A survivor in DayZ.

In Chernarus, every player starts out as a survivor, a minimally equipped, unarmed and unprepared man or woman washed ashore on the coast of Chernarus. To get through a day, three steps must be taken; Scavenge, Slay, Survive.

Every survivor starts out with minimal gear, so it's essential to loot supplies and arms to survive against basic needs like hunger and thirst as well as hostile enemies.

Starting equipmentEdit

Starting equipment consists of:

  • 1 × Flashlight - equipped as a sidearm, default key binding L toggles flashlight on or off. Use as light source only when necessary, as it can attract attention of hostile survivors. It does not, however alert zombies.
  • 1 x Battery - This is attached to the Flashlight to be able to use the light.

Male survivors have three different skins (female survivors have one), all of which consist of a black (digital camo) baseball cap and tactical vest. Survivor skins are not saved with character data and can change on each server log in. Skins also differ for each player: For example if the player looks at themselves and see a black shirt, that does not mean that other players see them in a black shirt.


A survivor must stay hydrated, fed, warm, and healthy. Ignoring these basic needs will cause loss of blood or other ill effects, which will severely hurt survivability in the long run.


The survivor will need to stay hydrated. This need can be satisfied by drinking cans of soda or water from a refillable water bottle. Not fulfilling this need will cause you to lose blood over time.


Food can be found as either canned food in Residential areas and supermarkets, or harvested as meat from dead animals. Not fulfilling this need will cause you to lose blood over time. Eating food is also the only way to regain lost blood, other than by having another player treat you with blood bags.

In order to harvest and cook meat, the survivor needs a hunting knife, wood pile (harvested from woods with a hatchet or found inside barns), and a box of matches – raw meat can be harvested from various killable animals such as hogs or cows, which must be killed and butchered. The raw meat must then be prepared and cooked to animal meat by using a fireplace, which must be supplied with firewood and lit with matches. Having a lit fireplace creates both light and smoke, which can attract the attention of zombies and other survivors, especially during the night.

Medical suppliesEdit

Basic common supplies – bandages, painkillers and heatpacks – can be found on dead zombies, as well as in residential areas, supermarkets, and many other buildings. Better medical supplies – blood bags, morphine auto-injectors, epi-pens and antibiotics – can be found in medical facilities and military locations such as hospitals, medical or military tents, and military areas. They will also drop at heli crash sites, and the Epi-Pen and Morphine on military zombies. The rarest antibiotics can only be found in hospitals. Note that Blood Bags and Epi-Pens cannot be applied to oneself; they can only be applied to other players.

Tools and weaponsEdit

A survivor needs many tools to manage the day. A Box of Matches, hatchet, compass, map, binoculars, and a Hunting Knife will go a long way towards surviving in the countryside. These tools, when picked up, go straight into your tool belt inventory, and (excluding the Water Bottle), will not take up your regular inventory space. They can also be placed in your backpack.

Common weapons like sidearms and various kinds of other weapons popular in civilian use, like the Lee Enfield or Winchester 1866 rifles, can be gathered and used for self-defense. More advanced weapons suitable for combat operations can be found from military buildings, deer stands, or by hunting other players...


One of the first things every survivor usually spends time acquiring is a weapon. Weapons suitable for killing enemies include melee weapons like the hatchet, machete and crowbar), and any firearm or explosive weapon, ranging from common pistols to rare military-grade weapons and equipment.



This is a zombie - the only AI hostile in DayZ.

Zombies can be alerted from a range of movement, and sights. They are attracted in large numbers by loud gunshot sounds and can also be used as an indicator to survivors in the area if they are running at someone.

Dead zombies can be a good indication to whether there are any survivors in your area. Zombies can be dangerous in groups, where a single gunshot can attract a horde of zombies rushing your way. When indoors zombies slow down to their default walking speed making buildings a very important strategical location when being chased by a group of zombies.


Survivors are other players within the game. Should you choose to, you can kill players to gain more equipment, food, or water fundamental for your benefit. Regardless, player's should always be cautious when approaching and interacting with another survivor, as it is uncertain as to what their intentions are towards others.


Bandit skin

An example of a bandit in DayZ.

Survivors who kill other survivors are known as bandits. A bandit gains a bandit scarf (Shemagh) for killing other players or having low humanity. The term Bandit is used to refer to players who enjoy the thrill of the kill or the looting of players' corpses. Technically, any player who fights against other players can be considered a bandit. In newer versions when a player aims at a bandit from a certain range, the shooter hears a constant heartbeat sound. The quicker the heartbeat, the lower the player's humanity. However, just because the player does not hear a heartbeat when aiming at a player does not mean they have not committed any murders.

Sometimes the player will be branded as a bandit even though the opposing player shot first. This is because the humanity system only detects if the player was hit by their shots first. If the player was shot at, but not hit and then they kill the player that shot at them, they will lose humanity.


Hero skin PMC-4

An example of a hero in DayZ.

Heroes are survivors who have contributed to the other players by giving them blood transfusions, bandaged them, administered morphine and etc. These survivors are identifiable by their blue striped shirt. One can reach "Hero status" by gaining 5,000 humanity.

Just because someone has the Hero skin does not mean they are always friendly, however. Many bandits boost their humanity by giving their group members blood bags until they have the Hero skin to lure in those that think they will be friendly.

From zero Humanity, the player would need to give another survivor 20 blood bags or 250 painkillers, bandages, or 100 morphine injections (or any combination thereof) to achieve hero status.

Players who become heroes also gain the perk of being able to run considerably faster than survivors and bandits.


Grouped players (both survivors and bandits) often raid Chernogorsk (Cherno) and Elektrozavodsk (Elektro) - the two biggest cities along the south coast. Another big target for survivors is Stary Sobor, one of the biggest cities in the North. Heading to these cities unprepared can be risky, though they are often scavenged by freshly respawned players before heading north.

Looting high value military targets can be very dangerous. Enemy bandits will often take up positions to snipe anyone looking to loot. Extra precautions should be taken when around:

Watch out for survivors carrying scoped or military-grade weapons; these players are rarely out there to kill just zombies. Player-made fortifications such as sandbag walls, barbed wire, or tank trap obstacles can also identify a location frequently visited by other players. Barbed wire can be dangerous to players if they try to jump over it using the vault key (Default: V), but it will not stop zombies.

Most survivors head north after gathering immediate supplies or immediately upon respawning. Grouping in Chernarus can be difficult, so it is advisable to avoid any size of groups of survivors the player does not know.

Image galleryEdit

See alsoEdit