The inventory and inventory management form a crucial part of the game. The invenory can be used to eqiup, craft, wear and eat items that have been collected throughout the game world.
The inventory displays the items the player has collected. Clicking on a container found throughout the game world will also display the container's inventory. In previous versions, double clicking on an item in the container's inventory would automatically add that item to the player inventory. This action removed the need to drag and drop items directly into the player inventory panel or on to the inventory icon. In recent versions, a single click will perform the same action - whether removing items from the player inventory and adding those items to the displayed container inventory, or vice versa.
Once in the inventory an item will encumber the player according to the value associated with that item; the value is based of the item's weight and how awkward it is to carry. The maximum encumberment limit is second number on top right of the player's inventory; without any relevant traits the value is 8. In the example pictured, Benjamin Green has 2/12; therefore 12 is his encumberment limit. The encumberment limit can be increased via the strength skill. Also, equiping items and moving them to your bags will reduce their encumberment; the bags themselves have encumberment limits that can't be exceeded. Actions taken in the inventory often require some time in the gameworld: progress is represented with a green bar above the player's head.
The player can choose items to equip from the inventory in either their primary or secondary slot, or both in some cases such as the axe or baseball bat. Equipment can include guns, bats, slicing and stabbing weapons, tissues (to muffle sneezes during a cold) bags, hammers, trowels and gardening spray cans. While the weapons all offer an attack funtionality, some of these also offer secondary uses when equiped. The fire axe allows you to chop down trees, the sledgehammer allows you to knock down doors and player constructed walls, the hammer allows you to perform carpentry actions and the trowel allows you to farm.
The inventory also provides the ability to craft, currently (v.2.9) via a right click contextual interface, where if you have the correct items to craft something, you will be offered the choice to craft it. This is most useful for bandages and food recipies, although other crafting recipies can improve weapons, such as hammer + nails + Baseball bat = Spiked baseball bat
On dead zombies, in bedroom dressers or various other containers you will find clothing, and once in your inventory, you will be able to "wear" that clothing. Clothing keeps you warm in the cold or overheats you in the heat, but otherwise does not appear to offer any protection from scratches or bites, nor do colours have any effect on gameplay.
Food can be crafted and eaten from the inventory via the right click context menu. Crafting food into "better" recipies often provides higher bonuses to hunger and or happiness and boredom. It can also ration food, such as using the saw + watermelon = Watermelon Slice x10
All bags must be held, either in the primary or secondary slot, or alternatively on the back in the case of the Big Hiking Bag, Duffelbag, Hiking Bag and School Bag. The general strategy involved in inventory management is to stay as light as possible and carry 1-2 bags that offer a good weight reduction and have a high storage limit, such as the duffelbag. The results of the day's scavenge are then returned to the safe house and stored, either in the fridge or other suitable container for future use.