Project Zomboid – 60 tips and tricks (If you have over 100 hours in this game some of these will probably be new to you too)

Project Zomboid – 60 tips and tricks (If you have over 100 hours in this game some of these will probably be new to you too) 1 -
Project Zomboid – 60 tips and tricks (If you have over 100 hours in this game some of these will probably be new to you too) 1 -
Some tips for people that can survive past the first week.



Zomboid Community Tips and Tricks. Add your info here! 
1. If you lure zombies into a building there is a chance a key for that building will spawn when the zombie dies. This works really well when trying to get into storage lots if you don’t have a sledge hammer or don’t want to break the doors and hollow it out to make a base. If used in this manner the key that spawns will only be for the doors assigned to that building unit. Meaning you will need a storage key for each building. If you go across to a new building you will not have that key. 
2. Zombies don’t notice survivors with flashlights at night unless they are facing the flashlight beam. 
3. Engine Quality is important! Not to be confused with Engine Condition. To see Engine Quality click on the engine when you pop the hood and look at the details. Higher quality engines will start more often. As an example. Your Engine Condition (How much damage has been done to the engine) could be at 100% condition. But the Engine Quality (If you have an old junker engine or a Ferrari engine under the hood) could be a quality of 1 and therefor never start. 
4. You can grow plants indoors (A lot of people play with Hydrocraft. Last time I checked Hydrocraft made it so that plants cannot grow indoors unless there is a glass roof on the room the plants grow in. In vanilla Zomboid this restriction does not apply). 
5. Gardens are great but pretty much everything grown from a garden will have very few calories and you will pretty much only lose weight if you eat when you’re hungry leading to the underweight quality. Either stuff your face all the time with garden food or add meat to your diet by fishing and trapping. 
6. You can get washing machines and sinks to work if you have a water collection barrel above them that is either full and indoors or outdoors and filled with rain water. Plumb it to the sink or washing machine and they will work. Also, with sinks the tainted water comes out purified. 
7. If it’s really cold you can leave a wood/antique stove burning all night and it won’t burn your house down. If you’re close to it, it seems to warm you. Closed areas (no open spots in roof or windows) will accumulate heat the fastest, with a curved line of degradation to temps when you have holes in a building. 
8. In the options screen under Accessibility Options there is a button that says return to normal speed when you are done with a normal task. It’s default is off. Turn it on to make your life MUCH easier. Any time you speed up time to do a task like break down a create, read a book, chop a tree etc. and you fast forward the time. It will reset back to normal speed the moment you are done with that task. 
9. You can name your bags. Makes organization easier. However, you cannot name boxes. 
10. If you use the walk command in a forest your character will avoid trees. You’ll still need to watch out for zombies though. 


11. If you hit Shift plus W it will engage the cruise control on any car. Cruise control goes up or down in increments of 5 miles an hour. Cruise control will stay set at this speed if you take manual control for whatever reason (I.e. avoiding an obstacle). So if you would like to go back to that same speed just hit Shift W again. However cruise control will reset back to zero if you get out of your car for any reason. 
12. You can sterilize bandages or ripped sheets with boiling water instead of using alcohol or disinfectant. Use a cooking pot with water, rags, and a heat source all at the same time. Open up the heat source container (make sure the heat source is on of course). Put the cooking pot with water, and rags in. And then start the heat source. Right click on either the pot of water or the bandages and it will say clean rags. In the option it should display the pot of water (I generally do like 100 in one go so I always have sterile bandages so I’m not sure if you click on the water pot or the rags first one or the other) 
13. You can get thread from ripping clothes, which is useful if you want to up xp your tailoring skill 
14. The xp you gain from melee weapon is tied to how much damage you deal with that weapon (which means you’ll get significantly more xp when using a hunting knife than a butter knife, even when doing the one-shot stab animation). Shotgun is the way to go to increase aim skill considering the huge amount of damage and that you can hit up to 4 target with a single shot 
15. The base xp you gain in any skill (except strength and fitness) is 25%. When you have 1/2/3 or more starting points in a specific skill, you’ll gain 75/100/125 % xp in that skill instead (which is 3 times more than usual with only 1 starting point in a skill) 
16. You can sit on floor near a chair, then use the “rest” action on it to double the speed at which you recover from exhaustion (not sure if a bug or intended though) 
17. Sneaking is based on how many zombies DON’T see you when you are sneaking by them. You gain more experience for bigger groups. Sneaking into town at night is a good way to level this skill. A way to power level this skill is to find a two-story building that has a railing or something. Build a rope ladder over the back out a window away from the zombies (Might want to keep an extra one on you just in case zombies tear it down) take out the stairs to the second story. Find a car with a siren. Park it in front of the railings and, at night, let the siren blare. Run around to your sheet rope climb back in and stealth along the wall while all the zombies are there. You’ll massively gain stealth XP. 
18. You can increase the xp in your “maintenance” skill by pushing and foot stomping zombies, which is a good thing to do early game (and easier since the zombies are scattered) to get 1 or 2 levels on that skill before using a weapon. Check your shoes’ durability from time to time though, you certainly don’t want to walk on broken glass without shoes! Using a wood axe on trees is also a good way to gain the maintenance skill as the wood axe does lots of damage to trees. 
19. Maintenance effects how fast your weapons degrade. 
20. Pressing the N key will take your car key out. A fast way to get the key if zombies are around. Alternatively, there is now an automatic in-game option to ‘remove car keys on vehicle exit’. A must unless in MP with a pool of vehicles (Note: When testing in B41 solo I can’t seem to get this automatic function to work in the accessibility options. The N button key works but I can’t figure out how to make it automatically take it regardless of turning on the auto function. Might also be a MP thing) 


