Beginners Guide

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This guide assumes that you are playing the game on the default preset Nomad with the Game Mode set to Survival SP unless specified and have little or no experience of playing 7 Days to Die


7 Days to Die is an open world horde survival/crafting game and there are many ways to play it. Below you can find useful advice that an inexperienced player could follow.


  • Zombies refers to all NPC enemies.
  • Specials can refer to all special zombies and hostile animals these are a Spider Zombie, Bloated Walker, Zombie Dog, Hornet and an Infected Police Officer.
  • Early Game is a loose term often used to refer to the time around when a player has just started in a world.
  • Mid Game is a loose term to refer to the time around when a player has established a safe place to stay overnight, in addition to a good supply of resources and sufficient weaponry.
  • Late Game is a loose term to refer to the time around when a player is nearly fully self-sustained and can pretty much deal with any threat without much trouble.


The controls used to play 7 Days to Die are a combination of keyboard keys, the mouse and mouse buttons. all keys can be re-assigned using the Controls tab found in the Options tab on the main menu of the game. from there you can change the key bindings, adjust the mouse sensitivity and invert the mouse control if desired.

  • Mouse
Used to control the character's point of view. This allows the player to look around in all directions. In addition to being used to turn left or right while moving either forward or backwards with the W and S keys.
  • W, A, S, D Keys
Used to control the player's character's forward, backward and sideways movement. W is used to move forward, S is used to move backwards, A is used to move sideways to the left and D is used to move sideways to the right.
  • Space Bar
Used to jump. the player's character can jump a minimum of 1 block high. It is possible to use jump to climb 2 blocks at once, by moving towards the 2 block high structure and jumping.
  • Left-Shift Key
Used to sprint. This increases your speed and allows you to even outrun Zombie Dogs, but decreases your Stamina.
  • Ctrl Key
Used to crouch. This is a toggle key whereby pressing it once will make the character crouch and pressing it again will cause them to stand up. In addition to activating the Stealth System. The player will also be able to move their character around silently and make less sound when searching containers. Although searching containers while using stealth will take more time. Whilst undetected the player has chance at activating a sneak attack if they hit a Zombie. This will double the amount of damage given by the attack.
  • C Key
Used to crouch. this works exactly the same way as the Ctrl Key, however it does not toggle and the player will need to hold it down to keep their character crouched.
  • Left Mouse Button
Used to activate an item's secondary effect.
  • For melee weapons and tools, left clicking causes a swing which is either used to damage zombies and to break blocks.
  • For placeable blocks, left clicking will rotate them.
  • For Pipe Bombs and Small Stones, holding the Left Mouse Button down will power up the strength the projectile will be thrown at.
Swinging a Tool or Weapon whether hitting something or not will drain your Stamina.
  • Right Mouse Button
Used to activate an item's primary effect.
  • For consumables like food and medicine, this action will consume one unit.
  • For Pipe bombs it will ignite the fuse, but don't forget to use the Left Mouse Button to throw them!
  • For blocks or traps, this action places them at the cross-hair on the selected area.
  • For firearms and the Crossbow, right clicking will allow the player to aim down sight for greater accuracy. However, while the Weapon is aimed down the sight the player's characters movement will become very slow.
  • E Key
Used to open a Door or search a container. Holding down the E Key over player crafted Doors or Chests will activate the option icons used to lock or unlock it and to input, create or change the Doors password. however these options are only available to the creator of the Door or chest.
  • R Key
Used to reload a Weapon. When searching a Chest the R key allows you to take everything at once. This, however, causes more noise than removing the contents piece by piece.
  • I Key
Used to open the inventory giving access to the Crafting Tab, Character Tab or friends Tab depending on which one is selected.
  • M Key
Used to open and close the Map. On the bottom right of the Map there are two icons used to control the level of zoom. It will also display a pale green tent shaped marker. This is the point where the player has placed An Old Bed or a Sleeping Bag as a spawn point, provided one has been placed. If the game setting Show Friends Icon is enabled friends will be shown on the map as bright green triangles.
  • Mouse scroll
Used to control Weapon and Map zoom or to cycle the Toolbelt. Also, while aiming down the sight of a hunting rifle or snipers rifle, using the Mouse scroll allows you zoom the scope in and out, the same goes for the Map. Using the Mouse scroll while not aiming down the sight of a Weapon or using the map will allow you to cycle through the Toolbelt to select a desired slot.
  • Tab Key
Used to show other players and their statistics. Essentially a scoreboard that will give you information regarding the players currently on the server, Zombie kills, player kills, deaths, score and ping.

