Set up outposts at the locations where hordes travel the most. Make sure you ALWAYS keep the outpost radius increased in size (it costs 1 fuel and a small amount of influence) and is one of the best "bang for the buck" upkeep expenses there is. With a proper spread of outposts, you will never have to worry about morale, since every horde the outposts kill with mines will increase morale by +10.

Tips To Survive The ApocalypseEdit

Survivor running

Injuries are even more threatening than fatigue. All injuries decrease max vitality. Some injuries even decrease max stamina like fatigue, and others might prevent characters from sprinting. Players should be aware that any character being tackled by a Feral or (rarely) Juggernaut will result in a Hurt status.

Deat​hs of a beloved character can cause both rage and sorrow; however, there is one way to work around to this. When one character is being torn apart or undergoing some other death animation calmly press the guide button on the Xbox controller or ESC on the PC. This pauses the game completely preventing it from saving. Once the menu is open, power off the Xbox or kill the process on the PC and then restart the game and your character will be fine. Please be aware that this can also prevent Black Fever deaths and reanimation deaths as well as prolonging survivor life.

Morale issues can lead to characters running away, wasting ammo, and even killing themselves. Players can intervene by doing an intervention type side mission, although it is better if the player uses that character to do missions when their mood is in a negative state. For example, if Ed is wigging out, do missions and his status may change to determined thus avoiding doing an intervention mission. This is extremely useful if the player has a character with the Autocrat trait.

If the player has an unwanted character, for example one that has no useful Traits and/or Skills, they can simply swap to that character and let him/her be killed by zombies. This keeps the population from being more than the player can support while getting rid of characters who constantly need rescuing or cause fights at home. This will help preserve morale and prevent morale based side missions. Alternatively, one may also expel a survivor he has no need for from the group, although this may not always succeed.

Always, ALWAYS Bring Company It's always advisable to spend the influence to have a fellow survivor come with you and watch your six. Having an NPC with you can turn a dire situation into a manageable one. Just talk to any other survivor in your camp, and select "Come with me and watch my back." from the dialog options. While it costs a lot of influence, it's worth it. The only survivors I've ever lost (unintentionally) are the ones I took out alone. Note: When starting a story mission, any survivor that is accompanying you will leave your company, and run back to your home base. Other than that, they are with you for the long haul, even when switching characters!

Dealing with FreaksEdit

The biggest threats to survivors are Freak zeds. Below is guide to aid in dealing with them.

Armored ZombiesEdit

SWAT and Army Zombies are no more dangerous than normal zombies, but are equipped with body armor that makes them extremely resistant to gunfire. Players can eliminate them by using melee weapons in order to save ammunition. Army versions appear toward the end of the game and are more dangerous as they always sprint and can't be easily outrun on foot. It is advised to melee kill Army zombies instead of running from them. If need be, shooting an armored zombie's knee causes them to stumble and fall, buying time for executions.


Screamers do not attack survivors directly, but their screams attract other zombies and stun survivors, making them easier targets. Elimination of Screamers should be a top priority. Shooting them from a distance is probably the best method of elimination, short of, perhaps, running them over with a car. However, due to the fact that Screamers are most commonly seen in buildings, it may be difficult to kill one from a safe distance.  Using the dropkick every character is equipped with to set up executions is an easy way kill them in close quarters and avoid being stunned as often as using basic melee attacks.


Bloaters are actually more dangerous dead than alive, as they release a cloud of toxic gas which can quickly lower survivor health and fatigue when killed. For this reason, they should be eliminated with firearms from the longest distance possible, and the cloud of gas should be avoided until it dissipates. It is imperative to avoid running over a Bloater with a vehicle. Doing so will contaminate the vehicle with toxic gas. This forces the survivor to exit the vehicle and either bail out at high speed, causing even more damage to the survivor, or potentially stranding the survivor among zombies. It also makes the player sick or ill. It's important to note that while a headshot will permanently incapacitate a Bloater, it will still explode if approached. A Bloater is not considered "dead" until its belly is ruptured and the toxic gas is released.

Juggernauts/Big UnsEdit

Juggernauts are high profile and sluggish (except when charging) allowing players to evade their instant-kill attacks with relative ease. The safest, cheapest, and most effective weapons against Juggernauts involve the use of incendiary projectiles, large caliber firearms and explosives (especially light machine guns and grenade launchers). Mines will knockdown or cripple Juggernauts, allowing a killing blow to be delivered and also, while ramming them with a car will severely damage a Juggernaut, it results in the vehicles' destruction, and it is not recommended. Melee attacks should only be done in groups -- that is, while on side missions involving survivors.


