Project Zomboid – Guide to getting started for beginners

For any new player to Project Zomboid, I will cover the basics in the guide. It is based on the assumption that the game has caught your eye, you just downloaded it, started the game, died, and decided that you want to play it.

Project Zomboid – Guide to getting started for beginners

This guide covers the essentials for getting started in Project Zomboid. Whether you’re a brand new player or are simply looking for a way to pass the time until we see more content released, you’ll find what you need here.

Getting started with Project Zomboid

Assuming you’ve hit “solo”, chosen “Apocalypse” for difficulty level, chosen a starting area with no particular occupation or traits, and are set up for basic combat in general, it’s time to think about your gear.

You will start the game in a completely random place on the map of the town you have chosen. There are places in the world where a first time player is left with nothing to do but to make peace with their god because things are about to get rough.

In such cases, we would highly suggest to make a new character and carry on with the game. That is the best option here, after the mess-up.

Preparing to leave on a trip into the world

Means to stay alive is the first thing you will need. Something to heal yourself if things go wrong, and at least one actual weapon to fend of things that want to eat your brains are included.

For the first part, open your inventory, find a piece of clothing you don’t need, right click, and choose “Rip clothes” You can use the ripped sheets to make makeshift bandages. You don’t need to wear a tank top, long-sleeved shirt, or lumberjack shirt in July.

Anything will work when it comes to weapons. You will soon discover that some weapons are less durable than others. Attach whatever you can find in your house to your belt/back by right-clicking it in your inventory.

If one of your weapons breaks, you can use 1, 2 or 3 on your keyboard to quickly equip another weapon.

A guide to basic movement

To crouch, tap “C” with your finger. You will be more difficult to find, and you will make less noise. If you want to enter an aiming stance, hold the ctrl key. This will make the character look different depending on the direction you’re pointing.

You don’t want to get surprises from behind if you keep your head on a swivel. Pressing shift makes you run, or while crouched, do some sort of hustle. You can vault over low fence with the tap of the E. When you see a taller fence, a long press of “E” lets you climb it.

If you need to run fast, you’ll get into a mad sprint mode if everything goes sideways. You should be aware that your character will trip, fall on his face, and drop items if he runs into trees, bushes, or something similar.

basic movement

pressing “E” will make your character interact with it. A long press of E will sometimes lead to another option based on what you are standing next to. Sometimes this means that pressing “E” means “close the window”, while a long press of “E” means “climb through the window”, and when zombies are on you, this means you die. For simplicity, you should get used to right-clicking and choosing the action you want from the menu.

You can try to force it open if you are standing next to it. A small amount of noise can attract zombies from a few meters. The lock on the window will be ruined if you fail and it will be stuck shut. If the window is on a very tempting target, such as a shed that is very likely to contain tools or weapons, you can smash the window. This will cause a lot of noise and will likely attract zombies. It is a good idea to remove broken glass before climbing through the window.

Guide to basic combat mechanics

We will list down some tips, and the bare basics for combat here:

  • Ctrl will enter an aiming stance.
  • A small knife lets you get a quick stab.
  • A huge sledgehammer wielded in both hands has a much slower attack.
  • If you want to save your weapon from breaking, use it sparingly.
  • When fighting a single zombie, rather just use Space in order to give it a push.

If you are facing a group of zombies, try to attract the attention of a few of them. If you find yourself facing a group of several zombies, try to attract the attention of a few of them, to have them break away from the group.

Guide to health management and some tips

Over time, you will want to get hold of proper first aid supplies. This includes proper bandages, as well as alcohol wipes or disinfectant.

Before you get to this point, however, you will more like be doing action movie tropes of disinfecting a wound by sloshing a quarter of a bottle worth of bourbon over it, should you be so lucky to have some, and then tying a rag torn from a t-shirt around it.

Moddle management guide

When you are out and about in the world, remember to pay attention to the moodles that will show up on the right side of the screen.

Some sensations can be a sign of stress, anxiety, panic or boredom. “moderate exertion” decreases melee damage by 50%. “high exertion” reduces the chance of climbing tall fences. It also affects the chance of being able to climb tall fences. If you are bleeding you wrap torn-up pieces of t-shirt around your injured limb to make it stop.

Survival Tips and Strategies


You need basic survival kit, food and water, a safe place to call home and a running car. You will have to play this by ear a little. It takes a week or more in game to cross the bare necessities of the checklist.

You should make sure you cover all five before you go out on any daring adventures beyond pilfering your immediate neighborhood for supplies. You can also use a car to get around the map, and a zoo to get food and water.

Weapons and gear

A spiked baseball bat is one of the best survival tools you can buy. Hammers, kitchen knives and pipes can be used instead of spiked baseball bats. A duffel bag or hiking backpack will help you carry your stuff back to base. A night stick looted of dead police officers can also be a good back-up. A hammer or a night stick can also be a good way to get rid of a zombie.

Tools and Utensils To Use

A shovel will allow you to bury the dead, which is a safe option. Lacking the supplies to dig graves, do by all means consider piling up the dead. If your kitchen floors and walls are covered in blood, you should also consider obtaining a mop and a bottle of bleach. A welding torch along with a welding mask will allow you to do metalwork, or dismantling metal doors.

Food and Water Supplies

A lot of food you find out in the world, especially meat and fish, can be dangerous if eaten uncooked. A skilled cook can utilize rotten ingredients in a recipe, which makes cooking xp easy to advance in over time. If you are out on an adventure, you should at least carry a minimum of two water bottles, and food enough to survive a day or two. If you can raid a grocery store, make sure to aim for fresh vegetables and bread, and get it.

Making or Finding a Home for Yourself

In the very beginning, this can be a house with no zombies nearby, a door you can close, a bed you can sleep in, and a sink that provides you with water. Once you are tired enough, you can choose to sleep on the ground. If things come down to it, you can use the “Pick up” option to move a piece of furniture in front of the door of the room you intend to sleep in.

If you have a car, but no place to call home, you can park the car with the driver side window up against the wall of a building, and sleep in the seat. Ideally this should be a house with two floors, so you wont have a rude awakening of zombies pouring in through the windows of the room you sleep in. Be aware that even if zombies can’t see inside your house, they can still hear any noisy activity going on.

A window barricaded with four planks blocks line of sight into the building. The easiest way to obtain planks, is to head over to the neighbors house. Disassemble doors and furniture, using The Holy Trinity of Tools. The ideal safe-house will have all doors and windows fully barricaded, with two escape ropes on the second floor allowing you entry and exit in opposite directions.

Using A Car

A car is a must if you want to make a living from what nature has to offer. A quick look will tell you whether the car is in one piece, and haven’t been crashed too badly. A key in the ignition, and some gas in the tank are all essential. A car is a must if you want to be able to transport a heavy load of stuff back to your base.

Certain professions and skills will allow you to hotwire cars, making the last point moot. Unless you know what you are doing, you will find yourself walking from car to car, hoping to find it unlocked. If you have access to a car that isn’t entirely wrecked, you have the potential for a running car, if you can get access to some gasoline. Gas cans can commonly be found in the trunk of cars, in garages, and in sheds.

When either next to, or inside a car, you can bring up a radial menu by tapping “v” by default. If you are carrying an empty gas can, you can skip this step, and simply go fill up your vehicle. Should you run into a car you want to loot, finding the trunk to be locked, you can smash a window, sit down in the driver’s seat, and simply click the trunk lock icon on the dashboard.

We hope that the above tips will help you immensely in surviving and progressing with Project Zomboid. Thanks for reading!

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