Note: this page covers the Standalone version of DayZ; for information on the Mod, see Mod:Zombie.
An infected, also known as a "zombie", "zed" or "walker", is a human infected with an unknown virus that causes them to enter a blood-thirsty rage. Nothing is currently known about this virus, which has devastated the populations of South Zagoria in Chernarus and the Topolin-Nadbór Region in Livonia, except that it is "highly communicable".
Infected will attack any and all non-infected humans by hitting and scraping them, although infected are known to stop their attack should an individual enter into a state of unconsciousness. A small segment of the populations of the known affected regions mentioned above have demonstrated that it is possible to become immune to the virus - this small group of people are often referred to as survivors.
The infection appears to cause loss of personality, fluent speech, and complex thought, accompanied by a massive increase in violent aggression. The Infected can still see and hear and will attack any uninfected human who has attracted their attention through noise, movement or displaying bright lights at night. Due to a lack of higher brain function, they are incapable of picking up objects, operating simple mechanisms such as door handles, or climbing ladders.
When passive and unstimulated, Infected will roam around aimlessly, occasionally varying their walking direction and field of vision. Once they are alerted to a survivor's presence, they will become aggressive and actively start chasing them (this is usually referred to as " going aggro"). In this state, they make angry noises as they advance towards the spot where they last saw or heard their prey until their target is either dead or lost. Once within range, they will attack in the form of frenzied attacks, where they will hit, kick, and scratch.
Although they have varying levels of speed and physical capability, most Infected can move as fast as a healthy Survivor. They lack normal human biological requirements such as the need to sleep and are able to survive exposure to the elements. However, they are still susceptible to conventional injuries. When Infected take damage to their legs without being killed, they will sometimes fall to the ground and become what most players refer to as "crawlers." This injured Infected can be harder to hit, particularly with melee weapons, and will continue its attacks, trying to hit you.
There are several dozen unique Infected variants, and while they have differences of appearance in their clothing and gender, they all behave in the same fashion and capabilities. They all have an inventory that is accessible upon killing them, 3 by 4 in size. This is accessed in the same way that you would loot another survivor via vicinity, and will sometimes spawn loot that corresponds to their particular variety of Infected. Each variant can be found in places that match their outfit, with firefighter Infected spawning at fire stations for example.
Infected can spawn equipped with varying items of clothing such as headgear, chest gear, and backpacks. The items worn by the Infected also vary depending on the area they spawn. I.e Infected soldiers now spawning with varying military gear such as Plate Carrier vests and varying military backpacks such as the Field Backpack.
- Regular Civilian - These infected are the standard type that can be found across the vast majority of South Zagoria and the Topolin-Nadbór Region. Infected of this type cannot spawn in freshspawn areas.
- Low Tier Civilian - Weaker variants of the regular civilian variant described above; they have less health, deal less damage and are only found in feshspawn areas.
- Specialized Worker - Identical to regular infected but spawn at specific locations, e.g. paramedics at hospitals. It is worth noting that infected of this variety can spawn in freshspawn areas.
- Runner - Runners are the weakest infected type but are able to chase a player indefinitely until killed. They can easily identified by their tendency to move much faster than regular infected when not aggravated. Runners can spawn in any residential area, including freshspawn areas.
- Police/Firefighter - Deal more damage than regular infected and can be found at police stations/wrecked police cars and fire stations respectively
- Heavy Police - Deal more damage than regular infected but are equipped with a stab vest, allowing them to absorb more melee and ballistic damage to the torso; their head is often unprotected however.
- Soldier - Infected soldiers deal more damage and have more health than regular infected and can be found at military bases and checkpoints.
- Screamer - Identical to the soldier type but have much louder screams, attracting all other infected within a 100m radius to their location when aggravated.
- Heavy Soldier - Identical to the soldier type but are equipped with a plate carrier and possibly a ballistic helmet, allowing them to take a lot more melee and ballistic damage.
- Military Officer - Infected that have increased health compared to Soldier Infected.
- NBC - Identical to the solder type but can only spawn inside dynamic and static contaminated zones. These are the only type of infected that can survive in these zones
When an Infected first detects a player, they will make a quick grunt sound and enter a sort of "search mode." They will look in the direction of the player, and if they cannot see the player but can hear them, they will move to the location where they last sensed the player. An Infected that fails to confirm a player's presence in search mode will eventually return to their idle state. However, while in search mode, Infected are far more alert and will quickly detect players through sound or vision. Crouching or going prone the moment an Infected enters search mode can cause them to return to their idle state provided you are far enough away and remain stationary. Breaking line of sight will also cause them to go back to being idle as long as you do so quietly.
