It can be started by using the Television in any Crib, and at arcade machines in several bars and clubs around Stilwater, but the game cannot be played at those locations before unlocking the Red Light Loft.
The objective is to kill 345 zombies. There are 6 Waves, in each round the number of zombies to kill is indicated by a number on the HUD.
There are 4 female survivors alongside the player, who act independently and sometimes attack zombies.
They are periodically downed, with a notification to save them as with Homies. Rescuing them does not change the outcome of the game, as they are relatively weak, but they do provide a distraction for the zombies. Rescuing them uses 1 Food item.
They respawn at the start of each round, and are randomly armed with a Knife, Baseball Bat, Machete, or Crowbar. They drop their weapon when grabbed by zombies and cannot pick up other weapons.
Zombies grab, and bite, causing a large amount of damage, and are only escapable via Quick Time Event.
There are several different types of zombies.
They bite, hit and can run or walk. Main type of zombie, present at all levels.
Massive Headless Zombies who appear in Wave 2. Tougher than regular Zombies, they cannot be killed with a headshot, but also cannot bite. Their head is not fully severed, and is hanging down their back, but shooting it has no effect.
Running Zombies who are permanently on fire who appear in Wave 3. They can not die from the flames, but can set other Zombies alight, killing them.
Small, coal black zombies who appear in Wave 4. These fast Zombies explode when they get too close to survivors or the player. If exploding zombies are set alight, they explode.
It is likely that there was originally supposed to be an arcade machine present, but when the model was removed, the invisible trigger was left behind. The Courthouse and Airport locations both have pretzel machines nearby, and these are the only known locations of pretzel machines.
There is limited ammunition available, and melee weapons break after several uses.
Both flaming zombies and the player character can set zombies on fire.
The stairs can be used as a bottleneck.
Zombies can not climb
Jump on a grass patch with a wall in front of it.
The area that is on the left of the stairs has 4 or 5 ledges.
The fountain is filled with damaging toxic waste, but the center of the fountain has a safe area.
To the right of the stairs are ledges the zombies cannot reach. When standing on the third ledge and close enough to the railing, the zombies swarm on the stairs in a pack. They are close together that a flaming zombie burns all the other zombies.
Activating cheats before entering the game causes them to be active while playing Zombie Uprising.
In Saints Row: The Third, there are Zombie Uprising 2 arcade machines inside the Broken Shillelagh, but they cannot be used. They can sometimes be found next to Saints Row 3 arcade machines. These models are re-used in Saints Row IV.
In Saints Row: The Third, the same zombie models are used as mannequins in Let's Pretend.
The fire-proof effect from The Protagonist wearing the "Fire Fighter Suit" outfit is active during Zombie Uprising, although the Zombie Uprising character does not wear it.
It is possible to exit Zombie Uprising using a Mission Exit Glitch by repeatedly Pausing while quitting the activity. There are two benefits of this glitch: a shortcut to Old Stilwater, and all weapons are automatically removed, leaving The Protagonist unarmed.
If Zombie Uprising is then started from the Television in the Saints Hideout, exiting Zombie Uprising will take The Protagonist back to the previous crib and restore all weapons.
Getting Smoked after glitching out of Zombie Uprising does not trigger a Smoked screen, and the game must be saved and reloaded to continue.