Just starting out in the world of 7 Days To Die? Similar to Minecraft, you are thrown into a world that’s full of adventure and possibilities, but time starts passing by and enemies begin to appear around you. There can be a lot of information that isn’t laid out for you, and having to navigate the world by yourself or with others can be an upward struggle. Here are some starting tips to help you survive and start making progress towards better equipment & stats.
If Zombies Don’t Give You XP When They Fall, They’re Not Dead
When you start fighting enemies and encountering them in the world, you might think only a few attacks are needed to take them down, especially with the Wooden Club that you can build early on.
However, that doesn’t mean that an enemy is dead. Zombies falling down is a common occurrence even for the most powerful zombies. It doesn’t matter which weapon you use, a zombie will fall down after a few hits. This applies for wolves/coyotes as well.
If you aren’t making sure that enemies are dead after they fall the first time, you could be in for a nasty surprise as they attack you when they get back up again. This can result in some unfortunate deaths and it will force you to retrieve your belongings while dealing with the enemies that killed you.
To ensure that an enemy is actually dead, after it falls, look to the lower right hand corner of your screen. If you see an XP sign stating how much XP you have gained for defeating an enemy, that enemy is dead and will not get back up again.
Search Everything You Can to Get Resources
While your crafting knowledge might be limited in the beginning, there are a lot of resources around you that can eventually come in handy, especially as you start to gain levels.
You can search through piles of garbage to find crafting materials such as Glue, or search Commercial Toilets to find Murky Water. You might also find unexpected items as you are searching through some items, such as Coffee Beans and ready-made Coffee when searching some Coffee Machines.
When you haven’t been able to grow crops and develop a self-sufficient way to keep yourself well-fed, you do not have the luxury to leave any containers untouched. You might find precious food, beverages or crafting material to repair your weapons. If you are lucky, you can also come across Mods that allow you to add effects to your weapons/armor.
If you are worried about being encumbered as you carry all of these materials, you can always craft a wooden Secure Storage Chest that will allow you to store materials that you aren’t using for the time being. You can then pull them out when you have the necessary recipes to create what you need.
Melee Attacks Have a Larger Hitbox to Give You Range
While fighting enemies with a Stone Axe, a Wooden Club or even your fists may look intimidating at first. Using your Primitive Bow and Stone Arrows look like the safe option, but you can’t craft that many at the beginning of the game. Actual firearms, such as a Pipe Shotgun, won’t have ammunition that is easy to come by either.
Thankfully, fighting enemies with melee weapons isn’t a suicidal strategy, especially if you plan to specialize in using single-handed weapons or your fists. Melee weapons have a larger hitbox than what you might expect, which means you don’t have to be right next to an enemy to hurt them. You can be just out of their melee range and hit them to push them back.
This allows you to safely keep an enemy at bay while you are able to damage them. If there are multiple enemies running at you, this will be an effective way to keep them off of you early on. Do note that your melee attacks are still dependent on your stamina, and that if you run out from attacking too much, you will not be able to hold off on enemies.
To manage your stamina, start retreating to put more distance between yourself and the enemies. You can then regain enough stamina to continue the assault, resuming your retreat as necessary or until all enemies are defeated.
Always Assume There Will Be Enemies Inside Buildings
Abandoned buildings are a great source of materials as well as sources of Mods and/or books. Unfortunately, they are always populated by enemies, even if they are not immediately visible at first. Each building will have areas where zombies can crawl/emerge from, but the zombies do not move until you advance a certain distance, and then they will start coming out.
Not all zombies will be alerted by your presence either. As you progress through the building, zombies will start to react to your movements and become active. This is also not factoring zombies in the surrounding area, who can enter the building as they have been attracted by the noise.
Whenever you see a building, never consider it to be abandoned, even if it is something small like a house garage. Until you can confirm that you have defeated all enemies in the area, always remain cautious to avoid overextending yourself and drawing a large crowd of enemies that you can’t handle.
This will also include building rooftops that you can access. Just because enemies haven’t jumped down from the rooftops doesn’t mean that you won’t encounter any when you get onto the roof. Always assume that there will be enemies in a building you investigate, and you will be able to survive longer.
If You Find a Skill Book, Read It Immediately
As you explore the world, you will find books that unlock recipes or improve your existing skills. As each world instance is randomly generated, you won’t always know where you will find a book or if it is what you need at the moment.
If you are searching containers as per Tip #2, then you will inevitably come across a few books. They will take space in your inventory and while they aren’t a bad item, they will still contribute to encumbrance if you don’t use them immediately.
Even if you can’t think of a reason why you would need what the book offers (ie. it teaches you how to make better clothes with materials you don’t have), it is better to read it and keep the knowledge rather than wait until you need it. It will free up your inventory and help you down the line when you have the proper knowledge/resources to take advantage of it.
Locked Doors Can Be Broken Down With a Stone Axe
Early on, you might find doors that are locked and don’t have a key to unlock them. You might be tempted to continue punching the door with your fists until it falls. Not only will that method take a long time, you also risk running out of stamina and attracting undead because you are making a lot of sound without moving.
Fortunately, your Stone Axe isn’t just for cutting down trees and breaking rocks. You can always get inside a building even with the simplest tools, and it will do the job if you do not have lockpicks to unlock doors.
Don’t worry about the Stone Axe breaking; while it will take up a lot of durability, it is built for such a purpose. Instead of using your precious weapons for breaking down doors (which can leave you defenseless), it is better to use the tools on hand to get inside.
You can also use your Stone Axe to break open crates that have labels on them (when you move your cursor over them, they only have a name). The Axe will be able to break open the crates while still remaining durable and you can search the crates.
Pay Attention to the Materials Needed for Repairs
When you are crafting better equipment, it can be better to repair your items instead of building new versions. Since you will likely be carrying materials on hand, it can be tempting to just repair the item on the spot and not put too much thought into what materials were used.
However, not all tools are repaired the same way, and some won’t use all the materials used in their creation. Repairing a Wooden Club will require Wood, but repairing a Stone Axe will require Small Stones even though Wood was a component.
To avoid running into equipment breaking at vital moments, check to see what materials are used for the repair process (select an item, check the upper left part of the inventory screen for a book icon).
There Is Always a Way Into a Building
Some buildings can look like they are out of reach, or don’t have an obvious entry point like a single unlocked door. But in 7 Days to Die, there is always a way into a building if you are willing to think outside the box.
If all the doors are locked, try looking for an open window to jump to. If a ladder or stairway is broken, look for objects that you can jump on in order to reach the same level. If all the doors are locked, you can break down a door as was suggested in Tip #5.
This is important for fetch/enemy elimination requests given by traders, because the objective may seem impossible, but the game will never deliberately put an impossible situation in your way. If an objective is marked at a location, it can be completed, and there will always be a way to get inside if you consider your options.
There is more than one way to access a building, but as long as you get inside in an efficient manner, that’s the most important factor.
These tips should help you build a decent foundation for surviving in 7 Days to Die, giving you enough time to develop your equipment and skills. You can then become self-sufficient, begin traveling further distances and start becoming much more powerful than your enemies.