Day one survival discussion

I’ve noticed that there isn’t a recent thread specifically for discussing day one survival techniques. A lot of new folk have lots of trouble on day one, and even a lot of long-time players seem to, as well. So I figured it’s worth discussing!

I’m at a point where I almost never die on day one if I don’t want to. So I figured I’d share what I know.


Here’s one guide to attaining reliable self defense for an average, 9 on every stat, no traits, no skill survivor at the evac shelter. Technique naturally varies according to character build.

Step One: Basic storage. Survival skill level one. (about 2 minutes real time)
–Smash a window to get a sheet.
–Make a makeshift sling, then wear it for storage.
–Make another sling, then disassemble it. Repeat until your survival skill increases to 1 (should be about 6 times).

Step Two: Build a practice bow. Fabrication level one. (about 2 minutes)
–When you smashed the window, it left a heavy stick as well. Grab it and wield it. Also grab the long string.
–Smash a bench with the stick. Pick up the nails. Create wooden arrow shafts out of all the two-by-fours it leaves when you smash it. If it’s too dark, go to the computer console for light.
–Repeat until you increase your fabrication skill to 1.
–Smash another window, take the long string.
–Craft a self bow. You should have enough skill and light to craft it correctly on your first try. If not, just grab some more ingredients and try again.

Step Three: Use practice bow. Archery level one. (about 2 minutes)
–Wield your self bow. Shoot your wooden arrow shafts into a pile one square south of you, for practice. Pick them back up. Repeat until you increase archery skill to 1.

Step Four: Real arrows. Fabrication level two. (about 5 minutes)
–Go outside, grab a rock to use as a hammer.
–Smash the lockers at the NW corner of the evac shelter. Use the resulting scrap metal to turn your wooden arrow shafts into field point wooden arrows.
–If you run out of scrap metal, you can use nails from the benches instead.
–If you run out of wooden arrow shafts, make more.
–You’ll fail sometimes. Don’t worry. Repeat until you reach fabrication level two.

Step five: Real bow. (less than one minute)
–Smash a couple windows. Craft the more accurate short bow out of the same materials used in the self bow.

There. In less than 15 minutes, you have a real ranged weapon and some basic storage–and you still have all day to find food, water, clothing/armor, shelter, etc. Go into town slowly. Bring enemies over to you one at a time. If you shoot them when they are 3-5 spaces away (or guide them into bushes), you can avoid all damage!

Well, except from special zombies with ranged or leaping attacks. Try to avoid those.

I look forward to seeing what other folks’ first days look like!

Now here’s my technique. You may find it strange or whatever, but I assure you it does in fact work. I call it the THROWING HAMMER starting technique, and I use it for my strength/dex build characters. Day one survival is indeed quite simple on my half. You just need to prepare for town raids - and with this technique you can effectively dispatch of zombies if you have enough logic.

Step 1) Character Build:
My character build usually go with a statbuild of one of the two. If I’m using negative traits to boost my starting points, I use the lefthand stat build. If not, I use the righthand stat build:
STR: 12 STR: 9
DEX: 10 DEX: 8
INT: 11 INT: 9
PER: 10 PER: 10
I also commonly take the + traits of [color=limegreen]Robust Genetics[/color], [color=limegreen]Night Vision[/color] and [color=limegreen]Parkour Expert[/color].
If I’m using - traits, I use [color=red]Glass Jaw[/color], [color=red]Truth Teller[/color],[color=red] Trigger Happy[/color] and [color=red]Bad Back[/color].

Step 2) Gather Materials:
Okay, so our boy or girl or whatever is in the shelter. The first thing I’m going to do is tear down the windows and dissamble long string into small string. Pick up a heavy stick, and use said heavy stick to smash lockers + benches into materials. Benches are broken into two by fours, nails and splintered wood, and lockers are broken into pieces of scrap metal, chunks of steel and sometimes a pipe. Also it’s essential to go outside and gather as many rocks as possible. If you’re wondering about storage, I usually start as the backpacker so I’m fine.

