|PZwiki Update Project — Project Zomboid has received its largest update ever. We need your help to get the wiki updated to build 41!|
Want to get started? See the community portal or join the discussion on the official Discord (pzwiki_editing). We appreciate any level of contribution.
|Language:||English • español • 日本語 • русский • 中文|
Skills are abilities a character has learned, with their proficiency at that skill quantified by its skill level. The skill level can be increased by gaining a sufficient amount of experience points (XP).
Skills are grouped into categories. There are currently five main skill categories: agility, combat, crafting, firearm, and survivalist. Each of these contains multiple skills. There is also a passive category, containing the fitness and strength skills.
The player's current skill levels are found by opening the 'player status' window (click the heart symbol at the top-left of the screen) and selecting the 'skills' tab, or by pressing L.
Experience Points and Skill Points
As the player performs tasks they gain experience points (XP) that count towards the skill used. Skills level up and become more effective when the player's XP reaches predefined levels, with successive levels requiring greater increases in XP. The player's XP required to gain another level are shown when hovering over a skill:
The XP required to level up skills in build 41.50 is:
The figures shown here are not cumulative. For example, improving 'regular skills' such as carpentry from level 3 to 4 would require 750XP.
Skill books can be used to increase the rate at which the player trains a given skill. These 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, totalling 5 volumes of books for each skill. For example "Carpentry for Beginners" will only provide a benefit to a player with level 0-1 carpentry. Books can only be read if they apply to the player's current skill level.
Reading a book multiplies the rate at which the player trains the associated skill. The multiplier increases in proportion to the player's progress through the book and reaches a maximum when the book is fully read. 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 the cooking skill. Since training skills generate XP, reading books is an effective way to quickly improve the player's abilities.
Multiplier increases each 10% of the book read. With every 10% of the book finished your multiplier will become equal to appropriate percentage of the max multiplier for the book. Because of this it's harmful to read any level 1 book less then 40% before getting XP, as well as any level 2 or 3 books less then 20%. For example reading level 1 book 15% would apply 10% of the max multiplier of x3 resulting in skill multiplier of x0.3 which is much worse then default x1. It's especially important with initial "life and living" farming. If you don't have enough time to read at least half of the level 1 book it's better to avoid reading it at all.
|Actual XP required||75||150||300||750||1500||3000||4500||6000||7500||9000|
|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|
Starting Skill Levels
The choices made at character creation determine a character's initial skill levels. The player's initial choice of skills are very important and should be given careful consideration since skills they begin with receive an 'XP boost' (a misnomer, as it overwrites your base rate of experience gain to the new value, not add or multiply). This bonus is dependent on the level the player begins with on that skill and may change if certain traits are added or removed over the course of a character's career (either through mods or the debug menu.) Starting skills' names are highlighted yellow in the skill tab, and hovering over the skill level will display the XP boost received. Here, the player has 'XP boost's for both the 'fitness' and 'strength' skills:
Note that since characters normally start with 'strength' and 'fitness' of 5, unlike other skills the character will by default have the full experience multiplier, unless they start out with negative traits which —after including profession and positive traits— overall subtract one or both of the skills by 3 or more points.
The base experience multiplier ('XP boost') gained with different starting levels are as follows:
|Relative experience gain||100%||400%||500%||600%|
However, in-game data reveals actual experience gain corresponding to the following table:
|Relative experience gain||100%||400%||533%||666%|
- 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.
List of Skills
|Sprinting||This affects how fast the player runs and sprints.
This can be leveled by Running (hold SHIFT) and Sprinting (press Left ALT). 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 skill affects how far the sound of a player's footsteps can be heard by zombies.
This skill can be leveled by sneaking near zombies without being detected.
This skill affects all movement types.
|Nimble||The Nimble skill affects how fast you move while in the Combat Stance.
Experience is gained by walking in Combat stance (Holding Left-Ctrl or Right-Click).
|Sneaking||Sneaking affects how loud a player's footsteps are when sneaking.
This can be levelled by Sneaking (pressing C) near zombies while undetected.
This skill only affects sneak walking and running. Sneak walking/running has a default 20% sound radius multiplier.
