Tips and Tricks
The first rank of a perk is available without investing in the governing stat. So it can be handy to pick up a few things: Sexual T-Rex to reduce stamina use, Master Chef to unlock simple recipes like Bacon and Eggs, Miner 69’er to unlock tools and deal more block damage (conserves Stamina), Plunderer the one that gives another choice of reward for completing a trader quest(since you’ll want to do those for money anyway, and doing 7 of them to open up a Trade Route gives you the option of a free Bicycle).
Beyond that it depends on what stats you want to boost. Strength and Intelligence have some nice options, IMO. Few things are as satisfying on a Blood Moon night as an automatic Shotgun with a drum magazine. Intelligence can help you with various salvaging perks. If you go for one-handed clubs then I think it is Agility that has a perk or two with Flurry of Blows and whatnot.
In the beginning it can be handy to get stations up and running. A Forge, a Workbench, and a Chemistry Station will let you expand into most recipes. Don’t forget that basic Wood has a lot of uses with Secure Storage Chests(or the bigger Boxes) and Frame Shapes. You have access to a cheap ‘ladder’ with the Scaffolding Ladder shape (hold the Reload key with the shape in your hand to view the large tables of shapes). This lets you climb right up the sides of buildings if you wish.
The Most Powerful Tool and Skills
Your most powerful tool in the game isn’t a gun, melee weapon, or anything of the sort.
It’s the Frame Shapes item.
It’s funny to make use of the frames and upgrade them before waking rooms of zombies so you can funnel them all into a single access point. This is how I usually clear out quests that take place in the Bear Trap bar when its still very early game- I clear out the first floor, then access the second floor from outside the 2nd floor balcony, set up shapes and upgrade them so the bears can’t easily reach me, then fire an arrow to lure them one at a time. Bash them in the head with a club until they’re done, repair blocks they damage if needed.
Eventually you’ll learn to build your own bases or nerd pole your way to the exact places you want to go, and I recommend keeping frame shapes on your person at all times for these purposes. In fact, the Fun Pimps have been moving loot rooms around to get around people going right to the most valuable loot, but they’re still pretty easy to access in most POIs once you learn where they are.
For skills I just recommend grabbing stuff from the strength tree first. Sexual tyrannosaurus, pummel pete (for club melee weapons), miner 69er, and motherlode will all make building your own base and defending it easier. A21 is going to change this so sex trex won’t be a mandatory pick for most runs. In any event, right clicking with a club, especially once you get some batter up volumes, a metal chain mod, and points in the pummel pete, will practically guarantee you knock a zombie down if you aim at their head.
Knocking zombies down = easy crowd control. The swing is extremely wide and has larger reach than you think. Left click while they’re down or if you’re getting low on stamina, but right click in the vague direction of zombie heads is the winner. The most important thing is to play this like a survival game and not an action game like Dying Light- positioning is super important, and if you don’t have it, it’s best to learn when to run so you can better funnel zombies in how you want them (learning to kite and control zombie movement will also lead to better base creation. Using the POI home with a long, recessed driveway can definitely be a great starting point).