Skills

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Skills are abilities a player can advance in over time, with their proficiency at that skill quantified by its skill level. Each skill level can be increased by gaining a sufficient amount of experience points (also referred to as experience or XP) in that skill.

Skills are grouped into categories. There are currently six skill categories: passive, agility, combat, crafting, firearm, and survivalist. Each category contains multiple skills.

Status

The player's current skill levels are found by opening the health panel (click the heart symbol at the top-left of the screen) and selecting the skills tab, or by pressing L.

B41Skills.png

Advancement mechanics

Experience points and skill points

As the player performs tasks they gain experience points that count towards the skill used. Skills level up and become more effective when a character's experience points reach predefined levels, with successive levels requiring greater increases in experience. The experience points a character requires to gain another level are shown when hovering over a skill:

SkillsWindow ExperienceTooltip.png

The experience points required to level up skills in build 41.78.16 are:

Level 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Passive skill 1500 3000 6000 9000 18000 30000 60000 90000 120000 150000
Regular skill 75 150 300 750 1500 3000 4500 6000 7500 9000

The skills in the "passive" category (strength and fitness) are unique in that they require significantly more experience points to gain levels in than any other skill. For example, advancing to level 1 in strength requires 1,500 experience points, whereas advancing carpentry to level 1 would only require 75 experience points.

The figures shown here are not cumulative. For example, improving 'regular skills' such as carpentry from level 3 to 4 would require 750 experience points, but raising carpentry from level 0 to level 4 would require the cumulative experience of reaching level 1, then level 2, then level 3, and finally level 4, which would add up to a total of 1,275 experience points.

Skill books

Skill books can be used to increase the rate at which the player trains a given skill. These books can be found throughout the world on bookshelves or in other containers. Books are only available for skills in the "crafting" and "survivalist" categories. Additionally, books only apply to specific levels of skill advancement, with a book for every two levels of skill, totaling 5 volumes of books for each skill. For example, reading Carpentry Vol. 1 will only increase experience points gained until the player reaches level 2. Books can only be read if they apply to a character's current skill level; for example, Carpentry Vol. 2 can only be read once the player reaches level 2 carpentry.

Reading a book multiplies the rate at which the player gains experience points in the associated skill, and as a result significantly reduces the amount of time and effort required to level up skills. The experience multiplier increases in steps as the player reads the skill book, with the multiplier increasing for each 10% of the book that the player reads. For each 10% of the book finished, the multiplier will become equal to the appropriate percentage of the max multiplier for the book. If the resulting multiplier is below 1, it will be ignored; for example, 10% of a Vol. 1 book would result in a 0.3x multiplier, but the player will still receive 1x experience points.

The presence of a multiplier on a given skill is indicated by animated arrows in the skill tab. Hovering the cursor over a skill level reveals the current multiplier. Below, the player has a multiplier of 3x on their cooking skill.

SkillsWindow skillMultiplier.gif

Level 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Actual XP required 75 150 300 750 1500 3000 4500 6000 7500 9000
Total XP required 75 225 525 1275 2775 5775 10275 16275 23775 32775
Skill book multiplier 3 3 5 5 8 8 12 12 16 16
Effective XP required 25 50 60 150 187.5 375 375 500 468.75 562.5
Effective total XP required 25 75 135 285 472.5 847.5 1222.5 1722.5 2191.25 2753.75

Starting skill levels

The occupation and traits chosen during character creation determine a character's initial skill levels. The player's initial choices during character creation (and the skill levels they confer) are very important, and should be given careful consideration since skills a character begins with bonus levels in will receive a permanent 'XP boost' (a misnomer, as it overwrites the character's base rate of experience gain to the new value, rather than adding to or multiplying it). This bonus is dependent on the level a character begins with in that skill, and the experience point boost the character ends up with during character creation reflects permanently in the color of the skill's name in the skills menu. The image below shows each color a skill name can be, with yellow/gold, white, light gray, and dark gray reflecting boosts of 125%, 100%, 75%, and 25% (default), respectively.

