Any advice on how to deal with big groups of city zombies

I have a save I have been playing on for probably around 15 hours maybe more, the longest I have survived so far and loving it. I have set up in an apartment tower on the 2nd floor and am using that as my home base. I have ventured out into the surrounding buildings to loot and kill zombies and then recovering from my wounds in my home. But if I venture north towards the heart of the city there are groups of dozens of zombies. I want to loot the buildings in the center city but know I can’t take on that many zombies.

Does anyone have any advice or maybe early game items/gear I should work towards to be able to take on larger numbers of zombies, or is it not feasible to do so at any stage of the game? My current plan is to go at night but I am dreading it.

Current weapons are: Knife spear, compound crossbow, and an mp5 with 1 mag 27 rounds.

  1. Are there any wasps nearby that city? You may lure wasps into the city and start a fight between species. From my experience, two-three wasps are able to kill a huge number of zombies due to their dodging skills. The only thing is I have not tested it in 0.F

  2. Is there a forest? Start a wildfire. The noice and fire will attract the zombies and they will burn. But be VERY careful. Dog zombies, feral hunters and other monsters may outrun you. You have to prepare a perfect plan

  3. Choose the building that is the least important to you and put it on fire. This will distract zombies and will lure them to a given part of the city. Works the best at night

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  1. Use a sturdy vehicle to run them over.
    Works better if you have the skill to install a vehicle-wide ram to the front of it. Armored vehicles are especially good for this but you can make do with a wooden ram in front of any car. A speed of 24 kms/h is enough to kill zombies after a few passes.
    You’ll also need relatively free roads to manouver.
    Retreat if you attract too many/the vehicle is badly damaged, or stop to finish off survivors and pulp the ones that don’t get splattered under your wheels.

  2. Prepare a kill zone in a isolated house.
    Start from a window and move furniture around inside the house to block passage from the window toward the interior of the house, leaving a single tile wide path free: you’ll use that to move away as the zombies stumble over the furniture, giving you a speed advantage; strike and retreat.
    Works well if you have a decent melee weapon, armor and some skills.
    Barricade other entrances to avoid being outflanked and leave some emergency exit path in case you are being overhelmed. A bathroom or other narrow room with a window is an excellent point to start setting up your kill zone.

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  1. If you want to try a night raid, use a sling to control zombies. If they are too close, throw a stone into a window, a wall or a car. The noice should attract zombies to that area. Remember that your spear has a reach advantage. Use [f] button to attack zombies from distance. Set your MP5 to burst mode. If you stumble on a zombie you have to be fast. Three rounds should do the job. From time to time STOP and LISTEN. During night you hear more than see
  1. Kiting from range.
    This applies to any weapon that can strike further than tiles adjacent to you. Strike from range, sprint backwards to create distance, repeat. Make sure the area you are backing in to is clear of hostiles. Drawing enemies over rough terrain will slow them down so that you get the first, second, and maybe third attack before they can get any closer. Try to hit them without being hit, especially when dealing with larger groups. You can take a few hits, but the accumulating damage and pain from the occasional strike of a dying enemy can bring you to a slow inescapable death. If possible, try to stay at the edge of their “aggro range” and draw a few away from the main group at a time. Although you could use guns for this, I’d recommend reach weapons or “guns” with ammunition that is easily craftable or not consumed on impact/firing. Be warned that guns are loud and have limited ammo, so using them outside of emergencies can bring nearby hordes to you while you have an empty magazine.

  2. Molotov cocktails.
    Apparently they’re good at burning large groups. I haven’t personally used any, but AoE burning sounds nice.

  • 4b. Vehicular slaughter with civilian automobiles.
    Unmodified vehicles are still lethal, but fall apart quicker. Higher speed collisions have a higher chance of doing much higher damage to your vehicle, so only go as fast as needed (as the Maan said, about 24km/h).

Melee combat costs stamina and risks being caught in multiple grabs when facing groups. Ranged combat costs time to aim and stamina to run backwards to stay at range. Burning buildings are terribly noisy and draw the undead to a flaming demise, but destroys the loot of the killed, the loot of the building, and risks spreading flames to nearby structures. Vehicles can accumulate damage from contact, and large enough hordes can slow a car to a halt.

All of the above are far less dangerous if you only take on a few at a time. Fighting smaller groups in melee lowers the danger of grabs and lets you recover stamina or flee between groups. In ranged combat it lets you retrieve reusable ammo and stamina between groups. You can escape the scene of a burning building easier if there are less zombies right there to see you running away. Smaller groups are easier to run over in multiple ways, and are much easier to escape from if the vehicle breaks down.

