DayZ is a free mod for the Arma II game that’s amazingly fun. I’ve watched the YouTube videos and tried to resist but it was futile. Then Steam ran their Summer Sale and dropped the price of their Arma II Combined Operations. I bought the game and played DayZ that very day. I recommend installing Six Launcher as it updates and configures all the mod requirements for you.
Now I’m hooked on DayZ. It’s a love-hate relationship chock full of rage-quit worthy moments of frustration and adrenaline fueled, near-death experiences. I’ve played it for several weeks now and don’t consider myself an expert but here are a few things I’ve learned along the way.
#1 – You Will Die
Food, water, falling, glitches, other players and of course zombies will all cause your demise. DayZ has a bit of a learning curve. Early on, you will die a lot. After a few hours of game play though, you’ll begin to learn how to maneuver around zombies and when to run and when to crawl.
#2 – Ditching Zombies
If zombies are chasing you head for a building, they can only walk when inside which will give you a nice head start when you exit. If no buildings are nearby, weave in and out bushes, fences or any other objects. They’ll eventually fall far enough behind to loose interest in you. Although its frowned upon, you can always run by other survivors and hope the zombies take a liking to them.
#3 – Be Quiet, Stay Down
Crawling will allow you to avoid most zombies unless they’re right on top of you. Standing up or firing a weapon can attract a zombie or a few, from a considerable distance. You’ll understand what I’m talking about the first time you fire off a handgun in the middle of town to defend yourself. My new favorite weapon is the crossbow. It’s silent and you have a very good chance of recovering your bolts from zombies if you can find them. On the down side, each bolt takes up an inventory slot and the reload time is abysmal. So it’s not a weapon you bring to a firefight. I was able to quietly make my way through several towns taking out any zombies in my way. Zombies tend to have food and soda on them which eliminated my need to forage. I was doing great until I ran down a road which brings me to my next tip.
#4 – Stay Off Roads, Rooftops, and Tall Buildings
You stick out like a sore thumb. Check out some videos on snipers and see the ridiculous range these things have. People can spot you from across town. Open areas and roof tops are the first place they look. If there are 10 dead people on a rooftop try to resist the temptation to go on a loot frenzy. You’ll probably end up the eleventh.
Roads are equally dangerous, I was way up north on the map when I made the mistake of running down a road just as someone else was. I didn’t see or hear a sign of anyone for over a hour so I got reckless. We were both surprised to see each other and just stared for a second or two. Then he shot me and so…
#5 – Beware of Other Players
My leading cause of death right now is other players, followed by zombies. I have yet to starve or dehydrate thanks to them. My advice is to stay the hell away from everyone unless you meet a fellow unarmed person at the coast and become friendly. I’ve met only a hand full of people that were friendly. Holding “Caps Lock” allows you talk in-game via mic. This comes in handy and is a quick way to gauge someone. Bandits tend to not respond. If you hear footsteps while you’re in a building, you can let out a warning. If no one responds, I’d shoot on sight. You’re giving away your position but you never know, they might respond and actually be cool. On the downside, my first encounter with other players resulted in getting shot to death in a church. I was unarmed and crawled two blocks with a broken leg looking for a damn axe so I could break into the hospital. Unfortunately this has lead me to a shoot-first-ask-questions-later attitude.
#6 – What To Carry
Keep an eye out for new backpacks, your default only has 8 slots which fill up quick. The Alice pack has 20 and tends to be easy to find. Beyond the necessities, there are a bunch of tools you can get. I rank the map and compass pretty high since they help you figure out where the hell you’re at. Binoculars or Rangefinders are extremely handy when scouting out areas, especially if you don’t have a scoped weapon. The hunting knife and matches allow you to get and prepare meat from the local wild life. Cooked meat replenishes the most health out of all the foods. Then there’s stuff that allows you to make sandbags, barbwire and tank traps which I don’t consider important unless you want to start bunkering down somewhere.
You can run around with 9 cans of beans on you but I’d wager you won’t get the chance to eat all of them. Personally, I don’t carry more than 2 cans of food and 3 drinks. Water bottles are great since they can be refilled.
Weapons are everything. Early on, grab whatever you can get a hold of. A hand gun and an axe are good initial defense but I’d “toolbelt” the axe as soon as you find a decent primary gun. Once you have your two guns you can start ditching any non-compatible ammo to make room for other stuff.
You can get some decent mid-range weapons from farm houses. I’ve found some nice stuff in deer stands too. Power stations, Fire stations and Supermarkets tend to have weapons and supplies. Office buildings have a ton of loot. Running through one of these can supply you with just about everything you need but everyone else is thinking the same thing, including the sniper in the tree line waiting for you to leave. Keep in mind that the higher yield loot buildings tend to be hot spots. You should always scout these out and get in and out as fast as you can. If you’re on a server with over 30 people, expect contact.
Military buildings have the fun stuff. There’s an airstrip next to the city of Balota which is easy to get to early on. The airfield tower and hangers almost always has a higher end rifle such as an AK or semi-auto shotgun. The airstrip in the upper north west of the map has some of the best loot I’ve seen. Its one hell of a hike but there are two barracks jam-packed with high end weapons.
Bandages are the most important medical item in my opinion. You should have at least 2 or 3. You don’t want to end up bleeding to death out in the middle of nowhere. Trust me, I’ve done it. Several times. Morphine Injectors come second. I like to have two of these at any given time. They fix broken bones, without one you’ll be faced with dragging yourself to the local hospital. Blood packs will return you to 100% health however you need a friend to administer one to you. Painkillers will remove the shakes you get from being injured. I usually carry one each of these. I have yet to need antibiotics but if you get sick, you’ll continually cough and lose blood(down to 6,000).
Well that’s about it. Before I go, here are links to online Maps of Chernarus. These are great when you don’t have an in game map and still come in handy afterwards since they show various loot locations: