There are three Game Modes: Survival MP (multiplayer), Survival SP (single player), and Creative. If a player chooses to create a multiplayer game, they can choose whether it will be public or private. If it is public, anyone will be able to find it and join. If it is private, they will need to be invited and given the password.
It's always a good idea for new players to start with Survival SP to get a feel for the game prior to jumping into multiplayer mode. When creating a new world to play in, there are several options available that can make the play experience easier or harder. (This guide will be based on the default settings for Survival SP/MP.)
Create your character and spawn in. You'll have minimal items:
- Bottled Water x1
- Can of Chili x1
- Land Claim Block x1 (multiplayer only)
- This is used to protect your base in two ways. One, by making any blocks you've placed in the area harder to be destroyed by other players. Two, by preventing other players not on your friends list from placing blocks of their own within the effect range for the block.
- Torch x1
- Bandage x1
The character spawn point will be in a random area of the map (Navezgane, Random Generated).
When starting a new game, a series of quests will be given to the player that should completed. These quests will provide direction as to what the player should normally craft when starting a new game.
The first quest the player receives is to craft a Bedroll, this item allows the player to specify a spawn if they die. The Bedroll must placed in order to set the player's spawn point. As Plant Fibers are needed to craft the Bedroll, the player should punch any grass they find, this will gather Plant Fibers and deposit them in the player's backpack. Punching trees will gather Wood and punching boulders will gather Small Stones and other items useful later in the game.
Continue gathering Small Stones, Plant Fibers, Wood, and Feathers as these are the only items needed to complete the introductory quests. Feathers can be looted from Bird Nests on the ground and can be found in every biome. The Forest and Snow Biome can make it more difficult to locate Bird Nests with the large amounts of grass or the periodic snow falls. In addition to finding Bird Nests on the ground, they can also be inside a house in the attic, on top of buildings, and on the upper levels bombed buildings.
Early on, fighting zombies at close is very dangerous as most melee weapons will require three or more hits to kill a single zombie. Players should focus on using the Wooden Bow to hit zombies in the head. Many zombies will fall to the ground and become stunned for several seconds when hit in the head with an arrow. A second arrow to the head while the zombie is stunned will usually kill it. The player should continue to gather Feathers as more powerful arrows can be crafted later on.
- Construction Tools (Skill) - allows the player to gather more and for a longer duration with the Stone Axe.
- Weapon Smithing (Skill) - allows the player to craft higher quality melee and bow weapons.
- Sexual Tyrannosaurus - increases the rate at which the player's stamina recovers. When low on stamina the player will gather less and early on the player is trying to gather as much as possible.
Next on the survival quest list of things to do is start a base. Depending on where you are on the map, you may just want to craft the three frames, upgrade them and move on. It may be a while before you find a place to call home.
To place a Wood Frame, first drag or place the Wood Frame into the Toolbelt from the inventory. Then select/highlight it on Toolbelt, a Wood Frame should appear in the player's hand and can be placed now.
To upgrade a frame, use the Stone Axe. Once a Wood Frame is upgraded, it cannot be picked up. Either destroy it for the wood or leave it. Players may wish to save the three Wood Frames they create during the intro quests as their is no time limit to completing the quest.
Frames are very handy for blocking doorways and stairwells while looting buildings to help keep zombies out. They can also be used to create instant stairs up the side of a building -- just pick them back up on your way down. Be careful not to fall, as breaking a bone will reduce the player's movement speed. Sprains are more common, but both injuries can be healed with a Splint. If the player has broken or sprained their leg, it will be more susceptible to re-injury while the splint buff is active.
Of course, what would this game be without Zombies! They are everywhere you want to be. Plan on it. There are walkers, crawlers, screamers, and climbers, all wanting to taste you. During the day, they can be outrun unless you find yourself trapped or decide you have the guts and weapons to take them on.
At night however, zombies will run. Night starts at 22:00 hours (10pm). Players will get a warning in the way of a dark eerie sound. Zombie bites can infect you, and there are also those that can spit acid on you, like the Infected Police Officer. Thankfully those are generally only seen around towns/wasteland areas and in later 7-day hordes.
By now it should be around noon game time. Time to start exploring and finding food and water because you will need it soon. If you were lucky, you may have already found something by looking through trash, boxes, coolers, etc. The map also has various wildlife. Rabbits are hard to catch and don't have much meat but there are wild Pigs, Stags, and Bears. Bears are particularly tough to kill and are very aggressive. If you have Wood Frames handy, you can quickly build a make-shift stand to get above and out of harm's way while you shoot arrows into it, but bears have a lot of health so make sure you have lots of Arrows. Better to run from them for now and stick to stags and pigs.
There are also plants that provide nourishment such as Blueberries, Ears of Corn, and Potatoes. Corn and potatoes are especially important later in game as they are crafting components of Meat Stew, the best wellness-boosting food available. If you are in the desert biome, you can harvest cacti for their fruit or Yucca Plants for Yucca Fruit. They're not very nourishing but they're better than nothing.
