State of Decay - Weapons & Zeds Guide - Prima Games

State of Decay – Weapons & Zeds Guide

by Prima Games Staff

Since the only good zed is a dead zed, let’s go over the different weapons you can use to take out all the different types of zeds that you’ll come across during the zombie outbreak.

Melee Weapons

There are a total of three classifications for melee weapons: Light Blunt, Light Edged, and Heavy.

Overall, there’s no big difference between them and it is more up to personal preference and skill choice, but they do vary some. Blunt weapons tend to do a little more damage than blade weapons and they knock the zeds around a bit better, making it easier to get killing blows. Edged weapons tend to be very fast and have a chance of killing a zed in one swipe by lopping off their head, but do less damage than blunt weapons. Heavy weapons are very slow, but can hit multiple zeds at once and do a good bit of damage.

Once you choose which weapon class you’ll be using, the key thing to focus on is durability. Every melee weapon has a wrench icon, next to which is a series of boxes. The more boxes that are filled in, the higher the weapon’s durability. So always bring two to three of the most durable weapons you can find. When the weapons turn yellow in your inventory, switch to another weapon. If you have a Workshop, deposit your damaged weapons into the Supply Locker. and your weapons will be repaired in 24 hours.

While there are a variety of weapons in each class, they are pretty much identical aside from appearance and durability. While some weapons may do more damage than others in the same class, the game gives no indication of this.


There are a number of different types of firearms: Pistols, Revolvers, Assault Rifles, Rifles, Submachine Guns, Light Machine Guns, and Grenade Launchers. The ammo used varies from gun to gun, even within the same class. You’ll even encounter some guns with scopes attached and others have the ability to be combined with a suppressor. Some weapons will have different firing modes and you can switch between them by holding LT and hitting A. From time to time, your weapon might jam unless the survivor you’re playing as has an active skill which limits that from occurring.

Reloading can be accomplished in one of the following three ways: Aiming via LT and hitting Y, highlighting the appropriate ammo in your survivor’s inventory and hitting X, or by highlighting ammo in a searched container and hitting X. Be aware that even guns degrade with prolonged use; this will cause them to jam up much more often.

The icons in the leftmost column on firearms represent the following stats:

  • Accuracy
  • Volume (how loud it is; the louder a gun is the more likely a zed is to hear it)
  • Recoil

The icons in the right column represent the following stats:

  • Durability
  • Ability to have a suppressor attached (the box will be checked if this is possible)
  • Optics (when checked, the gun will have some form of scope, allowing you to achieve better accuracy when aiming)

Suppressors are vital when using a gun; they drastically lower the sound a gun makes when firing, thus alerting only the closest of zeds. When you have a suppressor in your inventory, make sure you attach it to a firearm, otherwise it won’t do any good. There are a total of three different suppressors that can be found throughout the game. Each offers a different number of shots fired before breaking.

  • Improvised – 10 shots
  • Homemade – 30 shots
  • Machined – 50 shots

Overall, firearms are a risk/reward weapon. They depend heavily upon a finite resource (ammo), are very loud if you do not attach a suppressor, and you have to actually aim instead of just getting near a zed and swinging with a melee weapon. It is never a bad idea to bring along a gun with a suppressor and spare ammo to take out some of the bigger zeds (such as screamers) with a well-placed headshot from a distance. You should not rely on them for dealing with close- range fights, but they are a good way to start a fight off.

Zombies a/k/a Zeds

Basic Zed

In small numbers, your basic zed is of no real threat. However, in confined spaces, they can be a threat when their numbers start to grow. If you get surrounded, be sure to find the nearest escape route so you can reposition yourself to help even the odds.

Special Zeds

There are a total of five special zeds you will encounter throughout the game. These should be taken out as soon as possible. The easiest way to know you are approaching a special zed is by the red-dot icon on the map; it will be larger than your basic zed’s dot.


These fellows are annoying, especially when there is two or more in a fight. They will often release a high-pitch scream that will stun your survivor for a few seconds, allowing other zeds to attack. This annoyance becomes a real problem when there is more than one Screamer. They can chain their screams together, causing your survivor to be unable to do anything for a long period of time. Make these guys your #1 priority, even if there are bigger zeds around. Thankfully, Screamers are very fragile and will die to a well-placed headshot or a few melee strikes.


Big, strong, and very durable. It’s a good thing they are rather slow and easy to avoid. I try to leave these guys for last and first take out the little guys that get in my way when avoiding the Juggernauts damaging blows. Once the other zeds are gone, it is much easier to flank behind a Juggernaut and chip away at its health; just be sure to avoid its attacks.


These are not encountered very often and are easily taken care of with a firearm. They are rather slow and have a yellow color to them. When they are killed by anything other than a headshot, they will explode and leave behind a poison cloud that will last for a few seconds. Given this, it is highly recommended you try to avoid a close encounter and take them out at a distance.


Easily my least favorite zed in the game. They are fast, strong, and can take a beating. Whenever possible, use firearms to take them out at a distance. If you engage them in melee combat, do your best to knock them to the ground and use a killing blow on them. Try to avoid fighting these whenever possible, I cannot stress that enough.


Very similar to basic zeds, except firearms have very little effect on them due to their armor. Melee weapons work very well and overall these should pose very little threat.

Don’t stop now. We’ve got so many strategies to help you face those zeds:

State of Decay Home Base Locations & Stats

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 – Survivors & Skills Guide

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

State of Decay Vehicle Tips

State of Decay – Facilities

State of Decay Beginner’s Tips

State of Decay – Dude, Where’s My Car? How to Fix & Repair Vehicles

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Prima Games Staff

The staff at Prima Games.

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