First Steps[edit]


  • When your character is first spawned they are placed in a random area of the map. Also if the server has only just started, you are given a small window of time of no zombies Spawning.
  • Look around for a car close by, a corpse, nearby bags, or piles of trash so that you can search them. If you're lucky you might get some valuable resources (guns, food, ammo and water).
  • Now you can either choose a place to settle and start building a base or you can become nomadic, roaming around scavenging and looting. Both options are fine. for more detailed information about both play-styles check the following guides:
Nomadic Play-style
Settler Play-style
  • When scavenging, your character will eventually run into zombies, the amount will depend on the spawn rate setting. Look for areas marked with buildings on the map areas like Diersville and Gravetown as these are chock full of loot, but they are also hot spots for zombies. Using the stealth option should keep your character safe enough while you are scavenging. Food and water tend to be found in cupboards and in the kitchen area. Certain weapons can be found in Munition Boxes and others inside Gun Safes, Desk Safes and Wall safes. Other miscellaneous loot is usually found in other containers. Be sure to check any suitcases should you find any as these are currently the only place a Flashlight can be found other than on the dead body of a bloated walker. Flashlights can occasionally be found in hollow tree stumps.
  • Either way, you will want to craft a simple Stone Axe. This is a good weapon and tool in the early game, and can pretty much do almost anything - mine, lumber, dig, kill, though it is the jack of all trades and is unable to do any actions as well as its counterparts.
  • While moving, break trees, branches, and pick up stones along the way. This is so you can start building your makeshift home before night comes, or to fortify a pre-built structure.
  • Craft a Sleeping Bag so you can mark your character's re-spawn point in case they should die. The Cloth you need can be crafted out of two Cotton Plant or farmed by destroying Awning blocks. It is a good idea to place your character's sleeping bag outside a possible danger zone so they may re-spawn safely. This will allow you take stock of the situation and work out how to best proceed. It may be the case that you will need to quickly grab your belongings and run.

Night time[edit]

  • Find a safe place, find a building, or find a friendly player with a home. As zombies run very fast at night and are overall more aggressive, it is not a good idea to move about at this time.
  • Start building with the materials you have acquired. A Wood Frame can be upgraded into its stronger wood variants with some Wood Plank by using either a Stone Axe or a Repair Tool. Both can also be used to repair blocks, but the Repair Tool will do it quicker. You will want to block off all access points except for an exit.
  • It is possible to survive the night by using stealth, but this can be tricky to pull off in the open especially when zombie aggression is set to ´Feral´.
  • Use blocks to elevate yourself onto the roof of a building, make sure there are no other easy ways up. This should be a good makeshift way to elevate your chances of survival during the night.
  • Zombies do not normally walk into lakes, so if you are desperate (and not currently hunted) you can swim to the center of a large body of water and wait for day break.

Combat Tips[edit]

Try not to engage zombies in combat unless you are absolutely sure you will not be surrounded and beat down. Zombies that are running tend to move in a zigzag manner in addition to circling around you, making them more difficult to hit. each weapon has different properties and reading the article for any particular weapon will explain how to best use it for combat. For a current list browse the article Weapons.

  • In the majority cases, aim for the head. This is much easier on idle zombies or when they are walking in daylight. A head shot will instantly kill all average Zombies, but one head shot from a Crossbow, Hunting Rifle, Sniper Rifle or a 44 Magnum will drop the hardy Bloated Walker. Melee weapons should always be aimed at the head.
  • When fighting melee and not using a one-hit-one-kill weapon, it is imperative for the player to move in and out while attacking. This ensures that you are safe from a zombie's return blow.


As you explore further you will discover firearms and ammunition along the way. These weapons are effective at killing zombies, but also give off noise during use, in addition to attracting other Zombies to the point where the gunshot originated. Each type of firearm requires a specific type of Ammunition and will only accept the correct type.

