Project Zomboid – Beginner’s Guide: Tips to Survive

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The goal of Project Zomboid is undoubtedly to stay alive as long as possible.

However, the game is challenging, and survival is not guaranteed. As a beginner, getting the right tips and strategies to survive is necessary.

Recommended Read: What Are the Best Weapons in Project Zomboid?

In this article, let’s go through our detailed beginner’s guide and tips to survive in Project Zomboid!

This Project Zomboid beginner guide includes: determining your profession and traits, choosing the first location wisely and taking things slowly, collecting necessary items, getting weapons and medical kits, leveling up your preferred skills, boarding up your house, owning a generator, and harvesting crops.

Table of Contents

Beginner’s Guide: Tips To Survive in Project Zomboid

Surviving in Project Zomboid can be a daunting task, especially for beginners. Therefore, we offer a step-by-step guide to help you complete the game independently.

1. Begin The Game

The first step after picking your game mode is to choose the starting location. Rosewood is ideal for newbies, as it has the lowest zombie population and plenty of secured bases.

Next, you have to pick the occupation and traits for your character. Luckily, we have guides about the best occupations and best traits in Project Zomboid.

Finally, you can customize your character however you like. This includes the name, skin color, hair type and color, beard type, and clothing.

2. After Spawn

You’ll be spawned in a safe house when you begin Project Zomboid. First, you should control your character to move around and loot as many items as possible in the house.

Remember, there are zombies outside your house, but they won’t notice you as long as you stay away from the window and are silent. You can turn off lights in your home by clicking on a switch on the wall, improving your chances of being hidden.

Sprinting or running causes noise that’ll be an alarm for zombies. So instead, try to walk or crouch to avoid them. To crouch, press “C” by default or change your settings.

3. Gather Necessary Items (Food, Water, Bag)

Food and water are mandatory to prevent you from starving to death. Additionally, food reduces your negative moodles and restores your health.

You can get food by foraging in specific areas or cooking it. However, while cooking requires materials and recipes, which is time-consuming, foraging is a skill that you need to train hard to make the most of.

The fastest way to find food is by getting it from cabinets, kitchen refrigerators, or bakeries. Just search carefully for houses near your starting point and gather as much food as possible.

It’s also advisable to eat perishable food before non-perishable food.

Your character is hydrated automatically as long as water containers are in your inventory. The other way is by right-clicking on the water source and selecting “Drink”.

There are several water sources in Project Zomboid, both inside and outside. You can get water from faucets, bathtubs, or sinks easily by right-clicking on them and selecting “Fill” to fill in your containers.

The lakes or rivers are outside water sources, but you must boil the water to use, or you’ll get sick.

Remember that a power outage sometimes happens, so you’d better preserve your water beforehand.

The bag is vital because it extends your storage capacity by 4-20 units.

There are two bag types in Project Zomboid: wearable and handheld.

In the early game, you can easily find a School Bag, a Big Hiking Bag, or a Duffle Bag in wardrobes, closets, or garages. Handhelds also spawn in desks, lockers, wardrobes, and the pawn shop’s display cases.

If you’re using pistols or one-handed melee weapons, you can hold the handheld, for example, the Gun Case.

Although wearing the bag on your back or hand affects your speed, it’s worth compensating for as it can carry more items thanks to its weight reduction feature. For example, if a bag has a 50% weight reduction, putting a log in it will increase only 4.5 weight instead of 9.

4. Find Proper Weapons

Guns seem to be an excellent choice to kill zombies. But they cause too much noise, forcing you into a dangerous situation. And in the early game, it means the same thing as dying.

In addition, your Aiming and Reloading skills aren’t good enough to shoot effectively. So if you loot a gun, you’d better save it for later.

Thanks to their incredible damage, the best melee weapons in Project Zomboid are the Katana and Axe. However, they’re as rare as hen’s teeth.

Instead, you can craft an excellent double-handed Spear in the early game using a crafted Spear and a Machete, Fork, Scissor, Knife, etc.

The good thing about those spears is that they are replaceable and easy to craft, which means you can get more without worrying about repairing them.

