State of Decay: Beginner’s Survival Guide

Table of Contents

  • Your Survivor – Getting Started
  • Zombies – Freaks & Hordes
  • Base Management – How to Keep it Safe & Morale High
  • Upgrading Skills – Becoming a True Survivor
  • Scavenging Materials – Where to Look & How to Keep it Coming
  • Side-Quest Tips – Managing Infestations, Hordes & Freaks

  • Base Management – How to Keep it Safe & Morale High

    After the tutorial, the true game begins once Marcus and his friends reach Ascension Church.

    Open the menu and switch to the “Home” page. Here, you can select facility slots to construct new facilities, or select current facilities to start upgrades or projects at the cost of some influence and materials.

    Each base starts with the Radio Room – your hub, and the most important facility. From here, you can call for Survivors to recruit new members, or put out a search for materials you need to construct or maintain the base.

    The base uses material resources daily. Fuel, food, ammo, medicine, and construction supplies are expended depending on how many facilities you have running, and how many survivors are currently staying in your base.

    Look on the “Assets” menu to see the status of your base. Here, you can see how many items are in your base inventory, how many materials are in your stockpile (and how much is expended daily) and other factors like; influence, fame, population, beds, and labor.

    Influence is the currency with which all things are purchased. Radio commands use influence. Taking items from your base locker uses influence, and building outposts or new facilities costs some influence.

    Influence is gained by dropping items into the locker, helping the base by completing side-quests, clearing hordes or infestations, and helping survivors. Bringing back materials will provide an influence bonus, or just by being impressive (such as killing tons of zombies at once) will give you influence.

    To keep your base happy, you’ll need to pay attention to the morale meter. This meter shows the current status of your base, and gives a basic barometer for how everyone is feeling. Low morale leads to despair, accidents on missions, and might cause survivors to leave the base compound.

    High morale gives benefits to your base. Survivors will be better at scavenging on their own, they’ll fight less, and generally operations will run smoother.

    To keep morale high, you’ll need to complete side-quests for the base, build facilities they want, and make sure they are well provided for.

    Food is the most important. Rations are used up quickly, so you’ll need to gather a large stockpile to keep people happy. Medicine will keep people from getting sick, and a stockpile of fuel will keep the generators running.

    Whenever your base is having trouble, a request will appear under the Home Status bar when you open the menu. Usually, Lilly will recommend a facility or suggest a side-quest.

    Completing these side-quests is important. Helping a survivor through fear, anger, or sadness on a mission will increase their trust and slowly turn them into a functional member of the base.

    If zombies manage to break into the compound, morale will drop like a rock. Keep zombies out by equipping every friendly survivor with a gun so they can defend themselves before the zombies get in.

    Setting up outposts is incredibly important for the well-being of your base. Outposts can be set on any building or field with a white icon. To create an outpost, you must explore the area (step over every white dot on the mini-map to clear it) then search through every container for items.

    Outposts serve four purposes. First, a locker will appear inside an outpost. Outpost lockers share items with your main base, allowing you to restock or put away items without having to return to base.

    Second, they clear the area and make it a safe zone. Zombies cannot infest an outpost, and will not spawn inside the safe zone.

    Third, any materials inside will slowly be siphoned into your base. Setting up an outpost over an area with an ammo, food, fuel, construction, or medical icon will earn your base more of those materials over a greater amount of time. You won’t get the items instantly, but you’ll earn more in total.

    Note: To earn materials, make sure you DO NOT loot the salvage and bring it home. Leave it at the location, then set up an outpost first.

    The fourth, and most valuable use for outposts is a wider net of defense. Once an outpost is established, open the Home menu and select the outposts in the slots below. Here, for a small price you can set traps around every outpost. It needs to be reset every 24 hours of real-time, but the cost is minuscule and it’s a single payment to upgrade all of your outposts.

    To keep your base safe from hordes, build outposts covering every angle. Hordes usually only approach through the main roads, but sometimes they’ll attack from forested areas. Surround your base with outposts, and hordes will never get past the explosive traps.

    With hordes dealt with, you can spend more time earning influence and trust. Many of the facilities will improve morale, such as the Dining Area. For the cost of food and influence, you can choose to cook a large meal in the church to improve morale. Upgrading the Bunk Area to include more beds will help everyone get good rest.

    Eventually in the story, a new plague will hit the area. Randomly, certain survivors will develop sickness. To cure this ailment, open the Home menu and upgrade the medical area. Upgrading it to the third-tier medical area will help improve chances of recovery even more.

    If survivors are mishandling firearms, try building a Training Area and taking on projects to improve survivors.

    Don’t forget to use the radio! Outside of establishing outposts, you can call for scavengers to collect materials for you. You won’t earn trust or influence, but it’ll save another trip. Don’t call for scavengers too far from your base – the survivors will literally run to the location in real-time. The further from your base you call scavengers, the longer it will take and the more danger that survivor will experience.

    Follow those simple steps to keep your base happy and zombie-free.

    Join the Conversation   

    * required field

    By submitting a comment here you grant GameFront a perpetual license to reproduce your words and name/web site in attribution. Inappropriate or irrelevant comments will be removed at an admin's discretion.

    3 Comments on State of Decay: Beginner’s Survival Guide


    On June 26, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    Juggernaut zombie is cake. Hit it with a bomb and it’s down and out.


    On November 12, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    What about the trade missions?


    On December 10, 2013 at 6:57 am

    Reflexes > Powerhouse

    Some people prefer powerhouse and the 4 snacks in one slot is useful, but he reflex kick that downs any z for an easy kill is insanely useful.