The story in State of Decay is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg, there are many more aspects to the game that can be rather overwhelming once you delve into the ambitious world Undead Labs has crafted for their inaugural game.

Here I will cover the starting missions and briefly touch on the core component of State of Decay. I’ll focus on those in some more depth in other articles, but for now let’s focus on the story.


Keep in mind some of these missions will NOT show up as soon as a previous one is completed. If they do not use this time to collect resources and also clear out the town of infestations and help survivors. If there are too many infestations and survivors in need of help it will slow down new mission occurrences.

Mission: Find Help

The story starts out with you, Marcus Campbell, and friend, Ed Jones, hanging out on what must have been a nice camping trip, but as we see that is no longer the case. Take out the zombies, otherwise known as zeds, and make your way to the Ranger Station. If you lose your way, look at the map via the Back button to see your surroundings as well as all the missions you may have available to you at any
given time.

When you arrive you’ll meet up with another group of survivors and they will point you in the direction of a water tower that you can use as a survey spot. Head to the water tower and climb to the top. Once there, use LT to zoom in and focus on any and all question marks to add structure and car locations to your map. It will also identify any hordes and strong zeds in the area. Remember to keep an eye out for other survey locations throughout the game, they will be a big help in getting your bearings in new and unfamiliar areas.

Once you have identified all the points of interest in the area you’ll hear a few gunshots off in the distance. Sounds like you’re not the only ones who had your camping trip ruined today; better help them out. You have a choice of either rushing to the new waypoint on the map to help this person out or doing a little scavenging. I highly recommend you spend time looking for loot, as this person will be there when you’re ready. It’s better to stock up now so you are better suited for the fight ahead.

Bring up your map and head to any of the campsites or building in the local area you wish to, taking loot as you see fit. Remember, personal inventory space is limited and some items may not be useful for you and are best left behind. When you do end up running out of inventory space, head back to the Ranger Station and make use of the Supply Locker there to store unneeded items. It is always a good idea to carry two weapons since they can break as well as a good number of healing and stamina items, try to leave a spot or two empty for the loot you’ll find. Hopefully during your scavenging you’ll find a large backpack , equip it as soon as you do, it will increase your personal inventory by two.

Once you’re stocked up and ready to go head to the river to find Maya Torres. Take care of all the zeds there to add her to your team. At this point you can switch between Marcus and Maya whenever you want by talking to them and choosing “You take over” or something similar. The key benefits of this is that when your current character is low on health/stamina switching to another character will allow them to rest and get back up to maximum. Be careful, when a survivor dies that’s it they’re gone for good. This isn’t your typical action/adventure zombie game, survivors are just as precious as healing items and ammo, so don’t waste them.  It also gives you a chance to level up the skills of all your playable survivors, but more on skills in another article.

Head back to the Ranger Station to find out that your new found friends aren’t doing so well. Once you are back in control, take whatever you can from the Supply Locker with both Marcus and Maya. Be aware survivors do NOT share inventory so make sure they are prepared for the journey ahead. Bring up the map and look for the Industrial Supply Store, head over to it and hop in the car there. Follow the main road toward the new mission marker. You’ll eventually read a broken bridge, so make sure you are going as fast as possible and jump the gap. If you happen to not make the jump and end up in the ravine below simply climb up the nearby cliffs and continue on to the next town.

Take note that cars in this game are very useful not only for getting around, but for taking out zeds, but they are not without their downsides. Cars, like everything else in this game, are finite and they can break, so be careful how you drive.

Mission: The Voice On The Radio

Simply head to the Church of the Ascension, which is marked on your map, to meet up with Lily and your first “Home”.

Mission: Home Sweet Home

Lily takes you on a tour of your new area and explains how things work around here. I will go in more depth in a later article, but for now this is basically your base of operations.

All survivors will be here unless they are out trying to clean up the zeds. You and your team will rest up here and all the supplies you find must be delivered to your base. You can then use those resources to build up your base, add facilities, and research some new items or buffs for your team, but more on that in another article. You are also introduced to State of Decays form of currency, Influence. You gain influence by completing missions, delivering supplies, and pretty much just being a stand up member of your group. You can then use your Influence to purchase items at the Supply Depot. If you have a weapon that is damaged you can deposit it into the Supply Depot and in 24 (real world) hours it will be repaired

Also, if you have a Workshop you can park any damaged cars outside your base and leave them there for some time and they will be repaired as well.

You can also set up outposts in nearby structures in town, four at first, more later on. These outposts will provide safe areas for you to restock on items and also help keep the streets clear of zeds in the general vicinity of the outpost. In order to set an outpost up you need to clear it of zeds and fully search the location. When those requirements are met press Down on the D-Pad to radio base and tell them you want this location to be an outpost.

Mission: Lay of the Land

Soon Lily will ask you to climb up a nearby cell tower to survey the town, this is just like the time you climbed the water tower at the Ranger Station. So simply head to the cell tower and use LT to identify the surrounding points of interest. When done you’ll be told to head to the Vet Clinic to get some meds. You should also get access to a non-story related mission where you can help some other survivors, you can do that now if you want, but it is not required.

Survivors and recruiting them are critical to bolstering your base, but just make sure you have enough beds for them. To recruit them simply gain trust by helping a group of survivors out during optional side-quests and then using the radio in town to offer your base to fellow survivors. To access the radio, hit Back and use LB/RB to select the Home section and then locate the radio tower icon. You will have an option to look for resources or to radio for survivors. Once you radio for survivors and the required amount of time has passed you can then recruit the survivors you have been helping.

Mission: The Vet Clinic

Your buddy Ed needs some medicine and the best place to find some is the Vet Clinic, so head on over there taking out any zeds that get in your way. Once there, clear the area of zeds so your team will start searching for supplies. While they are doing so guard the area from any zeds that are unlucky enough to shamble their way inside looking for an easy meal. When they are ready to leave, go and search the area yourself for any supplies you want and take a rucksack with medicine. Whenever you are on your way back to base, always bring some supplies with you. You can only carry one rucksack worth of supplies, but may as well bring stuff home since you’re headed there anyway.

This brings up another useful feature of the radio. You can call a survivor to pick up located supplies by hovering over the supplies and holding Y. They will then make their way to the supplies and bring them back on their own. You can choose to guard them to make sure they make it back in one piece if you want.

Back to the mission at hand. Once you and your team are headed back home, you will eventually be tasked with finding a vehicle; do so and then continue home. You will soon be told about two missions, you can do them in any order, but let’s go rescue Lily’s brother, it’s the least we can do after not telling her that her father is dead don’t ya think?

Mission: Lily's Brother

Head out to the farm and help Jacob and Eli take out all the zeds in the area. Once the area is clear you need to make a distraction so Eli can get away. Jacon hands you some firecrackers but they are needed. Simply hop into a car and click LS (Left stick) to honk your horn, fill up the meter and then simply take Jacob back to Lily at the church.