Death Road to Canada – Survival Guide (Useful Tips and Tricks)

Death Road to Canada - Survival Guide (Useful Tips and Tricks)
Death Road to Canada - Survival Guide (Useful Tips and Tricks)

Guide about tips of how not to die and live throughout the normal gamemodes for newer players and semi-experienced players.


Note: Credit goes to HAWAIIANpikachu

This is a basic guide and overview for new players to quickly teach them the mechanics and basics along with helping them achieve some wins throughout the normal difficulties. This can be used as a refresher for returning players as well. This will teach you the core elements, positioning and management, along with combos and strategies.

Understanding the Terms, Stats and Supplies, Along with Things You Need to Know

To any new player, the first thing you’ll see is a huge amount of information about your characters, most things or all things have a ?. Without any special modifiers, Strength, Fitness, Shooting (combat skills) along with Medical and Mechanical (support skills) will start at 0. Wits, Attitude, Composure and Loyalty will all be random 0-6.

You will always start with 8 food and 100 gas and each survivor will start with 4 morale. You might start with bonus food, medical supplies or ammo depending on what perk someone has. You will start with the old car unless you have a car nut. The old car is a fully middle of the road car with it taking 10 gas, going normal speed, and having decent health and fairly high repair. In your car you will have 2 flashlights, which is useful in later areas.

As you go on, you’ll notice other items that appear in a menu, in order, they are.

Food – Gas – Medical – Pistol Ammo – Rifle Ammo – Shotgun Ammo

For each survivor you have, you generally need x2 the amount of food per survivor, with some exceptions depending on character’s trait. If survivors have 0 or 1 morale, they will gain one morale if they eat two pieces of food.

If you have food between x1 and x2 amount the survivors you have, they will ration less and will only eat once piece of food each and lose one morale. If you do not have one piece of food for each survivor, the group will eat what food they have but they’ll still be starving, and all lose two morale.

For gas, depending on the car, a normal car will use up anywhere between 6-16 fuel each time it requires gas consumption, depending on the type on car. Generally more gas consuming cars will be slower but will be more stronger and will last longer times on the roads without repair, and will be easier to repair as well if you need it to be repaired.

Medical will generally use 1-4 medical items per health slot healed, depending on the highest medical stat someone has. People with higher medical will be able to use less and may be able to heal more people.

Ammo is ammo, which will fill the type of gun the ammo matches. Generally more bullets = good.

Around every 3 days, you’ll encounter a trader camp. You can use this to trade food and sometimes other items for other resources, weapons, or stats.

Generally there’s no reason to pass one up, even if you lack food. You might find a gas to food trader if you have a ton of gas you want to spare (or if your car is about to break down so food is basically worth the trade in the long run) and some traders are willing to give you their or a weaker item to help you while scavenging (Example: A Blade Master will give you a cleaver, which is a decent weapon pretty early on) or a small amount of resources (Example: A rifle collector will give you 10 rifle bullets). Some stat-related characters can also be charmed if you have a charming character, allowing you to give them a stat buff.

A bandit can also risk stealing an item, which most times you’ll be able to grab an item or a decent amount of a resource for a trade off of morale for more loyal people, along with some possible damage to the thief/group. This will get you kicked out though of that trader camp, so only do this as the last thing if you need that item or resource.

You might also be able to find some extra loot lying around, you’ll be able to grab these loots without anything negative happening.

What you want to look out for is a stick, fishing rod and a few umbrella and keep them in your trunk and make sure not to break them. Trust me, they might come in handy later. At worst you got a few backup weapons if you run out of weapons. But you want to look out for durable weapons, like a Crowbar, Aluminum Bat, Nightstick, A frying pan, etc. At least having one of those per character will give you a worst case situation weapon that won’t break. You can break skeletons and furniture to try and find bones and wooden planks as weapons, which bones are kind of decent. Planks not so much, but you basically have a ton of them near you if you need a weapon quickly.

Starter Perks for Custom Characters and My Recommendations

When making a custom character, you’ll see many locked things and many unlocked things in perks and traits. I’ll look through the perks and traits and decide which ones are pretty good for a first time player.


An athletic past translates well into zombie survival.

  • +Gain 1 point in fitness
  • +Gain 1 point in strength
  • +Start with a random sports weapon

Possible Weapons: Baseball Bat, Cricket Bat, Golf Club, Hockey Stick, Oar, Tennis Racket (all of these are pretty good).

