Cataclysm DDA 0.D Beginner Tutorial (+Tips&Tricks)

Hello all. So I made a “little” tutorial for beginners and wanted to share because there seems to be lack of those. This tutorial is for 0.D Stable, but is more of a general tutorial on how to survive, tho I will not cover the very basics of a game(controls).Also I tried my best but I’m not English native speaker, so sorry if I have any errors. Lets start. ^^

I will start a world for the purpose of this tutorial because some people learn better with pictures.

World Mods

Generic Guns; Makeshift Items Mod; Medieval and Historic Content; More Survival Tools; Modular Turrets; Salvaged Robots; Alternative Map Key; More Locations; Fuji’s More Buildings; Oa’s Additional Building mod; Boats; Folding Parts pack; Vehicle Additions Pack; Tanks and Other Vehicles

World Options

-Everything is on default except for: Spawn rate scaling factor: 2, NPC spawning 0.90 , Monster resilience 150%(Spawn rate and Monster res is for me, I can’t play on normal difficulty ^-^)
-Blacklist: Disable Religious Texts
-Balance: Disable NPC Needs; Filthy Clothing; Manual Bionic Installation; Simplified Nutrition;
-Season length 30, Static and Random NPCs True. World name-Lion Mountain

Character Creation

-This depends on your playstyle but I will go as vanilla as possible.
-For trait points I went Night Vision and Packmule, at least for me that is a must have on EVERY character.Fast Metabolism and Schizophrenic to offset positives and it’s just so much fun :smiley:
(schizophrenic is NOT recommended for new players, it’s easy trait if you know how it works and know to differentiate late game enemies)

I am left with 3 points and they go in bashing and melee for dmg and dodge for…well dodge.



So here we are. First talk with NPC if you have one on spawn, ask him “Can I do anything for you” and accept whatever he gives you. Now talk to him again and ask him if he wants to travel with you (depending on quest, if it’s easy go do it and he will have 100% chance to join you, tho if you are just starting to learn game skip quest) and choose highest % option. He actually joined me :smiley: . It’s not likely but you have nothing to lose and you gain a lot.

Now I’m going to ask him can he teach me anything and again roll the dice (it’s 100% if you finish quest). I choose dodging because it’s hard and slow skill to level upon your own. (if you check in dialog options about NPC you can see his skills and if he has skills better that yours he can teach you only those, also teaching hasa cooldown so choose your priorities. Also here my NPC has martial art learned Brawling which is also teachable)

Then I check his inventory and since he is my NPC now I can just take stuff from him.

I’m not going to take anything(baseball bat on spawn :open_mouth: ) cause usually you won’t get him on your side. I’m just going to put him on hold so he can be my teacher. This is the most useful (if not only) thing you can get from NPC’s.(free skills!)

Next thing is to open a map.

I’m not close to the city which means only few zombies around if any. Still first thing I need is weapon. Locker here provides me with most useful weapon and tool crowbar. I go outside and find a rock since you can’t destroy pretty much anything with your hands (why would you even try…) and with rock in my hand I smash that locker like it killed my entire family.

Now you go into crafting screen with Shift+7 (btw you can go into binding and rebind all controls to your liking. For ex. I have run on R and read on " because everything that i use a lot I put near my hands while other things like reading can go somewhere out of the way) and with search key ("/") type “crowbar” and make makeshift crowbar.

Few things to notice here:
Tools required: are tools required for crafting, but those qualities are not on “tools” only, for ex. here locker dropped chunk of steel which has level 1 hammering required for this craft, so as you go, check items to see what can be used instead of tools when you don’t have them. Tools don’t get consumed
(tho charges do, for ex. welder use batteries, so electric tools can run out of charge but you can always recharge them, so you only need one of every tool for the whole game.)


Components required: well just as it says only components do get consumed. Crowbar is completed. It is very good (bashing) weapon but most importantly it allows you to pry open doors, crates, windows, manholes…

