DayZ Wiki

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DayZ Wiki

Original thanks to David Xiaoxi Li @ Dayzheader.gif

DayZ is a free third-party mod for the Military Simulator Arma 2 that simulates survival in a zombie apocalypse. If you're like us, you'll try any game with "zombie" in the description, and this one definitely does not disappoint. In this guide, we'll get you started in the game and teach you what you need to know to survive.


Refer to How to install DayZ Mod for installation methods

If you encounter any issues during installation, refer to the DayZ troubleshooting forums

Getting Started[]

When the Game has loaded

  1. If DayZ is started the ArmA 2 Logo on the loading screen is replaced with the DayZ logo.
    Logo DayZ Loading.jpg
  2. If everything is installed correctly you should see "@dayz" line under "ArmA 2" on the right side of the menu screen and the Singleplayer mode should be disabled.
  3. When the game loads, feel free to fiddle with settings. You may consider creating a new player profile with your desired handle.
  4. When you're ready to play, press Multiplayer on the main menu to bring up the server browser. You can filter the names of the servers by "DayZ". We also recommend filtering out full and passworded servers and servers with a ping over 150.
  5. Select a server out of the results. Lower-population servers are easier for beginners because they tend to have fewer griefers. [[Mod:#Notes|1]]
  6. Once you connect to the server, you should see a screen that looks something like this. Press "OK". You don't need to select anything else.
  7. Be patient, but if you're stuck at any step for more than a few minutes, try another server or try rejoin

Welcome to Chernarus[]

As soon as the game finishes loading, you will spawn somewhere on the coast of Chenarus. Initially, you will spawn with a Coyote Patrol Backpack that has 8 spaces, a Flashlight on your toolbelt, as well as a Bandage and a pack of Painkillers. Be aware that you have nothing with which to defend yourself, so it's probably best to avoid zombies. Press WASD to move around, Q and E to lean, and G to open your gear. More on controls later, but for now, you will see something like the following:

DayZ GUI.png

  • The first indicator is your current noise level. The brighter this becomes, the more noise the player is making. The above reference shows a bandit generating a large amount of noise due to them sprinting.
  • The second icon is visibility to others. As with the noise level, the brighter the icon the more visible the player is to players and zombies alike. The above reference shows high visibility as the player is sprinting. Should the player be walking/crouching/crawling, visibility to others will decrease. Certain terrain also affects visibility, ie sprinting on tarmac will make you highly visible whereas through forest not as much.
  • The third indicator is your current Body Temperature; unlike the other indicators, red (hot) is good, and blue (cold) is bad. Usually, you won't have to worry about it, but it reduces during boating, swimming or rainstorms and also at night. If it drops below a certain amount, you risk getting an Infection. Body temperature may be raised or maintained by using a Heatpack from your inventory, which will instantly restore all heat, or by taking shelter indoors or being next to a fire, both of which will gradually increase your temperature.
  • The forth indicator is your Blood, or essentially your health. The level of blood is shown as part of the icon and rises/falls depending on your blood level. The maximum blood you can have is 12,000. When your blood reaches 0, you die. The exact amount of blood you have is hidden, but the icon gives you a good idea of how close to death you are. Getting hit by zombies, falling from a distance, or being shot can cause you to bleed. Bleeding is indicated by a white cross flashing inside the blood drop symbol. Bleeding slowly reduces your blood until you are bandaged; sometimes, it may stop on its own. Bleeding is visually indicated by blood flowing from the player. This is easily visible by other players, so they can bandage your wounds for you, or hunt you down because they know you're injured. Certain status effects can also take place when you lose blood. You can run the risk of sepsis or infection from being hit by Zombies and bleeding.
  • The fifth indicator is your hunger. It, of course, measures how hungry you are. This can be replenished by eating any consumable food, such as the Canned Food or Cooked Meat. If you begin to hyperventilate while under attack, your character becomes hungry much quicker; you will also become hungrier and thirstier faster if you run a lot.
  • The sixth indicator is your Thirst. Not paying attention to your thirst can result in, of course, death. Thirst can only be replenished by drinking either a canned drink, or by drinking from a filled Water Bottle (refillable at bodies of fresh water or wells). Drinking unboiled water from a water bottle carries a risk of becoming sick.

Game Mechanics[]


When you die, you must start from scratch. Play carefully.

