Survive and thrive in the zombie apocalypse with advanced tips. Below are methods and strategies to bring your best in a PvP zombie wasteland. Be resourceful, be paranoid, be savage. The following guide may contain spoilers.
When traversing long distances avoid running on the streets. Instead snake through buildings and keep a roof over your head. This will limit sniper fire, limit zombies seeing you and give you access to more loot (loot doesn’t spawn in the middle of the street).
Generally speaking, the safest way to get around is to crouch sneak around the outskirts of the map. This will reduce the amount of players who will see you moving (the #1 way people get hunted) and reduce your foot-step noise radius.
If you need to travel a long distance or know where your going (such as to one of the vendors) travelling during darkness will help to keep yourself hidden. Without standing under street lights, you can still use the light as navigational markers to keep your bearings. Although this is a good way to cover long distances while keeping safe it will not protect you from hackers who might have player tracking mods.
Avoid an area where there have been recent gunshots (unless you’re looking for a fight). Once gunshots have gone off there won’t be much time until you’re swarmed by zombies and other curious players. If you were in a firefight and need to loot an opponent: grab everything and sort it out later, don’t try to grab n’ pick on the scene. You will probably have <1 minute before greater trouble comes your way.
Never sprint for more than 50% of your stamina unless it’s an emergency. Always keep some stamina ready if you need to quickly flee an area.
When fleeing from an attacker your goal isn’t to outrun them; instead break their line of sight then sneak away unseen/heard.
Disengaging other players: sometimes you’ll accidentally run into another player where you both notice each other at the same time. Crouching multiple times is the pro-gamer signal of not showing hostility. If both players are crouching as such, begin backing up and find another way to your destination or come back later if that’s where you are. Do not let them out of your sights but be mindful there may be others around. If the other player wants to kill you they’ll usually spare no effort and will begin shooting right away (see the part of this guide about fleeing). If you’re caught in a firefight it’s best to show overwhelming force and unload on them ASAP. Be sure not to stand still while fighting.
Hide in bushes – no one looks in them. Be mindful of protruding weapons and zombies which can still see you.
Similarly to hiding in bushes: when chopping trees for wood, the tree will always fall ‘away’ from where you are. Try to ‘aim’ where the tree lands so you can hide in the fallen canopy while you chop the next tree. This might not last long before the dead tree de-spawns but will still help give you an edge if another player arrives.
When scrapping metal or breaking stone; try and hide behind the car/rock while swinging. Open your view as much as possible to see other players who may be nearby.
Below are illustrations of how to properly position your view while mining/scrapping demonstrated on the same rock:
Unless you’re part of a large group – do not wear brightly colored track suites. You will stand out like a sore thumb. Use the “O” key to change clothes.
Similarly be sure to avoid glowing helmets/gear.
There are approximately 5 different camo types (Winter, Desert, Flat Green, Green Camo, Black) excluding the multicolored ‘Apocalypse’ gear. There is no difference in strength or capacity amongst the different types, so picking ones that blend in the best is a good idea. Example: white vests/helmets are more easily seen than green camo types.[Unpictured: Black Press/Swat vests]
Only wear your ‘best’ gear if needed. It’s difficult to predict an ambush and general supply runs aren’t worth losing a Mark IV or Mask of Madness. Nomad backpacks, however, may be necessary for hoarding supplies.
If you’re mining rocks, scrapping metal, or chopping wood; keep your head on a swivel. Don’t get comfortable standing in a single spot. If the rock/car is big enough crouch and hide behind it while you work. Be mindful of the noise you’re making.
Slimline Backpacks are great because they are black, like many ceilings. If you can’t hold any more inventory- stuff items in a Slimline and “Set Item” in a dark spot of a ceiling or grass patch. Chances are that it will be there when you return with space to carry it.
Below is the same image (except the cursor was moved ~1px). Did you spot the Slimline?
Stash it in the grass:
Basing & Defending
Don’t use a silencer – you want zombies to flood the door in your defense. Other players may be attracted to the gunshots and be willing to pick off the raider, an easy target distracted by your door, and be happy enough with their loot to not raid you.
