State of Decay 2: Essential Tips and Tricks to know before you play


State of Decay 2 Deluxe Edition is now available for Windows 10 and Xbox One users. In order to help you get started, here are several essential tips and tricks you must know before you begin.

State of Decay 2 isn’t your average survival game where you can just run about, bash your way through endless hordes of zombies and scavenge for supplies you and your survivors are going to need. It’s a game where the smallest slip-up, the smallest lack of attention to detail, is something that could lead to a very bad time for both you and your fellow survivors. A slip-up bad enough could even risk your entire settlement and the view your fellow survivors may have on you as a leader.

Unlike most survival games, State of Decay 2 is no longer about you playing how you would prefer, but rather, you playing as a leader, a survivor who leads a community of survivors through a zombie-filled post-apocalypse. The best way to put it? Think of this not as a game, but as if you were truly at the end of the world, and the entire weight of this end of the world is weighing down on your shoulders.

What does all of this mean for those who opt to play State of Decay 2? You’ll need to learn its complex survival systems, you will need to learn the best strategies possible for gathering materials, and you’ll even need to learn what the game doesn’t teach you via its onscreen tutorials. Luckily, as someone who has spent dozens upon dozens (okay, hundreds) of hours with Undead Lab’s nightmarish series, several things have carried over from the first entry in the series and have even been evolved to better suit the sequel.

Having finally gotten around a dozen or so hours into the sequel, it’s time to get a few essential tips and tricks you need to know out of the way before you take the dive into the end of the world.


Don’t ignore observation towers – they’re essential to your survival. Some can even by Outposts that help a lot.

If you’ve ever played a survival and or a sandbox title in recent years, you’re probably pretty familiar with Survey Points that have been scattered about every corner of the map. Much like Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed franchise and even the original State of Decay, Survey Points have made a return and they are now more important than ever.

In State of Decay 2 these survey points aren’t just a small area to look and see where zombies are or what minor details the area has. Instead, after you climb these towers and scout about, you’ll notice that areas of interest will pop-up all around you. Each of these areas can and may have important resources that are available for the taking.

More importantly, these Survey Points will also inform you where hordes of zombies may be walking and the path they are taking. You’ll also be able to spot nearby vehicles that you might be able to use or ones filled to the brim with resources in their trunks (this is very, very rare).

But the other nice part about these Survey Points? Zombies can’t get to you. You can quickly climb up one in order to take your time to take a breather (both in the game and out) and even take time to heal yourself and reload weapons if need be. At this point in time, I’ve yet to have a zombie follow me up, but if Undead Labs has proven anything in the past, expect the unexpected.


Check your radio, a lot, it’s your new best friend in the apocalypse

Have you ever wondered just how lonely the apocalypse can actually be when you aren’t making friends with the flesh-craving neighbors? Well, let me tell you, it gets pretty damn lonely from time to time. Ever wanted to just sit down, relax, recover your health, and call for someone nearby to join you on your search for valuable resources such as medical supplies and scouting for a new location for your community to call home? That’s where your radio is going to come into play.

This little device isn’t just a small addition to the game that may seem like a bad choice to have, but rather, it’s a great option to have. This little communication device doesn’t just let you call out for help, but it’s essentially your best friend and quite possibly, your salvation. During State of Decay 2’s nightmarish apocalypse in the good ol’ U.S.-of-A., you’re going to need it quite a bit.

It has a wide array of functions ranging for calling for moral support, a community member to come and join you in the apocalypse, getting you out of a “stuck” situation, or even calling in amazingly devastating airstrikes on zombie hordes. You can also use it to matchmake with other players or even ask players to come and join you. But it’s important to note, some of the services that the radio has, they will cost you influence points. Even at the cost of influence points, don’t forget about this thing, it’s stupidly important.


Don’t ignore your base. Sometimes, you need to relocate or upgrade your current home.

Just like the first State of Decay, you will want to return home at some point. Even with a car or truck, you’re bag and rucksack both will get way too full and sometimes, just sometimes, you’ve found a supply sack that’s going to weigh you down. This is usually a great indicator that it’s a great time to call it a day and head back home to deposit the supplies you have scavenged and quite possibly upgrade your base.

I’ll be honest, you could quite possibly spend your entire time with State of Decay 2 managing bases, helping out community members, and even upgrading those locations altogether. In fact, you will be doing quite a bit of that, and you will constantly be helping your community members in one way or another. Whether it’s resources, sight-seeing or taking out a zombie horde, you’re going to get pestered relentlessly by a very scared community.

Since the release of State of Decay for Xbox 360 and its Definitive Edition for the Xbox One, State of Decay 2 has been heavily upgraded in the building department and what kind of structures you can access and how zombies will react to each of your communities. Say you want one that’s well established, a well-guarded fort where you will be building, farming, or even manufacturing supplies in some way or another, you may want to watch your noise levels.

In State of Decay 2, zombies have even keener senses than their predecessors (perhaps the virus has mutated?). This simple fact makes it so you want to watch the treat level your community has by the type of facilities you have installed around the community. But there’s another important thing you need to know, let’s jump to the next tip and trick.


Certain survivors can build advanced infirmaries, gardens, or even survivor housing

This is a major step up from the first State of Decay. Now, survivors are even more complex than ever, but not in a way that’s going to overwhelm you. It’s going to be important that you look at their stats and their perks. Every survivor is different. Some will be GREAT at gardening, some will be GREAT builders or medics or even guards. So keep an eye on them and make sure the right person is being tasked with the proper job.