DayZ uses a numeric hit point system (blood) with a scale from 0 (dead) to 12,000 (max). Blood is directly lost through damage and can also be lost by bleeding. Your blood determines a number of things, including how susceptible you are to becoming incapacitated and how well you can aim. [[Mod:#Notes|2]] [[Mod:#Notes|3]] You can regain 800 blood by eating cooked meat (see below), and full refill of blood by receiving a blood transfusion from a blood bag. Another player must administer the blood bag from their inventory.

Blood Levels There are various consequences from the result of blood loss:

  • Once you reach 9,000 blood, the screen saturation will gradually decrease.
  • At 9,000 blood or less, you risk being knocked unconscious by zombies.
  • At 3,000 blood and less, you risk falling unconscious from blood loss at random times.
  • At less than 2,000 blood, it becomes extremely difficult to see and are affected by all the above symptoms.

Blood can be replenished by eating some types of food. Cooked Meat restores between 200 and 1000, depending on the type. Eating raw meat will replenish a small amount of blood, but also carries a risk of infection; eat raw food only in an emergency. Using Blood Bags can give you all of your blood back; however, they must be applied by another player and they carry a small risk of infection.

You can also fall under the following status effects:

  • Bleeding: If there's a plus sign in your blood indicator, you should bandage yourself to stop the bleeding.
  • Unconsciousness: A timer appears in the middle of your screen and you cannot act until it finishes.
  • Shock: Caused by taking significant damage or gunshot wounds. Can last anywhere between 30 seconds up to 5 minutes. Can only be cured with an epi-pen. Disconnecting while under the shock status effect will knock you unconscious for 2 minutes and 20 seconds upon your next join.
  • Broken bones: You can only move while prone. You can still stand and crouch, but moving at all forces you to dive to prone. Also, you can still vault and climb ladders; take a morphine injection to cure broken bones.
  • Pain: Causes your character to shake uncontrollably in first person. Makes it extremely difficult to aim. Take painkillers.
  • Infection: Causes your character to cough loudly and lose three blood per second until death. The coughing can be heard by other players and zombies. Staying near other players carries a risk of spreading the infection. Take Antibiotics to cure and as a stop gap measure eat whatever you can to keep your blood from reaching 0. There is a 1% chance that an infection can be cured by selecting REST at a tent. This option can only be done successfully once every 5 minutes.

Hunger and Thirst[]

You need to regularly eat and drink, but only enough to keep those icons from blinking. Running causes you to become hungry and thirsty more rapidly. Panicking from being attacked also increases your hunger. You can eat and drink the following things:

  • Canned foods: You find these in many buildings and potentially on dead survivors and zombies.
  • Canned drinks: Same as above.
  • Canteen water: Refill this at a well, water pump, or pond. [[Mod:#Notes|4]]
  • Raw Meat: Requires you to kill an animal. If you have a Hunting Knife, wood (or a Hatchet if you're in the woods), and a Box of Matches, you can then cook and eat the meat. Eating raw food (canned food is always considered cooked) replenishes less blood and carries a risk of infection.

To eat and drink, right-click the relevant items in your Mod:Inventory and select either Eat or Drink.

Temperature and Sickness[]

If your Temperature drops too low or you encounter infected players, you may acquire an Infection that will cause your Blood to gradually drop to 3000 unless you find Antibiotics. When sick, you will hear coughing in-game. If your temperature drops too low, your vision will begin to shake. To avoid getting sick, seek shelter during rainstorms and avoid swimming. To warm yourself up, use a Heat Pack or a Fire. You need a Box of matches and a Wood Pile to create a fireplace, and the fire requires wood to continue burning for an extended period of time. You can find wood piles in and around buildings, especially barns, or you can chop wood piles from trees if you have found a Hatchet.


When you're under attack, you will hear the sound of hyperventilation. During this adrenaline rush, you become hungry much faster.


DayZ uses a persistent character system. When you log back into a server you previously played on, your location, gear, and status effects will be as you left them, as long as you haven't died. You can also place Tents and Underground stashes, which you can store your gear in. However, other players might try to steal items from your tents, so It is advised to hide your tents in a secluded area and place Bear traps and other traps around your tents to protect them from other Players.

