State of Decay 2: How to Recruit Enclaves and Survivors Guide

If you want to know how to recruit enclaves in State of Decay 2, and bring survivors into your community, we've got your guide right here.

In State of Decay 2, you won't get very far on your own. Whether it's knowing how bring a fellow community member on your travels, how to invite a friend to play co-op, or how to recruit enclaves and other survivors in the desolate worlds of State of Decay 2, the Buddy System is key.

With that in mind, you'll want to know exactly how you grow your numbers within a community. While you begin your game with just a trio of people struggling to survive, there are ample opportunities to bring new faces behind your secure borders.

Recruiting enclaves and survivors in State of Decay 2 are slightly different tasks with a few ways to go about them. Here's everything you need to know to grow your community and revive some hope in a hopeless world.

How to Recruit Allied Survivors

The procedurally generated mission structure of State of Decay 2 makes recruitment drives a bit fuzzy, but there are still specific things to know in order to boost your numbers and bring in more survivors.

The most important thing to know is this: when a neighbor asks for your help, give it to them. Often folks in your town will radio you asking to be introduced or maybe even in a more panicked state needing help fast. Whatever the case, don't delay too long or else they'll start to think low of you.

All your neighbors start out as Neutral, meaning they're there, you're here, and that's it. Start to aid them in their survival and they'll become Friendly. Keep aiding them and they'll eventually become Allied, which has the added bonus of your newfound friends bringing you some survival supplies once in a while.

Ignore their outcries, however, and you'll eventually turn them Hostile, and once they're Hostile, you can't recruit them anymore. They'll shoot you on sight and it becomes them versus you if they catch you near their encampment.

Be sure to aid those in need and you'll have friends indeed, as our grandparents probably all said. Once other enclaves are Allied, you can speak to one of their members and ask them to join you. Should they say yes, the enclave will disband and you'll gain one new follower.

Recruiting Survivors in Need

Recruits allies and other survivors in State of Decay 2 to help you fight off the horde.

Sometimes you don't have to make friends with someone to recruit them. Some missions will have you helping a lone survivor or a pair of survivors out in the wild, seeking some crucial supply, like medicine or food.

If you help them, they'll sometimes have a moment of clarity where they seem to think, "Clearly, I can't do this alone anymore." When they do, you'll be prompted to recruit them. If you want them to join you, choose to recruit and they'll head to your camp right away and become a new playable character.

How to Recruit Enclaves

I hear you asking, "But what if I want to recruit an entire enclave?" Well, it's possible, though somewhat rare. There's one questline that players may be offered which sees you bringing multiple rucksacks of supplies to another community across multiple missions.

By the end of this questline, similar to the panicked lone survivor, the entire enclave may agree it's not working for them, and clearly you've got a much better handle on this whole post-apocalypse thing. They'll then request that you let them move in with you and your community. If you want to, go for it.

Note that the survivor cap seems to be eight people, so the game may not throw this questline your way if you already have more than five, because it won't want to allow you to overcrowd your community.

Other Recruitment Tips

Now that you know how to recruit survivors and enclaves, you're free to be picky about who you allow into your community.

While you'd be pretty villainous to turn away a survivor in dire need, other more optional recruitments should weigh the benefits of each survivor. When you interact with another person, use the Learn About Survivor option and you'll be able to see their Skills and Traits.

Maybe it's the case that you really need a strong gardener or someone with lots of rare abilities. With this method, you'll know exactly who is joining you  and maybe who isn't. 

You should also consider what you have to offer them. If your community is already struggling to feed and provide beds for the folks you have in your community, it maybe isn't a wise decision to bring more people home with you. It can really cripple morale when people aren't sleeping well, going hungry, or are arguing because of the overall low quality of life. 

If you're going to have an open-door policy for survivors in need, consider moving your base to one of the bigger lots in your map of choice. All five maps have several potential home sites and you can see exactly what you need to move in each one  it's dependent on your Influence and number of survivors.

Every game starts on a small home site, so once you get up around five survivors, it's time to pack up and find a new home for your survivors. Let them stretch their legs a little.

That's all you need to know about recruiting enclaves and survivors in State of Decay 2. We've got a ton more State of Decay 2 guides for both beginners and experts, so be sure to check them out.  


Mark is a dad, husband, bicyclist, animal rights activist, and a gamer, of course. You can find him on all platforms covering co-op, indies, horror, battle royale, or whatever else he's obsessing over right now. In addition to GameSkinny, he's been published on GameSpot, IGN, GamesRadar, EGM, Escapist, Official Xbox Magazine, and a bunch of other great outlets.

Published Mar. 10th 2021

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