Traits are inherent features that vary widely for each survivor. The combination of traits can provide information on the background, history and personality of a character.

Overview[edit | edit source]

While many traits have no effects whatsoever on gameplay, many others have very different effects. Some traits can provide starting bonuses to certain Skills, affect XP gain (increase or decrease leveling speed) of skills, and even adding new skills beside the basic four. Furthermore, certain traits can influence how the survivor interact with others.

Existing traits cannot be changed. Traits can be gained by completing special side missions, or discovered by listening to companions sharing their backstories while on a mission. Visible traits can be divided into 8 types:

  • Bio: The only known trait of this type is Chronic Fatigue.
  • History: Completing special side missions give traits of this type.
  • Backstory: A brief fact about the character's past before the outbreak. This trait is not fixed and can be randomly assigned to characters.
  • Story: In State of Decay, this trait is invisible and designates the "role" of the character in the storyline, if any. In Breakdown, this trait designates the radio command that the character unlocks. A character can have at most one Story trait.
  • Job: The character's past job(s). A character can have more than one Job trait.
  • Hobby: A character can have more than one Hobby trait.
  • Personality: A character can have only one personality.
  • Talent: A strength or weakness that aids or impedes the character's development. A character can have only one Talent trait.

Each character can have only one trait of each type, with the exception of History, Job and Hobby.

List of Traits[edit | edit source]


  • Traits marked with (B) are only available in the DLC Breakdown.
  • Traits introduced in the Lifeline DLC now have their own page: Traits (Lifeline).
  • There are two different versions of "Born Leader" with the exact same description, one being a Personality and the other being a Talent. Very few characters (Marcus Campbell is an example) have the Born Leader personality and a Natural Athlete or Nimble talent, giving them two improvable personal skills.

Traits with positive effects[edit | edit source]

