This is a wonderful guide Rubberman made a few years ago and posted to another forum that is less PC gaming-centric. There may be the odd dated reference but overall its solid advice for the new player.
Rubbermans Guide To Dayz
Postby Rubberman » Fri Mar 08, 2013 3:50 pm
Changelog: 20140426 Updated for 18.104.22.168 Added section 2
Below is the more or less is the best of what I can tell you from the experience that Cidvicious and I have attained over the past few months. If you have specific questions post in this thread so it can be visible to anyone else who might have the same questions.
There is a lot to process in this game. I would say I watched about 2 hours worth of video before I even played it and the learning curve is intentionally steep. You will die and will die a lot. To zombies at first, then starvation/thirst, then players, then glitches with trees or the game engine, then likely players again. The average lifespan for all players on the public hive is just a bit better than an hour. My longest running character is about 25 days old and a guess of about 15 hours of ingame time. That said i've died probably over 100 times in 230 hours of gameplay and rule #1 is the most important but the hardest to get over.
Rule#1: Don't get attached to your gear.
Rule#2: Never trust anyone you don't know IRL.
Rule#3: Dayz giveth and dayz taketh away twice as much.
First off you will spawn on the coast - apparently after being washed ashore. You are not on a normal shore, you happened to be washed a shore on a military training island. You start with a flashlight, a shitty backpack, a bandage and a box of painkillers (as of 22.214.171.124). The bandage will be used the first time you get hit (90% of the time), the painkillers probably right after. The backpack is incredibly small and not entirely useful. Usually that first backpack you spawn with, I use it for medical supplies if I happen upon them.
You will note there is an "Eye" meter an "Ear" meter and then a temperature gauge, a blood meter, a thirst gauge, hunger gauge as well. In 126.96.36.199 these will go from full/green to empty/red, then start flashing once things are becoming a problem. The eye will show you in bars, how easily zombies will be able to detect you. The ear will be for zombie hearing. This does not mean players can see you well or poorly - they are up to their own devices.
The temperature is rarely a problem unless you're swimming in water - if it gets too low you can get an infection, start shaking and coughing loudly. – Update in 188.8.131.52 This is now a problem if you’re not moving and outside in the elements. Sniping in the rain can give you an infection in less than 30 minutes.
Blood meter; when this gets too low your vision starts to get bad and you will pass out randomly. Below a certain threshold (9000) you can be knocked out by a zombie (percentage chance per hit).
Thirst isn't so bad, but try not to drink unless it's flashing or you have an abundance of beverages around.
Hunger same as thirst try not to eat unless it's flashing or you are low on blood. Eating will give you back blood – the values you get back change depending on what you eat(and are updated frequently). Eating cooked meat will give you more blood than canned food. Aim for rabbit or beef if you see them and they’re easy to eat.
First things first I'll go over your gear. Gear is held in a few areas:
You have the ocular slot (two boxes on the top left and right side of the character gear screen. this holds binoculars, nightvision and/or rangefinders.
You have the main inventory slot: This is to the right of the character picture in the middle. It has 12 slots and would be used for everything that doesn't go to a specific slot.
You have a primary weapons slot: It is for the weapon, not the ammo
You have a pistol slot: Again for the weapon not the ammo:
Pistol ammo slots: there are 8, you put bandages, pistol ammo and primary rifle attachment ammo there.
Then the backpack slot: some weapons use this slot if they are large or overly powered (m136 rocket launcher for eg)
You have tool slots on the bottom: Here you put your compasses, hatchet, maps etc.
You have a yellow flashlight - to equip it open your gear (by default should be g key), right click the flashlight icon on your tool belt and remove from toolbelt. That puts it in your hands. Now you can use the lean keys. To turn on the flashlight hit "L". Note you can't have a flashlight out and a pistol.
You have a box of painkillers - if you take damage and then go to look down your iron sites (or are in first person) and notice that your hands are shaking, you sir/madam are in pain. To remedy this take the painkillers and you are instantly healed of that ailment.
You have a bandage in the spot where your pistol ammo (and m203 grenades) are kept. If you notice that your blood icon has a pulsing cross on it, you're bleeding. If you have your blood set to high and see a fountain of blood pouring out of your wounds, you are bleeding. Sometimes you bleed slowly, at other times fast - the fountain pouring out of your body is not indicative of how much you’re actually bleeding. Once you are safe, open your gear and right click the bandage - it will have a menu that says bandage. It will go through a silly animation and you will stop losing blood if you let the animation complete.
