H1Z1 wants to be the new DayZ. Whether or not it has the depth to truly compete is yet to be seen, but first impressions are solid. You may be here for some time. That’s assuming you’re capable of surviving, obviously.
Anyone with any experience of this type of game will know how important it is to get beyond the stage of fumbling around trying to light fires with a tin can and drinking puddles as quickly as possible. H1Z1 lets you get relatively well-equipped reasonably quickly, but, as is the case with DayZ, there’s little in-game help. Here’s how to get to the intermediate stage of H1Z1 survival, beyond which you’ll be thinking about building a semi-permanent base.
What to do first
Immediately after spawning, you need to do the following. Opinions differ somewhat on how exactly to go about these first steps, but the outcome’s always the same.
Step 1: Shred your clothes.
Right click on your t-shirt and jeans. Shred them both (you’ll have to drag some stuff into your BELT POUCH to achieve this). You’ll get eight SCRAPS OF CLOTH as a result.
Step 2: Craft a SATCHEL.
Click on the Discovery tab at the top of the inventory pane. Click on the SCRAPS OF CLOTH. Learn the recipe. Now go to the Crafting tab. The SATCHEL should be coloured green. Select and craft it. It’ll appear on the right side of the window and give you a bunch of extra carrying space.
Step 3: Collect WOOD STICKS.
Now walk around in the woods and search for small trees of the type shown in the screen below. You can also collect them from low bushes with broad, green leaves. See the second shot. Simply walk up to them and press E. You’ll collect WOOD STICKS. Get plenty.
Step 4: Craft a MAKESHIFT BOW and WOODEN ARROWS.
Go to the Discovery tab and add the WOOD STICKS and SCRAPS OF CLOTH to the boxes. Learn the recipe. Now just add the WOOD STICKS and, again, learn the recipe. When you go back to the Crafting tab, you’ll see MAKESHIFT BOW and WOODEN ARROW are both green. Make the bow and then craft a bunch of arrows. And lo: you’re armed.
Play during the day
Servers are quieter during the day. If you’re lucky enough to be able to work from home or you’re a student, then you’ll be able to put some of your game together when everyone else is at the office. By far the most dangerous enemies on an H1Z1 server are other players. Avoiding busy periods means you’re able to get your post-collapse life together in relative peace.
Blackberries are your friend
Blackberries are an essential item in H1Z1. They provide energy and hydration, and they’re found all over the map. Blackberries are your main form of sustenance in the early game. To harvest them, simply walk into a blackberry bush and press E. To eat them, press TAB to open the inventory, right click on the berries and select EAT. You’ll start finding more nutritious food as you play further, but you’ll always need to keep a stack of blackberries on your person.
Head over to the second page to learn how to find your location, build fires, purify water and loads more.
How to find your location
Once you’ve created a satchel, made a bow and hoarded some blackberries, you should get a zero on your location. Here’s how you do it without quitting the game. There are other interactive maps online, but this is a quick method to get you started.
Step 1: Hit ENTER. Type /loc in the text field in the bottom left corner of the screen and hit ENTER again. Press M to enter the mouse mode, highlight the location coordinates and hit CTRL+C.
Step 2: Hit SHIFT-TAB to bring up the Steam overlay. Then click on the VIEW ALL GUIDES button underneath the the Guides box on the right.
Step 3: Hit the H1Z1 Interactive Map entry. It should be the third one down.
Step 4: Then just paste your /loc coordinates into the Find field on the right. The map should show your location, the direction in which you’re facing and any nearby structures and features.
Once you know where you are, you want to look for the closest built-up area to loot. You could get by on eating blackberries and drinking rotten water forever, but that wouldn’t make for an especially enjoyable game. Look for commercial properties and housing estates. Remember that the same rules apply here as they did in DayZ: the bigger the town, the better the loot and the higher the danger. If you’re just starting out, it’s probably best to look for one of the smaller towns or gas stops and supermarkets close to housing areas. Pisspot Creek in the south of the map is a good example.
Once you’ve found a location to loot, approach with caution. If you see zombies in the area, take them out with your bow before entering any buildings. If you see other players in the house or supermarket you’re targeting, you should revise your plans. Aside from the obvious dangers of getting close to anyone else, it’s likely the location’s already been looted. It probably isn’t worth the risk.
Once you’re sure it’s safe enough to start scavenging, search everywhere. You can search broken cars, cupboards and fridges. Look in backrooms and on floors. To see if you can pick up an item, simply cover it with the cursor. Take everything you find. You can always drop it or hoard it later. What you’re really looking for here is SCRAP METAL and an EMPTY BOTTLE. As soon as you have these, your prospects are decidedly less desperate.