Water is not all that hard to find if you loot and explore enough. All maps will have a number of lakes and rivers and players can use Empty Cans or Glass Jars to collect it. It will be murky water, however, so don't drink it unless you have something like Goldenrod Tea, Red Tea, or Vitamins to combat the side effects, as it will more than likely make you sick. You can use a Campfire and a Cooking Pot to boil the water clean (or an empty can, Snowball, and a campfire).
Drinking bottled water will empty the Glass Jar. Keep it and refill it at lakes and rivers to boil later.
Look for a road if you aren't already on one and follow it, checking cars and trash along the way. Watch for houses and try to find one that looks fairly complete. The best ones are the two story ones that have a ladder leading to the roof. These are good for using for as a temporary base. Go up the stairs to the second floor and go in through a window. All the doors will be locked. If you are worried about zombies, you can always take out the stairs you just came up. It will at least slow them down.
If you have the wood, break out some of the windows and board them back up with upgraded frames. You can also add reinforcement to weak doors by upgrading them the same way you do frames. Loot the building from top to bottom. There is probably a safe downstairs behind a reinforced door but you will break several axes trying to get to it. Once you feel the place is secured enough, if there is time left before 22:00, go back out and gather more wood, stone and fiber. If you broke the lower staircase, be sure to use frames to get up and down, picking them back up behind you. You will want to break or block the lower staircase inside the house as well. Another option is to go to the roof via the ladder, finish off the broken glass ceiling, replace with upgraded frames and build a fort of sorts on top of the house. You can put frames around the edge of the roof to stop spider zombies (climbers).
Day One - 22:00
With any luck, you found a Cooking Pot in a house to boil water with. If all you have is murky water and no pot and start to dehydrate, you can drink it but you will probably get Dysentery . You will need Vitamins (looted) or Golden Rod Tea (campfire crafted) to heal yourself.
Craft a Secure Storage Chest and place it somewhere. Use this to unload your inventory. Keep your Stone Axe , Wooden Club (if you made one) and your gathered mats with you. Depending on which biome you are in, be sure to watch your temperature. Standing close to a lit Campfire can overheat you in most zones if you do it too long. In a snow biome however, it could be the only thing keeping you from freezing!
Hopefully your first night is quiet except for the occasional nearby zombie moan or the dog packs howling in the distance (yes, they will eat you too and are very aggressive and fast). It is possible to continue to gather
Day 2 - 06:00
Ideally you have survived the night and without getting sick. If you did get dysentery, then it's time to find a cooking pot or a Zombie Nurse . Vitamins can be looted from Zombie Nurses, Medicine Cabinets found in most structures bathrooms and in specific drug stores named Poppin Pills . If for some reason, you did not survive the night, hopefully you remembered to place a bedroll down to spawn back to. Depending on the server settings (this guide assumes default settings) you will have lost everything in your personal inventory. Your backpack will be marked on the map, which should be at your house, if you died there but depending on where you spawned back in, it could be a heck of a walk back. If you haven't parked a bedroll yet, do it now. You can create another and place it elsewhere if you find a better shack or decide to build your own.
Time to hit the road and look for a town. While towns have a higher concentration of zombies, they also have a much higher chance of producing better items from looting. You may also see small villages with just a few houses. Loot them all! Couches and appliances can be broken down into materials. Cabinets and desks can be too but getting Wood is much faster from a tree, so not worth it. If you can't craft a pick or a better axe, with any luck you will loot one of them and can open gun lockers and safes with it. Don't forget to loot the toilets! It's a good place to find pistols and ammunition.
Also keep an eye out for a place to hole up for the first 7 day zombie Horde. Towns may have buildings that feel a little more secure than the wooden house you were just in. If you are looting a building with several floors, block the lower staircase right away. Zombies can sense nearby player activity and may come looking for you. If you think a zombie is nearby, one way to see if they have spotted you is by crouching. Stay in a crouched position ("C" on PC) for a second or two and you should see an indicator in the center of your screen dictating whether or not you have been detected.
While you're out looting, if you scrounge up any Beer or Grain Alcohol , save it! It's not to have with dinner, but as a stamina booster. If for some reason you get caught outside at night and have to run from the now fast moving zombies, you'll need the boost either of those drinks give you to stay alive. Drink another if the buff falls off, not before because you can get alcohol poisoning too.
Day 2 - 12:00- 22:00
Hopefully by now you have decided where you want to hide for the night. Never too early to start thinking of defenses. Brick is better than wood and rooftops are better than lower floors. If you do end up on a rooftop, use crafted frame or planks to create a ledge around the roof's edge that crawlers can't get around. Unless you're in a city or wasteland area, you shouldn't see any crawlers yet, but better to be safe than sorry. If the roof already has an overhang, you're good to go. If you want to add some defenses to your building like crafting up some wood spikes or upgrading blocks, it's going to take more wood. If your inventory is low, go get some while you still can. This is pretty easy if you happen to be in or near the forest biome. There may be other items you wish to fortify your new holdout with, and many of them use wood in the recipe.