Note: As of 12/January 2015, the old "Hive", where players could transfer gear from server to server, is down and only private hives remain.

The Controls[]

We'll assume that you know your way around first-person shooters in general. The following are the default keybindings, which can be changed in the game options menu.

  • Escape: Open game menu.
  • W/A/S/D: Standard strafing movement.
  • Z/X/C: Prone/crouch/stand.
  • V: Slide over obstruction, commonly known as Vaulting. [[Mod:#Notes|11]]
  • Shift (Hold): Walk or move slower. Double tapping this key toggles between walking and jogging.
  • MW Scroll: Select from available actions.
  • MW Click: Select action. Performs a default action if none are selected.
  • G: Open inventory.
  • LMB: Shoot or throw tactical items (e.g. flares, smoke grenades).
  • RMB (Click): Toggle iron sights/scope. [[Mod:#Notes|11]]
  • RMB (Hold): Zoom view in. Zooming in while looking through your sights will allow you to hold your breath for sniping at pool parties.
  • R: Reload. Will load the fullest magazine in your inventory into your weapon. (See [[Mod:#Ammunition|Ammunition]] below for info.)
  • F: Switches firing modes on any weapon with multiple, and will select any tactical consumables in your inventory. (e.g. flares, smoke grenades, M203 launchers, chem lights) [[Mod:#Notes|12]]
  • Q: Lean left.
  • E: Lean right. You could press both in alternation to show your friends, that it is you talking.
  • Alt (Hold): Turns on free-look while held. Double tapping toggles free-look. Allows you to look around you without changing your character's orientation.
  • Num Enter: Toggle between 1st/3rd-person.
  • (,): Select last chat channel.
  • (.): Select next chat channel.
  • (/): Type in chat. Use "Side chat" for global communications, though be aware, Side chat and Global chat are not available on most servers.
  • Caps Lock: Use Voice Chat.
  • (\): Salute (when standing).
  • ('): Sit down.

You must loot and equip the appropriate items before you can use these:

In some cases, double-clicking a key will perform a special action or toggle a default. Here are some important ones:

  • W: Sprint.
  • Shift: Toggle default movement speed (slow vs. fast).
  • Alt: Toggle free-look.
  • Ctrl: Lower primary weapon.
  • B/N/M/K/O/L: Toggle tool/item.

Xbox/PC controller[]

ARMA 2 and Day Z support console controllers, whether it be Xbox, Generic PC, or even Wii Remote. In the Controls menu for the game, you can Enable the "Xbox Controller" to operate with the very limited standard settings. You'll have to use a keyboard in conjunction with a controller for the default setting. Disable the "Xbox Controller" option will allow you to custom map the buttons.

  • Default ARMA 2/Day Z Controller Configuration
  • Left Stick: Run, walk, strafe. (Analog sensitivity enabled)
  • Left Stick Button: Crouch toggle.
  • Right Stick Aim.
  • Right Stick Button Optics (Iron Sights/Tight Zoom).
  • D-pad Up/Down: Next/Previous Action (like the mouse scroll wheel).
  • D-pad Left/Right: Unknown.
  • A-button: Select Action.
  • B-button: Prone toggle.
  • X-button: Reload.
  • Y-button: Toggle Firing Mode/Select Throwing Items
  • Left Bumper: Unknown.
  • Right Bumper: Map.
  • Left Trigger: Zoom (Hold)
  • Right Trigger: Fire
  • Select: Tactical View toggle (1st Person/3rd Person).
  • Start: Open Menu.

Custom Controller Mapping Notes[]

- You must have the "Xbox Controller" setting disabled in order to custom map commands to the controller buttons.

- When mapping buttons through ARMA 2's settings, you will not be able choose between clicking, holding, double-tapping, or simultaneous button presses. Third Party software can work around this.

- Some commands do not work on the analog triggers. The game will map it, but it will never work.

- Sometimes button presses will not register immediately for mapping. Repeatedly press the button until it registers.