But now, there’s something else you need to know.. Something a bit harder to deal with even those these are digital people.


Sometimes.. People get infected and sometimes. You don’t have resources to save them.

I’ve already had this happen once and the most painful part about it? The consequences are very real in State of Decay 2. Everything has a purpose, this includes the members of your community who have become infected with the Blood Plague. Due to this plague, your resources are going to be even harder to manage. Now you have to worry about flu, colds, and now a zombie virus.

Resources, sometimes, are really hard to come by once you begin to build communities up. In the first few hours, it’s even harder, meaning sometimes, you can only manage to cure your partner or a doctor that you have on site. The downside to all of this? You’re going to sometimes have to put someone down. I’ve already had to do this once and to be honest, it hurt a bit, and not just because of the inhumane way it’ll have to be done, but rather the fact it will impact your influence over your communities.

Ever wanted someone to look at you like a monster? This is how it’s going to happen. Euthanizing members of your own community like your some Negan wannabe, but without Lucille, and without the kickass leather coat.


You can reduce the chances of the plague spreading by destroying Plague Hearts.

So you’ve put a member of your community down so they don’t have to suffer. Well, that sucks, but we all will have to do it eventually. Resources are scarce and having to cure the infection makes them even scarcer. But there’s a way to stop the chance of people becoming infected: Destroy the Plague Hearts.

These mounds of zombie flesh, bone, and gore is the source of this new blood plague. In order to keep the virus at bay, you’ll need to go find these giant, malformed hearts, which are stashed deep within buildings nearby that are marked by an eerie red haze. This haze indicates one of the most difficult challenges the game has to offer.

Luckily for you, I’ve screwed up for a few times in order to write this guide, which means I’ve lost valuable resources, survivors, and yea… I eventually destroyed it. So here’s what you need to know. You’ll want to be well stocked with ammo, medical supplies, and explosives. Due to the fact zombies tend to be more vicious at night and out in greater groups at night, I’m going to highly suggest you take a break and wait until morning or afternoon. This will let you see what’s going on in these dark and bloody buildings without relying on your flashlight to help you see what is going on around you.

First, you want to know that sneaking around is going to be the best of ideas. If you have to, quickly sneak about and silently kill a zombie or two. This means you’ll need to get well acquainted with using “B” to sneak and “RT + X” to stealth kill while behind a zombie. Once inside, you’re going to want to take out the blood plague zombies in the surrounding area. This means the ones with the glowing red eyes. These are going to be the ones to kill, but same goes for the REALLY big ones, they’re the source of this new infection as far as mobile sources of the infection go.

Once done, you’ll want to deal with the plague heart itself. This means you’ll want to use your explosives on it while keeping at a safe distance. This means one thing – stay away, if you have to, use a hallway to your advantage. After using your bombs, Molotov cocktails, and soda can bombs, you’ll want to use a shotgun or rifle to finish it off. Once done, take your time, evaluate the are and scavenge for supplies while you can.

If you manage to clear this out with little to no trouble, pat yourself on the back, you definitely deserve it as you’ve cleared out one of the hardest parts of the game. But remember, you’ll need to hurry back, your community needs you and while you’ve been away, they could be under attack.


Vehicles make a lot of noise, but they are extremely useful, especially when gathering materials.

When surviving the zombie apocalypse, it may be harder than it seems to gather the materials you need. Toss in the fact you can only carry a single rucksack of supplies at a time and that’s where things seem to get a bit more complicated. However, there’s a fix for this, which comes in the form of vehicles. Trucks, vans, cars, and the likes – they’re all extremely useful.

These modes of transportation don’t just help you get from “A” to “B” faster than you would by hoofing it halfway across the valley, but they also help you transport more items than you could normally carry. There are a few risks that accompany these modes of transportation such as noise, they tend to explode, and zombies can damage them rather easily.

Also, they do require gas to keep things going, however, you can manage this with your resources. Just make sure to take time to repair, even though the repair boxes are far and few between.


If your community dies, it’s over, and you’ve succumbed to the apocalypse.

By now, you’ve probably got the general idea of how unforgiving State of Decay 2 actually is. It’s not a forgiving game, and like many roguelike titles, it carries the very nature of being what it actually is. This next thing is very important to understand. When you run out of playable community members in the game, you’re losing lives, and these ladies and gentlemen, they do not respawn at all.

Once all of these members of your community dies, it’s over, you’re done. The end. Done. Fin. Finito. It’ll be time to work just as hard as before to get where you had been previously. The game will even prompt you on the screen telling you that your community has perished, that you will need to try again, and then it will set you up with another group of survivors from the very start.

This means that you will need to pay attention to the needs of your survivor’s. You will need to be cautious about who you euthanize and don’t. This means taking the time to actually scavenge for the supplies they need, making sure you have the proper facilities for your group, and even working to gain loyalty so that you can recruit new community members. After all, you don’t want to start over, you don’t want to see humanity perish, and you do want to take time in order to complete a community’s story in order to feel you’ve accomplished something within the game.

After all, I’ve learned the hard way once already, and I don’t plan on doing it again.

State of Decay 2: Ultimate Edition is now available for Windows 10 via the Windows Microsoft Store and Xbox One via the Microsoft Store. The Standard Edition is set to release for both Windows 10 and Xbox One on May 24, 2018.

About the Writer:


Dustin is our native console game reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the borders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPGs, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on Twitter or Facebook.



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