Note: this page covers the Standalone version of DayZ; for information on the Mod, see Mod:Navigating.
Navigating is the always-important skill of being able to traverse the world you live in without getting hopelessly lost. Knowing where you are now, and how to get where you want to go, is key to surviving in an unfamiliar area. Chernarus is vast, and it's easy to lose track of your location in the wilderness, away from towns. There are multiple ways of finding your position or direction, which can aid you in finding a way to your destination safely. Although some may be easier than others, mastering all of them means that you'll never truly be lost in the wild no matter how far off the path you stray.
There are several devices which can be used to determine your position and/or direction, making the task of navigation much less difficult.
- Binoculars -- Useful for scouting the area around you far better than what is possible with the naked eye. Using binoculars may enable you to spot a landmark you may have otherwise missed.
- Compass -- Perhaps the most important tool of all, because even if you start out knowing where you are, going the wrong direction won't do you any good.
- Map -- The map makes it easier to establish your position relative to other known places.
- Rangefinder -- Not immediately thought of as a navigation tool, this item can help in determining the distance between yourself and another nearby location or object.
Using the Sky
The sky above you is able to be utilized for the purpose of determining direction. It won't tell you where you are on the map, but it can at least help get you to where you're going.
- Sun -- One of the most obvious ways of determining direction is observing the sun's relationship to the earth. "The sun always rises in the east and sets in the west" is mostly true, but only an approximation because the sun's daily course across the sky is going to vary throughout the calendar year. When using this method, you'll of course need to know whether it is morning or afternoon; this can be determined by watching as the sun either rises or falls in the sky.
- Stars -- At night, it can be hard to orientate, which makes it more difficult to know which direction you're walking. Finding the North Star is the most obvious and reliable way to find your direction of travel in the dark. While the night sky will rotate and move as you travel Chernarus, the North Star will always point north and finding it will give you a solid reference point when you don't have a compass.
- It's best to start by finding the Ursa Major, one of the brightest constellations. When you find it, draw a line between the two stars at the front of the constellation. Follow it and you will find the Polar Star, which also marks the start of the Ursa Minor's "handle". It's a very big and very bright star, so finding it shouldn't be too hard if the sky isn't filled with clouds. Face the Polar Star and you will be facing north.
- Moon -- During the waxing and waning crescents of the moon's phases, it can be used to determine a rough approximation of which direction points south. To do so, first locate the moon and draw an imaginary line connecting the two points of the crescent on the concave side. Then extend this imaginary line down to the horizon. Where this line intersects the horizon is roughly south.
Using the Terrain
If you are in the countryside, in the middle of nowhere, look for signs of civilization such as: a road, railroad, or power lines. Following them will always lead you to a town eventually. If you really need to find a town, use a high vantage point, like a hill, to scan for buildings. Don't expect to find a metropolis at the top of a mountain, either.
Look for notable landmarks. You can find many such places to help figure out where you are.
- Signs -- Across Chernarus, there are many road signs indicating the direction and distance to towns from where the sign is located. If you are unsure where you are, simply match the name(s) on the road sign with the name(s) found on your map. Once you've determined what town you are in, you have a starting point to navigate elsewhere.
- Railroad -- If you follow rail lines you will surely find a train station -- often with the name of the town plastered right on top -- and the town itself. It can also provide a point of reference to the coast.
- Power Lines -- These can also be used as a way to navigate the countryside. The power network consists of a facility in Elektrozavodsk, sub-stations, and high voltage transmission lines (the really tall ones!) which go across nearly the entirety of Chernarus. Following power lines is a sure way to eventually find a town if you are lost. If you can't find these, scan surrounding hill tops for cuts in the trees, as paths are cut straight through trees to accommodate power lines.
- Hiking Trails -- Added in 0.63, hiking trails are a smart alternative for those who wish to avoid roads and get lost easily in the woods, or simply someone looking for a scenic route around Chernarus. physical bulletins of the terrain and posts pointing where the trails lead can be relatively easily found. The trails themselves are signified by thin, dark paths.
Using the Coast
This is the simplest method that can be used if you're near the shore and aware of your general location, since Chernarus connects with the sea in the south and east. If you're at the south coast, turn your back to the sea and north will be in front of you. On the east coast you will find north by having the sea to your right.
As fresh spawn, if you are able to see the coast, you can easily use the coastal railroad tracks to find your general whereabouts. Once at the shoreline, turn around so the water is at your back and run inland.
- If you find the train tracks before the road: you are on the southern coast of Chernarus, between Kamenka and Elektrozavodsk.
- If you find the train tracks after the road: you are on the eastern coast of Chernarus, between Elektrozavodsk and Berezino.