First Steps

It is recommended to play the prefab map Navezgane for beginners. If you die too often, turn down the zombie spawn setting or other difficulty settings or turn the zombies off completely to learn the game without too much trouble.


  • The main goal of the first day should be to prepare for the night, where zombies can run and therefore it is much harder to do anything.
  • When your character is first spawned he is placed in a random area of the map. If the server has only just started, you are given a small window of time of no zombies spawning.
  • Look around for a car close by, a corpse, nearby bags, or piles of trash so that you can search them. If you’re lucky you might get some valuable resources (guns, food, ammo and water).
  • Crouching while exploring is a good way to avoid unwanted detection from zombies. Until some basic equipment is crafted, zombies should be avoided!
  • Try to avoid Zombie Dogs at the beginning. They are as fast as you and will likely kill or infect your character if you have no experience on how to deal with them. Also avoid bears!
  • Depending on the biome you start in, you may want to change to an easier one. A forest is a good starter biome.
  • While moving, break trees, branches, and bushes for Wood Logs, Sticks, Plant Fibers. Wood Planks from logs will all you to start building your makeshift home before night comes, or to fortify a pre-built structure. Watch for the falling tree it’d be embarrassing to die from resource gathering.
  • Pick up Small Stones and Cotton Plants to craft simple tools and armor. Find Bird Nests to collect eggs for food, and feathers to craft arrows.
  • You will want to craft a simple Stone Axe. This is a good early game tool to break down things. To dig, a Stone Shovel is a good start but is not necessarily required the first day. As a first melee weapon craft a Wooden Club or if the scrap metal is available the Iron Reinforced Club. The Wooden Bow is craftable out of easily obtainable materials early on. Make sure to craft arrows as well and only use them when needed.
  • Craft a Sleeping Bag so you can create your character’s re-spawn point in case they should die. The Cloth you need can be crafted out of two Cotton Plant, or obtained by destroying Awning blocks or curtains in buildings. It is a good idea to place your character’s sleeping bag outside a possible danger zone so he may re-spawn safely. This will allow you take stock of the situation and work out how to best proceed. It may be the case that you will need to quickly grab your belongings and run.
  • Out of cloth you should also craft some Simple Bandage to stop your Bleeding if you got wounded during a fight.
  • For basic protection Plant Fiber Pants are very cheap to craft.
  • To engage a zombie in melee combat can be dangerous because you can get Stunned, especially if you are fighting a group. Avoid groups entirely if you can unless you feel certain to be able to get away.


  • Find a safe place, a building, or a friendly player with a home. As zombies run very fast at night and are overall more aggressive, it is not a good idea to move about at this time.
  • Start building with the materials you have acquired. A Wood Frame can be upgraded into its stronger wood variants with some Wood Planks by right clicking with either a Stone Axe or a Repair Tool. You will need to have the planks in your inventory and they will be consumed with each right click. Both tools can also be used to repair blocks, but the repair tool will do it quicker. You will want to block off all access points except for an exit.
    • You might also want to block all exits for the night, instead of doors use frames and simply break them to get out when it is daytime.
  • It is possible to survive the night by using stealth, but this can be tricky to pull off in the open especially when zombie aggression is set to ´Feral´.
  • Use blocks to elevate yourself onto the roof of a building, make sure there are no other easy ways up. This should be a good makeshift way to elevate your chances of survival during the night.
  • Zombies do not normally walk into lakes, so if you are desperate (and not currently hunted) you can swim to the center of a large body of water and wait for day break.

Next steps

  • Now you can either choose a place to settle and start building a base, or you can become nomadic, roaming around scavenging and looting. Both options are fine. For more detailed information about both play-styles check the following guides:
Nomadic Play-style
Settler Play-style
  • When scavenging, your character will eventually run into zombies. The amount will depend on the spawn rate setting. Look for areas marked with buildings on the map areas like Diersville and Gravetown as these are chock full of loot, but they are also hot spots for zombies. Using the stealth option should keep your character safe enough while you are scavenging. Food and water tend to be found in cupboards and in the kitchen area. Certain weapons can be found in munition boxes and others inside gun safes, desk safes and wall safes. Other miscellaneous loot is usually found in other containers. Be sure to check any suitcase you should find as these are currently the only places a Household Flashlight can be found other than on the dead body of a bloated walker or in a hollow tree stump.

Combat Tips

Try not to engage zombies in combat unless you are absolutely sure you will not be surrounded and beat down. Zombies that are running tend to move in a zigzag manner in addition to circling around you, making them more difficult to hit. each weapon has different properties and reading the article for any particular weapon will explain how to best use it for combat. For a current list browse the article Weapons.

