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State of Decay: Year One Edition Tip, Tricks, and Staying Alive

Updated on May 18, 2015

What is State of Decay?

State of Decay is a survival game that puts the player in a world were the zombie apocalypse just happened. The original game was released in 2013 as an Xbox Live downloadable title. It featured a world of gathering supplies, scavenging, and base acquisition and management. The game also featured a mechanic that involved gathering other survivors (non player characters) and making them a part of your base. The game was well received (despite having a number of bugs that were patched over time since released) and a hit for the Xbox live service. The game has since been re released as the State of Decay: Year One Edition for the Xbox One. This cleaned up (but still someone buggy) game includes two sizable pieces of downloadable content to add to the experience. Now here come some tips for the new and returning players.

RPG Elements

State of Decay is a game that features various RPG (Role Playing Game) mechanics that allow you to build your characters and affect how you play the game. Relationship and the level of trust your characters have within the group of survivors affect this as well.

  1. Building an HQ: Early in the game your survivors will be tasked with setting up a defensible base. This base will serve as the central location where you can access your cache of found weapons and health supplies. This will also have the ability to set up a guard tower and a line of defenses. Vehicles you acquire can be parked outside the base for repair over time. As the number of survivors increase you will need to find better and larger bases over the course of the game. Better bases can be improved and may provide opportunities for you to improve your survivors stats.
  2. Influence: The currency in the game is called Influence. You gain influence by completing missions that have been radioed to you. Success in the missions leads to a greater amount of influence which will play into your controlled characters ability to use items in the shared stash.
  3. Skills for kills: Each survivor in your group is a potential player character once trust is built. Each of these characters also comes with his or her own set of stats and each likes and dislikes. As each character is used their existing skills improved as they are used. A character may start with poor shooting but this can be improved. Just make sure not to get locked into using one character too much because one bad mission could spell Permadeath.

Did you Say Permadeath?

Yes State of Decay uses a peramdeath system. Truth be told the game isn't that scary but losing a character that you've built up some decent stats on is. This is why is best to do two things

  1. Don't get attached: Some characters can be fairly likable (more so than others). Undead Labs did a good job at making the survivors a diverse lot of people. Some of these seemly randomly generated also come off as jerks. I found myself having favorites frequently. Also some of the survivors may having decent stats to start with but playing favorites can end in tears when they get their faces chewed off so that brings me to my next tip...
  2. Switch regularly: Use all your survivors regularly. Having a good group of well rounded and useful survivors is better than having one beast amongst the sheep. Even a lone wolf badass can find themselves overcome by the zombie hordes that infest the world. It's also suggested that you...
  3. Bring a friend: Unfortunately this game is a single player affair despite being a perfect game for co-op or even a small mmo. So, since those aren't options invite an NPC to be Robin to your Batman. They can be somewhat useful but remember hordes are still potentially deadly and even an NPC survivor can end up permadead. Just be careful.

Dude, Use your car.

State of Decay features fully functioning cars, SUVs, and trucks that can be very useful when in good shape. They can be used to recover new survivors, transport new supplies, and flatten the horde. However, her are some tips that you should take into consideration.

  1. Cars are not indestructible: All the vehicles in the game have a finite amount of damage that can be taken before they can't be used and shortly blow up. Although a car can be used to mow down the horde if the car begins to smoke then it's likely used up it's hit points and will soon be out of commission. If you act soon enough you can salvage it back at your base from..
  2. Park and repair: every location in the game that can serve as a base has parking spaces that can repair a banged up vehicle. Given enough time the car will be 100%. Just make sure you actually park it in a space because.
  3. Vehicles are finite: The game has a limited number of vehicles on the map for your use. While it is possible to spawn a random new vehicle by radioing in and using your Influence it is the most expensive use of your influence (100 points). You actually may be better off getting back to base on foot.
  4. Like a pack mule: An update to the car now allows using the vehicles trunk as storage for accumulated rucksacks. This makes your scavenging much more efficient and saved you from becoming encumbered from too much weight.

In State of Decay you're not a super hero.

Zombies, Walkers, and Infected Oh my.

What is your favorite Undead narrative?

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