21. You can forage or fish and speed up time to make it go faster. While you are sped up you can hold the right mouse button and twirl around so you can see any potential zombies coming up on you. If you move while resting this will revert time to normal speed. 
22. If you have backpacks in both arms and are over encumbered you can’t jump over a wall. But you can climb a sheet rope without dropping anything. If you jump over a wall you will drop whatever is in your secondary hand. 
23. You can roll down your window and shoot from your car with a gun. If you open a box of bullets you can set it on the seat beside you ready to restock. NOTE. You can reload your gun while driving however you cannot move bullets from your car seat to your person unless you stopped to do so. 
24. Zombies will unload. So, if you see a zombie with something you want (Axe, spear, etc.) don’t leave the area. The zombie won’t be there when you get back. This is partially not true now as the devs have made zombies more persistent in the world but this still applies though to a lesser degree now. 
25. Motorcycle Helmets give skull AND neck protection. Regular hardhats etc. will only give skull protection. 
26. If your Carpentry is low a good way to get it up is to dismantle things in the house you loot. Beds give the most xp. This is a good side project to do while you are out getting loot. Two birds one stone. 
27. If you crouch and yell you will have a smaller sound radius than if you stand up and yell. Good for drawing small groups of zombies at a time when there are a lot around. 
28. There is a weather station on the radio and it will give you the weather for the current day and the next day at every hour on the hour. However, it is randomized on each play through. Check every radio for their presets eventually you will find it. It’s very useful to know. 
29. The radio will also warn you of the Helicopter Event. It will tell you if there is “Incoming Air Activity” it will also warn you if there is a blizzard coming and how many days away it is so you can plan appropriately. At 9am the weather channel will up date and tell you the current day and tomorrows weather. 
30. If you equip the radio in your primary hand you can listen to it while you are out in the field. Make sure to bring earbuds or a headset and MAKE SURE IT’S PLUGED INTO THE RADIO (You have to drag and drop it onto the earbud slot). Otherwise the zombies will hear the radio and come towards you. You can set a radio at your place by using the place option. 


31. Never add more than the same three ingredients to a meal. It will make you unhappy if you add more than three. (If you want to be lazy, one bowl and three cabbages will feed you and not make you unhappy) In converse, if you never add more than one of any type of ingredient to a meal mix, and instead use more varied recipes, then chances are the meal quality will be higher and you can gain happiness boosts and more cooking xp. At a certain point of cooking you can cook with rotten food. The food is edible and won’t make you sick but you won’t get nearly as much hunger value from the food as you are cutting away all the rotten parts of the food you’re cooking. But useful in a pinch if you have the skill. 
32. When cooking look at the numbers to the right of the ingredient you’re using. Those numbers are how much it will increase the hunger stat. Higher number means you’ll get more from it. As you use more of the ingredient this number will go down. 
33. If you are doing a burn and there are already dead zombies around, the burning zombies can’t light the dead zombies on fire. Also, cars can’t be set on fire so running around your car can be a good tactic. However, zombies that have turned to ash seem to act like regular dead zombies and will attract flies and make you sick in large numbers. Zombies can now also crawl under cars. Be careful of this. 
34. When cooking use a frying pan or roasting pan can use up to six ingredients but needs to be cooked. Salad’s don’t need to be cooked and holds up to 6 ingredients but spoil the fastest of all recipes. Rice/Pasta or Soup/Stew can use up to 6 recipes. You can add stale food to the meal and while you don’t get as much hunger from it you can cook out the boredom and unhappiness. A good way to increase the shelf life of your food. 
35. Cabbages take the least amount of time to grow at 14 days. However, Carrots are right behind them at 15 days. Carrots need full water at seeds and then a MAX of 65 water after that (Best to grow them in doors). If you build box traps carrots are rabbit’s favorite food when trapping. Between cabbages, carrots, and Rabbits you’ll have maxed out food almost always. Although cabbages are rabbits second favorite food so you can also max out with just cabbage and rabbit. 
36. As you get further into a game your panic level will decrease when seeing zombies. 
37. You can tune the car radio to the weather station. 
38. Hovering over your keys will show you what doors they open when you are in a house if you have the key 
39. Just about everything can be picked up. If you use the lift button and hover over the item it will tell you what you need to pick up that item. If there are multiple items in a square hit the R button to rotate through them. As an example, if there is a night stand with a lamp and a picture behind it you would hit R and it would rotate between the nightstand, the lamp, the picture, and then finally the floor. This is useful if you want to decorate your home. Windows, doors, and outside lights are especially useful for base building. Although with doors you have to deconstruct them and they don’t always give you all the door parts. Signs above shops can also usually be picked up although you will need to build a staircase to get them. Possibly also floors depending on the size of the sign. 
40. Zombies have a natural affinity for doors and windows. If you find yourself being pursued by a large portion of them lead them over to a building and run along the wall. The zombies following you will tend to get interested in the doors and windows allowing you to escape when you break line of sight. 