  • In the majority cases, aim for the head. This is much easier on idle zombies or when they are walking in daylight. A head shot will instantly kill all average Zombies, but one head shot from a Crossbow, Hunting Rifle, Sniper Rifle or a 44 Magnum will drop the hardy Bloated Walker. Melee weapons should always be aimed at the head.
  • When fighting melee and not using a one-hit-one-kill weapon, it is imperative for the player to move in and out while attacking. After one hit to the zombie’s head is delivered, to sprint (left shift) some steps backward is a good tactic. This ensures that you are safe from a zombie’s return blow. Once the rhythm is learned, it is not that difficult.


As you explore further you will discover firearms and ammunition along the way. These weapons are effective at killing zombies, but also give off noise during use, in addition to attracting other Zombies to the point where the gunshot originated. Each type of firearm requires a specific type of Ammunition and will only accept the correct type.

  • Shotguns are a powerful short range Weapon, however they will not do as much damage should any of their Buckshot fail to hit the target.
  • Sniper Rifles and Hunting Rifles are effective at medium to long range, delivering enough damage to destroy blocks from a distance with only a few hits.
  • A pistol is the weakest firearm, even weaker than some melee weapons, it will take several body shots or a couple head shots to take down an average zombie, although it is effective it could still save you in a tricky situation.
  • Although they are not firearms, Crossbow and Wooden Bow have been included in the following table. They can be used as effectively as other firearms and draw a comparison with the need for Ammunition. It is wise to craft a Wooden Bow as early as possible. Not only are they silent when fired, they use an Arrow as ammunition with the items required to craft them both plentiful and easy to obtain.
  • The table below show the compatible ammunition for each weapon. The table below doesn’t include the alternative ammunition for the wooden bow, crossbow or Shotguns. These ammunition types are later game weapons but are powerful alternative to rarer weapons and ammo.
Weapons and Ammunition Quick Guide
Weapon Ammunition
WoodenBow.png Wooden Bow Arrow.png Arrow
Crossbow.png Crossbow CrossbowBolt.png Crossbow Bolt
HuntingRifle.png Hunting Rifle 762mmBullet.png 762mm Bullet
44Magnum.png 44 Magnum 44MagnumBullet.png 44 Magnum Bullet
Pistol.png Pistol 9mmBullet.png 9mm Bullet
PumpShotgun.png Pump Shotgun ShotgunShell.png Shotgun Shell
SawedOffPumpShotgun.png Sawed off Pump Shotgun ShotgunShell.png Shotgun Shell
MP5.png SMG 10mmBullet.png 10mm Bullet
SniperRifle.png Sniper Rifle 762mmBullet.png 762mm Bullet

Melee Weapons

A melee weapon is used at short range for close quarter combat. There is a selection of weapons and tools that can used in this manner. However the individual effectiveness of a given tool or melee can vary greatly. For the purpose of this guide the effectiveness relates to how quickly the weapon or tool will kill an average Zombie.

  • An Auger and Chainsaw are amongst the most effective, provided you have the required Gas to operate one.
  • A Torch, Coal Torch and Household Flashlight are amongst the least effective, making them a bad choice of melee weapon.
  • Having a high entity damage value a Sledgehammer is one of the most effective melee weapons available. Furthermore it is able to deliver enough damage in one head shot to kill the majority of Zombies.
  • Combined with the use of the stealth system a Hunting Knife can be used extremely effectively when use to launch a sneak attack.
  • The table below shows a star in the effectiveness column, this is a simple scale from one to five. The least effective items will sit at one star and the most effective will sit at five stars. The table allows an at-a-glance check of how effective a particular tool or weapon is against a Zombie.
Melee Weapon Effectiveness Quick Guide
Weapon Effectiveness
Auger.png Auger *requires Gas Star5.png
BoneShiv.png Bone Shiv Star2.png
ClubBarbed.png Barbed Club Star3.png
Chainsaw.png Chainsaw *requires Gas Star5.png
CoalTorch.png Coal Torch Star1.png
Fireaxe.png Fireaxe Star3.png
Hoe.png Gardening Hoe Star1.png
Flashlight01.png Household Flashlight Star1.png
HuntingKnife.png Hunting Knife Star3.png
ClubIron.png Iron Reinforced Club Star3.png
Femur.png Large Bone Star2.png
Pickaxe.png Pickaxe Star3.png
Wrench.png Repair Tool Star2.png
Shovel.png Shovel Star1.png
Sledgehammer.png Sledgehammer Star5.png
ClubSpiked.png Spiked Club Star4.png
Stick.png Stick Star1.png
StoneAxe.png Stone Axe Star3.png
Torch.png Torch Star1.png
ClubWood.png Wooden Club Star2.png

Basic Building

Night time is a nightmare. If you notice the clock coming up to 24:00 hours, it’s time to find or build a safe place/shelter. Night time will last until 6:00 hours.