SkillsWindow StartingSkillBoostColors.png

Note that since characters normally start with strength and fitness of 5, the character will by default begin with a 125% experience point bonus in these skills, unless the player's occupation and trait choices lower either of these skills' starting levels to less than 3.

The base experience multipliers ('XP boosts') gained with different starting levels are as follows:

Starting level 0 1 2 ≥3
'XP boost' 25% 75% 100% 125%
Relative experience gain 100% 300% 400% 500%

However, in-game data reveals actual experience gain corresponds to the following table:

Starting level 0 1 2 3
'XP boost' 25% 100% 133.33% 166.66%
Relative experience gain 100% 400% 533% 666%

Exceptions:

  • The sprinting skill has experience gains set to 100%, 125%, 133%, and 166%, respectively.
  • The aiming and reloading skills suffer an overall multiplier of 0.37037 upon a character reaching level 5 in the respective skill.

Passives

Name Effect
Strength Strength affects several of a character's physical abilities, including:
  • Some combat elements, such as the player's melee damage, push knockback, and knockdown chance.
  • The player's default maximum encumbrance.
  • The chance to successfully force locked windows open.
  • The chance to successfully climb tall fences.

Strength experience is gained by performing strength exercises, carrying more than 50% of the player's weight capacity, and running. Strength experience is also granted when hitting zombies with melee attacks, and cutting trees.

Strength 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Block chance +0% +2% +4% +6% +8% +10% +12% +14% +16% +18% +20%
Carry capacity* 6 7 8 9 11 12 14 15 16 18 20
Melee damage multiplier 75% 80% 85% 90% 95% 100% 105% 110% 115% 120% 125%
Push knockdown multiplier 75%** 80%** 85% 90% 95% 100% 105% 110% 115% 120%** 125%**
Actual push knockdown multiplier with Strong - - - - - - - - - 168% 175%
Actual push knockdown multiplier with Weak 45% 48% - - - - - - - - -
Chance to climb tall fences bonus multiplier 0% 2% 4% 6% 8% 10% 12% 14% 16% 18% 20%

* Note that carry capacity is also affected by various moodles, such as being hungry or injured.

** These values shouldn't be possible in the base game without bugs or debug/admin mode, as the respective traits for low or high strength levels should be automatically gained.

Fitness Fitness affects several of the player's physical abilities, including:
  • Some combat elements, including the player's attack speed, chance of automatically pushing a zombie away when attacked, and chance of tripping when a zombie that has just fallen over a window or fence lunges at the player's feet.
  • The rate of endurance loss and recovery.
  • The player's exercise speed.
  • Damage taken from long falls.

Fitness experience is gained by performing fitness exercises, hitting zombies with melee attacks while not overexerted, and can also be gained in random intervals while running or sprinting, with an equal chance of receiving either fitness or sprinting experience whenever experience is gained this way.

Fitness 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Block chance +0% +2% +4% +6% +8% +10% +12% +14% +16% +18% +20%
Fatigue gain multiplier 100% 95% 92% 89% 87% 85% 83% 81% 79% 77% 75%
Endurance loss multiplier* 90% 80% 75% 70% 65% 60% 57% 53% 49% 46%** 43%**
Actual Endurance loss multiplier with Athletic - - - - - - - - - 36.8% 34.4%
Endurance recovery multiplier 70% 80% 90% 100% 110% 120% 130% 140% 150% 155% 160%
Attack speed increase 0% 2% 4% 6% 8% 10% 12% 14% 16% 18% 20%
Trip reduction 0% 2% 4% 6% 8% 10% 12% 14% 16% 18% 20%
Chance to climb tall fences bonus multiplier 0% 2% 4% 6% 8% 10% 12% 14% 16% 18% 20%

* Note that actual endurance loss multipliers may not be exactly what is listed here, as endurance loss has multiple calculations and the multiplier provided by a character's fitness level does not affect exercises. The multiplier for endurance loss when using a weapon has its own calculation.

