Best character build for beginners? And early routine?

I just began binge playing Cataclysm again, and am wondering since I’m a crappy rogue like player what other peoples general builds are, and what you do the first day. I’ve read the wiki but with new additions I feel that my question will be better answered on here.

For a starter character I personally would recommend this kind of start

DEX 10


Trigger Happy
Poor Hearing
Truth Teller

Parkour Expert
Night Vision
Light Step

Profession: Backpacker

Starting Skills, Dodging 2

Quick, good builld with a chance in melee early on, parkour expert allows you to go through windows and most obstacles without a movement penalty, where as quick is op and provides 10 percent bonus to movement in general. The str and dex allow this character to fight when needed early on, giving you options which is good if new to the game.

As you get used to the game I recommend modifying this by choosing slow healer and robust genetics too, robust genetics helps with the rng of mutations and slow healer is not an issue at all. Pain resistant is another solid choice for a further 2 points.

For starts, I’d examine through all the windows of the evac (don’t open them but examine the window pressing ‘e’ check your surroundings. If you are in no serious danger, tear down one of the curtains, disassemble the thread and smash one of the lockers. Grab a rock from outside (the closest one to evac is best don’t stray yet). You are ow able to craft a makeshift knife, a makeshift crowbar and improvised lockpicks (the knife needs a spike you can make that out of chunks of steel or scrap from the locker). When you hit 1 fab, make a wooden needle from a bench (smash it again) then tr and reinforce all your gears from rags made by tearing up the curtains into rags.

Reinforced clothes help from the cold, get suited up in an attire that you think suits your conditions. You can always get more rags from curtains. These are solid, if a boring way of getting some decent starter gear and a weapon *(makeshift crowbar)_ to prep you for the cataclysm. After that well…

Have fun :slight_smile:

The easiest builds I’ve found are a Krav Maga martial artist and a Ninjitsu weapon wielder. Eventually both will be one-shotting hulks. If not for turrets, neither would even need any kind of long-range back-up. If you can get the invisibility bionic, both become unstoppable by anything. A good starting tactic, I’ve found, is to go outside and grab a rock, then smash a locker apart and make a makeshift crowbar. It’s a decent weapon and it will allow you to break into houses.

The most important things to get in the early game are: carrying capacity, safe and secure housing, lots and lots of food and water, and a light source. Once you have those things, you can start collecting and reading books in the safety of your base, and at that point you hit easy mode. Remember that flu and cold are irritatingly overpowered and next to impossible to avoid, so one of your first goals after immediate survival needs is royal jelly from a hive or a lab. Hive is easier on balance and will help train your dodge and melee skills as well as give you plenty of food.

One I’ve recently been running:

Scenario: Sheltered

Str - 12
Dex - 12
Int - 13
Per - 10

Good - fleet footed, night vision, packmule, quick
Bad - glass jaw, heavy sleeper, lactose intolerance, lightweight, triggerhapppy, truth teller, ugly, weak stomach

Profession: Survivor

What to do at start: Go down into the LMOE and head to the back room. Pick up backpacks or anything that can help you hold more volume and put them on. Head to the first room to the left. Check if any books teach tailoring or fabrication, if they do go upstairs and train both to lvl 2.

If there aren’t any books for tailoring and fabrication, pick up a hammer and screwdriver, if there isn’t any just wield anything with bash and start smashing furniture. Grab as many nails as you can, go upstairs while still inside the LMOE and craft fishing hooks until lvl 1. Grab a piece of splintered wood or make skewers from two-by-fours and make a wooden needle. Head to the very back room inside the LMOE and smash/disassemble 3/4 of the bed. Grab as many rags/pillows/blankets as you can and head upstairs again. Disassemble all pillows/blankets. Disassemble 3-4 rags into threads and reload the wooden needle. Create bandanas until you reach lvl 1 tailoring. Disassemble bandanas if you need more rags later. Craft 2 pairs of light gloves and put them on. Reinforce your clothing until you reach lvl 2 tailoring. Craft 2 cotton hats and put them on.

