Deathmobile tips for a newbie?

Ive so far only played with a kinda sedentary lifestyle, having one big home base. I still havent really hit the point where resources run dry due to me setting loot spawn to the max.

But what should a deathmobile prioritize? Cargo space? Water storage? power? guns? Armor? I’ve heard theyre basically meant to be mobile bases.

Relatedly, should I build one from scratch, or try to refurbish an existing vehicle? If so, which vehicle?

What should I keep an eye out for, for deathmobile purposes?

Is fuel a necessity for an efficient deathmobile?

If I have to build it from scratch, how large should it be? Especially given i would like to use it as mostly cargo transport personally, I like having a more permanent base to drop off all my loot at.

Any mods i should get to enhance the deathmobile experience?

Should I construct a reinforced area for deathmobile housing, or is it fine to keep it out in the open?

Could fungus take over your deathmobile? That sounds like a horrible thing to imagine. So I wanna be sure, even if i probably wont be stopping near fungus at all without all of the fire and fungicidal stuff. (unless its something absolutely amazing like five gun stores and a CBM-containing electronics store or two in one block)

Deathmobile designs vary a lot. Here’s what I would do:

  • Find a working vehicle, or a vehicle that you can easily get working. That means one with working controls and a fuel tank and an engine in yellow or green condition. You’ll also want a scissors or bottle jack to change the tires and a wrench. Swap out tires from other, nearby vehicles if necessary, and if the battery is bad or has no charge, replace that too. The exact vehicle doesn’t matter - a minicar, beetle, police sedan, electric SUV, whatever - just that you can get it running easily.
  • Now that you have a vehicle, consider small improvements to it. I usually make a makeshift welder and a battery compartment mod, then get a hacksaw and start cutting out bits and replacing them. For instance, upgrading trunks to cargo carriers increases the amount of loot you can put in your vehicle.
  • Keep an eye out for better vehicles. At some point, you’ll want to switch to something better.

Answers to your specific questions:
Any reasonable vehicle will have plenty of storage space and all all the water storage you’ll ever need. No need to prioritize those. Focus on armor and sustainable motive power.

Refurbish an existing vehicle. You want heavy frames, armored wheels, and military composite armor. Security vans and SWAT vans are good starting points, but military trucks and APCs are better. If you have the Tanks mod installed, Mobile Gun Carriages are also good. Humvees and armored cars aren’t bad. Actual tanks are okay but they are fuel hogs.

Your deathmobile is going to want a v6 or better engine, armored wheels, military composite armor, storage batteries, and solar panels. Keep an eye out for those. You will probably also want mini-fridges, mini-freezers, welding rigs, and water purifiers, so look for those or parts for them. Mechanics textbooks are also very helpful.

You can run a solar deathmobile if you keep the size down or don’t mind letting it recharge for a few days. I usually go with diesel until I hit Mechanics 8, then hybrid electric-diesel.

The size of your deathmobile is a personal thing. I like no more than 5 tiles wide and 8-10 tiles long, but some people build them much bigger or smaller. You can fit 4 cargo carriers, a box, 5 floor trunks, 6 seats, a minifridge, a welding rig, and as many stowboards as you feel necessary on a 5x9 footprint and that’s a huge amount of cargo space for loot runs.

Vehicle additions pack and Tanks give you more options for makeshift and improvised vehicle weapons, plus more sources of military composite armor, .50 BMG ammo, and extremely heavy guns.

You don’t need a storage area and fungus can’t take over your vehicle. Plus, most fungal sources don’t handle bursts of 0.50 BMG fire very well, so some anti-fungal pills and a turreted HMG is generally more than sufficient to tamp down on the worst of the fungal infections.

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Personally I like to start with a cube van, as the back is vision blocking, and you can replace one of the boards between it and the cab with a door+curtain combo. Later on you should to to something like an APC.

Overall, you want somewhere you can use to block vision for sleeping/crafting, room for crafting equipment and supplies, spare wheels either attached or in storage in case something breaks, armor on the front at least, rams or extra tiles of quarterpanel/board with armor on front, >15 acceleration (less than 10 means you can’t make it over a bush without a running start), ideally two thick walls so enemies can’t slide in while turning, eventually turrets are good too.

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If you are using the salvaged robots mod, minireactors become a much more viable source of power. Plutonium cells can be found by disassembling the integral minireactor you can get from taking apart broken robots. you get 10 cells per reactor, enough to fully fuel up a vehicle reactor.

I use nuclear electric/solar hybrid as the power source for my tank. Solar alone won’t work because my tank needs 4 enhanced electric motors to even move, and has 2 floodlights, which are power hogs. Not to mention all the lasers. The combination works pretty well, but I have to have 4 upgraded solar arrays (not panels, arrays) to recharge in any reasonable time period, which take up whole interior tiles.

I would recommend having lots of power storage if you go electric, or a backup diesel or gas engine in case you run out of juice.

Redundancy is also a good thing. If its an important part, having more can’t hurt. You can turn off extra engines so you aren’t wasting more power or gas, or to switch between gas and electric engines. For other things, especially sensitive parts like cameras or lights, its good to carry some spare parts around. I usually carry 2 spare cameras and floodlights, and a few armor plates, just in case. A welding rig is ESSENTIAL for on the go vehicle repairs. Save your duct tape for better things.

Important and vulnerable parts like fuel tanks, batteries, or engines should be placed at least 1 tile from the edge if possible, far away from potential points of impact or attack. Away from wheels too, in case you hit a landmine. In addition to redundancy, it is also a good idea to spread out your vital components if you can, to prevent any given hit or crash from completely disabling your vehicle.

