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Zenless Zone Zero Hollow Exploration: core gameplay concept explained

An introduction to the dangerous dungeon dives
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The Zenless Zone Zero Equalizing Test – the game’s second closed beta – is starting this week, on November 24, 2023. Ahead of this milestone, developer and publisher HoYoverse released a detailed look at one of the game’s core activities: Hollow Exploration.

Basically, players set up their team and dive into these dungeons, which always come with an explicit goal – a Commission. Hollow Explorations are reminiscent of many roguelike games, since you’ll go down a dungeon by choosing specific paths and rooms you want to visit.

Zenless Zone Zero screenshot of a character confronting a boss enemy.

Powerful enemies await your Agents in each Hollow.

Exploration is limited by a number of factors, including Pressure and Corruption. Entering new rooms, fighting battles, and other activities in a Hollow create Pressure on the members of your party. Once Pressure exceeds a value of 100, all members of your current squad suffer from a random Corruption effect – these are debuffs influencing the combat and exploration layers of the game. Upon receiving Corruption, Pressure is reset. Characters can gain up to five effects of Corruption in this way, after which any further Pressure results in HP losses.

Naturally, there will be ways to alleviate some of that Pressure along the way, such as in the form of safety zones found on the path down.

You’ll be able to pick up all kinds of stuff as you dive into a Hollow. Each Hollow contains a total of three Observation Data sets, which you can collect to receive more rewards and a better rating on your Commission. Bangboo Plug-Ins are another resource you can find. They are essentially consumable items with various effects on exploration to help you on your way down – need to open a blocked door? Some explosive Bangboo Plug-Ins could assist you.

Other relevant resources are Gear Coins, a currency only used in Hollows, Dennies, a general currency used in New Eridu, and Resource Crates, which contain Agent upgrade materials.

Gear Coins can be exchanged for Resonia in Hollows, which provide buffs for your party in both exploration and combat. This currently may also be required to unlock certain paths down a Hollow.

With seven different terrain types, twelve mechanisms, eight resource rooms, ten threats, and three visitor levels being available, players can expect lots of variety as they fulfill Commissions.

You can check out our Zenless Zone Zero Equalizing Test start times guide to find out exactly when you can begin playing later this week.