(Example) With 0 Sneaking, you multiply 20% with 120%, which is 24%. Your sound radius when sneaking is only 24%.
|Axe||Influences attack speed, damage done, critical chance and the chance of the character automatically pushing zombies away when grabbed (front grabs) while using the Axe weapon type.
Increases when the player hits zombies or trees with axes. Affects Axe weapons only.
|Long Blunt||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 the Baseball Bat and Crowbar.
Increases when the player hits zombies with Long Blunt weapons. Affects Long Blunt weapons only.
|Short Blunt||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 the Wrench or the Nightstick
Increases when the player hits zombies with Short Blunt weapons. Affects Short Blunt weapons only.
|Long Blade||Influences attack speed, damage done, critical chance and the chance of the character automatically pushing zombies away when grabbed (front grabs) while using Long Blade weapons, such as the Katana.
Increases when the player hits zombies with Long Bladed weapons. Affects Long Blade weapons only.
|Short Blade||Influences attack speed, damage done, critical chance and the chance of the character automatically pushing zombies away when grabbed (front grabs) while using Short Blade weapons, such as the several different types of knives. Increases the chance of jaw stabs when using knives.
Increases when the player hits zombies with Short Blade weapons. Affects Short Blade weapons only.
|Spear||Influences attack speed, damage done, critical chance and the chance of the character automatically pushing zombies away when grabbed (front grabs) while using Spear weapon type.
Increases when the player hits zombies with Spears. Affects Spear weapons only.
|Maintenance||Increases the chance for any melee weapon to not lose condition when used. Does not apply to Firearms; Aiming handles that.
This gains XP by using weapons, with one caveat; no XP is gained if the weapon loses condition from that use. To train this, players will need to use a weapon that doesn't break easily.
The effects of weapon proficiencies are additive with changes coming from other sources such as moodles, Strength or Fitness.
The critical chance from skills is added on top of the base critical chance of the weapon. The critical chance of attacks is capped between 10% and 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 an attack goes through it checks the player's resistances, which is a separate calculation using the player's injury chance.
Weapon skills except for Axe 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 reading the following tables with weapon skills other than Axe, subtract 1 from the player's Weapon Proficiency Level on the table.
Maintenance and weapon proficiency reduce the chance of a weapon losing condition when hitting an enemy. 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 Maintenance level with half of the weapon proficiency level rounded down, dividing the result by 2 rounded down, and multiplying by 2.
|Maintenance Modifier||Weapon Proficiency Level|
|Carpentry||Raising the Carpentry skill gives a higher chance of repairing items and restores more durability, unlocks more building options, increases plank barricades' health, increases barricading speed, reduces sound made by building actions, and allows the construction of higher-quality buildings with more health.
The carpentry skill is levelled by barricading, crafting anything that uses planks, dismantling furniture and shelving, or by sawing logs into planks.
|Cooking||Raising the Cooking skill allows the player to detect poison better, and make more filling and nutritious crafted food. In addition, raising the cooking skill to level 7 allows players to safely use rotten ingredients in certain food types, such as in soups and stews.
The cooking skill is levelled by cooking food in a heat source or by crafting food recipes.
|Farming||Raising the Farming skill allows players to check up on a crop plant's status. The detail of the information available increases with each level.
The farming skill is levelled by harvesting crops. The more health a crop has when harvested, the more XP is gained.
|First Aid||Raising the First Aid gives many benefits in treating wounds:
Fractures/Stitched deep wounds will heal faster, have less impact on movement/combat speed, and cause less pain.
All medical actions will be performed faster.
Bandages and Poultices last longer. It also allows the player to more accurately evaluate the severity of wounds and infections.
At level 3, players can see the severity of wounds.
The first aid skill is levelled by performing medical actions on the player themselves or other players.
|Electrical||Raising the Electrical skill allows players to operate generators and create devices.
The Electrical skill is leveled by repairing generators, dismantling electronics (Radios, CD players, etc.), and crafting makeshift electronics.
|Metalworking||Raising the Metalworking skill allows players to build metal structures (which are stronger than wood), makes welding quieter, and makes metal barricades more durable. Metalworking can also be helpful to repair certain parts of vehicles.
