How to hotwire a car in Project Zomboid

Project Zomboid

Project Zomboid has changed a lot over the years. Skills got more complex, loot got more varied and things are just as deadly. And now, cars have even been added. These lumbering hulks of metal can smash their way through small groups of zeds, but they need fuel and parts to run.  You can even build your own from parts. But sometimes, you just don’t want to deal with all of that. That’s why you can actually to hotwire a car in Project Zomboid. Here’s what you need to know. But first, some prep work.

Cars make a lot of noise, and are also kind of hard to find. It’s also a good idea to get a stockpile of fuel ahead of time. You can siphon gas from parked cars, which makes it easier to fill up in a hurry. It would really suck to get stuck with no gas in the middle of a horde. Make sure to bring a Hammer and Screwdriver for this to work. Now, onto the nitty-gritty.

How to Hotwire a car in Project Zomboid

The best way to prep for grabbing a car is to pick one away from the city center. Being surrounded by the undead while trying to hotwire a car in Project Zomboid is sure way to get killed. So scout around and gather gas and tools first. When you’re ready, you need to know what to do. Get your tools ready and blitz your way to the car you want.

Go over to the car window NOT on the driver’s side and right-click to bring up the interaction menu. You can break the window open, which is a risk. Not only can zombies get at you through the broken window, but you also risk cutting yourself. Tat’s where the hammer comes in.

Once you have broken into the car, you can then get it started. It’s imperative that you be quick, as you’re sure to attract zombies at some point. Cars make a lot of noise. When you get inside, press the V key to bring up the vehicle menu. You would normally need a key to start it, but there is a way around this problem.

How to Hotwire Vehicles – Project Zomboid

When you bring the window up, it’s time to get started. Before you hotwire cars, you need to do some prep work. For one thing, you need certain skills at the right level. You need both Electrical 1 and Mechanics 2 to do this. So get out there and level up those skills first before attempting this. Once you’re ready, break your way in and open up the radial menu to get in.

For the electrical skill, you will want to break down cd players, radios, and anything that has the electrical talent as a requirement. Mechanics is leveled in a similar way, by building and rebuilding radios found inside houses and garages. Skill books can also help here. Once you have the skills set, you will see the Hotwire option in the radial menu. You must have a screwdriver in your inventory to do this.

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So to recap, here’s how to hotwire a car in Project Zomboid:

  1. Inspect a car and find a working one in good shape.
  2. Break your way in with a hammer.
  3. Hold the V key when in the drivers seat, select Hotwire.

What else can be done?

Once in the driver’s seat, you can open up the trunk by pressing the button on the right of the dash UI. This will unlock the trunk of the car and allow it to be looted. This is great to do for cop cars and other emergency vehicles which can contain rare loot like ammo, guns and medicine. So even if you can’t drive the car away, you can at least get something out of it.

You might not find many working cars though, so it’s a good idea to try and steal parts and gas. The process of building a working car from parts might take a lot longer. but it’s actually much safer. You can level up your skills and make the car in great shape, and not have to risk it breaking down trying to drive it back to base. Just go out and gather the parts, bringing those back instead.

There, that’s all you need to know about how to hotwire a car in Project Zomboid.

There are plenty of other things to learn about the game as well. Before you go out on that supply run, make sure you’re well prepared for what’s to come. Basic tasks like boiling water are key to survival. You must know how to build defenses too. Cleaning up after yourself after all the zombie slaying is a good idea. You don’t want a bunch of blood hanging around. Burning corpses is also a great thing to do. It’s a good idea to learn how to deal with cuts and burns as well, which can keep you alive.

Finally, it’s a great idea to know how to alter the game settings, like removing zombie respawning. That can be pretty handy if you find the default game too hard.

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