If you want to play the indie zombie survival game 7 Days To Die effectively, you’ll need to pick an attribute to specialize in. Each of the five attributes governs the associated benefits and damage done by the weapons associated with them.
The game is stingy with its skill point allocation, granting you four at the start and another each time you level up. Resetting your skill points is expensive, and if you make a bad spend, you’ll wait a while to correct your mistakes. While each attribute – Perception, Agility, Strength, Strength, and Intelligence – has its uses, some are definitely better than others.
Agility is by no means useless, and indeed it has some of the best combat and exploration perks in the game, especially if you like to move quickly and quietly. Yet, unfortunately, it’s hampered by its complete lack of tech, economy, or resource-gathering benefits.
This attribute is very beginner-friendly, especially when it comes to weapons, as it governs the damage of bows, edged weapons (without an axe), and pistols – the oldest and most common weapons you get in the game. The Agility playstyle also makes it easier to manage stamina, which new players might struggle with.
That’s thanks to the Light Armor perk, which bolsters your light armor, so you don’t have to rely on stamina-inhibiting heavy armor, and Agility’s focus on one-handed light weapons doesn’t drain not so much stamina. Stealth perks also make this attribute the safest to travel at night, provided you are careful.
A full agility build in a group setting allows you to be the designated fighter or the guy clearing buildings with ease. Still, soloing, you’ll likely end up living on a knife edge trying to gather resources faster than you can burn them. Agility is best used as a second stat because many of the attribute’s perks combine well with other attributes.
The attribute of the unwavering and the prepared, Fortitude specializes in earth life, resistance to the elements, and most importantly, undeath.
If you want to live like an outdoor survivalist, this is the attribute for you. Strength has benefits that increase your earnings from hunting, gathering, and farming. It also has Iron Gut, which dampens the rate at which your thirst and hunger gauges deplete, meaning you’ll likely never go hungry if you’re at full strength.
Its combat perks focus on punches, aided by brass knuckles and machine guns, which allow you to pulverize hordes in a hail of lead. You’re also good at surviving your enemies since the healing factor perk allows you to heal relatively quickly, gaining a hit point every six seconds at max rank. If all else fails, you can fall back on Rule 1: Cardio, which allows you to regain stamina while sprinting, letting anyone chasing you spit your dust as you back up.
With keen senses and a knack for finding quality items, Perception is the attribute of scavengers, trackers, and hunters. Like Agility, Perception plays well with other attributes, but unlike Agility, it has a suite of skills suited to a well-balanced, long life in 7 Days To Die.
Salvage perks give you access to more and better loot, whether it’s stash containers, buried treasure, or scavenging electronic and mechanical resources. Even if you can’t harvest or craft the necessary resources, you can simply find them.
Lucky Looter increases your loot stage, which governs the quality of your loot. It is good for at least one person in a party to have Lucky Looter since the game applies the highest loot stage among all players in a party to all party members.
General perception benefits seem to be natural adjuncts to other attributes. Lock Picking and Infiltrator pair well with Agility – so you can get into places and lift the good stuff out of locked boxes, and Animal Tracker so you can find your prey which you can then bare with The Huntsman perk in the Fortitude tree.
Combat as a Perception Specialist is a mixed bag, with Rifle Specialization being a standout. Javelins are a weird weapon because you take the most damage from them throwing them, leaving you short of a melee weapon. Explosives can be fun but also risky.
Just make sure you’re far enough away so you don’t get blown up and use the right kind of explosives for the job; look for entity damage to damage enemies and block damage to break open locations and safes.
A domain of nerds and society builders, intelligence is one of the game’s most important attributes. It houses the skills that unlock nearly every non-weapon technology in 7 Days To Die and every bench crafting you need for these technologies. If you want sophisticated base defenses so you can fight off the most noxious hordes, you’ll want to go into Intelligence.
Unfortunately, Intelligence also has some of the worst combat advantages in the game, as the weapons they rule are hard to come by and require hours of building infrastructure to acquire. That being said, they’re not too bad once you get them started.
Stun batons are a novelty, better if carried by intelligence-oriented people. However, you also have access to deployable turrets that can take down zombies with the right planning and are a great addition to any fighting force.
Intelligence is also the way to go if you want to make the most of your interactions with traders, inspire your allies to greatness, or travel the world in swanky vehicles, including flying machines. Plus, you craft medicine and medicine, so you can do your best when you need to and die less.
Intelligence may be the way to go if you want to recreate civilization, but with Force you’ll have everything you need to do without it. Strength is the best attribute in solo, and it’s not too shabby in a group either.
You’ll be able to carry more, run out less stamina, and harvest non-tech resources more efficiently. Your combat options are robust mid-range and will sustain you from your first spawn through your triple-digit days, spanning shotguns, clubs, and hammers, all of which are easy to find and craft.
Heavy Armor ensures you can outlast your enemies, and the hilariously named Sexual Tyrannosaurus perk ensures you’ll have the stamina to smash some heads with your big heavy weapons.
Plus, as a strength guy, you have the Master Chef perk, which means you make the best food, and you and everyone with you will never go hungry.
Next: Games to play if you like 7 Days to Die