State of Decay 2 Tips – Full Controls Guide, How to Save, How to Promote and Change Leaders


State of Decay 2 is out right now for PC and Xbox One, challenging you to pull survivors of the zombie apocalypse together and build your own base. In this State of Decay 2 tips guide, we’ll be walking you through the full State of Decay 2 beginner’s guide, introcuding you to the combat and searching mechanics of the game.

State of Decay 2 Guide

You can check out our complete in depth list of guides on State of Decay 2 just below. These guides can get you up to speed on areas of the game like your home base camp, weapons, vehicles, multiplayer and how to play online, as well as how to cure the deadly Blood Plague.




State of Decay 2 Beginner’s Guide – Which Characters to Choose

At the very start of State of Decay 2, you’ll be asked to select a duo of two characters from a list, each of which have a breakdown of character stats underneath. These include aspects like ‘shooting’, ‘cardio’, ‘fighting’, and other essential skills for survival in the middle of the zombie apocalypse.




Based on our experience with State of Decay 2 so far, we’d actually recommend largely ignoring these statistics for now, and focusing on choosing the pair you simply like the sound of. It’s actually pretty easy to level up your character skills in State of Decay 2, and aspects like shooting aren’t really going to count for much in the early hours.

Unfortunately this is the closest that State of Decay 2 gets to a character creator, although for those that didn’t play the first game, you can switch between characters whenever you want. Since the characters you can meet and recruit in State of Decay 2 are randomly generated, it’s only by chance that you’ll find a character that you like the design of.




Once you’ve chosen your favorite pair of characters, you’ll set out into the world of State of Decay 2. Check out the buttons list to familiarise yourself with just below:

State of Decay 2 Controls – Keyboard + Mouse/Xbox Controller

  • Forward – W/left analog stick
  • Right – D/left analog stick
  • Left – A/left analog stick
  • Backwards – S/left analog stick
  • Look around – Mouse/right analog stick
  • Melee attack – Left mouse click/X
  • Aim – Left mouse click/left trigger
  • Fire – Left trigger/click + right trigger/click
  • Throw item – Left trigger/click + right trigger/click
  • Dodge – C/B
  • Open/close door – E/Y
  • Search – E/Y
  • Enter/exit vehicle – E/Y
  • Talk – E/Y
  • Access inventory – Down on D-pad



Keep in mind that you can remap the PC controls of State of Decay 2 to suit your needs through the options menu. If, for example, you find that the inventory button is too far away when you’re in the middle of a zombie encounter, you can always adjust the controls to better suit your play style.

State of Decay 2 Tips and Tricks

The first thing to know about State of Decay 2 is that it’s primarily a game about management. You’ll always have to have one eye on your health and stamina bars (the red and blue meters under the mini map, respectively), and another eye on the amount of space left in your inventory.

State of Decay 2 is also a game about how quiet and quick you can be, while navigating the hordes of ravenous zombies. It’s far easier to sneak around at night when your surroundings get a whole lot darker, but if you’re out and sneaking about during the day, staying out of the line of sight of zombies is paramount, and far more important than being quiet.

At the conclusion of the tutorial section in the abandoned military camp, you’ll be presented with three location options:

  • The Foothills.
  • The Town on the Plateau.
  • The Town in the Valley.



These are the three unique maps you can travel to and from in State of Decay 2. Don’t worry about which option you select for now, as the game will give you the option to pack up your base camp and move to another map later in the game. For a complete walkthrough of how to do just that, head over to our State of Decay 2 maps guide.

Next, once you’ve arrived at your destination, you’ll be prompted to scout around for a base camp.

  • Head to the marker on the map, and wipe out every last zombie within the perimeter.
  • Loot all the chests and other items within the building to claim it as your own.
  • Establish this building as your base camp, and you’ll be shown the community tracker on your screen.
  • Use the community tracker at all times to see what pressing issues your population is dealing with.
  • Remember to always venture out into the map to stock up on resources whenever you have a moment to spare.
  • If any resources reach zero, the morale of your base will fall.