  • Gather wood! The more the better. If you don’t scavenge a Fireaxe early in the game, craft a Stone Axe. Its components are very easy to acquire from pretty much anywhere in Navezgane.
  • Make Wood Frames and upgrade them using the Stone Axe into their stronger variants. This gives you a decent fortification. Supplement them with more wood or scrap metal to make them tougher.(Note that after upgrading frames into their stronger variants you will be unable to pick them back up)
  • Gather rocks! These are collected as Small Stones and as soon as you have a small number, craft a Camp Fire. Keep a few small stones handy as they can be used to repair a Stone Axe.
  • If you find yourself close to a city or other buildings, search for one that is made of brick. Brick buildings are stronger and buy you more time.
  • Windows may look good, but they can be broken easily. Zombies can also see through a window to find a Survivor.
  • For a base, you’d want a place that is easy to build on. Flat areas are best, Spillway Lake and the Desert have lots of good flat areas for building. Another good option is to start with a pre-existing building. Common factors for choosing a location for a base are their proximity to water, loot-able towns, and/or wild game.
  • Try to start with a smaller base, larger bases require a staggering amount of time and resources to build. It is better to start small and then expand when needed. This will also give multiple layers of defense to fall back on when the hordes start knocking.
  • Leave some openings in your walls so that you can actually attack zombies. You can also build access to the rooftop to shoot zombies from above.
  • Blocks won’t stack on fresh air, you need solid ground or surface to build on. If your buildings aren’t well supported, they will most likely fall during a siege.
  • A way to keep zombies from reaching your shelter is to dig a moat or trench at least 3 blocks deep. This causes them to fall in, making them easy targets for a head shot. Traps can also be placed inside the trenches.
  • Surface bases are vulnerable to most attacks and require extensive defenses. However, it is relatively easy to expand outwards and allows players to have a good sight radius.
  • Underground bases are extremely easy to defend, but takes a long time to build. They also require much more time when expanding. However, they are pretty much worth the effort, as players can remain virtually undetected inside underground bases.
  • Its a good idea to create a tunnel into your base from 10+ blocks outside of it. Provides a great way to run from hordes when you’re surrounded. Most zombies will not try to enter via this if doors are used. A single block layer of earth will work well too.
  • Night time is a great time to sort your inventory and craft if there is no immediate danger.


  • If you notice any damaged blocks, replace them or place something next to them to block a potential opening. Furthermore, blocks can be repaired using a Repair Tool or Stone Axe.
  • Reinforce your walls. Double, even triple layer walls are excellent.
  • Craft some tools, a pickaxe, fireaxe and a shovel are great choices. Always try to have at least one of each of these in your inventory. This will allow you to deal with any kind of structures and blocks in an efficient manner.
  • Mine at night, you are safer underground during the night. Take advantage of the daylight, search and hunt during the daytime.
  • Keep a sharp eye on the time of day, in addition to the mini map and the world itself. Never let your guard down! Zombies are everywhere.
  • If you are entering wilderness areas (or any relatively more dangerous area), depending on what is set to drop on death (Toolbelt, Backpack or All), don’t put any important items in the container or bag that will be dropped. Put important items in the persistent container. However, if you are killed only items in the persistent container inventory will re-spawn with your character. Anything in the dropped container will be lost, but can be picked up from where you died.


  • You can drink out of any open water body like lakes or rivers or out of toilets. But you will get Dysentery. So this is only an option if you are already dying from thirst. Same happens if you drink murky water out of Bottled Murky Water or Canned Murky Water.
  • Search for Empty Can in trash or buildings. Right clicking on a body of water with the can equipped in your hand will fill the can. This will enable you to boil Canned Murky Water into Canned Water with a Cooking Pot in the tool slot in the camp fire. This is the first source of clean water you can craft to keep you hydrated.
  • You will find some Bottled Water, which is also clean and safe to drink.


