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Project Zomboid Beginners Guide

Posted: Feb 7, 2022 in Project Zomboid

mc head By Kevin Lott


When it comes to the apocalypse, there’s little room for error. With man eating zombies at every corner, very few resources to go around, and a massive open world, you’re going to need all the help you can get to make it out alive. Playing Project Zomboid for your first time is an unforgiving experience, and so we’ve decided to put this small guide together to give you the best chance of survival. In this guide, you’ll learn all you need to get started in this abominable asphalt jungle. Let’s begin.

Making your character

Unlike most games, your character is not a consistent representation of your Steam profile. Like an RPG, each new character you make is an entirely new being, with their own name, outfit, customization, starting skills, etc.

create character Project Zomboid

Next, you’ll need to have an understanding of traits and what they do for your character. Occupations are also important, but they’re moreso representations of the traits than full fledged specializations. You can find information on some great starting Traits here.


When you start the game, you’ll spawn inside of a house or trailer. Most runs will have you prioritize getting a weapon, food, and a backpack. Eventually, you’re also going to have to decide on a structure to buld your base in. When you do this, ensure the windows have curtains on them. If not, look in the dressers and bedrooms for spare sheets which can be made into curtains. If all of this isn’t an options and there’s a literal man eating horde of zombies outside of your window, die I guess.

Nah, I’m playing. But anyway, just be cautious. As long as you stay away from the windows and keep quiet, you should be fine. Noise is a big deal in Project Zomboid, so running, swinging your weapon, shouting, and more would all reveal your location. But let’s say you do happen to, I don’t know, trigger the horde. In this case, your best chances to survive is to break line of sight and get away. You can get creative to do this, but a simple and effective method is to break line of sight by entering a building, closing the door, and then exiting through a different door.

What do you value?

Project Zomboidis a game that has loot of all sorts just sitting around. Like most survival games, though, your character has a limited carrying capacity in the form of your inventory. This is why you should always prioritize the essentials. While you may feel that anything and everything can be useful in its own way, you need to create a system that allows you to leave stuff behind. But why is this?

looting kitchen

Unlike most games, inventory management is not simply limited by the UI and how fast you can navigate it. There is a set speed at which your inventory can operate. Looting is an actual process that takes time and makes you vulnerable. This is why we believe you should prioritize the following

  • Water
  • Carpentry and Farming Equipment
  • Weapons
  • Medicine and Medical Supplies
  • Books

There are other important items you may want to grab instead of the ones listed above, but this should help you generally when it comes to what you should be snagging. All of this is also prefaced by the fact that you can simply remember a location if it had desirable loot that you left behind, then return when you’re ready.


Living in this world is tough, but there’s tons of quick and easy tips that can keep you going just a little longer. When it comes to being injured, your character can start bleeding. To stop this, you need to bandage yourself. Bandages can be made by ripping sheets, which can be found almost everywhere. This will stop your bleeding.

finding food

Last time I checked, dudes gotta eat and drink to survive too. Make sure to always feed yourself every time you get hungry, and always eat perishable food first. This is one of the most realistic aspects of Project Zomboid. Foods like Pizza, pie, and Cake should all be eaten as soon as possible, if not immediately. This is because the non-perishables such as Canned Beans and Canned Soup will last forever. That means that you can stockpile them until they are absolutely necessary.

In regards to water, you can drink out of any water dispenser, which is handy. However, it is most ideal to carry a water container of some kind, because your character will automatically drink from it as necessary.

Boosting Skills Early Game

Before everything goes to poop in the inevitable decay that is the post apocolypse, we can exploit the remnants of modern society! Through the use of TV and radio broadcasts, we can increase our skills and lower our boredom. Listening to cooking, carpentry, or outdoor living on the Life and Living TV channel will boost your corresponding skill levels.

You can also boost your skills by reading skill books for your level on your respective topics before watching the broadcasts, which maximize the early boosts you will receive before these resources begin to leave. Then again, reading is for nerds. As a final tip, listen/watch all of these broadcasts with headphones or earbuds so as to not alert any of the dead.

Late Game

After you’ve survived a fair amount of time, whether that be weeks, or even months, zombie blood and corpeses will fill the streets. You’ve managed to survive far into this dreadful world, and that is quite the feat. However, this is just the beginning. This will mark your transition from survivor into something more, someone who will bring the beginning of something new.

Project Zomboid base

This means you’re going to need to get used to building a self-sufficient, one man society through the use of carpentry and farming. Bases that can defend you while you rest, and food resources that are entirely renewable. This is what it means to live instead of survive.


Looting structures and locations is always a risky and unsafe experience. You will never have enough supplies to last you long term, so you’ll need to venture into various different places to scavenge what you’re looking for. Luckily, there is a direct correlation with how rewarding the loot is the riskier it gets…most of the time.

First, know the type of item you are looking for. This is where common sense and street smarts will help you out the most. For example, if you’re looking for farming supplies or construction materials, check out a warehouse or hardware store. If you need food, houses and convenience stores will be the best option. Logically determining the most likely spot for specific types of loot will actually be rewarded.

large map

Next, be cautious about how you enter these structures. Look around to make sure there isn’t a horde on the other side of something you can’t see by using windows. Broken windows are an obvious sign of zombies. Break into these locations as stealthily as possible, ensuring you make as little noise as you can.

All buildings have a chance of triggering a Burglar Alarm which will quickly attract large amounts of zombies to the immediate area. Do your best to run away and take shelter elsewhere until the alarm dies down. Do NOT run into the horde on its way, as they will smash through houses and buildings by breaking glass and doors. The best way to do this is to escape using the route you used to get there, as you’ve already cleared it or stealthed through the zombies there.


Let’s just say it how it is. You’re going to die eventually. I know. Extremely unfortunate, even a little depressing, but still entirely true. Everyone will die eventually, and when it comes to the zombie apocolypse, I ain’t betting on old age to do me in. At the beginning of the game, a screen makes sure to clarify that this is the story of how your character died, so it isn’t exaactly an unexpected surprise to see there’s no way to survive forever. But don’t be sad. Be happy that we get to show our stuff through the use of our superior survival skills!


Project Zomboid is an intense zombie apocalypse survival simulator that really does its best to make you feel like you need to do your best to make it by. Through awesome mechanics such as sound, light, hunger, thirst, injuries, and more the game immerses you in this environemnt. I hope that this blog was able to teach you some things about making it in the apocalypse, and with that, I hope you have a wonderful day!

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