Trait Name Type Effect 1 Effect 2 Description
Architect Job Add Construction skill If I'd known this was coming, I'd have designed the school with a moat. (Handy with tools.)
Army Medic Job Add Medicine skill I've seen some fucked up shit, believe me. (Good in an Infirmary)
Artillery Support (B) Story Add "Death from Above" radio command Can call in support from off-map artillery when a part of the community.
Born Leader Personality Add Leadership skill People tend to listen when I'm talking. Most of the time that's a good thing. (Leadership skills.)
Born Leader Talent Add Leadership skill People tend to listen when I'm talking. Most of the time that's a good thing. (Leadership skills.)
Brewer Job Add Cooking skill Tell you one thing: I'd be welcome in any community. With these things roaming around, everyone could use a drink. (Can cook.)
Butcher Job Add Cooking skill All that rotten flesh. God it turns my stomach. (Can Cook.)
Carpenter Job Add Construction skill
Caterer Job Add Cooking skill It isn't just about fuel for your body. A good meal can nourish the soul. (Good cook.)
Chef Job Add Cooking skill There's only so much I can do without fresh ingredients. (Great cook.)
Cop Job Bonus level Shooting Law and order. That was my life. Now there's no law and no order, but I'm still a cop at heart. (Improved Shooting.)
Dancer Job Add Fitness Guru skill Bonus level Cardio Not many people feel like dancing right now. Things are just too goddamn depressing (Improved Cardio)
Demolitionist Job Add Chemistry skill Buildings go up. It's my job to make them come down. (Chemistry know-how.)
Dentist Job Add Medicine Skill A zombie apocalypse is no excuse for poor oral hygiene. Are you flossing? (Some medical knowledge.)
Dependent Personality Can't we all just get along? (Idealistic.)
Doctor Job Add Medicine Skill First, do no harm. (Medical knowledge.)
Eagle-Eyed Talent Bonus Shooting XP Naturally good shot. (Improves at Shooting faster)
Electrician Job Add Construction skill Just need a little fuel and some generators, and I'm your new best friend. (Handy with tools.)
Engineer Job Add Construction skill Don't take this the wrong way, but it's a really interesting problem to solve, if you think about it. (Handy with tools.)
Enjoyed Camping Hobby Bonus level Cardio, Wits Roughing it's actually pretty fun. Fewer zombies would be nice, though. (Improved Wits and Cardio.)
Farmer Job Add Horticulture skill No matter how fucked up things get, we have to plow for the coming season. (Good with plants)
Fast Hands Talent Bonus Fighting XP Float like a butterfly… (Improves at Fighting faster)
Father Figure Personality Everything's gonna be alright. (Idealistic.)
Fearsome (B) Talent Add Leadership skill People tend to listen when I'm talking. Because bad things happen to people who don't. (Leadership skills.)
Foreman Job Add Construction skill With the right people for the job, we can do anything. (Handy with tools.)
Funeral Director Job Add Counseling skill Dead people are walking around now? There goes my business. (Counseling experience.)
Handyman Job Add Construction skill I figure there isn't a thing on this earth I don't know how to fix. Just get me some duct tape. (Handy with tools.)
Hazmat Suit (B) Talent Immune to Bloater and Screamer After weeks among the infected, he's decided he's never taking that suit off again. Ever. He sleeps in it. No one knows how he uses the bathroom. (Immune to Bloater Gas and Screamer Cries.)
Historian Job Add Research skill Ezekiel Marshall would roll over in his grave if he could see this town now. (Research experience.)
Kind Personality If you ever need someone to lean on, I'm here for you. We're the only ones left, so we need to look out for each other. (Idealistic.)
Lawyer Job Add Jurisprudence skill When they figure out who's responsible for this epidemic, there's going to be one hell of a lawsuit filed against them. (Jurisprudence expertise)
Liked Gardening Hobby Add Horticulture skill I'm glad I know something useful. (Good with plants.)
Liked Range Shooting Hobby Bonus level Shooting (1) Shooting targets was fun, but taking out zombies? Now THAT's a freaking blast! (Improved Shooting.)
Liked Tailgating Hobby Add Cooking skill Wonder if my bros made it. (Decent cook.)
Liked to Cook Hobby Add Cooking skill That's the difference between us and them. We cook. (Good cook.)
Liked to Hunt Hobby Bonus level Cardio, Wits, Shooting It's ony a shame you can't mount a zombie head on account of blasting it all to hell to bag the sumbitch. (Improved Shooting, Cardio and Wits.)
Loved Cycling Hobby Bonus level Cardio At least you can get around now without the constant risk of getting plowed into by some jackass in an SUV. (Improved Cardio.)
Loved Dancing Hobby Bonus level Cardio (2) I guess I need a new dance partner. I had to shoot mine the other day. (Improved Cardio.)
Loved Good Food Hobby Add Cooking skill Canned beans are a lot better than I remember. Some cumin and sea salt would really help, though. (Decent cook.)
Loved Hiking Hobby Bonus level Cardio, Wits Don't understimate the value of good socks and insoles. Walking is really important. (Improved Cardio and Wits.)
Mechanic Job Add Construction skill I would make a break for it, but I couldn't just leave all my tools behind. (Handy with tools.)
Medical Advice (B) Story Can be called in to advise on field medicine when a part of the community.
Natural Athlete Talent Add Powerhouse skill Just don't ask me to help you move furniture, okay?
Nimble Talent Add Reflexes skill It's one thing to know how to roll with the punches. It's better if you can avoid 'em all together. (Great Reflexes.)
No Nonsense Personality Bonus level Wits I'm just looking out for #1. You've got a problem with that? (Improved Wits)
Officer Job Bonus level Shooting (2), Fighting (1) You didn't realize until now what those years at the academy were REALLY for. (Improved Shooting, Fighting, and Leadership.)
Paramedic Job Add Medicine skill Kind of makes you miss the days of car accidents and heart attacks. (Medical knowledge)
Parkour Enthusiast (B) Hobby Add Fitness Guru skill Max level Cardio and Fighting My body is ready. (Advanced Cardio and Fighting.)
People Person Expert Add Counseling skill Can't we all just get along?
Pharmacist Job Add Medicine skill Listen, I don't just fill the bottles. I've got a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. (Medical knowledge.)
Played Golf Hobby Bonus level Cardio Look, laugh all you want, but it's a sport. You never lug a set of clubs over 18 holes? (Improved Cardio, believe it or not)
Played the Drums Hobby Bonus level Cardio Give me a snare and I'll bring you every damn zombie in the county. (Improved Cardio)
Played Trivia Games Hobby Add Research skill If you ask me, Robert Wilford didn't deserve his 1987 World Moustache Championship victory. Samuel Holt's was MUCH more impressive. (Research experience.)


