Guide for newcomers to Project Zomboid. How to survive the early game, which perks to choose when creating a character, and how to use a vehicle and build a base


Guide for newcomers to Project Zomboid. How to survive the early game, which perks to choose when creating a character, and how to use a vehicle and build a base

Project Zomboid is a hardcore survival horror project in which players will plunge into the world of a zombie apocalypse and face numerous battles with enemies. It is quite difficult to do this, especially for inexperienced survivors - the character needs to constantly explore the surroundings of cities and find food, clothing, and weapons for himself. In this guide, we will tell you how to play Project Zomboid and show you how to survive as a beginner in Kentucky among the numerous hordes of zombies.

Target contour activation

First of all, before starting the game, each player needs to turn on the goal outline. This greatly simplifies aiming at the enemy. With this function, the user in combat mode, while holding the right mouse button, will see an outline around the zombie, which he can definitely hit. Don't forget to aim for the head. This will make it easier to finish off enemies with any weapon. To activate the function, you must do the following:

  • Launch the game and go to the "Settings" section in the main menu.
  • In the "Screen" tab, find the "Target Outline" item.
  • Open the dropdown list and select "For any weapon".
  • Sequentially press the buttons at the bottom of the screen "Apply" and "Accept".
  • From now on, after loading the game world, enemy targets will be highlighted with a green outline in battle mode.

Which city to choose for revival

In the game without the use of third-party modifications, there are only four hero spawn points. The list below ranks locations from easiest to hardest:

  1. Riverside. There are a few Infected ambushes along the riverbank with plenty of potential hiding places.
  2. Rosewood. In the closed area of ​​this location there are many commercial buildings. Not a bad place to hide from zombies and stay alive for a long time.
  3. Muldro. This city is full of useful places to loot items, but the character will always be surrounded by numerous hordes of infected.
  4. West Point. The most difficult location for a beginner. The character immediately enters a zone with a huge number of opponents, but from here, if you have a car, you can get to Louisville (Louisville) - the largest city in the game. It cannot be respawned immediately, so only experienced users will be able to get to the city.
For beginners, it is recommended to start exploring the world of Project Zomboid from Riverside. This will allow you to understand the basics of the game with less effort and learn how to survive in the vast zombie apocalypse.

What characteristics (perks) to choose

Before loading the world, each player can choose a profession and independently adjust various characteristics. There are useful and negative character traits. Positive - reduce the number of points, so they always need to be balanced with negative ones.

It is important to note that some useful characteristics prevail over negative ones, so it is much better to pick up bad habits and neutralize them with very beneficial qualities. Some negative traits slightly reduce the player's parameters, so experienced players use them in builds more often than others. With the help of such negative traits, you can easily score the required number of points to activate useful characteristics.

First of all, look for "prone to illness", "weak stomach", "smoker", "does not like books" and "claustrophobia". In single player, "tired" and "sunday driver" can also be activated. It is advisable to use them all at once, but this will noticeably change the gameplay for most of the hero's life. That is why we do not recommend using pre-made builds and advise you to independently test each parameter in order to find the most suitable profession and traits for the player.

Of the positive parameters, it is best to use “skillful hands”, “peppy”, “hard worker” and “organized”. For a multiplayer game where there is no way to pause the game or take a break for a long time in a safe place, it is advisable to take “book lover” instead of “peppy”.

Fans of active battles with zombies are best to choose a quality from "strong" or "strong" and add "in shape" or "athlete" as well. The first characteristics increase the carrying capacity, and the second parameters improve the physical fitness of the hero. This will allow you to fight off any enemy in close combat and run away from the horde of zombies.

In any case, each user will have to find a convenient combination of characteristics that will suit his playing style. For beginners, this will not be easy, so below we will point out a few ready-made balanced builds that are most often useful. Keep in mind that game balance may change in subsequent updates, so the options below may lose their current productivity.

This character knows how to hack cars, can open almost every window and has a construction skill. Thanks to the initial stats (+2 to light step, agility and stealth), this hero moves faster and is harder to detect by the infected.