Once a player's presence is confirmed, the Infected will let out a loud shriek and enter chase mode. While in this mode, they chase after the player relentlessly but will soon grow tired, slower, and eventually lose interest. Becoming trapped by Infected in a small area is possible, and loud weapons can easily exacerbate the problem. Though they do little damage initially, they can cause bleeding, broken bones, pain, or knock you into unconsciousness. Their strength lies in their damage over time, stamina, and tendency to attack at inconvenient times in large numbers.
There are a few ways to get away when the odds of a fight against Infected are not in your favour:
- Breaking the Line of Sight – Breaking an infected's line of sight will cause them to slowly wander around the player's last known location for a few minutes. The line of sight can be broken by running around corners, through buildings, and evergreen trees. Care must be taken to not regain the attention of an Infected with unnecessary sound or movement.
- Diverting Attention to Another Survivor – Either maliciously or with their assistance. Infected can make a great distraction when turned against other players who may mean to do you harm, but you could also have a friend or travel companion purposely gain an infected's attention to increase your odds of escape.
- Getting off the Ground – Climb a ladder to safety or jump on top of a car, Infected will be unable to follow you up.
- Holding Up in a Building - If you can enter a building and shut all the entrances quick enough, you will be safe. They cannot open doors, so they will attempt to get as close to you as possible. If you're next to a window, they will stand on the other side, making for easy dispatching. Even though they can sense your location inside, they will lose interest over time and return to wandering.
- Slowing Down and Hiding Outside - Try to slow yourself down and crouch or prone to lower the chances of detection.
- Blending in - Wearing more green clothes or clothes that camouflage you better also works. Wearing bright clothes such as red or pink will attract infected as it doesn't blend with the environment around them: camouflage doesn't only apply to other survivors and can work against Infected.
- Redirect Attention - If you throw an item the Infected will be attracted to the sound of that item. Infected will also follow the sounds of bullet impacts, so long as you have a suppressed or quieter weapon.
- When fighting Infected, it is advised that players stick to melee weapons such as any kind of knife, for several reasons. First of all, it will conserve ammunition to be used for other purposes. More importantly, however, it will avoid attracting the attention of other nearby Infected that have not yet set their sights on you. A well-placed strike to the head can knock the Infected down, allowing you to safely finish it off. Certain weapons are more effective than others, and their effectiveness may change as the game is developed. As of 1.0, knives or a Machete are ideal against Zombies due to their low cost of stamina quick of attack. Using blunt weapons can knock zombies to the ground and make it possible to escape incapacitated infected without killing them, but take more time to be effective. This can leave them to harass other players in the area.
- Sidestepping around them and attacking after they miss an attack can be a very safe combat strategy in melee. If there is no room to manoeuvre, aiming for their head and swinging the weapon just before the collision with a charging zombie can take them out quickly, sometimes without damage taken by the player.
- Infected have less of a chance to notice you if you are behind their field of vision, making it easy to sneak up behind them and hit them in the head. Care must be taken not to make noise when doing this.
- A good tactic if one is chasing you is to run in a circle to fight. You stand less of a chance of having other Infected involved by staying in one small area rather than running down a street attracting more trouble.
- Once combat is finished, it is important to check if you are bleeding. You can check this by opening your inventory and looking for red streaks coming out of your body or by checking the blood indicator in your HUD. It's also important to check the status of your clothes. Infected are notorious for ruining your clothes with successful attacks, so it is recommended that you carry either a normal sewing kit or a leather sewing kit, depending on what your gear requires to be repaired.
- If you are traveling with a survivor companion, do not fight one infected together, this can pose a risk of each survivor accidentally hitting each other, only one survivor should fight each infected separately from the other.
- If a survivor is injured or has sustained severe blood loss, try and let the healthiest survivor take care of the infected, if you are healthy and have an injured companion, fight any infected to not put your companion at further risk.
- It should be noted that rather than being classic "Romero" undead/supernatural zombies, DayZ takes a more 28 Days Later style of infected that are highly aggressive, run, climb and generally make life even harder for survivors.
- Previous versions included an infected model based on Dean Hall, the creator of DayZ. His model was removed sometime around 1.0 for unknown reasons. He would spawn a kiwi fruit, in reference to Hall being from New Zealand.