Mini DayZ is a demake of Bohemia Interactive's PC survival shooter, DayZ. Unlike its big brother on PC, Mini DayZ on mobile is a single-player experience that can be played offline.

The goal, however, remains the same: survive as long as possible against zombies, hunger, the elements, and any other (AI) humans still alive in the mostly-abandoned world.

Like any survival game, you're inevitably going to die in Mini DayZ. A lot. Part of the experience is learning from past deaths and staying alive a little bit longer each time you play.

Our tips below will hopefully make your first few trips into the apocalypse slightly less deadly.

Stack items

One of the biggest challenges you'll face early in the game is simply a lack of storage space. Your starting clothes have few pockets and backpacks are usually few and far between.

The good news is that a number of items can be stacked into a single slot if you have multiples of the same object.

Any item with a gray bar and a number over the bottom half of its icon can be stacked. Examples of stackable items include bandages, ammo, fruits and vegetables, flares, etc. There is a max stack size for each type of item: for instance, flares can be stacked in sets of five while tomatoes can only go up to sets of three.

Note: items with percentages on their gray bar can't be stacked. These are degradable items and the percentage indicates their current condition (at 0%, they will break).

The game will not stack items automatically for you. You'll need to open your inventory and drag one stack of items onto its matching set manually. You'll receive an action pop-up that will let you stack them. You can also do this with items on the ground.

Need a break?

Mini DayZ automatically saves your game upon exit. The auto-save point is usually the last building you entered, so if you want to step away for a bit, find shelter.

If you just need a short breather, the gear icon—which opens the settings menu—is the only way to pause the game. Entering your backpack, the map, skills screen, etc. does not stop time from moving forward (or zombies from seeking you out).

Use the map

Under the settings/gear icon is the button to pull up the map. You should check this when you first start a new game to decide what direction you'll head out toward.

While not everything is shown on the map, any icon of a house or other structure is guaranteed to have a building—and usually multiple buildings—at that location. These are your best bets for scrounging food and other useful items.

These are also the areas zombies are most likely to congregate. Approach these areas with caution, but don't avoid them just because there may be danger lurking. The entire world of Mini DayZ is dangerous.

You can move while the map is open, so if you're aiming for a particular location and don't want to keep opening and closing the page, just leave it open while you run.

Battle tips

While gathering basic items that will prevent you from starving or freezing to death, you're going to have to fight aggressive zombies, animals, and humans lurking near your loot.

First, when using a short-ranged weapon, always try to kite melee enemies like zombies and dogs. The joystick controls are best for this. Run away from enemies—they'll consistently chase you—but turn back while running to occasionally hit them. The goal is to remain just out of their range while getting a few hits in.

Use buildings as blockades. Most enemies will chase you in a straight line: this means if you run around a building and hug fairly close to its walls, once you turn the corner the enemy will run into the wall, still trying to run straight at you. There needs to be a slight distance between you for this to work, but if you lose an enemy on a building you can then keep running the opposite direction and leave them behind.

Different types of enemies will attack each other. Use this to your advantage: if a group of humans is shooting at you and a horde of zombies is chasing you, lead the zombies to the humans. One of the groups will take care of the other for you.

For the hoard

Ideally, you always want to have one food item, one drink item, and one bandage nearby at all times. While you will usually find food and drink while scavenging, it's not guaranteed. When first starting out with limited storage space, prioritize these essentials over things like paper or ammo.

You can leave items on the ground for a short period of time and retrieve them later. However, items will refresh after a few hours and anything left out overnight will almost always vanish by morning. The only way to know your items will not disappear after enough time is to deploy a civilian tent and drop goods inside it.

But, this refresh also applies to items spawned in buildings: if you return to an area you visited and cleaned out earlier, it's likely that more items will be available if enough time has passed.

You can tear basic shirts and t-shirts into rags—which act as bandages—by tapping on their icon in your inventory and choosing "Tear into rags." Anytime you come across a shirt that can be torn into rags, do so.

You can plant vegetables if you have a shovel, pickaxe, or pitchfork. You don't have to do anything else (like water them), but they take about eight in-game hours to grow once planted, so you need to be able to return to the area later. One vegetable planted will produce three new vegetables.

If you're not sure what an item does, try tapping its icon to see if an action pops up or drag it onto something else. Duct tape can be dragged onto equipment to repair its condition; barbed wire can be deployed as a trap; flares can be ignited and held like a temporary flashlight.

The first day

The tutorial makes it seem like getting to a boat and traveling to the next island is your primary goal, but your only goal is to survive as long as possible. Rushing to the next island is a bad idea: while you will find better equipment there, you will also find a lot more enemies and dangers.

Use your first day and night—and possibly even the second—to explore the initial island and prepare your gear. Try to find a decent item for every slot—main and secondary weapons, vest, backpack, etc.

If you don't have access to a light source, prepare before midnight to hole up in a building with extra food and water. Night is extremely dark and wandering around without light is nearly impossible and not productive.

When you do finally decide to search for the boat—located somewhere on the far eastern coast—and leave the island, do so early in the morning. It takes a few in-game hours to travel and you want to reach the next island in the daylight with time to get your bearings.

Be sure to allocate skill points as they become available (noted by a green exclamation point on your character's icon). Your character's skills are extremely useful and should be activated as soon as possible. The build you choose is up to you, but we usually take Hamster and Red+ early on, Sprinter and Trunk Digger next, and then focus on combat-related skills—if we're still alive.

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