Security by obscurity can help to passively protect your base. Although your location will be found; a hidden base will delay the time and amount of raiders that will stumble across your base. Consider building on the second floor or above in most apartments so as to avoid visible fortifications from the ground level.
Build different ‘air locks’ or separated compartments behind your main doors preventing a single barricade into your base. This allows you the chance to repair doors as they’re being shot with limited risk of the raiders gaining full entry.
Don’t use lights. Even if your house is fully boarded up there will still be some light-bleed as exterior window sills reflect inside lights improperly. This will bring unwanted attention and advertise your presence to raiders. Using small lamps (ones that are only via random drop such as “Spooky Lamp” work well as their light source is small enough to avoid the bleed).
The more entrances your base has; the weaker it is (usually). Limit the points of entry and stack reinforcements against it. It’s often useful to have a secondary ‘escape’ door from your base so you may fight a raider outside your base but this is a risk you must weigh for yourself.
If you have metal doors they cannot be damaged via melee. With this in mind, grab a Holy Sword, Odachi or Scythe (any long range melee) and begin swinging at the door and reach as far back as possible. The door will shield you from bullet damage but your sword will poke through and may damage an enemy standing too close.
In the current meta, during the Early Access at least, players use multiple doors stacked on a single spot to increase the total HP required to break into a base. Often times players only fully lock up when they log off for the night but will leave a few doors open for quick entry. If you choose to leave some doors open; be sure to have them open into your base. If you find yourself being raided you will easily lockdown the entrance without needing to exit and close doors from the outside. When doors are open from the outside it may be impossible to close them, thus rendering them useless. Below is an example at the Motel with doors inside vs. out.
Expect to spend 2-3 magazines per metal barricade. Don’t waste AP ammo on doors, as tempting as it may be. Doors don’t fight back and you’ll need AP rounds once you’ve breached the exterior to take out the inhabitants.
Raiding gear list:
1. Full auto rifle (5.56 or 7.62 calibers)
* A silencer is a must
2. Plenty ammo – pre-packed in magazines if available
3. Food and water. This may take a while if there are a lot of walls.
4. Full med kits and a spare bottle of pills. Epinephrine is also important for a quick escape.
5. A fireaxe. Wooden barricades are easily broken down via axe and this will save you ammo. If unneeded, it’s a common item that can be thrown away without consequence.
6. A few small shelves. For jumping over things that don’t need to be broken down.
If you’re raiding a difficult base with a number of opponents putting up a strong resistance; break down all the doors you can before sending a member of your group to check on the Banshee spawn. If the Banshee is available it can be kited to the enemy base and used to wreak havoc on the occupants trapped inside via AOE attack. This may be an effective way to ‘smoke them out’ or to kill them enough that they just submit.
If you’re part of a raiding party and looking for servers to hit; unless it’s a dedicated server avoid entering with everyone at once. When a large group of people join a server at approximately the same time it will usually tip off the server host to upcoming raids. This will become apparent when they, usually, force a manual save upon your entry or shut down the server when they get hit. Try spacing out your deployment by a few minutes between players to avoid giving yourselves away.
Some players put more effort into securing doorways than they do balconies. Furthermore the only way to secure many balconies is with Walls as doors do not cover enough area. Because walls cannot be stacked into a single spot (the way doors can be spammed) it may require less damage to break in through a balcony. Additionally it is usually easy to access a rooftop and drop down, level by level, between balconies so a raid may take place outside instead of a stairwell.
To do this simply scoot to the edge of an upper balcony and ‘fall into’ the building so as to land on the next balcony. This may save time and ammo as well as eliminate the threat of zombies checking out the commotion of gun shots:
Establishing trust with others is risky but rewarding. Often times there will be resources that you just can’t find and will need the help of others to obtain. Below are a few tips for how to reach out to others, not in your party or Discord, for help.
1. Your neighbors!
People basing near you have a vested interest in the well-being of the area. Raiding neighbors is mutually assured destruction on one hand, or a great form of ‘neighborhood watch’ on the other. Helping to defend a neighbors base is a great way to have a two-front defense against raiders. It’s usually easy to voice chat through your walls to establish trust with a neighbor.
