An overview of the basic mechanics of 7D2D as well as play styles and tips and tricks to help novice players find their feet more quickly in this astounding game. Come explore the endless variety, where Minecraft meets Left For Dead.
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Guide to Basics
Setup and Starting a GameWelcome to my 7 Days to Die (7D2D) guide. This guide aims to provide a roadmap for the novice player to bridge the challenges in the early game, and to give you targets to aspire to in the future (crafting, bases, role playing etc.).Assuming you have successfully installed and launched 7D2D, on the main menu there are a whole lot of options. For now, select "New Game" instead of "Multiplayer" as some servers can be quite challenging to navigate. Create your Avatar to your liking but remember that this will be you in all your single and multiplayer games.Once this is done, you"ll be given the option to chose a map (Start with "Navezgame", it"s simpler to learn from). On the right hand side are a load of options. At this stage, select the easiest difficulty as this game is challenging enough in the beginning without worrying about dying every 5 mins and losing all your progress. In the advanced settings, also select "Keep Toolbelt on Death". Whether you want to keep your inventory on death is up to you ;) but for a taste of danger, keep it off. Increase the XP to 300% and drop the zombie night speed to "Jogging". Don"t touch any other settings unless you are sure!!!Launch the game on the left side of the screen. Congrats, you are on the path of being a Survivor!
Game Basics1. ControlsEvery computer is different but the basic controls remain the same, more or less, as other similar games. Take a moment to press the Escape (Esc) button on your keyboard to open the pause menu and have a look through the controls. Make sure your key board is configured in game the way you want it. Key things to have on hand are: Directions (WASD), the Action button ("E"), reload ("R"), the shortcuts to your tool belt (1234567890), Next Item on Tool Belt ("Q"), Activate Stealth ("X"), Jump ("Spacebar"), and Inventory (Left Tab) and your mouse buttons: Fire/Hit - left click, Aim - Right Click, and zoom - wheel. Feel free to setup the way you want but make sure you are comfortable with the basic keys.When comfortable, scale your graphics to suit your setup. Best is to have it running on the lowest you can tolerate until you gauge the impact the zombies will have on your system.Return to the game, and have a look around the location you have spawned. There are a variety of environments ("biomes") in the game ranging from forests, to deserts, to snow. Furthermore, there are old cities and towns dotted all over the place, as well as radioactive areas on the borders of the map (instant death...). Roads link all the settlements, as well as Traders Posts and most buildings in general. Dirt roads generally lead to traders or small houses, while tarmac covered roads link "cities".You will notice a number of things on your Heads Up Display (HUD): A clock and the day number (Day 1 to start with), as well as a load of things on your tool belt along the bottom centre of your screen and a compass reticle on the very top. On the bottom left is your health and stamina. Health does not increase over time by default and you need to eat food to regain it slowly, use some medications or chose certain talent points. Stamina comes back fairly quickly, and can be further increased with talents. You gain 1 point of health and stamina per level in game.2. DyingIf your health drops below 0, you die. Simple. Lots of things will cause you to lose health including:Zombie attacksZombie animals (wolves, coyotes, vultures, and bears)Non-zombie animal attacks (coyotes, wolves, bears, boars and snow cats)Falling from heightsCave insExplosions (mines, grenades, rocket launchers...)TrapsOther players on PvP servers...If your hunger or thirst levels drop below 0, you die. Simple really, just like in real life. Unlike IRL, food and water levels drop at about the same rate, meaning you need to eat and drink every day. Being Thirsty or Hungry will cause your stamina to drop and if it hits 0 you die.Falling from a great height will cause you to sprain your legs, break your legs and lose health and may kill you. You can offset the damage from falling with talents, books and gear.If you die, you will re-spawn on your Bedroll which you make at the beginning of the game during the starting quests. If you lose your bedroll or want to spawn somewhere else on death (like in your base...) just make a new one from some plant fibres.3. Intro QuestsThe introductory quests introduce the bare minimum of crafting and building needed to start a budding player off. To harvest materials, use the left mouse button to "hit" grass, plants, trees, logs and boulders to obtain plant fibres, wood and stone. Press Tab to open your inventory and use these materials to make a stone axe. Collect more plant fibres to make clothing to hide your nudity, and while hunting, keep an eye out for birds nests to gather feathers for arrows. You can hack the nests with your axe to also yield a few more feathers. Make all the items requested and place the fireplace, wooden block and bedroll by placing them on your tool belt, selecting them, and using the right mouse button to place them where you want them. Upgraded the wooden block using the stone axe by coming close to the wooden block and holding the right mouse button.Congratulations, you now have some basic stone tools, weapons, and basic crafting knowledge! You also have 4 points to spend in the talent screen (more on this later...). The game will now direct you towards the nearest Trader Outpost which may be anywhere from a few meters away to a few kilometres/miles away... Unless it is very close, take your time before heading in that direction.4. Game VariablesThere are several elements to keep in mind:Zombies are stupid, they will try to find the fastest