It isn’t often that a game spends nearly a decade in its Alpha state, but 7 Days to Die is one of those games that still sits awaiting a full release. Not fully due to the faults of the developers, The Fun Pimps, but more because their publisher, Telltale Games, crashed and burned which caused a massive setback to the entire game.
A setback that hasn’t seen an update to the console version for several years, and that sees the game still in Alpha after its release in December 2013. Despite that though, 7 Days to Die still continues to make Steam’s top played games list each year. It currently sits in the 19th Alpha release phase, more specifically, Alpha 19.5. Not much changed in the latest update, although Twitch integration was added.
The big release everyone is waiting for though is Alpha 20, which is expected to see the largest update 7 Days to Die has ever seen. New weapons, places of interest, enemies, so many things confirmed, so much just rumour. The only thing is we have no official date as to when it will be live, just that they’ve got more testers working on this update than any before it, and so more bugs are appearing that they’re trying to fix to make the next release as stable as possible. To take it to the closest the game has been to a full release.
But before then, 7 Days to Die is still worth checking out and playing. And if you haven’t yet, or are struggling to survive a little, we’ve got some top tips to make your experience that little bit better.
Making the most out of trader jobs
When you start a new game in 7 Days to Die, you get a basic tutorial that teaches you how to gather materials, craft weapons and tools, and build. The final task you’re set is to track down a trader settlement. There are several of these dotted around the main Navezgane map, and they’ll also appear on any of the other pre-gen maps or any randomly generated worlds you create.
Sellers are great in 7 Days to Die for three things specifically. Firstly, selling stuff you find that isn’t needed; lower level armour and weapons than what you have equipped, extra clothing, materials that you don’t need. Selling all of this and whatever else you find helps you raise currency that you can spend. Which is the second point that sellers are good for, buying stuff. It may be that you need food or meds, a weapon or other gear, books that unlock perks and skills. You’ll find so much stuff that will benefit you in the game.
The final thing that they’re good for is jobs. You’ll get a selection of a few, with tasks such as fetching packages or clearing buildings of zombies. You are then rewarded when you return with XP and money. But, when you arrive at your job, you’ll see a big yellow exclamation mark that you have to activate to begin. But don’t do it right away.
Explore the building first, gather everything you can inside that will be of value or use, and dismantle things for resources that may be more difficult to come by. Then, go and activate the quest. It resets the entire building and its surroundings. So you get to double up on all your valuables, all the XP earned for killing zombies, and all the materials you gather. It may mean getting encumbered a little which can slow you down, but many items will be the same as what you have so the majority of stuff will stack.
Always carry steroids
One of the main things about 7 Days to Die is that you only have so many available slots for carrying what you find. You can hold a certain amount before you become encumbered, slowing you down, and taking up more of your stamina when you try to run. You can unlock skills as you level up, or mod your armour to get extra pockets which increases your limit before you’re encumbered, but until you max it out, you will get encumbered at times.
So that things don’t weigh you down too much, keep steroids on you. You can find these around the map in various locations, especially in medical places such as the Pop N Pills pharmacy or the hospital, and you can also craft them from testosterone extract from killing bears. An easier task said than done.
The benefit of having a steroid is it takes away all restrictions of being encumbered and reduces the impact on stamina by giving you a bit of a boost. This means you can stock up fully, and run back to your camp or a seller without any issues as you get a good few minutes to use it. This combines especially well with the tip above, where you can ransack the same location twice following a sellers job activating. Because it allows you to get as much as you physically can carry without any negative impact.
Get weapons as soon as you can
You can craft manual weapons or a primitive bow from the off in 7 Days to Die. They’re very basic ones with low levels until your skills are upgraded, and they do the job. But the further you progress in the game, the more variants of zombies you’ll find and they become tougher to kill. To make things easier, you can find and craft a variety of weapons in the game that make slaying zombies a much easier task.
One of the first weapons you’ll likely come across in 7 Days to Die is a blunderbuss, an old fashioned weapon that is a single shot and takes a while to reload. It is powerful though, similar in style to a shotgun with a widespread when firing so you can hit multiple zombies at a time, especially in narrow corridors. But other weapons will be of great help too. Especially when you get mods to make them even better.
