State of Decay: Year-One Survival Edition is a lot of fun, but the combat takes some getting used to. That said, there are some basic rules to fighting the undead that can help make your journey more enjoyable. There’s the standard stuff, such as gunfire that attracts unwanted attention, and then there are some game specific tips that players can take advantage of. While we might throw in the obvious hint here and there, for the most part we’re going to help make the game’s mechanics work for you, not against you.
Sneaking and Stealth Attacks
In State of Decay, the zombies are kind of dumb. They’ll spot you if they’re looking directly at you, or if you’re a fool running out in the open, but if you take the time to sneak around and stay out of their direct line of sight, you’re safe for the most part. This allows you to get in and out of areas without messing around with loads of combat, but it also allows you to clear an area one zombie at a time. Sneak up behind your undead target and hold the Left Bumper, pressing Y to perform a silent kill. Just be aware this can be unreliable, so expect the game mechanics to get in the way roughly 10 percent of the time.
Depend on Your Backup
Once you have a few friends by your side, consider letting them do the fighting for you. Stir up a zombie, but then move behind your AI pals and let them do the heavy lifting. This not only means you won’t take damage, but it’s a great tip for when your melee weapon is busted and you don’t want to fire a gun. Not to mention, the AI in this game is actually useful. They’ll clear entire rooms for you if you can get them to walk inside.
Close the Freaking Door
It turns out zombies can’t work doorknobs, which is why you should close the door any time you’re inside searching a house. Some windows also provide entry points for persistent zombies, but closing the doors means that most of your threats are outside. This allows you to relax a little while looking for supplies, although we still highly suggest keeping the noise down and listening for nearby threats. You should also close the doors when you leave, with the hope that nothing will get inside if you have to return for some left-behind supplies. This one is hit or miss, though, as zombies seem to respawn if you move far enough away.
Choosing a Melee Weapon
Melee weapons are a dime a dozen in State of Decay, until you can’t find one. However, with space in your backpack at a premium, it’s often not advised that you bring two. This makes it vital to pay attention to the condition of your weapon, as well as the type. For example, a hatchet is more effective than a stick, and likely more durable as well. It might be time to drop the stick in this case. Of course, if the hatchet is nearly done, you might want to use it up first.
As the game progresses the enemies will get tougher, but the basic rules to combat remain the same. It’s not so much about your skills with guns and melee weapons, but rather making sure the odds are always tipped in your favor.
If you’re looking to get your hands on all of our State of Decay: Year-One Survival Edition content in one place, visit our State of Decay guide and become the ultimate survivor.