Job Add Construction skill Hey, I don't look at your ass when YOU bend over. (Handy with Tools.)
Practiced Martial Arts Hobby Add Fitness Guru skill Bonus level Cardio (1), Fighting (1) Before you ask, no…I don't have sweet nunchuck skills. I hate (Improved Cardio and Fighting.)
Practiced Taxidermy Hobby Add Chemistry and Arts and Crafts skill Taxidermy's a way to take something living and preserve it forever. It's not about dead things. It's about making them immortal. (Chemistry and Arts and Crafts. Interesting combo.)
Preacher Job Add Counseling skill Tested my faith? It's reinforced it. (Counseling experience.)
Presence Expert Add Counseling skill
Prison Ink Hobby Add Tattoo Artist skill The other inmates used to come to me for all their work. (Tattoo Artist)
Problem Solver Personality Bonus level Wits (2) Put a little thought into it, and a little can go a long way. (Improved Wits.)
Profiteer (B) Talent Max level Wits One man's trash is another man's treasure. I can find a way to make a buck off just about anything. (Advanced Wits.)
Sniper Support (B) Story Can support other characters with sniper fire when a part of the community.
Soldier Job Bonus level Fighting (1), Shooting (2) Situation like this, you wish there were orders to follow. (Improved Shooting and Fighting.)
Strong as an Ox
Studied Boxing Hobby Bonus level Fighting, Cardio Bob and weave, baby. Bob and weave. (Improved Fighting and Cardio.)
Studied Gymnastics Hobby Add Fitness Guru skill Bonus level Cardio (2) Every day I thank my mom for making me go practice day in and day out. (Improved Cardio; fitness guru.)
Studied Kickboxing Hobby Bonus level Cardio (1), Fighting (1) Fuck with me and I'll kick your teeth in. (Improved Fighting and Cardio.)
Studied Linguistics Hobby Add Research skill Zombie moans fascinate me. I wonder if they're trying to communicate in some strange, primal way? (Research experience.)
Stylist Job Add Counseling skill You learn a lot about human nature doing people's hair. My number one takeaway? We're doomed. (Counseling experience.)
SWAT Support (B) Story Can call in backup from a SWAT team when a part of the community.
Teacher Job Add Counseling skill I… the things I saw, I try not to think about my students. Sometimes I succeed… for a minute or two. (Counseling experience.)
Team Mom Personality You poor dear. You look like you could use a nap. (Idealistic.)
Team Player Personality Cooperation is the key. We have to learn to live together. We have to learn to work together. (Idealistic.)
Tough as Nails Talent Max Vitality +10 You gotta fight through the pain. (Max Vitality bonus)
Vehicle Delivery (B) Story Can be called to deliver a vehicle when a part of the community.
Waiter Job Bonus level Wits (1) I swear my old manager used to set the schedule just to mess with us. I don't miss that. (Street smarts.)
Watched Cooking Shows Hobby Add Cooking skill Don't give me shit for liking cooking shows. My grandma raised me on Julia Child, ok? (Good cook)
Weekend Ninja (B) Hobby Max level Wits I knew all those hours I spent breaking into my neighbors' houses would pay off someday! (Expert scavenger.)
Words of Inspiration (B) Story Can be called in for words of inspiration when a part of the community.

