DayZ does NOT have an in-game map or mini-map to use. It also doesn't have an in-game party or clan system. Fortunately, there is a website and app for smartphones called iZurvive which is an extremely accurate map to help you navigate the world of DayZ. It's almost an essential need to play this game otherwise you'll be wandering off in random directions hoping to find a town. The original and main map you'll most likely be playing is Chernarus. This is the biggest map in the game and the loot will get better the further North you go. The DLC map is Livonia which is smaller than Chernarus, but still a huge map. The loot on Livonia gets better the further south you go.
Here are the links for the interactive maps. They can be used in either Topographical form or Satellite form. I prefer Topographical. You can switch between both of these modes at any time by clicking the circle in the bottom left of the map on the website, or by tapping the three bars in the top left and selecting "Switch Map" on the phone app.
Chernarus Map: https://dayz.ginfo.gg/chernarusplus/
Livonia Map: https://dayz.ginfo.gg/livonia/
The map may be a bit intimidating at first when you see all the icons, but you'll soon grow familiar with them after playing and using the map together. There is a filter on the maps that allow you switch certain things off and the filter will also show you the proper names for the icons so you know what's what. The filter can be found on the website under the "Loot" dropdown in the top right and under the filter icon on the top right of the phone app.
The first thing you'll be doing in-game besides finding food and water is finding out where the hell you are. Almost every town will have a main road running through it. These roads will have a rectangle sign on the outskirts of the town that have the town name on them.
This is extremely useful in finding out where you just spawned or where you are to orient yourself. When playing with friends this is crucial info so you can both see where you are on the map and then plan a route to meet up. The other useful feature of iZurvive is you can create a private group, give the password for the group to your friends and then you can both share the same map. So if one of you places a marker down you can both see it. This also helps with communicating where you are, where you found a base, etc.
When playing on Chernarus you will always spawn close to or along the ocean coast when you first start out, on Livonia you will always spawn somewhere in the middle of the map. These are what's known as the "Fresh Spawn" zones. New players and players respawning after death will start here. Don't worry, if you log out of the game after playing for a bit you will always login exactly where you left off. That being said, try to log out in a safe place like a building or in some thick bushes/trees. You don't want to be shot because you're logging in in the middle of a street just standing there while the game loads.
Navigation on DayZ is crucial and there's a lot of things to help you orient yourself if you're lost. The sun always rises in the East and sets in the West. So depending on what time of day it is you can use the sun to find out which way you're heading. You can also find a compass while looting which is a valuable item to have. I normally put one on my hotbar to help me stay on track when navigating long distances through the woods.
If you're playing on Chernarus the ocean/coastline will always be to the South or the East. This is helpful for navigation when you're in the fresh spawn areas.
You can also use things like power lines, railroad tracks, and marked hiking trails in conjunction with the map to help find out where you are if you haven't found a town sign yet.
If you're trying to navigate at night time you can use the stars if you know what to look for. Generally, I use the Big Dipper since it's easy to spot and is always to the North.
Here's an example of a town (from the Livonia map) on the iZurvive map for demonstration purposes:
The grey squares are buildings, houses, structures, etc. Some of these can be used as landmarks to help navigate and are marked as such. The blue circle with the piano is known as "Piano building" and is easy to spot because it's a large two-story building with a piano on the ground the floor.
The purple icon represents a Medical building where you can find supplies such as Bandages, Tetracycline (anti-biotics), Charcoal Tablets, Blood Test kits, IV Starter kits, etc.
The green wheat icons are Farm type buildings where you can find food, melee weapons like shovels or axes, and occasionally double-barrel shotguns. Along with other standard loot.
The blue mug icon represents a bar. You can sometimes find Plastic Bottles or soda cans in here along with other standard loot.
The red siren icon represents a Police Station. These buildings are very popular with players so be careful when entering to loot. You can find good starting weapons here like Glock pistols, pump-action shotguns, ballistic vests, ammo, and other goodies.
The pinkish car icons represent potential spawn points for Police Cars. Police Cars and Helicopter crashes are random events so there won't always be one where the icon is.
The light blue spigot icon represents a Water Pump where you can fill your containers with purified water. This is also a hot spot for other players so be careful and keep an eye on your surroundings when using it.
The brown garage icon represents industrial type buildings. These can have base building materials, melee weapons, car parts, and rarely Lockpicks. Along with other standard loot.
The yellow car icon represents a potential spawn for a vehicle that can be repaired. Finding all the parts and bringing them to a vehicle to get it running is very tedious and most of these cars will be taken by high end geared players anyways. You will most likely never see a working car.
You'll also notice some grey animal icons. These represent spawn points for wild animals that can be hunted for food.
The long yellow lines represent the main roads. These will be paved concrete streets.
The long grey lines represent dirt roads. You'll notice one of the grey lines has a blue line following it. That means it is a hiking trail and there will be blue markers along the trail to help navigate.
The long black line with black dots on it is power lines.
The name at the top of the pic, "Lukow", is the name of the town shown. There will be signs at the end of the main roads on the outer parts of the town with this name on them.
That's all the advice I can think of at the moment for the map. I do highly suggest you use it in some way while playing or you're going to potentially be running in circles or into the wild without enough supplies and get lost. On to survival!
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