  • Food is essential. Keep an eye out for Stags, Pigs, and Rabbits. Then all you need to cook the meat is a Camp Fire, a Stick as cookware, and fuel to burn.
    • It is easiest to kill game early on with the easily crafted Wooden Bow. If you attack while undetected, you will gain a damage multiplier (just like with zombies) that should help take down animals faster.
    • Note that animal meat will have a smell range that may attract zombies. This range can be reduced by keeping the food in your bag as opposed to your belt, and by cooking it.
    • The charred meat will deplete your Hydration level, so try to obtain some Canned Water or Bottled Water.
  • You will need a Cooking Pot to make the most advanced recipes, such as Goldenrod Tea and Venison Stew. You will likely find a Cooking Pot as loot before you gain the ability to craft one.
  • You will likely find a number of Eggs. If you are not starving, you should save these to make Bacon and Eggs.
    • It is not recommended to eat them raw, as they give little increase to fullness and cause negative effects.
    • You can boil eggs to remove the negative effects, however the boost to fullness is still not much more than a raw egg, and require a Bottled Water.
  • Don’t eat Moldy Bread; save it for making Antibiotics later.
  • You should not eat any food that causes food poisoning, including raw meat and eggs, Moldy Bread, Old Sham Sandwich, and Rotting Flesh. Try to find a better food source before fullness becomes a problem.
  • Be sure to check the kitchen area in pre-gen houses as they often contain some food, however, getting to them early on might be risky.
    • Refrigerators could contain Bottled Water and Venison Stew.
    • Canned food and Coffee is commonly found in cupboards.
    • Sinks often hold useful items such as Short Iron Pipes and Glass Jars, sometimes even a Repair Tool.
    • The Oven is known to be a good place to find a Cooking Pot, essential in the cooking of boiled food.
  • Growing crops is a multi-day plan (see Farming). If you intend to stay around in a specific area it might be a good plan to create a vegetable farm for corn, coffee, goldenrod and cotton.

Other Helpful Tips

  • Don’t waste your ammo too soon, there are other ways of killing zombies.
  • Always aim for a head shot with the pistol, but if you have a Shotgun it doesn’t matter where you shoot them if you’re up close.
  • You can lure a group of Zombies to a car and shoot it, causing it to explode. This will kill any Zombies standing close by. However, in some cases the ammo used to explode a car may be more than the ammo used to kill the Zombies.
  • Buildings tend to have Zombies inside, others can be found in the vicinity. (The more urban the area, such as cities, the more Zombies). Use sneak to bypass them.
  • Don’t enter a building if you spot a number of Zombies about outside!
  • If you can’t lure zombies out easily, don’t waste time trying. Search the surrounding area instead.
  • Take all you can find then run away as fast as you possibly can.
  • Prioritize certain resources over others that are already common so as to save inventory space.
  • Gun Safes, Desk Safes and Munitions Boxs are prized containers. Furthermore they tend to contain the best loot in the game – Weapons.
  • Note that it is not important to have a large amount of the same weapon, what is important is the Ammunition it requires and Weapon Repair Kits to keep it in first-rate condition.
  • If you enter a light green area, it means you are exiting the Navezgane map and you will take damage if you continue in that direction; this is the Nuclear Fallout Zone. (Does not apply to Random World Generation.)
  • Don’t waste too much Inventory space storing water.
  • Should you fail to find a gun, craft a Stone Axe and Wooden Bow. They’re effective, if a bit crude.

Game Stages

Though not an official term, Game Stages depict the stage of the game a player is in, which is less of an ‘experience meter’ but more of a ‘progress meter’.

Early Game

Early game is when the player’s Character has just spawned for the first time with simple starting items on their Toolbelt: Bottled Water, Bandages, Can of Chili and Keystone (Multi-player) are provided. Players are typically found scavenging at this point, looking for any useful resources and weapons. At this level of game play, death is common and contact with Zombies is kept to a minimum.

  • Resource level
  • Very Low
  • Combat Level
  • Low
  • Base fortification
  • None to Minimal
  • Most common building material
  • Wood Frames, Log Cabin Wood, Stone etc.
  • Common tools
  • Stone Axe, Wooden Club, Stone Shovel, Wooden Bow
  • Common consumables
  • Bottled Water, Canned Food
  • Most needed resource
  • Food, Bottled Water, Medicine, Iron Ingots
  • Most valuable items
  • Ammo, Bandages, Bottled Water, Arrow

Players in the early game are recommended to minimize contact with Zombies and to start hoarding resources for base construction. Some players can opt to go for the nomadic approach, getting just enough resources to build small outposts and keeping the rest of the slots for valuable loot, all the while moving across the map.