Ferals, with their low profile, great speed and instant-kill attacks, pose significant threat to the survivors. The intitial leap of a feral can be avoided by rolling, after this the feral will fall on the ground and quickly get back up (it is possible to land a finishing blow if the survivor is close enough and quick enough once he falls). If the player encounters a Feral, let him jump on the survivor, tap B on the Xbox or C on the PC quickly and the survivor will throw him off, allowing the player to execute a melee finishing move before he gets up. If a survivor has the nimble trait they can perform a spin kick that instantly knocks Ferals to the ground, allowing a final blow easily and quickly. Mines, grenades, and other explosives also kill them in one hit. Vehicles are a great way to kill Ferals, since they can't attack the survivor inside of it and are instantly killed when ran over. Staying close to a vehicle while looting is a great way to escape or kill Ferals, especially if you're not in a group. Though it may be difficult to score a headshot against Ferals, they die from one hit to the skull. If you do choose to deal with a Feral through the use of a firearm, shotguns can be an ideal choice. Although they may lack the accuracy to hit the Feral in the head, they do have a great deal of stopping power; a close-range shotgun blast will often knock a Feral off it's feet, allowing the player to get in close and execute him with a melee weapon. A .50 caliber rifle (but not a .50 pistol) is capable of killing a Feral instantly with a hit anywhere on the body, even from long distance. If you have a .50 caliber sniper weapon, use it on hunt quests for Ferals by climbing to the nearest observation post to locate the Feral. You may be able to snipe the feral from the survey point.


In order to survive in State of Decay, players are going to need an adequate stash of supplies. Food and medicine are essential for the group's survival, while weapons and ammunition are needed to defend the Home Base. Building supplies are also important as they allow the player to construct new facilities which may provide stat bonuses or even increase the ability to defend the Home Base. Fuel plays a relatively minor role and is required, primarily, for making firebombs, while in Lifeline DLC it is needed to operate generators.

Supplies and Item DespawningEdit

In a searchable location, any non-resourse items (guns, melee weapons, noisemakers, bombs, etc.) might disappear (or despawn) if you leave for any length of time and then return. On the other hand, resources (such as food, medicine, ammo, construction materials, and fuel) will remain indefinitely, and will be marked on the map. So, it's a good idea to loot all non-resource items that you find, when you find them, or else postpone searching a location if you know that you don't have inventory space available. Personal note: There are several different MODs available, that makes storage space for vehicles more realistic & efficient (i.e. a truck can store more than a muscle car) and I highly recommend it for the realism, as well as the additional trunk space.

Outposts with ResourcesEdit

It is NOT always a good idea to loot all resources from a house that you anticipate might become an outpost in the future. If you create an outpost in a house that has an unlooted resource, that outpost will gain an additional special ability: It will supply a small amount of the resource to your base when you have not played for at least 24 hours. You can verify that an outpost is providing a particular resource by its icon on the map or on the build screen (where it will also have a blurb in its description). This is a good way to mitigate resourse loss when you log in after not having played for a while.

Only ONE type / kind of resource is counted toward that specific building /outposts daily income. If more than one specific resource type / kind is present upon establishing the OP, then it will simply be decided by alphabetical deduction in order of ascension, which of those ONE resources you will actually acquire daily.

If, for example, the building you setup as a new outpost, at that time has one or more each of, - Food, Medicine, Ammo, Construction materials & Fuel, then ONLY the Ammo will be counted towards your OPs daily income. Or, if you had, say for example, - Food, Medicine & Construction materials on the premises, then ONLY the Construction materials would be accounted for in this context.

It does NOT matter if multiple stacks are present. It is only necessary to have ONE, of any kind of that particular resource present, that you wish to acquire daily. Having a quantity of more then one, of any of the same resource, does NOT stack & grants no further benefits in this manner.

Furthermore, an interesting long-term strategy that one can always consider adopting or adapting to, is to ALWAYS keep, at least one vacant building standing by, with at least one of each type of resource, unlooted. ( And additionally, also ideally being strategically located as well, if possible. ) That way, regardless if one decides to abandon that buildings OP at some point, in favor of some other locale, one can always come back to that same spot later, to re-establish that same OP once again, to resume collecting that buildings resource at any time, should the need or desire arise.


Food is one of the main resources required to keep group members alive (individual characters do not require food), and one of the supplies that is expended most quickly. Fortunately, it is one of the most common. Practically every house in the game will have at least one stash of food, often found in refrigerators or kitchen cabinets. Orchards, delivery trucks, fast-foods, minimarts, restaurants, and the supermarket contain large stockpiles of food. It is considered of medium priority.


