Zhelter – Getting Started (Tips and Tricks)

This is just a quick guide to help new players get started. I also share tips I’ve picked up, and answer questions I’ve seen asked.

Getting Started

After the (very short) tutorial, you’ll want to collect 10 Apples, 7 Stone, and a lot of Wood.

Craft 4 Wooden Planks, and use them to craft a General crafting table and set it down somewhere. Now craft 2 more Wooden Planks and use them, along with 2 Stone, to craft a Bonfire, and again, place it down. Finally, use your 5 remaining Stone to craft a Furnace, and place it down. Now would be a good time too cook your Apples, so they fill more of your hunger. Be careful how you place your crafting stations and storage, poor arrangement can make it difficult to access your items and crafting stations, or block them off alltogether.

Before going out, you’ll need to be able to defend yourself. Craft a Crossbow, and as many arrows as you can manage. Since wood falls off of trees on its own, you’ll be able to easily restock your ammo while looting.

Use your Stone Axe to break down items and collect resources. You’ll need Rags and Metal Pieces the most, so prioritize their collection. Destroying stuffed animals with your Stone Axe will give you Rags. Destroying cars, and most things that look like they’re made of metal, will give you Metal Pieces. Both can also be found by destroying trash piles and killing zombies. When your inventory is full, you’re out of energy, or it starts getting dark, head back to your base.

Crafting Rags into Cloth will unlock the Sewing crafting table, where you can craft bandages, armor, and inventory upgrades. Crafting Metal Pieces and Charcoal (crafted with 2 Wood in the Furnace) into Metal at the Furnace will unlock the Metal crafting table, where you can make metal tools, firearms, and ammo. The more recipes you craft, the more you’ll unlock, so make looting runs as frequently as possible.

Tips & Tricks

  • If you look in the opposite direction that you’re moving, you move more slowly. If you’re being chased, only look back to shoot, and reload while looking forward.
  • Metal and Cloth will be incredibly important, especially early in the game. You’ll need 8 Cloth to upgrade your inventory to 12 slots, and another 10 Cloth and some leather to upgrade your inventory to 18 slots. More inventory space means more efficient looting runs, and fewer items left behind. Metal will be used to make guns that are better than the Pistol, and ammo for them. The Crossbow is easy to get ammo for, and you can craft ammo without a crafting table, but you need to reload after each shot.
  • Firearms make a lot of noise, and will attract zombies to you. Use the Crossbow where you can to conserve bullets and avoid getting swarmed.
  • While not heavily used, Leather will be needed for a few things, namely armor and the Messenger Bag. No need to pick it up right away, but try to remember where you see couches and chairs with leather seats.
  • In some buildings, you’ll find couches you can sleep on. These should be some of the last things you loot, you may find the sleeping spot out in the field to be more useful than the leather, allowing you to skip through the night, or get some energy to be able to run back to base.
  • Zombies seem to have an easier time finding you at night, save the dark hours for sleeping, crafting, and preparation.
  • NPC companions need serious work. They don’t attack zombies, and have a chance to randomly delete their inventory. If you come across one, leave it.


Q: How do I heal?

A: You can craft Bandages at a Sewing crafting table that heal 50 HP over a few seconds (must stand still, or it’s wasted), or if you combine cooked meat, cooked fruit, and a stick at a Bonfire, it will heal you the same amount instantly and restore a lot of hunger.

Q: How do I make Iron?

A: After you’ve made the Metal Axe, Metal Crowbar, and Metal Hammer, you’ll be able to combine two metal and a charcoal in the furnace to make Iron.

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