** These values shouldn't be possible in the base game without bugs or debug/admin mode, as the respective traits for low or high fitness levels should be automatically gained.

Note: As a character gains levels in strength and fitness, they will gain or lose certain traits.

Ex. A character with the feeble trait will lose it upon reaching level 5 in strength.
Ex 2. A character without any strength-related traits will gain the stout trait upon reaching level 6 in strength.
Players should note that the strength and fitness levels gained as a result of the stout, strong, fit, and athletic traits, as well as the strength and fitness levels lost as a result of the feeble, weak, out of shape, and unfit traits, only affect the character's respective skill levels when they are selected during character creation.
For example, if a character gains the strong trait as a result of reaching level 9 strength during gameplay, they will receive the trait's icon (Trait strong.png) in their traits list and the trait's boost to knockback power, but not the +4 to strength that the trait offered during character creation.
Strength/Fitness 0-1 2-4 5 6-8 9-10
Trait Weak/Unfit Feeble/Out of Shape None Stout/Fit Strong/Athletic

List of skills

Agility

Name Effect
Sprinting The sprinting skill affects how fast a character runs and sprints, including running while sneaking.

Experience is gained in random intervals while running (hold ⇧ Shift) and sprinting (press L. ALT). Note that if the player is too overexerted or overburdened they may simply "power-walk" instead, but they can still gain sprinting experience while doing so. Zombies do not need to be nearby for the player to gain sprinting experience.

The speed increase is added (not multiplied) to movement speed, so it may not stack intuitively with other effects.

Sprinting level 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Run/Sprint Speed increase 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45% 50%
Lightfooted The lightfooted skill affects how loud a character's footsteps are, and as a result, how far away zombies can hear those footsteps from. All movement types are affected, including walking, running, etc., and the noise reduction from the lightfooted skill stacks with the noise reduction from the nimble skill. The effects of lightfooted are particularly evident with sprinting; at level 0 in the lightfooted skill, a sprinting character's footsteps will alert zombies from several tiles away, even when behind those zombies. However, at level 10 in the lightfooted skill, a character will produce so little noise while sprinting that even sprinting within a few tiles behind a zombie may not alert it.

Experience is gained while sneaking near zombies without being detected.

Lightfooted level 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Footsteps sound radius multiplier 99% 90% 79% 71% 65% 59% 52% 45% 37% 30% 20%
Nimble The nimble skill affects how fast a character moves while in 'combat stance', and how loud their footsteps are. The footstep loudness reduction of the nimble skill affects all movement types, not just while in combat stance, and stacks with the loudness reduction from the lightfooted skill. Much like the lightfooted skill, the footstep noise reduction of the nimble skill is particularly noticeable when sprinting behind zombies.

Experience is gained in random intervals by walking in combat stance (Holding L. CTRL or RMB). Zombies do not need to be nearby for the player to gain nimble experience, but the player will not gain any experience points if they aren't moving anywhere. For example, continuously walking into a corner will not grant any nimble experience because the character's position isn't actually changing as they walk.

Nimble level 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Combat walk speed multiplier 100% 110% 114% 118% 122% 126% 130% 134% 138% 142% 150%
Footsteps sound radius multiplier 100% 90% 86% 82% 78% 74% 70% 66% 62% 58% 50%
Sneaking The sneaking skill affects how loud a character's footsteps are when sneaking, and how likely zombies are to spot them.

Experience is gained by sneaking (pressing C) near zombies while undetected.

