- This page covers the Standalone version of DayZ. For information on the Mod see Mod:Zed
A Zombie (also known as 'zeds', 'walkers', or 'crawlers') is an infected human in DayZ Standalone. More accurately, this is a slang term because the infected are not actually dead, meaning they are not undead in the tradition of classic zombies. For the purposes of this article, they are one in the same.
Little is known about the infection that has devastated most of the world's population (with the exception of Survivors); only that upon becoming infected, the victims become highly aggressive, attempting to attack any uninfected human they encounter. Zombies are non-playable characters (NPCs) in DayZ, and can be found roaming all across Chernarus.
The infection appears to cause loss of personality, fluent speech, and complex thought, accompanied by a massive increase in violent aggression. The infected can still see and hear, and will attack any uninfected human who has attracted their attention through noise, movement, or displaying bright lights at night. Due to a lack of higher brain function, they are incapable of picking up objects, operating simple mechanisms such as door handles, or climbing ladders.
When passive and unstimulated, zombies will roam around aimlessly, occasionally varying their walking direction and field of vision. Once they are alerted to a Survivor's presence, they will become aggressive and actively start chasing them (this is usually referred to as "aggro"). In this state they make angry noises as they advance towards the spot where they last saw or heard their prey, until their target is either dead or lost. Once within range they will attack in the form of frenzied physical blows and kicks.
Although they have varying levels of speed and physical capability, most Zombies can move as fast as a healthy Survivor. They lack normal human biological requirements such as the need to sleep, and are able to survive exposed to the elements in conditions that a non-infected human wouldn't. However, they are still susceptible to conventional injuries. When Zombies take damage to their legs without being killed, they will sometimes fall to the ground and become what most players refer to as "crawlers." This injured Zombie type can be harder to hit, particularly with melee weapons, and will crawl along the ground trying to hit you.
There are several dozen unique Zombie variants, and while they have differences of appearance in their clothing and gender, they all behave in approximately the same fashion and have roughly the same capabilities. They do have an inventory that is accessible upon killing them in the same way that you would loot another Survivor, and will sometimes spawn loot that corresponds to their particular variety of Zombie. Each type can be found in places that match their variety as well, with firefighter Zombies spawning at Fire Stations for example.
- Civilian (general)
When a Zombie detects a player, they will chase after them relentlessly but will soon grow tired and run slower, and eventually lose interest. Becoming trapped by zombies in a small area is possible, and loud weapons can easily exacerbate a the problem. Though they do little damage initially, they can cause bleeding, broken bones, pain, or knock you into unconsciousness. Their strength lies in their damage over time, stamina, and tendency to attack at inconvenient times in large numbers.
There are a few ways to get away when the odds of a fight against Zombies is not in your favor:
- Break the Line of Sight – Breaking a zombie's line of sight will cause them to slowly wander around the player's last known location for a few minutes. The line of sight can be broken by running around corners, through buildings, and through evergreen trees. Care must be taken to not regain the attention of a zombie with unnecessary sound or movement.
- Divert Attention to Another Survivor – Either maliciously or with their assistance. Zombies can make a great distraction when turned against other players who may mean to do you harm, but you could also have a friend or travel companion purposely gain a zombie's attention to increase your odds of escape.
- Knock them Unconscious – Punching zombies in the head will knock them out for a short period of time, giving you an opportunity to get away safely.
- Get off the Ground – Climb a ladder to safety, because zeds will be unable to follow you up.
- Squat in a Shed – Zombies also cannot crouch. Get into the back of a low shed and they will be unable hit you. Then either shoot them or use a melee weapon to remain stealthy.
- Hold Up in a Building - If you can enter a building and shut all the entrances quick enough, you will be safe from them. They can't open doors, so they will attempt to get as close to you as possible. If you're next to a window, they will stand on the other side, making for easy dispatching. Melee weapons which are swung can be tricky to connect. The pitchfork is ideal for these situations as it is thrust straight forward with a long reach. Even though they can sense your location inside, they will lose interest over time and return to wandering.
- When fighting zombies, it is advised that players stick to melee weapons such as an axe, for several reasons. First of all, it will conserve ammunition to be used for other purposes. More importantly however, it will avoid attracting the attention of other zombies nearby who have not yet set their sights on you. A melee strike or a punch to the head can knock down the zombie, allowing you to safely finish it off. Certain weapons are more effective than others, and their effectiveness may change as the game is developed. Currently, powerful bladed weapons are most ideal against Zombies due to their accuracy in attack. Using electroshock weapons (which require batteries in order to stun), and blunt weapons which can knock zombies to the ground will take more time but make it possible to escape incapacitated zombies without killing them and possibly leaving them to harass other players in the area.
- Zombie attack animations are slow to reset (with infected maneuvers being slow in general). Sidestepping around them and attacking after they miss an attack can be a very safe combat strategy in melee. If there is no room to maneuver, aiming for their head and swinging the weapon just before collision with a charging zombie can take them out quickly, sometimes without damage taken by the player.
- Zombies have less of a chance to notice you if you are behind their field of vision, making it easy to sneak up behind them and hit them in the head. Care must be taken not to make noise when doing this.
- A good tactic if one is chasing you is to run in a circle. This does two things. 1. It tires him/her out for easier dispatch. 2. You stand less of a chance of having other Zombies involved by staying in one small area rather than running down a street attracting more trouble.
- It should be noted that rather than being classic "Romero" undead/supernatural zombies who move slowly and require a shot to the head to kill, DayZ zombies are more akin to the "infected" in such newer zombie pieces as 28 Days Later; able to be killed by normal physical means other than magic headshots, able to run, and not able to rise after death, carrying a highly transmittable virus similar to rabies.
- Zombies are still in on-going development, and many features and functionality have been disabled as part of the testing process. Zombies may be buggy, lack functionality, or have odd behavior.