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|Note: This page was updated with Version 38.30 of Project Zomboid in mind. If the page turns out to be outdated please add an outdated Notice banner.|
Skills are the learned abilities of your character. The skill level shows how adept your character is at a specific skill. Skill levels can be increased by allocating Skill Points earned from gaining levels.
Skills are currently divided into the categories Agility, Blade, Blunt, Crafting, Firearm, and Survivalist.
In addition to these, there are two Passive skills, Fitness and Strength.
As the player hones the various skills that are in the game (carpentry, sprinting, etc), the player will gain skill points to use to improve on a skill (if there is a skill available for improvement). Each time a player gets a skill point, getting the next skill point requires 100 more XP.
The next time the Player opens his or her "skills" tab in the UI section, the Skill Point Allocation Panel will appear, allowing the player to distribute Skill Points to the category that has been trained only.
Gold Squares are already obtained Skills. Black Squares are skills that have yet to be trained. Partially white squares are skills that are being trained but have not been trained enough to get a skill level increase in. How much of the black square is white shows how close the player is to achieving the next skill level.
The sub-skills Carpentry, Cooking, Electrical, Farming, First Aid, Fishing, Foraging, Metalworking, Mechanics and Trapping have skill books that award an XP multiplier once read. The level of the book corresponds to the character's level in the respective skill; reading Master Carpentry with with level 0 Carpentry skill does not provide any benefits, as it is too complex for the character's understanding.
A leveling bonus applies depending on your starting/base level in the given skill. This bonus is active for the entire game, regardless of whether you invest further skill points into skills or not.
For example, if you start with +1 carpentry, you have a 0.75x speed (base speed is 0.25x), even if you then train to level 4 in carpentry, you will still only have the 0.75x speed, not the 1.25x that starting with level 4 carpentry provides.
And in detail, it is as follows
Level 0) +0.25x speed
Level 1) +0.75x speed
Level 2) +1x speed
Level 3+) +1.25x speed
List of Skills
|Sprinting||This affects how fast you can Run.
This can be leveled by Running (hold SHIFT). Note that if the player is too unfit/obese/overexerted/overburdened they may simply "power-walk" instead, but they can still gain sprinting xp by doing so.
|Lightfooted||This is your ability to Run or Walk quietly.
This can be leveled by Walking or Running near zombies while undetected.
|Nimble||The Nimble skill affects how fast you move while Sneaking, jumping over fences,
and how much visibility you lose when aiming. 
This can be leveled by sneaking and jumping over fences.
|Sneaking||Your general ability to avoid detection when Sneaking.
This can be leveled by Sneaking (holding CTRL or Z) near zombies while undetected.
|Accuracy||Influences hit chance, damage done, and critical chance of bladed weapons.
This is levelled
|Guard||Helps the player to avoid being scratched when a bladed weapon is equipped.
Increases when player hit zombies.
|Maintenance||Gives a chance for any blade weapon to not lose condition when used.
This is levelled by using blade weapons, with one caveat; no xp is gained if the weapon loses condition from that use. To train this, you'll need to use a blade weapon that doesn't break easily.
|Accuracy||Influences hit chance, damage done, and critical chance of blunt weapons.|
|Guard||Helps the player to avoid being scratched when a blunt weapon is equipped.
Increases when player hit zombies.
|Maintenance||Gives a chance for any blunt weapon to not lose condition when used.
This is levelled by using blunt weapons, with one caveat; no xp is gained if the weapon loses condition from that use. To train this, you'll need to use a blunt weapon that doesn't break easily.
|Carpentry||Raising the Carpentry skill allows you to repair items, perform new building options and improve the quality and increases the health of player-constructed carpentry.|
|Cooking||Raising the Cooking skill allows you to increase your crafted food's hunger reduction. In addition, raising your cooking skill to level 4 allows you to make soups and stews with rotten ingredients.|
|Farming||Raising the Farming skill allows you to check up on a plants status and the information available increases as the skill does.
The farming skill is leveled by harvesting crops.
|First Aid||Raising the First Aid skill allows you to treat wounds faster, make better bandages, understand more ailments and spot infections on your health panel and much more besides.
Higher the skill - faster time of healing.
The first aid skill is leveled by performing medical actions on yourself or others.
|Electrical||Raising the Electrical skill allows you to operate generators and create devices.
The Electrical skill is leveled by dismantling electronics (Radios, CD players, etc.) as well as by crafting makeshift ones.
|Metalworking||Raising the Metalworking skill allows you to build structures that are stronger than wood.
The Metalworking skill is leveled by building metal containers/structures/barricades.
|Mechanics||Raising the Mechanics skill allows you to repair and change part of cars. Combined with Electrical, it can help you start a car without a key.
The Mechanics skill is leveled by mount/unmount car parts.
|Aiming||Your aiming skill determines how accurately you can shoot, your chance to make a critical hit, range, angle, and recoil time.
This can be leveled up by killing an enemy with a firearm.
|Reloading||Your reloading skill determines how long it takes your character to take out a magazine, load some bullets, and insert the magazine back in.
This can be leveled up by reloading any firearm. Note that when reloading is set to normal/hardcore, reloading a handgun can be done repeatedly just for practice; it's not necessary to discharge the weapon.
|Fishing||Your fishing skill determines how long it takes you to fish, chance of breaking the line, letting the fish escape, losing bait or tackle,
and increases your chance to catch a larger fish.
This can be leveled up by casting your line into the water. No matter what the outcome of the cast you will gain some XP. Larger fish will bring in more XP.
|Trapping||Your trapping skill gives you a better chance of catching something in your trap and the ability to make new traps.
This can be leveled by retrieving the animals caught in your traps.
|Foraging||Your foraging skill gives you a better chance to find a higher quality food items and a higher quantity of them.
This can be leveled by going into the forest, right-clicking on an area and selecting Forage.
|Strength||Your Strength determines your carry weight, as well as certain other factors, such as opening locked windows and melee knockback.
This can be leveled up mainly by carrying a Heavy Load and running. Strength experience is also granted when hitting zombies or trees with melee attacks.
|Fitness||Your Fitness levels give you more running endurance, allowing you to run farther without tiring. It may also increase running speed.
Fitness can be leveled by sprinting(you currently gain 1 fitness xp per 1 sprinting xp), and using melee attacks while the player is not overexerted.
Note: Upon leveling Strength or Fitness, your character will gain or lose traits.
Note 2: It's currently possible to farm xp for both strength and fitness at the same time simply by using a barehanded push "attack" on a tree repeatedly. As long as the player is out of earshot of zombies, they can do this for hours at a time on fast-forward and gain thousands of xp for both passives in just a couple of in-game hours.