Am noob, can't figure out how to not get killed on first day

So, I have been playing this game for a couple days, and have gotten pretty hooked on it. Problem being, I have little idea how to even survive for the first day. I seem to very quickly get swarmed by an entire horde or even get taken down by a single acid zombie. The best save I have so far, I scavenged a combat knife and other assorted combat gear from a couple military zombies I just barely killed outside of a bunker. Now, I am hiding in a house I found, and every time I try to go outside to get to another house just across the road or try to escape down the road, I get mauled to death immediately, no matter how many times I savescum. The one time I have gotten a gun, it was in a prison, and I didn’t find any magazines before I went to the second layer and got obliterated by a squadron of security bots. Does anyone have any advice on how to get through the beginning, at least? Thanks in advance.

Well, for a new player, I’d highly recommend you go with the basic start. That is, start in the evac shelter. The shelter is a relatively safe place for you to gather supplies and begin crafting and in my experience are generally close but also somewhat far away from surrounding towns/cities.

Secondly, if you’re really, really struggling, why not look at some guides? Go to Youtube and search for ‘Vormithrax’ or ‘Cataclysm tutorial playthrough’. You’ll learn a lot of things you didn’t know, that’s how I got into the game in the first place.

And third, just keep going. Honestly, when I picked up the game I spent the first day of every character hiding in a corner until it was dark and I felt like I could safely explore. Keep going, keep dying, keep paying attention. You’ll learn things, you’ll get better, and you’ll start to be a winner.

Everyone wants to be a winner.

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First rule of roguelikes is to know what will kill you and not do it. That security bot example is one that you should probably never do. Just one of them can give a late game character a bad day if they fail an armor check. First learn where all the danger is, and then only try them when you know you can survive and have a way out. Try for secluded areas like mansions where they don’t have much past mundane threats and limited spawn pools. Towns are early game traps because all the houses ensure a large number of threats. Places that look unique or large should often be avoided due to numbers or rare spawns. Although sometimes it is worth a risk on fresh meat since little is lost.

Starting with character creation you want to probably focus on the early game rather than late game. Nightvision and looting at night is pretty popular. Avoid it without the vision though. A martial art could also help you kill a few things, which is unavoidable even in the easier to raid areas. Couple them with the right combat skills investment for a smoother start. Many traits are unique and good for late game but none are really required. Others can be gained late game through mutations. Depend on the good early game ones the first few times.

You may want to better learn the crafting system and where to get raw material rather than look to scavenge all your equipment. Learn how to grind the first few levels of each skill and what you can do with them for a much easier start. After food and water are secured try to make all the rudimentary tools and work towards wooden vehicles. Much of the resources can be found by smashing or deconstructing everything. A simple bike that you can speed away on will greatly increase survival should you escape as soon as things become unfavorable.

Shockers need a non conductive weapon if you expect to kill them. Acid needs good leg protection, shoes and pants, or you can try to sit on a car seat to avoid the pool of acid. Layers of clothing to stack armor, and the means to repair them, will take the edge off everything else.

Sleep it over in the evac shelter basement… unless there are others down there…

In the beginning, you should avoid/be wary of these monsters( * =How difficult, 5 is very difficult imo):
• Bear( ** : Easy to take out, but be prepared. Don’t fight it barehanded with 0 unarmed, but even 2 unarmed is enough)
• Moose( ** : Easy once again, but once you fight this you can’t back out. It runs faster than you so come prepared to kill it in one go)
• Smokers & Bloated Zombies( ** : More annoying than dangerous, dont stand in their gas, unless you have a gas/filter mask/furefughter pba mask thats active.)
• Shady Zombies( *** : They can easily swarm you at night because they’re invisible in the dark, and have nightvision. Try not to cause much of a ruckus. These are easy to kill, though.)
• Zombie Bio-Operator( **** : Found in labs mostly. Lead them to a turret room to get rid of them, or take them on when you’re well geared. These can knock you down and hit hard)
• Armored Zombie( **** : Well, its pretty hard to damage it, just run or find a distraction for it like a turret room.)
• Zombie Brutes( *** : The first hit does guranteed pain & damage and knocks you back, which can break things you bump into, so kill it fast or from a distance)
• Shocker Zombies( **** : They can shoot electricity at you. If you get hit by them without proper gear I think you get stunned for a few rounds, building up pain and damage very fast. Tackle from a range or with a nonconductive weapon. Also, if you fight it/it shoots a bolt of electricity at you at night, you’ll be illuminated by it and every single zombie might be able to see you so take caution)
• Shocker Brutes( ***** : Basically these two combined. Avoid in earlygame, use guns/non conductive weapons to fight, try getting a electric resistant armor like the faraday shark suit.)
• Zombie Hulks( **** : If you don’t have a gun, run. Even then, run. These guys can break down walls so don’t try to hide in houses. You should be able to outrun it with " . Be sure to press " again once you’re sure you’ve escaped.)
• Spitter zombie( ** : Just don’t step into the acid. If you’re in the middle of it, hit " and get out of there.)
• Acidic zombie( ** : More annoying than difficult. Once it attacks you a pool of acid spawns at your feet. Once again hit " and get out.)
• Feral Hunter( ** : You probably can’t outrun these, so you’re gonna have to fight it.)
• Migo( *** : Fast, but cowardly. Once you deal enough damage it’ll run away. It also talks and you’ll get messages that makes it sound like people are talking.)
• Dogs & Wolves( ** or *** : Dangerous in packs. Also fast. I’ve seen 4 wolves kill an Allosaurus before.)
• Tank Drone( ***** : Don’t mess with these, and stay very far, like 50 tiles away. Later game you might be able to kill them with very good armor or a vehicle.)
• Turrets( **** : Don’t get in range. Use EMP grenades to disable them.)