Traits with negative effects[edit | edit source]

Trait Name Type Effect 1 Effect 2 Description
A Pack A Day Talent Lower Cardio XP gain Running sucks. (Improves Cardio slowly)
Absent-Minded Talent Lower Wits XP gain A little trouble focusing. (Improves Wits slowly).
Asthma Attacks Talent Lower Cardio XP gain Running sucks. (Improves Cardio slowly)
Autocrat Personality You're just going to have to trust my judgment (Can be overbearing)
Bad Back Talent You want me to carry WHAT? (Doesn't handle encumbrance well)
Braggart Personality I never thought I'd be living in a glorified shack, eating beans out of a can. You country people may be used to that, but I'm sure not.
Bro Personality Add Beer Pong skill Sup, Bro! Beer Pong, anyone?
Bum Knee Talent Deep knee bends are not my friend. Shallow ones either (Crouching is tiring.)
Chronic Fatigue Bio I was always the 'sick kid' growing up. I felt helpless. Well, I'm still sick, but I'm not helpless. If you run into trouble out there, just remember: I'm listening.
Coward Personality Lower Fighting XP gain You gotta be smart to survive. There are no second chances. (Bad at Fighting)
Dim Bulb Talent Lower Wits XP gain Not the sharpest tool in the shed. (Improves Wits s-l-o-w-l-y.)
Drunk Personality You lishten to me, hear … I haven't *hic* touched a drop of that shtuff in… um… letsh shee… (Can be insensitive.)
Jerk Personality Oh, quit your whining already. We were all thinking it. I just had the balls to say it. (Can be insensitive.)
Loved Movies Hobby Lower Cardio XP gain I'm never going to be able to watch zombie movies again. Shit hits too close to home now. (Improves Cardio slowly.)
Psychopath Personality I've always wondered what it's like to put a bullet between someone's eyes… just to see how it feels. Now I can.
Slacker Personality If you really need me, I'll be, um… Around somewhere. (Hates exercise.)
Total Lush Talent Lower Wits XP gain I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy. (Improves Wits slowly.)
Two Left Feet Talent Lower Fighting XP gain Could trip over a shadow. (Slow to improve at Fighting)

Traits with no effects[edit | edit source]