If you have a lot of internal tiles without something occupying the lower layers, I’d recommend filling them with 60L storage tanks for the various liquids. Not having hundreds of bottles and gallon jugs filled with crap really helps cut down on stored volume in your stowboards, floor trunks etc.

Also, Shard’s Misc. Mod has some very good storage items. Internal 200L tanks so you don’t have to worry about using external ones that come with the base game; those damn things fall off if you bump into something, and spill all their contents. And the storage battery array, which is equivalent to 8 storage batteries, but takes up a whole tile.

I usually use an electric car for awhile till I can make one from scratch. Alas since my last save corrupted my deathmobile has gone the way of the dodo and disappeared. I have not gotten the heart to make another.

I like to backup my vehicle as a JSON file with the vehicle/character importer/editor, in case of something like that.

Unlucky blackout while SAVING. Messed up my game something fierce fixed it by deleting the options.json just to play. Loaded the game to find my player stranded in the middle of the city I was in and ONE turn later fresh zombie spawns… wasn’t fun

My personal take on in-game vehicles is that they only really need to be what you need them to be. Lots of people make these super-elaborate deathmobiles with turrets and minireactors . . .

But honestly, my vehicles tend to be big vans covered in solar panels, with a bed, a forge, a welder, and a bunch of cargo space in back. That’s really it for me. It gets me from point A to point B, it smashes zombies when it needs to, and it gives me a place to sleep.

So my advice would be ‘just make what you think you need’. All the other stuff is just icing on the cake.

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This is true but I “NEED” thousands of liters of space for the copious amounts of alcohol my lightweight character needs.

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Yeah, and I “NEED” fire support and a place to hide while pillaging heavily infested cities all by myself, and storage for transporting looted weapons, parts, and supplies back to the stockpile for my future Legion.

Hehehe but what about the alcohol? Also UPS rifles FTW.

I got a 60L tank completely filled with single malt whiskey. I swapped out the tequila after I found a barrel of the stuff.

What is the UPS rifle btw, I was wondering about that. Is it just a mounted lasrifle?

Cata++ and its uses UPS to fire and is a very good turret on a vehicle. It can be used in hand but its only 25 damage and skele enemies are immune.
Also wooden barrels 100L can be installed in vehicles.

From my experience a single-tile-wide “superbike” is also a very viable option. Literally just 4 heavy frames in a line + ram + 4 32’ armored wheels, an oversized engine and 2-3 cargo spaces, then plate everything with military composite armor (well, you still need controls, fuel tank(s), headlights ect, but that’s pretty obvious).

Only takes a day or two to build from scratch, minimalistic maintenance and superb maneuverability. You can go into zombie-infested cities and simply zip pass them without running into anything.

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However small the vehicle allows for ease of travel. A bike with a basket and shock absorbers is a novel way to get around for the humble traveler. A armored sports car with 2 tiles of trunk space and a trunk in the passenger seat is useful for going light as well. I would recommend the armor for mainly surviving a base like national guard or night driving and missing the fact you drove into a mine field or something.

I agree with the advice above and just want to show you an example of what you can build. Definitely don’t go for something like this at first, but if you run into enough military vehicles available through “Vehicle Additions Pack” and “tanks and other vehicles” you can build something similar… something that fits your taste and is as badass as your survivor!Deathmobile%20Progress%20(Journey)

Honestly, I think the best answer is: Use a deathmobile that does what you need.

Do you need a vehicle to loot? A small car or maybe even a bike will be great for you. High maneuverability and easy to mantain, don’t expect to survive driving though a horde though.

You need a mobile home but aren’t a hoarder? Upgrade an RV accordingly, maybe slap a few turrets on there.

Or maybe you’re like me, who is an unhealthy packrat that needs 2 or 3 dozen cargo spaces in his deathmobile with multiple turrets and a tank cannon in case of getting in a overkill mood, paranoid so he armor plates every single inch of my car, has every single utility from forges to kilns to welders ( well, I’m still hunting for a minifreezer and a washing machine ) and aims for 50+ storage batteries and tanks for all sorts of liquid I will probably never use but still compulsively collect? ( I am unfortonately in this category :frowning: )

As for a lightweight car for looting, I’d recommend a Gold Cart. I had one I customized, ( I needed to get the frames for my deathmobile somehow, right? )

Replace the trunk with cargo spaces, slap 4 solar panels on it, maybe replace the engine if you need more speed than you could ever reach, add headlights for night escapades. Armor won’t help much since electic anything vehicles are usually very fragile. You might rip the other seat off too and slap a third cargo carrier in. Personally I made a trunk where I kept the necessities ( flashlight, food, water, crowbar, toolbox, bottle and scissor jacks etc. )

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Dude serious problem is see with your rv house… one you almost out of booze and two it is illegal to a open booze container in a car with you. Your gonna get pulled over by the police bots and they’ll beat ya something good.

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I do have a couple liters of vodka, beer, whisky and probably something else, amongst weak mixed alcohol. Didn’t have a chance to raid a decent liquor store yet, and it doesn’t help I’m taking a break from Cata after building my deathmobile, BOB. Thing took me 90 days to build and about 3-4 real life days on intensive play, no wonder I got burned out so quickly and it’s not even finished, just usable.

Another reason why you shouldn’t build huge deathmobiles, making them isn’t fun and very tedious especially if you build them from scratch because you don’t like the way frames are placed on normal cars… Yeah, I have issues.


You’re totally right! I shall begin Adding a couple new tanks to treat my survivors to their favorite drinks!!