Next is the backpack. The inventory management in this game is both important and very shitty. The starter backpack is called the coyote patrol pack. It has 8 slots. Most day to day items you carry are one slot, but things like mechanical parts, guns, pistols, some ammo types and tents will take up more than one slot. To access the backpack, hit gear and then select the bag and then click on Open backpack. On the left hand side, the title of the left box will be Coyote Patrol Backup. There will be a list of items, items with a number to the left are in your backpack, items with a number to the right are in your main inventory somewhere. You can move items between the backpack and inventory by select the item and hitting right or left.
This backpack can only hold 8 slots worth of items. Primary weapons take up 10 slots, pistols take up 5. So you can move a pistol in (no point unless someone requested a pistol you found) but not a primary weapon. Also don't try to move anything into your backpack unless you're sure it has room to take it - otherwise it disappears. If you do get a backpack large enough and have the room you can put a second primary weapon in the backpack. To change your primary weapons from the one you are holding to one in your backpack: you always always always, move it from your backpack into your main inventory. Never the reverse, as i mentioned before if you try to move something from your main inventory into your backpack when there isn't room, it disappears. MOVE THE GUN FROM YOUR BACKPACK TO YOUR PRIMARY.
Ok so you have all this shitty gear, what do you do with it? Nothing really, you want to get better gear. Your goals for gear will be in stages. You want to get enough to survive in the woods, then you want enough to survive the other players in the woods. I've not had a character 100% geared where I no longer needed to look for it, but it could happen.
So what do you need to survive? Ideally you want to get the following items: A hatchet, A hunting knife, a box of matches and a water bottle. Explained below:
Hatchets are probably the best things to have found first. They allow you to kill zeds quietly from a distance where they can't hit you. They also allow for you to collect wood, which you can use to feed yourself. Hatchets go into your tool belt slots but if you want to use them as your primary weapon, you right-click remove from tool belt. You need to have your primary weapon slot free to use them as a weapon. Because arma 2 didn't have melee, Rocket added in the hatchet as a weapon. So after moving it into your main inventory, you have to reload it
(R to do so). To get wood from trees you have to be in a forest. Stand next to a tree, open up your gear and on your tool belt, right-click the axe icon and "harvest wood". Also it makes a fairly loud noise so don’t do it and plan to be stealthy nearby. If you have 2 slots free in your main inventory, it will be added there. Also the hatchet is an effective weapon on players if you hit them in the face, but really wouldn't recommend trying it. You can kill animals with this baby so it's on the must have list. Look in any industrial spawn (Factories, white sheds) or in barns.
Hunting knives have only one purpose at the moment - allow for you to gut an animal you killed. After you've killed an animal, you mouse wheel over it and will have the option to gut animal. Once that is done you can then check the gear on the corpse and be able to move raw meat from the animal to your main inventory. Found just about everywhere. You can eat raw meat, but you have a chance of becoming infected, so keeping antibiotics around is worthwhile. Cook the meat unless you’re in dire cicumstances.
Matches allow for you to build a fireplace if you have wood already in your main inventory. Right-click the matches and select build fireplace. A ring of stones with a couple sticks of wood will appear at your feet. You can then scroll wheel over the fireplace and light fire. Once the fire is lit, put your raw meat in your inventory and then scroll wheel over the fire. You should be able to Cook meat. All meat in your main inventory will be cooked. Once done cooking you can put out the fire using scroll wheel. Important to note that users can see your smoke (or your fire) so it's best to do it quickly and where you think you're safe. Matches are found in residential spawns mostly.
Water Bottles allow for you to refill them at lakes and wells. Very handy and needed if you're going to make the trek up north. They can be found anywhere. If you drink un-boiled water you have a chance of becoming infected. To boil the water, you need the following in your main inventory, an empty can (soda or tin) and a water bottle. After you’ve lit a fire, you can mouse wheel over a fire and get the boil water option. It boils all water bottles in your main inventory.
