Project Zomboid – 10 Handy Tips
While we wait for the official release of a new Project Zomboid Patch we have to remember that the upcoming version will differ greatly from the previous one. Running Zombies, bigger maps, destructible windows, climbable obstacles, and much, much more. If you are new to Project Zomboid think of it as an extremely demanding Zombie Survival simulator, with Sickness, Food and Thirst being as much a danger as the zombies themselves. It is not just a hardcore game. It is more on the level of Dwarf Fortress where you will eventually lose, but instead of whining about it you keep trying until you are happy how you die the next time.
This Tips list will provide you with a basic idea on how to survive in Project Zomboid, but it is by no means an extensive Guide. Merely a check-list of things I consider to be the most important, on the basic level.
Project Zomboid – 10 Handy Tips
1. Check your surroundings – Whenever you start a game you will end up inside a building. You should immediately explore it, gather all the supplies you can get your hands on, and equip any weapon you found (Pen, Bat, or Shotgun, among many other). It is likely that the location you will start in will act as your early “Home”. Usually there will be very few or no Undead in your starting building, which does not mean you are completely safe. Be prepared for the eventuality that something might be lurking in one of the rooms.
Now that you cleared out your new home, organize yourself. Setup a kitchen area, storage and sleeping zone. Remember: you do not need a bed in order to sleep. Armchairs, Sofas and ordinary Chairs work just fine. Sort out all the stuff you collected, and on the next day you are ready to explore!
2. Everything has its uses – Currently in Project Zomboid every item you find can be used for something. Some items in their raw form can’t be used, and have to be combined with other items in order to create something useful. For example, by combining a Pen with a Notepad you will have twenty pages of your diary to kill boredom with. This does not mean you need thirty pens and pencils in your inventory, but keeping a handful will not hurt you, especially if you store them at home.
3. Haul Less rather than More – It is very easy to get carried away and gather every single thing you picked up around with you. This has a chance of weighing down your character, which makes him a much more delicious target for zombies. When preparing for a scavenge run carry only the essentials, and leave the rest at home. This way you will have more space for heavier items, or a lot of small items. Also remember that you do not have to bring all your findings in a single run, take your time, and take what is essential first.
4. Eat Fresh – Food is an extremely important part of your survival. You have to remember about two things: 1) Certain food products will rot quicker than others, eat them first, or make useful dishes out of them. 2) Burned or ruined food is just as dangerous to consume as rotten products, eat them only if you have no other choice.
Any rotten or burned food which you consume has a chance of causing sickness, which could cost you dearly in medical supplies and time you would otherwise spend scavenging. Rotten food does not disappear, and if you have absolutely no other choice you can eat it in an emergency. Food can be stored in the Fridge to extend its shelve life.
Also, remember to carry a water container on you. As you travel you will automatically drink water from it, as long as you remember to fill it up, once in a while. You can fill up your container from any water source, without any health penalties (so far).
5. Day and Night – During the night your visibility is greatly reduced. If you have to scavenge do so during Daylight hours (from around 7 AM till 6 PM). If you absolutely have to scavenge during the night make sure you carry a flashlight in order to spot zombies hiding in dark rooms. Rooms also have light switches you can turn on to see better. Zombies could have an easier time spotting you from outside though.
6. Stay quiet – Running around with your shotgun, while screaming to every survivor you see is a certain way of catching the attention of every single zombie in the area. If you have the opportunity, walk, don’t break anything (glass or doors) and don’t use firearms. If some other survivor starts firing off his firearm, stay away, and wait for his eventual death in order to collect his gear.
7. Do Stuff – Every day is an opportunity to do something. Search a new area, bring in more loot, clear the local area off zombies. This will not only keep you busy, but also keep your character active and interested. When your characters stay indoors all the time they might get bored, and even become unhappy, leading to depression. If you take them for a walk daily you will not have to waste your books, magazines and other “fun” items in order to keep them happy. Fighting zombies also helps, but you might as easily die from this little hobby.
8. Experiment – If you have plenty of junk, try combining it. You might by mistake create a new useful item about which you did not know before. Some items might be more useful than others, but there is no reason not to learn all the different formulas. After all, nobody can tell when you might need a Sawn-Off Shotgun, or a Baseball Bat with Nails.
9. Take Aim – The new weapon system will be far more demanding than in the previous versions. You will have to aim at a zombie now in order to hit it. Hold down Control and the left mouse button. A circle will begin to form where you aim, that is your crosshair. Aim at the zombie(s) and release. Once the experience system will make its full appearance you will be able to perform far better in your chosen weapons. Oh, and remember, aim for the head.
10. Remain Invisible – Even when you are quiet a zombie could spot you, start hammering at your door, and bring the neighbourhood over. Cover up key windows in your home, so that nothing will stare at you from outside. Certain houses will have curtains which work just as fine as barricades. The difference is that a zombie could break a window and crawl inside your house, while a barricade will both conceal you and stop zombies from getting in. When scavenging you can safely walk behind zombies, as long as you do not make much noise. If a zombie spots you, force it to lose sight as soon as possible, then run a certain distance for it to lose its trail. The last thing you want to do is lead a zombie straight back to your home.
Alex “WriterX” Bielski