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User Interface is the catch-all term for the visual elements which communicate information to a player and allow them to interact with the world they occupy. In DayZ, the goal is to maintain as little of an interface layer as possible in order to keep immersion levels at their maximum and distracting visual noise at a minimum. This has resulted in design aspects that are aimed at telling the player what they need to know without flashing it in their faces.
Below are the primary screens where a player will interact with the game, and additional areas of the interface can be learned about by visiting the "See Also" section at the bottom of this page.
The Main Menu is the screen you will find yourself at when initially launching DayZ. This is where you can access everything you need to jump into a server and start playing, as well as configure the game to your liking. The bottom-left corner of the screen will also display what version of the DayZ client you are currently using. The background image changes everytime the game is launched and are areas within Chernarus.
Main Menu Options
- Play - Choosing this option will connect you to the last server that you played on.
- Character - This will take you to the character customization screen, where you can set the default outfit for a new (aka "fresh spawn") character.
- Change Server - Clicking here will take you to the Server Browser screen.
- "Gear icon" - The Settings menu can be accessed using this option.
- "Exit icon" - This quits the game and takes you back to your desktop.
- "Credits icon" - This will show the credits for DayZ.
The In-Game Menu is accessed by using the Esc key by default while you are already connected to a server. This presents many of the same options a user would find on the game's main menu, such as settings, and will similarly display what version of the DayZ client you are currently using. The server's version of DayZ is displayed as a text message in the Gameplay Interface (see below) when a player initially connects to a server.
In-Game Menu Options
- Continue - Closes the menu screen and puts you back into control of your character.
- Options - Takes you to the Settings menu.
- Exit - Disconnects you from the server and takes you back to the Main Menu screen.
- Respawn - This option only appears when your character is either unconscious or dead. Use this as a "reset" button to start a new character on the coast.
The Gameplay Interface is everything that is potentially visible on a player's screen when they are actually playing the game, separate from what is visible in the Inventory screen (see below). An absolutely minimal (and at times even non-existent) user interface is part of what makes DayZ Standalone unique from other games, but there is some critical information communicated to the player while they are adventuring that would otherwise require them to more frequently open their Inventory screen -- reducing the feeling of immersion.
Areas of the Gameplay Interface
- Crosshair - The small white dot in the center of your screen that shows you where you are aimed. This is enabled by default but can be disabled by server owners.
- Text Messages - In the lower-left corner of the screen, messages will appear that communicate information about server information and local text chat with other players.
- Weapon Info Box - In the bottom-left corner of the screen, a box will appear when you equip a weapon in your hand's slot. This box will eventually fade to transparent, but the relevant text will remain until you unequip the weapon. This information includes what kind of magazine is currently attached, what range the weapon is zeroed to (i.e. 200m), firing mode (i.e. semi-automatic), etc.
- Screen Color - The color saturation of your character's view in-game is how blood level is displayed to you as the player. The less colorful your screen is, the less blood your character has.
- Status indicators - the symbols in the lower right corner represents your characters status. From left to right: Thirst, Hunger, Temperature, Blood, and Health. Secondary indicators can appear to the left of the permanent indicators (i.e. Sickness, Broken Bones, when you are Wet).
Your Inventory is the screen where you can access and manipulate all of the items on your person and those on the ground in close proximity to you. To view your character's inventory, you need to press the Tab ↹ key by default.
Though this screen is used to display a number of things, when a player refers to their "inventory" what they really mean is the space (or "slots") in which equipment and weapons are stored and kept on a character. The number of inventory slots available for you to use will vary depending on what kind of clothing you are wearing and whether or not you are equipped with a backpack. Different items of clothing will have a differing number of slots depending upon how many pockets they have, for example, and can be arranged in many different ways (6 rows x 2 columns vs. 4 rows x 3 columns for the same number of total slots). Certain pieces of equipment, such as the Chest Holster, can only hold a specific kind of item (in this case, a handgun).
You can also use your Inventory tab to view items on the ground in your vicinity and either pick them up, use them, or use them in crafting. While you are in the Inventory screen you can choose to craft items, eat food or drink beverages, use medical supplies on yourself or others, and manage your supplies. You can also use the Inventory screen to assign items to what is known as the "hotbar" at the bottom of your screen in order to quickly use them with one key press; all you have to do is click and drag an item to the desired slot -- 1 through 10 -- at the bottom of the screen. The number of available slots on your hotbar is determined by the clothing you are wearing; generally speaking, the more slots that a piece of clothing has itself, the more likely it is to contribute additional slots to the hotbar as well.
In addition to being used for the management of your gear, the Inventory screen is also employed to present information about the character you are playing. The center part of this screen displays a zoom-able, full-body view of your character which can also be rotated for a complete review. This is useful for telling, at a glance, what the condition of your clothing is at that moment. Above that and to the right you'll find status indicator icons that represent a multitude of player health conditions such as energy, hydration, temperature, etc.
Sections of Your Inventory Screen
- Vicinity - Items in a player's vicinity that the player is not carrying. Only displays items in very close proximity to your current position. To pick up an item, click and drag it into your inventory with the left mouse button, or alternatively double-clicking it with the left mouse button will add it to your inventory if there is enough space available.
- Character - Visualization of a player's character. Displays which clothes the player is wearing at the moment, as well as status indicator icons related to player health.
- Hands - Displays the item that the player is currently holding in their hands. Your view of this item can be rotated by clicking and holding the left mouse button.
- Inventory - Items that the player is currently carrying. To rearrange items, click and hold the left mouse button over an item and drag it to another open area of your inventory.
- Equipped items - On the top of the fourth panel there are slots where uniforms and other accessories and weapons take place. (0.63)
- Attachment Slots - Attachments that are currently equipped to the item being viewed, either in the player's hands or on the ground. Attachments can be detached or reattached by dragging them from the weapon or dragging them on top of it.
- Hotbar - Items from the player's inventory can be assigned to each of these slots. Each slot corresponds with a number (1 to 0 from left to right at the top of your keyboard). The number of available slots on your hotbar is determined by the clothing you are wearing, and these slots are not for storage; they are only used for assigning key bindings. Once a hotbar slot is assigned to an item by dragging the item into the slot, the player can put it into their hands slot without entering the inventory screen by pressing the corresponding number key. It can then be put away afterward by pressing the same assigned key again.
- Survivors start with a pair of jeans, a hoodie, four rags and a random fruit, so they will have a total of 29 inventory slots, in addition to what they are able to hold in their hands slot. Starting gear can vary by server, with the above being the default starting gear and community server owners being able to set their own loadouts.