While folks like KD Wolf may not need a firearm to be successful in DayZ, the average resident of Chernarus is pretty much dead unless he or she can get their hands on a gun. Don't believe us? Go for a brisk morning jog along the coast between Kamyshovo and Elektro, then report back with how well you made out with your trusty Farming Hoe. Best-case scenario is that you get into an epic melee battle with another fresh spawn and become YouTube famous for about five minutes.
Now that we've finished telling you why you need a gun, we should likely switch gears and actually show you where you can find one. This of course can change as Bohemia updates the game, so it's worth noting this information is accurate as of 0.54, and we'll do our best to make any corrections or additions in the weeks and months to come.
We're going to start off with the best place to find a gun, although it might not be the automatic weapon you were hoping for. These houses are commonly referred to as gun houses, and they almost always have a firearm laying on the floor in the corner. Players can identify these buildings by the metal roofs, dark wood along the front and yellow wood on the sides. It also has blue shutters on the rear windows. These buildings are found in almost every town, regardless of the size. Expect to find weapons like the Sporter 22, Repeater, Blaze 95 Double Rifle, Mosin 9130, IZH-43, MP-133 Shotgun and a variety of pistols.
Unfortunately these buildings aren't usually found in smaller towns, but are fairly common in larger cities and along the coast. They are easily identified by their yellow color, as well as a railing that encompasses the roof. Weapons are commonly found in the locker room on the top floor, or the back room just beyond the door at the top of the stairs. A variety of guns can be found in here, including the Mosin 9130, SKS, AK family and even the elusive MP5-K. If the server just restarted this is a great place to find a gun, but Police Stations are so popular that they are almost always quickly looted in high traffic cities like Cherno and Elektro.
Factories are generally found within cities, and are still a relatively unknown place to find a weapon. They won't spawn there as frequently as other locations, but they are certainly worth checking even if you're in a highly populated area. Factories are identified by their brown color and flat roofs. Players will find multiple ladders to get on top, and once there can often score the MP-133 Shotgun, SKS, Mosin 9130, Repeater, Blaze 95 Double Rifle and others.
Small Office Building | School
This is another popular one, so expect to come up empty handed in towns like Berezino, Elektro, Cherno or any other location that's popular with players. This building can be identified by its length, as well as the large front doors that give it the appearance of a school. Players will also find entrances on the sides and at the back of the building. The only room on the top floor often contains a gun, as does the very top of the roof, which can be accessed via an exterior ladder. You won't find a gun in another area of the building besides the two we outlined.
Most major cities will have a Fire Station, and this is a fairly popular place to find a pistol. Fire stations are easily identified by their huge front doors, as well the large tower in the center of the building. Expect to find pistols at all levels of the tower, including the very top of the roof, which can be accessed via the exterior ladder. Most players won't check the rooftop, which means it should be high on your list when you need a weapon. The interior of the Fire Station is very popular among looters, so don't expect to find much there if the server has been up for more than a few minutes.
The best place to find a Jail is at the Northwest Airfield, or even down at Balota. There is also one at Green Mountain, as well as a few other places. These buildings are easily in the top five most popular locations to loot, so expect to encounter other players and to come up empty handed if the server is populated. Check the sleeping quarters on the top floor for weapons from the AK family, as well as the odd pistol or SKS. You can identify these buildings by their double door entrance, as well as the jail cell just inside and on the right.
Northwest Airfield | Balota Airfield | West of Myshkino
Airfields and tent cities are great places to find weapons, as well as all other types of military gear. The tents will often contain pistols, weapon attachments and ammunition, while buildings like the Jail, Air Traffic Control (ATC), Fire Stations and Hangers have rifles. You can also find guns in the multiple Barracks, but we'll cover that momentarily. The Northwest Airfield is one of the most popular places to gear up, so it's worth noting that extreme caution should be taken. It's also a Kill on Sight (KoS) zone, so don't come crying to us when someone shoots you in the back.
Abandoned Cars, Trucks and Trailers
We've all seen cars, trucks and trailers abandoned just about everywhere we turn in Chernarus, and these are some of the best places to find guns and ammunition. Part of that is due to the fact that there are so many locations to loot, but another part is because players still largely ignore them on their travels. Don't expect that to last forever, however, as the DayZ community is always adapting and getting smarter. Players will find a variety of weapons here, such as the Mosin 9130, SKS, Repeater and many more.
Barracks are buildings that can be found at the Northwest Airfield, Military Base north of Kamenka, Military Base south of the Northwest Airfield and possibly small number of other locations. This is by far your best bet to find either an AK74, AKS-74U, AK101, AKM, Explosive Grenade or even the RDG-5 Explosive Grenade. They are one-story buildings that are long and only contain one door. There are windows along both sides, and as of 0.57 these are no longer bullet proof. Exercise extreme caution in barracks, since these popular loot locations are death traps once you're stuck inside.
Like everything in DayZ, it might change in the future, but as of 0.57 you can find just about anything that is related to military gear (including guns) at gate houses. These buildings have been around for a long time, but have just recently been opened up to use. You can find one at the Vybor Military Base, another (at least) at the Northwest Airfield, and more in places like Berezino, Elektro, and other places all over the map. We certainly don’t have a complete list, but you should bump into these on just about every DayZ journey that you have.
If you head over to the DayZ DB map, you can see hunting stands marked all over the map. Again, as of 0.57 they are loaded with good gear, such as binoculars, ammunition, water, scopes, and of course, guns. These are extremely popular places for snipers to check (for the scope), so be sure to look for hunting stands that are inland and off the beaten path. This also applies to military stands that you can find at the Vybor Military Base and Northwest Airfield. Players can get geared very quickly by doing a run of these stands.
Helicopter Crash Sites
You can still find guns here, but there is a debate about whether the M4A1 is currently in the game. Some people say yes, some people say no, and we can’t weigh in at all because we never really care to go find one. The crash sites are all static and close together, but they are obviously very popular. You can run to each one if you’re at the Vybor Military Base. To get a better idea of where they are, read up on our article about Helicopter Crash Sites in DayZ. Even if you can’t find yourself an M4A1 there, you are likely to find other military gear (including guns) as long as they haven’t been looted.