This is why State of Decay 2 is effectively a zombie survival management game. You need to always have an eye on your character and your community (as well as the zombies swarming around you). Managing both your character and your community effectively is key to surviving the zombies apocalypse, and the players that can keep an eye on the community generally stand a better chance of keeping everyone alive.

Just below, you can find our complete list of State of Decay 2 tips and tricks. These are aimed at getting you out of even the toughest situations, as well as properly delving into detail on some things that the game doesn’t properly explain.

  • Make sure to keep track of what your community actually wants. If you build the new structures that they want, your morale will increase.
  • If your morale hits low, check out the Base tab from the main menu and see what you can do to improve the situation.
  • Make sure to keep an eye on the threat level for your base camp, and remember that more power for a base equals more chance of an attack.
  • Remember that you can always store excess materials and supplies in the trunk of your car.
  • You’ll earn more resources if you can drop off a complete backpack of materials to your base camp, instead of breaking it down in your inventory and then delivering the materials.
  • If you miss survivor’s mission, you might get another shot at it later in the game.
  • Enclaves will sometimes request supplies from your base camp, and it’s entirely up to you whether you deliver them or not.
  • You might lose supplies through helping the Enclave, but you’ll increase your standing and friendship with them.
  • You can withdraw backpacks of supplies from the storage in your base, and this is how you deliver materials to Enclaves that request them.
  • Reserve your ammo when you’re out in the field. It might seem like a quick solution, but the sound will actually draw more zombies towards you.
  • If you’re in a car and you want to lure zombies out, simply press C or the left stick to sound your car horn.
  • This is an excellent tactic for clearing out an infestation, as you can lure out all the zombies and run them over.

How to Save in State of Decay 2

Unfortunately, there’s no manual save function in State of Decay 2. The game unfortunately auto saves at various moments, such as when you switch between characters, when you complete a mission, or when you embark on a new mission.




You’ll have to be on the lookout for the eagle symbol on the box art of State of Decay 2, since this signifies when the game is auto saving. Only after the game has done this are you clear to exit via the main menu, or else you’ll lose out on however much progress you made since the last auto save.

State of Decay 2 How to Promote a Leader

Every time you play as a character in State of Decay 2, you’re going to increase their standing within your established community. If you tab over to the ‘Community’ screen while using the Communications Radio in the base, you’ll be presented with the complete list of characters, and you can see their popularity levels within the community, as marked by a yellow bar.




Once this bar is increased to the maximum level through you playing as a character, you’ll have the opportunity to promote the character to the Leader of the community. Simply place your marker in the middle, vacant slot on the Community tab, and press E/A. Then scroll over to the community member that you wish to promote to leader, and select them. You’ve now got a clear character in control of your Community, and your base will be better off for it.

State of Decay 2 How to Change Leader

Unfortunately, there’s actually no option to demote a character from the position of Leader in State of Decay 2. Instead, you’ll have to exile the character out of the base and the Community itself if you want to remove them from the leadership role. This obviously isn’t ideal, and makes the removal of a leader character seem a bit like a coup on the part of the other members.




State of Decay 2 DLC

State of Decay 2 might have only just fully launched worldwide, but there’s already rumblings of two DLC packs for the game. The first DLC pack is slated to be titled ‘Daybreak’, while the second one is currently going by the name of ‘Independence’.

While we don’t yet know of concrete release dates for either DLC pack for State of Decay 2, we do know that Daybreak will release first. According to Microsoft, it’ll bring a « new mode » to the game, on top of a new horde-like gauntlet, hopefully adding something fresh and new for players to experience.

This might bring a close to our State of Decay 2 beginner’s guide, but keep in mind that we’ll be adding to this guide, as well as our additional in depth guides pages on the game, whenever we uncover anything new and interesting.

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