My weapons of choice are the cudgel and chunks of steel. Spears are almost certainly safer/better than the cudgel, but the “Precise Strike” stun move paired with “Rapid Strike” means I can stunlock & kill most 1v1s without taking a hit or needing to kite. Kiting hordes around the corner of a house or down a narrow alley lets me clear entire towns. If you want to try out Throwing(skill), I’d recommend using chunks of steel. They are plentiful, fast to use, non-destructible, and seemingly infinitely stackable.

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  1. If you fight during day and something go very wrong, try to escape to a forest if it is nearby. Go into crouch mode and cut the visual contact with zombies behind trees. If you fight during night and something go very wrong, remember that you have all the time on Earth. Try to hide in a building and stay there till it is safe to leave. There were situations when I have spent almost 24h in a building. It was boring as hell but I have not lost my character. Patience is the key. Just remember that the longer you stay in a given place, the more of your smell will be accumulated there. Zombies may not see you but they may smell you
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You could try triggering a security alarm and letting the secubots thin out the zombies.

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rooftops+spear is usually my go to when i’m having trouble, especially if I’m an early character
another option if you don’t mind collateral damage is set a building on fire. the resulting noise of the falling wreckage will attract a large number like moths to a… well, a flame.
if all else fails wait till nightime or run for the forest to break eyesight

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Other than the (imo) absolutely batshit ridiculous parks that seem to hold like 30-40 zombies sometimes, the best way to combat large groups is to not combat large groups
Instead, getting on the edge of their aggro range and attracting just a few at a time
I would say with what you have now, try to never fight more than three
Use your range advantage, remember not to pulp the zombies until you’re safe and fully rested (the amount of times I’ve pulped a crowd of dead Z’s just to be attacked by others when my stamina is low)
ALWAYS have an escape plan, like a route or preferably a vehicle to which you can skedaddle
Pay attention to your stamina and make sure you’re not fighting with three rucksacks and two duffel bags and all that; keep your torso encumbrance >20 ideally
Early game, I think the best way to clear cities, like others have mentioned, is interspecies stuff
Setting off alarms to attract the copbots or whatever
Leading zombies towards Mi-go or the dreaded wasps
Fully loot a house somewhere and cause a fire in it
Cars you don’t intend to use are great throwaway rams (but also potentially dangerous so make sure they have seatbelts, you know how to drive decently, and make sure you don’t crash the things in the middle of a huge crowd)
It seems like zombies don’t know how to avoid fire, so you could maybe set up a row of burning logs or something and just lead them in


Thank you for the replies, some very useful information I was not aware of itt. I am going for the surplus store tonight hopefully all goes well.


One advice that wasn’t mentioned is to use patience to wait until you’re ready for it.

Going to a fight while already injured, especially if the injuries are significant, is a bad idea. The same goes for wearing tattered gear if there is a possibility to repair it back up to normal. Even if your “armor” just consists of jeans and a leather jacket, they do help a little against injury, and perform noticeably worse when damaged.
Consider to concentrate your efforts at less dangerous locations to improve your skills and gear, and return to whittle away at the zombie concentrations when better able to deal with them.
When you get injured and your protective gear torn, think twice and then yet another time before doing “just another one” and go “home” early to recover instead.

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There are many good avdices here, but I want to mention few more options:

  • speed up to break group of zombies to smaller ones esier, by using rollerskates or vehicle;
  • prepare traps near a group of zombies (dig pits, etc.), and then lead enemies through that tiles - to slow them down and/or injure;
  • for night raids or complex tactics, consider noise emitter - it has advantage over throwing stones to windows. It can be placed to desired spot and it produces noise constantly
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One advice that haven’t been said, use vehicles even is they don’t work.
Break one vehicle tile completely in some wreckage so you are standing on 100 move tile, and zombies all walk on 400. Works similarly with aisles as they also have move cost of 100.
I’ve killed many hulks with just pr-24 and some skills like this.

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Hop on a motorcycle and point it away from the crowd at 6km/h. Let go of controls and throw stuff at zeds. Bows+arrows work… slowly, slings+rocks work faster, staff sling+rocks work much faster.

The problem with using a moving vehicle is that your accuracy is badly reduced. I stop the MC instead, let go of the controls, fire off the number of shots I safely can, take control of the MC again and move it away rapidly for 2-3 turn, stop, turn it off, let go of the controls, fire off a couple of shots, …

I’ve also found that a good bow works a little better than a staff sling, although the staff sling has a longer range. None of them works on anything with better armor than a regular cop, which can be whittled down at a rate of about 5 HP per hit.

get a bike and a spear or other reach weapon and start jousting as you drive past them. Just be carefull for the grabbers and dogs.


Okay I had NO idea you could do this
I don’t even know how viable this is but I literally have to do it for the cool factor

I only ever miss things that are hard to hit, like rot-weilers that are >10 tiles away.