DayZ: Beginner Tips & Tricks for Update 1.20 - Food, Crafting, Infections & More

Published: Jan. 20, 2023
Updated: Jan. 20, 2023

German English

The latest DayZ update (1.20) is about to be released and in our guide we list the most important tips and tricks for new players and returnees to have the best possible start in the game.

What does patch 1.20 bring? DayZ Update 1.20 was released on January 19 and contains few new items, but important bug fixes and preparation for something big in 2023.

DayZ: The 10 most important beginner tips & tricks at a glance

1. orientation - How to find your way around

Since DayZ has the claim of a hardcore survival game, you spawn at the beginning of your journey without a map or compass. Since orientation is essential on the 225 km² map of Chernarus and you probably want to meet up with your friends as soon as possible, you can use three methods to find your way around:

  • Local knowledge: memorize signs, place names and landmarks while you're out and about in Chernarus and Co.
  • Interactive map: Use an interactive map via your smartphone or web browser.
  • In-game 3d markers: On community-created servers, you'll find mods that allow you to open a map with "M" and place markers. These 3d markers then float in front of your nose.

Especially for starting or returning to the game, we recommend the interactive map for DayZ. You can set personal filters and focus on different buildings, animals, vehicles or military camps. Especially when you are looking for food or items that you urgently need.

2. where to find food & water

In DayZ, you will face food problems right from the start of the game. You start the game with an empty stomach and a dry throat and are allowed to go in search of food. Most towns have one or more fountains where you can fill up empty water bottles or quench your thirst directly.

The search for food is a bit more difficult, especially because the spawn locations (coast) are mostly searched by countless new starters like you. Go inland and deliberately go to smaller villages, which are mostly ignored by other players. If the villages are empty, you can also feed yourself through nature. Chernarus is full of forests and gardens that provide you with mushrooms, apples or plums.

If despite the tips already mentioned, you still have problems feeding your character, we have a more detailed food guide, which also deals with hunting and farming.

At the start of the game, avoid the following actions, so you'll consume fewer calories and be able to manage your collected food for longer:

  • Sprint
  • Jumping
  • Climbing
  • Fighting


3. clothing - the right equipment is crucial

In DayZ, temperature and weather play a big role. This means that you will freeze faster in open fields in the north of Chernarus than in the forests around the bigger cities like Elektro or Cherno. This is because you are higher above sea level in the northwest of the map.

You have to pay attention to the thermal insulation of your clothes and make sure that your body warms up. If your clothing is not spotless and damaged, you will not have full insulation protection from the cold and will need a replacement. Read here for more detailed information on wetness and insulation levels and how you can keep warm despite the cold.

4. equipment in DayZ - where to find items such as weapons, clothes & tools.

Looting plays an essential role in DayZ and of course you are surely asking yourself: Where do I get the best loot? In DayZ there are different loot zones, of which there are five on Chernarus.

  • Tier 1 & 2: In these zones you can find civilian clothing, food and tools.
  • Tier 3: With the NW Airfield and Military Outposts, the main focus in this zone is military equipment.
  • Tier 4 & 5: These loot zones only include smaller areas such as in the northwest of the map around the Tisy military base and helicopter crash sites, dynamic trains and certain areas in major cities.

Important: In some Loot Zones of Tier 4 and 5, you should wear a protective suit against toxic gases. Click here if you want to learn more about the loot zones in DayZ.


#5 How Crafting Works in DayZ

In DayZ, crafting plays a big role alongside the other survival aspects. For example, you can craft a fireplace, a splint for broken bones, or even explosives with the right resources. Campfires are especially important in DayZ, because on the one hand, they protect you from the cold and on the other hand you can use them for roasting and cooking.

When crafting, you combine or transform one or more items into a new item. If you have the appropriate items in your inventory, drag one of the basic items over the other. A menu will appear with the possible actions that the item can be used for.


#6 Avoid and Heal Sickness & Broken Bones

In DayZ, it can quickly happen that your character falls ill with many diseases such as a cold, fever, cholera or food poisoning. To keep all sorts of illnesses at bay, all you really need is a healthy immune system. The immune system is managed with the help of the four status symbols.

  • Food
  • Water
  • Blood
  • Health

These symbols must always be full at best, only then are the chances very high that you will never get sick again in DayZ. Broken bones can happen by falling or slipping and are very unpleasant in DayZ. We will show you how to take care of your broken bones.

7. behavior of zombies & how you fight them.

Of course, zombies still play a role in DayZ. Especially in the bigger cities they are well represented and we therefore recommend to avoid shooting in these areas. Try using stealth kills by sneaking up on zombies and killing them from behind. Stealth kills only work with knives and one-handed tools. Zombies also react to sounds and flares, so if you need a distraction, you can try that.

Different zombie variants

In DayZ there are currently 10 zombie variants and they can be divided into 4 upper groups:

  • Civilians: 3 types
  • Specialists: 1 type
  • Task forces: 3 types
  • Military: 3 types

Zombies can also carry equipment or food. So if a zombie is wearing a helmet or armor plate, you can take it off and wear it yourself.

Note: helmets or armor plates also protect the zombie from blows, and it will be harder to finish him off.


#8 the basics of basebuilding in DayZ

Of course, in a survival game, you want to build your own base. In DayZ there are all kinds of ways to hide your loot. You can bury a backpack or place a green barrel at the bottom of a lake.

There are also larger forms available for base building. You can also build a shelter or build an even larger base on community servers using mods.

#9 Toxic zones explained

The toxic zones are recognizable by the green veil that surrounds them. In the toxic zones there is Hight-Tier Loot and you should only enter these zones with the right equipment. You can protect yourself from the toxic zone with the following equipment:

  • ABC Set consisting of:
    • Hood
    • Jacket
    • Pants
    • Shoes
    • Gloves
  • Gas mask (one of the 3):
    • ABC gas mask
    • Gas mask

But how do you cure gas poisoning? To be able to heal yourself, you need these healing items, which you can find in medical facilities or tents:

  • Tetracycline pills (level 1)
  • PO-X injector (level 1-3)
  • Clean blood


10. find & repair vehicles in DayZ

Vehicles can spawn almost everywhere in DayZ. With the help of the interactive maps, you can search the spawns in a targeted manner. Note, however, that not every marked spawn point really has a car waiting for you.

Once you've found a vehicle, you'll usually have to repair or replace some parts. Car parts can be found in all garages, gas stations, and barns. Body parts for the car are most often found in car wrecks. All parts are easy to put on a car, but they must be tightened with the right tools.

At the end you need to check the level of gasoline and water. If there is water missing in the radiator, it will be shown to you on the driver's seat in the UI.

Personal Tip: Vehicles can't be locked in DayZ, but you can unscrew the spark plug to prevent it from being stolen.

If you have any questions about our DayZ guides and news, feel free to ask us. Just visit us on our Discord server or on Facebook, we are looking forward to you!

The interest in digging deep into the gaming industry stems from the DayZ Mod for Arma 2 in 2012. Kevin started working in the gaming industry in 2016. First as a trainee at Survivethis, the biggest German Survival-Games-Site at that time. Only half a year later, he got accepted at Gamestar and later MeinMMO. Now, on he implements all his Knowledge to deliver comprehensive news, guides, interviews and more unique topics.
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