Step 3) Creating Starting Equipment:
So with the starting materials in the shelter, you should have an abundance of two by fours, nails, and scrap metal. You should also have collected alot of rocks, and picked up all the dissembled small string from the windows. Now the next thing to do is make as many stone hammers as possible. Additionally, make spikes from the destroyed scrap from the lockers and make as many makeshift knives. Whilst creating this stuff, you should be able to get your survival and maybe fabrication skill up to level one (the lv1 survival is important later), and if you smash all the stuff in the bunker you should get your melee skill up to level one too. The final thing to make by smashing the door is the nail board, and wield it.

Step 4) ThrowGrind:
Increasing your throwing skill is probably the easiest thing to do in the game. Reassign your stone hammers (you should have about 8-10) to the ‘t’ key, so you can keep pressing buttons in the rhythm of ‘t’ ‘t’ ‘->’ ‘ENTER’ and keep repeating that pattern until you get your throwing skill to about level one. The beauty of increasing throwing is that you don’t even need to hit an enemy to increase it, although it takes patience. So I try to ThrowGrind to at least level three.

Step 5) Test:
I usually go out and find a spare zombie walking about to test out the throwing hammers and throwing makeshift knives. With throwing hammers at a close-ish range of about 3 or 5 tiles, your throwing hammers should deal a nice 10 damage on average to your average zombie. Also, you should have made as many makeshift knives as possible. Throwing makeshift knives usually doesn’t do that much damage, but sometimes you can cut your enemies for around 20 damage, which makes them a good finisher. Makeshift knives will get better as you level up your throwing skill. So with your awesome throwing weapons, you can effectively weaken enemies and then finish them off.

Step 6) Lootin’ Time:
With the powerful makeshift throwing weapons at hand, and hopefully a throwing skill of around 3 now (it should still be late morning at this point), lead some zombies away from cities and kill them with said throwing weapons. Be sure to always pick up the throwing hammers up again (and makeshift knives if you could afford those) once you’re finished killing a zombie. Once a zombie is dead, collect any clothes it drops and cut it up into rags/leather patches for later use.

Step 7) Water:
For water, the usual method is to forage inside the underbrush until a container is found (such as a gallon jug, preferably, but beggars can’t be choosers.) and additionally a tin can/aluminium can. Sometimes a zombie will drop a can of drink or you might find a can of beans in the shelter, but we’re going to assume I didn’t get one in this way. Just keep foraging those underbrushes until a container is found (anything will do for now). Once underbrushes have been foraged until you have a liquid-storable container and a tin/aluminium can, then it’s safe to go to the river, set fire to a nearby brush (considering you’re the survivor with the matchbook or you have one otherwise.) And purify the water in that method. Making sure you’re near both the water source and the fire otherwise the ‘clean water’ recipe won’t work. Drink until I’m slaked, and store some water for later.

[glow=red,2,300]Alternate Step 7)[/glow] Forage until I’ve found a gallon jug or three plastic bottles. Using the 1 fabrication skill I should have got at Step 3, I make a makeshift funnel and keep foraging again until I find another container. If I have for example, a makeshift funnel and a gallon jug at hand, what I basically am carrying is a portable infinite water source. I can use this where I want later.

[glow=red,2,300]Alternate Alternate Step 7)[/glow] If I’ve had a really bad day and can’t make the makeshift funnel, I grind the skills for level 2 tailoring using the sheets in the starting shelter, and create the leather funnel I’ve hopefully been able to make due to the leather patches I may have acquired at Step 6. Then I can find a container by foraging and collect infinite water in the same way for later drinking.
(The above methods for Step 7 are considering I haven’t been into the towns just yet.)

Step 8) Meat:
This step is pretty simple to do. Be it an annoying dog following you like a massive derp or a wolf or two, resourceful fighting should be able to overcome wild animals with ease. Even a moose can be defeated by a makeshift knife if you attack hard and fast, and you have decent stats. The small moves per attack of the makeshift knife make it effective for fighting toughies like the moose - and remember the moose stops attacking you after you badly injure it. Finding wild animals isn’t hard - kill as many as I can be bothered to until I have around 5 chunks of meat, and then cook said chunks of meat. Easy.
(This is going by the same principal if I don’t find any food by scavenging.)