Places to avoid earlygame:
• Malls( *** : Lots of regular zombies, try to find a 1 tole wide hallway(1×2 area) to fight them in so they don’t swarm you. This area contains lots of earlygame loot)
• Regional Schools( *** : Lots of zombie children. Also lots of books.)
• Military Outposts( **** : Turrets. Bunkers are safe, but outposts have turrets outside, I think. Anyway, you need multiple military id cards if you even want the loot)
• Possibly electronic stores, I think shockers can spawn in them

Good places to loot
• Mansions(the 3x3 ones have food and books, the 5x5 ones have more books. If you’re lucky, you can find plate armor and a weapon.
• Mil. Surplus(Has MRE’s, decent army gear, possibly power armor, ammo, books, water, first aid. If its in the middle of town, come at night.)
• Fire Stations(Has good turnout gear, its great earlygame armor.)

• Dojos(For those martial arts. Any is better than none. My favorites are:
Tiger (Great Offense, found in mansions.)
Krav Maga(Great all around)
Eskrima(Offensive with certain weapons)

High perception will extend your night vision range, too. If you’re already playing a character with high perception you can generally get away with not taking the night vision trait in my experience. (But the trait’s good to have either way)

i would reccomend to start with some sort of easier starting profession. Bionic prepper, black belt, other cyborgs.

I’d suggest getting quick and fleet footed which will allow you to out run most things and if you want you can always turn down the enemies their spawn rate health and speed can all be reduced and you can also increase the spawn chance for items so a pharmacy is filled with meds and the shelter has anything you might need. Early game combat skill is helpful and a stone spear is awesome for killing enemies so I’d suggest starting with a point or so in melee and piercing weapons as well as fabrication, survival, tailoring and if want/can cooking everything else can be gotten later on pretty easily.

Thanks for the help, everyone!

I found Vormithrax’s tutorials on YouTube. It seems my biggest problems were my neglecting the crafting mechanic and the fact that I always chose either the Play Now or Fixed Scenario option instead of creating my own character. In my new save, I was fairly successful in looting a town (mostly because the local zombie population was too preoccupied with fending off the invading giant ants to notice me) until a terrible shriek inside a doctor’s office attracted a whole caravan of zombies to my location. Fortunately, I lost all of them but a shocker zombie, who I fought to death. I think it’s moving along, though. I’ll probably try to loot the town some more (it has both a firefighter’s station and a military surplus, so that’s great), maybe set up a new base somewhere over there, then craft a couple more things necessary for my survival.

I’ll keep your advice in mind! Thanks again!

Also cool thing about evacuation shelters the computer is bright enough to craft at full speed so just move all the things you need over there so you can craft on those sleepless nights also if you set a fire and it goes out you will continue crafting in spite of it so just add one stick to your fire place light it and then pull the stick out then you can craft for almost free.

heh I remember looking through those guides most were worthless
saw one where it couldn’t be more obvious that he cheated
“here’s world options this one increases supplies available I’ll just raise it a little”
I raise it to the max
“wow the shelter basement has a tent a toolbox two wrenches a screwdriver set a camping tent a bedroll all kinds of clothes and an odd fifty food stuffs”
I find three cans of soup and a matchbook
“hey this electric car looks to be about perfect condition”
eight tiles of road before I see a car when I do it’s a worthless wreck
“look this first house has tales under the hood and five other vital crafting books and a welder with a good three hundred batteries”
I found a cast iron skillet so that’s nice
also evac shelters are meh the last three I got were all the only ones on the map and had in order two moose outside/no basement but a tunnel to a giant ant nest/a city one tile of road away
personally go for a random house I find it gives you a mixed bag of good and shit and won’t require setting up the world each time to get a better go

if you’re desperate, i’d recommend checking out how others play to get a better grasp of the meta, in particular check for people playing the experimental builds; aka the up to date stuff, not the years old ones.
personally i was quite frustrated with the encumbrance changes until i saw Aavak utilizing running to it’s fullest potential in his latest series ( 6 months old now, still new to me )

Funnily enough, he was the guy who got me stuck in this rabbit hole. Seven months later and brushed up on him, Rycon, Vorm and Orange01, here I am, decked out in biosilicified chitin while getting ready to raid an ice lab for the mutagen I need to turn my combat maid into a catgirl.