This is a good start for a combat focused character. A good weapon and a bit of a start in melee combat.

Health Care

Jerks get bit by zombies all the time. Better be prepared!

  • +Start with 4 medical supplies
  • +Gain 1 point in medical

Pretty good start for a medic character, 4 medkits is at least 1 or 2 heals and you can get them from the start or if you encounter them as a familiar face.


All that yoga really paid off!

  • +Start with granola bars (+2 food)
  • +Gain 2 points in fitness

Pretty good for a combat fighter that’s more focused on stamina than power. Also starts with a little bit of extra food so you have a minor cushion if you don’t find some food at the start.


Has a good intuition of anatomy and a real steady hand.

  • +Start with a scalpel
  • +Gain 1 point in medical
  • +Gain 1 point in shooting

Good if you want a combat medic, a bit of healing at the start and a bit of bonus in shooting with guns. Along with a decent weapon.

Big Bruiser

Moves slow, hits real hard, takes a beating!

  • +Start with a better unarmed attack
  • +Take one more hit than normal
  • +Gain 1 point in strength
  • -Slower walking speed

Has more bulk so you can make more mistakes (which you will do a lot of at the start), can punch zombies to death in worst case situation and a bit of a head start in strength

Gun Collector

You knew hoarding all those guns would be useful! Eventually. You just knew it!

  • +Start with a pistol and bullets
  • +Gain 1 point in shooting

Starts with a gun and a few bullets. Can get you out of a pinch if you keep the gun safe and don’t waste it.


This person has always been a real fighter.

  • +Start with a hatchet
  • +Gain 1 point in strength
  • +Gain 1 point in shooting

Personally I feel like this is a worse version of Athletic at the start. but can make it up if you find a gun.


Good with anything mechanical, and guns are mechanical.

  • +Start with a crowbar
  • +Gain 1 point in shooting
  • +Gain 1 point in mechanical

Starts with a good weapon and a bit in shooting. Not enough near good mechanical to repair anything though


The car is life! Note: Not necessarily a Competent mechanic.

  • +Start with a wrench
  • +Gain 1 point in mechanical
  • +Gain 1 point in fitness

Starts with an okay weapon and a bit in fitness. Not enough near good mechanical to repair anything though

Martial Artist

No weapons? No problem!

  • +Start with a powerful two-hit unarmed attack
  • +Gain 1 point in fitness, 1 in strength
  • -Refuses to use firearms, chainsaws, and some others

Good starter potential, lacks in the end though and can’t use a lot of strong, pinch saving weapons.


Possibly too swole to control. Handy for picking up and throwing heavy furniture!

  • +Start with a metal pipe
  • +Gain 2 points in strength

Okay weapon and okay stats? Fighter and Athletic are better at the start.

Car Nut

Being a car enthusiast is practically a superpower now!

  • +Start with a nicer car
  • +Gain 1 point in mechanical

If you want a different car, go for it, not near enough mechanical though… and base car is good.


Definitely too swole! Refuses to do cardio!

  • +Starts at full strength
  • +May train strength 6 times over the maximum
  • -Can’t raise fitness

Can double strength and has 6 strength… but no fitness… so difficult learning curve.


Some people have a really good sense of direction when driving!

  • +One extra location choice during ABL events

Honestly just wait for the upgrades, this is good though when it’s upgraded.

Friend of Dog

This person loves dogs, and tends to run into them!

  • +Angry dogs may become friendly

Same as Explorer.

Starter Traits for Custom Characters and My Recommendations

Traits mainly focus on personality and bonus effects. I will explain my thoughts on each trait and what they do, and if you should use them.


Being untrustworthy can be an asset in the post-apocalypse.

  • +Rip others off
  • -Rip the group off
  • -Ticking time bomb
  • =Characters with this trait gain the Sociopath stat combo (0-1 Composure and Loyalty)

Bandits can steal items and have no problems doing so from other people or your group. Due to low composure and loyalty they are likely to lie and steal and be okay with stealing. Stealing generally is risky and low stats in 2 categories can mess you up… so take this at your own risk.


Destroy all zombies! Never retreat! Oh no, I got bit!

  • +4 points to strength, fitness, and shooting!
  • +Can go one over the maximum for the above stats!
  • -Super low personality stats! Dies in one bite!

High Risk, High Reward. Good starting stats for combat skills but has 0-1 in all personalty meaning they’ll have Bandit and Irritating and you will die in one hit without a health buff.