Useful characteristics:

  • Speed ​​Demon.
  • Cat vision.
  • Nimble.
  • Strong.
  • industrious.
  • Skilful hands.
Negative characteristics:

  • Fragile.
  • Thin.
  • Claustrophobia.
  • Pacifist.
  • Prone to illness.
  • Weak stomach.
  • Myopic.
  • Cowardly.
Fitness instructor

Such a hero will be able to escape from zombies without much difficulty and withstand a high pace of running. With basic characteristics (+2 to run and +3 to fitness), it does not have any other useful qualities, but it can easily get out alive when a crowd of infected approaches.

Useful characteristics:

  • Runner.
  • Gymnast.
  • Likes adrenaline.
  • Athlete.
Negative characteristics:

  • Fragile
  • Hemophobe.
  • Agoraphobia.
  • Smoker.
  • Pacifist.
  • Disease prone.
  • Myopic.
  • Doesn't like books.
  • Cowardly.

First run and early game

Before starting the game, it is recommended to launch the "Training" mode in the main menu, in which the player will be taught to crouch, open windows, search for items in boxes, interact with inventory and silently kill zombies. After that, feel free to start a regular game and try to hold out as long as possible.

Project Zomboid is a survival game, so don't mindlessly run through the streets at first. Move more often on your haunches and try to make as little noise as possible. After the first appearance, do not rush to run out into the street. First you need to inspect the house in search of useful items. The starting location contains at least half of the essential items to survive for a few days.

You can select the desired cabinet for study with the left mouse button, while all the main actions are done from the context menu, which is opened with the right mouse button.

Sit down so as not to provoke zombies and turn off any working equipment, TV and radio. Immediately go to the kitchen and look for weapons. The best option would be a kitchen knife, but it is not always possible to find it in the first house. In the absence of melee weapons, feel free to take a frying pan and be sure to activate the item in your main hand. It is better to have at least something in hand than nothing. The dishes will definitely not come in handy, so do not waste time on them.

Stock up on a couple of perishables and a few canned goods. This will be enough for two or three game days. Almost every house has food, so you don’t need to fill your backpack with it. Having reached the next shelter, the player will definitely find something edible.

If available, be sure to pick up a can opener to open cans of canned food. You also need one container for the water of any kind: a cup, bottle, kettle, flask or another object for liquid. Immediately fill the sink with water in the found container. At first, it can be poured from a tap in ordinary homes.

Go to the living room and look in the closets for clean clothes. Rip it in inventory into rags. When using the "prone to disease" characteristic, they can be used as a bandage for any injuries, otherwise, infection will appear that is not so easy to get rid of.

We follow to the bathroom and look for any medicines. They do not appear so often, but it is better to take all the medicines found:

  • Antibiotics - for infections.
  • Painkillers - for pain.
  • Beta blockers for panic.
  • Antidepressants for depression.
  • Vitamins - from drowsiness.
  • Sleeping pills - cause fatigue and help sleep. An overdose is possible, especially when intoxicated. Use carefully.

The first three items on the list are the most useful. All medicines weigh very little, so they must be taken with you. In the second hand, it is recommended to take a bag and put medicines and other small items into it. Do not try to climb over the fence with him. In this case, the character will drop the package and climb over the obstacle without it.

Any additional place where you can shift useful items is also useful. On the back you can hang a school or sports bag. The player must try to find books, needles, first aid kits, scissors, thread, a screwdriver, a saw, a pen or pencil, seed packets, and a backup weapon. All these items are sure to be useful to the survivor, but it is better to carry them in an additional bag, and not in a standard backpack. In addition, in the starting house, the player will never be able to find them. Don't worry about wasted time. It may take several in-game days to collect them.

After finding important items, we can leave the first house. Please note that you can only engage in a fight with the initial weapon with two zombies. It is almost impossible to fight off a large number of opponents. Use fences and windows through which it is much easier to kill zombies. Never bring them to small locations - it will be almost impossible to escape. Stealthily approach a lone enemy and silently kill him with melee weapons.

Also, at first, it is worth avoiding the use of firearms. It is very loud and can call all the zombies from nearby areas. In addition, almost all characters have a low level of shooting. The exceptions are the police officer and the veteran.

Project Zomboid is full of extra activities. The player has access to fishing, farming, hunting, fitness and cooking. When you first get acquainted with the project and learn the basics, it is not recommended to try to do any of them. First you need to understand the user interface and learn how to survive in the first game weeks.

After collecting the first useful items and tools, the next step for the player is to find a car and equip the base. The user will be able to move around the city faster and safer, as well as freely collect useful items in one place. Don't forget - the game is about survival, not about killing hordes of zombies!

Car search. How to start a car without a key

The car is a portable home that allows you not only to escape from the zombies but also to make forays for the necessary items. Don't forget to learn the interaction keys beforehand - the "V" button opens the radial menu, and "U" activates the automechanics panel by the hood.

After finding the car, you first need to go to its front, press the "Auto Mechanic" button and check the condition of the vehicle. For the first time, any car without critical breakdowns will do. Now you need to find the keys, which can be located in several places:

  1. On the ground next to the car a few meters away.
  2. in nearby houses. Inspect every drawer, cabinet, and container in adjacent buildings.
  3. At the zombies. Kill the nearest enemy and inspect his pockets.
  4. In a vehicle. Climb inside and examine the ignition switch, glove compartment, and chairs.

You can inspect the car, trunk and zombies in the same way as regular boxes and containers. The item window is displayed at the top of the screen to the right of the inventory. While inside the car or near a defeated enemy, just move the mouse to the upper border of the display to display the menu. To switch between the glove compartment and adjacent seats, just click on the corresponding buttons on the right side of the window.

You can start the engine without keys. This will require two skill points in mechanics and one in electrical. You can also choose a cracker build, which does not require any additional conditions to activate the car engine. In these cases, do the following:

  1. Get in the car and open the radial menu with the "U" button.
  2. Click on "Start the engine without a key" and wait for the action to complete. So the character will be able to insert the wires into the ignition.
  3. Press the wires or the "W" button to start the engine. The car may not start the first time, so press the key again and after several attempts, it will definitely work out.
Also, before going to sleep in the car, it is recommended to park the car on the driver's side against the wall of a building or other vehicle. So the zombies will never get to the character.

Finding shelter. Where and how to create a base

There are no specific rules and restrictions when building a shelter. It can be a shopping center or a large brick house. It is advisable to choose a large two-story building, inside which the character will have a place to turn around. One-story grocery stores, a police station, a fire station, and other buildings are suitable as temporary shelters.

It will be especially lucky to find a dwelling next to a reservoir or a well. To build a base, you will need tools that can be found in shops, gas stations, and warehouses. Be sure to find a sledgehammer, an ax, nails, a hammer, a saw, a screwdriver, and boards.

Fortifying the base will require a high level of construction. Arm yourself with a saw and start dismantling any available furniture. This will increase your skill and allow you to create more complex designs. An ax is required for cutting trees, and a saw for processing the resulting wood. With the help of a sledgehammer, the player will be able to destroy any piece of the building and clear the room of unnecessary items.

After receiving the boards, immediately barricade the windows and doors. As a hint for strengthening the shelter and for extra security, it is recommended to equip the bedroom on the top floor of the house:

  1. After installing the fortifications on the windows, go inside the building and go up to the second floor.
  2. Open a window on each side and install rescue ropes. It can be made from sheets, which are most often found in bedrooms.
  3. Go down to the first floor and break the stairs.
  4. Go outside, close the door and place a barricade on it.
From now on, the player will always be able to get into the house with a rope, and the zombies will never get to the hero. Keep in mind that opponents can break the cable, so it is advisable to install several of these descents. Also, as a backup option, you can not barricade one window and hang it with a curtain or sheet. Now it's time to take care of the arrangement of your home. It is recommended to bring the following items:

  1. Floor standing water cooler. The character will be able to pour water inside and drink every evening and morning in the house. They hold large supplies of liquid and can be found in offices.
  2. TV set. The player will be able to use cassettes and watch a variety of programs to improve their skills. You can find an item in almost any home.
  3. Metal barrels. With the help of them, the hero will be able to accumulate a lot of rainwater and use it for drinking after boiling.
  4. Refrigerator. The item will allow you to store perishable products and help the crop to last all winter in an edible state. Can be found in any home.
  5. Freezers. The same as the refrigerator. They are at gas stations.
  6. Bed. Not all shelters can contain beds. A car is required to deliver the furniture.
  7. Generator. Allows you to get electricity. This will come in handy later in the game, as water and electricity will be cut off after a few in-game months.