Medical supplies are necessary to treat illness and injuries and generally keep survivors healthy. Medical supplies will be expended quickly, especially when one or more survivors is ill or injured. Fortunately, medical supplies are relatively common. Bathrooms, houses, small shop's, supermarkets, veterinaries, offices, fire departments, hospitals and pharmacies contain large stockpiles of medicine. It is considered of low priority, unless the player constantly causes the controlled Survivors to be in harm's way.

Weapons and ammunitionEdit

Weapons, firearms and ammo are necessary for defending the Home Base, and survivors when they leave the base.

Ammunition is less common than food or medical supplies, but supplies of ammunition can be reliably found in houses, warehouses, armoured trucks, gun shops, police departments, and various military supply caches. Fellow Enclaves may also spawn periodically with ammunition the player can use (not in rucksack form). The main resource of Enclaves such as the Wilkersons and The Law (County Courthouse) is ammo, so they usually have a large cache laying around. They may also give random generated missions that give 5 ammo as a reward. The shooting platform, dojo, and library can offer infinite opportunities to obtain ammo. Due to their rarity and high rate of use, they are of high priority.

Firearms can be found in many of the same places as ammunition, including Gun Shops, the Police Station in Marshall, and military supply caches, as well as some warehouses and homes. Handguns and rifles can often be found in gun stores, though in some cases an SMG may spawn in a gun store. The Police Station often has several handguns and may also have assault rifles, SMGs, high-end shotguns, and possibly even one or more grenade launchers. Assault weapons may also be found in some houses and warehouses in Marshall, including the small, white warehouse at the Grange, and the one next door to the Marshall gun store. The best firearms, including assault rifles, SMGs, light machine guns, AA-12s, .50 caliber sniper rifles, and grenade launchers, can be found in military stockpiles located in and near the fairgrounds in Fairfield. Firearms can also spawn on survivors and certain survivors like those with the traits soldier, liked to hunt, and cop have a higher chance of spawning with weapons. Survivors can spawn with weapons ranging from pistol and rifles to shotguns and assault weapons.

Melee weapons are relatively common, with at least one being found in homes and warehouses. High-end melee weapons, such as swords, can be found in a number of houses in Marshall. If you have a workshop, low tier melee weapons will be added to the locker every day. They are of low priority to high priority, depending on the quality of the weapons.

Construction materialsEdit

Construction materials are vital if players wish to upgrade their Home Base with stat boosting training areas, or sleeping areas to allow more characters to reside there. Construction materials are also needed to move into a new base after players have looked at a few possible spots during the Home Away From Home mission. Players may periodically receive a notification stating that the wall needs repair which automatically consumes 15 building materials. Construction sites, barns, warehouses, abandoned sites, and industrial supply stores are the best places to find materials. Look for crates, construction tables, and red storing containers. They are of high priority to a player that frequently shifts houses or is in need of a large building project.


Fuel is used for explosives, mostly the incendiary kind such as flame fougasse and chemical incendiaries. They also stock up the outposts with traps increasing the size of their safe area, and are a vital resource for the Munitions Workshop. Barns, campsites, thickets, and warehouses are great places to find fuel. Researching Bio-Diesel at the Library allows Food to be converted to Fuel (though this is not really recommended due to Fuel being common, but can be done if needed). Fuel is of very low priority, even if the player frequently makes incendiary weapons.


To find the supplies needed for survival, players must venture into the various areas in Trumbull Valley and go on supply runs.

Survivors and EquipmentEdit

To carry the largest possible amount of items, survivors that are selected for supply runs should carry Large Backpacks and have the Powerhouse trait (so the survivor will be able to carry 4 in a stack instead of 3). They should also limit the items in their inventory (having at least a melee weapon, 4 snacks and medicine is enough). Scavengers with high Wit and Cardio are great for scavenging runs, as they can easily outrun zeds and search very quickly.

Break InEdit

Unless a survivor has Ninja, some doors (especially back doors, but also front doors) will be locked and requires the Survivor to slam their way through, causing noise and attracting nearby zeds. The player can also choose to jump through windows, but this also causes noise. Either way, players should ready a weapon to swing upon entering an unsearched building.


Look for containers that are in shiny white, and go near it to search (they require the player to search from a specific direction, so move around if the prompt to search doesn't appear). If the controlled survivor has low Wits, it is not recommended to speed up searching as there is a high chance that the player would break something and attract a lot of infected, which is something that should be avoided in such a small and dark setting. Patience is a virtue.


