State of Decay Hints and Tips


Posted on May 29, 2013

State of Decay Hints and Tips
Here are a lot of useful State of Decay hints and tips. If you have any of your own tips, please post them in the comments below. Thanks for your contributions!
  • Large Backpacks: You can get some backpacks at the start of the game at the camp sites (Check your map there are a total of 6 camp sites around the starting area. By the way, they don't always spawn...it's random. Last time I got them I found nothing in 5 camp sites but the last one had a backpack in one of those big tents. If you just started a new game, and can't find a large backpack in one of the starting camps, I recommend starting a new game and trying again. Last time I did this I ended up getting 2 large backpacks on my first restart).
  • Beginners Guide: Check out the State of Decay beginners guide to get very useful basic tips about the game.
  • You start off with just 3 people, but you make friends by helping people out. You'll occasionally see a 'scavenger spotted' mission, where you can get supplies and help out a scavenger to get friendship with them. This is useful for getting more people added to your cause.
  • You can fast travel. If your character is tired or for any other reason (such as being in the middle of nowhere with no ride), just switch to another character, and switch back, and your original character will have fast traveled to your home base! (Note that there are times this does not work, like when you're carrying resources, or are in a car.)
  • Combat is pretty fluid, but it's smart to pace yourself. A nice combo that saves on stamina is to Dropkick (LB + A) and then finish the enemy off (LB + Y) Dodging is also very useful. (B) helps you evade attacks, and (LB + B) will give you a combat roll to get out of sticky situations. Check out the  Combat Tactics Tips and the Melee Combat 101 Guide for more useful information.
  • Speaking of saving stamina, when fighting, always make sure you have enough stamina to run away if things get really bad. Zombies in this game are fast, and if you don't have stamina to run away, they will be on you instantly.
  • Before you go out on a character, make sure to bring 1 bottle of meds and 1 snack. If you are worried about death, bring two. To find out more about death in the game and how it works, check out the Death System Guide.
  • You should start establishing outposts as fast as you can when you can near the beginning of the game, setting traps to fight zombie hordes will make your life easier, keep morale high and keep your survivors alive. To learn how to establish outposts, see the Outposts and Safezones guide.
  • Having a few outposts far from your base is nice too, as you can get supplies from them. So if you're somewhere far away from your main base, but there is an outpost, you can resupply and even drop off any extra items you are carrying to free up space in your inventory without having to go all the way back.
  • Remember that different buildings give you different supplies, so check what you need, and then set up an outpost at a location that will benefit you. (For example, if you want materials for construction, a good place to set up an outpost would be a warehouse.)
  • For easy morale generation. Pick a base, place outposts on all roads that lead to your base, try to cover north, south, east, west. If you can. Then when a horde mission comes up, don't run off to kill the horde. Simply let the horde walk into the outpost zones and be killed by traps. Each outpost kill is 10 morale. I recommend spending the fuel on outpost radius to get a great return on investment.
  • If your character is getting tired and you don't want to stop playing them chug some coffee or an energy drink! Switching out characters is also useful.
  • To heal your character if they are hurt (like from almost dying) you need an infirmary, switch to another character, and your hurt character should heal after a while. If you're on a mission while a character is hurt, you will have to finish that mission first.
  • To have a survivor who helps you out and stays by your side, start a co-op mission, like "anger management" or "ally in trouble". This way you can have a companion by your side when you are exploring.
  • You'll want to get supplies to upgrade as soon as possible. Construction sites are a GREAT place (Buildings under construction) 
  • Warehouses are also great places to find materials for construction!
  • If you have to call in a scavenger team, be fully aware that the area WILL get attacked by zombies. So don't do it if you're not ready to fight. If you're low on health , it may just be smarter to go and make 2 trips.
  • Don't break open ammo and building material resources when scavenging. Always bring back the resources, as breaking them is not worth it.
  • Cars are useful. Try to start the game off by going out with NO car and coming back with one when you return to your safehouse. This way you will always have an emergency ride in case you need to go out in a hurry.
  • Another way cars are useful is if you park near a building, and then go searching through it. Search fast by holding LB, and if you alert a bunch of zombies, run back outside and into your car for a quick getaway! This saves you time too, as searching by just holding Y can take a while..
  • To repair cars, first build a workshop, then park them in the special parking areas outside of your home base.
  • Don't forget to specialize. As your characters gain levels in skills you can go into their skill screen and explore their skills. Scroll down to one and press A to see their progress and what special moves they've learned. Some skills let you customize that character more by selecting certain signature skills or extra moves!
  • Level up as many survivors as you can, you never know when you will need them, or when the rest of your survivors will be sick, hurt, missing or dead, and you need to do an urgent mission.
  • Influence is like currency. Come back with a full backpack and dump off what you don't need for more influence. It'll make your life so much easier.
  • Your influence will not just sit there as a static number, it fluctuates. So don't panic if you see it ticking down sometimes.
