Project Zomboid – What Are the Best Traits?

In Project Zomboid, traits can significantly affect your surviving experience. These traits can determine how you deal with the zombies, scavenge, and even maintain your health in the game.

With so many traits to choose from, it can be overwhelming to decide which ones are the best for you.

Recommended Read: Best Occupations in Project Zomboid

In this article, we’ll explore the best traits in Project Zomboid, including the best positive traits, best negative traits, and best starting traits!

In Project Zomboid, the best positive traits are Axe Man, Strong, Wakeful, Keen Hearing, Burglar, Fast Learner, Athletic, Organized, Lucky, and Dextrous.

The best negative traits are Slow Healer, Weak Stomach, Underweight, Slow Reader, Thin-skinned, High Thirst, Smoker, Prone to Illness, Conspicuous, and Sunday Driver.

The best starting traits depend on your chosen occupation. Assume that you prefer an “Unemployed” occupation, the positive traits are Wakeful, Lucky, Gymnast, Fast Learner, Fit, Keen Hearing, Organized, Strong, and Brawler. Besides, the negative traits are Very Underweight, Thin-Skinned, High Thirst, Slow Healer, Hearty Appetite, Prone to Illness, Smoker, Weak Stomach, Short Sighted, Slow Reader, Clumsy, and Conspicuous.

Table of Contents

What Are The Best Traits in Project Zomboid

In Project Zomboid, traits (or perks) play a vital role.

Traits and occupations can be chosen simultaneously after selecting a spawn location. You can do it manually or let the game complete the task by clicking on the “Random” option.

A “Point to Spend” number on the bottom right of the screen indicates the number of points you’ve got after choosing your profession and perks.

Here’s the rule: You can’t start the game unless the “Point to Spend” number is higher or equal to 0. In other words, you can choose all negative traits and skip positive ones or skip all traits and the occupation, as long as the “Point to Spend” is green.

There are four types of traits in-game:

  • Positive traits: The positive traits reduce your “Point to Spend” but give you various benefits and advantages.
  • Negative traits: On the contrary, negative traits come with drawbacks. Those traits require you to adapt to survive in the game. Negative traits increase “Point to Spend”.
  • Hobbies: Hobbies are traits given along with specific occupations.
  • Adaptive traits: Adaptive traits are gained or disappear during your journey. They might be positive traits or even negative traits.

As mentioned previously, you must choose an occupation (if not, the default option is “Unemployed”). Then, you have to compromise between positive and negative traits to meet the requirements to start the game.

Traits grouped under “Mutually Exclusive” can’t be selected together. For example, you can’t select both Organized and Disorganized at the same time.

Adaptive traits such as Panic, Fitness, or Under/Overweight can be acquired during your gameplay. You can press “J” and select the “Info” panel to check the traits.

Now, let us show you the best positive, negative, and best starting traits in Project Zomboid!

Best Positive Traits

Positive traits are meaningful to your journey as they make your experience less challenging and thus increase your chance of survival.

Here are the traits you should pick:

1. Axe Man

Axe Man is the hobby trait given when choosing Lumberjack as your profession.

This perk increases the axe swing up to 25% in hitting zombies and chopping trees. If you are the type of player who loves constructing and using melee, this is perfect for you.

2. Strong (-10)

Strong costs you 10 points, but in return, it adds 4 levels of strength and 140% melee damage. This is one of the most valuable traits you can pay for in Project Zomboid.

3. Wakeful (-2)

Wakeful is a must-have trait in a single player. Only 2 points, and you won’t be tired during the middle of the day while trying to kill zombies and foraging for items.

4. Keen Hearing (-6)

This is the optimal choice for those who are scared of jumpscares. This trait increases the perception radius to 200%. Therefore, it helps in recognizing zombies from behind.

5. Burglar

Gained from the occupation, Burglar is really impressive to start with and essentially gives you the ability to hotwire a car in the early game. Note that it gets more useless over time.

6. Fast Learner (-6)

This is absolutely an S-tier trait in the game since it boosts 130% XP gain for all skills. Combined with reading books, you can quickly level up any skill.

7. Athletic (-10)

Athletic provides 4 points of Fitness, so you never have to worry about endurance. You can run faster and longer without tiring.

8. Organized (-6)

This trait offers 130% of all container capacities. In other words, you can carry and store more items. The more things you have, the higher the chance of survival.

9. Lucky (-4)

Lucky takes you 4 points, but it’s top on the bucket list in single-player. It gives 10% more chance to find items and a higher chance to repair items.

You will be looting so many containers, and that 10% chance does add up over time.

10. Dextrous (-2)

Dextrous costs 2 points but reduces the time for transferring inventory items by 50%. Less time transferring items means more time doing anything else. You can also loot and run faster.

Best Negative Traits

Remember that the term “Best Negative Traits” doesn’t refer to negativity but rather the traits you can easily overcome or eliminate during gameplay yet still provide you with a significant amount of “Point To Spend”.