Step 9) Do you even Sew Bro:
Grind up my tailoring skills like no other after Step 7) and Step 8) are complete for sure. With all the sheets you’re able to tear down in the starting shelter, I’m able to cut them up into around 300 rags for grinding tailoring. This goes without saying that it’s more than enough I’m going to need. For something to sew with, you can make a wooden needle after you’ve gotten fabrication level 1 (which is super easy because you can just get to level 1 by making fishing hooks, 1 nail per hook and it takes no time, essentially.) Use some thread from dissembling some small string (or a rag if I’m desperate) for sewing, and then I’m good to go. Usually I start off with grinding bandanas to get to tailoring level 1, and by that point it’s safe to reinforce all the bandanas. If you make enough bandanas to grind with, you can usually get to level 3 tailoring if you have patience. Level three in tailoring is, if you like, the ‘sweet spot’ for starting characters.

Step 10) Starting Clothes Setup:
Now that I’ve reached level 3 in tailoring, I make sure I have the following created and equipped from the starting rags:

-Sleeveless Trenchcoat

-Arm Warmers

-Cargo Shorts
-Cargo Shorts
-Boxer Shorts

-Light Gloves
-Leather gloves (If I’ve found leather)
-2x Handwraps, 1x Extra Light Gloves (Only for keeping hands warm whilst sleeping, otherwise I store these and don’t wear them whilst doing other things.)

-Knit Scarf
-Cotton Hat

-Sneakers (I should usually have these still on. I can make foot rags in an emergency or loot a dead zombie’s shoes.)
-Boots (If I can get my hands on the leather for these, I make boots when possible.)

Everything I’ve made will fit me, and with this clothing build I can effectively have tons of storage, suitable warmth and good protection all in the first day. I should have 0 encumberance everywhere apart from my torso; the backpack will give me 1 encumberance but that usually isn’t anything to worry about.

I also remember to reinforce EVERYTHING. This is absolutely ESSENTIAL and it will save time and increase your armour by a drastic amount in total.
Reinforcing your clothes is absolutely amazing and should never be underestimated for its power.

Step 11) Sleepy time:
It should be night time now, and my character is tired after a long day of doing generally boring shit (apart from throwing hammers at zombies until they are crushed into nothingness, that’s great fun). I make sure to leave a bench/counter in the starting shelter for my survivor to sleep on so it isn’t uncomfortable, and if there any rags left then I can make blankets to wear for the night until my character doesn’t bitch about being cold. With the effective warmth from my clothing build, it should be enough to get the character a good night’s sleep. Zzzz…

If I can’t get to sleep or I’ve still got some time left before my character gets tired, then I can get to work grinding skills at night time by crafting by the computer monitor (which is on) in the starting shelter. Standing next to this allows you to craft and stuff because the computer monitor that’s switched on counts as a bright source of light. So you can see to sew, read or whatever I can do to improve my skills. This is the apocalypse. No time for procrastination.

And that, is how I survive my first day.

Well, my first day consists in trying to find a place outside of the city where i can loot some stuff. I make myself a crowbar for easy access to places but if i can get a hammer i use that as a weapon. As the “player class”, at early i am a rock thrower, to weaken enemies, and hammer finisher.

About storage, i generally try to get a good backpack or something. Trenchcoats help. I never try to get any encumbrance and lately i am trying to stay really away from fights. If i get a car i try to smash those mi gos and zombie scientists for corpse looting. Recently i am trying to be more careful, and i am trying to make the starting shelter as a base.

Guns and ammo? I keep them all, no matter if i don’t have them matching. Why? First, it makes me feel powerful and second, i may get to find the ammo for it, no?

My build is myself, so it’s kinda hard to play with. It might be or not be the one i use, because i don’t remember the stats and things very well. But mostly like this:

11 DEX
10 PER

I take Less Sleep, Animal Empathy, Fast Learner, Fast Reader, Optimist and other stuff.
Also i use No Vegetables, Forgetful, Trigger Happy, and other stuff i forgot.