Early Game tips

  • The Stone Axe is the all-purpose tool that can do practically everything: dig (dirt, sand and snow), mine (stone), chop (wood) or kill (enemies). Be sure to build this as soon as possible.
  • The Wooden Bow is a cheap but deadly Weapon. One shot to the head usually kills most Zombies. The bow is also a silent weapon and attracts less attention than firearms. Try to kill single zombies in melee combat before you fire to conserve ammo. In larger groups a strategy is to take out the most dangerous ones like the Bloated Walker from the distance.
  • If need be, use Stone or Dirt to seal off the entrance to a building (furniture can also be used in this aspect) in order to delay Zombies. They do not last long but they can hold Zombies off for long enough for you to run or do some scavenging.
  • Stamina is an important feature. Always try to keep it up. Stamina is limited by your Hydration meter.
  • Players should not look to build big bases immediately – start small and then go big.
  • Taking Antibiotics daily will quickly increase your Wellness Level, but be sure to have spare in case of illness.

Mid Game

Mid game is when players have a decent base set up with an adequate stockpile of food and water, along with Weapons (but not necessarily the ammo). Players should be able to fend off some attacking hordes, though they are still a big problem. Mining and Farming becomes more common, but so is hunting for resources and animals (or players in Survival MP).

  • Resource level
  • Medium – High.
  • Combat Level
  • Medium – High.
  • Base fortification
  • Medium.
  • Most common building material
  • Wood Frames, Rebar, Scrap Iron Wall.
  • Common tools
  • Fireaxe, Pickaxe, Shovel, Repair Tool and a Shotgun.
  • Common consumables
  • Canned Rations, Goldenrod Tea, Corn Bread, Grilled Meat, Boiled Meat.
  • Most needed resource
  • Recipe Books, Ammo, Ores and Meats.
  • Most valuable items
  • SMG, Sniper Rifle, 44 Magnum, Auger and Chainsaw.

Players in the mid-game stage are typically not constrained by anything and are free to either explore or to stay at their base. They can choose to farm resources to fortify their base, shift their base to another location, or to stake out popular scavenging areas like Gravetown, Diersville or Ghost Town.

Mid Game tips

  • Keep stacks of Metal Strips handy, they are useful for repairing your tools when needed. Repairing a tool is much more cost-efficient than making a new one.
  • Once you get the Reloading Weekly or the Ammunition Nation recipe books, you can start crafting Ammunition. To get the components of a bullet for forging, place them in the output slot on the ‘Breakdown item’ crafting tab. The resulting Bullet Casing and Bullet Tip can be used to craft molds for a Forge or to make different bullets. Shotgun Shells don’t require a Forge, and is thus easier to craft.
  • If you find yourself running out of stamina very quickly, try brewing some Coffee. It gives a periodic energy boost which helps keep your Stamina full.
  • Consider making Corn and Potato farms so as to kick-start your Stew making.
  • If your mine entrance can be accessed directly from your base, be sure to place a secure Door to act as a checkpoint, so that others can not enter your dwelling without permission should they dig into your mine.
  • Store shelves are a great way to get quick Scrap Iron. Each shelf is worth 4x Scrap Iron and breaks quickly depending on your Pickaxe level.

Late Game

Late game is when players have a fort-like base set up which is difficult to break into, and becomes nearly completely independent for resources. Food, water, medicine, ammo and building supplies will be stocked to the brim, with top quality tools like the Auger and the Chainsaw in the player’s hands. Sniper Rifles and SMGs will most likely be the player’s most common Weapon. At this point Zombies will no longer be a problem, neither will resources. This is the stage of the game when the player has the most control of his surroundings on the Map.

  • Resource level
  • Very High.
  • Combat Level
  • One Man Army.
  • Base fortification
  • Secure.
  • Most common building material
  • Iron Wall, brick, Concrete and Reinforced Concrete.
  • Common tools
  • Auger, Chainsaw, TNT, Sniper Rifle and an SMG.
  • Common consumables
  • Bacon and Eggs, Goldenrod Tea, Rabbit Stew and Venison Stew.
  • Most needed resource
  • Coal Ore, Gas, and Scrap Brass.
  • Most valuable items
  • 44 Magnum, M-136 Rocket Launcher, SMG and Sniper Rifles.

Players at the later game stage have much more freedom in the game. Resources should be available.

Author Geek Gamers
Categories 7 Days to Die
Views 369

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  • Ival
    December 14, 2016 at 1:59 pm
    A wonderful job. Super helpful inmforation.