State of Decay 2 – Basic Tips

This guide includes free tips you might find handy.



The juggernaut edition comes with all current existent DLCs including the big ones: Heartland and Daybreak which each has its own little game space and achievements so they get their own section too!

As for the walkthrough or gameplay its fairly easy, you get story missions and side objectives, when you exit the game it might take a minute or two for the missions to re-appear on your map.

The exception to the above is enclave missions in the main campaign story that, if ignored long enough, will disappear forever but dont worry, another enclave will move in after a while but the previous enclave might stay permanently hostile to you.

However, some missions have multiple checkpoints and if you exit the game, you will have to start the whole mission over which is supper annoying if you have to drive to four different places all over the map, drive to 2, decide to take a break for lunch, come back and find out you have to start all over again.

Campaign Story Info

Achievements will be naturally unlocked as you progress the game, some are affected by difficulty so check the next section on how to change difficulties to find out what you keep and lose when doing so or.. you know, you can start a brand new game in Nightmare and have fun.

Story Progression

To finish a campaign you need to destroy all plague hearts in your territory, choose a Leader and when that’s done, finish the Leader’s Legacy mission.

Each character has a leader trait out of four (Warlord, Trader, Sheriff and Builder) they are randomly assigned and then you choose one of these characters as a leader, its leader trait will unlock the Legacy final missions.

As for plague hearts, in most playthroughs there will be already marked down in your map, if they aren’t, I suggest finding a Survey car and roam the main roads looking for them, a drone that you can unlock with the last command center upgrade will also help with this.

Final Mission and New Game +

Right before the final mission, the game will ask you if you are ready to finish the campaign since when you finish a campaign, the community (map save file) will be deleted, you will lose everything in your base and world except for all your survivors and all the gear they can carry (rucksacks included) but you can only choose up to 3 survivors for the next playthrough, the rest of the survivors will be there in a community pool.

So the general idea is to reach the final mission, load up the 3 survivors you want for the next playthrough with everything you want then start the game.

When you plan to go for [Over the Rainbow] and [Tried and Tested] you should plan your four playthroughs accordingly including which type of leader you have already done and which type of leader you want for Nightmare Legacy missions.


The car is your most valuable friend in State of Decay 2, I miss mowing down hordes as easy as in SoD 1 but its alright, if you like that playstyle you can sacrifice some base options to make your car more sturdy with the autoshop facility but in general, the car will break down easy if you just crash into every zed you see.

Although, I read that if you hit them in reverse, with the back of your car, the damage wont be as bad.

I strongly suggest you bring at least an extra gas cas and repair kit, you never know when you could get stranded out there.

I preferred light and fast vehicles the best, even if they only had four inventory spaces, getting quick where I wanted to go was more important to me than bringing back 2 or 3 extra rucksacks.


The best weapons can be found in weapon cases and each map has a predefined spot where you can find these. Check out this link.

The images in the link, the maps, will tell you where the best loot is in your map, most of these cases are hidden behind rocks or inside shipping containers, some you need to climb on something to get to it.

Nightmare mode and Changing Difficulty Mid Game


Nightmare mode might sound super difficult but its more annoying than hard.

The hordes are very unforgiving and are everywhere but with a couple of good survivors you shouldn’t have problems tackling this mode.

You will also have extra base and item crafting costs, morale penalties, more zed siege threat, increased effect of plague and damage on your survivors, more hearts, human enemies often headshot you, less loot, less vehicles.

In nightmare everything above is extra but also your survivors eat more, ferals travel in pack of 3 (which will probably get you killed if you dont have an energy drink to outrun them), the XP gains are penalized, you wont be able to take a dump without some zed hearing you and humans will headshot you within seconds.

Red Talons and New Game+

But all is not lost! You can bring your best 3 survivors from previous playthroughs and all their gear (rucksacks included) into the run you plan for Nightmare.

The best survivors are from the Red Talon company which you can purchase with prestige points which you can get from playing Daybreak mode.

Red Talon survivors have amazing abilities, in fact, their four core traits are so special than when you max them out, they have all the abilities of all four core traits specializations making them the best survivors in the game. As for their quirk trait, the ones with Infrastructure and Hacking are the best in my opinion. When you recruit a Red Talon Operative, their quirk trait will be random but you can dismiss the operative if you dont like this trait (you can see his trait if you choose to Learn about Survivor) then dismiss him/her to get your prestige points refunded.

A survivor with Lichenology, Fishing or Recycling are also great picks.

Human Enemies

Nightmare Humans enemies are lethal, the only easy way to kill them is with headshots or lots of explosives, they have tons of health otherwise and they can go down like six or seven times until they finally die. So yeah, try to headshot these bozos, bring a red talon or someone with gunslinger so you can aim for the head more easily.

Since humans are so deadly, I feel like the Builder legacy is the easiest Legacy to finish up in Nightmare mode since the final mission involves killing a small group inside your base where everyone can help you.

Next is the Trader’s, since you also have backup in the final fight and its potentially the only fight if you do the legacy mission. This is the legacy I suggest you use for Nightmare mode.

The Warlord mission will take you around town threatening or fighting with enclaves with only a follower as backup.

But the Sheriff final battle is the worst you have to fight 6 enemies at once instead of the usual 3 without backup, sure, if you kill the leader the rest will stop, but its really hard to find him among all the rest.

Changing Difficulty

Once you have your survivors ready, you can start a nightmare mode OR to make it easier, start the game in Dread mode instead then change the difficulty mid game.

When you change difficulty you keep:

  • Stash.
  • Survivors & their gear.
  • Influence.
  • Resources.
  • Parked Cars.

Map gets reset so you lose:

  • Your base (you get sent back to the default one, you do not get refunded).
  • Your enclaves.
  • Your plague hearts.
  • Your outpost.

Be careful when changing to a higher difficulty, survivors eat more, facilities cost more.

There are a ton of plague hearts so I recommend you bring a lot of explosives (I loved C4).

Since the map gets reset you can farm rare loot gun cases this way as well as military outposts.

Plague Hearts

Plague Hearts look very difficult to handle but with some smart moves, you can learn how to kill them quickly.

Just remember that after the plague heart loses a certain amount of health it will explode with a gas that will permanently injure you and give you a lot of plague IF you stay near it, it will also call for help (and spawn some zeds nearby) so run away when it starts to explode.

You can tell its about to go off when it lights up and gets bigger like in the picture above.

One strategy to kill a plague heart is to sneak into the plague heart house, kill the 4 plague zombies that spawn in there, put some remote detonated explosives, wail on it until its about to explode for the first time and run!

Detonate the explosives from a safe distance. 2 or 3 C4 explosives should do.

You can also snipe the heart with a good weapon, but its very tricky since the heart must be in the line of sight through a window or something. A BFG that you can buy from 1500 influence should do the trick in two shots but be ready to run because they are super loud.

Another way is to establish an outpost nearby if you can, the zeds cant spawn inside a safe zone, so you can just wail on it like its shown in the video.

Volodymyr Azimoff
About Volodymyr Azimoff 13514 Articles
I love games and I live games. Video games are my passion, my hobby and my job. My experience with games started back in 1994 with the Metal Mutant game on ZX Spectrum computer. And since then, I’ve been playing on anything from consoles, to mobile devices. My first official job in the game industry started back in 2005, and I'm still doing what I love to do.

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