It’s a really crappy build! And it’s me! And it makes the game hard! Yess.
It also rewards a crafty and careful person, not the ACTION guy.

I use different build all the time. The current build: 14 STR 8 DEX 12 INT 8 PER
I took the hardest profession - the bad day challenge (where you start drunk naked infected etc in a burning building but gain +10 points), picked shower victim and got a crapton of nifty perks.
1st Day:
Start game, get burned inside/eaten by zombies outside, start anew x10
Start game 11th time, noticed that the almighty God blessed me with a shotgun and 25x00 shot. Grab some jacket from a nearby shelf, grab shotgun and pocket the ammo. Run’n gun the zombies until I get away from the city (luckily I was in a house only 3 houses away from the city border). Run into a powerstation, killed technician, took his clothes and boots. Looked at the map, found a workshop, went straight to it and spent all of my remaining ammunition shooting at the shocker zeds. Thankfully survived. It was still only noon so I spent the rest of the day trying to sleep to heal myself, then at night raided the city for antibiotics to get rid of the infection you start with. Now I have a high-point char with lots of instruments and a safe place to live in.

I usually make the character in such a way so that it would have an advantage in a long run but a huge disadvantage in a short-term. I usually pick an abandoned in a hospital or bad day challenge, then in case of hospital slowly clean it of zeds (its usually quite easy if you have fast healing perk) or try to get out of the city in a bad day.
Usually I make character with high Strength because I like being able to carry lots of stuff and 12 Int because most of the books (if not all) require it for fastest reading. As for perks I take heavy sleeping (why is it even in negative perks list?), robust genetics, night vision, strong back to carry more weight and that other perk to carry more volume.

Those first two starting setups should come in quite handy for my next proper game, thanks guys!

Currently I tend to just smash a locker, get a pipe, make it into a makeshift crowbar and treat that as both a weapon and a basic prying tool, then go sneaking towards the nearest town (Provided there is a town nearby) and just work around the outskirts of the town, but that’s not a guaranteed Day One survival, so I might have to try some of these starting builds instead!

a note: you can avoid smashing the windows. just use ‘e’ on the window, then opt to tear dkwn the curtian. This gives you the sheets/string/stick; and avoids the noise + hole in the wall. you can also easily board the windows back up with a stone hammer…

my tips for survival (mele build but work with everything)

stats 12 10 14 10 (taking more than 10 perception is waste of 2 points, inteligence can help in late game)

take night vision and optionaly light steep this help with night raids

for profesion get something cheap try awoid gun starts because they are useless without great supply of ammo realy nice start is backpacker and computer hacker

for skills take mele if you have still any points left you can get mechanics and archery for easier start

ok its everything now we start
in old experimental and stable 0.A you start by bashing locker and making crowbar but now its not
take folded emergency blanket and look downstairs you will find some crap mostly useless but sometimes get usefull items or even can be stocked with food tools and clotches
exit shelter grab a rock or stick if you pick survivor as starting class you can create pointy stick
stay away from towns and forest (in forest is easy to get ambush from zanimals or netherworld creatures in field you can spot them from far
find mainson its not full of zombies and is easy to kill them in mele throw rocks before atacking in mele motels are good too for early looting
probaly in mainson you will find powerfull weapons maybe even katana books maybe some food for few days
after getting some skills you can hit more dangeours targets like malls or megastores but prepare some FAKs or disinfect you can try night raids in towns too what is more safe if played smart

When I discovered the ability to tear down curtains I while ago, is it sad that I actually squeaked with joy because I discovered you never needed to smash the poor innocent windows?

Also in my opinion, the best possible starts are either the backpacker because backpack, or the tailor because make a backpack yourself you lazy boy. The survivor is actually a very decent start as well due to the matchbook. Starting fires is more useful than you think.

And now I’ve just realized how much I actually wrote in my previous post. I probably written alot more than I needed to, but oh well feel free to use it as a day one survival guide or whatever. Because for me it always works.

