State of Decay – Tips and Tricks for Getting Started

Before you play the State Of Decay game, you will definitely want to know these simple but useful tips and tricks. If you have any tips feel free to share with us!

Things to Know Before Playing

  • The game has an in-game day & night cycle (which takes 2 hours), but timers for facilities use real time. If a building project needs 1 hour to complete, you can quit the game, restart after an hour and it will have been finished.
  • The daily upkeep costs for your base resources also make use of real time. The game simulates how much was consumed when you load a save. Not having enough resources will have a negative effect, but it’s not a game ender.
  • Using unsilenced firearms and explosives will constantly spawn more zeds. Silencers are essential for using firearms, but they only last a certain amount of shots before you need to replace them.
  • For melee, blunt weapons are the best because they will knock down zeds and set them up for executes. Edged weapons simply don’t deal with zeds efficiently until a survivor is very skilled at using them. Heavy weapons are slow and require timing to not get constantly clawed at by zeds.
  • The game is bad at telling you all the moves your character can do in combat. Look up a move list online.
  • You can hold an extra button while searching containers to speed it up, but it comes with the risk of triggering a loud noise and attracting zeds. It’s not worth saving a couple seconds for that risk.
  • By default you’ll want to be carrying a melee weapon, a silenced firearm, a stack of ammo for it, stamina snacks and molotovs to deals with hordes/ferals. Even with large Backpacks that will take up several inventory slots, but it’s important to be prepared.

A frustrating part early on is that you’re constantly getting new missions and reminders of the ones you haven’t finished yet. Focus on missions that say Ally In Trouble and Stranger In Trouble, since those can potentially lead to a survivor dying if you hold them off. Missions involving the army, the Wilkersons (in the East) and the courthouse (in the South) are all story related and can wait forever.

Eventually you’ll get a mission from Jacob to look for a potential new home site. You will be taken to the Savini Residence in the town of Marshall, but there’s an even bigger home site in the same part of town, a bit to the North-West. This Snyder Trucking Warehouse is the best home site in the game, but you need 50 construction materials and 12 survivors before you can relocate there.

The main feature of outposts is that they have a safe zone area and hordes who wander into it will be destroyed by traps. You can upgrade the traps on your facilities screen which will increase the safe zone radius on all outposts for 2 hours. It’s best to have several outposts near your base so hordes can’t reach it.

To create an outpost you need to search every container, clear out the zeds and then use “establish outpost” through the Radio Assistance menu. If there are still resources left inside containers it will reduce the daily upkeep for that resource, but only for the first kind of resource shown.

A basic workshop at your home site will automatically repair damaged weapons in the supply locker each day. A workshop (the second tier) will repair some parts of parked vehicles. A third tier workshop will repair parked vehicles completely.


You have a new menu tab that shows the available challenges which can unlock heroes (survivors with certain bonuses). Almost all of these challenges need to be done during a single level of Breakdown, your progress doesn’t carry over to the next level.

Stacks for consumable items go to 255 and you have a limit of 255 slots in your supply locker. It’s hard to reach that limit during a campaign, but you’ll definitely get to that point after several levels of Breakdown. It’s best to get selective with your looting: do you really need another blunt weapon when you have a dozens at home?

If you do reach the item limit consider establishing a temporary outpost near a conclave of neighbors. That way you can go Back and forth to sell items at their supply locker. You’ll lose some influence points in the process, but it is better than destroying items and getting nothing.


The bulk of the campaign involves dealing with a flow of base sieges, wandering hordes and civilian rescues. However, if you don’t progress the second mission (finding Dr. Horn) you’ll have plenty of time to upgrade your base, establish outposts and loot places. You’ll even have two companions helping you at all times! Just keep in mind that (1) the game won’t save at all until you make progress in that mission, and (2) your character will eventually suffer from fatigue and the stamina bar will start shrinking. If the stamina bar is at the halfway point you should wrap things up and finally resume that mission.

Influence points are your main currency during Lifeline and can be used to call in resources at your base. Early on you still want to raid warehouses and storages for construction materials to upgrade your base tho. It costs influence to establish outposts, so until you’ve filled all your outpost slots you’ll want to keep some influence in your pocket.

After a siege has taken place, hordes will start appearing on the highway and start walking towards certain locations. If they reach their destination it will create an infestation, which makes rescuing civilians trickier. The best way to deal with hordes is to put your outposts close to highway ramps, so their traps will blow up them up before they arrive.

The easiest way to handle a base siege is to use grenade launchers. You start with one in your supply locker and you’ll find more of them in certain supply trucks belonging to the local gun shop. Those trucks are in fixed locations on the map (they aren’t random spawns). Your NPC companions don’t use ammo, so they’ll have infinite grenades. After a couple of sieges you might want to use a launcher yourself, so upgrade to a munitions workshop to create more grenades.

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