Helicopter event. How to escape the zombie horde

After the eighth day, a Helicopter Event may occur on a random day. The player will hear the sound of an approaching helicopter, which will follow them when the player approaches. The sound will be heard by zombies and the character will be surrounded by a huge horde of opponents. It is not recommended to take cover or hide in a shelter, otherwise, you can lose the built base or even die.

It is best to get into an unnecessary car and drive away from the shelter. We continue to move along the roads and try to lure all the enemies in one place. After that, we calmly return to our base. This event occurs once per playthrough.

late stage. What to do next

After two to six months, the player will most likely have to turn off the water supply and electricity. It is advisable to prepare for this in advance. At first, the character will be able to collect water from shells, but later it will completely run out. In this case, it will have to be collected from wells, reservoirs and other containers (bottles, coolers). Generators are used to produce electricity.

At this stage, the user already needs to take care of growing crops and go hunting or fishing. In the future, the player must independently come up with an occupation. You can go to another city and equip additional bases. There are no restrictions.

How to enable debug mode. How to use cheats

Initially, the console functionality is disabled for regular players. With its help, players will be able to change some parameters in the game world and use console commands and cheats. To enable debug mode, do the following:

  1. Open Steam and go to "Library".
  2. Right-click on Project Zomboid and open Properties.
  3. In the window that opens, in the "Launch Options" item, enter "-debug" without quotes.
  4. Close the window and start the game.
From now on, after starting the world, the player will have a special round key (a black ant on a red background) on the left side of the screen, with which he will be able to make changes to the current game parameters. Also, pressing the "Ё" key will open the line for entering console commands.

How to find a friend and teleport (move) to him

When playing cooperatively, after creating a character and choosing an initial location, each player will appear in a separate building. In this case, you will have to get to a friend on your own. Use the interactive map as a guide. It will help to find the location of the player and allies. If the partner appeared very far away, then it is recommended to immediately die from the nearest zombie without collecting items and create exactly the same character again.

Also, if you don’t think about realism, then you can use a little trick that will allow you to move a friend to yourself or teleport to him:

  1. After connecting the user to the server, you must press the "Esc" button and go to the "Players" menu.
  2. Select a friend to teleport from the list and click the Teleport button. towards you" to move the player to your character. You can also press the "Teleporter" button and teleport yourself to a friend.

What happens after death

Please note that when playing in multiplayer mode, users may appear in the same starting buildings after death. There will be no items left in them if the character took them earlier. If you do not restart the server and immediately create a new character, the player will keep open territories on the map, however, there are several negative consequences:

  1. The character will lose all accumulated skill levels and experience.
  2. All recipes will have to be unlocked again.
  3. The hero will lose all items from the inventory.
  4. The result of studying books will be reset.
The player can independently return to the base or try to find their items at the point of death. In this case, the only difficulty will be the nearest zombies that can surround these locations.

How to climb over broken windows

First, you need to remove the fragments and only then climb inside. Otherwise, the character may get hurt and bleed.

How to create items. How to open the crafting menu

The game has a full-fledged crafting system, thanks to which each player can create useful items and improve existing equipment. To go to the menu for creating items, the user must press the "B" key. In the window that opens, you can see a variety of crafting recipes.

After finding all the items, open the crafting window, select the desired item and click the "Create Item" button. There is a chance of failure, so low-level characters without proper skills will fail more often. It is worth noting that this does not happen very often.

How to use the oven and microwave

In almost every house in the kitchen there is an oven, with which users can cook a variety of dishes with the electricity turned on. Beginners are not recommended to do this at first, as the vastness of the gaming world is full of various products.

Cooking will once again distract the player from searching for useful items and tools, so at the initial stage it is pointless to use the oven and microwave. Be careful using these items. If you leave the oven for a long time, then a fire will start in the building. You can eliminate it with water, but this is quite difficult to do.