way to you. This includes going through walls...Zombies "track" players based on their movement. Zombies will head to the nearest "player known" location before targeting the player if they lose sight.Zombies are attracted to noise. The area affected is variable. Constant loud noises (mining etc.) may attract screamers this may be a very bad thing...).Zombie bites are potentially infectious. Avoid melee until you have some armour and stocks of honey/herbal meds/antibiotics.Illnesses are a minor feature but can be lethal if caught at the wrong time. Avoid eating risky foods if you can (murky water, mouldy bread, old sham sandwich...).The environment and weather affects your personal temperature. Outside the optimum range, this will increase your food & water usage. Being wet helps in hot environments and doesn"t in cold ones (think reality...).Zombies don"t like heat and things that produce heat. This includes forges, campfires, torches, burning barrels and chemistry sets. Clusters of these produce "heat islands" which attract screamers and other zombies. Use electrical items to reduce base heat where possible.You need to eat and drink every day. Ideally, drink bottled water or brewed drinks and eat canned food to avoid illness. Collect recipes to craft better meals.Pro-tips for Beginners1. TalentsThere are 5 sets of talents:PerceptionStrengthFortitudeAgilityIntellectEach set of talents has its own weapons it specialises in, as well as other advantages. It is clear from the spread of talents that this game encourages specialisation and team work, but as you can pick and chose your own build from each of the sets, the variety of options provides loads of different play styles (see below for some builds and role playing styles).In the beginning, I suggest putting points into Strength and Fortitude talents:Clubs to hit enemies on the head - 1 point.Mining - Unlocks iron tool crafting and increasing gathering - 1 point.Some Health regeneration - 1 point.Less Stamina lost when running - 1 point.No need to put points into increasing the value of Strength and Fortitude for now, but with the high XP multiplier, you"ll have loads of points to spend soon. I suggest specialising in shotguns and clubs to begin with, as shotguns don"t require brass to make their ammo and clubs are by far the best tool to crush heads with regularity in the beginning. Another good spend is a single point in cooking, to unlock basic recipes to survive on until you find more recipes.For further suggestions on how to spend points in the first 40 levels, check out the "All rounder" build in the Role Playing section below.2. BooksIn many buildings and other places, there are books that can be found. Mostly they can be found in bookcases, filing cabinets, desks and drawers, as well as far more rarely in some crates, trash heaps and chests. They can also be bought from the Traders for a premium in the Secret Stash section, or obtained as quest loot.Books contain bonus talents and skills in sets of 7 volumes. Having all 7 volumes confers a bonus talent depending on the volume. Check out the books section on the talents screen for more information. Some experienced players spend the first few days searching for books but this is not for the novice player who may die very quickly at this stage! Other books, schematics, can teach you how to make almost every item you can put talents in, including forges, tool benches, shotguns, even gyrocopters! As such, some talents are redundant later in the game as you can find all the schematics to make everything those points would unlock. This permits players with no talents in Intellect to eventually unlock all the building items and vehicles in game, though not the bonuses these talents confer... The same applies to all other talents that unlock crafting of specific items. Traders sell vials of "Grampa"s Forgettin" Solution" to allow you to reset your talents.Books and schematics are randomly spawned loot in the world. Be careful not accidentally to "scape" them into paper as the Xp or resale value is much higher.3. Some notes on ArmourArmour is your friend. The more you have, the less damage you take, the less likely you are to die. Each point corresponds to ~1% less damage per hit. Without it, you will die quickly...There are 2 types of armour: Heavy and Light. There are specialty points in Fortitude and Agility to enable you to make them, and to offset the disadvantages in speed and stamina regeneration associated with using them.Each type of armour has different classes.Heavy: Scrap, Iron, Steel, SWAT.Light: Padded, Leather, Military.Military armour and Steel armour require "Parts" from scrapped armour of the same type of otherwise found in the world as loot. Steel and Military armours also require schematics to build them.Use the best of any armour you find in the world, or craft yourself. At present, there are no advantages or disadvantages to wearing "sets" of armour beyond the visible stats. Mix and match what is best for you.SWAT armour can"t be crafted at the moment but helmets can be found in the world and Traders.4. Key points with StealthStealth is a major advantage in the early game and even with no extra points in Agility provides a 2x bonus to any attack if the zombie/animal hasn"t noticed you yet. In the early game, it can provide a crucial advantage. Play styles such as the "Ninja Assassin" and "Hunter-Gatherer" both rely on Stealth early on.When in stealth mode, many variables affect how "stealthy" you are (ie. how much less noticeable than "normal" you are): Light & shadows, time of day, armour type, armour mods, tool use, movement speed, talents, books, zombie vigilance, zombie line of sightTry to approach zombies from behind if they are not asleep.Armour increases your noise. The heavier, the louder. Padded armour doesn"t increase noise, but is much less strong than other types.Some armour mods can decrease your noise.Stealth doesn"t work on blood moon horde nights as the horde can find you anywhere you are.
