How do you guys play without some savescumming?

“Life is like a video game with no chance to win”
-Atari Teenage Riot

You often get a good game only to die and must start over. But because this game is not about winning anything. You don’t play to get to the end. Like life. You survive and do so in the manner best you are able and preferably in the way in which you would direct your own actions as you do in real life.

Best way to play. Is the way in which you choose. But the idea is you learn from the mistakes so that you go so far and die. Get pissed off and try not to make those mistakes again. Sometimes. You can do everything correctly and still fail to do much of what you want. Just like life =D


I live! I die! I live again!

Roll a new character after YASD.


YASD, wow, that takes me back to when I was like nine and discovered Nethack and its forums. I coulda just gave you a <3, but the blast of nostalgia I just got is worth a full comment. Thanks for that.


I tend to play pretty aggressively because the most exciting part is early to mid game when you have to figure out how to live long enough to accomplish something. Death is just another excuse to do it all over again and find new interesting stuff or play another playstyle.

But just cuz im aggressive doesnt mean im reckless exactly. I usually build my characters to be fast enough to gtfo if i need to. Risk management is a huge part of the game and i pretty much never fight directly early game. Ill play factions against each other like luring all the zombies to a fungus tower to be obliterated or assimilated. Or ill kite around a lava scar until they all burn to death. turrets or even chicken walkers if your careful are just even more opportunities to pit them against each other.

If there arent any convenient targets to pit against them ill just cause chaos enough to distract the horde while i loot. Light a few houses on fire and smack a few vending machines or atms and maybe set off a few car alarms before bailing out usually does the trick.

So i play flighty and paranoid but aggressive early game if that makes sense. Then once ive gotten some tools and books its time to settle down and build for the long haul.

I dont really save scum cuz i know i can do it again and enjoy every minute of it. And i learn a lot more if i challenge myself to see it through.

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I savescummed a bit when I had reached the stage, where I could keep a character alive pretty well, but had still not explored a large part of the game. So I wanted to keep my character safe while still discovering the new stuff on my own, while not risking death due to lack of knowledge. This felt like the alternative to reading the wiki or reddit to prepare properly for whatever lied ahead.

It didn’t take long before I realized that that kind of savescumming made the game less fun for me. A big part of the game’s attraction is the sense of meaningless survival. When you die, you perish among millions of others, who tried to survive like you did, and failed. Dying to a chicken walker in the middle of night, when you feel safe, adds to the game experience, rather than detract from it, IMO.

It also means that I will play a bit safer the next time, and I will have learned something from it. Last game I died in the sewers after having established a fairly decent base underground, having decent equipment and skills, and actually set to start exploring. But I underestimated the dangers of the sewer piranhas with the high movement cost of the sewage, so when I started to get outnumbered, it was impossible to run away. In any other game, I would probably have reloaded and NOT gone into the sewers or have retreated sooner. But perishing in the sewers after being cornered by sewer monsters is totally a thing that would happen in the apocalypse, so in a way it was a death that made a lot of sense. It was simply time to start a new game :slight_smile:

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I have one character that I save scum on consistently, reasons being I like access to late-game stuff and I find the game entertaining even when at a substantial advantage. I consider that to be more of a testing and evaluation character so I’ll do reckless and dumb shit with him just to see how it pans out.

However if I’m feeling in a real serious roleplay mood, or if I have a free weekend to myself and want to play the game as a roguelike which is how it was meant to be played, I play super defensively. I pick a martial art that is very easy to find a weapon for generally eskrima. And I pick my battles super carefully, trying to get zombies to chase me over a fence or through a window where I can use their limited mobility to guarantee my safety and their demise.


I do keep backups to deal with crashes and the occasional bizarre game-play glitches that may affect my save in some bad way - but generally speaking I restart from scratch after a death.

Usually I either die pretty early, or far enough in that I’m interested in getting the latest version and seeing what new goofiness has been added - or I’ve played enough that I want a couple months break before I start a new game in any case.

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Only savescum if a) I encounter a bug that I think save-scumming will fix, or b) If I die due to a misclick. I’m fine dying due to poor decisions, because that’s part of the fun, but I have no problems giving myself a do-over I made a good decision and just pressed the wrong button.

This approach does tend to result in a lot of early-game deaths, but that’s fine by me.