1. Slow Healer (+6)

This negative trait adds 6 points, making injuries and illness worse. However, most injuries, except for a bite, can be healed if time is enough.

It’s really easy to deal with Slow Healer. Simply get some bandages to cure your wound, find a place to hide, and avoid the undead.

2. Weak Stomach (+3)

Weak Stomach increases the chance of food illness to 200%.

This seems to be a serious problem. Nevertheless, just find lemongrass in the forest if you suffer from food illness. If you want 3 points more, select Weak Stomach without hesitation!

3. Underweight (+6)

The Underweight trait takes out 1 level of Fitness. It also decreases your damage by 20%, increases 10% the chance of tripping while running or sprinting vaulting a low fence or from lunging zombies, as well as an 85% chance of failing from a tall fence.

To avoid Underweight, try to consume high-calorie food such as ice cream, peanut butter, and chips. Remember that this trait will occur when your body weight is between 65 and 75.

4. Slow Reader (+2)

Slow Reader keeps your reading speed at 70% compared to the default speed.

Reading books always takes a lot of time, so slowing down your speed might not be a big deal. In addition, you can spend a few hours a day reading a skill book over several days rather than trying to read the whole on the first attempt.

5. Thin-skinned (+8)

This trait reduces the chance of blocking a zombie attack to 10.5% (base is 15%). In addition, your clothes have a 33% chance of being damaged when walking through trees.

If your clothes are worn, simply get new ones. Clothes are obtainable in the game.

On the other hand, 15% to 10.5% is a minor reduction. In any circumstance, you should always avoid getting hit by the undead, regardless of whether you choose this trait.

6. High Thirst (+6)

This trait increases your thirst by 200% but provides 6 points more.

Staying hydrated is a must in Project Zomboid. There are always water containers across the city (including water from rivers and lakes), so this problem is trivial to deal with.

7. Smoker (+4)

Smoker slowly raises your stress level, but it adds 4 points.

Just store cigarettes in your inventory, and it’s no longer a big deal.

8. Prone to Illness (+4)

This trait speeds up the zombification process to 125%. It also enhances the chance of catching a disease.

If you unfortunately zombify, you’ll wish to end up as soon as possible, so the number of 125% seems to be useless in this case. Moreover, have you ever thought about letting your character stand in the rain naked for hours to get cold?

9. Conspicuous (+4)

Conspicuous increases the chance of getting spotted by zombies by 200%, but it adds 4 points to your pocket.

This is the world of zombies, and zombies are doing lots of spot-checks anyway, so this doesn’t make much difference. Moreover, you can always barricade windows to prevent the zombies.

10. Sunday Driver (+1)

This car-related trait reduces the rate of acceleration by 40%, as well as limits the speed of 30km/h. On the return, it gives you 1 point.

Vehicles are just for transport unless you want to ride for fun or relaxation. Having a car with a slower speed is still better than traveling on foot.

Best Starting Traits

Choosing the best starting traits is tricky since it relies significantly on your Occupation and style. Therefore, our best traits for beginners are relatively unideal and subjective, so consider them as references.

Let’s say you choose Lumberjack as your occupation, which provides an “Axe Man” hobby, 2 levels of axe skill, 2 strengths, a 25% faster swing, and 50% bonus damage to the trees without paying any points.

Here are the positive traits with -51 points in total:

  • Wakeful (-2)
  • Lucky (-4)
  • Gymnast (-5)
  • Fit (-6)
  • Brawler (-6)
  • Organized (-6)
  • Fast Learner (-6)
  • Keen Hearing (-6)
  • Strong (-10)

Gymnast, Fit, Keen Hearing, and Strong matter the difference when dealing with the zombies using your axe.

Wakeful and Lucky are a must in single-player mode since they offer you more time to scavenge items and a higher chance of the presence of items.

Fast Learner cuts off your learning time, Keen Hearing creates better caution of the undead, Organized gives a bonus to construction and fortification, while Brawler adds 1 level of Axe skill and Long Blunt skill. This means a lot since Axes or Long Blunt weapons are the primary weapons of Lumberjacks.

And there are negative traits you should pick:

  • Clumsy (+2)
  • Slow Reader (+2)
  • Short Sighted (+2)
  • Weak Stomach (+3)
  • Smoker (+4)
  • Conspicuous (+4)
  • Prone to Illness (+4)
  • High Thirst (+6)
  • Slow Healer (+6)
  • Thin-Skinned (+8)
  • Very Underweight (+10)

On the contrary, Clumsy increases the footstep sound by 120% in radius. It also gains 10% more chance of tripping while running or sprinting, vaulting a low fence, or lunging zombies. Although the footstep sound can get zombie attraction, we’ve already got Keen Hearing to detect whether they’re nearby.

Short Sighted decreases your foraging radius, but this issue can be solved by using glasses when scavenging.

For other negative trait solutions, please check the Best Negative Traits section.

Those are all the best traits in Project Zomboid!

Have any suggestions for this guide? Let us know in the comment section below.

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