Looting for BeginnersIn the beginning, everything seems useful and essential. In truth, many things are redundant by mid-late game as loot accumulates quickly. While dropping those sewing kits or lead items may seem like a waste, I"m going to run you through the main sources of essential components and other ways to get them.Starting out, your main focus will be getting food, and finding enough essentials to start a basic base for the first horde night (yes, it might be at the end of day 7, but it arrives sooner than you expect!). Priorities for the first week:All food items & drinks (these are your lifeline in the early game until you have a decent stockpile).Finding a pot and metal grill for your campfire.Wood, stones and clay for your base.Any iron tools (especially a pick axe!).Wood/iron for spike traps.Clothing suitable for the climate (to avoid increased food/drink consumption).Surviving until day 8.If you find any guns, use them until you find those you want to specialise in. You can"t afford to be picky early on, and if you are more experienced, you won"t need this guide to direct you! Role playing aside, a survivor just needs to survive.There are 24 fundamental components, that cannot be made from anything else. These are:Small StonesIronLeadNitrateOil ShaleCharcoalClay SoilWoodPlant FibresDirty Water/SnowBrass (from Radiators, trophies, candlesticks, and doorknobs)Plant SeedsMetal Springs (from cars, beds, sofas and some electrical appliances)Plastic Scraps (many sources)Bone (animals, rotting corpses, trash...)Food items (fresh meat, fat, fruit, vegetables etc.)MotorsSteel tool PartsMotor Tool PartsWeapon PartsArmour PartsSewing KitsBottles of AcidHeadlightsAll other items can be made from a combination of these using the appropriate tools and talents/books/schematics. As such, once you have the relevant tools and knowledge, the actual scavenging is a matter of preference where many items are redundant and can be scrapped.The first 10 items on the list can be readily mined/found in the world. Some biomes contain more of these than others. Most can be ignored while looting to save on precious inventory space while in towns and cities.Brass is a scarce commodity but can be obtained by melting down radiators from house walls and cars, brass candlesticks, brass doorknobs, brass trophies and Dukes Tokens. Ideally, do not scrap these items to get the most from them (scrapping loses 25% of the total resource, rounded down). Brass can also be found loose as loot, and wrenched from brass lamps and from door if you find the relevant book.Bullets are easier to make than loot in large enough quantities needed to survive. You will need to make gunpowder, brass bullet casings and lead bullet tips for most ammunition types then "construct" them at the workbench.Shotgun ammo is different and needs paper, gunpowder and shotgun pellets. The lack of brass makes this of real benefit for much of the game.Gunpowder is slow by hand, but much faster (and more economical!) with a chemistry set, and best with 1 point in Yeah Science! to benefit from bulk building with 800 apiece of nitrate and coal to make stacks of 1000 gunpowder.Wood is easy to find by cutting down trees.Motors can be found sporadically in vehicles you wrench into pieces and garages.Slain animals, zombie or alive, can be cut apart with knives (or other tools for a lesser yield) to obtain fresh meat (rotten if from zombies/corpses), bones and animal fat. The yield can be increased with talents (but it"s not all that worth it at the moment to be honest...)Regular looting will reveal many sources of plastic and other items that can be broken down as needed or kept in their original form if deemed valuable enough (eg. Medical kits and bandages, tinned food, ammunition etc.).Lead items should not be scavenged as lead is easily obtainable from mining in larger quantities even in the early game. The same applies to coal and nitrate in most cases. Iron, as it is so abundant in both looting and in mining, may be kept. Many items wrenched then produce, or scrap to, iron while exploring.Bottles of acid are used to make wheels and a few high level food items (don"t ask me... I didn"t write the recipes...) so few are actually needed. They do sell for a reasonable price however.Headlights are used to make some vehicle accessories, lanterns and spotlights. They also sell for a reasonable amount.Clothing can be easily scrapped to cloth, as can excess bandages.Low level (1-2) armour, steel tools and weapons should be scrapped for parts or resources as the value of each piece is relatively low.Higher level items (3+) should be repaired and sold.Adding mods to items increases their value as well as saving inventory space.Keep your eyes open for storage mods to extend your carrying capacity and avoid being burdened. With the right mods on all clothing (pockets) and armour (storage packs) all burden can be alleviated without putting points into Pack Mule in the early game. In the late game, points in Pack Mule allow alternative mods on armour to boost effectiveness.
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