Project Zomboid – How to Survive First Week

This is a guide which talks about how to make it alive past one week in the apocalypse.

Spawned Location

You spawned in your first base now what? Crouch (press C), seriously crouching keeps noise to minimum and you don’t want unnecessary attention.

The first thing to do is shut off the curtains at least the ones exist, if not it should be in your priority list to arrange some sheets to add on them windows. If you don’t have curtains turning off lights helps.

Now you wanna roam around in your spawn house and check cabinets, book shelves, cupboards for any tools, clothing, food you have and reorganise everything.

for ex: Keep food/water in fridge, clothing in cupboards, tools/weapons on the floor or a cabinet it’s easier with things in one place.

In terms of food, try to consume perishables first, don’t worry about food too much as you will find it in every house you visit during your loot runs. If it’s not dark yet, checkout a few houses nearby see if you can find a wrist watch or better some weapons maybe?

Scan The Neighbourhood

What should I look for in neighbourhood? your basic set of tools.

Hammer, screwdriver, nails, saw, water bottle, some food, a bag of any sort, a gas can and a weapon

Note: Club hammer can’t drive nails so any other hammer would do, if you can’t find water bottle use a saucepan/mug instead, haven’t found bags yet? Even the garbage bag is better and finally gas can is not a priority but if you can find that’s better.

Pro Tip: Avoid hoarding everything you see there will be more time for that later on only to worry about essentials for now haha

A Working Vehicle

While you are looking for tools in the neighbourhood don’t mind checking out parked vehicles, what to look for?

Basically keys, gas and vehicle condition.

There’s a few spots where keys spawn, right next to vehicle on floor or already plugged in ignition or maybe the house where the vehicle is parked or maybe it’s on the zed that’s nearby. Found a car that looks somewhat decent but doesn’t have gas? no problem check more vehicle for gas and siphon it when you find some. Trust me it’s much better to siphon gas from vehicle than to visit a gas station.

It’s possible that the vehicle you somehow find might not be in the best condition but we don’t really have many options. Try to get a vehicle with at least 50% engine condition if possible.

Note: Empty bottles can now be used to siphon fuel from cars as well so no need to be worried if you can’t find any gas cans.

Once you find a vehicle, now it’s time to refuel it and load it up if you plan to base somewhere else on map.

Note: if you haven’t used cars a lot in-game, these are basically glass cannons. Can be lethal if you are not careful enough. Basically avoid hitting trees/zeds/car wrecks if possible by driving not too fast. Stalling engine in the middle of horde is the last thing you want. Check out cruise control.

PZ map would be a big help to plan your routes, pause and check map once in a while to get familiar with your routes and buildings.

A tip before we jump to helicopter event, basically it can occur on any day from 6-9 but it’s not really a mystery. If a helicopter event is supposed to occur on a day, the information is conveyed via weather broadcast as “air activity” detected. Now where to get your weather forecasts from? basically check every radio in-game you find even in cars and look for available channels on it. It should be “Emergency Broadcast System“, once you find that take note of frequency. You can listen to same channel on any other radio if you know the frequency, just gotta tune it to that frequency and it’s not same every play through. It stays same for the current world tho, so it’s worth to memorise not only it gives you info regarding helicopter event but it gives weather reports daily on the hour each hour which can be useful to plan your loot runs(Don’t wanna get trapped looting during a foggy day?)

Now comes the every new player’s nightmare.

The Helicopter Event

What is it? It’s basically a chopper that flies over your head between day 6-9, and draws attention to your location which could be lethal if not dealt with.

How to deal with it? Well you have two ways either don’t get out of your base when you hear the chopper noises and pray to lord that it doesn’t bring too many deads nearby your base.


This is what i like to do, Load my vehicle with a day’s worth of food a few books and some water or if i plan to move to a diff base then basically load up everything i have collected so far, Now as soon as i hear the chopper noises, i drive my vehicle to more secluded spot on map there’s plenty of spots on map which do not have zombie population so you barely will see any zed lurking around you even with chopper noises.

My personal favorite is: crossway roads between muldraugh and rosewood, that’s where i train my mechanics and metalworking skills too since there’s so many wrecks along with cars.


Some legends just use chopper as a means to lure zeds away from their town/base but i don’t recommend you to that haha.

Now you just gotta wait till it passes away and well congrats you made it past one week.

Now sky is the limit with what you can do, wanna move to a new base? or go back to existing one? or maybe just live out on the road like a true nomad. Good luck with your journey.

After a week the usual goal is to plan for water and electricity shut-off which can happen from 0-30 days.

Written by alphaBEE

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