The zombie sim, Project Zomboid might seem like a simple isometric adventure, I promise it’s much more than just a basic zombie game. Players must explore a randomized map dodging and fighting back zombie hordes, all while fighting for survival. The amount of scavenging and other ingenuity you need to put into practice to make it through a run is pretty crazy. There are a lot of stats to keep track of as well, with a lot of systems somewhat obscured from the player deciding how the game works on a basic level. Some of these stats govern what kinds of skills you can put into effect. Cooking is used for making food, tailoring is used to make clothes, and so on.
The other layer of player stats works a bit more like a traditional RPG. As covered in this guide, Strength in Project Zomboid is one of the more important baseline stats.
Most of the stats are concerned with one particular skillset, so there’s one for Firearms, for example. Strength belongs in a somewhat unique class of Passive skills. Strength determines the player’s 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 with certain weapons. In short, if you’re going head-to-head with zombies, you need as close to Level 10 Strength as you can get.
How to Increase Strength in Project Zomboid
The five main ways to increase strength in Project Zomboid are by choosing the correct occupations and traits, exercising, carrying heavy loads, attacking with hands, and using melee weapons.
There are certain starting traits that can give you more points in the stat as well.
- Fire Officer: +1 Strength
- Lumberjack: +1 Strength
- Stout: +2 Strength
- Strong: +4 Strength
But for this guide, rather than focusing on optimal builds, we’re going to give you tips on how to raise your skill through gameplay. This basically means that anytime you’re doing something physical in the game, you’re gaining Strength XP. You can gain lots of strength XP through exercising and moving around heavy items, which is what most players choose to do.
To exercise, press “H” to open the “Health” tab, or you can click the heart icon on the left side of the screen and click on the “Exercise” tab. Select the time you wish to use on the task, and then let the game do it’s thing. You will gain several XP per repetition of each exercise.
Other methods you can use include chopping trees with an axe, carrying heavy objects in your inventory, and more.
Strength XP will be added as long as you keep carrying more than 50% of your maximum capacity while running or sprinting. For example, suppose that your maximum carrying capacity is 12, and you have a 125% XP boost. Then you need to carry at least 18 while running to gain 2 XP every 10 in-game minutes.
Keep in mind that certain Moodles will affect your outcome with stats. For example, Hungry lowers your max carry weight. Also, Upon leveling Strength or Fitness, a player’s character will gain or lose traits. A character with Feeble will lose it upon leveling strength to 5, for example.
What about combat?
Swinging around melee weapons, or even fighting the undead with your bare hands does earn you some Strength in Project Zomboid. But the added risk is a lot more dangerous with a lower-level character. Be extremely careful when engaging the undead in hand-to-hand combat.
Swinging around a melee weapon will reward 1-2 XP per successful attack, although keep in mind that you can be surrounded and killed quite easily in melee combat. But there’s one more added dimension to melee zombie combat you should be aware of.
Attacking zombies without weapons is something you will have to do at some point, using mostly shoves and stomps. By default, a shove action provides 3 XP, while each stomp grants 1 XP.