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A Guide to the Best Builds for Beginners in "State of Decay 2"

Video games are a big part of my life, and I wish I wanted them to stay that way.

"State of Decay 2" is one of the best zombie survival games ever made.

"State of Decay 2" is one of the best zombie survival games ever made.

With over 40 real-life hours pumped into the game over the last week, I have finally become comfortable with all of the mechanics and underlying strategies in State of Decay 2. I've been working with and tweaking the gameplay so as to figure out the best way to complete communities in-game, and in doing so I have landed on the quickest and easiest ways as well. This guide seeks to answer any question you might have about State of Decay 2 with a focus on getting through the game as quickly and easily as possible on any difficulty.

Of all of the maps to choose from, Drucker County is my favorite.

Of all of the maps to choose from, Drucker County is my favorite.

Which Map Should I Start On?

I'm sure you're looking at the five different maps in State of Decay 2 and asking yourself which of the five is the best to start on, and that question has a very simple answer:

Start on Drucker County, because it is the best map in the game.

The reasons that Drucker County is the best map in State of Decay 2 are as follows:

  • Buildings are not tightly placed, so zombies are rarely horded together
  • Sparse landscape makes travel and scavenging much easier
  • Less roadblocks and scenery to crash your car into during long-distance travel
  • All utilities are available for outpost placement
  • Survivability is much higher due to better environment structuring such as open planes, and narrow valleys with fewer instances of confrontation in tight quarters
  • It contains the best base for leveling your community without having to risk their lives

Overall, Drucker County is the best map to start on because it offers you the most open and less-restrictive feel. Traveling is easier, scavenging is easier, and you don't need to feel boxed in by the environment every time you go to search for supplies and influence.

There are five difficulties in "State of Decay 2": Green, Standard, Dread, Nightmare, and Lethal.

There are five difficulties in "State of Decay 2": Green, Standard, Dread, Nightmare, and Lethal.

Which Difficulty Should I Play On?

With five separate difficulties in three separate categories to choose from, it can be pretty daunting to crank up the difficulty to lethal from the get-go. This is why I recommend you start your game on the Green difficulty for all categories. The reasons you want to start your game on Green are as follows:

  • Abundant resources
  • Morale penalties are nearly unfelt
  • Invasions are less frequent
  • Wounds accrue much slower
  • Special zombies are less prevalent and aggressive
  • You can level the community much faster
  • Less scavenging in plague infested territories
  • You can complete the game much faster

Now, I know it can seem pretty weak to start on the green difficulty, but you still get unique rewards for this difficulty via the Legacy Boon feature, and thus you should do this difficulty for every leader-type before moving up to the higher difficulties. Beginning on green will also give you the opportunity to figure out which skills will serve you best in the higher difficulty playthroughs to come.

Which initial community member skills you choose can make or break your community.

Which initial community member skills you choose can make or break your community.

Which Community Skills Should I Start With?

When beginning a new community you have the choice to play the tutorial with pre-selected players, or you can skip the tutorial and choose three community members with appropriate skills. You should always opt out of the tutorial once you learn the basics, and choose the three community members you want manually.

The reason you want to choose these community members manually is so that you can obtain the best skills for survivability right from the start. The three skills you absolutely need in your community are:

  • Gardening
  • Computers
  • Utilities

You will want gardening right off the bat so that you do not need to scavenge for food as often. Farms are always a great way to avoid having to take an extra trip just to keep your community from starving.

The computers skill will allow you to upgrade your command center, and this is crucial for long-term sustainability because it allows you to have more outposts. The more outposts you have, the more likely it is your base will be self-sustainable.

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Finally, utilities is going to allow you to capture outposts that are crucial to your base, such as power plants that will provide power to all of your buildings without increasing the chance of a zombie invasion.

As you progress and complete communities, you'll unlock all kinds of Legacy Boons.

As you progress and complete communities, you'll unlock all kinds of Legacy Boons.

Which Legacy Boons Should I Take?

In order to earn Legacy Boons, you're going to need to beat the game multiple times and through choosing from the four different leadership roles each playthrough. Upon finishing a Leadership Role, you will receive a Legacy Boon that matches the Leadership Role you chose before restarting the game with a new community. After completing the game at least once, you'll get the choice of taking two Legacy Boons.

The two Legacy boons you'll want to focus on obtaining are:

  • Builder: Amenities
  • Sheriff: Charity

You'll want the Amenities boon from the builder leader as soon as possible, so try to choose the builder role as the first one to focus on. The Amenities boon provides your base with water and power without raising invasion risk, and without taking up outpost slots. It is irreplaceably valuable.

The second Legacy Boon you'll want, Charity, is from the sheriff leader, and you want this because it is basically a source of free resources and influence that will prove invaluable throughout your endeavor to survive. Influence is the main fuel for your overpowered radio commands, and it is the currency with which you shall trade for resources you may not otherwise find while scavenging.

The Barricaded Strip Mall is the best base in Drucker County.

The Barricaded Strip Mall is the best base in Drucker County.

Which Base Should I Choose?

The best base in State of Decay 2 just so happens to be within the best map, and that base is the Barricaded Strip Mall. This base comes pre-equipped with:

  • Urgent Care (Infirmary tier 3)
  • Tae-Kwon Do (Gym tier 2)
  • Sheltered Beds 2 (Clearable)
  • High-End Kitchen (Tier 2)
  • Employee Bathroom (Tier 2)
  • Liquor Store (Clearable)
  • Laundromat (Clearable)
  • 1 small outdoor slot
  • 3 large slots
  • 3 Parking spots

Without going into detail, this is unarguably the best base you could ever hope to take. The hardest part about claiming this base is that it takes 8 survivors and 3,500 influence, but you can obtain that relatively quickly.

Your ultimate goal is to level your survivors and complete communities via leadership roles/goals.

Your ultimate goal is to level your survivors and complete communities via leadership roles/goals.

Which Leadership Role/Legacy Should I Focus On?

When first starting out in State of Decay 2, you're going to have the choice between the four leadership roles to focus on: Builder, Sheriff, Trader, and Warlord. The first one to focus on should be builder. We want to focus on being the builder for one reason and one reason only:

  • Finishing the builder legacy gives you access to the boon, "Amenities"

The leadership role that I always choose is trader, because I like to have everything at my fingertips with the push of a button. However, obtaining the builder Legacy Boon called Amenities first will make every subsequent playthrough a cinch.

Good Luck Out There!

If you've read this guide and taken all it has taught you into practice within your playthroughs, then you are well on your way to beating State of Decay 2 over and over again, and as quickly and easily as possible. It took me over 40 hours to discover what it was I needed to be doing to get ahead, but you now have all the tips and tricks at your fingertips.

Once you are able to put this guide into practice, you're ready to crank up the difficulty to the highest you can handle, because Lethal isn't so Lethal once you master the basics!

I hope to see you out there in the apocalypse, survivor; stay safe!

© 2021 Kyler J Falk

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