GAHHHH THE MAKESHIFT CROWBAR. For some reason this is really popular weapon due to its high damage, but the thing people miss is the 101 moves per attack. This doesn’t let you get a good amount of hits on zombies when luring them to a bush.

People highly underestimate the cudgel because they overlook the fact it has a ‘quick strike’, ‘parry’ and a ‘precise strike’. With the cudgel’s quick strike and on a 9-all rounder build you can usually get off two hits on a zombie before it attacks you when the zombie isn’t even slowed by anything. Just whack-whack run, whack-whack run and the precise strike will usually act as the final strike to finish them off. Sometimes I think I’m the only one who likes the cudgel but OH WELL IT’S AMAZING :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

Makeshift knives are pretty good too for the same reasons - quick attacks. Stone hammer are also pretty good starting weapons but I usually start off with the cudgel. It improves my melee skill nicely. Overall I watch out for the ‘Moves per attack’, and if it’s above 100 that means I can’t get in a strike without taking a strike back from the zombie. The only exception to this is the cudgel, because the quick attack from the cudgel turns the moves per attack into around 80, basically.

If you want my advice, only go for weapons which are below 100 moves per attack unless you wanna take a hit back! If you do want to take a hit back then make whatever you want you crazy masochist. Luring zombies into brushes also works to let you use whatever you want to attack a zombie before it attacks you.

Alright, here’s my guide on how to start Tweaker + Really bad day:

get lucky

get survival to 1, get tailoring to three. These are the only essential first day strategies imo, raid at night.

Pick Quick, Fleet-footed, Parkour Expert
Smash a Locker, grab a Pipe. Grab a rock, craft your very own crowbar.
Fine versus Zombies. Outrun/Outparkour and bash heads.
Be careful vs wolf packs, cougars, bleeding is nasty.

Step 1: Start new world
Step 2: Choose random character
Step 3: Look at your stats, you position, your profession, and your items
Step 4: Look for pearls (for the world is your oyster)

All of you seem to play min 7 str characters, which makes the game a cakewalk. Play lower ( <=5) str weaklings and vanish into the wind to survive.

Two traits are better above all: Night vision and quick.
Two stat’s, above all, are better: Strength and intelligence
Above all professions, better are two: Bow Hunter and Chain Smoker (free points)

Now, on to the meat:

Firstly, explore basement for useful items (90% of the time you’ll find nothing of use, but in the other 10% you’ll find something extremely useful). B, pick up some rocks (3-4) and break some benches, and craft some pointy sticks (cheap ranged weapon, costs no skill to build and can be deadly even in inexperienced hands) and make the ms crowbar (as a way to smash things, to open windows, and as an emergency weapon).

You want to avoid fights, except where victory is certain; so kite those zombies Amir! Remember that finding an item in town/on zeds, is risky, but time-saving (as opposed to crafting) This is where night-raids become game-breaking, so save your strength for night-time.

Third, if you have no volume (no bags, or containers), don’t fret, that which has no substance, enters where there is no space. You will make a ms sling from curtains when you go to raid. Do not tear down your base curtains (if you started at a base), because this will lead to Zed Q Braineater going all Hitchcock with your keyholes/curtains.

Scout the outskirts of the town (preferably for suburbs) and try to kill a few zeds in isolation, don’t get hit, run if the pain gets too high (>10). Hopefully, you can get a pair of cargo pants, decent head-gear and maybe even a tool or two.

Once night rolls around, you roll on down to the scouted sub-urb/gun store/library/sports depo and carry everything you can. Perishables are important, tools more so, clothing even more so. Wear a couple of sheets (for rags later) and run back to base. Having survived just the first day, the game becomes considerably easier.

My first day survival usually goes like this.

make weapon, go to town, die, repeat.

This usually repeats 5 to 10 to 20 or so times till I get lucky and after that I usually survive at least 2 weeks till I do something stupid.
After that its fairly unlikely I’ll die unless I do something really stupid. c: which is very likely to happen.