Unturned Guide: 10 Survival Strategy Tips for Beginners

10 survival tips for new Unturned players!

If you’re one of the ~50,000 players addicted to the new free-to-play zombie survival game, Unturned (known as Unturned 2 during development), then you’ve already wanted to smash your mouse once or twice. 

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Staying alive turns out to be quite the challenge for many new, unexperienced players, and (let me add from personal experience) it isn’t exactly gratifying after spending a half hour staying alive just to die and lose everything. Hopefully you can learn from my mistakes to keep yourself alive!

Without further ado, here are 10 survival tips for keeping yourself alive as long as possible in the ruthless world of Unturned!

1. Suicide Until You Spawn Near a Town

With a game that’s all about survival, spawning in the optimal setting is pretty much going to make or break your ability to survive. Kind of ironic the first tip is to die, right?

I understand that more advanced players will have a better idea of where they’re going, but beginners will require a little help from the Unturned spawn Gods on this one. 

This advice is pretty simple: when you spawn, do you see a town within walking distance? If the answer is “No,” go ahead and hit “Suicide” in the Esc menu.

Rinse and repeat until the answer is “Yes.”

2. Start Collecting Supplies Immediately

Not only will players be searching for essentials, such as food and water, but supplies also includes weapons, pharmaceuticals, clothing, and many other various objects available to stay alive. 

While only food and water are necessary, other supplies are around to increase your chances of survival and put you on the fast track to succeeding in Unturned. 

Where to Find Supplies

If you followed the first rule of advice above (suicide until you spawn near a town), you’ll already be near a town where these items can be found. Go ahead and locate food and water by finding the various restaurants and houses in the town and looting them

Pizza restaurants carry a larger variety of food than most others, and kitchens in houses almost always carry necessary items. 

3. Find a Backpack

As you may have noticed, you can only carry up to 4 items in your inventory at the start of the game. Backpacks are the solution to this.

By picking up a backpack, you can increase the size of your inventory and improve your chances at survival. There are many different types of backpacks such as a knapsack, Schoolbag, Animal Pack, etc., each varying in the number of inventory slots you receive. 

The more you can carry with you, the better. Not only will you be able to carry supplies to keep you healthy and energized, but you’ll also be able to carry a variety of weapons to fend off unwanted visitors. 

4. Stock Up on Food and Drinks

Just like in real life, staying alive involves necessities such as food and water. This might tie into tip #2, but it is important enough to be its own tip.

Once the game starts, your hunger and thirst meter is going to begin ticking, which you can see at the bottom of the screen.

This is something you have to keep an eye on, as you won’t be able to survive long without replenishing your hunger and thirst. Once both of these meters reach their limit, your health will begin to drop as well. On the other hand, if both of these meters are at 0%, your health will begin to regenerate. 

What to Eat and Not to Eat

Moldy food should be avoided unless you have antibiotics or vitamins on-hand. There’s another bar at the bottom of your screen specifically for poison, and you can see the build up over time once you begin eating rotten food. 

If you’re near a pharmacy, go ahead and try finding some clothing and medical supplies. Search through our crafting guide if you’re having trouble using items you find, as many as useless on their own. 

Tools of The Trade

If you see a canteen, pick it up. Since food is easier to find than water, the canteen’s ability to hold liquid for you solves the need to locate water as often.

5. Find Which Weapon Suits You Best

Not only is there a variety of food and drink, but there is also a variety of weapons to choose from to aid you in your player and zombie killing adventures. 

In Unturned, players can wield anything from a basic melee Machete, to a silent, ranged Crossbow, with many various deadly choices in between

If you’re the silent and deadly type, then maybe a Pocketknife will be where you excel. If you prefer to run through the game in a blaze of glory, then a Sledgehammer or a Fire Axe might be your thing. 

If you prefer to take out your enemies stealthily from a distance (“Guilty!”) then the long-range, rare Timberwolf might be your poison. 

Once you figure out which method of cold-blooded killing suits you best, you can easily overtake towns and farms to collect items necessary to live. 

Don’t waste too many inventory slots on useless ammo. 

6. Approach Towns Zombie-First

Now, you may be having trouble with your initial looting endeavors. I know when I first started the game, I would go gung ho running recklessly into towns and farms trying to grab some loot and then make a sad effort to outrun the 8 zombies that were now chasing after me. 

I’ll give you one guess as to how that ended. 

I learned that in order to effectively search every corner of a civilization, one must eliminate all threats that could possibly surprise you from behind during your search beforehand.

Tips to Fighting Success

If you do find yourself being chased down, holding Shift will allow you to sprint, but will deplete your stamina. Holding W+A/D will also move your character diagonally, which is faster than just moving forward

Always make sure you’re walking backwards while you’re attacking, especially sans weapon. You’ll take less damage and confuse your enemies. 

7. Build Shelter

This may come a little bit later in the game, but shelter is a must-have in any zombie survival game and it’s something you’re going to have to get used to. There a few different ways to go about this, the first being to build it from scratch. Warning: this isn’t easy. 

Building a Base From Scratch

First you’ll need to find some barricades and traps to lead the zombies directly to their death in an effort to get to you. Barricades can be found mostly in military and industrial locations. Traps can be crafted, which we explain in further detail in our crafting guide. 

You’ll also probably want a campfire and an additional source of light. Campfires can be crafted with 4 Stones and 4 Sticks. Lights can be found in military bases and factories, but require a generator to operate, and can also be destroyed by zombies and other players. 