Once you have these items you can run straight up north and become a woodsman in the hills and never see another person and survive on the land. Or you can try to get more gear and seek out players (to interact or kill whatever). Items to look for:
Bigger backpack = necessity. Really you want to find an alice/british assault pack or better right away. Alice packs are found in residential loot spawns, but the best places are usually super markets or the multi-story apartment buildings. The alice packs have 16 slots, british assault packs hold 18. BAPs are the second best tier in the game beaten by the Coyote backpack and the Czech backpack (not the Czech vest pouch). The coyote/czechs are 24 slots of beast. Yes you can hold 2 primaries in the backpack with 4 slots for ammo. There is presently a bug in 184.108.40.206 that is going to be patched out in 1.7.7, if a british assault pack get shot it will catch on fire. It also will save you from a .50 cal round so being on fire is saving you for atleast one more shot. The Czech is camo’d and a slimmer profile, so I prefer it to the coyote.
Picking up a backpack: If you see a backpack in a loot pile and you attempt to pick it up you can ‘t see it in the inventory screen. To get this backpack you will have to pick up and move the rest of the junk loot around it before it is visible. Once the loot is away there is only one method for getting it on your back.
Drop your backpack somewhere.
Take the new backpack
Open your old backpack
Move your old items into your new backpack
Primary weapon – there is a lot of weapons in this game so finding the right one can be time consuming. The best places (that are common) to find primaries are barns, deer stands and fire stations (and Militiary barracks and hangers). In barns you can find lee enfields (AKA the dinnerbell as zombies will flock to you when you fire it) the cz550 (excellent sniper rifle) and on private hives you can find AK’s. In fire stations you’ll typically find aks but can get just about any piece of military weaponry (m4’s, m14’s etc etc). Deer stands in 220.127.116.11 don’t really provide as much, expect crossbows, cz-550’s and maybe shotguns. Personally I roll with something for close to medium range (assault rifles) and a sniper rifle. I aim for an M14 or M4A1 and for a sniper rifle anything with a nice scope. Right now big fan of the M107 – it’s a 50 cal that does damage to vehicles. Depending on the ammo the gun uses, determines the amount of damage it does. Really full auto stanag rifles are the way to go. AKM’s are great too but it’s all personal preference on the recoil, iron sight/scope and general feel of the weapon.
Sniper Rifle Tangent – Arma is unique in that it requires for you to zero most sniper rifles. You zero by using the page up and page down buttons in increments of 100 meters. If a target is at about 700 meters, you zero out to that distance and then you know that the crosshairs will hit dead on at 700 meters, assuming you are not out of breath or in pain. Ranging tricks are advanced and likely a follow up article if there is a demand.
Pistol – this should be what you kill zombies with after finding one. They do not agro zombies from large distances and can come in silenced varieties. The 1911 and revolver both use .45 rounds and do the most damage for any pistol. Damage is irrelevant on zombies as you really want to aim for the head with pistols. Otherwise you’re wasting 4-5 bullets on the torso. I don’t know if there is an exception to this rule, but 1 shot to the head will kill anything in this game no matter the weapon. The one exception might be animals. EDIT: Seems that Makarov might take 2 headshots sometimes. The best pistols in my order of preference M9SD, Makarovsd (private hives only I think), g17, M9, 1911, revolver, Makarov.
Ammo tangent – In dayz if a gun is labeled SD, it will usually only take sd rounds. E.G. M9SD need M9SD mags. The flip side is that if you have an M9 (Non silenced) you can use M9SD rounds with it – the gun will still sound unsilenced but to zombies it will not be heard. Another interesting thing to note is that you can convert similar ammo for other guns. For example the m24 normally has a 5 round clip. If you find a dmr mag (20 rounds), you can convert it to 4 m24 mags. The same goes for 1911 & .45 acp, M9 and G17 mags work in G17’s.
Tools that are useful: Map, Compass, GPS (I’ve not held one yet), Binoculars (not technically a tool) and the watch to a lesser extent.
Map: Greatest tool in the game if the server allows waypoints. Open the map using M, rightclick on the map and drag to move your focus. Shift + left click to put down a waypoint. Putting a waypoint allows for you see in an ingame marker that tells you range from where you are at. With this, if you know where an enemy is it can help you gauge what to zero to or it can tell you where a certain direction is. Handy if you are meeting someone, if you zoom all the way in on the map you can get grid references. The format that gps’s use, are Down+Across. IE 121045 would be 121 down and 045 across.
Compass: Really great for a few reasons, 1 if the server doesn’t allow for way points this is your quickest method of determining direction. If you are working with someone, stating southeast corner is more relevant than right side etc. Also if you are moving in a vehicle giving headings are the way to go. You can determine direction in this game without a compass in a few ways. The clouds always move east in Chernarus. At night time look for the north star by looking at the ladel end of the big dipper – it will point to the north star. If you have a watch, you will see the server time, if it’s showing 9:00 and it’s daylight you know that the sun is coming from the east. These are in residential spawns, best chances are apartment buildings, super markets and schools.