How to find an empty bottle
Getting an EMPTY BOTTLE (or several) is a key goal. You need it to be able to purify water and make fruit juices. You’ll find them all over H1Z1: standing on shelves, hidden in dumpsters or in kitchen cupboards.
Once you have one, find some water. Look on the map and find the nearest river or lake. Go down to the water and fill the bottle. The liquid will be listed as either DIRTY or STAGNANT. You need to clean it before drinking, or it’ll affect your health. To purify it, you need a fire. And to build a fire you need wood. And to get wood, you need…
How to craft a hatchet
Why is SCRAP METAL so important? Because, while there are many items to craft in H1Z1, you should make it a priority to craft a MAKESHIFT HATCHET. An axe makes a decent weapon, but its main use is allowing you to cut down trees. A felled tree converts to two LOGS, which can be used to build fires and can also be crafted into WOODEN PLANKS. This is the start of the game proper, as the planks can be used to create lockable shelters, traps and much more.
To craft a MAKESHIFT HATCHET, you need a piece of scrap metal and a stick. Super easy. You should already have some sticks from creating your bow and arrows, but just go and get more if you haven’t. As will all other recipes, you need to “discover” it by hitting TAB, clicking on the DISCOVERY tab in the top right of the dialogue and dragging the metal and stick into the boxes. Once you know the recipe, go to the CRAFTING tab, click on MAKESHIFT HATCHET and press CRAFT.
How to purify water
Now you have an EMPTY BOTTLE and a MAKESHIFT HATCHET you can purify water. Once you’re at this stage, you should never be thirsty again.
Step 1: Build a fire.
To build a CAMPFIRE, simply craft one from two LOGS. Acquire them by chopping down trees. Once you’ve crafted it, right click and place it on the ground. You’ll need to light it. You can either use one of the flares you’re always carrying when you spawned, or you can use a BOW DRILL. To craft a BOW DRILL, you need a SCRAP OF CLOTH (obtained from shredding an item of clothing), one WOOD STICK (gathered from small trees), and one WOOD PLANK (crafted from LOGS).
Step 2: Put the dirty water in the fire.
Once the CAMPFIRE is lit, highlight it with the cursor, press E and drag the bottle of DIRTY or STAGNANT water over to the fire pane on the left.
Step 3: Take the clean water back from the fire.
After a short wait, the water will turn into PURIFIED WATER. Drag it back across to your gear on the right. A purified bottle of water gives much more hydration than blackberries. Try to keep at least two or three bottles of clean water on you at any time.
And there you go. You’re on your way to building stuff and you aren’t nearly going to die of thirst every five minutes.
Trust no one
Seriously. Unless you actually know the person standing in front of you, consider them an enemy. Once you’re dead you’re dead. Don’t engage in combat with other players unless you’re happy to die, because that’s a very likely outcome. If you have all your gear stashed in a locked box somewhere, then off you go. If you don’t, then don’t go near other people. You can use the middle mouse button to push-to-talk. Try shouting something like, “Back off,” before running in the opposite direction. People usually get the message quickly. Most players don’t want any trouble, but “survival” and “trolling” go hand-in-hand. Don’t fall for any of the old favourites such as, “Does anyone fancy a boxing match?” or, “Can I help you with anything?” The next thing you’re likely to see is someone pulling all your belongings from your rapidly cooling corpse.
Aim for the head when dealing with zombies. A single arrow to the head is going to drop any ravenous shuffler instantly. If you put them in the chest or abdomen, it’s going to take at least two. Don’t waste resources. The zombies don’t move very quickly in H1Z1, so you should be fine lining shots up. If you miss with arrows and the zombie ends up close to you, take a melee weapon and, again, aim for the head. You’ll soon emerge victorious, but you may well be bleeding. Just use some GAUZE or a BANDAGE to stem it.
Don’t just open the inventory and stand in the middle of a road for ten minutes sorting out your backpack. You’ll hear any zombies as they approach, but you may not be so fortunate if a passing player spots you immobile and vulnerable. Lie down before you open your inventory, and make sure you’re away from any roads or paths. Move off into the trees and just press Z to go prone.
Start to form a plan
If you’ve followed all this advice, you should be able to start thinking about working towards a long-term survival plan. Start scoping out potential sites for a camp and bear in mind you should be collected wood and metal for crafting buildings. You on the inside and zombies on the outside is a good strategy.
But that’s for next time. If you’ve followed these tips you should be in pretty good shape to stay alive for more than ten minutes. Good luck!
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