How to watch The Walking Dead in order

Jessica Cullen
The Walking Dead: Rick stands with his group in a prison yard, in fighting stance

With six spinoffs away from the main timeline, The Walking Dead grew from a simple zombie series into a fully-developed universe. Here’s how to watch all of The Walking Dead in order, both chronologically and by release.

When The Walking Dead graphic novel was adapted for the small screen by AMC, nobody quite knew just how big this post-apocalyptic world would grow. Since the show premiered in 2010, there have been eleven seasons and six spinoff shows—that’s a lot of walkers to keep track of.

With each new series bringing aboard new characters and revisiting familiar ones, the timelines often intersect, and between the mix of prequels and sequels, watching The Walking Dead in its entirety is a lot more complicated than you think—and that’s not even considering the various webisodes that have been added to the canon.

We’ve dissected the ways to watch the entire TWD franchise in both chronological and release order, as well as a secret third way that might just save a lot of hassle. (For a full breakdown of each and every series, be sure to visit our guide explaining every spinoff.)

How to watch The Walking Dead in chronological order

By watching The Walking Dead in chronological order, the main series is skipped by starting with the first three seasons of the prequel show, Fear the Walking Dead.

There’s a lot of season-switching, regardless of whether viewers take the chronological or release order route. As mentioned above, several of these shows overlap with their characters and arcs, making it a seriously big undertaking to remain truly faithful to the in-show timeline. That said, if fans are dead set on wanting to experience the story as it lays, this is the best way of doing so.

Fear The Walking Dead: Morgan and Madison walk across a path in the woods, Morgan holds a stick

Here’s how to watch The Walking Dead in chronological order:

  1. Fear the Walking Dead Season 1-3
  2. The Walking Dead Season 1-8
  3. Fear the Walking Dead Season 4
  4. Tales of the Walking Dead Season 1
  5. The Walking Dead Season 9
  6. Fear the Walking Dead Season 5
  7. The Walking Dead Season 10
  8. The Walking Dead: The World Beyond Season 1-2
  9. The Walking Dead Season 11
  10. Fear the Walking Dead Season 6-8
  11. The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon
  12. The Walking Dead: Dead City
  13. The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live

How to watch The Walking Dead in release order

To watch The Walking Dead in release order, start with the first few seasons of the original series that came out in 2010.

This method isn’t much kinder. By watching in release order, there’s a lot more episodic break-ups throughout the journey, though there’s more time spent on the original series at the beginning. If you’re looking to experience the show as fans did during the first wave, then this is the best way forward.

The Walking Dead: Daryl and Carol in the woods, Daryl holding a crossbow up

Here’s how to watch The Walking Dead in release order:

  1. The Walking Dead Season 1-5
  2. Fear the Walking Dead Season 1
  3. The Walking Dead Season 6
  4. Fear the Walking Dead Season 2
  5. The Walking Dead Season 7
  6. Fear the Walking Dead Season 3
  7. The Walking Dead Season 8
  8. Fear the Walking Dead Season 4
  9. The Walking Dead Season 9
  10. Fear the Walking Dead Season 5
  11. The Walking Dead Season 10 Episode 1-16
  12. The Walking Dead: World Beyond Season 1
  13. Fear the Walking Dead Season 6
  14. The Walking Dead Season 10 Episode 17-22
  15. The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 1-8
  16. The Walking Dead: World Beyond Season 2
  17. Fear the Walking Dead Season 7 Episode 1-8
  18. The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 9-16
  19. Fear the Walking Dead Season 7 Episode 9-16
  20. Tales of the Walking Dead Season 1
  21. The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 17-24
  22. Fear the Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 1-6
  23. The Walking Dead: Dead City
  24. The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon
  25. Fear the Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 7-12
  26. The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live

What’s the easiest way to watch The Walking Dead?

The simplest and easiest way to watch The Walking Dead in order is to work through season by season, starting with the original series and ending with the newest, The Ones Who Live.

By going this viewing route, you’ll be able to enjoy each season at its fullest, getting to know the characters and sticking with plot points as they develop.

Once one season is finished, move onto the next on the list, which is usually the one that came along next in the release order. It won’t be for everyone, but this way is best to enjoy each different series uninterrupted.

Here’s the easiest way to watch The Walking Dead:

  1. The Walking Dead Seasons 1-11
  2. Fear the Walking Dead Seasons 1-8
  3. The Walking Dead: World Beyond Seasons 1-2
  4. Tales of the Walking Dead Season 1
  5. The Walking Dead: Dead City
  6. The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon
  7. The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live

For more on The Walking Dead, check out our guides to the zombie virus in the show, our character guides for Rick, Michonne, and Daryl, or find out more about the actors in the Ones Who Live cast.

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About The Author

Jessica Cullen is a TV and Movies Writer at Dexerto. She's previously written for The Digital Fix, Cosmopolitan, Refinery29, and Slate. Aside from her Yellowstone obsession, she loves true crime, '90s action movies, and anything with a young Harrison Ford. You can email her here: jessica.cullen@dexerto.com.