Taking Over A Town of Farm

A much easier way to go about fortifying yourself, taking over a town or farm is a much more efficient way to protect yourself, since the walls and roof are already there and cannot be destroyed. 

The only difference between the two is that player-made bases can be as large as can be imagined, but can also be destroyed. Generated structures are already there, and you get what you get, but they’re also there to stay. 

Farms are an excellent choice to set up a base. Not only are there many less zombies than other places on the map, but they are usually between 2 towns. 

8. Hunt Animals To Stay Full

You may have noticed a few pigs or deer running around, but also noticed that they seem to run away when you get too close. These animals, like zombies, can sense your presence and run away when they see you coming. 

How to Kill Animals

There are few efficient ways to get those pesky animals onto your dinner plate. One being the obvious: killing them with a weapon. For this method, you’re going to need a long-range weapon, preferably with a scope. 

Sneak up on the unsuspecting animals by pressing Z or X. Once in range, use the scope on your weapon to zoom in and kill the animal in question. Bows are the easiest way to go about this, since they’re much quieter than any gun. 

If you haven’t been able to find a long range weapon, don’t fear. There is another method that works just as well– running them over with cars. 

How to Cook Your Prize

Be careful, as you can’t just go ahead and eat the meat you’ve acquired from hunting these animals. If you do eat, you’re risking getting sick, which just puts you in an even worse predicament than you were in when you were hungry. 

To cook your food, simply open the craft menu and combine it with a campfire to turn it into an edible item. You can also cook your food over a grill you find in-game, which is typically located near a beach where the zombies are wearing chef hats. 

9. Survive Through the Night 

Again, just like in real life, everything becomes eerily more dangerous at night. 

Not only will an increasingly larger number of zombies spawn at night, but they will continue to spawn as you move throughout the map. Even if you clear a town, it will become un-clear as soon as you walk far enough away from it. 

Prepare Your Barricades

Since zombies follow you, and will slowly destroy whatever barriers you set up for them, it’s best to craft some Metal Doors to find them off. It’s best to set up these and traps to make sure you’re safe throughout the night, and it’s also a good idea to sporadically check to make sure you repair all damage. 

Stock Up on Supplies

If you’re scared to brave the outside world at night, make sure you have enough supplies to last you through the night. Use the day time to collect as many as you can, as well as special items that make the night more bearable, such as the Night Vision Goggles located in the dangerous Airport

Miner Helmets are also a good decision if you happen to find them in any town, or you have the supplies to make one (Construction helmet + Torch). 

Beware of Where You Log Out

Just like other persistent online games, you will spawn where you logged out

That being said, you’ll want to make sure you logged out somewhere relatively safe, as zombies will be replenished during nightfall. If you log out in the middle of a field or town, chances are you’ll be greeted by a horde of zombies waiting for you when you login. 

Use the Night to Your Advantage

While I spent most of the section talking about the dangers of nighttime, you can also use it to your advantage. 

Hunting players will likely grant you many rare items and is the fastest way to load up your inventory. At night you can go hunting for unsuspecting players, assuming you have the right gear to go about doing so. 

If you find some camouflage gear, you’re in good shape. If you find that and a long-range weapon, you’ll be even better. With enough patience, you can hunt down other players who aren’t aware you’re sitting in that bush, then you can reap the benefits of their inventory. 

10. Level Your Skills 

Last, a very important feature of the game to remember is the Skills portion of the Tab menu

Leveling your skills can do a various number of things, including make you harder to kill, lessen your need for food and drink, and many other useful things.

There are 8 skills available for players to manipulate, and each of them are just as useful, depending on what approach to the game you are taking:

  1. Survival: Player’s hunger and thirst increase much slower. This skill is recommended to level up first, since it’s difficult to find particular supplies in the beginning of the game.
  2. EnduranceLeveling up this skill means that players can sprint, jump, right click for power attacks, and perform other tiring activities more often. This skill should be leveled after the other necessary skills are increased.
  3. SneakybeakyThis skills allows players to sneak up on other players, zombies, and animals much easier. At max rank, you no longer make any noise while sprinting or running. This skill should be leveled depending on the player’s intentions, but isn’t as necessary at Survival
  4. MarksmanReduces the recoil and increases accuracy on long-range weapons such as firearms and bows. This skill should be left for later, after you’ve located a weapon and ammunition. 
  5. Warrior: This skill increases damage dealt with melee weapons, meaning that it’s only useful once one of these is located.
  6. OutdoorsThis reduces the amount of time it takes to produce a tree or boulder by 1. It isn’t a high priority skill, and should be left for later.
  7. Craftsman: Leveling this skill allows you to craft items with a higher skill level. However, there aren’t many recipes that require this, so there isn’t much use in leveling it early.
  8. Immunity: This skill reduces the amount of sickness taken by zombie attacks and moldy food. It also increases healing. This skill could be useful early if the only food you can find is rotten. 

As you can tell, these skills can drastically improve th rate at which you can survive in Unturned. By utilizing these skills, you can turn a competitive edge on your opponents, making the game easier for you to excel. 

Good Luck To All of You

Now that you have some basic rules to success, you’re probably a lot more prepared to take on the world of Unturned.

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Danielle Marie
All I'm saying is, no one's ever seen me and Batman in the same room.