State of Decay 2 does a great job of letting you explore the
post-apocalypse at your own pace and tell your own unique stories. However,
it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and get lost when you first drop into the vast,
open world and try to establish your community. While so much of the fun of
State of Decay 2 is in doing things your way and establishing a canon for your
community, we wanted to give you some beginner tips to help you hit the ground
Always Bring A Vehicle
State of Decay 2 is all about scavenging every last inch of
the wasteland. While that sometimes means embarking on foot to make sure you
don’t miss tucked away camps and buildings, having a car is immeasurably
helpful. More often than not, I headed home thanks to reaching my carrying
capacity. When you’re over encumbered, you can’t pick up any more items and you
use more stamina. Plus, you can only ever carry one rucksack of resources on your person at any time.
Having a vehicle not only allows you to get to your
destination much quicker, but you can also use the trunk space to load up more
items and resources to bring back to your community. Since you need to monitor
the fuel levels, I often scavenged areas rich in fuel and stored a gas can or
two in the trunk; there are few things more frustrating than being far from
your community with a ton of resources in the vehicle and you run out of gas
with no reserves.
On that same note, be careful about off-roading. It’s super
easy to get your vehicle wedged between rocks. If you need to find a new car (I
recommend stockpiling them), climb to a survey point (indicated by binoculars
on the map) and search for one there. When you bring it back to base, park it
in the designated parking spots in your base and you’ll be able to upgrade it
Pay Attention To Your
Since your main objective in State of Decay 2 is to create a
prosperous community, this should be a no-brainer. However, there are so many
places to keep an eye on that it can be difficult to stay on top. The first,
and most pressing, issue when you drop in is to gather nearby resources so all
your community’s basic needs are met. Community needs include fuel, food,
medicine, and materials, which can be found by scavenging for rucksacks across
the wasteland. To deposit the resources, you must bring them to the built-in
storage facility at your base.
As morale drops, characters are more likely to get into
fights, dropping morale even further. If things get too dire, you may even lose
community members who think they’re better off on their own. You can keep
your finger on the pulse of your community using the “Base” screen in the
menus. Under the “Morale” section, you can view the major contributing factors
to your community’s happiness or unhappiness. Is someone upset and you can’t
figure out why? This screen will give you a great overview. You see who
wants certain facilities built, which characters are fighting, those who are
worried about nearby infestations, and other elements contributing to your team’s state.
The best way to quickly improve morale is to target the
biggest pain point affecting the most amount of your community members and
address it as soon as possible. For me, that meant building a watchtower, but
based on who has joined your community, the desires could easily change. If one
character is particularly upset, you can drill even deeper into their morale by
highlighting them on the “Community” page in the menus.
Upgrading and modding your community can also greatly help
with stabilizing your group. An upgraded watchtower prevents horde invasions,
while an upgraded infirmary lets characters recover faster. I found a lot of
value in upgrading my storage facility, since any surplus of resources that
exceeds your capacity is likely to ruin; and the command center, which
allows for the founding of additional outposts.
Outposts are also a great way to help your community
prosper, but you should be careful about which ones you claim. A ton of
buildings can be set up as outposts for your community, which allow you to swap
characters and store items there, but you want to find ones that give
additional bonuses, like a farm that produces extra food each day, or a house
that adds beds for your teammates to sleep on. Few things drop morale like a
community with not enough beds to sleep on, and having enough beds ensures your characters recover their stamina in a timely fashion.
Swap Characters Often
Monitoring and managing stamina is of the utmost importance. Once you’ve
founded your community, you have a few different characters to choose
from within the “Community” page in the menus when you’re within your base’s or outpost’s walls. Embarking with a low-stamina character is a bad idea, as they get tired after just a couple swings of their melee weapon and can’t run if things get hairy. Swapping to another character for a while allows the exhausted community member to recover after several minutes. It’s also important to choose your character based on their strengths; if you’re going to clear a Plague Heart, it’s probably a good idea to bring a strong shooter or close-combat character with you, while someone with a high “Wits” stat will serve you best on a scavenging mission.
If you’re playing co-op in someone else’s world, you can also swap out characters by entering the “Community” screen when you’re within the host’s base.
Use Your Influence
Nearly every action you do in State of Decay 2 gains you
influence. Whether it’s killing a zombie to gain +5 influence or completing a
mission with your neighbors to earn +250, influence acts as the main currency
in the game. You can use influence in trades, or use it to found
outposts/homes; the better the outpost or home is, the more influence it costs.
You can also use small chunks of influence to call in favors
over your radio. If you’re short on a particular resource, you can use 35
resource to locate scavenging locations. You can also use influence over the
radio to ask for medical advice or locate Plague Hearts to destroy.
Using influence in trading can be extremely useful. I once
located a wandering trader and used nothing but my influence to obtain a
high-end explosives launcher. You can also use trades to earn influence by handing
over items without taking anything else in return.
Stock Up Before
This may seem obvious, but sometimes the
excitement of a new mission causes hasty recklessness. In addition to always
depositing excess materials your character doesn’t need to carry around, you
should always check in with your storage locker before leaving base. While not
the most exciting activity, ensuring you have a backup melee weapon (they break
a lot if you get in a bunch of close-combat encounters) or enough ammo will
help you keep your characters alive. Of course, it’s a major balancing act, as
you don’t want to fill up too many of your inventory slots before heading out,
because that can severely limit the amount of items and resources you can pick up
while you’re out. I always make sure to bring sufficient ammo, a couple
melee weapons, and some healing items.
Don’t Get Caught Up On Other Characters… Literally
State of Decay 2 encourages you to cooperate
with friends and NPCs, but with so many missions taking place in tight
rooms and corridors, you’re always getting in each others’ way. If you
get stuck on another character, a simple press of the dodge button (“B” on
Xbox One) will get you around that character.
Help Your Neighbors
Your ultimate goal is to stabilize your community and put it
in a position to thrive. I’ve found that isolationism isn’t the best route for
that. Forging alliances with your neighbors can be extremely beneficial, even
leading to recruiting new community members at times. Helping neighbors is a
great way to accumulate influence, and having friends in your area can
establish new trading partners and characters who will have your back if things
go awry. If you get them to be friendly enough, they’ll even help you out with
labor around your base.
It can also come back to bite you if you don’t help certain
characters. On one instance, I was neglectful of my neighbors’ requests and they took it personally. I got a tip from someone to check out a nearby house,
but when I arrived, it was an ambush from another group of survivors – the
group I didn’t get around to helping days before. They killed one of my most
cherished community members in the attack and ensured I take all future requests
Don’t Be Afraid to Run
Permadeath is a very real thing in State of Decay 2. Not only can you easily lose your favorite character, but when your community loses a member, morale drops significantly for a while as the rest of the team grieves. If you’re overwhelmed in a situation, it’s often best to live to fight another day.