2. Show mercy to the weak
This works when you hold the power in a scenario but choose to introduce yourself instead of killing a player (who probably has nothing of interest anyways). Some players may see this as hostility and attack, you will be forced to defend yourself, but many will be open to conversation. Ask them if they need help or if they happen to have any resources you need.
3. Share your knowledge
There are number of tricks and secrets within the game. Sharing information is free and is a great way to show good faith towards another player. Showing others the locations of keycards, how to kill the Banshee, etc. is usually a good team building exercise.
4. Cunning and formidable resolve
You may run into a group that kills indiscriminately and wreaks havoc on a server (as is their right). Using force against them will not work as you will be outgunned and outnumbered. Instead this will call for naked stealth raiding and patience. Stalk the group and find out where their base is. Survey the area for points of entry (there will always be at least one) and prep. Armed with only a fireaxe, small shelves, a common backpack, and a garbage can- sneak into their base when you believe it’s empty and begin the purge.
Destroy everything and wait. Allow yourself to be found and let them know who they messed with. This doesn’t always work but skill recognizes skill and sometimes they’ll work with you. Worst case scenario you only lose common gear and put a dent in their future raiding capacity.
5. Meta: join a Discord group
The official Discord often has other players #looking-for-group or links to 3rd part #community-servers willing to work with you. I’d recommend the ZombiePool group as it’s one of, if not the, largest community with regular players.
Hunting and stalking another player is a risky but fun and rewarding part of the game. To break down the process we’ll use the 5 S’s: Survey, Sneak, Surround, Surprise, Scavenge. Be sure to fully heal up and eat before engaging.
Hang back and be patient. Determine if the player is alone or with a party.
What is their gear? If it’s something good and with decent weapons expect a more dangerous fight but bigger reward.
What is this player doing? Are they headed somewhere, scavenging, building, etc.
Where could they hide or flee to? Prepare to chase or hunt in that direction.
Where can I hide or flee to? Have an ‘out’ if things go poorly
If you’re comfortable with what you find, continue onward.
‘The quieter you are, the more you can hear’ as they say…
Crouch and sneak up on your opponent. Be cautious of nearby zombies who may attract. Walk in areas that you don’t expect your prey will easily see – avoid the street, using 3rd person view to see around building corners is crucial. Maintain the element of surprise at all costs, it’s your primary advantage!
Find a way to corner your prey. Limit their ability to run/hide – stair cases are great for this. If you have a wingman try to fan out and cover multiple exits. Hitting a target from multiple angles adds to their confusion and ability to take cover and protect themselves. Below is an example of a decent tracking formation- stay close to your wingman until it’s time to attack:
Shoot first, shoot fast, and don’t hesitate. If you’re using long rifles be patient and wait for the prey to stop running, try to time your shots with your team in a good ole’ “One, Two” fashion. If you’re using ARs, AKs, Vectors; a Blitzkrieg method works well to wipe them out quickly. The key factor in getting this step right is being patient and picking your moment- you have the element of surprise, don’t waste it!
As mentioned elsewhere in this guide: you only have a few seconds before other players and zombies converge on your location (silencer or not) and the, now dead, prey will likely be coming back within a minute. Grab what you can and head out – you are victorious.
How to Raid Offline Players
There is a difference in types of offline players.
1. Someone who disconnected during a raid (this section does not apply to those who willfully surrendered)
2. Someone who was offline before the raid began
3. When you, the server host, raid players in single player
Raiding players who are offline is incredibly easy and only requires 3 simple steps:
What To Do If You Were Raided Offline / Host’s Single Player
There is no defense that will stop a server host who has taken their server offline, into single player, and raided your base. This is seen as a dishonorable act of cheating and is frowned upon by the community at large.
The main things you can do are:
1. Remember the name of the server (albeit they can change each time the server is hosted)
2. Remember the host’s name
3. Spread word with others of hosts that have purposefully done this
It may be hard to determine if your base was raided during SP or just by a group while you were AFK. Be careful with who you accuse but don’t be afraid to ask for others’ opinions if you think this has happened.
This DeadPoly guide was originally published by DrDerpenstein. All credits for the text and images goes to him!