Put a Secure Storage Chest down if you haven't yet and unload your inventory. Go loot more if you still have time. Some crafted items and most of the ranged weapons can only by learned by reading looted schematics. The best place to find those is in bookshelves which can be found in certain buildings and bookstores. Just be sure to be in a safe reinforced location before 22:00. Bring food and water. Drop a campfire to cook food or boil murky water and also to stay warm if you are in a colder biome but keep in mind that some zombies are attracted to heat (generated by campfires /forges , firearms and some power tools) and all zombies are attracted to the smell of crafted foods and some of their components if
you have them on your character.
At this point in the game if you're running a single campfire and/or forge and making small batches of material/food, you're probably safe from a heat generation standpoint. If you have multiples running simultaneously, you're going to attract the attention of a screamer zombie . Screamers have the capability to summon a horde if they see you and scream, in fact each time they scream afterwards brings in more zombies. If this has occurred you need to take her out quickly or get out of the area if you're not ready for the assault. There are strategies to deal with heat generation that will be discussed later, but for now it's something to closely manage.
Day 3 - 6
If you are playing 7 Days to Die with friends, or have met and made friends in the game, by now decisions will have been made as to where to go and what to do. The obvious goal is survival. You have a pretty good idea how to craft by now. You may or may not have explored enough to decide where to build a more permanent base. On the Navezgane map, there are 3 major towns, each with multiple buildings. You may find the upper levels of a building there to be suitable, or even a rooftop. The game does have dynamic weather, but that doesn't mean you will have rain in the desert or snowfall in the forest. The desert can get very hot during the day, so temperature management is important. Naturally the snow areas are much colder and you will risk freezing. The forest areas have more bears, which can be more dangerous than most zombies, although they don't run in packs. The fact remains however, that they do run. Day or night.
Some server Admin's require players to create bases outside of town, so that the buildings inside town respawn loot. The respawn rate changes if there is player activity nearby. If this is the case, a cave can work well if you can find one. There are only a few per map. It is also a place to find different types of minerals necessary for crafting , so explore them and start mining. Mark a trail tho because getting lost in tunnels is easier than you might think. Don't dig too high up because you could dig to the surface. This is a floor limit as well. Careful digging around sand as it can collapse. Falling rocks can kill you. Better to use wood frames and reinforce weak tunnel walls. Use frames to block the entrance as well to keep zombies at bay should they locate it.
Wherever your base is, gather lots of wood to build Wood Spikes with and surround your base with them! Careful with them or any other traps you build as they can damage your character just as easily as a zombie or other creature.
The first Horde will be on the run tonight at 22:00. You may have encountered small wandering hordes by now, or if you were spotted by the aforementioned Screamer Zombie.
This is nothing compared to the 7 day Horde. The first Horde a player experiences will be the easiest. Every 7th day, harder and tougher zombies will be added to the group. Zombie dogs (usually in small packs of 2-3) will join the fray and they always run. They are best dispatched from a distance, preferably with a shotgun or crossbow. Players are no match for a dog pack, even a small one in a close combat fight.
This will be the last chance you will get to make sure all the doors are blocked or reinforced, the base walls are upgraded plus surrounded by spikes, the roof is fortified with a lip of wood frames (at least 3 blocks off the ground, higher is better) to keep crawlers off the roof and all stairways and windows are blocked or otherwise secured.
On the subject of spikes, you have two options: Wood Log Spike or Wood Spikes . Wood Log Spikes take more materials to make but you can upgrade them and they're more durable. The downside is they don't do as much damage as their poor cousin, the Wood Spike. Wood Spikes take less resources to make and deal significant damage, but cannot be upgraded and lack the durability of the Wood Log variant. For your first 7 day horde, multiple rows of Wood Spikes will probably be sufficient to help you fend off your hungry guests. Later hordes will need more spikes...lots more.
If you survive the night, best be looking for or building a strong base because this was the easy one. A taste of things to come.
5 days after every 7 day Horde is Dog Day. Zombie Dogs are no joke. They will find you and they will eat you. They will rapidly close in on a player and take them out. A sprinting player can outrun a dog but only until their Stamina runs low, at which point they will probably become puppy chow. Even if you managed to get up a ladder or staircase, a dog attack will cause bleeding, which can still drain and kill you. The best defense is height (dogs will attack the base of a building first) and a good ranged weapon with plenty of ammo/arrows. Dogs are generally found in wastelands, cities, on the farm (Navezgane map) or near barns but on Dog Day, all bets are off. They are coming and you best be prepared and watchful for the entire 5th day.