Project Zomboid is an ever-evolving survival horror game where you do your best to live for as long as possible until you, inevitably, perish in the midst of its post-apocalyptic, zombie-infested environment. It’s an open-world game with a whole lot to do, so many players that first jump in may feel daunting, and current players might be looking for something more to dig into.
That’s where these tips can help! From finding the best base to farming to grabbing truly essential items, these tricks will get you on the road to victory -- or at least surviving for a lot longer.
10 Where’s The Best Base?
Everyone has their favorite stomping grounds in Project Zomboid, but sometimes it can be intimidating to find a definitive home base. We have three suggestions for those still confused about where to ride out the zombie apocalypse.
Twiggy’s is tried and true. Located right between a gunshop, a mart, and trees, you’ll never run out of supplies as long as you’re here. If safety's your style, the farmhouse on the eastern edge of Muldraugh is a great spot. For those who play with groups, any of the well-sized churches scattered across the map work well. Just be careful -- boarding them up right away can be tricky!
9 Farming Is A Lot Harder Than It Looks
Every good open-world survival game has a farming system, and Project Zomboid is no different. What isn’t always apparent is how easily your crops can suffer from zombie influence. If a zombie dies near your crops, the blood can actually seep into the plants and sicken them. Zombies can also walk across your crops, which can damage the plants themselves.
To make sure zombies don’t destroy all of your plants, practice some space management. Keeping small groups of crops about two or more spaces apart is a great way to ensure that if one group gets sick, the rest won’t get infected.
8 The Most Important Item In The Game
You might be thinking it’s a weapon, or bandages, or even food. But it’s actually nails! They’re a crafting item used in most every carpentry recipe. They can mainly be used to create barricades, which are essential to ensuring zombies don’t come smashing up your base.
Nails can also be used to improve weapons. If you have a plank or a baseball bat ready to go, you can combine them with nails to do more damage to those pesky zombies. So make sure to pick up all the nails you see. You never know when you might run out in the middle of an attack!
7 The OTHER Most Important Item
Nails aren’t the only essential object. They can be used to do one other very important thing: hang sheets. Sheets are crucial purely for their versatility. Though they can’t do as much as those trusty nails, they can be used to cover windows. While this isn’t exactly an obstacle for zombies, it will make sure that they don’t spot you.
This is especially important while you’re sleeping, as zombies can walk by at any time and lock eyes on your vulnerable form! Sheets can also be used to make bandages, which are pretty important when you’ve just sustained damage during a zombie onslaught.
6 Don’t Pick Up Everything
Despite the importance of nails and sheets, what’s maybe even more important is making sure you don’t pick up every single last little thing. Like any survival game, you have a limited inventory, though this one is based on weight. Bags and backpacks are your friends here, but sometimes you might not run across any handy bags for a while in-game.
Staying on top of inventory management is thus an essential aspect of survival. Grabbing all those cool weapons might seem like a good idea at the time, but later when you desperately need supplies or bandages, you might regret it.
5 The Best Places to Forage
Finding places to forage on the expansive map can sometimes be hard to do, especially when you’re being chased down by hordes of zombies. It doesn’t help either that these areas can be limited, and you can wander for a while without seeing hide nor hair of supplies.
Never fear! The above map made by a motivated Project Zomboid player highlights all of the possible foraging areas on the in-game map in red. The map is also scaled 1:1, so it matches up perfectly with the coordinates on the game's map. Happy foraging!
4 Getting A Second Base
But wait -- didn’t we talk about snagging a singular base earlier? That base is important, but what’s just as crucial is making sure you have a back-up. Surviving means preparing Plan Bs or even Plan Cs, and the same is true of Project Zomboid.
Even though you may get attached to your original base, zombies can run you out of town at any time. The last thing you want is to be stranded in the middle of nowhere with no place to hide out. Finding a second base will make certain that you always have somewhere to go if your first base is overrun.
3 Loot, Loot, Loot!
Though this may seem self-explanatory, looting all of the zombies can quickly become overwhelming when you get attacked by a particularly large horde. Looting can be a hassle, and moving on can seem easier when you need to escape a situation quickly.
But it’s still important to make sure you loot all of the bodies that you can -- you never know what you might find! Supplies can be hard to come by, and as we said earlier, nails and sheets are important. Bodies are places where you can find those crucial items, especially when you’re stuck in a tight spot!
2 Get Ready To Read
But isn’t this a zombie game? Well, in Project Zomboid, books are how you upgrade your experience in a given skill, including Carpentry or Foraging. Each skill book has a different level out of five.
What isn’t as well-known is that reading a certain skill book will score you a multiplier for actions done with that skill. If you read a Beginner’s book for Carpentry and you saw wood afterward, you would earn 3 times the normal amount of XP! Intermediate will get you 5 times as much XP, Advanced 8 times, Expert 12 times, and Mastery 16 times. Get out there and read!
1 Embrace Death
The most important lesson of Project Zomboid is learning to embrace the inevitable. Even though the game emphasizes dying, it’s still a hard thing to handle when you’re first starting out or when you’ve invested a lot of time. Dying after you’ve put effort into a base, or crops, or just sheer survival can be frustrating.
But that’s the fun and challenge of Project Zomboid: knowing that you can pick up the pieces and start a whole new adventure all over again. And every time you restart, you get better at surviving for longer and longer. Good luck out there, and keep your spirits up!