The Best Starting Location in Project Zomboid

Start off the zombie apocalypse in the right spot for the best results!

Project Zomboid Rosewood Police Station
Screenshot by Prima Games

Your starting location in Project Zomboid makes as much of a difference as the gear you have equipped in the zombie apocalypse. If you don’t want to choose wrong and wind up with an untimely death, consider this best starting location guide in Project Zomboid!

The Best Starting Town in Project Zomboid

As you can only choose one starting location in Project Zomboid but may move around freely once you’re in-game, we highly recommend starting in Rosewood. It’s one of the most accessible starting towns in the game, with plenty of high-tier loot to find, thanks to the local Police Station, Fire Station, and plenty of shops along the main thoroughfare through town.

As you move deeper into the town, you’ll find numerous fenced-off suburbs. These help contain the zombie threat from within and out, allowing you to move from house to house to loot various goods. In most residential homes, you’ll find valuable items such as clothing, sheets (to cover windows and craft rope), pots and pans, can openers, canned goods, frozen food, and tools.

Just to the south, you’ll also note a lumberyard. If your goal is to barricade yourself into a central base and craft a few safe houses throughout Rosewood, you will need plenty of building supplies. The lumberyard features chopped logs to suit your carpentry requirements.

What is the Best Starting Base?

Project Zomboid Rosewood Fire Station
Screenshot by Prima Games

Of the many possible “best” base locations in Project Zomboid, none compares to the Rosewood Fire Department. It’s a sizable location, which makes it challenging for a solo player to clear and fortify, but your efforts will not go without reward.

The Rosewood Fire Department, located at the very bottom edge of Rosewood, features a sizable garage for vehicle storage, a laundry room to clean up after combat, a medical bay to treat wounds, bedrooms upstairs, and a ton of loot. You’ll often find crowbars, shovels, and fire axes inside.

And just across the road, to the northwest, there’s a police station. It’s overcrowded with zombies, but inside, you’ll find a locked armory. If you can make it through the door, you’ll have quite the haul to bring back to the fire station!

An upstairs area that you can fortify.It’s pretty large and not ideal for a solo player.
An enclosed garage for vehicle storage.It’s near the center of town and, as such, zombie-infested.
A fence around half the perimeter from the start.The location is far from crucial loot locations.

All Starting Locations in Project Zomboid

Project Zomboid Map Selection Screen
Screenshot by Prima Games

As of right now, there are four vanilla starting locations in Project Zomboid, including:

  • Muldraugh
  • Riverside
  • Rosewood
  • West Point

That said, there are plenty of mods for Project Zomboid that add new starting points and unique towns to the ever-growing landscape of post-apocalyptic Kentucky.

No matter how many hours you have in the game, with four starting locations and countless hundreds or thousands of buildings to fortify, there is always room for another playthrough!

Project Zomboid Early Game Tips

Whether you’re brand-new to Project Zomboid or a returning veteran who wants to touch up on the basics, after choosing your ideal starting location, consider these tips to help you survive the early game!

  • Walk! After coming from other, more fast-paced zombie survival games, like Dying Light or State of Decay 2, you may want to sprint everywhere to loot everything quickly, but don’t! If you run, you alert every zombie in the vicinity. It’s best to walk carefully and quietly to your destination to avoid unnecessary attention.
  • Alternatively, you can sneak when you know a horde is in the area or when looting a building along a main road. Sneaking in Project Zomboid by using ‘C‘ to crouch down is possible.
  • When in combat, avoid becoming surrounded (Duh!) and try not to tackle more than three zombies at any given time. You want to manage the situation and carefully land headshots with whatever melee weapon you have. That’s more approachable when you’re dealing with a lone zombie or two, not a horde.
  • While some hardcore players who like to gate-keep will pick fun at anyone who willingly lowers the zombie population, doing so is a fantastic way to learn the mechanics of the game. It provides a bit of breathing room and a chance to explore Kentucky and learn how to survive.
  • Don’t be afraid to retreat! In Project Zomboid, if you die, that’s it. You lose that character forever and must start fresh. Your old character will inevitably turn into a zombie, so you can always find yourself and your lost gear later. But if you must, just run. It’s not worth trying to tackle an entire horde solo with a shovel for, what, internet points?

Once you’ve started your playthrough, we recommend learning how to tow cars in Project Zomboid. If you use the fire station as your home base, you’ll have plenty of space for a few vehicles, and keeping one in working order proves ideal for when you loot all of Rosewood!

About the Author

Brandon Morgan

From Company of Heroes to DayZ, Brandon immerses himself wholly in video game worlds, then sits down to write about them. Since 2012, Brandon has focused on providing top-tier video game guides of his favorite games and the hottest releases. The more lore and immersion in the game, the better!