Your Best Friend: The Mouse Wheel[]

Scrolling with the mouse wheel opens up a new world of opportunity. The menu that appears on the left is contextual, and is based on your condition, location, and what you're aiming at. Here are some examples of things you can do with the mouse wheel:

  • Performing first-aid on others. Target your buddies with your crosshairs first. It may be a good idea to holster your weapon by pressing Ctrl twice so you don't accidentally shoot them.
  • Interacting with doors and ladders. You can also just click the mouse wheel when you see the appropriate indicator on the screen.
  • Looting. You should always loot by selecting "Gear" instead of just pressing G. Simply picking up items can cause you to drop other items in your inventory if it is full.
  • Picking up backpacks. [[Mod:#Notes|13]]
  • Building fires, extinguishing and picking up flares, etc.

If you can't see an action you want to perform, try moving closer to your target and keeping your crosshairs on it. Or move items near the object you want, sometimes if there is a backpack and the pick up does not indicate when other items are near - pick up the other items and drop them somewhere away from the backpack, this will allow you to pick it up

How to leave the game.[]

  1. Press Escape to bring up the menu. Wait for the combat timer (if you have been hit by either a player or zombie, or near one that has been in the last 30 seconds)
  2. Press Abort, and then Yes.
  3. Press Escape to bring you back to the lobby.

Guns, Gear and Inventory[]

Let's be honest. You're here for the loot. You can expect to find the following kinds of items in Chernarus:

  • Weapons: primary weapons and sidearms. You can equip one primary, one sidearm and one Melee Weapon, though you can store more. See Weapons for information about the available types. Storing a Primary weapon in your backpack uses 10 inventory slots, and attempting to place a weapon in your pack while it is full usually results in the weapon being lost forever. Your default Coyote Patrol Pack only has 8 storage slots, so find a larger pack before attempting to store weapons inside. Handguns only take 5 inventory slots. ** Switching from Primary to 2nd Primary in Backpack - Open Backpack and select the Weapon that is in the Backpack and click to the right and it will replace the primary with the Weapon and Ammo on person - Make sure you have space in the backpack first to cover all ammo from 1st primary in Backpack or you will lose that ammo. Repeat steps when changing back.
  • Ammunition: While most ammunition is given a gun-specific name, ammunition of the same caliber can be used in any weapon that uses that caliber.
  • Food and drinks: And the trash that comes with it.
  • Tools: e.g. watches, compasses, maps, toolboxes, hunting knife, etc. These are non-consumable, meaning they last an infinite amount of uses, and appear in the lowest rung of your "gear" screen.
  • Optics: binoculars, night-vision goggles, and rangefinders.
  • Backpacks: In terms of size: Czech Vest Pouches (6) < Coyote Patrol Pack (8) < Assault Pack ACU (12) < Surival ACU (16) = ALICE Pack (16) < British Assault Pack (18) < Czech Backpack (24) < Coyote Backpack (24, and 6 weapons slots).
  • Medical supplies: antibiotics, painkillers, morphine, epi-pens, bandages, and blood bags.
  • Tactical consumables: flares, chemlights, smoke grenades, and grenades.
  • Consumable tools: Mod:Wood Pile.
  • Fortification materials: tents, barbed wire kits, sandbags, and tank traps.
  • Vehicle parts: You can fix up cars, trucks, and helicopters. Some vehicles require more than one of each part, and all vehicles apart from old bicycles need fuel to run. Jerry Cans are found full and provide 20 Liters of fuel.


You should aim to find a primary weapon (e.g. a rifle), a powerful sidearm, and some ammo. Ideally, you should try to find a Lee Enfield as a starter primary weapon. It's accurate, relatively powerful, has good range and its ammunition is plentiful - the only negative is the noise level which will get the attention of nearby zombies. The M1911 and Revolver are popular choices due to abundant ammunition (which is swappable between the two) and higher damage than 9mm sidearms. Failing that, even the common Makarov PM can provide basic defense during the early phases of your character's progression.

Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your weapons.

