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DayZ guide - how to survive the definitive PC zombie game

Staying alive was never more difficult. Here's how to get by in PC's ultimate zombie survival game.


Our DayZ guide starts at the beginning, and assumes you've never played before. Part of the DayZ's charm, similarly to Minecraft, is in its opacity: nothing's explained. You begin standing in the middle of the countryside in the post-Soviet state of Chernarus. You can see trees, hear the birds and relax to the swish of the leaves. Until, obviously, you're eaten to death by zombies because you were having a little happy party instead of taking your survival seriously. And make no mistake: DayZ is a serious game.

Researching DayZ a little will benefit your experience. Our guide tells you how to get going from the very first screen, teaching you how to use the inventory, manage space and which items you should be focusing on acquiring. A water vessel, for instance, is vital if you're going to be able to stay alive and explore, as drinking cans of Coke will only get you so far. We've given you a list of controls as well, because, to be brutally honest, DayZ's a bit weird. It's a first-person action game as opposed to a shooter (don't forget that you can play it in third-person as well), but many of the defaults aren't what you'd expect and there are certainly no little messages popping up telling you what to do and when. You're on your own here. It pays to be informed.

The world of Chernarus is a violent, frightening place, but with the right knowledge and a suitably paranoid outlook you will survive. Just remember: trust no one. You can buy the game on Steam. We'll be updating this guide in the future.

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