The player controls Deacon St. John, a former outlaw-turned-drifter and bounty hunter who prefers life on the road to wilderness encampments. The game takes place two years after a global pandemic occurred which killed almost all of humanity, and transformed millions of others into "Freakers", mindless zombie-like creatures that are quickly evolving.
The player can complete objectives in multiple ways, such as by using stealth or long and short ranged weapons. A dynamic weather system and day-night cycle will also feature, making "Freakers" weak and slow by day but fast and aggressive by night. Deacon's main transportation vehicle is a motorcycle that can be modified with parts to enhance its speed, durability or maneuverability, among other parameters. The player is able to craft new items to improve combat efficiency.