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DayZ guide - tips for getting started

DayZ isn't easy. Here are some quick tips to get you going.

Um. I don't know what's happening.

Welcome to DayZ! This is a game about being confused and scared, emotions accentuated by nothing being explained to you. At all. We're assuming you've never played ARMA III (the military shooter on which DayZ was originally based). The object is to survive. When you spawn you will be standing in countryside. You'll probably be able to see a single building or village. Move towards it.


There'll be stuff in those buildings. Undead, too, but that's life.

Now what?

  • Rule #1 - Avoid confrontation. This is Survival Horror (note the capital "S" and "H"). The countryside's infested with zombies, and other players are most likely hostile. Everything wants you dead.
  • Rule #2 - Avoid confrontation. This... You get it.
  • Rule #3 - Be patient and use your eyes. Rushing around without searching properly will get you nowhere.

This is exactly what you don't want to happen in the early stages of DayZ. It's blurry because I'm dying.

You need to do the following as priorities:

  1. Try to find out where you are. There are dozens of DayZ maps online, but this one, created by Zam, is amazing.


  2. Make a move. You've got two real choices. You can head to the nearest large city (better loot, more danger) or try to hit a smaller town (lesser loot, lesser danger) to gear-up. If you spawned near the coast, the big local centres will probably be Chernogorsk or Elektrozavodsk. If you can see the sea, you want to walk in one direction or another along the coastline. If you can't locate yourself and you're just standing in the middle of the countryside, aim at whatever buildings or landmarks you can see. Buildings contain stuff.
  3. Get stuff. You're looking for high yield loot sites. You can filter the level of yield for each site on that map. Try to avoid the low yield sites (too much danger for too little reward), but, as a general rule, search buildings for gear. These are things you need to get:
  • Medical supplies. You're after bandages (for bleeding) and morphine (for broken bones).
  • Weapons. Until you're more familiar with the game, try to think of weapons as a last resort.
  • Sustenance. Cans of drink, meat, fruit and other items stop you from starving. Getting a water container is a priority. Once you have one, drink cans of soda as soon as you find them to keep inventory slots free and blood sugar up.
  • General kit. This includes rucksacks, helmets and so on. Getting a bigger rucksack is an early focus.

Don't forget to check out the rest of our DayZ guide. Good luck, survivor.

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