DayZ: Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse With Only a Flashlight and a Tin Can.
I have been playing DayZ for a couple of weeks now. However my favorite Zombie survival game just moved from an apocalyptic challenge to an infected gauntlet of death. Entering the updated world of DayZ is like getting dropped into a mix of Bear Grylls survival in a zombie apocalypse, steeped in the stew of desperation found in Amnesia the Dark Descent.
In the past, when you started out, you would have 2 cans of beans, bandages, morphine injectors for broken bones, a canteen and a Makarov pistol with a supply of clips. Now you find yourself on a beach with no gun, one bandage, no cure for broken bones, no food or water and a flashlight. Zombies now have a few behavioral changes which means they will be more reactive towards you and hit harder, but you can also lose them in a chase.
I have collected a few of my experiences below to help players adjust to the new challenges they face in DayZ. For new players, my recent article on survival lessons will still be helpful in an overall approach to the DayZ experience.
Hit The Dirt:
More than ever, your visibility and noise will have dire consequences. Zombies have a significantly keener detection ability than they had before; they are now inside structures, as well as outside. Towns now are dangerous deathtraps, especially when you have no means to defend yourself. Zombies can detect you more easily and they hit like a mad bull, goring you and breaking bones. They can easily knock you out and then start consuming your flesh before you have a chance to recover. With no gun, crawling away from a feasting horde with a broken leg is just momentarily staving off a brutal death.
Don’t enter a town standing straight up. Even a running crouch is likely to get zombies hot on your trail. If you have no gun, or the newly introduced melee hatchets and crowbars, you should try to approach any structures while crawling. This will lower your visibility and noise creation, giving you a chance to get into an open doorway and search for equipment, food and weapons. This also helps lower your visibility in regards to other players that may shoot you on sight.
Give zombies a very wide berth. You don’t want to get too close and already be on your stomach when a zombie runs over to rip your flesh off. Being face down in the dirt can help, but realize it also has its vulnerabilities. Plot your route and carefully plan when you need to move to a walking crouch position. You can walk in a crouch by double tapping shift, or just holding shift, while you move forward. If a building has a ramp instead of a step, you can roll up the step using ‘Q’ or ‘E’, depending on the direction you wish to roll.
Zombies Can Be Distracted:
If you enter a building and find only old tin cans, flares, chem-lights or empty soda cans and liquor bottles, don’t despair. These items can be very useful when dealing with groups of zombies. Used proactively, these items can distract zombies and create an easier path into, or out of, a structure.
Flares and chem-lights can be used at night to distract zombies. To use them, place them in your general inventory and cycle to the item using the ‘F’ key. Once selected you can then use the left mouse button to throw the flare or chem-light off in a direction safely away from where you wish to go. Zombies will be attracted to the light and will move off to investigate it. Be aware that using these at night also alerts other players to your presence. In the deep darkness of night, your flare or chem-light can be visible for large distances; it will be a beacon to bandits looking to hunt other players.
Bottles, tin cans, empty soda cans and smoke grenades are great visual and auditory distractions to use during daylight hours. If you are trapped inside a building with no weapon and only tin cans, you might try throwing the cans away from you and bounce it off an object such as a house or a tree. Smoke grenades are great visual and auditory distractions for large groups of zombies, however you may only find these inside deer stands, military bases or military zombie corpses.
How To Ditch A Zombie On Your Heels:
At some point you are going to run into an instance where you have a zombie, or multiple zombies, come after you. You may not have a weapon or have little ammo. You may not want to shoot as you don’t wish to gain more attention to yourself, attracting more zombies or nearby Bandits.
Because zombies may lose sight of you at times when you run, this can be utilized to your advantage. Crouch run when you are being chased, this might help keep other zombies from being attracted to the chase, as sprinting will make you much more noticeable. Head for areas that allow you to turn corners or lose line of sight. This could be zigzagging around buildings or through a heavily treed forest. Try and find a large object and take a sharp change in direction of travel. You may confuse the zombie and leave him searching the tree or building that you have dodged behind.
If you are in an open area you can try to use large objects and duck behind them, hoping to lose line of sight that way. You can circle a large tree or a hay bale, keeping it between you and the zombie. Once the zombie stops running and begins searching the other side of the object, hit the dirt and silently crawl away.
If the only escape open to you is a building with two entrances, you can lure the zombies to the front entrance and then crouch-run out the back; buying you some time to put distance between you and the pursuing death machine.