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Combat involves violent engagement between two or more players, zombies, wildlife, etc. Entering into combat requires being in a ready stance, which can by done by pressing Spacebar, and will bring up whatever weapon you have equipped (or fists if you have no weapon in your hands). For a list of all combat related controls see Settings.

Ballistics[edit | edit source]

DayZ uses a realistic ballistic model that affects all projectiles, bullets, arrows, and thrown objects. It has to be taken into account when dealing with enemies at any range, but particularly at longer ranges.

As a bullet travels through the air it is affected by wind[1], air resistance (drag), and gravity. It will keep travelling until it hits something, even if that "something" is just the ground. The longer it travels, the slower it becomes due to air resistance, and will drop gradually due to gravity. Higher velocity bullets -- such as those used in rifles -- are able travel further before gravity and air resistance cause them to fall below the initial line of sight due to the increased amount of force behind the shot.

The effects of ballistics don't have a large influence on shorter distances (less than 200m), however, it's very noticeable when using a sniper rifle or any scoped weapon. To compensate for these forces you need to aim above your target, or adjust your weapon to do this for you by zeroing it to a certain range.

Zeroing the Sights[edit | edit source]


Zeroing is essentially setting your weapon's sights to hit targets at a certain range. Most rifles in DayZ are capable of this and the sights can be adjusted (by default: PageUp and PageDown) according to the distance between you and your target. It can be set at a 100m increments, up to the maximum range of a given weapon. Missed shots hitting the ground can be useful to show if you are above or below range.

The most accurate method of determining the distance to your target is using the rangefinder.

Sway[edit | edit source]

Weapon sway mechanics represent the inherent movement of a weapon in your hands both as you stay still and while you are moving. If not managed properly it makes harder for you to aim and shoot accurately. It is most noticeable when aiming down the sights of a weapon at distance.

Some factors that influence it:

  • Stance - Your stance affects affects how you handle a weapon. In general, you are more precise when crouched down than standing, and the most precise when prone.
  • Breath Control - Holding your breath (default: right mouse button) temporarily helps to stabilize your aim for precision shooting. But holding your breath for too long will have the opposite effect, so use this just before you are ready to take your shot.
  • Attachments - Some guns can use a bipod. If you're prone with a bipod deployed you will have much less sway, while if you are crouching or standing with it deployed it will provide no benefit.
  • Exhaustion - Has a detrimental effect upon your sway, by producing both inherent sway of your gun and your breath, simulating the difficulty of handling a weapon when exhausted. Exhaustion is accumulated while running, before taking a shot slow down or stop for a few seconds and wait for your breathing to steady.
  • Health - Suffering from limb injuries will make it harder to handle a weapon, negatively affecting your sway.[2] Note: In general, sustaining damage will make it harder to aim; it will cause your health & blood to drop making your vision blurry and lose color.

Ammunition Management[edit | edit source]

Ammunition can be found loose in bullet form, in loaded magazines, or in ammo boxes. If you have loose ammo, drag and drop it onto an empty or depleted magazine in your inventory to refill it to maximum capacity. It should then say 30/30 or a different number corresponding with magazine size. This means that 30 out of 30 bullets are in the magazine and ready to fire. To reload the weapon, press R (shortcut), or scroll wheel to choose between the different types of magazines you have. For more detail on ammo, see the loot section.

Other[edit | edit source]

Loudness and Visibility[edit | edit source]

How much noise you make and how visible you are determines whether or not nearby zombies will notice you. The slower you move, the less noise you make. Be aware that firing guns may attract zombies/more zombies as well as alert other survivors to your position, especially at night.

The closer to the ground you move, the less visible you are. Slowly crawling will make you almost invisible and allow you avoid confronting Zeds. Of course other players can still see you, though it will be much harder if you're in tall grass.

Your outfit has a big influence on your effectiveness in hiding from and defending against other players. The default outfit stands out from the environment, especially in woods or at the edges of towns. Even when hiding in bushes, you should be easy to spot for experienced players. There are several ways to remedy this: choose more natural-colored clothing, use spraypaint to camouflage your weapons and attachments, or use natural camouflage such as the Ghillie Suit‎.

Melee Combat[edit | edit source]

Melee refers to close combat, either armed or unarmed. While it is outclassed by just about any firearm, it doesn't waste precious ammunition and is a silent killer. This allows you to maintain the element of surprise and avoids alerting other survivors to your position. A well placed melee attack to the head can be all you need to knock out your opponent, allowing you to disarm them if needed.

Melee weapons are commonly found all around, ranging from household appliances and tools to law enforcement weapons and fire axes. Fists can always be used as last resort weapon. Generally speaking, blunt weapons deal more shock damage and bladed weapons will cause bleeding. Electroshock weapons will knock you unconscious.

Melee combat is all about timing. The player should take note of an enemy's "stances" and learn how & when to hit as well as when to dodge.

Weapon Stats[edit | edit source]


Weapon accuracy determines the firing cone; higher accuracy leads to a much tighter hit pattern, increasing the weapon's effective range. A weapon's base accuracy is affected by its equipped attachments. Each weapon and attachment has a 'dispersion' value/modifier that is stacked together to calculate the total dispersion. Presumably item condition plays a part in here.


The amount of damage dealt in a single attack. Each attack can deal Health, Blood and Shock damage, as well as cause bleeding. The base amount of damaged is determined by the equipped weapon or ammunition and modified by the targets protective gear.

Weapon Handling

Weapon handling determines how quickly the player can turn with the weapon sighted on a target. Each weapon & attachment has a 'dexterity' value/modifier, that are stacked together to calculate its total dexterity. Presumably item condition plays a part in here.

Notes and References[edit | edit source]

  1. ^ As of 0.49, wind has no effect on aiming in the game.
  2. Changing the Field of View settings affects aiming.
  3. ^ As of 0.49, zombies will hurt a limb and it won't show in the notification area, if you notice you sway is very high and you're not affected by any other factors then try using a Wooden Splint on yourself.

See Also[edit | edit source]