Walking/running while sneaking has a default 20% sound radius multiplier, and a 40% detection chance multiplier. For example, at level 0 in the sneaking skill, the base 20% sneak sound radius multiplier will be multiplied by the level 0 sneaking skill multiplier of 120%, leading to an effective footstep sound radius of 24% while sneaking. (20% * 120% = 24%)

Sneaking level 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Sneaking skill level footstep sound radius multiplier 120% 90% 80% 75% 70% 65% 60% 55% 50% 45% 40%
Effective total sneaking footstep sound radius multiplier 24% 18% 16% 15% 14% 13% 12% 11% 10% 9% 8%
Detection chance multiplier while sneaking 114% 108% 96% 90% 84% 78% 72% 66% 60% 54% 48%

Combat

Name Effect
Axe The axe skill influences attack speed, damage done, critical chance, and the chance of the character automatically pushing zombies away when grabbed (front grabs) while using axes, such as hand axes and wood axes.

Experience is gained when the player hits zombies with axes. Hitting trees no longer grants axe experience.

Level 3 7 8+
Damage bonus 10% 20% 20%
Endurance cost reduction - - 10%
Attack range bonus - 20% 20%

The benefits of this skill only affect axes.

Long Blunt The long blunt skill influences attack speed, damage done, critical chance, and the chance of the character automatically pushing zombies away when grabbed (front grabs) while using long blunt weapons, such as baseball bats and crowbars.

Experience is gained when the player hits zombies with long blunt weapons.

Level 3 7 8+
Damage bonus 10% 20% 20%
Endurance cost reduction - - 10%
Attack range bonus - 20% 20%

The benefits of this skill only affect long blunt weapons.

Short Blunt The short blunt skill influences attack speed, damage done, critical chance, and the chance of the character automatically pushing zombies away when grabbed (front grabs) while using short blunt weapons, such as wrenches and nightsticks.

Experience is gained when the player hits zombies with short blunt weapons.

The benefits of this skill only affect short blunt weapons.

Long Blade The long blade skill influences attack speed, damage done, critical chance, and the chance of the character automatically pushing zombies away when grabbed (front grabs) while using long blades, such as katanas and machetes.

Experience is gained when the player hits zombies with long blades.

The benefits of this skill only affect long blades.

Short Blade The short blade skill influences attack speed, damage done, critical chance, and the chance of the character automatically pushing zombies away when grabbed (front grabs) while using short blades, such as kitchen knives and hunting knives. This skill also affects the chance of jaw stabs when using short blades that have a 'stabbing' attack type.

Experience is gained when the player hits zombies with short blades.

Level 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Chance to jaw stab multiplier 100% 103% 106% 109% 112% 115% 118% 121% 124% 127% 130%

The benefits of this skill only affect short blades.

Spear The spear skill influences attack speed, damage done, critical chance, and the chance of the character automatically pushing zombies away when grabbed (front grabs) while using spears.

Experience is gained when the player hits zombies with spears.

Unlike the short blade skill, the chance of a special animation when using spears does not seem to be affected by skill level.

Level 3 7 8+
Damage bonus 10% 20% 20%
Endurance cost reduction - - 10%
Attack range bonus - 20% 20%

The benefits of this skill only affect spears.

Maintenance The maintenance skill reduces the chance for a melee weapon to lose condition on each hit. For the firearms equivalent, see aiming.

Experience is gained when the player hits an enemy, tree, or door with a melee weapon, and the weapon used does not lose any condition from that hit. As a result, training this skill is more effective with a weapon that has a lower chance of losing condition on a hit.

The chance of a weapon losing condition on a hit is lowered by both the player's maintenance skill and their skill in that weapon's associated skill. The maintenance modifier m is added to the Condition Lower Chance of the weapon n for a 1 in n + m chance of lowering the weapon's condition by one on a hit. The modifier is calculated by adding the player's maintenance level to half of the weapon proficiency level rounded down, then dividing the sum of those two by 2 and rounding down, and finally multiplying that result by 2.

