Complete Basic Survival quests

Don’t wander off when you first start the game as you don’t want to attract unwanted attention, especially that you don’t have anything to protect yourself with. Focus on completing your initial Basic Survival quests. All of which should be indicated on the top right side of your screen. You’ll know it’s completed when the game tells you to go find a Trader.

Craft Frame Shapes

Collect just enough wood to craft 10 x Frame Shape and place them in your toolbelt near your Stone Axe. Use these shapes specifically when engaging in combat with zombies. When too many of them come at once, simply stack 2 frames under you so that you are raised 2 frames above ground. Zombies will hit the top wood frame first (usually), so make sure to repair it during combat. Upgrade the top frame only if more than 2 zombies show up or if you’re dealing with stronger ones.

This is specifically useful for more challenging difficulty levels.

Gather Wood

Gather up to 300 x Wood, we won’t need more than that for the first day.

Use Your Starting Skill Points

Once you’ve completed the Basic Survival quests you will be rewarded with 4 skill points and a Trader location, the location and distance should be indicated by a yellow marker but before you make your way there, use the first 4 acquired points to buy your Skills.

Gather Stones

Gather 150 x Stones from breaking down stone boulders using your Stone Axe. Should be roughly around 4 stone boulders, they are all over the place.

Craft a Level 2 Melee Weapon and a Stone Shovel

  • You just upgraded your Pummel Pete perk, craft a level 2 Club. Higher grade items take longer to break down and also allow more mod installations. Scrap the first Club you crafted by selecting it and choosing “Scrap” or press the “S” key.
  • Craft a Stone Shovel, we’ll get straight to digging our first ditch.

Gather Clay

Use your recently crafted Stone Shovel to dig up 100 x Clay. It can be gathered from any grassy topsoil.

Craft Cobblestone

Now that you have Stone and Clay, craft 100 x Cobblestone Rocks. Keep it stacked away in your inventory, we’ll need it for upgrades later.

Complete Journey to Settlement Quest

Stay on the main road and try to make your way to the Trader latest by 13:00. Go see the trader only to complete the quest, don’t spend time looking through their loot or around their settlement yet. We’ll do this later.

On your way there try and spot:

  • Bird nests
  • Guts on the road for Bones
  • Trash
  • Chickens or Rabbits
  • Kill Zombies but only if they are close by and 1 at a time, don’t deal with groups at this time, especially on more challenging difficulties.

Find and Clear a nearby POI

A POI is a Place of Interest, it can be a house, store, library, church, anything with a roof over your head. I recommend a very small 1 level house if possible, one with a roof and all walls still intact. The smaller the better. As close to the Trader as possible. Do not loot this POI at this point yet, simply clear it from enemies.

  • Craft Ladders and create an emergency exit point. Use Ladders to create an access point to the roof but make sure the ladder is 2 blocks away from the ground, requiring you to jump for it. This prevents Zombies from climbing the ladder. This technique is especially useful on higher difficulties. When there are too many zombies after you, simply make your way outside and climb the ladders, but make sure not to go all the way on the roof as there might be zombies there too, just stay on the highest ladder from the ground and regenerate your stamina. This will give you time to breathe and think about your next move.
  • Craft a Storage Chest and place it near the POI you’re about to take over. Empty your loot in it temporarily or at least enough so that you do not feel encumbered. To move items without having to drag them one by one, simply hold the Shift key then click on any item. There’s also a “Transfer All” icon you can click which obviously transfers over everything in one shot. Keep Wood, Stone, Cobblestone and Arrows on you.
  • Clear the POI from enemies. Don’t rush, don’t wake them all up at the same time. Do it slowly room by room, level by level. Do not rush in, as this will get too many zombies to go after you all at once, which makes it impossible to survive on the highest difficulty. Use the Wood Frame Block or Wood Hatch trick.

Replace Entrances and Block with Hatches and Poles

  • Replace all entrances leading outside on the main floor with your own doors. Make sure the doors are installed on the outside wall. The door should be opening towards the outside.
  • Install 2 Wooden Hatches in front of each entrance and upgrade to Iron if possible. One flush against the door and another right after. Both need to open towards the door. This gives double the protection and makes it possible to hit zombies when they try to break in.
  • Install a Wood Pole on the inside of the door frame, flush with the door and upgrade to Cobblestone.
  • Install 2 Wood Poles on the outside of the door frame and upgrade to Cobblestone.

Place Your Bedroll

Once the POI is cleared, place your Bedroll. This will add a “bed” icon to the map, making it easier to get back when you’re out and about.

Look Through Trader’s Loot

Now that we have a safe spot to go back to, let’s go back to the Trader and take a moment to properly go through the Settlement. Each one is equipped with a good amount of loot. Sometimes even weapons. Once completely looted go back to your POI.

Organize Your Loot

Keeping organized in this game is key, making ingredients easy to find and crafting more efficient.

  • Craft 4 Storage Chests, place 3 together anywhere and 1 separate near the entrance. We’ll keep the separate one for items you want to sell at the Traders.
  • Organize your items based on category / type. For example, foods, drinks, medicine, weapons, tools, clothing, minerals, plants, seeds, etc. Simply keep your items grouped, making them easier to find later.
  • Don’t forget to grab all the loot from  the Storage Chest outside the POI.
  • Cross reference your loot with the Master Loot List and cross off whatever is found.

Place a Campfire, Eat and Drink

It’s important to stay full and hydrated before stepping out each morning, as it helps to keep the stamina up thus making us move around more efficiently. I always like to keep 2 slots reserved for food and drink in my inventory at all times. The aim is to have 2 meals and 5 jars of water in the inventory at all times and I use the mornings to refill. You may not have that much food at this point but we’ll get there.

  • Place a Campfire, add Wood and turn it on
  • Cook food if you didn’t find any cans. Preferably eat from cans first, we’ll want to save the raw meat for when we unlock better recipes, which should be today.
  • Boil water if you didn’t find any. You should only need to consume around 2 Boiled Water at this point to refill your stamina. Keep the Empty Jars.

Loot, Breakdown, Disassemble

We’ll take the night to go through and loot the entire POI, don’t leave any stones unturned. If you have a Wrench use it to disassemble, if not, simply use your Stone Axe on all items which are not mechanical or electrical. For example you’d leave the Fridge, Stove, Lights, Radiators, Toasters, Microwave, Coffee Maker alone until you can disassemble them with a Wrench otherwise focus on items like Window Blinds, Shower Curtains, Couches, Chairs, Boxes, Trash, toilets, yes… toilets…

By the end of your looting you should end up with a minimum of 9 x Cloth, which we need based on the Master Loot List.

Day 2