  • Accuracy is indicated by the width of the two vertical parts of the crosshairs. [[Mod:#Notes|16]]
  • You're more accurate when crouched and calm. Running temporarily decreases accuracy.
  • Stay in 1st-person mode when you expect to have to shoot. The crosshairs are slightly off-center in 3rd-person.
  • Switch in and out of ironsights or scope by clicking (not holding) RMB. This works even in 3rd-person.
  • Remember to reload! Unlike some shooters, there is no auto-reload when you run dry!
  • Try for headshots whenever possible. Headshots are an instant kill on any player or zombie with any weapon at close range, though power may degrade at longer ranges with things such as sidearms.
  • Each gun has an effective range. Handguns have a quite short effective range, keep that in mind.
  • Bullets obey the gravity law. Also they take a time to reach their targets depending on how far they are.
  • Louder guns attract more zombies than quieter guns. [[Mod:#Notes|17]]
  • Each gun has a slightly different sound. Memorizing these can be very useful.
  • You can hold your breath by toggling your scope/ironsights, by holding RMB. This steadies your weapon and also has a slight zoom effect.
  • If you have to choose between slugs and pellets, choose slugs. Slugs provide a much longer range and much better stopping power at range. Pellets are only superior to slugs indoors or at close range. [[Mod:#Notes|18]]
  • Carry pistols as a side arm if you already have a main weapon, these can be quite useful because they aren't as loud as primary weapons.
  • If you have a pistol as a main weapon, don't try getting into gunfights too often, most of the fresh spawns littered around the landscape have these wonder weapons still clutched in their cold dead hands.


Arma 2 uses a realistic magazine system, meaning reloading will put the partially used magazine back into your inventory and put in the next available magazine (regardless if it is full or not). You can re-combine partial magazines/clips by right clicking the item in Inventory and selecting recombine. This consolidates the ammo into the minimum number of slots possible and saves you room. Let's say that you begin with a full Makarov (8 rounds) and two spare magazines. You shoot 4 rounds and reload then shoot 4 rounds again and reload. After the animation is complete, one full magazine is in the Makarov, while two magazines with 4 rounds each are in your Inventory. By selecting recombine you will consolidate them into 2 full magazines and save yourself an ammo slot.


DayZ Inventory.PNG

You can interact with items through your Inventory window. To use an item, you can right-click it and select an action from the menu that appears.

When looting (with the mouse wheel menu), lootable items show up in the left side of the inventory window. They are highlighted in white, and should include a number at left. That number indicates the amount available. Any number to the right indicates how many you have in your inventory. To pick up the item, double-click it or click it and press "Take". You can also press the arrow to the right of the item name. You can dispose of items in your inventory by clicking them and pressing "Drop".

You can stash your stuff in one of four places:

  • Your Inventory.
  • Your Backpack. This is independent from your inventory.
  • Your Tents/Vehicles. Be careful, because other people can loot these and they do not persist across servers.
  • The ground. Items on the ground may despawn if you leave the immediate area. [[Mod:#Notes|20]]
  • Your hands. You may carry certain items in your hands, but keep in mind that this prevents you from keeping your primary weapon equiped.

The inventory system is one of the most unintuitive parts of Arma 2. Your inventory appears when you press G. It holds the items you have handy. Your bag appears in your inventory, but its storage is independent. Think realistically—you can't use items in your backpack unless you take them out.

To open up your Backpack and fuss with its contents, click on it and press "Open bag" button (to the right of the bag slot). If you're not currently looting, you'll see some numbers change in the left side of the inventory. Numbers on the right side indicate what exists in your inventory and numbers on the left indicate what exists in your bag. Exchange items in and out of the Backpack in the same manner as described above for looting from the ground. Be aware that some items take up more than one slot, such as Jerry Cans (3), Car wheels (6) Main Rotor Assemblies (10) and certain magazines, such as the M240 and M249 box magazines (2). DayZ Inventory2.jpg

If you are currently looting, you can store stuff into your Backpack directly by clicking your bag and pressing the open bag button (to the right of the bag slot). This will change the Mod:Inventory screen directly, and you will be able to see your Backpacks slots at right.

Some items take up more than one slot. Multiples of these items cannot be stored in your inventory. For instance, if you try to pick up a M1911 pistol, it will replace your Makarov. However, you can store these in your bag. If you store that M1911 in your Backpack, it will take up a block of five slots. You don't need to worry about shifting items around as long as there are enough slots. If not, you'll drop items starting at the bottom-right.

See also: Inventory

Your Enemy[]

You have three types of enemies in this game.


