Perhaps one of the most unique zombie games ever, State of Decay isn't all about blasting zombies' brains or intense action. The key to this game is survival; building relationships with others, gathering items, and setting up a home base.

This guide covers the crucial elements on how to properly maintain a healthy, happy, and fear-free group in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. We also focus on the Morale Meter – your community's life-sanity gauge. Let this run low, and you can kiss your team goodbye.

Take note that nobody's perfect: Something will always come up, and problems will arise. Hey, this is the end of the world, after all...   

Morale Meter: Keep It Full

The Morale Meter dictates everyone's overall perception of your base and its stats. Without it, your group will fall apart. Trust will decrease, sickness will elevate, and accidents will happen. Eventually, members may choose to ditch the group.

For example, sending one of your members out for a scavenging hunt may seem like a good idea, but their precaution and safety performance will be affected depending on your Morale gauge. If it's full, you can expect things to run fluently. If it's low, they may go missing, get eaten, or request help.   

To maintain the gauge, be sure to:

  • Listen to Lily
  • Complete side-quests
  • Build requested-facilities
  • Defeat Hordes and Infestations
  • Straighten-out any anger, sad, or fear issues with group members
  • Switch characters to regain vital and fatigue
  • Scavenge proper resources for each facility (food, material, fuel, medicine)

Build Influence

Influence is your currency; dough you earn by completing missions, side-quests, and earning items for your stockpile. Everything relies on Influence.

For example, to build a Watchtower for your base, you must have a proper amount of Influence. To upgrade a medical facility, you need Influence. When you take or drop items and weapons from your stockpile, the currency will increase or decrease.

In general, gathering items, stocking up, and completing any missions on the map will help sustain your Influence's spending. The more currency you have flowing, the more smoothly everything will operate.

Building a Home Base

The only way to survive a zombie apocalypse is to build an empire; er, a home, rather. This is where everyone will be staying, sleeping, eating, drinking – what have you.

Just because you've got a Home Base doesn't mean everyone's safe. You must expand its horizon by constructing facilities in order to maintain a healthy and safe environment.

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You have a lot of work to do when setting up a new home. Though food and medicine seem to be the most important, you'll need to find them first. Performing these steps below on your first visit will get things running efficiently. 

Survey Points

Survey Points, such as water or radio towers, allow you to scout the area from high ground and check what the zone has to offer. These pinpoint potential Home Bases, hordes, threats, and item caches. Anything viewed here will be marked on your map, making it easier to familiarize yourself with the environment.

Gather Items

Stock up on some food and medicine first, then concentrate on scavenging materials. As long as you have a decent supply of resources within the day, materials will need to be gathered in order to start your construction.

Creating Outposts

While you search for resources in markets, homes, and warehouses, you'll want to create Outposts. Outposts are your home-away-from-home buildings; they act as a separate or connected safe zone. These prevent most of the undead from entering your base, and provide a safer perimeter without spawning infestations.

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In order to form an Outpost, you must fully-search through the building. Every highlighted-drawer, table, and cabinet – you name it. Be sure to eliminate any Zeds that roam this area as well.

Each Outpost you create will spawn a Supply Locker; the same stockpile kept at your base. If you're hurting for a new weapon or healing item, run to the closest Outpost!

The most important way to keep your base safe is by surrounding it with Outposts. Traps can be set (and reestablished through the base menu) in Outposts. Simply having one side of your base defended will result in attracting waves from another direction.

Additionally, it's best to set up posts that carry item caches. There's no sense in using an empty office. Instead of picking up the items you find and bringing them home, set up a post. Doing so will give you a helpful bonus and items will flow into your base after some time. Of course, you're going to need resources at first, so spend the time to look around.

It would make sense to develop each Outpost with each resource cache: fuel, medicine, material, and ammo. Though you won't have the chance right away, this can balance your base's needs and halt the hassle to run off for food in case of an emergency.      

At first, you'll only have the capability of forming four Outposts. Once you find a larger base (and expand your population), more Outposts can be developed. The more Outposts, the easier your team can get around.


To set up an Outpost, press down on the D-Pad to access the radio menu. If you request this too many times in a short period, you'll have to wait a little while before you're able to form one again.  

Medicine Woman

One of your first priorities is developing the medical area. Having a medical hub can prevent sickness and injuries. As you progress, characters will develop symptoms of injury and sickness. Be sure to upgrade it to an Infirmary/Medical Lab for preparation.

Everyone Needs Shelter 

Not having enough beds for everyone will prevent people from getting rest, which is needed quite frequently. Because you need to swap characters often, ensure your members are regaining their vital and fatigue. Tiredness leaves you no energy to escape from zombies. You never know what you'll encounter out there!