I used to play a lot of RTS so I’m used to playing the early game over and over to optimise my build order.

Plus, the late game is still outside my comfort zone.

If you are a new struggling player then it’s better to reduce enemy mobility/resilience (or turn them off), than to constantly save scum.
Once you’ve learnt a bit you can increase the difficulty back to normal. Also, the emergency shelter is a nice relaxing start

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I used to never do it but when i realized all the effect that it had on my gameplay was that i ignored the entire end game content because the current balance makes the risks is just too high for the rewards.

Why even bother trying to loot a military facility if the character that i spent 40 hours building can die in a single turn to a single turret ?

I used to save scum, but after playing enough and learning the game mechanics my mindset flipped.

Its hard to put into words, but save scumming after a death started to make that world feel… pointless?

Where do you draw the line between save scumming and debugging anything and everything - it’s a point at which one decides on personally, but that point will move with time.

And if that point moves, it’s very purpose for existing loses meaning, and is cheapened. At least to me.

Thoughts keep popping into my head as I try to play: “…oh hey remember how none of this matters, since you’re technically dead because of…”

Yeah it sucks to lose a lot of progress, which in turn may make you take breaks from the game, but with all the updates that’s almost a bonus - you know you’re going to come back to something even better.

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Very simple: I am killed before I have any opportunity to scum.

It’s either a turret, or a bunch of folks with firearms who don’t like me.

I’m guessing none of you save-scummers ever play roguelikes?
Nobody is saying you shouldn’t save-scum, but you have to understand that this game is built with a permadeath system. If you’re going to cheat that then you will likely get 10/10 stat’d characters with full 'cyber and perhaps be bored of the game very very quickly as this simply isn’t what the game is designed for.

Like others said, it sucks the fun out of the game.
There is no more risk vs reward; only reward, which is boring.

Sometimes games (and life in general) require you to change your mindset. If you’re used to spamming attacks and try to play a Souls game you’ll have a bad time; combat is like a dance between yourself and your opponent; attack, defend, be aware of positioning, don’t get greedy, punish them for their mistakes and they will do the same to you.

In CDDA you can die and say “welp, that was a waste of time” or you can say “I expected to die anyway and I learnt a lot that run; I’m looking forward to applying that exp gained in my next run; perhaps I’ll try a different starting scenario or character or perhaps I want to perfect the first one; either way I have the freedom to choose how I want to play (which may change due to in-game circumstances)”.

It’s better than a lot of roguelikes that force randomness on you for the sake of it, along with restrictive level design that doesn’t allow you to experiment.

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alt + f4 when i die and try again, all the nerfs have made legit play literally impossible.

all the nerfs have made legit play literally impossible.

Lie. Please don’t spread misinformation. You might find some re-balances have made the game harder for your play style, fine. but there is no need to go around saying such malicious things on the forums.


nonsense, the amount of items i have to spawn to maintain the status quo i was playing at months ago has increased exponentially, you can argue with me, but not with the facts.

Really? In what way does your statement contribute to the conversation whatsoever? You make the unfair assumption that simply because I’m willing to save before I do something stupid or am about to run a metaphorical gauntlet of RNG that I’ve NEVER played a roguelike, when not only is it extremely counter productive to the conversation itself, you also then decide to go and (In this case rightfully) tell someone else not to say malicious things on the forums that don’t contribute to the conversation. Methinks the kettle is calling the pot black.

Funny enough, i just realized i actually feel like i am cheating more when i am just min-maxing a character during character creation than when i savescum out of a death by turret.

it’s really silly to be honest, i FUCKING HATE the freezing mechanic, the number of times i’ve spawned 75 logs and dumped them onto a brazier just to limit sheer NUISANCE involved in playing the game is easily over 1,000, at least.

if a recipe calls for an ingredient and that ingredient is frozen, THAW IT THE FUCK OUT AS PART OF THE RECIPE FOR FUCKS SAKE.

as far as turrets go, that’s not save scumming at all, that’s anti-cheating, i can’t find any ranged weapon i can fire faster than a turret can reliably and i’m not crafting specialized ordinance for one single use, so there’s more or less just no valid response to encountering one unless i allow myself 30 tries to beat it.
not to mention the god-moded aim they seem to have, but that makes sense at least.