Maintenance
modifier
Weapon proficiency level
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Maintenance
level
0 0 0 0 0 2 2 2 2 4 4 4
1 0 0 2 2 2 2 4 4 4 4 6
2 2 2 2 2 4 4 4 4 6 6 6
3 2 2 4 4 4 4 6 6 6 6 8
4 4 4 4 4 6 6 6 6 8 8 8
5 4 4 6 6 6 6 8 8 8 8 10
6 6 6 6 6 8 8 8 8 10 10 10
7 6 6 8 8 8 8 10 10 10 10 12
8 8 8 8 8 10 10 10 10 12 12 12
9 8 8 10 10 10 10 12 12 12 12 14
10 10 10 10 10 12 12 12 12 14 14 14

The effects of weapon skill levels are additive with changes coming from other sources such as moodles, strength, and fitness.

The critical chance from skills is added on top of the base critical chance of the weapon. The critical chance of any attack has a minimum of 10% and a maximum of 90%.

Whenever a zombie performs an attack, the player has a chance to block it. If an attack is blocked the damage is simply negated. When a zombie's attack successfully hits the player, the attack is checked against the player's resistances through a separate calculation which uses the player's injury chance.

All weapon skills other than the axe skill are reduced by one when used in the following calculations, such that level 1 is equivalent to level 0 and level 10's stat boosts are unachievable. When using this table with weapon skills other than the axe skill, subtract 1 from the player's weapon skill level on the table.

Proficiency level 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Damage 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% 110% 120% 130%
Crit chance 0% 3% 6% 9% 12% 15% 18% 21% 24% 27% 30%
Attack speed 0% 3% 6% 9% 12% 15% 18% 21% 24% 27% 30%
Block chance 0% 3% 6% 9% 12% 15% 18% 21% 24% 27% 30%
Injury chance -5% -2% 0% 1% 2% 3% 4% 5% 5% 6% 7%

Crafting

Name Effect
Carpentry The carpentry skill allows the player to construct wooden structures and furniture, and also affects the chance of repairing items and the durability restored by doing so, the health and construction speed of wooden barricades, the amount of noise made while building, and the health and quality of constructed buildings and structures.

Carpentry experience is gained by barricading, crafting anything that uses planks, dismantling wooden furniture, or by sawing logs into planks.

Cooking The cooking skill allows the player to create more nutritious and filling food, and also affects the player's ability to detect poison. In addition, raising the cooking skill to level 7 allows the player to safely use rotten ingredients in certain food types, such as in soups and stews.

Cooking experience is gained by cooking food in a heat source or by making food.

Farming The farming skill affects the player's ability to check the status and health of crops. The information available to the player when checking their crops increases with each level.

Farming experience is gained by harvesting crops. The more health a crop has when harvested, the more experience is gained.

First Aid The first aid skill affects the player's ability to evaluate the severity of injuries, as well as the speed at which the player performs medical actions. It also affects the effectiveness of the poultices and splints that the player applies, as well as the lifespan of any bandages they apply.

First aid experience is gained by performing medical actions on either the player themselves or on other players.

Level 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Bandage life multiplier 100% 115% 130% 145% 160% 175% 190% 205% 220% 235% 250%
Fracture healing speed multiplier 50% 100% 150% 200% 250% 300% 350% 400% 450% 500% 550%
Fracture combat/run speed modifier 0.25 0.30 0.35 0.40 0.45 0.50 0.55 0.60 0.65 0.70 0.75
Electrical The electrical skill allows the player to perform a wide range of electrical-related actions as their skill level in electrical increases. Some examples include the ability to hot-wire vehicles at level 1 electrical (though level 2 in mechanics is required as well), convert lamps to run on batteries at level 5 electrical, and crafting various devices using the materials the player receives through disassembling electrical items they find. Higher electrical levels also improve the efficiency or success chance of the player's electrical-related actions, including the effectiveness of generator repairs and the success rate of hot-wiring attempts, as well reducing the likelihood of triggering car alarms when hot-wiring.