  • Shotguns are a powerful short range Weapon, however they will not do as much damage should any of their Buckshot fail to hit the target.
  • Sniper Rifles and Hunting Rifles are effective at medium to long range, delivering enough damage to destroy blocks from a distance with only a few hits.
  • A pistol is the weakest firearm, even weaker than some melee weapons, it will take several body shots or a couple head shots to take down an average zombie, although it is effective it could still save you in a tricky situation.
  • Although it is not a firearm a Crossbow has been included in the following table. It can be used as effectively as other firearms and draws a comparison with the need for Ammunition. It is wise to craft a Crossbow as early as possible. Not only are they silent when fired, they use a Crossbow Bolt as ammunition with the items required to craft them both plentiful and easy to obtain.
  • The table below show the compatible ammunition for each weapon.
Weapons and Ammunition Quick Guide
Weapon Ammunition
Crossbow.png Crossbow CrossbowBolt.png Crossbow Bolt
HuntingRifle.png Hunting Rifle 762mmBullet.png 762mm Bullet
44Magnum.png 44 Magnum 44MagnumBullet.png 44 Magnum Bullet
Pistol.png Pistol 9mmBullet.png 9mm Bullet
PumpShotgun.png Pump Shotgun ShotgunShell.png Shotgun Shell
SawedOffPumpShotgun.png Sawed off Pump Shotgun ShotgunShell.png Shotgun Shell
MP5.png SMG 10mmBullet.png 10mm Bullet
SniperRifle.png Sniper Rifle 762mmBullet.png 762mm Bullet

Melee Weapons[edit]

A melee weapon is used at short range for close quarter combat. There is a selection of weapons and tools that can used in this manner. However the individual effectiveness of a given tool or melee can vary greatly. For the purpose of this guide the effectiveness relates to how quickly the weapon or tool will kill an average Zombie.

  • An Auger and Chainsaw are amongst the most effective, provided you have the required Gas to operate one.
  • A Torch, Coal Torch and Household Flashlight are amongst the least effective, making them a bad choice of melee weapon.
  • Having a high entity damage value a Sledgehammer is one of the most effective melee weapons available. Furthermore it is able to deliver enough damage in one head shot to kill the majority of Zombies.
  • Combined with the use of the stealth system a Hunting Knife can be used extremely effectively when use to launch a sneak attack.
  • The table below shows a star in the effectiveness column, this is a simple scale from one to five. The least effective items will sit at one star and the most effective will sit at five stars. The table allows an at-a-glance check of how effective a particular tool or weapon is against a Zombie.
Melee Weapon Effectiveness Quick Guide
Weapon Effectiveness
Auger.png Auger *requires Gas Star5.png
BoneShiv.png Bone Shiv Star2.png
ClubBarbed.png Barbed Club Star3.png
Chainsaw.png Chainsaw *requires Gas Star5.png
CoalTorch.png Coal Torch Star1.png
Fireaxe.png Fireaxe Star3.png
Hoe.png Gardening Hoe Star1.png
Flashlight01.png Household Flashlight Star1.png
HuntingKnife.png Hunting Knife Star3.png
ClubIron.png Iron Re-inforced Club Star3.png
Femur.png Large Bone Star2.png
Pickaxe.png Pickaxe Star3.png
Wrench.png Repair Tool Star2.png
Shovel.png Shovel Star1.png
Sledgehammer.png Sledgehammer Star5.png
ClubSpiked.png Spiked Club Star4.png
Stick.png Stick Star1.png
StoneAxe.png Stone Axe Star3.png
Torch.png Torch Star1.png
ClubWood.png Wooden Club Star2.png

Basic Building[edit]

Night time is a nightmare. If you notice the clock coming up to 17:00 hours, it's time to find or build a safe place/shelter.

  • Gather wood! The more the better. If you don't scavenge a Fireaxe early in the game, craft a Stone Axe. Its components are very easy to acquire from pretty much anywhere in Navezgane.
  • Make Wood Frames and upgrade them using the Stone Axe into their stronger variants. This gives you a decent fortification. Supplement them with more wood or scrap metal to make them tougher.
  • Gather rocks! These are collected as Small Stones and as soon as you have a small number, craft a Camp Fire. Search for Empty Can in trash or buildings. Right clicking on a body of water with the can equipped in your hand will fill the can. This will enable you to boil Canned Murky Water into Canned Water on a stick in the tool slot in the camp fire. This is the first source of water to keep you hydrated. Keep a few small stones handy as they can be used to repair a Stone Axe
  • If you find yourself close to a city or other buildings, search for one that is made of brick. Brick buildings are stronger and buy you more time.
  • Windows may look good, but they can be broken easily. Zombies can also see through a window to find a Survivor.
  • For a base, you'd want a place that is easy to build on. Flat areas are best, Spillway Lake and the Desert have lots of good flat areas for building. Another good option is to start with a pre-existing building. Common factors for choosing a location for a base are their proximity to water, loot-able towns, and/or wild game.
  • Try to start with a smaller base, larger bases require a staggering amount of time and resources to build. It is better to start small and then expand when needed.
  • Leave some openings in your walls so that you can actually attack zombies. You can also build access to the rooftop to shoot zombies from above.
  • Blocks won't stack on fresh air, you need solid ground or surface to build on. If your buildings aren't well supported, they will most likely fall during a siege.
  • A way to keep zombies from reaching your shelter is to dig a moat or trench at least 3 blocks deep. This causes them to fall in, making them easy targets for a head shot. Traps can also be placed inside the trenches.
  • Surface bases are vulnerable to most attacks and require extensive defences. However, it is relatively easy to expand outwards and allows players to have a good sight radius.
  • Underground bases are extremely easy to defend, but takes a long time to build. They also require much more time when expanding. However, they are pretty much worth the effort, as players can remain virtually undetected inside underground bases.
  • Its a good idea to create a tunnel into your base from 10+ blocks outside of it. Provides a great way to run from hordes when you're surrounded. Most zombies will not try to enter via this if doors are used.


  • If you notice any damaged blocks, replace them or place something next to them to block a potential opening. Furthermore, blocks can be repaired using a Repair Tool or Stone Axe.
  • Reinforce your walls. Double, even triple layer walls are excellent.
  • Craft some tools, a pickaxe, fireaxe and a shovel are great choices. Always try to have at least one of each of these in your inventory. This will allow you to deal with any kind of structures and blocks in an efficient manner.
  • Mine at night, you are safer underground during the night. Take advantage of the daylight, search and hunt during the daytime.
  • Keep a sharp eye on the time of day, in addition to the mini map and the world itself. Never let your guard down! Zombies are everywhere.
  • If you are entering wilderness areas (or any relatively more dangerous area), depending on what is set to drop on death (Toolbelt, Backpack or All), don't put any important items in the container or bag that will be dropped. Put important items in the persistent container. However, if you are killed only items in the persistent container inventory will re-spawn with your character. Anything in the dropped container will be lost, but can be picked up from where you died.


Finding Food[edit]

There are a lot of places to find your food supplies. Hunting pigs/rabbits or venison can be a profitable plan. Be sure to check refrigerators in pre-gen houses as they often contain beef rations or venison stew. Growing crops is a multi-day plan. If you intend to wander around a specific area it might be a good plan to create a vegetable farm for corn, coffee, goldenrod, and cotton.

Other Helpful Tips[edit]

  • Don't waste your ammo too soon, there are other ways of killing zombies.
  • Always aim for a head shot with the pistol, but if you have a Shotgun it doesn't matter where you shoot them if you're up close.
  • You can lure a group of Zombies to a car and shoot it, causing it to explode. This will kill any Zombies standing close by. However, in some cases the ammo used to explode a car may be more than the ammo used to kill the Zombies.
  • Buildings tend to have Zombies inside, others can be found in the vicinity. (The more urban the area, such as cities, the more Zombies). Use sneak to bypass them.
  • Don't enter a building if you spot a number of Zombies about outside!
  • If you can't lure zombies out easily, don't waste time trying. Search the surrounding area instead.
  • Take all you can find then run away as fast as you possibly can.
  • Prioritize certain resources over others that are already common so as to save inventory space.
  • Gun Safes, Desk Safes and Munitions Boxs are prized containers. Furthermore they tend to contain the best loot in the game - Weapons.
  • Note that it is not important to have a large amount of the same weapon, what is important is the Ammunition it requires and Weapon Repair Kits to keep it in first-rate condition.
  • If you enter a light green area, it means you are exiting the Navezgane map and you will take damage if you continue in that direction; this is the Nuclear Fallout Zone. (Does not apply to Random World Generation.)
  • Don't waste too much Inventory space storing water.
  • Should you fail to find a gun, craft a Stone Axe and Crossbow. They're effective, if a bit crude.

Game Stages[edit]

Though not an official term, Game Stages depict the stage of the game a player is in, which is less of an 'experience meter' but more of a 'progress meter'.

Early Game[edit]

Early game is when the player's Character has just spawned for the first time with simple starting items on their Toolbelt: Bottled Water, Bandages, Can of Chili and Keystone (Multi-player) are provided. Players are typically found scavenging at this point, looking for any useful resources and weapons. At this level of game play, death is common and contact with Zombies is kept to a minimum.

  • Resource level
  • Very Low
  • Combat Level
  • Low
  • Base fortification
  • None to Minimal
  • Most common building material
  • Common tools
  • Common consumables
  • Most needed resource
  • Most valuable items

Players in the early game are recommended to minimize contact with Zombies and to start hoarding resources for base construction. Some players can opt to go for the nomadic approach, getting just enough resources to build small outposts and keeping the rest of the slots for valuable loot, all the while moving across the map.

Early Game tips[edit]

  • The Stone Axe is the all-purpose tool that can do practically everything: dig (dirt, sand and snow), mine (stone), chop (wood) or kill (enemies). Be sure to build this as soon as possible.
  • The Crossbow is a cheap but deadly Weapon requiring Crossbow Bolts. Bolts are easy to make, but scavenging for Rocks can get frustrating if they are already taken. Feathers are not as common as its other components. One shot to the head usually kills most Zombies. The Crossbow is also a silent Weapon, and attracts less attention than firearms. Try hitting before you fire to conserve ammo.
  • If need be, use Stone or Dirt to seal off the entrance to a building (furniture can also be used in this aspect) in order to delay Zombies. They do not last long but they can hold Zombies off for long enough for you to run or do some scavenging.
  • Stamina is an important feature. Always try to keep it up. Stamina is limited by your Hydration meter.
  • Players should not look to build big bases immediately - start small and then go big.

Mid Game[edit]

Mid game is when players have a decent base set up with an adequate stockpile of food and water, along with Weapons (but not necessarily the ammo). Players should be able to fend off some attacking hordes, though they are still a big problem. Mining and Farming becomes more common, but so is hunting for resources and animals (or players in Survival MP).

  • Resource level
  • Medium - High.
  • Combat Level
  • Medium - High.
  • Base fortification
  • Medium.
  • Most common building material
  • Common tools
  • Common consumables
  • Most needed resource
  • Most valuable items

Players in the mid-game stage are typically not constrained by anything and are free to either explore or to stay at their base. They can choose to farm resources to fortify their base, shift their base to another location, or to stake out popular scavenging areas like Gravetown, Diersville or Ghost Town.

Mid Game tips[edit]

  • Keep stacks of Metal Strips handy, they are useful for repairing your tools when needed. Repairing a tool is much more cost-efficient than making a new one.
  • Once you get the Reloading Weekly or the Ammunition Nation recipe books, you can start crafting Ammunition. To get the components of a bullet for forging, place them in the output slot on the 'Breakdown item' crafting tab. The resulting Bullet Casing and Bullet Tip can be used to craft molds for a Forge or to make different bullets. Shotgun Shells don't require a Forge, and is thus easier to craft.
  • If you find yourself running out of stamina very quickly, try brewing some Coffee. It gives a periodic energy boost which helps keep your Stamina full.
  • Consider making Corn and Potato farms so as to kick-start your Stew making.
  • If your mine entrance can be accessed directly from your base, be sure to place a secure Door to act as a checkpoint, so that others can not enter your dwelling without permission should they dig into your mine.

Late Game[edit]

Late game is when players have a fort-like base set up which is difficult to break into, and becomes nearly completely independent for resources. Food, water, medicine, ammo and building supplies will be stocked to the brim, with top quality tools like the Auger and the Chainsaw in the player's hands. Sniper Rifles and SMGs will most likely be the player's most common Weapon. At this point Zombies will no longer be a problem, neither will resources. This is the stage of the game when the player has the most control of his surroundings on the Map.

  • Resource level
  • Very High.
  • Combat Level
  • One Man Army.
  • Base fortification
  • Secure.
  • Most common building material
  • Common tools
  • Common consumables
  • Most needed resource
  • Most valuable items

Players at the later game stage have much more freedom in the game. Resources should be available.

See also[edit]