How to open canned food

You can open any can with a can opener. It can be found in kitchen cabinets in ordinary homes. Sometimes this item appears in the starting location. After finding the can opener and moving it to the player's inventory, right-click on the can and use the appropriate item to open it.

How to get rid of nausea and poisoning

When eating raw and spoiled food, the hero can become infected with a disease or a zombie virus. When nausea appears, you can get rid of it with proper nutrition and stable rest. Body temperature may also rise. It is not recommended to leave zombie corpses in the shelter. If you stay among them for a long time, the character will become nauseous.

It is undesirable to aggravate the situation by re-eating rotten foods. The hero can get fatal poisoning. Also, do not use dirty water and bleach. For a quick treatment of poisoning, you will need to eat lemongrass. With its help, the character reduces the negative effect by several points. Does not help with zombie virus and poisoning after bleach.

How to heal a deep wound

You can get such an injury when walking barefoot on glass, climbing through broken windows, a bullet wound, and in close combat. For complete healing, it is necessary to remove the foreign body with tweezers, sew up the wound with a surgical needle or a regular needle with thread, disinfect the area with alcohol, a napkin, or a special agent, and bandage it with a clean rag. After 4 days, you will need to remove the suture and bandage the wound again.

How to cure a bite and get rid of a zombie virus

It won't work. The character will definitely die, in a maximum of three days.

Which is better: fishing or hunting?

If there is enough time after building the base, it is better to go fishing, however, beginners are advised to set traps to catch animals. This is much easier to do and does not require the direct participation of the character.

How to put a marker on a map

After finding a pencil or pen, the player can make notes on the map. This will help to mark the most useful buildings, cars, and other items.

How easy it is to kill zombies

Repel zombies with the "Space" (Space) key and finish them in the head with one or two hits. Remember to sneak up on lone opponents and kill them silently from behind.

Runaway when a large number of opponents appear. It is better to get to another building and survive than to try to clear the area and lose all the items found.

What to do with perishable food

Place perishable food in the refrigerator or freezer and eat it first.

How to create canned food

Vinegar, sugar, an empty jar, a jar cap, and five identical vegetables make canned vegetables. The shelf life of this product in three months. Don't forget to cook them at the base.

What is the best melee weapon?

Axe, baseball bat with nails, and hunting knives are the best melee weapons.

What are books and TV for?

Study books and watch TV in safe areas. Even in the starting location, you can do this business if there is enough food in the house and there are no zombies a few meters from the building. This will activate and increase the value of the experience multiplier. Also, the study of magazines and the use of cassettes to watch programs allow you to gain useful skills.

When watching TV, you can increase the experience in the first six days. These days at 6:00 AM, 12:00 PM, and 6:00 PM, you can experience cooking, building, fishing, gathering, and farming. Be sure to switch your TV to the Life and Living TV channel, which shows useful programs.

How to use the radio. How to know the weather forecast

By activating the radio, the player can get the weather forecast for the next day. To do this, the user needs to find the channel "Automated Emergency Broadcast System". Not every receiver can detect this frequency. In addition, it is automatically generated for each new game. After finding this wave, the player will be able to set it up on any other device. You can check the weather every hour after 12:00.

How to save the game and save the character from death. How to make a backup

It is impossible to return a character after death, but there is a little trick that will allow you to boot to an earlier state. To do this, you must first make a backup save. This will help save the pumped hero in a critical situation. To do this, take the following steps:

  1. Navigate to "C:/Users/Zomboid/Saves/" and open the game mode folder. It can be Apocalypse, Survivor, Multiplayer, and others.
  2. Find the folder with the character's creation date. For example, "20-01-2022_03-40-42".
  3. Move it to another location. Now after death the player can delete the original folder and copy back the previously saved one.
  4. In the main menu, click "Load", select the appropriate save, and return to the game world.
Please note that the character will return to an earlier time period when the backup was made, so all the accumulated experience and collected items for this period will disappear from the game. It is not recommended to constantly make a backup, since with each death the player receives game experience, which helps to better understand the mechanics of the game.