Note about crowbars: these are useless. They do horrible damage against even zeds – I never pick them up. EDIT: They go in the tool slot now, so I pick them up but only to fill up my tool slots.
Watch: Shows server time, but can help you determine where east/west are in the day time.
Medical loot: Morphine & Bloodbags. These two are a must have. There is also an epi pen, but I never pick them up.
Morphine will allow for you to mend your broken legs (can happen in a lot of ways both glitch and legit) or another players. Typically only found in medical tents (cherno), hospitals, heli crash sites and in deer stands.
Bloodbags will restore a person’s blood up to full (12000). You can not use them on yourself only on others. Found usually in med tents, hospitals and heli crash sites.
Antibiotics: Will remove an infection you get from eating raw meat, water or from freezing in the cold. Good to have as the cough you get will be very loud and attract zombies and other players. Also you can lose blood if you’re infected.
Other notable loot items:
Junkloot: some junk loot is great for getting rid of zombies. Tin cans or empty jack daniels bottles can be thrown and the sound may attract the zombies to where the item lands. Also if I’m going to the hospital I’ll pick up an empty can or bottle.
Smoke Grenades: This is the equivalent of zombie catnip. If you don’t have agro on you, throw one out and watch them run to it!
M67 Frag Grenades: these are so deadly. You don’t want to be near when they go off, they have a large radius that will drop you, if not outright kill you. They also have a chance of taking down a building if they explode in one.
Flares: – great for lighting up a large area. Holding one may attract zombies and will definitely make you easy to see for hundreds of meters away.
Chemlights – if your going to need light indoors these are a really great way to go. The radius is small and they don’t really show off your position from long distances. Red is the hardest to see, but I usually roll with blue or green.
Tents: tents offer a way of storing items on a server. This is great as it allows for you to put items you can’t carry but might want in the event of death on a server. Tents are accessible to everyone on that particular server and can hold quite a bit. Usually tents are only used a place to supply yourself if you die. Everything you want you should be on your person. Things you don’t care about losing you put in the tent. If you find a tent (in residential loot areas), it takes three slots and first needs to picked up and placed in your main inventory. To place a tent you typically need a flat space. Your ideal spot will be between two pines so that they are hard to see from the air or on ground. You run the risk of not being able to access the tent if it’s in a tree and also run the risk of dying when accessing it due to glitching with tents and trees. Never try to crawl inside your tent. Also tents like vehicles are only accessible on the server they were placed. Tents will despawn after the character that packed them dies – usually it’s 7 days after death. You can prolong how long they stay up by visiting it every few days and reset the timer to 7 days. Also note: The tent is only on the server you placed it on. You can destroy tents by running them over with a vehicle (and potentially with a hatchet though I’ve never done it).
Places to loot. With this game it’s completely risk/reward when there are players about. If you want to get the best gear it’s usually in a spot that has a lot of people in it. The best places are in Cherno and Elektro. These are the two largest cities and are along the coast. In these you will find multiple fire stations, hospitals and residential medium to high value loot areas. Berezino is a great place too if you spawn near the quarry, solnichny or factory. Just a bit of a jaunt to the north. Where you go depends on what you need really. The loot tables, while only chances, are finite and so some areas are better than others. Personally I love going into the cities when I’m a fresh spawn as it allows for some player interaction. At the start you may want to avoid players, but after some random interactions, the rush is too much to pass up. If you spawn in kamenka (west side of the map) I highly recommend the deer stand run. There are a lot of deerstands that you can travel to on that side of the map. For military gear the places to go to are the NWAF (short for North west airfield, there are 2 barracks there), starry (on the way to NWAF) there are military tents, balota airfield (it’s on the coast) or NEAF (North east airfield). Private hives will generally change the buildings and spawns (on balota buddies they put the suicide prevention center in kamenka as a lot of players would kill themselves because the loot was horrible there – they added tents, supermarkets etc).
Note about the hospital: The hospital usually has windows that need to be broken. The quickest and quietest way to get in is to throw a tin can throw the window on either end. It will break them all at the same time.
