Life in the Apocalypse: A Beginner's Guide to State of Decay 2

Now, I never played the first one, but this one is part of the Game Pass, so I`m gonna try it out.

Microsoft’s latest big exclusive, State of Decay 2, is out today for early access buyers. For everyone else, including those with Xbox Game Pass, it arrives next week on the 22nd. We’ve already put in a few dozen hours with the zombie apocalypse simulator, so we’ve rounded up a few important tips to pass along to new survivors.

A few of these may come as no surprise to those who played the original, but even for those veterans we’ve included some things to keep in mind as you try to live well — or just at all — in the sequel’s undead world. This is our official beginner’s guide to State of Decay 2.

Have Enough Gas? Bring Another Can Anyway
One of State of Decay 2’s best subtle improvements is how gas conservation really matters this time. When heading out on a mission, make sure your car has plenty of gas — and then bring another can or two anyways. Gas depletes pretty quickly in the game, so if you’re going to make a round trip across the map, you’ll definitely need more than a full tank. It’s also easy to get sidetracked and stay out for longer than expected, and in those cases it’s even more crucial that you have more gas than you might’ve thought would be necessary. Of course, you can always loot gas stations too, but you won’t always be near them, so come prepared.

Use The Buddy System
If you’re not wanting to play co-op multiplayer, that doesn’t mean you must face the world alone. Go up to any community member or allied neighbor and recruit them as a follower. They’ll stay by your side, hacking and slashing right along with you, and when you’re riding in vehicles they’ll even do the smart thing and side-swipe zombies with their door. They can’t revive you if you go down, but they can take lots of heat off you. Just be careful, because just like you they can die at any time, and when they do, it’s permanent.

Elect The Right Leader
Chasing those leadership achievements? You don’t need to guess which path your potential spokesperson is on. Go into their bio and scroll down to their leadership type. This is a new component to the characterization and everyone in the game is designated with one of four paths. If you have a preference for a Rick Grimes or a Negan type or something else, you’ll be able to know which route each character is on, so you can be sure to select the right one to lead your community.

Build The Big Three Facilities
When you’ve planted your flag in your communal home, building up your facilities is absolutely crucial to take some of the pressure off your scavenging runs. They’ll keep things running smoothly, or at least as smoothly as this series allows (not very smoothly). Among the many types of facilities you can create, we’d argue the most crucial are the infirmary, workshop, and garden. Infirmaries will keep your community healthy, and if anyone gets the plague they’ll be surely dead without that care. Workshops let your craft ammo, attachments, and so much else, even vehicle repair kits which are like gold in this game. Gardens can grow additional food or medicine, it’s your choice. In either case, these added resources are vital to keeping your community not just well, but in high spirits. Save the other facilities for when you upgrade to a bigger property with more room.

Be A Good Neighbor
State of Decay 2 now offers more in the way of inter-community mingling. You’ll often get calls for help over the radio and it’s well worth it to follow up with these missions. After getting to know your neighboring communities through these quests, they’ll eventually become your allies and offer you awesome bonuses. Ignore their cries for help, or simply run out of time even with good intentions, and they’ll turn cold toward you, maybe even violent. You’ll need all the help you can get in this world. Don’t go making unnecessary enemies.

Don’t Sit On Your Valuables
Lots of what you scavenge can be important life-saving supplies, but some, like makeup, record players and yes, even toilet paper, are luxury items. These don’t do you any good sitting in your inventory. Their only function is to serve as trade bait, so when you’re heading out to trade with other enclaves, bring these items to get the most bang for your buck — er, influence, rather.

Mourn The Dead, Then Take Their Stuff
Permadeath is back in State of Decay 2, which is a harsh but beloved feature for the series. Just like before, if you do lose allies out in the wild, don’t let their deaths be in vain. Go loot their corpses for all their goodies. Sure, it’s tragic that Daniel couldn’t make it home from his midnight ammo supply run, but that doesn’t mean you just let perfectly good snacks go to waste in his dismembered lower body’s pants.