How not to lose important items

When working with inventory, you can accidentally throw away a useful item and not notice it. It is recommended to add important things to favorites. To do this, click on the item with the right mouse button and click on the corresponding item in the menu. From now on, this item cannot be thrown away.

Also don't forget to move weapons and other useful tools to the quick switch slot. To do this, drag items from the inventory with the left mouse button to the boxes at the bottom of the screen.

Recommendations for nutrition and rest. How to eat and sleep

Remember to eat and drink on time. This must be done regularly, otherwise the weight of the character will noticeably decrease. Also, do not forget to eat canned food, and not just vegetables and fruits. At first, it is not necessary to pay attention to various additional effects, but over time it is recommended to study food parameters more often. Certain edible foods increase boredom levels.

Remember to go to bed at night in houses away from zombies and relax on chairs and sofas. It is also recommended to find an alarm clock and set a call for the morning, otherwise, the character may oversleep for a very long time.

How to remove negative perks

Some traits decrease over time. "Agoraphobia" and "Claustrophobia" are removed after four months. Other characteristics, such as obesity, underweight and very low weight, can be corrected with proper nutrition.

How to Maintain a Healthy Hero Weight

Caloric needs and hunger are two different things. A character can overeat fruits and vegetables and still lose weight. Conversely, a small amount of ice cream and hamburgers increase weight.

How to properly inspect buildings

Don't get too close to the corners of buildings. In this case, zombies can easily attack the character. It is better to step back a couple of meters and walk in an arc. Inspect the room before climbing inside. There may be opponents in the building, so you must first look inside, and then carefully climb into the building. You can also knock on the door to find out about the zombies inside the house. Be careful, this action will create quite a lot of noise on the street.

Useful modifications for beginners. What mods to install for a beginner

Not all players like to use third-party mods, but Project Zomboid reveals itself in a different way when using a variety of mods. In addition, many of them simplify the gameplay and expand the possibilities of the post-apocalyptic world. Below are the most useful project modifications for beginners:

  1. Hydrocraft for build 41 MP - adds a huge amount of new items and crafting recipes. Do not forget to additionally install the Hydrocraft for build 41 Russifier modification with the translation of most recipes and items for Russian-speaking players.
  2. Silencer / Suppressor Mod (Build 41) - adds silencers to the game. This modification makes the weapon more effective. Players can now easily destroy zombies when using silencers.
  3. eris_minimap is one of the most useful mods that adds a minimap. On it, players will be able to find out the current location of the character and see zombies and other users in multiplayer. After loading the world, do not forget to press the "Home" button to activate the mini-map.
  4. Super Survivors! — the modification adds neutral characters to the game. They protect the area from zombies, and they can be hired to perform secondary tasks, such as cutting down trees or cooking. Not all secondary characters are friendly, but in most cases they will make life easier for a beginner.
  5. Damage and Zombie Health (IWBUMS B41) - Displays zombie health and player damage.

How to install mods

The developers provide an official way to add modifications using the workshop on Steam. Check out our detailed guide to install community improvements:

  1. Launch the game and open the "Workshop" section.
  2. In the next window, click on the "Open Steam Overlay to Spiffo Workshop" button.
  3. After loading the page, enter the name of a specific modification in the search bar and click on the magnifying glass icon to confirm the search. If you need to see all the improvements, then you can skip this paragraph.
  4. Select the modification you like and click on it with the left mouse button to study detailed information about it. You can also hover your mouse over the cover of the improvement for a summary.
  5. Click the "Subscribe" button to add the mod to the game. You can also do this on the previous screen with a list of all custom improvements. To do this, just click on the green icon with a plus on the cover.
  6. After adding the modification, wait for it to load. The downloaded upgrade will not immediately appear in the game, so you need to close it and restart Project Zomboid.
  7. After restarting the game in the main menu, go to the "Mods" section.
  8. Click on the previously downloaded mod in the list and click on the "Enable" button. After performing this action, the modification will have an inscription on a green background "Enabled" in the list.
  9. Launch the game and after loading the game world, the previously activated custom improvements will work.
Please note that in Spiffos's Workshop, under the search bar in the list on the right, you can put markers and sort the modifications as desired. For example, check the "Build 41" checkbox to see all community improvements for the new update only.

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