Played this game a lot over the past few days and overall I love it. Not trying to sell the game to anyone, speaking as a big fan of the first game, State of Decay 2 to me is a nice improvement on nearly everything from the first, and the co-op has been great fun. Quite an accomplishment for this small indie studio.
I did encounter several minor glitches, but nothing major or game-breaking so far. Hopefully stays this way until they release their next patch.
The main thing I am a little disappointed with is their choice of Peer 2 Peer online system, this means it doesn't connect via Microsoft's dedicated cloud servers like Forza Horizon 3 or Halo 5 for example. Instead, one person is the host, and the other people invited connect to the host. Although I much prefer the dedicated servers, P2P actually has some advantages sometimes, it doesn't rely on server stability, for instance. If everyone playing has great connections to each other, usually the experience will be excellent.
The thing that will greatly affect your online experience with this type of system is your NAT. You can view it in your Xbox Network settings. Open works best, but if it is strict or moderate, you might have problems, especially if you are the host, the people who join you may encounter issues. If it is not open, it basically restricts the amount of people you are able to play with online properly, while being open is the best and greatly expands that pool of candidates with whom you can play online.
Unfortunately I cannot answer any technical questions relating to NAT, I just wanted to emphasize how this game worked so people who are used to the dedicated servers understood why it behaves differently sometimes and can take steps to troubleshoot on their own if need be. Here is a beginner's survival guide from the official site, also the game is on Gamepass.
One of the things that caught me by surprise is the awesome soundtrack by Jesper Kyd & Dreissk... well done, captures the overall feel of the game nicely. As well, as an FYI, you can access online matchmaking options in game by using your radio(up on D-Pad).
What do I do in State of Decay 2?
You will have the ability to control and grow a community of people trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic, zombie-filled world. To help them survive you will need to take care of your base! You’ll spend your time scavenging, finding and trading with other survivors, fulfilling the desires of your community, and last but not least destroying Plague Hearts.
What the heck is a Plague Heart, and how do I kill it?
Good question. They are a new addition to the State of Decay universe, along with the Plague Zombies that they produce. Plague zombies, as one might guess from the name, can actually infect you with a bite, eventually turning you into one of the zeds. They are thankfully easy enough to deal with, just wack ‘em in the head a few times like a normal zombie. Plague Hearts on the other had are a bit tough. Not only are the areas around them full of plague zombies to get through, the hearts themselves also require a few explosives or some fire to take them out, so make sure you stock up before taking one on. (And maybe don’t go in by yourself like we did in this example video. It almost ended VERY badly.)
How do I get started?
As soon as you start the game there is a short tutorial section; pay attention, there is a lot you’ll need to know to survive the zombies. At the end of this section you’ll choose a starting location and find a base. The most important thing to do at this point is to SURVEY! Find somewhere tall (marked on your map with binoculars) to go and look at what’s near your base! This will gain you priceless intel on what resources you may find in any buildings, and help you get the lay of the land.
How do I get resources?
You get the critical resources for your base and all other items by searching! You see shining searchable containers scattered everywhere, they can be anything from car trunks, to crates, to refrigerators. Search them by pressing the Y button. You can speed up the process by pressing LB, but be careful not to cause a noise and bring the zombies running. Also remember that each character can only hold one Critical Recourse rucksack, so it might be a good idea to take frequent trips back to base or bring a buddy on your searches.
Why do my health and stamina bars sometimes get turn grey, and what does it mean?
In this case the character needs to go back to base and rest. Switch off of controlling them for a bit, and take someone else out! Characters can also be hindered by large injuries, lack of food, etc. so keep an eye on them.
Why can’t I pause the game?
You can! You just have to turn your multiplayer settings to offline. This is because the world in State of Decay goes in “real time”, and things change whether or not you are looking at them (zombies pop up, enclaves come and go, etc.) So you can’t be pausing while the rest of the multiplayer world continues on without you.
I’ve been playing for a while and now I don’t know what to do next…
That’s okay, there are a lot of options and it might seem over whelming. Here are some options:
- Work on character goals.
- Check the community page to see if any of your characters have quests to work on.
- Scavenge for critical resources.
- Check your inventory to see if you’re low on any resources, or check the base screen for a deep dive. Then go and find it! Check the map to see which buildings will yield the resources you need.
- Build new facilities / upgrade existing base facilities.
- Check your facilities on the base screen, and see if there’s anything you want to build or upgrade. Don’t have the resources you need for an upgrade? Time to scavenge. Don’t have the knowledge? Better find some books.
- Fix urgent problems.
- Visit your base and check out the most urgent needs, listed on the left side of the screen.
- Go exploring.
- Meet new people, find new things! Just don’t cross paths with any freak zombies😉
- Make sure you keep an ear open to your radio, your base will call if there are any problems, and wandering survivors might call for help!
- There are always zombies to kill, infestations to clear, and Plague Hearts to destroy!
I’m trying to build something, but I don’t have X, Y, or Z! Where do I get it?
State of Decay 2 uses real life logic. You want a book? Check a library. A repair kit for the car? Check a garage. And if you get desperate there are always human enclaves to trade with. This “real life logic” also applies to zombies. If you want to slow them down you should take out their legs. If you don’t want them to keep hitting you, you dismember their arms. Easy.