Electrical experience is gained by repairing generators, dismantling electronics (digital watches, radios, televisions, etc.), and crafting makeshift electronics.

Metalworking The metalworking skill allows the player to craft metal structures and items, as well as repair some metal objects such as vehicle parts. Crafted metal structures are generally stronger than their wooden equivalent, and the player's metalworking skill level when crafting those structures will increase the durability of those structures.

Metalworking experience is gained by building or dismantling metal objects, including some types of wrecked vehicles.

Mechanics The mechanics skill affects the player's ability to work on vehicles, including the success rate of installing or removing components and how effective repairs are. The player also gains the ability to hot-wire vehicles at mechanics level 2, provided they also have at least level 1 in electrical.

Mechanics experience is gained by repairing vehicles, as well as installing or removing components from them.

Tailoring The tailoring skill allows the player to apply fabric patches to clothes, increasing the defense of those clothes. The player applies patches using fabric they receive from ripping up clothes, with different types of clothes providing different fabric when ripped up. The amount of defense that a patch provides is determined by the player's skill level in tailoring, as well as the type of fabric they use to create the patch. At tailoring level 8, the player gains the ability to completely repair holes in clothes, restoring the clothes' original defense and appearance.

Tailoring experience is gained by repairing and patching clothes, as well as removing patches from clothes or whenever the player receives thread from ripping up clothes they find.

Firearm

Name Effect
Aiming The aiming skill determines five key stats for firearms: accuracy, precision, range, firing angle, and aiming time. Aiming experience is gained whenever the player successfully lands a shot on an enemy with a firearm.
  • Accuracy: The basic chance for shots to hit a target. Every firearm has a base accuracy value, which increases by a fixed amount for each aiming level.
  • Precision: The chance for shots fired to critically hit. On a critical hit, players deal massively increased damage, usually at least 2x or more. Being similar to accuracy, this is a fixed percentage that increases each aiming level.
  • Range: The maximum distance away that a firearm is able to hit a target from. Each level of aiming slightly increases the player's maximum effective range for most firearms, except shotguns.
  • Firing angle: How wide the "cone" in which the player can hit zombies with a firearm is; the narrower this is, the more precisely a particular target must be aimed at.
  • Aiming time: The amount of time that it takes for the player's aim to recover after movement. Higher aiming levels also reduce the effect of movement on accuracy.

The bonuses granted by the aiming skill vary by firearm. For example, the range of the MSR788 rifle benefits more greatly from higher aiming levels than the M9 pistol does.

The aiming skill also reduces the chance firearms will lose condition when fired, which is a fixed amount that increases for each aiming level.

Note that at level 5 aiming and above, experience gains are reduced to ≈37%.

Reloading The reloading skill determines how long it takes the player to perform the following reloading-related tasks:

Reloading experience is gained by inserting rounds into a magazine, inserting a magazine into a firearms, or inserting rounds directly into any firearm. This means players can slowly but safely practice this skill by unloading and reloading magazines or firearms.

Note that at level 5 reloading and above, experience gains are reduced to ≈37%.

Survivalist

Name Effect
Fishing The fishing skill affects how long it takes the player to catch a fish, the chance of breaking the fishing line, the chance of the fish escaping, the chance of losing bait or tackle, and finally the size of the fish caught.

Fishing experience is gained by casting a fishing line into the water or using a spear to fish. The player will gain fishing experience regardless of the outcome of the catch. Larger fish will provide more experience per catch.

Trapping The trapping skill affects the player's chances of successfully catching animals in a trap, and also determines what traps they are able to craft.

Trapping experience is gained by retrieving the animals that get caught in the player's traps.

Foraging The foraging skill affects search mode; higher levels increase search mode's radius, item detection speed, chances of finding items, as well as what items can be found while foraging.

Foraging experience is gained whenever the player finds items in search mode, and additional experience is gained by choosing to either collect or reject the found items. Both collecting and rejecting items reward the same additional experience.

Gallery

See also