DayZ tips: Your survival guide to the zombie apocalypse

DayZ tips: Your survival guide to the zombie apocalypse

(Image credit: Bohemia Interactive)

If you're looking for some DayZ tips or a survival guide now you're trying your luck on Xbox Game Pass, then we can help you out. DayZ survival is a fickle, tricky thing and just getting started is a testing ordeal of trial and error until you find your feet. However, there are things you can do to tip the balance in your favor and eek out the few more minutes of life you might need to make a difference.

Here are a few DayZ tips gathered together in a handy survival guide to help you out.

1. You are going to die

DayZ tips: Your survival guide to the zombie apocalypse

Okay, it's a bleak one to start on but DayZ is one of those games where survival is the basic goal and, by definition, death is inevitable. Don’t stress it too much if things go wrong because they will. They’ll likely start wrong most of the time, and leave you struggling just to get the footing you need for a decent start. Embrace it and know that with time you’ll get better at understanding the lay of the land and as a result tip the odds in your favor.

2. DayZ persistence just means things… persist

DayZ tips: Your survival guide to the zombie apocalypse

If you’re not sure what the difference between a persistent or non-persistent server is, it means things you change will remain on a DayZ persistent server if you leave and come back. They won't on a non-persistent server. It’s only really an issue if you’re planning to craft or place anything in the world like a tent for example. In non-persistent servers anything you put into the world will only stay as long as you do.

3. Where to find Dayz food

DayZ tips: Your survival guide to the zombie apocalypse

Food, as well as water, is vital to staying alive. If you're right on the coast check around boats before heading inland to check houses. If it's really hard to find it's likely because someone else got to it first - you always start with an item of food but if you haven't found any more before that runs out you should think about restarting. As we'll mention a few more of times in upcoming tips, it's easy to spawn not long after someone else who clears out areas ahead of you and not finding any food should be a warning.

4. Head in land and maybe skip the first building you see

DayZ tips: Your survival guide to the zombie apocalypse

Generally you’ll start on the coast which has a couple of problems. There’s not a great deal around in terms of loot to help you, and it’s likely been picked clean by anyone else who appeared before you. As a rule the further inland you get the more/better stuff you can find, so head away from the sea and consider powering on straight past the first buildings you see - chances are anyone who spawned before you will have grabbed all the good stuff.

5. Find water and a weapon first

DayZ tips: Your survival guide to the zombie apocalypse

Everyone starts off with some sort of fruit which gives you some space as far as eating goes. That leaves water and weaponry as your main worry. Check sheds, garages and warehouses - anywhere that looks like it might have a tool to find a hatchet, pipe or something like that, while bats can be found in houses. In a pinch, anything you can hold can be used as a weapon (and cans are surprisingly effective). But range is you friend when it comes to smacking the undead.

6. Watch your stats and conserve your energy

DayZ tips: Your survival guide to the zombie apocalypse

Your core stats will tell you how you're doing in terms of food, water, temperature and health, as well as indicate if you’re suffering from a disease. Everything (apart from disease) will have an arrow indicating whether you’re increasing or decreasing a certain resource. Generally doing anything will decrease food and water and if anything hits red it’ll start depleting your health, so keep an eye not just on the levels but the rate of depletion. Sprinting is one of the worst things for draining your food levels so, as much as you want to, try to avoid that too much.

7. Where to find DayZ backpacks

DayZ tips: Your survival guide to the zombie apocalypse

Short answer: houses and garages in the early stages of the game. If you don’t find one in the first 10-15 minutes then it’s likely someone else beat you to it. Tents are another good option if you head into the woods. Later you can find military options and craft your own but to start with you’re likely to end up with a hiking, mountain or drybag backpack. If you find a second one and it has a ‘+’ then it carries more so swap over. Sometimes zombies can be wearing a backpack too so keep an eye out.

8. Change direction or change servers if there are doors open and nothing to pick up

DayZ tips: Your survival guide to the zombie apocalypse

If you keep finding open doors and empty houses you’re likely following in the footsteps of another player. Given how hard it is to stay alive when you can find stuff you might want to consider passing through the area and changing direction if you can't. You can lose more energy searching an empty town than you might moving on to another, better stocked, area.

9. Try to keep going in the same direction

DayZ tips: Your survival guide to the zombie apocalypse

It’s easy to get turned around in DayZ and, much like tales of real life people lost in the wilderness, it's easy to go around in circles. Heading in and out of different doors or making a panicked get away can easily confuse your sense of direction, and wasting time and energy realising you’re retreading old ground can be annoying at best, fatal at worst. You can use a range of methods to navigate. Simply picking a distant landmark to head towards can keep you on a constant path, as can keeping an eye on the direction of the clouds or sun.

10. Avoid zombies...

DayZ tips: Your survival guide to the zombie apocalypse

This one goes without saying but try to avoid zombies at the start. As long as you’re armed they’re not that hard to kill but you don’t want to risk taking any damage or drawing any attention. One zombie can make a lot of noise and draw in more undead, as well as other players, and things can quickly spiral out of control if you’re not careful.

11. ...but check the bodies if you do fight

DayZ tips: Your survival guide to the zombie apocalypse

Don’t forget zombies might actually have loot on them, so if you do end up in a scuffle and survive don’t forget to check the bodies. The easiest way to do that is to open up your player inventory and check ‘vicinity’ which will show anything nearby, including obviousness stuff stowed await in zombie pockets.