7. State of Decay 2: Juggernaut Edition Campaign (Main Game Loop)

Main Campaign Introduction

Finally! With all the tips out of the way, we can delve into the main campaign with confidence. Of course, as you know from reading this guide so far, supply locations, plague heart locations, and missions are all randomized, so unfortunately its unfeasible to do a step-by-step walkthrough for each play-through of the campaign. Instead, read through the "A Sample Game" section below to see what you need to be doing at the different stages of the game, then go on to the Play-through section below to actually begin your campaigns and start unlocking achievements.


A Sample Game

Because every map is different, every base layout is different, and all missions and loot is randomized, it's not possible or feasible to layout a "perfect strategy" and list everything you need to do, and when, and in what exact order. What I can do is lay out a good strategy for each "stage" of the game and generally what I would suggest doing and improving during that time.

Early Stage

Location: Starter base. As your facility slots are limited, your resources scarce, and your survivors few, your focus is mainly on A.) not dying and B.) gathering resources to survive the rough first few days. First thing you should build is an infirmary - with few survivors, you'll accrue a lot of blood plague and injuries early, and will need a place to cure them. Next up is a garden, as you'll need to start producing your own food ASAP to feed your community (you can scrounge for food, but this wastes time and endangers your citizens when they are better used for other tasks). Finally, if needed (though often not), build a sheltered bed facility so your community has places to sleep (the morale hit for insufficient beds hits much harder on early-stage communities than on late communities). If you have a third/fourth open slot, consider a workshop or a second garden (perhaps for meds). You'll have to scrounge for material resources to build these facilities in between running missions for your local enclaves.

Once these are up, look to upgrade your infirmary to level 2 as soon as possible, followed by your garden(s), followed by your sheltered bed if needed (but only when you plan on getting your 4th/5th member.)

With these in place, your next objective is to start placing outposts. Think about what you'll need long term, then try to find a place on the map where you can get that resource you'll need AND will be convenient for you to stop and unload items into your base inventory. A great first outpost is a gas station - they're always conveniently on highways so they're easy to access, and the fuel produced can be converted to gas for your car (and if you're like me, you'll use a lot of gas). Meds are in short supply in the early game as well (especially if you have no Gardener to grow meds for you), so a good second choice is a clinic in a town cluster that has a lot of lootable buildings nearby. You can use this central outpost to loot surrounding building, returning to drop off all inventory gear (parts, scrap, seeds, weapons). Now you only need to head back to your main base once your car trunk is filled with rucksacks (as you cannot deposit rucksacks at outposts).

Avoid attacking plague hearts in this stage if you can, as a death in your community can be devastating. Plus, the more plague hearts destroyed, the harder it is to destroy the next one (and you'll have to selectively target plague hearts in the next stage).

As for missions, concentrate on the ones offered by enclaves, as you'll want good relations with your neighbours (better trade deals and a good neighbour bonus). Feel free to ignore any "mysterious broadcast" message (question marks on the map), leader missions (which can pop up even if you haven't assigned a leader yet), traders, or base requests (i.e. "Build a shooting range"). You can do personal missions if you have the time.

(Note: save establishing power and water outposts for mid-game, as they cost very high influence).


Mid Stage

Now that you have some resource generation, and some outposts on the board, it's time to think about moving to a mid level base, and establishing water and power outposts (if you don't have the Builder Boon yet).

First though, with the outposts you have, think about upgrading them to level two if you're feeling at this point that you'll keep them long term (aka they're still in a good location and they're generating the resources you need).

Hope you've been running those enclave support missions (you should be), as you'll need to recruit a few people now to get into a mid-level base. Your best bet is to inspect each individual in a friendly/allied enclave and pick someone with a skill you don't have yet but anticipates needing (see facilities list above and/or character tips for more details). As well, if you have Daybreak currency to spare, you can "purchase" Red Talon Soldiers and Operations by using the radio. The negative of this is you cannot pick the skills and traits of the soldier/operative (one is just assigned to you), and in general, they do not have Community Skills (they have their own unique set of 5th skills). On the other hand, they generally have some solid traits (with a negative one peppered in for flavour), skills already somewhat or fully levelled, and come pre-armed with a firearm. Generally, Red Talon characters are great pickups early.

With your resources and influence in hand, and your new community members ready to go, it's time to move into your mid-stage base (see Map Tips for choices and recommendations). You may have to clear out a plague heart or two to free the base up for occupation, so if you need to, do so now. Try not to destroy too many Plague Hearts at this stage, however, since explosives and ammo are probably still scarce at this point.

