After the tutorial you should now have:
- A bat
- A shotgun
- Around 40 shotgun shells
- Some Nails
- Some boards
- A hammer
- A pot
- A can of soup or two
- A can opener
- Seven Bandages (Assuming you didn’t get hurt by the zombie next door.
- Pain Pills
- A lighter
First, you should open the crafting menu and make a Spiked Bat by combing the bat and some nails. Equip it in Slot A and the shot gun in Slot B (Optional). The Spiked Bat is an effective melee weapon early on. You must now make some choices. Do you want to stay at that house, or do you you want to move somewhere else, or be nomadic and travel between places? Do you want to kill Kate or keep her alive? There is no point in killing her. You don’t get anything but a useless item that only takes up space. Unfortunately, no one has survived long enough to see if she eventually heals, but she also doesn’t need to be fed. Maybe leave and check in a few days.
There are different strategies for staying alive, where to live and how to organize your loot. This is a section that suggests to you where and to live in the quarantined suburbs of Knox County.
Where to live
I myself have chosen a few places to live, like the top of the apartment building for starters. Once you’ve completed the tutorial it’s a good idea to move South East, looting building in an organized fashion, until you get to the apartment building. Once you get there, it will take a while to get to the top, so head straight up, don’t worry about the apartments on the way. When you get there you may have a heavy load. Put all your perishables (Apples, Carrots, Bread and Steak ) in the fridge as well as pop. Take out any rotten food. Place any Whiskey, Chocolate, and Crisps in the cupboard next to it. Also if you have any Canned Soup, a Cooking Pot or a Can Opener, put them in the cupboard to the left of that, you won’t need them for a while. Put all your medicine in the medicine cabinet except the bottle of pills that you used on Kate, you might need them. Go to the bedroom and put any Lighters, Nails, Wooden Planks, Batteries, or extra Bandages on the bedside table. If you have enough, keep fifteen with you (One for each body part) minus any that you’ve already used. Also if you have more than about 20 Shotgun Shells, put the extras on the table as well, the Shotgun not being you main weapon (Only in dire emergencies) and Shotgun Shells weighing a lot (5 lb./10 shells) so you barely use more then 30 in a row, if at all.
The forest cabin is also an ideal location, as it is very safe there. You will have to travel through a vast horde of zombies to get there, so be prepared! In the cabin is crates of usefull items, such as nails and wooden planks. There is also some ghost zombies, but they are hallucianations?
(The following is for current up to date versions of the game – although some concepts may be applied to older ones)
Preferrably you should find a place that is secluded. The further away from the centre of town that you are, the less chance you will run into NPC’s (They have good loot, but will unbarricade your house and steal your food when you are away) or large hordes of zombies which tend to be drawn in by reckless NPC’s with shotguns.
Your house of choice should hopefully include as few windows as possible, and at least two or three entrances to serve as multiple escapes. Multiple stories and having neighbouring houses/buildings is a plus. To make your house truly impenetrable you’re going to need a hammer, an axe, lots of nails, and lots of wood. You can easily find most of these at the hardware store. Chop down doors from surrounding buildings or chop down trees and use a hacksaw (assuming you are on the latest versions of the game). Barricade all windows and your front door while leaving the back open for the time being – just make sure you arent followed.
Take sheets and place them over all of your top windows. Zombies cant fly, so having something to simply cover the window is nice – not to mention you can move the sheets to look out. Next, build some barricades in the crafting area – full block standing barricades, then place them along the sides of your house so that they reach the neighboring walls of other buildings. Doing this ensures that you suddenly have a large blockade from the front side that highly reduces the chance zombies can surround your house because they will have to travel all the way around to even get to the other side. Following this, I suggest keeping your eyes open for a sledgehammer which can be used to knock down walls into nearby buildings, or by using wooden planks to build walkways between houses – you can easily expand your fortress into adjacent houses.