Check Zombies for information on the types of zombies in the game, as they may change quickly. Consider the following:

  • Zombies spawn near settlements and inside buildings.
  • You can often detect zombies by their breathing. When you alert them, they start to snarl or howl.
  • Zombies will detect you more easily when you're loud and easy to see. They also detect you more easily in the daytime.
  • Never run when you're anywhere near a settlement. To sneak by zombies, go prone and crawl.
  • Firing weapons should be a last resort to kill zombies. Unless you found yourself a silenced weapon, which will attract almost no zombies, firing a weapon such as the Lee Enfield can attract almost all the zombies within a few hundred metre radius
  • Zombies will investigate player deaths, as well as lit flares, fireplaces, and smoke grenades.
  • Zombies cannot run indoors or up slopes. Have a fallback point for you or your group incase you alert several zombies. Go back to the building you specified and wait for them to shamble in. Then, just pick them off with a weapon of your choice.
  • Zombies can be distracted with flares, smoke grenades, and your (former) friends' freshly crippled bodies.
  • Zombies may have trouble getting over obstructions. They cannot slide over sandbags at all, and may have to crawl under or go around fences.
  • Zombies can swim and climb ladders, albeit poorly.
  • Zombies can respawn around you, so move expeditiously after clearing them out of an area.
  • Zig-zag in and around buildings and through trees and bushes to lose zombies if being chased, if you managed to break line of sight with them for long enough, they will stop chasing you.
  • When trying to lose or kill zombies by running into a building always have a backup plan on how to get out, a group of zombies can easily pin you in a corner and kill you.
  • Zombies will chase any type of vehicle that crosses their path, this can be used to your advantage especially if you want to lure zombies to a certain location such as away from a friend or towards an enemy

The best places to fight zombies are inside buildings with escape routes and out in a flat, open field, especially when there's a fence in the way. As mentioned, zombies must walk indoors, allowing you more time to headshot them. In the open, zombies will run in sometimes unpredictable patterns toward you and will have to crawl under fences. You can also throw Flares and Smoke Grenades to attract zombies, allowing you to take care of them unscathed.

Other Players[]

Some people are out to steal your candy and laugh at you while they eat it. These people are called Bandits in DayZ.

Here's some advice for preventing you from becoming the fodder of someone's Schadenfreude:

  • Don't trust anyone you don't know. Play with friends. It's much easier to betray someone you don't know very well.
  • Avoid open areas, especially roads, beaches, open fields and railroads. If you must follow one of these, stay up in any nearby woods.
  • Stay low and use cover. When you hear gunshots, drop to prone immediately with Z. Remember: someone may be aiming at you at any moment. Going prone can and will turn you into a nice stationary target if you don't drop into some kind of cover though. If you hear zips and pings they will be shooting at you. Running behind nearby obstacles like buildings and wreckage is often advantageous in such a situation. Going prone behind a low hill is possible if better cover is not available. When under fire try to break their line of sight on you while maintaining yours. Trees make for poor cover but groups of conifers can be used to break line of sight.
  • While cities are lucrative, avoid them whenever possible. If you need gear, you may be better off looking for a Mod:Deer Stand in the woods.
  • Whenever entering a town of any size, approaching a helicopter crash site, or any other structure that may have players in it take a few minutes to lay back and scout the area with binoculars to spot any players before you move in.
  • Make it a habit to look over your shoulder (with alt) constantly, you never know when there might be someone behind you.
  • Avoid using flashlights, flares, and chem lights unless you absolutely need to. Flares give your position away and chem lights & flashlights make you very noticeable and a very easy target.
  • Never drive your vehicles into or near towns, always park them in a nearby forest. The noise will attract every player in that town, and if you die nobody will find your vehicle as you hid it beforehand and will be able to run back to it.
  • Try not to aggro zombies, it gives your position away very quickly.
  • Before entering a building stop for a second and listen for foot steps to make sure there aren't players inside.
  • Don't bother trying to say friendly to someone with a bandit skin (head wrap), either avoid them or shoot them if they pose a direct threat. Chances are that they are going to shoot you on sight, they have that skin for a reason.
  • Its also safe to assume anybody with a sniper rifle on top of a building or hill is hostile, what reason do they have for being there with a sniper rifle other than to kill players?
  • Whenever going to Stary Sobor, check the sniper hill (the hill directly overlooking the tents) and other surrounding hills by the military tents, these are the most commonly places for snipers to camp.
  • When approaching cities, identify possible snipers' nests and keep an eye on them. Assume anyone in one is a bandit who has already targeted you.
  • Be wary of anyone with a scoped rifle. These are rarely carried by players willing to waste the rare ammunition in them on killing a zombie for Frank & Beans.
  • Identify yourself as a friendly when near other players. You can do this by typing/saying "friendly" in direct communications, lowering your primary weapon, or saluting. Be aware, however, some people just find this as an easy opportunity to shoot you in the face while your guard is down.[[Mod:#Notes|21]]
  • Try to strike a truce when Zombies are around. Even if both of you are carrying silenced weapons, the running and shooting may still attract nearby Zombies. Injuries sustained during PvP combat can make you more vulnerable to a Zombie attack, so it's mutually beneficial to call off hostilities until either the zombies move on or one of you do. Remember: you can't loot supplies when Zombies are eating your face off.
  • Avoid people with clan tags or anyone unwilling to communicate with you.
  • Avoid telling others your exact location.
  • Avoid going into danger zones as General Military and Big Cities (Watch out for barracks in Military). If you just want nice weapons and gear, try the Heli Crash Sites, it's much more safe and sometimes can have better loot than the Military.