Once moved into your new home, you'll finally have more small slots to work with (unless you have a lot of build-in facilities) and maybe a large space as well. Get your "core" facilities up ASAP (Infirmary, Garden/Farm/Hydroponics, Sheltered Beds/Barracks if needed), and get them levelled appropriately. When levelling, also consider levelling your Command Centre now for more nice-to-have options.

Once this is done, time to have a bit of fun. For a large slot, I'd recommend a Lounge (solve your morale problems) or a Farm (solve Food or Med problems). With the open small slots, definitely add a Workshop (to repair weapons and start crafting explosives), and consider a (Red Talon) Watchtower, Shooting Range, Officer Quarters or extra Gardens/Hydroponics.

With your midterm base is up and running, time to go out and get Water and Power outposts (if you don't already have them via the Builder Boon). Why mid game? Because they're expensive influence-wise (about 1500 influence, rather than 300 influence for "normal" outposts). The good news here is that once you have them, they do not need upgrading. The bad news is that they use one fuel each per day. Mitigate this with a fully upgraded fuel outpost. As well, you should be looking to set up an outpost at the map's Landmark to work toward the landmark achievements (and to get their nice bonuses as well).

It's around this time you should be electing your leader. Make sure to pick the type that both gives you short term benefits for this game as well as the boon you'll want for future games. If this is your first time playing, promote a Builder type. Trust me, the Builder boon is the absolute best in the game, bar none, and their Sniper Tower Leader Project is really good as well.


Late Stage

Now you have a big choice to make - either look to finish the game from your mid-tier base, or pick up and move again to a much bigger late-stage base. The former gives you the advantage of time, assuming you're trying to get through the campaign as fast as possible for achievement reasons. The latter however gives you a lot more space to work with, where you can FINALLY experiment with things like the Still, Forge etc, along with having room for your Leader Project without having to knock down your Farm or Lounge. Some bases, like the mid-tier Squelones Brewing Company are totally viable as end game bases, whereas some others are not so much. Choose what you think is best.

End game bases start getting expensive maintenance-wise, so consider building a Staging Area in one of your large slots to solve your material maintenance issues.

With that decision out of the way, now is the time to get your "economic loop" up and running if you have the capacity for it (aka a Chemist and a Trader Leader to start crafting alcohol or a Pathologist and an Herbalist to create Bulk Plague cures). With these high level items, you can reap huge amounts of influence by selling them to friendly enclaves, wherein you can cash them in to clean out enclaves for resources (especially rucksacks, ammo and explosives)

Now that you've settled in your final base, have all your outposts up and running, and your economic engines humming, it's finally time to tackle Plague Hearts full time. For each one you destroy, the subsequent one becomes harder to kill. Fortunately, with a fully running base with a workshop, you can craft all the ammo and explosives you need to take the plague hearts down! Here, remote detonation explosives (remote grenades, C4, etc) are your best friend. Set, hop in your car, and detonate over and over while you drive around avoiding blood plague zombies until the heart is dead. Rinse, repeat. Once they're all gone, no more blood plague!

Finally, with plague hearts gone, you can now start your Leader quest chain. Finish this quest chain to finish the game, and unlock the subsequent leader boon! Congratulations! you're now down one campaign run. Rinse and repeat with different leaders and different maps to unlock all the achievements in State of Decay 2 (at least, the base game ones). Just remember, before the very last mission to load up your survivors with equipment and rucksacks so you can get a head start into your next map (especially important for Nightmare and Lethal runs).


Play-throughs

Now that you have an idea of what to do via the sample game above, here's the recommended play order:

While playing on Dread and Nightmare difficulty, anytime you encounter a Juggernaut, make sure to "Car-Fu" it to death. This is because you'll have to kill about 8-10 over your dread/nightmare/lethal career so you can collect their plague samples, and they're hard to find when just starting on a map. Therein, do yourself a favour and take them out when you see them, making this achievement much easier to complete. Oh, and take out hordes when you see them, as you'll have to kill 100 of them as well.


Play-through One - Providence Ridge, Dread Difficulty, Builder Leader

I'd recommend going through the tutorial on this play-through, as you'll start with four survivors instead of three. Upon finishing the tutorial, you'll arrive at Providence Ridge, unlocking:

The Forest for the Trees

Claim a base in the Providence Ridge map.

The Forest for the Trees
1 guideOnline/OfflineSingle PlayerCooperative

As well, for starting in a Dread Zone, you'll unlock:

Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night

Enter a Dread Zone.

Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night
1 guideOnline/OfflineSingle PlayerCooperativeDifficulty SpecificStackable

At any point through this play-through, invite a friend to play, or use the radio to invite a random play in. Once a second player joins you, you'll unlock:

Called for Backup

Play in a Dread Zone or a Nightmare Zone with another human being.

Called for Backup
1 guideOnline Game ModeCooperativeDifficulty Specific

If you used a radio call instead of a direct invite, you'll unlock:

Sie sind das Essen und wir sind die Jaeger!

Shoot off a flare (or volunteer to help someone who does).

Sie sind das Essen und wir sind die Jaeger!
1 guideOnline/OfflineSingle PlayerCooperative

(You can also get the above achievement by using the radio to join another player's game, or using the radio to invite someone to your own. You don't even need to be successful, just using the radio unlocks the achievement. You can cancel the join requests afterward if you so wish if you're not interested in multiplayer).

Since Firewatch Fortress already has an Infirmary built-in, we can skip that step. Continuing to follow our tips for early stage games, we'll want to get both a Garden and a Workshop facility up in our base ASAP, as well as loot all the buildings in the town below Firewatch Fortress (while making sure to complete all enclave quests). Once the town is out of loot-able areas, move to either Rusty Rosie's or Western Builder Supply - as both require four survivors to move into, you can head over whenever you're ready. Once settled into WBS or Busty Rosie's, you can start your mid-game play.

Around this time, check your survivors - hopefully once of them is a Builder style leader. If so, promote them to leader, unlocking:

Can We Fix It? Yes We Can!

Elect a builder as the leader of your community.

Can We Fix It? Yes We Can!
1 guideOnline/OfflineSingle PlayerCooperativeHost OnlyMissable

With the Builder leader, you'll now want to build a Sniper Tower in a large facility, unlocking:

Enemy at the Gates

Build the Sniper Tower facility at your base.

Enemy at the Gates
2 guidesOnline/OfflineSingle PlayerCooperativeHost OnlyMissable

About this time, you should be starting to clear out the Plague Hearts, unlocking;

The First Hurdle

Destroy a plague heart in a Dread Zone or a Nightmare Zone.

The First Hurdle
1 guideOnline/OfflineSingle PlayerCooperativeDifficulty Specific

On to end-game now: at this point, you have a choice, if you're comfortable in Rusty Rosie's or WBS, feel free to stay, if not, work on recruiting a few more survivors and move into either Lundegaard Lumber Mill or Prescott Fire Station (if this is your first outing, I recommend Prescott; for veterans, I recommend Lundegaard. Prescott is especially good for people without the Builder's Boon as it provided Water and Power with one of its built-in facilities). Now, work on finishing off all the plague hearts.

It's around this time that your base should naturally be attacked by a large horde (large bases make a lot of noise), which will unlock:

Close Call

Destroy an XL Horde (a large horde with two Screamers and a Feral) in a Dread or Nightmare Zone.

Close Call
1 guideOnline/OfflineSingle PlayerCooperativeDifficulty Specific

If not, no worries, as you'll run into plenty of these large hordes in your Nightmare play-through.

Around mid-game you'll want to set up an outpost at the map's Landmark, the New Hope Church. The Church is located south of the Lundegaard Lumber mill - take the north-south road just west of the Lumbermill in the southern direction and you'll see the Church right before the road curves east. It will cost you 1000 influence, but in exchange, it will give you either +4 beds, a morale bonus to your community, or the Radio Command Rooftop Sniper (a worse version of the Radio Command: Sniper radio call you to get with the Sniper Tower facility). Upon setting up your outpost, you'll unlock:

Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota

Claim a landmark outpost.

Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota
1 guideOnline/OfflineSingle PlayerCooperative

You'll also be 1/3 of the way to completing the other Landmark achievement, which you'll finish in run-through #3.

Wherever you wind up as your base, eventually you'll finish off all the plague hearts on the map, which will unlock:

Total Eclipse

Destroy every plague heart in your territory.

Total Eclipse
5 guidesOnline/OfflineSingle PlayerCooperativeMain Storyline

Now before you begin your Leader Legacy quests to end the game, make sure you upgrade at least one of your resource outposts to level 3. This is expensive (level 2 costs 800 influence and level 3 costs 2000 influence) but you should have enough influence by the end of game (and if you don't you shouldn't have trouble farming it). Upon your first outpost hitting level 3, you'll unlock:

But It Can Be Better

Fully upgrade a resource outpost.

But It Can Be Better
2 guidesOnline/OfflineSingle PlayerCooperativeLevel

Once done, you can start the Builder Leader end-game missions. Fortunately, unlike almost all the other leader quest chains, the Builder quest chain mostly is made up of community members asking to build facilities in your home territory, making this the easiest Leader Legacy mission set in the game.