Heli Crash Sites: The best place to get loot. They spawn over time in random places and are usually only in open fields. They show up as a heli chassis usually with smoke or fire coming from them. They have 6 places to get loot from (including underneath the chassis) and can be hard to see due to the grass. (this will change in 1.7.7 so the ground if flat around them) Arma’s grass isn’t visible from a distance so if you have a set of binocs or a scoped weapon stay a ways back in the treeline and try to scope it from a distance.
Humanity/Skins/Camo/Ghillie: Currently dayz has a bit of a flawed system (but better than nothing) called humanity. This system is supposed to determine if a player is good or bad to other people. The way it works is everyone starts in a survivor skin (ball cap, vest, shirt etc) and 2500 humanity. Giving people medical assistance increases your humanity. After you reach 5000 humanity you have hero status. Heroes get a new skin (similar to survivor except your shirt is a blue and white checkered pattern) and a bullet resistant vest. The vest works on low caliber rounds (Makarov rounds were tested and were blocked). The flip side to this is that when you shoot people unprovoked your humanity goes down. If you kill someone without cause your humanity goes down by the amount that person has. Once you are below -2500 you become a bandit. The skin for a bandit is the same as a survivor except you get a face scarf that covers your head. Over time you can get humanity back up to 2500 by not doing more ill or by healing people. Also as a bandit your backpack is not on the model (though you still have it) but I’ve never been one, so I can’t confirm these 100%. Currently your humanity will regenerate over time if you don’t go below -2500. Once you’re below that number you attain bandit status – you keep the skin until you attain hero or die with a humanity score about -2500. The reverse is true for hero skinning.
In the game you can also find camo or ghillie suits. These spawn in heli crash sites or residential areas. They look like big brown packages in loot piles are a great find. The camo gives you a short sleave shirt and camo pants. If can generally hide you well in the woods. The ghillie turns you into a bush wookie and you can be hard to see even when someone is following you from 20 meters away. Players with these skins are not detectable as being bandits or heroes or survivors. You never know what their past is. Also if you do find one, when you put it on you can break your legs, make sure you have morphine on you. When wearing a ghillie your backpack is not shown so you are able to hide easier. Also it is possible that the camo will make you more visible due to short sleaves and the lack of a hat to cover your dome.
You can put your civilian clothes back on if you keep them in your inventory if you are presently wearing Ghillie or Camo skins. The
Rubbermans Recommended Loot Load Out:
Assault Rifle (usually a stanag rifle, m4a1 holo) – 4 mags
Silenced pistol – 5 mags
3 bandages (recommend a lot more when first starting out)
czech or coyote backpack (if found)
2 morphine (one in backpack, one in main)
2 bloodbags (one in backpack, one in main)
2 painkillers (one in backpack, one in main)
3 waterbottles (usually in backpack)
2 cooked meat (usually in backpack)
Sniper Rilfe with 3 mags (usually in backpack)
1 Smoke grenade (in main)
1 Frag Grenade (in main)
Binocs or range finders (have yet to own) and nvg
Avoiding zombies: After 10 or so hours of play you begin to get used to the zombie ai. It’s actually quite simple and bugged. Largely due to the mod devs, only recoding the ai of the arma 2 soldiers. You will commonly see zombies attempt to flank you, though it’s less 18.104.22.168 and up. Eventually the zombies become only a minor nuisance once you get used to them. First off: Zombies can’t hit you in pine trees and some bushes. If you have a lot of them on you run into a tree and they will make noise and try to kill you but won’t be able to hit you. Eventually they will get bored and wander off. They are also easy to lose if you break line of sight with them (using fences bushes, trees) and then move in a method that is slower/quieter. TIP: Never run into a building that only has one exit unless you’re prepared to fight out of it. TIP2: Stay off of stairs when fighting zombies they can get you. TIP3: Zombies will agro and hit you through walls – beware of wallhacking zombies.
If you keep moving they have a hard time hitting you. With players in this game, I would recommend never being stationary unless you’re hunting them – even when looting a corpse (more advanced method I will explain some day). Don’t use loud or high powered rifles on zombies unless you have no choice. The louder the weapon the more things on 2 legs that will come.
Avoiding Players: More of an art, but generally just stay away from roads, open fields and cities. If you’re attempting to get to a specific area you may want to plan your route through the woods. Open fields in this game are thrilling and feel like certain death. Generally staying in third person, being aware of your surroundings and keeping cover close to you between you and your opponent is enough to remain undetected.