Grab as many supplies as you can from your LMOE and go explore! Your new clothing should be enough to stop frostbite, you have multiple guns to handle most monsters, and you have more stats+supplies than if you started as an evacuee .

edit: some spawns are reaaally bad having almost nothing inside the LMOE. I usually restart if that’s the case. I don’t wait for a perfect start, just a decent one.

Sheltered + survivor (the one that starts with no skills) gives you an excessive amount of point for its difficulty. It’s “easy mode”.

Drop INT, bump DEX - INT is mostly used to read books and install bionics, DEX matters a lot in early combat.
STR isn’t very important early on because early on it only affects bashing damage and hp. PER will help detect traps, but that’s not a problem unless RNG hates you.

Good traits: Night Vision, Quick, Fleet-footed - those let you run from (almost) anything, especially during the night
Least-Bad traits: Lactose Intolerance, Ugly, Truth-teller, Heavy Sleeper, Weak Stomach, Trigger-happy - most survivors will never see their effects

Makeshift crowbar has poor accuracy, you need accuracy early on or you’ll miss all zombie dogs and maybe even children.
Drop your winter coat before fighting. It won’t protect you a lot, but it will make fighting hard.
Carry a pistol and ammo with it (if it spawns). Pistols are tiny, but still pack a punch. Use it for hard enemies (zombears). If you can’t get a pistol, grab a rifle and head for the city - rifles suck early on due to your low skills and low carrying capacity. Shotguns (with slugs or 00) are escape buttons and the only things they won’t easily kill for you are tank drones and chicken walkers.
Try to get into the city. Winter means bad forage results (only acorns and pine nuts edible).
Learn when does hunger and frostbite start impairing you, don’t panic when you’re cold and hungry until it actually starts mattering. You can burn a small section of the forest to heat up (unless it’s raining).

Although I don’t remember if this one is for vanilla game (i.e. no points added via debug settings).

ST: 8
DX: 8
IN: 11
PE: 10

Profession: Scoundrel

Positive traits: Fast Healer, Night Vision, Quick, Robust Genetics, Melee Training (Eskrima) or Self-Defence Classes (Krav Maga).

Negative traits: Addictive Personality, Glass Jaw, Heavy Sleeper, Insomniac, Lightweight, Poor Hearing or Truth Teller.

You’ll have a switchblade, replace it with combat knife or machete if you would find one.

Why people always recommend Eskrima?

I guess since early on knives/batons are more abundant, or they just like those weapons.

Elaborate please? I’ve done the krav maga build and that is indeed one of my favorite builds because you can just stun-lock everything and basically nothing can touch you once your skills max out. But i’ve never done a Ninjitsu weapon wielder before. What sort of weapon would you use? How does it change from normal weapon use?

STR:DEX:INT:PER = 10:10:12:10

Pos. traits: Quick/Fleet-footed, Night vision, Fast Learner, Fast Reader (You can spend this point on STR or even more INT)
Neg. traits: Addictive personality, Glass Jaw, Heavy Sleeper, Truth Teller, Trigger Happy, Ugly

Fast Learner gives you fast growth of melee skill, Quick or Fleet-Footed gives you speed to outrun zombies, Night Vision helps you a lot in darkness.

Ninjutsu with a katana is amazing. You only need to get your unarmed up to 3 to start getting your ninjutsu bonuses, and I think they max out at 10 or so. The thing is, attacks with ninjutsu are totally silent. With light step and darkness + night vision or low-light goggles you can dance silently through any lab or night-time city and and slash the throat of every living (or unliving) thing without ever being detected by more than a single opponent. The precise strike with a bladed weapon is 200% damage. In darkness you are an unstoppable beast with almost any bladed weapon, but it’s just unearthly if you can get a diamond katana.

Ghosting through a mansion under cover of darkness and cutting down every zed where it stands without alerting a single one is an awesome experience.

Needless to say, with invisibility or an optic cloak, you are unbeatable by anything since they can’t even detect you, much less attack you.