41. A good tactic to get zombies away from an area is to get their attention and then run around them to force them into a ball. Then you can lead the whole group away from the area you want to loot. Some zombies are faster than others and their speed increases a little when they get close to you so you might have to run around them a couple of times to make sure everyone is still following you. Combined with an active fire pit this is a good way to take care of large groups of zombies by having them walk over it and burn to death. The burning bodies of the fallen will ignite zombies that aren’t on fire but only when they fall. They will not ignite other zombies if they are on fire and still moving regardless of how close they are. NOTE: If a fire zombie attacks you they CAN set you on fire. This is a double-edged sword. 
42. As of right now Zomboid does not have physics for created structures. This can allow you to create buildings that are entirely off the ground. Or over a body of water. You can build on water. First build a stairway and floors over the water build a window and a rope ladder down. Use the window. You will be standing on the water (limited to that tile only you can’t walk on it, insert jokes here) build a floor under you and you can expand from there. 
43. Bring a notebook, pen or pencil, and an eraser with you and favorite the notebook (If you favorite an item you won’t drop it or use it in a recipe good to use when dismantling watches on zombies). You can write and erase in the notebook. Zomboid is a game where you have different tasks that are safer to do at different points of time in the day so you will constantly be doing something. Writing them down in a notebook is a good and easy way of remembering things you wanted to get done. A good idea might be to write the date you started some crops so you know when they will be ready (Check the Zomboid Wiki for grow times). 
44. Generators have a 20-tile radius in which they work and will provide electricity to two floors above and two floors below your structure. 
45. Most Medical Beds can be picked up without needing any skill or risk of breaking. All of them give Average Quality Sleep except one: the Large Medical Bed give Good Sleep Quality. Outside of a tent the bed that weighs the least and is the easiest to carry around is the Stretcher Bed. It does break down into two pieces but each piece weighs 2.5. For a total of 5 weight. However like the tent it gives Average Quality Sleep. 
46. You CAN use a microwave and a saucepan (or some similar metal water container) and boil tainted water into clean drinkable water. Although you might have to turn the settings on max to do so. 
47. If you put something metal (Anything with metal, saucepan, can opener etc.) in a microwave it will make a ton of noise (With the exception of a metal container with water in it. It will just make the normal microwave noise). This could possibly be used as a way to attract zombies. It used to, or is supposed to, eventually explode. After three hours of continuous use and trying it on different setting of temp with metal in it, it seems like this no longer happens. 
48. In a microwave you can burn food so badly it bursts into flames. Resulting in burning down your house, be careful. If you put a piece of metal with the food in the microwave the food won’t burn down the house for some reason. Although the microwave still makes a lot of noise that zombies will be attracted to it won’t burn down your house. 
49. If you come across a car wreck with two wheels on the street one of those two tires will be in full condition. 
50. Fixing a generator increases Electrical slightly. Your electoral skill also determines how much scrap you use when repairing a generator. 


