Starting off

What do you people recommend for a newer player Ill say I’ve survived about a game year at most and I would like to know what a recommended start would be. I set Trait points to 1000 so I can pick as many bad and good traits so long as I have the points I play static spawn. I biggest thing right now is picking and setting up a base.

These days i play with default trait/attribute points.

I found that a 8/8/8/8 or 9/8/8/8 survivor is perfectly capable of surviving (preferring melee combat until i can take down hulks and shocker brutes with it. This usually happens when i reach melee&cutting 4-5 with good equipment)

So the default points are enough for 2-3 good traits and an ok profession (by also taking 1-2 bad traits)

My priorities with no zed hordes would be to establish a ‘safe’ base with reasonable access to food & water, near a town.
I like those houses with cultivated land in the backyard, add seeds and your food situation becomes stabler even if you cannot find spiders/ants/game to hunt nearby.

Then slowly clearing and scavenging the whole town is a priority, in order to get books/tools/experience and become reasonably prosperous, strong and self-reliable.

Then comes vehicle building (i won’t accept vehicles not made by myself, unless they are carts) and mid-end game quests like killing the fungi, raiding labs, mines, NPC’s etc.

What are recommended npc settings

Wish i knew, it is try until you find what you like.
You should try at least with static NPC spawn on i believe.

Personally i play with static spawn + wander spawn, but i tone npc spawn down to .7

Turn on static spawn NPCs for the quest npcs in the starting shelter and the one building I have not found yet which spawns more NPCs. (Not 100% sure these are also counted as static).

Note that NPCs still ahve some bugs and might crash/dissappear on you.

But without people testing them, playing with them, and finding what causes the bugs and when we will never improve them.

Personally I suggest static spawn on and random spawn off if you want to play with the most stability. That said know that we do need testers for both of them, so playing with them both on is appreciated. :slight_smile:

I can’t even bother with setting up a base. I just build a large vehicle that I use as a mobile home. When it comes to CDDA, I’m not sure any persistent advice can be made. You use what you find, with your smartest opportunistic instincts, within the limits of your patience. Allow me to break down some of the choices regarding home selection.


  • Nice initial base. Safe first pick. Usually no zombies at all.
  • Permanent light source (from the working console).
  • Close to a town. For those who like to do nightly supply runs.
  • Includes a basement. For safe sleeping purposes, and without the blazing sunlight to wake you earlier than you’d like. (cough blindfold).
  • No food. And no water at all, until you craft some funnels.
  • A few lockers to deconstruct for the sheet metal, to turn into a brazier, to burn wood safely.
  • Benches to smash or deconstruct into firewood, and to craft into rudimentary weapons.


  • Several zombies.
  • Infinite water.
  • Usually lots of books and some food. Not all mansions contain a library though. Great place to perform studies, to build up initial skills.
  • Several fridges to deconstruct. Mostly for copper tubing that is used in ammo crafting.


  • Inhabited by zombie soldiers, so be prepared. They don’t shoot, but they’re just harder to damage.
  • Contains some food.
  • Zombie soldiers might drop some nice (but beat-up) military gear.
  • Several consoles to deconstruct for electronics parts. Fridges, too.
  • All the wire and pipes you could ever need, in the form of wired fence… IF you have bolt cutters or a hacksaw. Smashing works partially, too.


  • Pretty dangerous to enter due to armed hostile bandits, plus landmines. Great risk for newbies, great rewards.
  • Bandits drop plenty of gear.
  • Plenty of food and drinks.
  • Includes multiple fermenting vats or barrels, IIRC.
  • A few motorcycles (that might need repairs).
  • No books, so bring your own reading material.
  • A bit rare and remote location, difficult to find, but if you see one…


  • Hordes of zombie children, and a brute or two. (Hi, Coach). If you can (stand to) kill the zombie children, all that you see could be yours.
  • Plenty of books, (unhealthy) food, broken consoles and wood. All the supplies that you could ask for… except water. Nothing that a few funnels wouldn’t solve.
  • No guns… Usually.
  • Some chemistry supplies.
  • Might find a bus here, unless the children have completely wrecked it.


  • Requires a fueled vehicle, with at least a reclining seat, if not a bed. Tools and skills, too.
  • Drive until you find some corpses (and loot) of interest.
  • Harvest abandoned vehicles that you encounter for fuel and parts. Remember that car batteries can be disassembled for clean water (at least in CDDA).
  • Kill wildlife opportunistically for food (with your vehicle, if necessary).

I will add to beerbeer:

Fire Station:
Metal doors, solid walls, no windows make for a safe base (hulks may disagree). Pretty defensible base at any rate.
Being in the center of the town means zeds, so unless you start as a firefighter it will be hard to reach.
Food/water in fridge/kitchen/toilet, these are limited. Means you got to get out in the city and scavenge.