Vehicles Aren’t Always The Best Weapons
Cars are one of the most valuable commodities in all of State of Decay 2, but you need to know when not to go charging into zombies with them. Running over bloaters will just explode them and trap you inside your vehicle with their noxious gas which can deplete your max stamina and health in an instant. Similarly, even trying to run over juggernauts will result in you bouncing off of them and only dealing damage to your vehicle. They’re hard enough to take down, no doubt, and pretty terrifying to take on face to face, but car to torso is simply foolish. Swerve around these two. The ferals and screamers are the special infected that should get your front bumper treatment.

Call The Noise Police
Speaking of screamers, this one should be obvious but just in case, let’s make it abundantly clear: when taking out infestations, take out the screamers first. Sometimes it can be difficult to swim through a sea of a dozen other zombies to get to them, but it’s going to be worth the struggle. If you hack away at the normal infected while they keep screaming, you’ll get stuck on an assembly line of zombies that you’ll have a hard time overcoming due to low stamina and weapon degradation. Scout ahead, spot the screamers, and shut them up. Then the remaining ten or so zombies won’t become 20 or more.

Put Your Junk In Your Trunk
Nothing feels as satisfying as bringing back rucksacks to your community and seeing those supply cache numbers climb. What makes that even better is when you can bring several rucksacks home all at once. To do this, remember every vehicle has trunk space, with some holding as much as six additional items. Six rucksacks plus one on your back is a huge boon for your enclave and it’s one of the quickest ways to level up your character’s standing among their peers. Even if you’re not going to load it with rucksacks, having an additonal six inventory slots is huge. Take care of your cars, and remember to store what you can’t carry in their trunks.

Leave A Parting Gift
This one comes to us from one of TA’s most prolific achievement guide contributors, BiLLzuMaNaTi. When you reach the final endgame mission, completing it ends your community and wipes out all you still had in your communal home. Before you embark on that final mission, do the friendly thing and gift all your extra items to someone else, a friend or another survivor you met playing co-op. Rather than have it all go to waste, you can participate in State of Decay 2’s version of charity work. They’ll get to take all those items home and since you can’t take those items with you anyways, maybe you’ll instead carry over some serious karmic goodwill.

Written by Mark Delaney


First one was fun but everyone wanted coop, so here we go. I’ll be on tonight. I’ll be on PC but it should be cross platform.

I am happy now!!!

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For those playing tonight get through the tutorial before MP is unlocked.

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Still playing and it’s been about 4 hours so far. Well worth the $30 to me even if it can be improved.


And for my 80th post in a row. If you are playing solo for a bit switch to offline for MP. That way the game will pause for you. When friends are online you can always switch back to MP for friends.


@D1G1TALC1PHERS joined my session for a while last night and he can confirm what happened on his end.

When you scavenge places things will be identified for you to search or one of your co-op partners to search. When you are in another player’s session the things you collect and drop in the supply area moves over to your game.


What do you guys think of it then?
Like it? Still playing it? Moved on?

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It’s an improved version on the first. Like the first some days I can play for hours and some days I don’t want to play it at all. It is still very much an errand simulator. The best improvement for me is that I can put the game down for a week or two and come back to what I left. Instead of no supplies, and dead community members.

The MP is very laggy. It has micro stutter every once in awhile and when driving with co-op partners it is a mess. It’s laggy for the driver and the passengers see you hitting guard rails, crashing, and flipping upside down when you are actually driving around perfectly fine.

This is one of those games that will be better as time goes by. They have some things they really need to fix. The bad part for that is trying to find someone to co-op with down the road when things gets fixed.


This just sounds amusing. These kind of bugs are OK with me, in a PvE game anyway.

Cool. I’ve played a few hours and only really noticed two bugs:

  • Once a follower walked into me and managed to leap clear over my head in a second which was a little immersion jarring.

  • Several times doors/gates have appeared to be open but I can’t walk through them and after a moment the prompt to “open” appears, which then has worked to actually open it, could be annoying at a tense moment.

Sounds like I’ve had a good experience though I haven’t tried MP yet.

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