In Chernarus, every player starts out as a survivor, minimally equipped, unarmed and unprepared man or woman washed ashore on the coast of Chernarus. To get through a day, three steps must be taken; Scavenge, Slay, Survive.
Every survivor starts out with minimal gear, so it's essential to loot supplies and arms to survive against basic needs like hunger and thirst as well as hostile enemies.
Starting equipment consists of:
- 1 Flashlight - equipped as a sidearm, default key binding L toggles flashlight on or off. Use as light source only when necessary, as it can attract attention of not only zombies but hostile survivors as well.
- 1 Bandage - used to stop bleeding, which causes you to lose blood over time.
- 1 pack of Painkillers - used to cure pain, which impairs your first person aiming.
- 1 Backpack (Coyote Patrol Pack) - your personal storage inventory. Note that you must take items out of your backpack before being able to use them.
Male Survivors have 3 different skins (Female Survivors have one), all of which consist of a black baseball cap and tactical vest. Survivor skins are not saved with character data and can change on every server log in. Skins also differ for each player: For example if you look at yourself and see a black shirt, that doesn't mean that other players see you in a black shirt as well.
A survivor must stay hydrated, fed, warm and healthy. Ignoring these basic needs will cause loss of blood or other ill effects, which will severely hurt survivability in the long run.
The survivor will need to stay hydrated. This need can be satisfied by drinking cans of soda or water from a refillable Canteen. Not filling this need will cause you to lose blood over time.
Food can be found as either Canned Goods in residential areas and supermarkets, or harvested as meat from dead game. Not filling this need will cause you to lose blood over time. Eating food is also the only way to regain lost blood, other than by having another player treat you with blood bags.
In order to harvest and cook meat, the survivor needs a Hunting Knife, Wood Pile (harvested from woods with a hatchet or found inside barns) and a Box of Matches – raw meat can be harvested from various killable animals such as hogs or cows, which must be killed and skinned. The raw meat must then be prepared and cooked to Cooked Meat by open fireplace which must be supplied with firewood and lit with matches, and which can attract attention of zombies and other survivors, especially during night.
First aid supplies – bandages, painkillers and Heat Packs – can be found from dead zombies, residential areas, supermarkets and many other buildings. Advanced medical supplies – Blood Bags, Morphine Auto Injectors, Epi-Pen and antibiotics – can only be found in medical facilities such as hospitals or medical military tents. Note that Blood Bags and Epi-Pen cannot be used on self; they can only be used on other players.
Tools and weapons
A survivor needs many tools to manage the day. A Box of Matches, a hatchet, compass, map, binoculars and a Hunting Knife go a long way towards surviving in the countryside. These tools, when picked up, go straight into your tool belt inventory, and will not take your regular inventory space. They can also be spaced in your backpack.
Common weapons like sidearms and various kinds of other weapons popular in civilian use, like Lee Enfield or Winchester 1866 rifles can be gathered and used for self-defense. More advanced weapons suitable for combat operations can be found from military buildings, Deer Stands or by hunting other players...
One of the first things every survivor usually spends time acquiring is a weapon. Weapons suitable for killing enemy targets include the two tools used as melee weapons (hatchet and crowbar) and any firearm or explosive weapon, ranging from common pistols to rare specops-quality weapons and equipment.
The reason you became a survivor. Zombies can spawn from almost every kind of building or loot spawn, and will attack players on sight.
Allies or enemies. Trust no one you don't know.
Survivors who kill other survivors for supplies are often referred to as bandits. This used to be a more physical effect, as players killing other survivors would take on a Bundeswehr Wüste (desert pattern) uniform. This feature is now gone and player character skins are changeable. The term is used to refer to players who enjoy thrill of the kill or looting of player corpses. Technically, any player who fights against other players can be considered a bandit. In newer versions players who are bandits will cause a constant heartbeat sound to play when aimed at from a certain range. The quicker the heartbeat; the lower the players humanity. However, just because you don't hear a heartbeat when aiming at a player doesn't mean they haven't committed any murders.
Grouped players (both survivors and bandits) often raid Chernogorsk (Cherno) and Elektrozavodsk (Elektro) - the two biggest cities along the south coast. Heading to these cities unprepared can be risky, though they are often scavenged by freshly respawned players before heading north.
Looting high value military targets can be very dangerous. Enemy bandits will often take up positions to snipe anyone looking to loot. Extra precautions should be taken when around:
- Military tents.
- Towns with supermarkets, hospitals and churches.
- Fire Stations (especially the last floor or on the roof).
Watch out for survivors carrying scoped or military-grade weapons; these players are rarely out there to kill just zombies. Player-made fortifications such as sandbag walls, barbed wire or tank trap obstacles can also identify a location frequently visited by other players. Barbed wire can be dangerous to players if they try to jump over it using the jump over obstacle key (default V), but will not stop zombies.
Most survivors head north after gathering immediate supplies or immediately upon respawning. Grouping in Chernarus can be difficult, so it is advisable to avoid any size of groups of survivors you don't know.