Calm Under Fire

Calm and collected. Useful when firing into a horde!

  • +Very calm due to high composure (5-6)
  • +1 extra point in shooting

This is two buffs, high composure and a point in shooting. Not bad as it directly tells you what it is and has good usage.


From perception of others, a good attitude, and pure charisma, there’s something about this person that opens doors!

  • +Charms way into free stuff or out of bad situations
  • -Can’t charm way out of everything
  • =Characters with this trait gain the Charming stat combo. (5-6 Attitude and Wits)

High wits and attitude is a good start, and charming people don’t usually have any downsides in the long run and can help with a bunch of stuff. So charming is a good start.


Retains old values before world went crazy. This is good and bad.

  • +Super high loyalty and personality stats! (6 in all)
  • +3 points to medical and mechanical skills!!
  • -Permanent and significant morale penalty!!

High risk, high reward. Decent at support stats and will generally pass anything personalty based. Starts with charming but has a max of 3 morale and go down to -3 morale. Be sure to know how to control morale. Personally I find this a bit boring as this is basically a “solve everything” character if you can keep them, but if you want a good character, this works.

Fierce Tempered

Someone’s got a bad temper! The aggression can come in handy.

  • +1 extra point in strength
  • +Temper can sometimes be good
  • -Bad temper due to low composure (0-1)

A bonus point in strength for low composure, this might seem bad but this can lead to angry strong which is a very good personality type. So this might be worth it on a combat focused person

Frantic Whiner

Kind of a fragile sort. But really good at fleeing!

  • +Run speed bonus!
  • -Takes one less hit than normal
  • -Bad attitude (0-1)

Honestly I don’t really like this, low attitude and 2 HP isn’t worth the trade for moving faster. There’s no real advantage to this unless you like dodging,


Comfortable with machinery, such as cars.

  • +2 points mechanical!
  • +Great wits checks! (5-6)
  • -May need more practice to repair car

Good for helping mechanics out, but might take more time for them to repair, but might be worth it to have a car rather than don’t have one, given driving > walking.


This person thinks they’re soooooo cool. But they’re not! They’re just annoying!

  • =Tell people to ‘Cool it’
  • -Anger pretty much everybody (0-1 wits and attitude)

Irritating people generally are bad at most social events, and not a lot of people… but eventually someone might be able to understand them and figure out what they mean by “Cool it!”

Mysterious Past

This person… has a mysterious past…

  • +3 points given to fight skills at random
  • =Randomized and extreme personality! (Random personality type)

Completely random but adaptable to many situations. They can fill in certain roles and have a decent boost to combat.


Always thinking of others! Somehow not zombie food yet.

  • +2 points medical!
  • +Great attitude! (5-6)
  • -May be an act (More likely to be 0-1 loyalty)

A better medical start for medic people, but they’re more likely to have lower loyalty than other characters.


A great outlook on life combined with not being very perceptive allows for some magical feats of denial!

  • +May ignore despair (5-6 Attitude)
  • -Bad rolls for perception and wits (0-1 Wits)
  • =Characters with this trait gain the Oblivious stat combo.

Oblivious characters are immune to some morale loss events and may be able to fully resist despair and regain morale for a trade of one attitude.


A combination of high perception and extreme pessimism lets someone brace for the worst!

  • +May identify traits in new recruit
  • +Always on the lookout for danger
  • -Can be a real grumpus
  • =Characters with this trait gain the Paranoid stat combo. (5-6 wits, 0-1 attitude)

Always on the lookout for bandits, traps and zombies. They will always look out for danger and be able to know some things about new recruits you encounter.


Has a variety of useful skills, but is kind of boring.

  • +3 points given to fight skills at random
  • +3 points given to support skills at random
  • -Boring personality (2-4 Loyalty, Composure, Wits and Attitude)

A bunch of starting points in all categories, but boring in personality. Good for classes like Combat Medics and Mechanics.

Resilient Type

Really tough! The muscle! Not a long term planner.

  • +Takes one more hit than normal
  • -Bad wits rolls (0-1)

Lower wits as a trade for a bit more health. Useful for fighters.


Good start on zombie thwacking skills, with a nondescript personality.

  • +2 points more strength!
  • +2 points more fitness!
  • -Boring personality

Good for fighters. Good buff in strength and fitness, all that needs to be said.

Combinations of Perks + Traits

For new players who are making custom characters, I would recommend making at least 4 characters to have a few choices in. Here are some basic stereotypical characters.

