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DayZ base building - recipes, tips, and more

Everything you need to know about DayZ base building, including recipe ideas, tips for beginners, and the best solo base locations for easy bases

DayZ base building: A split image showing two people loading a car inside a base, and a custom base structure going upt he side of a factory

DayZ base building is a core mechanic that you’ll need to master if you want to survive for longer and keep your loot safe. There’s only one rule in the popular post-apocalyptic zombie game – survival. But the longer you survive, the more dangers you’re likely to face. Like most survival games with a major online component, you’re going to meet other players, and they’re more likely than not going to want to take all of your stuff.

That’s where DayZ base building comes in. A major feature that sets the standalone version apart from the original ARMA 2 mod of yore is that you can now build your own complex bases, rather than just try to hide a tent somewhere.

Whether you’re taking over an existing structure and slapping on a door, or building your own watchtower from scratch, you can now create secure places to rest up and defend yourself. It’s not as hard as it sounds to create a basic stronghold – either from scratch or using existing buildings – but the more complex the er, complex you want to put together is, the more materials you’ll need to gather. Here’s everything you need to know about building a base in DayZ.

DayZ base building Recipes

There are several crucial recipes you’ll need to build a base in DayZ. Generally speaking, everything you’ll need to make will involve one or more of the following items:

  • Shovel – will be needed to place wooden logs onto fence kits to begin the fence frame. Can be looted from farm and industrial areas
  • Wooden Logs – you will need two per single fence section. You can use a hatchet or axe to cut down trees, and you get one wooden log per tree
  • Wooden planks – you will need a lot of these for almost every aspect of base building. Can only be sourced from lumber piles or wooden logs, and you’ll need a hacksaw or handsaw in order to obtain them
  • Nails – You will need a lot of these for almost every aspect of base building. Can be found in boxes of 70, but one of the best ways to get nails is to start dismantling another player’s base
  • Hammer – Used for most of the latter steps in creating a fence section. Can be looted from farm, industrial, and village areas
  • Hatchet – Used to chop wood, create rags, and other uses. Can also be used in the construction of fences. Can be looted from farm and village areas
  • Metal wire – A rare item needed to create a gate. Can be looted from farm, work, forester, and hunting areas
  • Pliers – used to turn a fence section into a gate, among other things. Can be looted from farm, industrial, and village areas
  • Combination lock – a rare item that can be looted from construction zones, this will be needed to lock gates

The most important piece of kit you’re going to need to build a base is the Fence kit. This is used to mark out a straight line on the ground that will then let you build a fence frame, and then the fence itself. Once you’ve got the frame in place the kit will then drop on the ground, which lets you pick it up and use it again.

Here are some key Dayz base building recipes:

  • Fence kit – two sticks (easy to source) and one piece of rope (can be crafted from rags)
  • Watchtower kit – four sticks and one piece of rope
  • Frame section – four wooden planks, eight nails, and a hammer or hatchet
  • Frame cladding – five wooden planks, ten nails, and a hammer or hatchet
  • Gate – one completed fence, pliers, and one piece of metal wire
  • Roof – ten wooden planks, 20 nails, and a hatchet or hammer
  • Stairs – ten wooden planks, 18 nails, and a hatchet or hammer

DayZ base building: An aerial view of a city in DayZ. with many buildings that could be used as bases

DayZ base building tips for solo players and beginners

You can make DayZ bases out of existing structures, which saves a ton of work but you don’t get a lot of choice in terms of placement, and they’re difficult to hide. Still, these kinds of bases are especially useful for solo players as the material cost is relatively low, and you won’t need much help getting it setup before someone finds you.

Some basic tips on picking existing structures for bases:

  • Avoid structures with lots of windows, especially on the ground floor. It will require more fences to block these off
  • Be wary of structures with large windows that you can’t secure, as it gives enemy players a way to throw explosives inside your base
  • Avoid structures that may cause the soft section of fence panels to be exposed – this essentially makes it really easy for raiders to break down the fence and break in

Generally speaking, the right location should only require one or two fence panels, with only one being used as a gate. Depending on the building you may need to angle the fence panel so it all fits within the confines for the building, but once it’s down it will block off access further in. Don’t worry about the space you’re building the gate into – fence gates will clip through walls without issue, and still function as needed. Bonus points for pickling a building with its own external doors you can close to hide the fact that there’s a secure area inside.

DayZ Youtuber Nitno has an excellent video that goes through some of the best choices of buildings to barricade for solo players and beginners:

YouTube Thumbnail

To build a gate in DayZ, you need to do the following:

  • Craft a fence kit, and then place it on the ground where you want your gate to be in its closed position
  • Use the shovel to place two wooden logs at either end of the fence kit, this should cause the kit to drop back on the ground for you to reuse later
  • You will need to use a hammer or a hatchet to then build the upper and lower frame sections
  • You then need to board up the upper and lower sections
  • With the pliers and metal wire, turn the fence section into a fence gate
  • Attach the combination lock

Repeat for any additional gates you want to place inside your base structure, assuming there’s room.

Dayz base building: A survivor stands in front of a small custom watchtower

DayZ base building watchtower

If you want to build your own base from scratch, then you’re going to need a lot of the materials listed above. There are plenty of theories as to what the best base design is, but you’ll find a lot of love for basic watchtowers.

To build a watchtower, instead of a fence kit you will need to create a Watchtower kit. It functions exactly like a fence kit, except it places three sides down simultaneously.

You then need four wooden logs, instead of two, to place the pillars for the frames, at which point you get the watchtower kit back. After that the process is as above, using nails and wooden planks to create the rest of the frame, as well as boarding up each section.

You will then need to do the following:

  • Build a roof
  • Build some stairs

To put in extra levels, you need at least to put down four wooden poles. You can then create the frames and board up if you want, or just leave them as is. You will still need to create a roof, and another set of stairs though, to build additional levels. Adding attachments like camouflage nets will work even if there’s no frame for a section, provided there’s a roof.

DayZ base building tips

  • Understand that even the Fort Knox of bases is probably going to get raided by a group of players who really, really want to get in – nowhere is 100% safe
  • The general consensus is that bases are best used for defence, not for stashing your most valuable loot – think of storing your gear in other places
  • Boring-looking bases might be better for security than an intricately designed base
    Make sure you use camouflage if you’re hiding a base in the woods
  • Reddit user Asmondian has a great visual guide for building bases
  • You could always consider not building a base at all and just hiding a tent or a buried stash in the woods somewhere

A top down shot of a custom base built using the DayZ basebuildingplus mod

DayZ base building plus

If you’re looking for DayZ base building plus, then you’ll want to head to the Steam Workshop. BaseBuildingPlus is a DayZ mod that adds “much needed life, polish, and love” to DayZ’s base building mechanics.

This mod adds in new building parts, more advanced rotation mechanics, new UI elements, as well as new models for existing parts. Head on over to the mod’s Steam Workshop page for more details, although remember to use this mod you’ll need to be playing on a server that supports it.

That’s everything you need to know about DayZ base building. Sadly, DayZ crossplay isn’t a thing still but there are plenty of other survival multiplayer games you can check out if you want to play with your friends.

Check if your PC can run it and meets the latest DayZ system requirements, recommended specs and minimum requirements.