney, and Buterin. Horses have additional characteristics that affect their speed, such as genotype and breed type.

Game mechanics

Once a race starts, players have no control over their horses. Having a better horse, as determined by its characteristics, increases a player’s chance of winning.

How to get ahead in the game

Zed Run game
Photo Credit: Community.Zed.Run

Each horse has a “class” rank, which determines how well it performs against other horses. To get ahead, players can breed or purchase horses of a more premier class.

Game economics

The economics of the game revolve around buying, racing, breeding, and selling horses. Players can earn crypto by winning races or by breeding and selling horses.


The thriving Zed Run community offers many useful resources for players. The official Zed Run guide is the comprehensive manual for the game. Experienced players also use Know Your Horses to explore horse statistics and ranks.

How to win

To win more races, players can either obtain better horses (through buying or breeding), or they can enter races in a lower class, where their horses have a higher chance of winning.

How to install Zed Run

Zed Run is a browser-based game. 

Step 1: To play, ensure you are using either Chrome or Firefox on a desktop or laptop computer.

Step 2: Navigate to the official website at zed.run

Step 3: Sign up or Log In to play!

How to earn money on Zed Run

To earn money in Zed Run, players must first purchase a racehorse. Starter racehorses are available on OpenSea for less than $10. Once a horse is purchased and the initial “Discovery” races are complete, players can compete for prize money in paid races. The breeding mechanics of the game allow players to also make money by selling bred horses.

Players can withdraw their earnings at any point by converting them to any other cryptocurrency or to fiat money.

Pros and cons of Zed Run


  • Frequent races and well-supported by developers.
  • Players can make money by breeding as well as racing.
  • Prize money is available in prize pools and tournaments.


  • Reduced popularity, so prizes are lower.
  • More chance-focused vs. strategy. 
  • Recent changes to the platform have made breeding less profitable.


Frequent races and well-supported by developers

Zed Run boasts over 1,000,000 completed races since its inception. Races are available at all times of the day, so players can log on at any time to play. Virtually Human Studio, the developers behind Zed Run, are active in regularly supporting the game with new updates, challenges and events. Players can keep up with new developments through the news section of the Zed Run community website.

Players can make money by breeding as well as racing

Unlike some other blockchain horse racing games where results are completely randomized ,and horses have only cosmetic differences, in Zed Run, the characteristics of your horse play a large role in your chances of winning. This means that breeding is just as lucrative of a playing strategy as actually racing since players will always need fast horses.

Prize money available in prize pools and tournaments

The core of Zed Run is paid races where players can compete for a grab at a prize pool. For experienced racers or those who set their sights on big earnings, Zed Run offers tournaments that are higher stakes and feature a more strategic racing landscape. Tournament schedules can be found on the Zed Run Discord or through the Zed Run official guide.


Reduced popularity, so the prizes are lower

According to ranking websites such as dappradar, the popularity of Zed Run peaked in 2021. Today, race prizes are lower, and racehorses fetch less when sold on the secondary markets.

More chance-focused vs. strategy

As a horse racing game with a large random factor, the outcomes in Zed Run are often out of the direct control of the player. In contrast, some other play-to-earn games rely on more traditional player vs. player (PvP) mechanics and thus are more conducive to skill-based gameplay. 

Recent changes to the platform have made breeding less profitable

A recent change to the breeding mechanics now requires a significant cool-down time in-between horse breeding. Previously, horses could be bred multiple times over the course of a few minutes, but now individual horses must wait one month to breed. This means that previous breeding strategies are no longer as profitable, and more of your earnings will have to come from winning races.

Getting started

To get started in Zed Run, you must create a “stable,” or an account. You can make an account using your email, social media profiles, or using a Metamask crypto wallet. If you’d like to sign up with a Metamask wallet but you don’t yet have one, Zed Run has a comprehensive guide on setting Metamask up.

Step 1: To sign up, navigate to the official Zed Run website and click “Sign Up” in the top right corner.

how to play zed run

Step 2: Once you complete your registration, you will be able to log into the game. 

how to play zed run

Step 3: Upon logging in, you will be presented with your stable. This is where you store your horses. For new accounts, your stable will be empty to begin with. 

how to play zed run

Step 4: Navigate to the “Marketplace” section of the website to pick out and buy your first racehorse!

how to play zed run

Step 5: After you’ve purchased your starter horse, click on the “Racing” tab to register for your first race!

how to play zed run


Can you make money with Zed Run?

Yes. Between racing and breeding, players have multiple options to earn in Zed Run.

Is Zed Run a good investment?

Zed Run is a weighted chance-based game, so for those willing to put in the work to breed and race the right horses, Zed Run can be a lucrative investment.

Is Zed Run still popular?

Yes! Even if it was once more popular than it is now, Zed Run still has one of the most active crypto gaming communities, and a team of developers fully focused on improving the game over time.

How many Zed Run horses are left?

With over 200,000 horses on the official OpenSea Zed Run Collection, there are plenty of horses to race with.

Where can I find the Zed Run discord?

Join the Zed Run Discord here: https://discord.com/invite/zedrun.

Zed Run Game Info

  • Genre: Horse Racing
  • Free to Play: No
  • Platform(s): PC / Mac / Mobile
  • Blockchain(s): Ethereum / Polygon
  • Token(s): ZED
  • :
Play Now
Shannon Ullman avatar
George is a tech writer interested in web3 startups and communities. In the dynamic world of crypto, he stays plugged in to the day-to-day headlines, deep dives, and industry commentary.