Establish a Workshop & Storage

Workshops are a handyman's best friend. It's also valuable considering your weapons and vehicles are quite fragile. Having one in your base can repair your melee weapons and vehicles (when upgraded to an Auto Repair Shop). They can also develop suppressors and additional weapons to your arsenal. Stash away broken-weapons in your stockpile to get them repaired. 

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The MOST important thing about Workshops is that they allow you to build storage areas. Without storage, resources can exceed its stock limit. In other words, if you've got too much food coming in, whatever's not used goes to waste. Space is your best friend.        

Train Characters

Larger bases allow you to set up a training room. Here they can improve their fighting skills, firearms, and survival tactics. Everyone – one way or another – is going to head outside the base, so it's best to have them trained. This prevents fear within your community. Also, any member CAN die...even your most valuable one.

Upgrade, Upgrade...

Every facility can be upgraded (besides built-in ones, such as the Radio Room). Instead of letting your folks chow their meal on the ground, you can construct Dining Rooms and Kitchens for cooking big meals. This is a far-better way of keeping the community sanitary, and makes them feel more at home.  

I Heart Radio

If you're not sure where to locate certain caches, ask Lily from your Radio Room menu. This usually takes roughly nine minutes to reveal zones that carry them. This also costs some Influence, but not a whole lot.

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Your radio can also request a search for new survivors, as well as additional commands further in the game. Pressing down on the D-Pad accesses these commands, such as sending members to scavenge items for you, creating an Outpost, or even summoning backup. If you're hands are full, or you're outnumbered by Zeds, don't be shy to radio-in for help! 


Watchtowers are lookouts (don't get them confused with Survey Points). Every base has them. Members will automatically keep on the watch at your base's entrance. To improve security (and lessen concern), assign sharpshooting.

Other Things That Make 'em Smile     

Circle of Trust

Aiding others can result in a bunch of scenarios. For one, your trust builds up with them. With more trust, you become friends with that person. At that point, you can gain control of more characters. If you've ever heard of the circle of trust (from the movie Meet the Parents), you'll want everyone to stay in it – not break it. 

Hi-Ho, Neighbor! 

Helping others not only makes everyone happy, but it can gain you trading missions. (This falls in the same lines with the trust asset above.) Say your group is low on ammo. Other survivors may offer you some in exchange for food. Some may choose to join your base in the future, too!

Character Skills

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Check each survivor's skills on the character menu. Some may be useless, while others are good for carpentry, cooking, maintenance, etc. This helps you expand each facility with the right people. For example, if someone knows their handyman-work, you can upgrade your Workshop extensionally. This is another reason why it's important to gather new survivors.

More so, each playable character can have their skills boosted. Consider fighting, deciding, or jogging more to increase their skill stats.

Zombie Slaying & Defending Your Posts

Always keep your eye on the map. Attempt your best effort to keep the areas Zed-free. Sometimes, just plain-ol' zombie killing cheers everyone up. This keeps you busy, but also shuts up Lily momentarily...  

Additionally, hordes will occasionally march toward your base. Though Outposts can help defend and prevent invasion, this brings upon fear in your community. Take the moment to plow over them with a vehicle, ensuring everyone's safe.

Swamping Characters

As noted before, each character falls with fatigue. This usually occurs within completing a mission or two. Depending on your relationship with a person, you can switch characters at any given time (no matter where you are). Unless every member is busy with a mission, don't waste time returning to your base. Doing so will allow the other to rest ease, regain stamina, vital, and some sleep.

Time is Real

Say you want to take a break from State of Decay. Well, while you're gone, your Morale Meter will drain. Similar to Animal Crossing, stuff will apparently happen while you head off to work or school. When you load your game back up, you need to regain your Morale status (depending on the time lost).

Also, any time you send off a survivor for a scavenger hunt, keep in mind that this person will venture off on foot. Don't bother sending them too far unless you provide an escort. This usually leads them into life-threatening scenarios.

Nobody is Perfect

Take a moment to accept the fact that people are going to die. They're going to get sick. Sacrifices will have to be made. There's no rewind button once a member is killed; it's the way it is. You just need to move on and continue your survival.    

We've got more tips to help you survive the end of the world. Check them out below . . .

State of Decay Walkthrough - Starting Missions

State of Decay Walkthrough - Army Missions

State of Decay Walkthrough - Courthouse Missions

State of Decay Walkthrough - Wilkerson Missions

State of Decay Walkthrough - Grange Missions

State of Decay Walkthrough - Ray Santos & Misc Missions

State of Decay: 10 Mistakes That’ll Get You Killed

State of Decay Vehicle Tips

State of Decay Beginner’s Tips