One of the surest ways to make friends and avoid being backstabbed is to add new people you encounter as Steam friends and then use Steam VOIP, Ventrilo, or Teamspeak. People are much less likely to backstab you when you're not just pixels on a screen.


Eat and drink when the indicators blink. Occasionally, you may want to just consume what you find on the ground even if you're not fully hungry or thirsty. You won't have trouble finding these supplies in settlements. In countryside, you'll want a hunting knife, matches, wood, and extra canteens of water. You can currently find wood piles in and around buildings, especially barns.

When it comes to sickness you can get sick from other players (you can tell if someone is sick if they cough) or being exposed to the cold/rain for too long. When it rains you should find shelter if your temperature meter starts to blink, if you can't find shelter make a fire and it will gradually warm you up. Also, when going on boat rides your temperature will decrease very quickly, always bring some heat packs when you are going to be riding in a boat. If you become sick the only way to cure yourself is by taking antibiotics, which can be found at medical spawns.

Let's Play Already[]


The map in DayZ isn't your run-of-the-mill FPS map. You need to learn how to navigate using landmarks and a compass (if you're lucky). The in-game map is a topographic map with structural details. [[Mod:#Notes|22]] In case you don't have an in-game map or you want a map with other details, It is highly recommend checking out the various maps which can be found Online.

Article: How to find north

Even without an in-game compass and map, you should be able to navigate using online maps in the Steam overlay browser [[Mod:#Notes|23]] and coastlines and road signs. The coastline stretches along the south and east of the continent. If you want to be super-hardcore, you can navigate using the sun or the stars. (Here is a little known fact. Watch the clouds, they always move east!)

You can also watch the bottom-right part of your screen closely when you first load into the game. It will tell you the name of the closest major landmark.

It is also possible to set waypoints on the map. Press M to open the map, place your mouse cursor where you want to go. Hold down shift and left click. This will make a waypoint that you can see while ingame where it will show the direction and distance

Notes can be added to the map by double clicking a place. Be warned though that due to the Arma 2 engine, map markers are visible to everyone with a map.

Preparing Can Be Rewarding[]

  • Always keep food and drink with you.
  • A water bottle is useful to have as it is refillable at ponds, streams, and water pumps.
  • Make sure you have adequate bandages, otherwise if you are bleeding and don't have any bandages with you, you can consider yourself dead if you're not in a town and able to find a bandage quickly. Same thing applies to morphine, nothing worse than breaking your leg 10km from a hospital.

Final Tips[]