The fighter character, who will be an athlete and warrior. Giving 3 in both fitness and strength and a decent weapon.

The mechanic. An inventive Gungineer that will start with a decent weapon and 3 in mechanical + 1 in shooting and high wits.

The medic. You can have the combat medic (Practical and Surgeon) or the Nurse (Nurturing and Health Care) The combat medic will be a back up fighter with a lack of decent healing at the start and the Nurse will be a untrustworthy, but good, medic.

The gunslinger: Gun Collector and Calm under Fire, starts with a pistol and some ammo and 2 in shooting, along with good composure.

The tank: Big bruiser + Resilient: 5 heal, a bit of bonus in fight, but slow both physically and mentally.

The support: Ultrafit + Charming: 2 fitness, 2 food and high wits and attitude.

The watchful: Explorer + Paranoid: More areas to find and natural sense of danger and knowing which characters are good at what things for unknown people.

The perfectionist: Gungineer and Civilized. Will heal, will repair, will get you out of bad morale situations, just juggle that morale.

Supply Management and Cars

Managing supplies and resources is key to survive throughout the long ride towards Canada.

For food, I recommend having at least food equal to X*3 the number of people you have, if you leave a trader camp. So at least 3, 6, 9 or 12 food. I recommend this so you have one full meal and half a meal, so at worst case situation you’ll have 2 days to get 1, 2, 3 or 4 more food, depending on amount of people in the group. Most of the time that’s possible, but if not you’ll only lose one morale each.

Gas is a very high resource, you need gas for your car and weapons such as the chainsaw. While you do not need the chainsaw, if you have the chainsaw it’s a pretty good weapon for getting out of a bad situations (guns > chainsaw though. As bullets should be used over your precious gas). A full tank of gas is the consumption of gas x 10. So 60 gas – 160 gas is considered a full “tank”, depending on car. More gas gets automatically filled into the tank if you have over.

To find gas, I recommend doing to the gas station if it exists, even if it’s under siege or a huge swarm. You usually gets around 65 gas from that, and even from the most gas consuming cars that’s at least 4 ticks of consumption. Anywhere with a car, the hardware store, rest stops, and the arcade machines (this needs a good mechanic) usually will give you gas. You might also find gas in broken down cars which you can take for a bit more fuel.

Medical usually can be found in small amounts everywhere, usually only 1-2 in bathrooms. But in medical areas or safe rooms you can find a ton of medical supplies. Not as high of a need as gas or food, but still a good priority.

Bullets are found… pretty much everywhere. I think the spawn rates for bullets are pistols > rifles > shotguns.

Cars have two main things. Chassis (Damage before exploding) and Engine (Nature decay before it stops working). To repair the car you generally need around 4 mechanical. But each time you repair a broken down car it’s difficulty increases by one, eventually you will be unable to repair the car (you cannot go above 6 mechanical normally, if not at all) so eventually you will have to ditch your car. If you punch your car however, you might be able to turn on the engine with high strength, but it’ll damage your Chassis with the characters strength stat-1. So non-tanky cars might not do so good under being rapidly punched to start the car. Depending on how high your mechanical is, it might take a day to repair (meaning you have to eat) or just a few hours (no meal). So if your car’s gas is low you might just be better off walking and saving the food and remaining gas.

Morale Management

Morale Management is key on characters. You generally want your morale high as possible, but you might want to be willing to take a few hits in morale here and there, because high morale does not mean much to the zombies if they’re busy devouring the survivors like dinner. However if your character or groups morale are too low they’ll be busy arguing and getting at each others throats (because misery loves company) and if your groups morale is too low, you might get a really difficult siege.

Higher attitude people are more resistant to morale loss generally. And people with higher loyalty are happy with cooperation and teamwork. Higher wits people might be able to improvise some tings like shelter and safety and keep the group safe in bad situations. Higher Composure characters aren’t likely to be scared by things and can keep going.

You generally want to keep your characters morale as high as possible, there is one exception, but for new players that exception does not exist. So try to keep them in the green and only lose them when needed (such as trading morale for stats)

Zombie Positioning (What to and What Not to Do)

Many times you’re going to encounter zombies in closed rooms. You’re going to have to figure out how to deal with them as safely as possible. It’s better to watch actual gameplay for this sort of stuff. Or learn naturally, but here’s some obvious, but key tips to not die.

1: Find and pick the path with the least zombies to remove first.