Trait Name Type Effect 1 Effect 2 Description
Accountant Job I used to crunch numbers, but now I'm crunching skulls. Never saw that coming.
Actor Job Add Modeling skill If I'd ever gotten my big break, I wouldn't have been here when everything went to hell. (Knows how to strike a pose.)
Adrenaline Junkie Backstory Skydiving, base-jumping, mountain climbing… you name it, I tried it. Even swam with sharks once.
Alcoholic Personality You lishten to me, hear…I haven't *hic* touched a drop of that shtuff in…um…letsh shee…
Beware of Dog Backstory You don't really know how fast a dog can be till it's going for your throat.
Body Dump Backstory Yeah. Somebody dumped a body right behind my restaurant
Childhood Lessons Backstory Too bad he never got around to explaining the right spot to hit a human being in the head so their skull cracks open like an egg.
Clerk Job Is it wrong to think this is better than my shitty old job?
Cosplayed Hobby Add Arts and Crafts skill We need to make some armor. (Handy with Arts and Crafts.)
Daydreamer Personality So they say I've got my head in the clouds? Well I'd point out that there's no point in everyone seeing things from the same perspective.
Dog Lover Backstory Yeah… looking back on it, I should've gotten that dog.
Drank a Lot Hobby Add Beer Pong skill There's nothing a good bottle of Jack can't fix. Beer Pong anyone?
Eccentric Personality Some people say I'm strange. I think they're the strange ones.
Enjoyed Antiquing Hobby Add Hoarding skill Every item has a history and a sould of its own. Of course, I wouldn't expect someone like you to understand. (Hoarding tendencies.)
Enjoyed Sailing Hobby I could be out on the ocean right now. The whole world could go to hell in handbasket, but I'd just have the waves and the wind, you know?
Enjoyed the Opera Hobby Add Etiquette skill I saw Carmen for the first time when I was ten. Gronquist Hall is silent now. (Strong sense of etiquette.)
Fashion Forward Backstory Still. I buried her in that dress. She… she always loved it.
Flirt Personality Add Sexting skill What can I say? I'm a people person. (Sexting afficionado)
Folksy Charm History You know what I hate about living in a small town? Knowing all your goddamn neighbors.
Followed the News Hobby Never thought I'd miss the paper so much. I used to look forward to that morning thump against my door, but the only ones I hear now are from those things trying to get in.
Frugal Gourmet Backstory Hell, now I'm just happy if a can of creamed corn's only been expired a week.
"Finding" Supplies Backstory Wouldn't surprise me if this whole thing ends with all of us arrested for trespassing and grand larceny.
Gallery Owner Job Add Sales skill So many priceless pieces of art destroyed. It breaks my heart. (Sales experience.)
Game Breaker Backstory I mean, yeah, the recoil bruises my shoulder and I get dizzy if I run around too long and there aren't any sweet alien hovercraft that totally break the game and never should have been allowed in deathmatch, but still.
Garbage Collector Job I've hauled some nasty shit in my days, but I never thought I'd be dragging around dead fucking bodies.
Glutton Personality Oh, damn, sorry. I totally thought you were done eating.
Go Big or Go Home Backstory Don't know what I was thinking, going out there without backup. Guess I've always bitten off more than I could chew.
Gossip Personality Add Gossip skill Oh… my… gosh. I totally shouldn't tell you this, but I know you can keep a secret. Right? (Gossip, Idealistic)
Got the Watch History Retrieved Thomas Ritter's watch for Lily. Something to remember him by. (note: this character finished the mission Memento)
Grocer Job There are a lotta hungry mouths out there, humans and… otherwise. Lotta hungry mouths.
Hero (B) This heroic survivor wanted to be a part of your community because of your legendary accomplishments
Hoarded Stuff Hobby Add Hoarding skill Sure, I've got a lot of shit stashed. Always knew it would come in handy someday. (Hoarding tendencies.)
Horse Trainer Job I'm glad the zombies don't seem to have an interest in eating animals. I guess that's one good thing about this mess.
Liked to Knit Hobby Add Arts and Crafts skill Tell me you're not going to want a nice, warm hat when it gets cold outside. (Handy with Arts and Crafts.)

