Torn apart.jpg

Dying is a part of State of Decay. Players may get their characters killed by accident because of carelessness or oversight. Experienced players may have their characters killed on purpose to cut down Food and Ammo consumption, to get rid of an annoying overbearing alcoholic, etc (Though in State Of Decay 2 very annoying survivors can exiled instead for no morale penalty). This article deals with how player-controlled characters can die and the effects of death on remaining survivors.

Death in State of Decay is permanent. There is no way to "bring back" a dead character (without using cheats/mods or interfering with save files). In the DLC Breakdown, however, characters killed in a previous level can be recruited again in subsequent levels.

In State of Decay, if all survivors in a community die, a new one will spawn in. However in State of Decay 2, if a player’s community dies, they receive a game over and the player is returned to the main menu, where they will have to create a new community or play an active one.

Types of deaths[edit | edit source]

Torn apart by zombies[edit | edit source]

Press X to not die.jpg
When a character loses all health, they enter the "struggling" state. The screen turns near black and white, the character sits down, covers his/her head and the prompt "Press [...] to get up" is displayed on the screen.
At this point, each attack from surrounding zombies directly reduces maximum health. When the character's max health depletes, he/she gets torn in half by two zombies. Occasionally, when the zombies cannot do the "tear in half" animation (due to them being obstructed by the environment or some other reason), the character simply lies dead or get bitten in the neck.
Note: Dying this way is required to get the "Torn apart" achievement in State of Decay, and to unlock the hero character Jacob Ritter in Breakdown.

Falling[edit | edit source]

Falling from a sufficient height (such as a cell-tower survey point) will make the player-controlled character enter the "death" state animation, but if there are no zombies nearby the screen will just fade to black and the player will be able to continue playing the same character where they had fallen.

Juggernaut or Feral kills[edit | edit source]

A Feral ripping apart a survivor.

This type of death is often quite sudden and unexpected. These two Freaks can grab a character with low health and tear him/her in half.

Explosives[edit | edit source]

It is not possible to instantly kill a full-health character with explosives, no matter how powerful. However, this does reduce the character's max health. When the character's max health is at a minimum, a sufficiently powerful explosion will kill the character.

Blaze of Glory[edit | edit source]

A Blaze of Glory. Note, the equipped Petrol Bomb.

Note: Dying this way is required to get the "Ya Always Were An A-Hole Gorman" achievement in State of Decay, and to unlock the hero character Erik Tan in Breakdown.
If the character has at least one thrown explosive item (like Grenade or Petrol Bomb) equipped and selected, this option becomes available.
When the character's max health is depleted, and s/he lies down on the ground, press the [Use Item] button. The character then detonates the explosive, killing him/herself and surrounding zombies.

State of Decay 2[edit | edit source]

There are fewer ways for a survivor to die in the sequel, they are as follows;

Standard Death

Should the survivor lose all maximum vitality, the survivor will begin to have convulsions on the ground. The victim will then become still and lifeless, and after 3 or so seconds, they will reanimate as a zombie. The zombie survivor must be killed in order to retrieve their items. They tend to wander at the scene of their death until they are killed.

Plague Death

When a survivor contracts Blood Plague, a three hour timer is set on their life. If this timer expires they fall to the ground and die (same animation as standard death) when the survivor reanimates, they are a plague zombie. The survivor will always be a plague zed if they die with the plague. It should also be noted that further damage from a plague zombie while a survivor has the plague will decrease the time dramatically.

Juggernaut Death

If a survivor is weakened below half their normal health, a juggernaut can grab the survivor and bite into them, followed by a quick stretch of the body resulting in the survivor being ripped in half. Items can be taken of the deceased survivor without having to kill them as a zed.

Feral Death

Survivors cannot be instantly killed by ferals, instead if a feral is present when a survivor is downed, they will claw at them at a rapid pace. This weakens the survivor very quickly, and should the survivor lose all vitality, the feral will sometimes leap onto the survivor and chew their head off. The deceased survivor can have their items taken without a fight if they were a victim of this attack.


If a survivor is infected with blood plague and if any other survivor cannot find/craft a cure, they may have to either send them to their deaths by banishing them to keep their community safe or make their deaths quick by executing them. If the survivor who is euthanizing another survivor has a gun, they will take it out and aim at the other survivor’s head before shooting them dead.

Effects of Character Deaths[edit | edit source]


Lower community morale[edit | edit source]

  • -25 Morale
  • Attitude of all surviving character worsens, though only the ones with the most negative attitude is displayed in the event log

Rucksack[edit | edit source]

If the dead character has at least one item in the inventory, a Rucksack will be spawned. Retrieving this rucksack increases morale by a small amount (5) and add the items of the deceased survivor to the Supply Locker. In State of Decay 2, survivor rucksacks no longer spawn open their death. In order to reobtain the items, the deceased survivor must be searched and looted.

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • When an AI-controlled survivor gets killed by zombies, that survivor will always die in a "Blaze of Glory" manner, regardless of whether they have a grenade in the inventory or not. After the Update_12/02/2014, this no longer applies. Survivors without thrown explosives in the inventory simply get ripped apart and die.
  • Attempting to access the journal when dying prompts one of the following messages.
    • "This isn't the time for a little casual reading."
    • "The pages are too blood-soak to read."
    • "Some people are scared of books. Zombies, not so much."
  • Attempting to access the journal after dying will display
    • "You can't reach your journal right now."
  • If the player attempts to use their map or radio they will see this message.
    • "You can't reach your map/radio right now."
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