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DayZ: A Beginner’s Survival Guide

Finding food or water and fighting Infection are the biggest challenges a new DayZ player will face, this guide will show you a few alternative ways to survive the early stages. Players of all experience levels, from the greenest of recruits to the seasoned veterans could pick up some new scraps of knowledge here!

DayZ: A Beginner's Survival Guide Cover

Finding key resources in DayZ, such as food, clean water and medical supplies to treat infection can be tricky. In this guide, I’ll offer some helpful tips and tricks to make the game a much smoother experience overall for beginners. I’ll cover everything from making fire to hunting, so I’m sure even an experienced player could find something new here!


Cooking meat is a key part of late game survival in DayZ!

Cooking meat is a key part of late game survival in DayZ!

Being able to make fire is a fundamental skill to aid you in your survival in DayZ, whether it’s for drying yourself off so you don’t freeze to death or cooking some human chicken. It’s therefore surprising how many experienced players there are on DayZ servers that still rely on matches as their only method of starting a fire. But what if I told you there were more than a couple ways to make fire, match-free?

Starting with the most caveman approach to getting warm, we have the hand drill kit. All you’ll need for this technique is a knife, one made from two rocks smashed together will do. Start with using the knife on any bark covered tree and obtain two pieces of tree bark. One will be used as kindling, with the remainder being used as a component in the hand drill kit. Then, break down a small tree or bush with your hands to obtain sticks, combine the sticks with the bark to make a small camp fire and then a hand drill kit, then interact with the small camp with the hand drill kit in your hand and just like that, fire. Unfortunately there’s a chance the hand drill kit will fail to start a fire, and it’ll be consumed upon use, but a replacement can be made in no time.

Next up in the art of avoiding hypothermia is using a road-flare. Start with the basic campfire as seen in the previous part of this guide. Instead of using the hand drill kit simply light the flare and interact with the fire, instant heat.


Animal fat is by far the most efficient food source in DayZ!

Animal fat is by far the most efficient food source in DayZ!

So, you’ve got a fire burning, but something is missing. That’s right, you have nothing to cook! Starvation must be one of the main causes of death to the rookie DayZ player. Food sometimes seems almost impossible to find. However, food is everywhere in Chernarus and on Livonia if, of course, you know where to look.

Starting easy with places people frequently overlook when scavenging for supplies in DayZ, the humble greenhouse. It seems like common sense to check but quite often when a whole town has been picked clean by wave after wave of freshspawns, having a quick peak in the nearest greenhouse can bag you some fruit or even canned food.

Living off of sketchy fruit and probably out of date beans isn’t going to keep you going for long; you need calories for that long run to military loot! Cooking meat over a campfire is by a wide margin the most efficient way of avoiding starvation. You can find cows in rural areas, particularly near farms. If you haven’t yet got your hands on a firearm however that may be a little trickier. Luckily there’s plenty of helpless chickens wandering around for you to hunt. Listen out for their signature clucking sound!


Finding and treating Water

Water pumps are the only safe untreated water source in DayZ!

Water pumps are the only safe untreated water source in DayZ!

if you’ve ever found yourself frustrated, not being able to walk more than 50 steps before puking your brains out, odds are good it’s because you drank some dodgy water. But there are ways to get water without projectile vomiting. Until you have a way to treat it, avoid drinking from rivers, streams and especially avoid standing water like lakes or ponds. You can treat water that you’ve collected in a bottle or canteen by combining it with chlorine tablets (usually found at hospitals, medical buildings or campsites). You can also boil water in a cooking pot over a campfire, though that’s a little more hands on. Bottles and canteens found already filled aren’t 100% guaranteed to be safe from infection but are usually okay. If you don’t have a way to treat water, stick to canned drinks and water pumps found in towns, although you should keep your head on a swivel because you’re very much a gazelle at the watering hole in this situation.

Avoiding Infection

As tempting as it is, never drink untreated water from rivers!

As tempting as it is, never drink untreated water from rivers!

But let’s say you got unlucky and got an infection, what exactly can you do about it? Without medical supplies, the best approach to fight infection is to have small bites of food and small amounts of water, unless you want your character to become a bile volcano. You’ll avoid starving to death and dehydration, but it’ll take a long time for the illness to pass. Next best thing is to keep popping multivitamins that can found around the map, particularly in medical buildings but also spawns in civilian locations. Of course, the best thing to do is take Tetracycline pills, spawning in the same locations as multivitamins. Take one with a multivitamin, only one because the effects of medicines in DayZ don’t stack. You should see a small icon of a pill appear at the bottom right hand side of the screen. If this icon disappears before you’re cured, take another immediately!


Have you ever approached a road sign in DayZ and thought to yourself: “Wait a minute, 4 isn’t a letter!” Well, all road signs you find in Chernarus are in Cyrillic. But that doesn’t make navigation without a compass impossible; there are a number of standalone maps that people use but a generally accepted player favourite is the iZurvive DayZ map, which I personally use on my phone while playing DayZ. It’ll make life a lot easier when looking for water or high end loot. It doesn’t work miracles, however- it’s still on you!

DayZ Early Access Launch Trailer


  1. Avatar photo

    Great article, thanks a lot for sharing! 😃👍🏼

  2. Avatar photo

    Great write up bro 👍🏽


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