My personal build for shanking character, Dredd (He’s survived up to a year in the past)!):
STR = 11
DEX = 13
INT = 10
PER = 10

+ Traits = [color=limegreen]Melee Weapon Training[/color] ([color=blue]Pentajack Silat[/color]), [color=limegreen]Night Vision[/color],[color=limegreen] Robust Genetics[/color], [color=limegreen]Pain Resistant[/color], [color=limegreen]Deft[/color]
- Traits = [color=red]Addictive Personality[/color], [color=red]Truth Teller[/color], [color=red]Trigger Happy[/color], [color=red]Glass Jaw[/color],[color=red] Sleepy[/color], [color=red]Poor Hearing[/color], [color=red]Bad Back[/color], [color=red]Forgetful[/color] (I usually turn off skill rust so), [color=red]Ugly[/color].

I should also note that I turn up the max points to spend in traits up to 20 in the options.

Class =[color=green] Scoundrel [/color](For the skills. 2 Points for 5 points worth of skills is brilliant.)

Skills (Including bonuses from scoundrel): [color=green]Cutting Weapons (4)[/color], [color=white]Melee (2)[/color], [color=green]Tailoring (2)[/color], [color=white]Dodging (2)[/color], [color=white]Unarmed Combat (2)[/color],[color=white] Bartering (2)[/color].
Now, Pentajack Silat is an excellent melee weapon skill, because it has the power to throw away enemies with tiny god-damned knives.

You’re going to want a good knife for this build, and sometimes the switchblade just won’t do. Aim for a combat knife, and in emergencies build a makeshift knife.

As for survival tips, go for a funnel and collect rainwater. Food isn’t too hard to find on night raids, just watch out for nasty things! You can always throw rocks at the local wildlife for some tasty meat, too.

Good luck playing again! CDDA IS AN UNFORGIVING WORLD

My debug build I use to argue about how hulks, mi-gos etc. aren’t hard and anyone complaining just needs to git gud:

[size=10pt]git gud: the build[/size]

DEX 20

Traits: whatever you want that doesn’t impair melee

Scenario and profession: default

Skills: none

How to play: drop winter cloak, craft a pointy stick, debug in a hulk, mi-go etc. and look how little can it do against you.


For shits and giggles I tried this build. Simply put, it’s fucking magic.
I didn’t take the advice on dropping the jacket and ran into a moose. He trained my dodge skill up 2 before finally getting bored and wandering off. I took one or two minor hits on my leg. Went into town, full daylight, and murdered a couple of zeds, broke into houses and generally just did very stupid noob things for the hell of it. Ended up getting mobbed and killed and had the most fun at this game that I’ve had in a couple of days.
Will definitely use this build again for the lulz. Thanks

You want to maximize Strength and Dexterity, and you want a MINIMUM of 10 Perception, or you will step on a lot of landmines and traps and die alot. 11 is better unless you luck out and find some sunglasses early on, then 10 is fine.

So STR & DEX for looting and melee & ranged combat, PER for ranged combat and avoiding traps.

i allways take high inteligence (14) because why not

I leave Dex and Str and the others as is
Bad Traits:
I get near-sighted(Youll be fine you start with glasses on)
Truth teller
(Triggerhappy if i plan to use semi and single fire weapons)
Good Traits:
Robust Genetics (If I have any points left over)
The stats:
Usually cooking too 4 sometimes if I have some to spare
Survival too 2
Piercing,Bashing,Cutting Weapons(Which ever I plan to use)
Thats about it.
Cop(Dont use gun until you ACTUALLY NEED IT)
Military Sniper (Same as other with the gun, start with mess kit, just need some more batteries)
First day:
Get my weapon of choice and go to town and get food and (sometimes ripped clothing to get better tailoring by praticing on them)
Fill up some bottles of water with toilet water (Do not drink at night you can cook it to clean water)
Then get more stuff
At night get some matches for it and get some heavy sticks and start a fire somewhere and cook that water.
Welcome to the Forums! :slight_smile:

My common build.

Scenario: Evacuee

Profession: Survivor

Strength 10
Dexterity 12
Intelligence 8
Perception 8

Light Step
Night Vision
Parkour Expert
Trigger Happy
Truth Teller
Addictive Personality

Fabrication 2
Survival 2
Tailoring 2

3 points left over I vary it. Sometimes I put those to skills, sometimes profession, sometimes traits, etc.

For Sheltered Builds i can suggest you take high thirst, because you have a infinite source of water from LMOE.

water in every start is nearly infinite (even if its not, its still common enought to do not wory about it at all)