The Metalworking skill is levelled by building or dismantling metal constructions and barricades.
|Mechanics||Raising the Mechanics skill allows players to repair and install car parts. Combined with Electrical, it can help players start a car without a key by hotwiring it without needing the Burglar profession.
The Mechanics skill is levelled by repairing cars, or by installing and removing car parts.
|Tailoring||Raising the Tailoring skill allows players to patch and fortify clothing, as well as fully repair clothing to its original protective/insulation values and appearance at higher skill levels. The amount of defense repaired or increased depends on the skill level. At high levels, players can patch holes in clothing back to their original undamaged state.
The tailoring skill is levelled by repairing and fortifying any clothing piece that can be inspected and repaired.
|Aiming||The Aiming skill determines five key weapon stats— accuracy, precision, range, firing angle, and aiming time. It can be leveled up by successfully hitting enemies with a shot with a firearm.
The bonuses granted by Aiming vary by the weapon. For example, the M9 Pistol gains less Range from high Aiming than the MSR788 Rifle, for example.
Finally, the Aiming skill also reduces the chance firearms will lose Condition when fired, which is a fixed amount that increases per level.
In respect to experience gain, note that at Aiming level 5+, xp is reduced to ~37%.
|Reloading||The reloading skill determines how long it takes the player to perform the following reloading-related tasks—
Reloading can be leveled up by inserting bullets into a magazine, reloading any firearm with a new magazine, or inserting bullets directly into any firearm. This means players can slowly but safely practice this skill by unloading and reloading magazines with bullets, or simply reloading a weapon repeatedly.
In respect to experience gain, as above, Reloading level 5+ is reduced to 37%.
|Fishing||The fishing skill determines how long it takes players to catch a fish, the chance of breaking the line, the chance of the fish escaping, the chance of losing bait or tackle, and finally the size of the fish caught.
This can be levelled up by casting your line into the water or using a spear to fish. No matter what the outcome of the cast you will gain some XP. Larger fish will bring in more XP.
|Trapping||The trapping skill gives players a better chance of catching something in a trap and also gives the players the ability to make new traps.
This can be leveled by retrieving the animals caught in traps.
|Foraging||The foraging skill increases the effectiveness of Search (Forage) mode by increasing its radius, item detection speed, as well as the chance to find items. More items are unlocked as a player's foraging skill increases.
This can be leveled by going into search mode to find and pick up items.
|Strength||A player's Strength determines his/her carry weight, as well as certain other factors, such as the chance to open locked windows, the player's melee damage, push knockback, and knockdown chance, and the chance to successfully climb a tall fence.
Strength can be levelled up mainly by doing 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.
*Note that carry capacity is affected by various Moodles such as Hungry and Injured.
|Fitness||Fitness increases a multitude of player abilities. It reduces Endurance loss, increases Endurance recovery, increases attack speed, reduces damage from long falls, increases the chance to push a zombie off when attacked, increases exercise speed, and reduces trip chance when a zombie lunges after falling over a window or fence.
Fitness can be leveled by sprinting (50/50 chance to gain XP in Fitness or Sprinting every XP update while running), doing Fitness Exercises and performing melee attacks when the player is not overexerted.
*Note that endurance loss multiplier is not exact, as endurance loss has multiple calculations and it does not affect Exercises. Weapon endurance loss multiplier has its own calculation.
Note: Upon leveling Strength or Fitness, a player's character will gain or lose traits.
- Ex. A character with Feeble will lose it upon leveling strength to 5.
- Ex 2. A character with no strength modifying traits will gain Stout upon leveling strength to 6.
- Players should note that these positive traits gained through Occupations or Hobbies during character creation and Exercise after character creation are purely cosmetic and do not have any effect on gameplay.
- For example, if a player's Strength is raised to 6 during gameplay, they will receive the Stout icon on the character screen but they will not benefit from the additional +2 Strength they would have received by choosing the trait during character creation.
- Ex. A character with Feeble will lose it upon leveling strength to 5.
Strength/Fitness 0-1 2-4 5 6-8 9-10 Trait Weak/Unfit Feeble/Out of Shape None Stout/Fit Strong/Athletic