  • You can upgrade structures in your home as well as add on parts. Make sure to do this to improve efficiency of an area. It is not advised to do this at the church! There is another suitable homestead in the same starting town if you have your heart set on that area. It's MUCH more open. You will also get a mission later on to go out and home-scout. It gives you a chance to have a nice drive around of an area.
  • Always try to upgrade your bases to the best capability, max out all of the facilities and the abilities they have.
  • If your character goes down from say, a fatal fall. DO NOT quit the game do not give up. If the area is zombie free, you will recover with full Health in the safe house! If you quit the game, it will treat it as that character being dead.
  • There is a farm in the middle of the map that you can use as a pretty decent home. It's useful because it is equidistant from most areas. Not the closest, but far from the farthest area. 
  • Monitor your character's status frequently, they could get sick and kill a lot of your characters!
  • For Powerhouse characters, the wrestling skill is useful as it allows you to chain kill a TON of enemies with little stamina loss or effort. Simply hit (LB + B) to start a suplex, then tap Y as fast as possible to flapjack the enemy for an auto kill. works on regular zombies and screamers (Untested on other types)
  • Give specializations to characters based on their abilities. So for example, powerhouse characters should go heavy weapons or edged, for those characters that are good at guns, select one of the weapon specializations instead.
  • Speaking of backups, sometimes it's also good to have a backup melee weapon, you don't want to be stuck in the middle of nowhere without a melee weapon.
  • Selective Fire Tip:  For those weapons that have a selective fire mode (auto, semi-auto), you can change the mode by first aiming (holding down left trigger) and then hitting the A button. 
  • Use melee for normal zombies; leaving you huge amounts of bullets and bombs to slaughter the specials with. Special Infected Guide.
  • Blunt and heavy weapons are great for knocking zombies down so they can be finished off using (LB + Y)
  • To make it more easy to navigate with less use of the map,when driving before you build a parking lot, you can leave damaged vehicles in the streets, this let's you have visual markers, example: I left certain type of vehicles on certain streets so when I'm driving I'll see that car and be like "ok to get where I need to go I'll turn left after the pizza car" this can save a lot of time and can be more safe since when you use the map the game doesn't pause, which leaves the possibility of driving your car into something and damaging it or leaving a small window for a big group to surprise you.
  • Overwhelmed with quests? Don't worry, you don't have to do everything. Instead set up priorities (which materials do I need, what would benefit my base most, etc). Remember that story missions don't run out, so they can be done last.
State of Decay Hints and Tips
  • If you get overrun in a two story building with one set of stairs, head to the second floor and make a stand at the top stair with a heavy blunt weapon or shotgun. don't forget to counter if you have to.
  • When using a gun, try to make sure it's silenced. If it's not, you may attract a lot more zombies than the ones you were trying to kill. If you have to use a gun without a silencer, at least have a getaway plan. Check for a car nearby, and then shoot. Once the hordes of zombies come rushing towards you, just run to the car for a quick getaway!
  • Speaking of silencers, if you can't find any, build a workshop to make some!
  • If you go edged weapon spec, you get an ability that cuts zombies at the knees. They stay where they go down and die shortly after. aka guaranteed 1 hit kill. And it's LB + Y so you can run at zombies and do it. Really effective at cutting enemy force down quick.
  • Use molotovs to weaken the big zombies. Big Ones, or Juggernauts, or whatever they're called. A direct hit with a molotov or, preferably, two will allow you to finish him off with headshots reasonably easily.
  • For distraction missions, instead of wasting firecrackers etc, you can stand outside and taunt. Hold the R trigger and press x, do this 3 times and the mission is over.
  • Using the same taunt mechanic you can drive up to a house, toot your horn, or get out and taunt, then mow down the zombies that come outside.
  • Feral zombies can easily be killed by simply pressing B when you see them leap. They miss you and are exposed to an easy LB+Y.
  • Feral zombies can easily be killed by running them over in a car.
  • Feral zombies seem to be unphased by edged weapons unless you get a lucky decapitation, using blunt weapons seems to knock them down alot.
  • Press B to avoid a Juggernaut charge, then melee its back. A front assault is asking for death / damage.
  • Avoid ramming a Juggernaut with cars, it doesn't work so well.
  • Shooting an exploding zombie in the head doesn't finish it off. Shooting an exploding zombie in the stomach does.
  • Either sneak attack or headshot screamers to stay outside of their scream range. Their scream stuns you and drains your stamina. Combined with a nearly hoard, you can be overwhelmed.
  • When you are entering a building, spending the time to barricade the windows, can pay off when outside zombies simply attack the windows instead of you. Allowing you easy sneak attacks if you get behind them.
  • If zombies follow you toward a building, close the doors and wait for the zombie to bang on it. Then double press X on the door to send the door slamming open and the zombie either flying to its death or a knockdown.
  • Hordes and infestations can be handled fairly well with firebombs. For more zombie horde tips check out the Zombie Horde Guide and the Infestations Guide as well.
  • Take a character out scavenging and build up alot of influence, then go to your neighbors places and loot all their ammo and supplies from their stockpiles. Return to your own stockpile or outpost and stash the gear, getting all the influence back. Repeat this to all your neighbors to obtain alot of ammo, firebombs and medicine. Also check out the Recruiting Neighbors Guide.