It is sensible to give up certain items to make room for others - dolls, alarm clocks and other non-essential items should be destroyed in place of weapons, ammo, food and medicine. If the player still lacks item slots, eat weaker medicine, load ammo into weapons, or return later for another supply run.


Stashes of supplies are the largest objective behind a supply run, and should be looted up whenever possible. If the player is lucky, there may be more than 2 or even 3 stashes in a single house. If the player is looking for certain supplies, they should search the relevant containers. 

  • Food tends to be in refrigerators, cabinets or shelves, especially in the kitchen. However, they may also be found in containers in orchards.
  • Medicine tends to be found in the bathroom or in the drawers inside of houses, and in drug stores.
  • Ammo (along with guns) tends to be found in metallic closets inside gun shops or police stations. They also can be found in the bags in military stashes.
  • Construction materials tend to be found inside crates, red containers and construction tables, especially in warehouses and construction sites.
  • Fuel is only found in petrol cans or barrels, especially at gas stations and warehouses.

Survivor Traits and SkillsEdit

Every survivor in State of Decay comes with a unique set of Traits and Skills, which impact their abilities, both in combat and in supporting the group. A complete list of traits is available here. The traits listed here were added in Lifeline. All survivors have the skills Cardio, Fighting, Shooting, and Wits, and can specialize in one weapon class. Some survivors have specialist skills listed below.


A specialist skill for survivors who are physically very strong. This very useful skill grants increase stamina and the ability to carry increased amounts of weight without being encumbered. Survivors with this skill also have an increased chance of a an instant kill with a melee weapon. Survivors can be devastating in combat, being able to power through hordes and take down Freak Zombies with heavy, powerful weapons such as Light Machine Guns, Grenade Launchers, .50 caliber sniper rifles, and heavy melee weapons, without being encumbered. Powerhouse survivors are also useful when gathering large numbers of weapons and items from locations such as Gun Shops and military supply caches.


A survivor with this skill is more agile than other survivors. They are better at evading attacks, and regenerate stamina faster. The nimble skill also allows the use of special moves, such as a spin kick which can instantly down a Feral, allowing them to finish it with a melee attack.


Survivors with leadership skill have a natural talent for leading. This results in other survivors gaining trust with faster when they go on missions with a survivor with the leadership skill.


The survivor with this skill has medical training. This will decrease recovery time for sick and injured survivors in the Medical Area, making it one of the most useful non-combat skills.


A survivor with this skill is, obviously, trained in chemistry, and is capable of manufacturing improvised explosive devices such as Pipe Bombs and Box Mines. A survivor with this skill allows the construction of a Munitions Shop and prevents mishaps in manufacturing explosives. This skill is valuable to a group of survivors as a steady supply of explosives can increase the firepower of survivors against hordes and freaks.


A survivor with this skill has experience in construction, and thus has a knowledge of construction techniques and tool use, meaning faster facility construction times, as well as enabling the construction of a machine shop capable of repairing vehicle engine damage. The ability to repair cars makes this one of the most useful non-combat skills in the game.


A survivor with this skill has a knowledge of farming or gardening, increasing yields of crops in the Garden Area.

Fitness GuruEdit

Survivors with this skill have a knowledge of fitness, and can increase the effectiveness of a Training Area in increasing XP gain.


A survivor with this trait has experience in psychological counseling, and is able to reduce the probability of survivors committing suicide, acts of violence, or running away.


The survivor with this skill is a good cook, and can prepare feasts in the kitchen. This will temporarily increase stamina and vitality.


A survivor with this trait has legal experience, and can reduce sentencing severity by 33%, provided you have a functioning judicial system! Mostly a joke trait, but in Breakdown, it does increase trust gain by 10%.

Joke SkillsEdit

Many skills ranging for Beer Pong, to Hoarding, to Sexting, and more were inserted by the developers as a joke and nothing more. These have no impact on the survivor's actual abilities.

Start a Discussion Discussions about Guide To Better Surviving

  • Cardio and fighting

    12 messages
    • John667 wrote:Cardio I Build a chain of outposts then load up on snacks and stims and just run the gauntlet over and over and over until it...
  • Easiest way to kill zombies(except large zombies)

    5 messages
    • If you roll through a zombie, so you're just behind it and start pressing Z, you will shove the zombie in the back, knocking it to its kne...
    • TheJakeHurd wrote:Heavy weapons are a serious plus as well. A simple attack with a heavy weapon on ''any'' zombie that...
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