Conserving your ammo!
Try to your conserve your ammo when fighting zombies. Sometimes you may find a huge stash of your gun's ammo but eventually it will run out and when it does you are basically knee deep into the dead. The following tips may be useful for cutting back your ammo usage:
- Kill Weaker Enemies with Melee: Skeletons can be easily dispatched without resorting to firearms. You may also deal final blows to Zeds weakened by lead poisoning. Having a decent melee weapon or skills in martial arts help a lot.
- Maxing Out Firearms: less misses and more damage means that it will take fewer shots to kill tougher enemies.
- Maxing Out Martial Arts, Strong and Agile: with all three maxed out, your punches gain a bonus of +15 in attack and +9 in damage, essentially becoming a sledgehammer without any stamina penalty (+20, +15 in Rev. 6, in this case they become as devastating as shotguns). The added damage will help you deal finishing blows more reliably, and may also help you out in desperate situations where you don't have any time to reload or you are out of ammo. Another added bonus is that your fists do not break as long as you are alive, unlike most types of melee weapons.
- Press 't' to Toggle Between Targets: When the target closest to you is a skeleton, you will want to switch targets with a higher priority, such as a zombie master or a disciple. By pressing 't' you can switch the target you are aiming to, although you need clear line of sight for that new target to shoot it.
Running is a very important part of this game. When you are running you move much faster than zombies allowing you to outrun them or keep the distance to shoot them with a ranged weapon. Make sure to stop running (by pressing "r" again) when the situation is resolved or your stamina gets too low. (Bikers and Gangstas also have the ability to run in Rev. 6, making them much more dangerous than regular shamblers. You may shoot them in range while running to the opposite direction, as long as your stamina allows.)
Jumping and obstacles
Your human character has the ability to jump over obstacles with low height, such as wrecked cars, furniture and small barricades. When a character moves toward small obstacles, s/he pays a small amount of stamina and walks over the obstacle as if it were an empty tile.
Fresh Zombies, Shamblers and Zombie Rats do not have this ability and therefore attempt to break such obstacles instead. Cars make excellent barricades for this reason; because they cannot be destroyed, non-intelligent zombies cannot penetrate entrances blocked with cars. Zombie Masters, civilans and hostile human NPCs can jump over smaller obstacles, so plan accordingly when placing barricades. Zombie masters are also known for pushing cars away (as of Rev. 6) to make way for lesser zombies, so don't let your guard down!
When your ranged weapon runs out of ammo, you must spend one turn in order to reload it. This will make you vulerable to attacks when you try to reload while being surrounded by hostiles. Try to reload when your target is out of your vision or any zombie is at least a block away so that they won't get a free hit.
You may also carry a spare loaded weapon and switch to it once the ammo of your primary weapon runs out. The downside for this strategy is that you carry less ammo because the number of loaded rounds is smaller than that of a box of rounds.
Managing Food and Sleep
When playing as a living human, two of your worst enemies are hunger and fatigue. Your character suffers severe penalties when the Food and Sleep meter drops beneath the limits, so you will always want to keep your character full and awake at all times. A couple of tips will be helpful for managing your Food and Sleep:
- Gauge the amount of food and sleep you have to maintain everyday. Your character spends 1 Food and 1 Sleep every turn (2 Sleep after 18:00). Since each day is 720 turns long and night lasts for 12 hours (360 turns), you need 720 Food and 1080 Sleep to fully stay awake without any penalties. This calculation allows you to approximate the amount of food / medicine you will need everyday.
- Invest in Light Eater and Awake. Light Eater increases the amount of Food you can store in your body, as well as increasing the effectiveness of every food you eat. With Light Eater 5 (in Rev. 6), you'll need only three cans of food or one fresh groceries everyday, compared to five cans without Light Eater. Awake has a similar effect on your Sleep, although you may have to invest in Medic to boost the amount of sleep you gain from blue pills.
- Act before you run out of food. Even with a fully distended stomach (Light Eater 5), you will only be able to hold your hunger for about two days, which can be too short of a grace period when the city gets ravaged and food becomes rare. Consider searching for grocery stores, trading with the newly arrived refugees (they seem to always appear with a fresh bag of groceries, not sure how... you are signing their death warrent during the process, of course), picking up the occasional supply drops, or in the worst case, raiding a barricaded CHAR office.
- Try to act at day and sleep at night. Not only your sight radius is much better in daylight, you will spend less time sleeping because you are avoiding the more physically demanding night times. (Unless you want to take advantage of other sleeping human NPCs.)