At this point its still early in the day and you might wana go into town. NO! Bad(dead) survivor! Zombies can see you from a mile and you can(will) get a horde chasing you like prehistoric hunters dears. Why I used that metaphor? Because zombies have no stamina. You do. You run out of stamina you are dead. Almost all actions use stamina, now even tho you can’t run longer you can run faster(not from all of them). Traits like quick and fleet footed help in that department(Note: Parkour trait halves movement cost up to min of 100, so a movement of 200 is like normal terrain but 250 is not, tho it’s significantly faster). What you want to do now is go into nearby woods/fields/riverside and scavenge bushes for food and anything useful, never know might find abandoned airdrop with food or guns or nukes(say what) until it goes dark.(also you can “e” examine window and tear down curtains and make a makeshift sling for storage, don’t fight with it equiped tho!) You can even sleep a bit if you can. Pick up a rock and throw it, train up throwing skill, bushes for survival and with some basic materials you can find something to make that requires fabrication as primary skill and make it multiple times until you level it up. (Pro tip: Try to find something that you can make that can be disassembled. That way you can take it apart and craft it again for free skill points. That is unless you mess up and waste resources :smiley: )


How to combat zombies

You have more visibility range then zombies(all of them I think) but some can’t see you unless you are fairly close(children) or brainless zombies(you need to be in their face for them to see you, kinda like my first crush…) If you press shift+v you can see if any zombie in your sight has spotted you. Enemies that see you are marked with exclamation mark.


You can see that right of “Hostile!” for decayed zombie is 35 N. N is for north but 35 is distance between you two. So you can get exact view distance for every enemy if you want. I don’t really know the numbers cause it kinda takes away the surprise am I gona pull that one zombie or whole horde. (for ex. I didn’t wana pull shrieker zombie).

When I got their attention I need to find some nearby high movement cost terrain. If you press “x” you can look around without moving.

Higher the movement cost the better. Lure zombie on that terrain BEFORE attacking.

For ex. here I managed to kill shrieker zombie while he managed to only grab me. As long as it’s one zombie it’s gg for them. Some of you may be like “Oh that is so lame zombies are not that stupid” well they are brain dead. Also this doesn’t work on animals. And there is one zombie kind that is intelligent
enough to not fall for this. And he’s name is JOHN CENA!.. no seriously there is, I’ll let you find out who it is :ghost: (Note: Some enemies will destroy obstacle rather then climbing over it so this is best used early game on early enemies).

If you press Shift+v and then press “+” key you can put what item you want on top of the list when searching.

I always put “corpse” so I can easily see which corpses aren’t pulped. You can put multiple thing there, you separate them with “,”.

Now I killed those zombies on a rock with minimal dmg(I miss microed spiter zombie so legs are on half health), but to zombie soldier i have done 4-7dmg each hit and still killed him and the rest(on 150% resilience). Now your limb health is’t that important. Unless it’s in red you don’t have to worry about it. One good night sleep will heal almost chewed off leg(yeah). What you need to manage are 2 things:

  1. Pain


You see how because I’m in pain my stats(str,dex…) get lowered. If you manage pain with painkillers, cbm’s or whatever you have you’r stats will be fine and you can get right back to killing more zombies.

  1. Speed


Your speed determines how quickly you move. Lower it is, more zombies can catch up to you. Less speed, less times you hit enemies. You may start with 4 hits on them for 1 on you, but if your speed gets down, you will end up doing 1 hit for 10 on you. As soon as you see that it’s equal exchange in hits, you run. Now you think if I manage pain speed won’t go down. Kinda true.

You can see in your character menu what affects your speed. See how pain gets it down by 10%. I took some painkillers and while it will take pain down you also lose speed because of painkillers(more pain, more painkillers, more speed loos) because they make you numb. Also cold affects it, but you can always check what is the problem.

First Night

Night has come, you have been hard at work gathering berries and vegetables(or like me sleeping) so it’s time to go into town. Oh boy…
You may have seen balance mod that gives zombies night vision and thought “Hey, I have night vision, they don’t”. Again kinda true. They don’t have NV but their sight is equal as your’s with NV. Neat right? Now this is where running and traits for speed come into play.
You want to go around cities, go into houses on the outskirts of town. There are fewer zombies there and because you want to go from the back. See when behind a house is field, zombies won’t be there, or at least just a couple. And because it’s dark you have safe approach.

With crowbar “e” the window and you are in. Avoid going near windows and where there is noise. Sight is the last thing you should rely on. If you find zombies inside you can put a table or chair or lead them to the bed(highest movement cost in house i think) or you can do the smart thing and run out the way you came(unless you were followed) and just go to the next house.

What should I loot? Everything. Of course food and water is primary but you did not just evade a horde, fight shocker brute, broke your main weapon and broke one arm to bring home cake (me in the early days :man_facepalming: ).

