State of Decay Tips and Tricks

State of Decay Hints and Tips

Here are a lot of useful State of Decay hints, tips and tricks.
  • Large Backpacks - You can get some large 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.

    They don't always'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.
  • More companions - 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.

  • More loot during scavenger missions - When you do spot a scavenger on your map and head to it, before you talk to them and help them get the loot back, search the building they are in and grab whatever you need.

    This is because once you do "help them get the stuff home" they will clean the place out and only give you a small portion of what they find once you help them.

  • Fast Travel - You can fast travel by switching to another character, and then switching 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.)

  • Stamina Recovery When Tired - If your character is getting tired and you don't want to stop playing them you have a few different choices.

    The best one is to press down on the d-pad and ask for "Words of Encouragement" from Lilly. (If you have a pastor, you can also ask for "Words of Inspiration".)

    This will restore your stamina and your character won't be tired anymore! If words of encouragement or inspiration are not available, the next best thing is to chug an energy drink or some coffee to recover your stamina temporarily.

    And lastly, you can always switch to a non-tired character, and let the current character rest up.

  • Combat Tips - 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.

  • Stamina Tips - 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.

  • Ladder Tips - To climb ladders faster, hold LB. (Or whatever sprint is on your platform.) You can slide down ladders by holding LB.

    You can also just drop from the ladder to get down fast by pressing B. Just make sure you don't drop from a large height, or you could hurt your character.

  • Be Prepared - 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.

  • Protection Against Hordes - You should start establishing outposts as fast as you can when you can near the beginning of the game.

    You can set up traps to fight zombie hordes which 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.

  • Supply Outposts - 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 without having to go all the way back.

    Note that to find rooms you have not searched yet easier, look for the black dots on the minimap.

  • Can't take an Outpost - If you can't take an outpost for some reason, make sure you not only check the entire building for containers with loot, but also loot any resource (rucksack of ammo, food, fuel, etc) you find.

    If you are already carrying a resource, you can press R2 and then RB to drop the rucksack on the ground, then pick up the one in the container.

    All the resources must not be in containers in order to take a building as an outpost.

  • Particular Supplies - 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.

  • Morale Generation Tip - To generate some easy morale, pick a base, place outposts on all roads that lead to your base, try to cover north, south, east, west.

    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.

  • Healing Characters - 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.

  • Co-Op with Companions - An update made it so you can ask one of your companions to follow you and watch your back when exploring.

    Keep in mind that it costs a hefty amount of influence, so check your influence before you ask someone to follow you.

    Still, having a companion can be very useful when exploring the dangerous world in State of Decay.

  • Companions - You can use companions you gain to complete other tasks, like clearing out nearby infestations, finding materials to finish construction of buildings, or general scavenging and exploring.
  • Can't switch characters - If you can't switch characters at home for some reason, make sure you are not currently on a mission. You cannot switch characters if you have a current objective.
  • Upgrade Your Base - You'll want to get supplies to upgrade as soon as possible. Construction sites are a great place (Buildings under construction.)

    You can also ask Lilly to look for construction materials. It takes 10 minutes, but she will always direct you to the nearest building where you can find materials.

  • Construction Materials - Warehouses are also great places to find materials for construction.
  • Protect Scavengers - If you have to call in a scavenger team, be aware that the area will get attacked by zombies, so be prepared to protect them.

    If you're not ready to fight, it may just be smarter to go and make two trips yourself.

  • Bring Back Resources - Don't break open ammo and building material resources when scavenging.

    Always bring back the resources, as breaking them gets you less resources than bringing it back to your base.

  • 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.

    There will be times when a horde heading towards your base will needed to be dispatched quickly annd vehicles can help you get to those hordes quickly.

  • Vehicle Storage - An update added the ability to store items in the trunk of your vehicles.

    Just walk up to the trunk and press A (Xbox 360) to open the inventory and store items. This is really useful for bringing back multiple rucksacks of resources as your character can only hold one at a time.

    Note that vehicles like trucks have more storage than regular cars.

    Also if you drive your car up backwards up to the gate of your base, it will deliver everything stored in that vehicle to your base. (Instead of you having to haul it from the vehicle inside.)

  • Quick Getaway - 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 to scavenge can take a while.

  • Repairing Vehicles - To repair vehicles, first build a workshop, then park them in the special parking areas outside of your home base.
  • Character Specialization - Don't forget to specialize at the character Skills tab on the menu.

    As your characters gain levels in skills you can go into their skill screen and explore their skills.

    Scroll down to a skill and press A to see its progress and what special moves they've learned.

    Some skills let you customize that character more by selecting certain signature skills or extra moves! Also make sure to 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.

  • Leveling Up - 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.
  • State of Decay Tips
  • Influence is like currency. Come back with a full backpack and drop off what you don't need for more influence.

    It'll make your life easier. Also don't forget your influence will not just sit there as a static number, it fluctuates.

  • Upgrading Your Base - 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 advisable to do this at the original base (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.

  • Not Losing a Downed Character - If your character goes down from say, a fatal fall. Don't quit the game...

    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.

  • Good Early Base - 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 furthest area.

  • Dangers of Sickness and healing sickness - Monitor your character's status frequently, they could get sick and kill a lot of your characters!

    Unfortunately you can't heal sickness instantly, instead, you need to have a medial facility in your base.

    Though an infirmary is even better, and with each day that passes your characters have a chance to be cured of their sickness.

    If a character is really sick and isn't getting better, it's probably best to let them go.

  • Saving Stamina - 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)

  • Backup Weapons - 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. 
  • Conserve your Ammo - 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)
  • Easier Navigation - 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.

  • Making a Stand - 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.
  • Silenced Weapons - 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! Note that if you can't find silencers, you can build a workshop to make some!
  • Edged Weapons - 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.
  • Always carry some molotovs on you - In case you didn't already know, molotovs can be very powerful against a large groups of zombies. They are especially useful in clearing infestations. Try sneaking up to an infested house, take aim at the large group of zombies standing around, and take them all out with one molotov.
  • 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.
  • Mow Them Down - 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 be killed by pressing B when you see them leap. If you dodge them, they get exposed to an easy LB + Y. They can also be killed by running them over in a car. They seem to be unphased by edged weapons unless you get a lucky decapitation, using blunt weapons seems to knock them down a lot. But you have to be quick to finish them with LB + Y.
  • Juggernaut Tips - Press B to avoid a Juggernaut charge, then melee its back. A front assault is asking for death / damage. Also, avoid ramming a Juggernaut with cars, it doesn't work so well.
  • Exploding Zombies - Shooting an exploding zombie in the head doesn't finish it off. Shooting an exploding zombie in the stomach does.
  • Handling Screamers - 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.
  • Barricade the Windows - 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.
  • Surprise - 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.
  • Building up Influence - Take a character out scavenging and build up a lot 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.
  • Raising Morale - 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.
  • Edged Specialization - 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.
  • Building a library boosts experience from scavenging.
  • Stealth - 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.
  • Hiding from zombies after gun fire - Even though firing a gun attracts a lot of zombies, you can lose them by hiding in a bush. So if you fire you gun, hide in a bush by crouching (hold b on the Xbox 360) and wait, zombies won't know where you are, even if you fired a bunch of shots!
  • The best base is probably the warehouse or fair ground. Also check out the Base Building Guide.
  • Harvest Resources - 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.

  • 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.
  • 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!
  • Strategic Planning - 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 long walk to get to a vehicle before you become a happy meal for some no good stinking zombie.
  • Making Less Noise - 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
  • Save your weapons durability - If it's only one zed, you should be able to easily take it out with your bare hands.
  • Switching Characters - You can switch characters at any time if they're at your house. You will leave your current character where they're at however.
  • Deal with Screamers Fast - Run up and knock down a Screamer 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. 
  • Using the Camera to your Advantage - 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.
  • Low FPS and Stuttering - If you get low FPS and stuttering on the PC version of State of Decay, try limiting the frame rate of the game. You can use a program like DXTory to limit your frames per second to 35-50 depending on how powerful your PC is. I found that when you limit your FPS (35 in my case) the game runs much smoother and stutters a lot less, especially when driving around.

Before you go make sure you check out the main State of Decay section for lots of other useful guides and articles. Also check out the Breakdown tips page for some great tips for the open-world State of Decay DLC. Thanks for visiting!

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

Note: If you found this page useful, please consider sharing it with others!