DayZ survival guide

DayZ Survival Guide

Looking for tips and advice on how to survive in the popular Arma II PC mod DayZ?
As the increasingly popular game amasses 1m players, we put together a guide to help you survive the zombie onslaught, including advice from DayZ’s creator Dean Hall and video walkthroughs.

1. Have a plan.
We once read that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. And this rule also applies to DayZ.
“It’s critical that you have a plan,” DayZ creator Dean Hall tells Eurogamer. “From the moment you touch down on that beach to the moment you finish your day in-game, you need to completely plan what you’re going to do, where you’re going to go, where you’re going to visit and what you’re going to get out of that visit.”
2. Get your bearings
Print off a map to get to know where exactly you’re going. There’s a great DayZ map here.
“Having a map and a compass makes things really easy,” adds Hall. “The other thing you can do if it’s night is use the stars. Do a bit of research online to see which stars are available and how you can figure out what direction north is. You can also use the direction of the clouds to gauge which direction you need to hit as well.”
3. Find some weapons
“The best places to find guns would be the military locations, particularly up North in the Northern airfield. There’s some barracks there,” he says.
“There are other places you can go but they are randomly distributed. Look for crashed helicopters and around those you’ll find special military weapons too.”
4. Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.
“Make sure you don’t run along roads,” insists Hall. “Treat roads like rivers. You need to make sure that as you’re moving, it’s from bush to bush, or from building to building. That not only helps you stay concealed from zombies, but it helps you stay concealed from players.”
Once you’ve found another player, stay calm, sit back and size up your potential ally or enemy.
“Don’t be observed first – you should always be in the power position when you’re meeting someone new,” he adds. “Get yourself into a position unseen, and then you quiz them as to whether they’re friendly or a foe.”
5. Scout it out
“Make sure a place is worthy of your attention,” Hall explains. “Look for buildings you can enter. How many zombies are there? And how much ammunition have I got?”
In short, relax, scope out your destination, and decide if it’s worth the risk of heading down a particular route first.
6. Lose zombies
If you find yourself getting chased by a zombie or ten, here’s what you should do.
“As you’re running away from them, try and weave in between trees or choose forested areas, or go through buildings. But if you’re around buildings, you can probably get other zombies as well, so you need to be pretty careful and balance what you’re going to do in that situation,” Hall says.
7. Loot smart
“In terms of prioritisation of what you’re picking up, you need to think of having a base stock of food and water at all times,” he comments. “Then you need to think of your ammunition and weapons.
“You’ve got your secondary weapon, your pistol, and you should always try and have a hatchet on your tool belt, as a just-in-case. And then you’ve got your primary weapon – with this you need to balance convenience and use of the weapon, versus how much ammo you’re going to find.
“With the Winchester you’ll find a lot of ammunition; with the military weapons maybe not so much. You have to pay a bit more in terms of risk, so you need to balance a lot of different features.”
8. Watch and learn
See how Eurogamer’s James Hills puts the above advice into practice in this gameplay video:

There’s more tips you can check out in this useful video guide too:

 9. Get to know the controls
This beginner’s guide on the DayZ Wiki site has all the controls you need to know:

  • Escape: Open game menu.
  • W/A/S/D: Standard strafing movement.
  • Z/X/C: Prone/crouch/stand.
  • V: Slide over obstruction, commonly known as Vaulting.
  • Shift (Hold): Walk or move slower. Double tapping this key toggles between walking and jogging.
  • MW Scroll: Select from available actions.
  • MW Click: Select action. Performs a default action if none are selected.
  • G: Open inventory.
  • LMB: Shoot or throw tactical items (e.g. grenades).
  • RMB (Click): Toggle iron sights/scope.
  • RMB (Hold): Zoom view in. Zooming in while looking through your sights will allow you to hold your breath for sniping at pool parties.
  • R: Reload. Will load the fullest magazine in your inventory into your weapon.
  • F: Switches firing modes on any weapon with multiple, and will select any tactical consumables in your inventory. (e.g. flares, smoke grenades, M203 launchers, chem lights)
  • Q: Lean left.
  • E: Lean right. You could press both in alternation to show your friends, that it is you talking.
  • Alt (Hold): Turns on free-look while held. Double tapping toggles free-look. Allows you to look around you without changing your character’s orientation.
  • Num Enter: Toggle between 1st/3rd-person.
  • (,): Select last chat channel.
  • (.): Select next chat channel.
  • (/): Type in chat. Use “Side chat” for global communications, though be aware, Side chat and Global chat are not availble on most servers.
  • Caps Lock: Use Voice Chat.
  • (\): Salute (when standing).
  • (‘): Sit down.
  • You must loot and equip specific items before you can use these:
  • B: Binoculars.
  • N: Night vision.
  • M: Map.
  • Ctrl + M: GPS minimap.
  • K: Compass.
  • O: Watch.
  • L: Flashlight.

In some cases, double-clicking a key will perform a different action, like the following:

  • W: Sprint.
  • Shift: Toggle default movement speed (slow vs. fast).
  • Alt: Toggle free-look.
  • Ctrl: Lower primary weapon.
  • B/N/M/K/O/L: Toggle tool/item.

Note: Eurogamer has an excellent video detailing the tips we’ve listed, which you can check out above. They’ve done all the hard work here, we’ve simply transcribed key comments into one handy guide for you.
Picture credit: IGN

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