51. Stamina/Exertion recovery goes down the more Tired Moodles you have. At Ridiculously Tired you no longer regain stamina. 
52. The green Progress Bar when you are working out determines how sore/in pain you will be the next day. The higher the progress bar the faster you will recover from the soreness. 
53. Lightfooted, nimble, and sneaking will only level up while you are near zombies. If you are walking or running normally and a zombie does not notice you Lightfooted will go up so long as you are within range of the zombie. If you are to far away from the zombie this will not trigger. Sneak walking and running should also level this. Nimble will level when you are doing action items (hopping a fence, jumping through a window etc.) when zombies are nearby. You can also level Nimble without zombies by walking around in the combat stance though this method is very slow (about 0.5 xp per couple of seconds). Standing in combat stance does nothing you must be walking. For the Sneak Skill you can only gain it by sneaking near zombies that don’t notice you. 
54. You can gain Strength xp so long as you are walking with an encumbered load. Taking unemployed, no traits, and testing for one-minute intervals I found that the xp gained seemed to fall within a range. If you had a Fairly Heavy Load while walking the xp gain per minute would be somewhere around 2-8xp. With a Very Heavy Load I was consistently getting 8-20xp per minute. I always gained 2xp at a time. Also I was able to dig up a patch note from 2016 (IWBUMS 34.5 update) on the relationship between protein and the strength stat. At that time there was a patch note saying that you would gain strength xp faster with a good protein balance. Someone dug up the formula in the game files and found out what that means: To little protein you’d gain strength xp at 70% of normal. To much protein and you’d gain strength xp at 150% of normal. I have gone through all the patch notes from Build 11 to Build 41 on the PZ wiki and I have found no notes added saying they have made changes to how strength and protein work after this update. So far as I can tell this is still true and you will gain more strength xp with a protein rich diet. 
55. If you are driving you can sleep safely in your car if you drive up to a building and put the driver’s side door as close to the wall as possible. You can test to see if zombies can get you by trying to exit the vehicle. If your driver’s side door is sufficiently blocked you should exit through the passenger side door. If this is the case get back in and move over to the driver side (Using the Z button). It should now be safe enough to sleep. NOTE: Sleeping in a car does not give good quality sleep, so you will get tired faster after sleeping in a car. DOUBLE NOTE: Turns out if you are a soldier and are desensitized to zombies you can actually sleep in your car surrounded by thousands of zombies trying to get you. 
56. Pressing the “Z” key while in the car will automatically take you to the Switch Seats screen. 
57. Strawberries are a great way to fight off depression. Fresh strawberries will reduce unhappiness by -10. But they only last for 2 days so freeze them right away. Or rotate crops so you always have a fresh batch. 
58. If you sit in a car, sit on the ground, or rest at a chair or bed you will regain your endurance four times faster than if you stand. If you sit on the ground near a bed or chair and use the rest option you will regain endurance about twice as fast as that. Sitting + Resting is almost eight times faster than standing. 
59. Glove Boxes, car seats, and trunks are containers and their sizes depend on the kind of car. Glove Boxes: Normal cars have a capacity of 3, sport cars have a capacity of 5, and heavy-duty have a capacity of 10. Car Seats have three different variations regardless of kind of car Sport seats have a capacity of 10, Normal has a capacity of 20 and Heavy-Duty has a capacity of 30. The largest trunks can hold 100. NOTE If the condition of any of these components are less than 100% condition, they will have less than these numbers. These numbers are also affected by the traits Organized and Disorganized. A full maxed out van toeing another fully maxed out van can carry 500 units of cargo. Not to mention yourself carrying a backpack in each arm and one on your back (Fun fact: The devs added a game file for all the car parts called “vehiclesitems” which lists all of the car parts by group, Glove boxes, wheels, etc. All of the “Trunks” in the game are listed under “Vegeta’s son”) 
60. A trailers carrying capacity is NOT affected by what condition it’s in or how much damage it takes. Unlike vehicles and their parts. 


61. You can increase cooking by getting foraging up to level four. At this level you can cook bugs. Bugs weigh very little. Gather up a couple of hundred from foraging and then cook all of them (They should say Uncooked if you can cook them) and throw them all in the oven and cook them at once. You get xp for every item cooked. Hundreds of bugs = hundreds of xp. Also a lot of bugs are nonperishable and are a good way to stock up food for the winter. 
62. You only get Mechanic skill xp from a car when you replace it’s parts. The xp you get from any car/part has a timer on it of 24 hours before you can get xp from that car/part again. Improve this skill by bringing a few cars back to your base and create a schedule around working on them everyday. If you completely disassemble and reassemble every part in a car and then repeat that process after 24 hours you’re levels will go up quickly. 
63. The best time to fish is between 6am to 9am and 6pm and 9pm. Since fishing degrades the object you are using to fish with, using a spear to fish for the first couple of levels might be a good idea, allowing you to save up any actual fishing poles you have for later levels of fishing. 

Hope you enjoy the Guide about Project Zomboid – 60 tips and tricks (If you have over 100 hours in this game some of these will probably be new to you too), if you think we should add extra information or forget something, please let us know via comment below, and we will do our best to fix or update as soon as possible!

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