Do you remember when the zombies in DayZ were merely annoying? They would chase you around and run through walls, but you could just punch them in the head and continue about your business. Well, times have changed.
With the 0.55 update, zombies are now a serious threat in DayZ, and there are loads of them along the coast. This would seem to be a way for Bohemia Interactive to get players to stop fighting in Elektro and head inland, where they can play the game the way it was meant to be played. Still, a zombie in a city like Severograd is as dangerous as one from Cherno, so you'll need to know how to kill or at least avoid them.
Zombie Behavior in DayZ
In past updates, zombies would run through walls, doors, fences and anything else that stood in their way to get you. They would chase you for miles, although there wasn't a big chance they would ever catch you. They'd also spot you from a few towns over, letting everyone on the server know your exact location.
That's not so much a problem these days, as the zombies tend to not have the best vision. If you're in their peripheral or behind them, you'll likely remain undetected. You can further your odds of avoiding the undead by crouching and sneaking around. If you're a fresh spawn this is essential, as killing zombies using melee tactics is almost certainly going to end up costing you some blood, if not your life.
Killing Zombies in DayZ
You can still kill the zombies in DayZ, but this is almost always a bad idea unless you have zero concerns for other players (or zombies) learning your location. For starters, the melee ability of the zombies has been massively bumped up, meaning they are more agile and will almost always hit you if you try to fight them with an axe or similar weapons. It's also worth noting they seem to take more than one hit, even if you strike them in the head.
Your best bet to kill them safely is with a gun, but you want to use a suppressor to muffle your shots. Let us be clear, however, that your shots are only quieter to other players. For some odd reason zombies in 0.55 have decided to ignore the effects of suppressors on weapons. Still, it's nice to know other players won't hear you popping off shots. Oh, and as always, aim for the head.
Trapping Zombies in DayZ
The most effective way to deal with zombies in DayZ is to trap them in buildings and houses. Unlike previous updates, zombies don't always run through walls and doors, although it does happen. To do this, wait for a zombie to chase you, then run into a house. When it follows, run out of the house and close the door.
The surprise-zombie-in-the-house tactic works even better with two players. The survivor being chased runs into the building, bringing the zombie with them, and the player outside waits for them to emerge from the building, quickly closing the door and trapping the zed inside. As a bonus, this is a pretty sweet way to give future players a surprise when they go to loot that location.
At the end of the day, zombies in DayZ are a little too powerful and difficult to kill, given that they still like to glitch through objects to mess up your life. The game is in early access, so expect this to be tweaked, balanced and improved as DayZ nears its launch.
If you're looking for more DayZ strategy, we can help you find some food for your travels, which seems to be another concern with the 0.55 update.