Are throwing weapons useful? Don’t know. I almost always go bashing for start or archery(requires some experience and starting points to be allocated

What is your “go” equipment? I see lots of people carrying food. That is a no. What do you need food for? You can go for a whole day without food with no consequences. Water too. And wherever you may roam(\m/) you can find some chips at least to get you going. Water too(sodas) but if you really want water you can bring one bottle or cantine if you have one. That means pot/frying pan is a no no. +Knife you can bring but in reality you only chop spiter and acid zombies so a pocket knife will do just fine. +Crowbar is a must have. +Flashlight(or some form of light, cell phone is a good choice as it gives little light for field crafting and tells time. Don’t wana be stuck in city when dawn breaks).+Aspirin and disinfectant(hydrogen peroxide is also disinfectant). +Weapon(…) and that is pretty much my starting go equipment. Bandages are overtime healing so I don’t use them because if I’m low enough to use bandage it’s time to go home.

Encumbrance should be below 20 (head doesn’t count, you can have as much it lets you no downside, and mouth encumbrance is’t important to me altho i think the more it is slower you regain stamina, but my char looks so cool with bandana so I don’t care ). Late game it’s better to be tank then athlete.

Repeat until you get to mid game (get some nice loot and armor).

  • If you close the curtain and then “e” on it you can peek outside. You can’t be seen.
  • You are peeking from inside a house, looking at that sweet bookstore. Shame it has like 10 shocker zombies. Go outside(it’s dark of course) and be on the edge of their sight (edge of their day sight) at the end of the street or in front of a house. Turn on flashlight and wait a few turns. When they all agro, turn it off, run like hell, make a roundabout. Free skills! (Streets should be relatively clean of zombies to do this safe)
  • Your starting town has grocery store? Go at night at get yourself a shopping cart. 150 L volume with 0 encumbrance! Be sure to let it go when fighting because it slows you down and it might get destroyed. Only one cart in store without casters? Not a problem. As long as it has frame and basket it’s usable. It will make a little more sound but you can still carry 1 5 0 L ! First night in game I don’t look for food or water i look for cart, every single game. Yes it’s that good.
  • Haven’t used knife spear in a while(I don’t know if it’s changed in 0.D Stable) but it’s very good early weapon. It has a 2 tile “range” attack. If you press f while wielding knife spear you can attack without risk for yourself(tho in mid game if you don’t find books on dodging you will suffer a lot for not training it on low level enemies).
  • Frozen water in toilet? Not a problem. Bring a brazier and place it next to it. Get a gallon or some storage, start a fire and just craft normally water, it’s like magic.
  • Shift+5 bring up action menu. There you can see what you can do depending on what items you have. If you have pot/frying pan you can find “heat up food” there. If you have hammer you can pull out nails. If you have a cell take a picture of that annoying hulk that is now rotting in your pit body pile :slight_smile: .
  • Filthy clothes? Make a wash board activate it and select what you want washed. You need to have clothes in your inventory. Up right you can see how much water and soap/detergent you need. If you are next to a body of water(pond/river) you only need soap/detergent.
  • With acetylene torch you can cut metal. Security doors? No more. Metal grate on that mysterious temple? No more… Try it :ghost:
  • Don’t make bases early, make outposts. Board up windows and have basic supplies there(water, non perishable food, spare tools…) basically anything you won’t miss if you leave right now and never come back. If you come back it could be of use,you never know.
  • Reality bubble is a thing. Basically after fixed number of tiles world stops moving(it’s not real anymore). So if you light a nuke and drive away very far and it doesn’t explode when you leave reality bubble when(if) you come back it will start where it left off and explode even years after you activated it. Be wary of this.
  • If you have item that is repeatedly used for ex. a mop, you are gona wield mop and you can shift+a to use it. But if you turn on CapsLock now all your buttons are uppercase and you just have to press “a” that is now “A” and direction. Clean whole house and yard in no time!

Be sure to correct me if I wrote something wrong or if you have more tips&tricks. After all in this apocalyptic world our only wikipedia is experience of still alive survivors.

Thank you for reading. I know there is a lot to process and this is just a fraction of the game. But believe me it’s worth it. Such a great game! Here is a puppy for you :dog2: :blush:


A cudgel is a very good first weapon for a new survivor, it requires no skills to make, requires only cutting 1 for tools, a plank/heavy stick/pool cue for materials and comes with high block and rapid strike for techniques.

Edit: it’s also fast to craft, damage your current one in a fight? make a new one and abandon the old one.

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Knife spears (imo) are now inferior to wooden or stone spears btw, knife spears have the “fragile” tag and the other two don’t. Stats wise, wooden spears do 2 points less damage and stone spears do 1 less damage but both are faster to attack with.

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