You can use either a tree branch or plank, plus a Kitchen Knife or Meat Cleaver, to craft a wooden spear. Tree branches or planks are commonly generated, and a Kitchen Knife or Meat Cleaver can be found in the kitchen of your house.

Additionally, you can use any short blade or short blunt nearby as a weapon. Frying Pans, Hammers, and Hunting knives are in the kitchen, garages, or cabinets.

5. Get Medical Items

Encountering zombies while scavenging or exploring outside is inevitable in Project Zomboid. Moreover, it can put you in danger and even cause injuries. Thus, it is crucial to know how to treat wounds in order to survive.

Bandages or Ripped Sheets can be used to treat your open wound.

After combat, open your health info by pressing “H”, check if there is bleeding or a deep wound, then right-click on it to use the Bandages or Ripped Sheets quickly and directly.

Both Bandages and Ripped Sheets are renewable, meaning you can disinfect them using whisky or disinfectant or boil them in order to clean them.

You can find Bandages in medical cabinets, first aid kits, or trash bins. In contrast, you can tear your clothes to make Ripped Sheets.

Practically, treating yourself as quickly as possible after encountering is recommended. Any potential damage from zombies can lead to zombification, which means the end of your current character.

Apart from Bandages and Ripped Sheets, Beta Blockers, Cigarettes, and Lemongrass are items you should collect. They affect your temporary moodles, reduce your stress and enhance your performance.

6. Leveling Up Skills

Leveling up skills is an essential aspect of survival in Project Zomboid, as it directly affects your ability to perform specific actions and increases your chance of survival.

You can check your progression by selecting the “Skill” tab in your player’s info. The skill leveling mechanic is quite simple: just do it repeatedly. In other words, the more time you spend, the higher the level.

Skill Books are items that provide a bonus to a specific skill in Project Zomboid. There are books for all 11 character skills, ranging from beginner to master level. Skill Books can be burned as consumables, but it is not recommended if you want to revisit the same world after your character dies.

Skill Books are essential for leveling skills, especially for later levels, as the experience multiplier is much higher the more advanced the book is. At the beginner, the multiplier is 3; at the master level, it’s almost 15.

Some skills can be leveled directly by watching TV or video tapes. Those are carpentry, cooking, mechanics, fishing, trapping, and foraging.

Find a video store and gather VHS tapes of the woodworking, cooking, survival, and car shows. First, read the skill book, then watch the show. If you’ve read the skill book, you’ll almost always get at least one full skill point from a VHS.

Most skills will naturally increase as you go on, and here are the skills you should focus on: Nimble, Strength, Fitness, Carpentry, Cooking, Foraging, Farming, First Aid, Mechanics, and Electrical.

7. Reinforce Your House

When you are looking for a base, there are a lot of things to take into account. In general, it’s ideally near the water source and gas station so that you can preserve water and fuel with less effort.

The zone should be zombie-free, meaning you can sleep well all night without disturbance. Consider picking any house with a fence and a large area for crops. If not, consider choosing a house that has two floors. So you can live on the first floor and farm on the second.

It’s essential to fortify your house. Check out this post to learn how to barricade your home properly.

8. Get The Generator

Living in a house without electricity can put you in unnecessary danger. Therefore, finding a generator is a great backup plan.

Follow this post to find a Generator. Remember that operating the Generator requires the Generator Magazine and Gas, so you have to bring them to your home along with the Generator.

You should place the Generator outside to run it effectively. Also, zombies can come and mess around due to the noise.

9. Farming (Late Game)

After securing a home in Project Zomboid, farming becomes a crucial skill to focus on. By planting crops, you can ensure a long-term supply of calories for your body during seasons when scavenging is particularly harsher and harsher.

You should place your crop next to your home, covered by fences. If your area is not large enough, you can farm on the roof or any other safe space. Remember to keep it out of the undead and take good care of it daily.

Farming is pretty complicated since it requires you to comprehend many things. So we’d recommend checking out this guide to learn how to farm effectively.

That’s the beginner’s guide and tips to survive in Project Zomboid.

Have any suggestions for this guide? Let us know in the comment section below.

Binh Tran

As a game writer, my goal is to craft engaging, informative, and concise articles. Whether it's diving into the latest gaming trends or writing game guides, I'm always excited to share my insights with others.

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