Large area with land ready to cultivate. Seeds and garden stuff at hand. Also water.
But life gets boring in a cata farm.

House in the outskirts of town is my personal favorite, until i can go mobile:
Near all the loot means low hauling times. I haul lots of stuff.
Near all the loot means some danger.

EDIT- fixed typo

My little tidbits, will update if I think of more.

Gun Store:

  • Lots of guns, Guns, and MORE GUNS!
  • Along with ammo for said guns…
  • All the windows are covered in durable steel bars offering a degree of security aganist everything but the nastiest of zombies or largest of hordes.
  • The non-storefront gun stores, have both toilets with water and a minifridge that might contain food. Along with a backroom full of chemicals and reloading supplies.
  • Damage to store doors/windows may result in an alarm going off. This will attract a lot of zombies and an eyebot, which might summon a cop bot to pacify and beat you to death.
  • You will eventually run out of ammo.
  • And might find a store full of guns without matching ammo, or ammo without matching guns.

Ok I like starting of just looting the woods first the first few days but i find my thirst is an issue unless I’m lucky enough to find a gallon is there any advice you guys can offer

Forage a shit ton and get used to eating enough eggs you risk barfing, they’re the quenchiest thing the woods has to offer that doesn’t require a funnel or cooking. Gourmand is a wonderful trait for eating until you’re not thirsty. Eggs are seasonally dependent now though, this tactic used to be much easier.

Unless things have changed, eggs are one of few raw items that lacks a risk of parasites.

They don’t seem to quench at a rate that is usefull

If you don’t build funnels to collect rain water, you need to stick close to a body of water - a river or a pond. You will also need a boiling container - a pot or a stone pot. Also avoid overclothing yourself. Warmth increases thirst.

With the current experimentals, the light source of a computer is a bit weaker now. Crafting is still possible, but reading is now slower.

One other place that can make a decent base is the sewage treatment plant. Has a computer terminal as well, and if you have the skills you can hack it and open up the basement area for a place to hide out in. There’s also sewer water you can boil. Unlike the water from a river or a toilet, you need a container to store the water first and another to put in the clean water after boiling it.

Sewage treatment plants also have a parking lot in front of the area. Might hold working cars or shopping carts you can drag around for looting. There are zombies around the parking lot though, so there’s a small risk in making that place your base.

Also, kinda a risky place for a base, and certainly a troublesome one to transfer goods in and out, but in towns with subways and sewers, there’s a connecting tunnel in those places that link the two together. Metal doors on both sides. If you’re lucky you can even find a gallon drum in the sewers, and you can hunt rats for meat.

The sewage treatment plant is my preferred hide-out, especially due to the number of doors between me and either exit (of which there are two, if you don’t mind wet clothing). That parking lot means you won’t wake up with giant worms outside your front door, either.
Parking one’s bed by the console behind the computer-locked room makes for an excellent way to keep your scent as buried as possible. Only reason I didn’t live in the basement section was because my playthrough was near enough an anthill that they spawned in said basement. I used the basement instead for hunting.

And yeah, the egg method is not ideal, since as stated, they are not very quenchy. It is the method I aim for if no bodies of water are available. You will always wind up full long before your thirst is slaked, so you’re stuck overeating wastefully to compensate for it. At this early in the game, I typically have no way to cook goods anyway, so over-eating all my raw eggs and saving less perishable finds for later worked out alright. The eggs would spoil waiting for my hunger to return.

I need to test how things are in differing seasons. Previous to seasonal changes, apples were the way to go. Now if you start in spring like I tend to… I don’t even know if eggs appear in spring any more either. My bad, advice was dated.

Lol. Just store water in your car. I think my van has enough water to keep me hydrated for a year. (running on 90 day seasons).

Honestly, choosing Cannibal with wandering NPCs makes things a helluva lot easier later, when you have enough equipment to easily kill one or two stray non-players, and need an edge to other, more rewarding food endeavors. In addition, they’re walking treasure chests of drugs and raw clothing materials.

I normally live in the evac shelter, fortifying it, setting up some funnels, and organizing all my loot within. By the time I’ve secured the base, I’ve normally looted the nearby town to the bones. Having a good mix of melee and bow skill is my usual tactic; a longbow and machete are two items that work very, very well together, provided you have halfway decent arrows. The occasional shotgun or grenade, maybe even a LAW, takes care of particularly troublesome enemies.

Living out of the shelter is usually super easy by then. Hunting animals, foraging when the season’s right, and bagging the occasional survivor, with some fishing here and there, is how I normally sustain my characters for a long, long time.