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

Any building can make an excellent hideout. In this case, the Pub/Restaurant has plenty of storage space, and absolutely no windows in the rear. If things do get bad I have numerous escape routes.

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

About The Author

Aleksander "WriterX" Bielski
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Student of Psychology, he was identified as a Nut-Job even before he started the course. Having done some small work as a Modder for a number of titles, and worked as a Game Designer part-time, Alex now writes in third person. As Co-Owner and Editor of AlterGamer.com he aims high, while being armed only with a sling. In the future, he hopes to become a fully qualified Newspaper Editor, and purchase Google.

7 Responses to Project Zomboid – 10 Handy Tips

  1. Erik says:

    i liked ur blog but u forget few things. im just new here and u say nothing about how to find things. one thing i can never do is go to far in my hood. or when i head back theres zombies in the way and everywhere else the groups are to huge. i have no idea where to find a hammer or anything else for that matter something witch sould spawn more often (everyone i know owns one ) and how to stray from your house. staying hidden is very hard when evey where u look theres goups of 10 or 20 zombies with no weapon something happens to me to much for starting out as a cop i should have a weapon i think.

    i die to offten and i have yet to find out how to live more then the av of 4 days. (max 10day 21 hr mostly cz of no zombie spawn om surival -_-’

    • WriterX says:

      I know what you mean man, but here is something I recommend, knowing well what you mean. I had problems with masses of zombies around my safehouse as well, so my suggestion is to make more than a single Safehouse.

      Just like in other video games, like Fallout, you tend to find Stashes hidden by other survivors. You should do the same. If you original safehouse is “mobbed” try to hole up in a different one, one you know you can secure safely. You could have a few small safehouses, and this is practical when you travel around a lot. Hold in mind, eventually you will have to travel further and further away from “home” to find supplies, so having numerous safehouses means you can rest for the night, and then continue your journey back home (or stay there, if there are zombies close to your home).

      As to hammers and all the other stuff, here is a simple tip when it comes to looting.

      You usually lot houses, I am sure. In houses you can find all manner of weapons, such as baseball bats, knives, guns, plenty of food and backpacks that will greatly increase your carrying capacity. However, you find hammers, planks and fuel in “crates”. You might notice that some houses have small shacks behind them. In these shacks you could find wooden crates. These crates could hold a hammer, but they also tend to hold items you have no real use for, such as paint, but they may, from time to time, hold some food.

      Oh, about zombies, some map areas tend to have, naturally, more zombies than others. If I remember correctly the “suburbs” where you would often spawn are mobbed by undead, so it’s not a bad idea to loot your first house and then head to another area that is safer. I recall that once I left those suburbs and found the church (I do not remember the directions though, I did follow the main road though, or walked close to it). I created a small base in the house next to the church and from there I was heading in different directions. I would have an occasional group of zombies show up but I would use my weapons (usually my trusted baseball bat) to kill the zombies on a regular basis. If I was spotted by a mass of zombies (this can happen after all) I would run in a direction away from my safehouse and find a temporary safe haven in another house or building, stay there the night (after making sure no zombie would find me) and then head back, clearing out any zombies that might had remained.

      It can be disheartening, and my beginnings in PZ were just that.

      One last thing about loot. Sometimes crates with hardware (hammers, etc.) can spawn in stores. Some areas of the map (like Garages) will also have a supply of crates you could crack open.

      I hope this helps!

  2. Paltrinieri92 says:

    Hey those are some serious good tips! My friend I have a real head-cracker here. I have the 2.9.9.10 version of PZ and my tool bar shows itself differently than most of the gameplays I have watched. I need to combine some cool items such as baseball bat ‘n’ nails. I don’t have the hammer though. Question is, even while having the hammer, how do I combine them? Is there something I’m missing?

    • WriterX says:

      I did not play the most recent versions (these gameplay videos and tips are pretty old). According to the wiki currently you should right click the baseball bat, with the nails and hammer (I presume) in your main inventory. That means, in your pockets, not any bags or containers you could have on you. Hope that helps a bit. The Wiki is not too helpful, this point in time :( http://pzwiki.net/wiki/Crafting

    • WriterX says:

      I tried finding it on the map you sent to me, but it seems that it’s no longer on the map! I have a feeling that since the last few versions, when I made that screeny, PZ might had had a completely reworked map, thus the Cafe in which I stand is gone. When I looked over the map the only remotely similar building was the Abandoned Restaurant, but aside from that none of the buildings look similar.

  3. austin says:

    is it seeds or just a random spawn on the map?
    also I found a train building what is it for it has no windows or doors(open doorways that no doors have been found) also is there any good being in a warehouse? I found a lot of loot but the downside is that there are so much zombies nearby also why is the game saying that windows 8 is not compatible with the game and then causes it to lag a lot do you know how to stop the lag?

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