  • Just in case it wasn't clear enough: stay low, stay quiet, and slow down!
  • When throwing items like flares and grenades, hold down LMB for longer to throw farther.
  • Be careful in water. Depending on server settings, you may drop items while swimming. If you must swim, drop your gear on dry land first.
  • The two biggest cities in Chernarus are Chernogorsk ("Cherno") and Elektrozavodsk ("Elektro"). Both are located along the southern coast, are riddled with good starting gear, and, consequently, riddled with bandits and snipers waiting to take you out, as well as hundreds of hungry zombies.
  • The "Direct communication" channel connects you with people that are nearby (40m range).
  • There is a fixed set of building models in the game.
  • The sound of buzzing flies usually indicates that a dead player is nearby (an example of where this is not true is the pile of corpses on the Green Mountain).
  • You can enter some vehicles, but will likely be in a state of disrepair, preventing them from working. If you happen to have looted some vehicle parts, you can attempt to repair the vehicle.
  • Your character will be saved when force-quitting (with ALT + F4) and force-disconnecting. [[Mod:#Notes|24]]
  • If you are in prone position (Z), take care with nearby friends; if they run over you it may cause serious injuries.
  • To use a blood pack to fully refill your blood, you need a blood transfusion. Only another player can give you one.
  • You aren't safe, no matter where. Look around constantly when inside buildings with loot (barns, hospitals etc). Even if there is no survivor around, someone who logged out inside that building may log in near you. It is advisable while moving, or while stopped, to scan the tree lines, rooftops, windows of enterable buildings, and the main roadways.
  • If you see a vehicle coming your way, it's probably best for you to hit the deck in the nearest cover possible. Players who have found vehicles are usually: A) Extremely well equipped, and B) usually not alone. However, if you feel like being Leeroy Jenkins, you may be able to get their attention and shoot them while they get out, or just shoot them out of the vehicle itself. By all means, good loot will await you inside the car and on the survivors.
  • Don't use voice chat in side chat, this is against most servers rules and will most likely earn you a ban, however feel free to use text chat in side chat.
  • The easiest and fastest way to break into a hospital is to shoot, axe, or throw an object at one of the end windows; the rest of the windows take forever for some reason.
  • Be wary of players using the zombie face skin.
  • In the video options turn visibility as high as it can go, this will be essential in spotting things that you would miss otherwise.
  • When sneaking up on a town check from a distance if there are any zombies, if there is that is a good sign that there is player activity in or around the area as zombies will only spawn when players are near the zombie spawn points.
  • Observe zombie movement patterns. If there is a large group walking towards or away from the town that can hint that a player has recently ran away from them and lost them. Other signs can be running (or aggro-ed) zombies that suggest they are chasing after a player or lots of zombies surrounding a certain area suggesting they have recently heard a noise or have seen something such as a flare.

Further Reading[]


Thanks to Rocket and the rest of the DayZ team for the mod, and thanks to sherlock and ZogVarnoka on the DayZ forums for their help!

And many thanks to David Xiaoxi Li @ who allowed DayZwiki to use his wonderful guide as foundation for this page.


  1. There are three kinds of servers: Regular, Veteran, and Hardcore. Veteran: Crosshairs are available, no player name-tags, increased Zombie health/damage/aggro. Hardcore: No crosshairs (iron sights/scopes only), no player name-tags, increased Zombie health/damage/aggro.
  2. <9000 Blood: Knocked out easily by zombies. <5000 Blood: Aim and vision are affected. <3000 Blood: Fall unconscious randomly. As you lose Blood, the world starts to grey out until, when low enough, everything becomes greyscale.
  3. Holding your breath for extended periods of time cause vision to become blurry.
  4. If the screen effects bother you, you can turn most off by disabling "Postprocess Effects" in your Advanced Graphics settings.
  5. Anything not on your person will not be stored across servers. Vehicles and Items stored in tents will only appear on that server, and not others.
  6. Items left on the ground may despawn if you leave the immediate area.
  7. You must transfer any items out of your backpack to a new one in order to keep them.
  8. Yes; we know. The Winchester 1866 is a lever-action rifle, not a shotgun.
  9. You can tell your accuracy by how much your gun sways when sighting down the iron sights. Gun movement is not a superficial animation: the bullet will follow a trajectory out of the barrel wherever it's pointing when you pull the trigger.
  10. Slugs are solid rounds for shotguns that have decent range and stopping power. Pellets are rounds of buckshot that spread out at short range (about a quarter of the range of slugs). Pellets are more situational and are only superior to slugs inside buildings.
  11. Warning: you automatically stand after using V to climb over something.
  12. Crosshairs change to a circle when a gun isn't selected.
  13. To lower your main weapon, double tap Ctrl.
  14. DayZ is similar to the systems used in Rainbow 6, Operation Flashpoint, Red Orchestra, etc.
  15. If you don't know how to read a topographical map, look at this primer. In case you didn't realize it, playing DayZ actually gives you real-world survival skills!
  16. Bring the Steam overlay up with SHIFT + TAB and then press "Browser" at the bottom. This is a Webkit browser, and you can use it and leave it up in the background.