  • Always try to bring back items when you are returning home, even if you think they are worthless. It will help raise your morale. Each item you bring back raises morale slightly.
  • Take the edged weapon specialization, and the chop legs skill to one shot normal zombies. They don't need a finishing blow, leaving them with no legs, they will just die on the ground.
  • Strong shove, is a good way to save durability of melee weapons. Just shove then finish, instead of trying to hack a zombie to death.
  • If you want to spend a lot of time with just one character and level up all their skills use the link above tactic. Then drink a lot of coffee or energy drinks to replace your tired stamina drains.
  • Build a library to boost exp from scavenging.
  • Taking the ninja skill, is only good for the no noise while looting. The speed increase to sneaking is barely noticeable. I recommend avoiding this skill entirely.
  • The best base is probably the warehouse or fair ground. Also check out the Base Building Guide.
  • Instead of lugging back every single, food, ammo, materials resource. Simply leave an outpost on that building, for a passive income increase.
  • Building outposts, experiment and see what the radius are of them and when increased by things such as sniper from watchtower. I have effectively managed to stop any horde reaching my base by placing 6 (did it with less but gives me good coverage) outposts across the front and to one side of my base. Any horde explodes going by and gives you influence. The one building behind my base regularly gets infested so makes it a short trip to flush out. Outposts are your friend! For more tips on outposts check out the Outposts and Safezones guide and the other Outposts Guide.
  • Cars are your best friend when getting into and out of trouble. Infestations come running out and you can get to run over 75-90% of the lot depending on the building including screamers. 
  • I pack two high repaired melee weapons, one pistol and 30 rounds, 2 snacks and 2 heals. This doesn't leave you a lot to carry especially on weaker members but remember if you die it doesn't matter what else you managed to get on the way. 
  • Obvious but don't push your luck. You are not johnny concrete or chuck Norris, zombies have habits of taking advantage of tired or hurt people. You have lots of survivors to avoid this.
  • Spread the level, yes one maxed character is lovely but when he dies and you have a bunch of weaklings... Don't moan about it.
  • Clear out infestations, hordes, etc. (frustrating as they can be far away right now) It will make your life easier
  • Don't bother to call scavengers unless you stay with them or make sure the path is very very clear. Outposts help.
  • Some would say Take advantage anytime you have survivors with you. Go tap up a resource point. I'd advise caution when doing so.
  • Finding nuts & bolts: To finish some construction you may need to find "Nuts & Bolts". Try looking in warehouses for this.
  • Nothing ruins your day like big uns. Survivors have an irritating need to fight them, you want to use grenades or fire but your other char will get in the way then you lose influence from hurting them. Usually the other person dies. I've not found a formula... Some take a few hits others take four clips and a sound thrashing. My advice is avoid. Still having trouble with Big 'Un Zombies? Check out the Big 'Un Zombies guide to killing those things.
  • Sneaking is fun, it does work but driving gets you most places and home again safely. Remember the slower you go the quieter your engine so don't feel a need to thrash the nuts off that muscle car. A horn also works wonders for the distraction missions. Check out our stealth guide for more sneaking tips!
  • Feral zombies are nightmarish. Punish with shotguns. Only fight it if it is alone and you really must. They love cars. Run the little skip rat over.
  • What I feel is the best bit of advice I can give is PLAN your move. Want to check that house out, scout the safest route. Pack enough snacks and health (two of each usually) to withstand a battle. Check for the nearest car if you didn't bring your own, if you did park it sensibly. Sneak when in or near the house and don't bother with a quick search you'll just risk pissing off the neighbourhood. As you retreat don't wade into unknown areas or accidentally fall down a drain area. Zombies are mostly slowish or fooled into not seeing you if you just run at normal rate if you didn't drive. 
  • Cars aren't limitless and all those ones you waste or don't repair or flip because you didn't want to take the long route just mean when you are stuck on foot it's a hell of a walk to get to a motor before you become a happy meal for some no good stinking zombie.
  • Only ever jump through the window when exiting the house, not entering (Unless a quick surveillance of the building shows it's empty) .
  • Right trigger will display options in corner.... Then while holding right trigger press right bumper
  • If you have to fight a horde, don't be afraid to use a snack for a brief time of infinite stamina.
  • Save your weapons durability. If it's only one zed, you should be able to easily take it out with your bare hands.
  • You can switch characters at any time if they're at your house. You will leave your current character where they're at however.
  • Run up and knock down a Screacher before he can yell. Alerting one nearby zed is better than all the nearby zed.
  • Fixing injures requires time. There is a chance per day that the wound will heal. 
  • If you need to look over a wall or a fence, crouch down and find a bush close by to that wall / fence, the camera will move up and give you a better view.
  • Bug fix: If you can't see your melee weapon, sometimes unequipping and then equipping it again fixes this bug.


Before you go make sure you check out the main State of Decay section for lots of other useful guides and articles. Thanks for visiting!

Credit for tips on this page goes to Destinystrike and many others who have contributed hints, tips, cheats, codes, glitches, etc.

If you would like to add your own tips, please post a comment below or contact us. Thanks visiting!

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