One of my personal favourites in 7 Days to Die is the hunting rifle fitted with a sniper scope. This allows you to see far off in the distance, and whilst it too is single-fire and takes time to reload, it is great for hunting animals for food and taking out zombies from a distance. This will make survival much easier when you have firepower as a backup because they really can get you out of sticky situations. Especially when hordes hit every 7th day that sees swarms of zombies attack you at night like nothing else you’ve ever seen in the game.
In those circumstances, a more fully automatic weapon or pistol with a quick fire rate and faster reloading time can be an absolute godsend. It’ll allow you to thin out the hordes, take zombies down much quicker, and prevent them from getting into your base if you’ve built one up.
Vehicles are for more than travel
In 7 Days to Die one of the many things you can craft or buy are vehicles. They’re very expensive to purchase, and you have to level up certain skills before you can craft vehicles, not helped by some parts being more difficult to find than others, like lead batteries and engines. There are a few different vehicles to craft; a bicycle (the slowest of the lot), a mini-bike (a bit faster), a motorbike (much faster), a car (allows multiple passengers for when playing with friends) and finally, a gyrocopter (allows you to fly so you can navigate mountains quicker and escape the zombies below).
No matter which vehicle you have though, they’re worth trying to get as early on in 7 Days to Die as possible. And we have a few reasons why. The most common reason people make them is to get about the map much quicker. But not only will you get from point A to point B faster than you would if you run, but you’ll also be able to get further from your base in that time, allowing you to explore more areas of the map when scavenging for materials, ammo and other supplies.
As well as expanding your area of exploration, they also expand your carry space too. Because they have their own storage onboard, so when you go loot, you can carry all non-essential stuff that you won’t need when moving on and dump it on your vehicle. Allowing you to carry more loot, and also not giving you the same restrictions you’d have by filling up the slots on yourself when you’ve no steroids.
The final useful thing about vehicles in 7 Days to Die is that as long as you have a full tank of fuel, and you have the duration of the day set to standard and not dragged out. Should you be low on ammo on the 7th day of 7 Days to Die when the hordes pay you a visit, or they’re beginning to overrun your base and you fear death, you can jump in your vehicles and just outrun them.
They are much faster at night, but the vehicles will get you out of their range much quicker, and some such as the car also have spikes on the front so you can just mow through any that stand in your way.
Save resources, revamp existing buildings for your base
One of the best things about 7 Days to Die is building a base, and seeing if it can withstand the hordes that come at you every 7 days. But, building a base from scratch can take a lot of time, and a lot of resources. If you’re using god mode, basically a creative mode that gives you access to everything, it is much easier, but if you’re playing legit, it’s a whole lot tougher.
So one way of making life easier, especially earlier on in the game until you can gather enough resources, is to use existing buildings. Many will be damaged so you may have to repair them and then fit defences that will protect you from hordes, but this will take a lot less time not having to build the entire base. But when picking a place to use, there are a few things to consider.
Location is key in 7 Days to Die. For example, you want to be close to a water source for hydration, somewhere with open views of the area around you so you can see zombies coming, and be careful of the type of terrain you are on. The terrain is especially tricky because if in a snowy or desert area, weather plays a big part. If you have the wrong clothing you can freeze to death or get heatstroke. You also then have different wild animals, such as snakes or mountain lions, both of which can cause some serious damage to you.
The other thing to consider is how well the building is defended, and how much work needs doing to it. Are there multiple sites where zombies can get in? Is the base surrounded by a secure fence? Are there places where you can secure things where zombies won’t reach and places where you can escape if they get in? So many things to consider.
One bonus tip is digging underground and storing stuff down there. Because no matter how secure your base is in 7 Days to Die, how many sites there are where zombies could enter, even if it is well guarded and they can’t get to you, they will run around causing havoc. Destroying walls, doors, everything in sight basically.
If they destroy enough, the building can come tumbling down. Destroying all your stuff, and damaging yourself. So burying valuables is a smart move, and so is working out an escape plan if it looks like this is going to happen. Again, a good reason to have vehicles nearby to make a run for it if needed.
Hopefully, you find this guide for 7 Days to Die helpful in assisting you with surviving the zombie apocalypse if you currently play. And if not, you can purchase 7 Days to Die on Steam right now. It really is an excellent zombie-themed survival game unlike no other.
If you decide to play or are a veteran survivalist in the zombie apocalypse and you find our tips useful, let us know in the comments below or on our socials. If you’ve got some tips of your own for 7 Days to Die to help people out, again let us know and who knows, maybe we’ll add them to our next 7 Days to Die list.
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