Pretty obvious why, you want to remove them little bits at a time. If you can remove them as well, you can get a clear path.

2: Be by an escape route that you know is secure/pretty safe

Stamina plays a huge part in fighting, managing stamina while backing off and fighting. But eventually stuff might hit the fan, and it’s best to be by an area you know is safe instead of being sandwiched between the zombies in the room you just left and the room you are in.

3: Use obstacles/explosives to deal with some infected problems.

Furniture and Throwable weapons such as grenades and molotovs can help you deal with some infected in an area. The molotov is very good at this as it can help clear out any more zombies that try to pass, but be careful not to burn yourself.

4: Avoid cornering yourself.

Avoid small bathrooms and other areas as a hiding hole. These should be last resorts at the worst. You do not want to be back against the wall without a gun.

5: Use the open.

Open areas are easy to loop around and deal with zombies, along with giving a ton of open exit points. Use these areas as much as you can.

6: Review options.

Do not rush recklessly at a path and fully commit without knowing. Dealing with a few zombies is better than corning yourself in a dead end with both sizes swarming in.

Knowing When to Use Your Guns

So you found a gun somewhere. What do you do with the gun? Gun to the nearest zombie and pump the entire shell into his face?


Here’s what you do with any guns you get: Keep them in your trunk.

You can easily survive off of melee for the first few areas. You should collect guns, but only up to 4 types of pistols (and revolvers), rifles, and shotguns. You do not need more than 4 of each type because that’s 12 guns all together, and therefore all 12 itemslots. And rarely are you going to have enough ammo to need more than 4 for all 3. In later days (I would say around day 10 on normal), sure, bring a pistol or two on different characters in case you get into a bad spot and need firepower to get you out. But keep some slots open so other characters can grab a gun off the ground or another weapon. Generally try to save your guns and ammo for the last few days. You want to use them their to make your life as easy as possible.

How to Survive Sieges, Tips and Tricks

Now eventually you’re going to encounter a siege, where you have to survive for a time limit running around screaming and trying to avoid the death.

Tip 1: Decide whenever or not to secure loot now or later. While at the beginning of the siege you have two major choices: Grab the loot now or later. Grabbing loot now such as weapons and supplies like bullets and help you deal with sieges somewhat, including in early areas.

Tip 2: Hide around the center during the first half. You want as many options as possible to retreat to if stuff does down.

Tip 3: Run towards the/an exit point. Use cover if nearby. Strong cover such as fridges and cars can limit zombie routes towards you and won’t break after a few hits when attacked by zombies or allies.

Tip 4: Run when the game says the siege is over towards the exit. Do not take big risks however if it is swarmed with zombies, slowly pick them off if you have to. But no more zombies will appear.

More Advanced Strategies

The fridge barricade:

So you’re in the kitchen and there’s a bunch of zombies banging on the door wanting you to let them in so they can eat you, you look around the room and see the fridge is just in the middle of the room.

Push the fridge as a barricade, it’s a slow process, but it can make one hell of a barricade against the zombies, as fridges will survive many hits and are difficult for a zombie to push away, meaning they’ll have to go to the side. Another survivor can easily finish them off. The only thing the zombies can really do is get someone in the attack area before they get slaughtered.

The power of anime: Sorry anti-weebs. We are about to become one with anime. This is the reason my characters are gonna be faced with anime faces from now on. We have the power of RNGesus and Anime on our side. We cannot be stopped.

Authors Note: The anime mask is simply cosmetic.

Horizontal walls: So you’re in the middle of a huge as hell siege, there’s zombies swarming you from multiple directions, falling from the roof, and coming out like a river through the door. Find the nearest Horizontal wall and hide against it.

You see, zombies aren’t exactly smart. They’ll try and walk towards you in a straight line, which is why the fridge is a good strategy as they’ll mainly try and get you but they can’t. But what if the fridge was literally invincible and huge? That’s what a wall is. Sure, some zombies might figure out “hey, I can go around” and roof zombies don’t care, but most zombies are gonna be stopped by that wall or the zombies trying to reach that wall.

Helena Stamatina
About Helena Stamatina 2730 Articles
My first game was Naughty Dog’s Crash Bandicoot (PlayStation) back in 1996. And since then gaming has been my main hobby. I turned my passion for gaming into a job by starting my first geek blog in 2009. When I’m not working on the site, I play mostly on my PlayStation. But I also love outdoor activities and especially skiing.

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