Liked to Travel

Hobby I always figured I'd die somewhere exotic
Liked to Sew Hobby Add Arts and Crafts skill All this running's tough on clothes. Glad I can patch things up. (Handy with Arts and Crafts.)
Liked to Tinker Hobby I've always loved taking things apart and putting them back together. Dig into the guts, ya know?
Live a Little Backstory How fucking sad is it that I have a better social life after the end of the world?
Loner Personality Sometimes you gotta go your own way
Lost Brother Backstory I couldn't… didn't help him. And then I ran. I've kept running.
Loved "Idol" Hobby Add Reality Show Trivia skill You don't sing, do you? (TV Trivia.)
Loved Baseball Hobby Add Sports Trivia skill Damned if the boys weren't gonna win the pennant this year. (Sports trivia whiz.)
Loved Books Hobby Add Literature skill At this point, I'll read just about anything. I draw the line at that sparkly vampire nonsense, though. (Knowledge of Literature.)
Loved Literature Hobby Add Literature skill I'm going to grab every classic I can…Dickens, Shakespeare, Frost. Losing them would be a tragedy. (Knowledge of Literature.)
Loved Painting Hobby Add Arts and Crafts skill I want to show people that this fucked up world still has some beauty left. (Handy with Arts and Crafts.)
Loved Science Fiction Hobby This is just like a book I read. Well, like ten or twelve books I read.
Loved Soap Operas Hobby Add Soap Opera Trivia skill Sometimes, my nightmares are about Dr. Remoray and his sister. How dumb is that? I mean, I know they were just characters. I'm not one of THOSE people. (Soap opera trivia.)
Loved Sports Hobby Add Sports Trivia skill I was unarmed for the first few days cuz I didn't want to ding up my bats. Had a game, used Babe Ruth, you know? (Sports Trivia whiz.)
Marked for Greatness Backstory I've always felt like I was specially blessed
Off the Wagon Backstory And then the dead started rising from the grave and eating people. Fuck it, I need a drink.
One-Time Jock Job Add Sports Trivia skill I've run eighty yard touchdowns without even breaking a sweat. (Sports Trivia whiz.)
Online Shopper Backstory Support local business my ass, once you can order a toilet that's a replica of Henry VIII's throne at two in the morning, you don't go back.
OSHA Standards Backstory God, my first place was a shithole. I loved it.
People are Strange Backstory Trust me. I'll never look at the tailpipe of a '72 Falconer Hatchback the same way again.
Played Sudoku Hobby Add Sudoku skill One solution. One number per square. It's a rare dose of logic in this illogical world. (Sudoku Expertise)
Practiced Photography Hobby Sometimes I still see things… scenes that would make a really good shot, but then I hear those moans.
Priorities Backstory You know what weirds me out about this whole thing? All the toilet paper disappeared in the first few days.
Private Life Backstory Now I'm sharing a room with four other people, and if I want any privacy, I've got to brave the zombie-infested streets.
Read Comic Books Hobby Right about now I'm wishing I'd gotten into horror books. Probably have some good survival ideas in there.
Rescued Doc History If there's one man we all want to keep alive, it's Doc Hanson.(Note: this character rescued Doc Hanson)
Rich Friend Backstory Wonder what happened to Danny anyways? I was on a supply run in his old neighborhood the other day, didn't look like anybody was living in his family's house.
Scary Santa Backstory People used to hide when they saw me coming. You believe that? Grown-ass men and women, hiding from Santa Claus.
Self-Sufficient Backstory I been taking care of myself pretty much my whole life. Mom skipped town when I was four, dad was high more often than not.
Sleaze Personality Add Sexting skill Misty from Frontier Fun Town…now SHE was a fine piece of ass. Best lap dancer in town, too. Wonder what she's looking like nowadays? (Sexting guru.)
Storyteller Backstory I wonder what the hell happened to him? I hope he's still out there somewhere, just straight up picking fights with zombies for shits and giggles.
Student Job Well, at least I won't have to worry about paying off my school loans.
Studied the Occult Hobby It's all about the rule of threes. I wouldn't want to be the person responsible for this…if it's a person, that is.
Survivor's Guilt Backstory And I remember very clearly, there was a moment before it lunged, when I could have bolted for the door to my dad's room, or the door to the courtyard.
Sweet Setup Backstory Home theater with a 7.1 surround, fully-stocked bar, jacuzzi in the backyard… it was the ultimate bachelor pad.
Thinker Personality Look before you leap.
TMI Backstory I lost my virginity behind the football field. Me and Lucy Cormoran, junior year. She had this thing she did where…
Trumbull Local Backstory I was born and raised right here in Trumbull County. Know it like the back of my hand.
Uke Master Backstory It's not exactly a core survival skill, but I am pretty good with a ukelele.
Unemployed Job So what if I didn't have a job? Like it matters now anyways.
(Very) Ex-Militia Backstory I promptly told them all to get fucked as soon as I turned 18. Moved out here and did my damnedest to forget everything they taught me.
Watched Reality Shows Hobby Add Reality Show Trivia skill Aw, this reminds me of that one episode… (TV Trivia.)
Web Developer Job Add Computer Skills skill What can I do? Well, I can make you a website on… paper? Yeah, not an ideal career path for the apocalypse, I guess. (Computer skills.)
Wrote Fiction Hobby Add Literature skill I've been writing about zombies for years. Never thought I'd actually run across them. (Knowledge of literature.)
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