First mission has you build a facility, so just tear something down and rebuild it (or upgrade something that hasn't been upgraded yet...Mission complete.

Next mission has you build a facility that provides power, so tear down a small slot facility and build a generator. Once done, you'll have to perform a facility action that requires power. Do so, and mission complete. Feel free to tear down the generator once the quest is over and replace it with something better.

The next mission will require you to build a specific building: often this is a Sniper Tower or Workshop (or something you don't have), followed by needing to get this new building to its highest upgradable level. For Daybreak players, this will often be a Workshop as the Red Talon Workshop doesn't count as a Workshop for the quest. If you have a Red Talon Workshop, just tear it down and re-build it as a regular Workshop, and upgrade it to level 3. Once done, mission over.

Next up, you'll get three different groups approaching your base asking to join your enclave. The first is a group of three people, all of whom are terrible stat-wise. Feel free to accept or reject as you see fit (as we're almost at the end of the game), though I personally would reject them. Next a group of two will show up, with one of the two infected with Blood Plague. No matter what you do, the infected person will turn and attack you. Killing the newly turned zombie, the other survivor will ask to join your community. You can accept or reject the lone survivor. Finally a third group will show up asking to join your community. Accept or reject as desired. Mission over.

Before the next step, make sure to load up all your survivors with equipment and gear to take to your next campaign play-through. Make sure everyone has a resource rucksack, then load them down with ammo for their guns, any facility mods you want to carry over, high-end consumables, and especially bulk plague cures (for high trade value, or can be broken down into individual plague cures in an emergency). Speaking of which, crafting bulk plague cures will unlock:

Pound of Flesh

Craft a case of bulk plague cure while in a Dread Zone or Nightmare Zone.

Pound of Flesh
1 guideOnline/OfflineSingle PlayerCooperativeDifficulty Specific

Don't worry about effects to your base when doing this, since after the next mission, the game will be over.

Now on to the last mission, and the first one involving combat - a group will show up demanding to take over your base (if you rejected anyone from the earlier quest, it will be them; if not, it will be a new group). When done talking to them, they will turn hostile and immediately attack you. Take cover, and let your survivors in the towers take these people out with their .50 calibre rifles (you've been arming people as per my recommendations in the guide, correct?). Once they are dead, you're base will come under a heavy zombie siege for three minutes. Survive this, and you will complete your first map on dread, unlocking:

If You Build It, They Will Come

Complete a campaign with the builder's legacy.

If You Build It, They Will Come
5 guidesOnline/OfflineSingle PlayerCooperativeHost OnlyMissable


Play-through Two - Meagher Valley, Dread Difficulty, Sheriff Leader (and maxing morale)

For this run, bring some of your old survivors from last time, as they're now high level and loaded down with resources and goodies! Select the Builder boon - free water and power! Skipping the tutorial, and coming right into the map, you'll unlock:

Tilting at Windmills

Settle a base in Meagher Valley.

Tilting at Windmills
1 guideOnline/OfflineSingle PlayerCooperativeHost Only

For starting this map with survivors carried over from a previous map, you'll also unlock:

The Next Generation

Start a new community with survivors from a completed one.

The Next Generation
2 guidesOnline/OfflineSingle PlayerCooperativeHost OnlyMultiple Playthroughs Required

Strategy will be a little different in the early game, as you're going to wait until you acquire six survivors before moving. If you're running Daybreak, feel free to use the radio and recruit Red Talon Soldiers and Operatives to work toward completing the Red Talon recruitment quest (see the Daybreak guide for more details). Fortunately, we start out in a fairly large neighbourhood, so we have a lot of resources to clean out before we move.

Speaking of which, at the start of mid-game, we'll be moving into the Squelones Brewing Company (requires six survivors). Once here, we'll be starting our effort to get the Maxed Morale achievement for Dread+ Zones. Squelones will naturally give us +10 morale for just living there, and water and power Boon should give us another +7. Time to work on the rest of the morale we'll need - here's the roadmap on how we'll complete this achievement:

To unlock this achievement, we want to have as many positive morale boosters as possible. First off, exile any community who are providing negative morale, or start fights easily. Next, start building facilities that improve morale - first the Lounge (I know the Tasting Room is basically a lounge, so now we'll have "two" Lounges working simultaneously), then the Latrine, then the Officer's Quarters if available. Make sure you have enough beds available via Sheltered Beds (nothing outside, as that, knocks morale). Any bed deficits can be made up with +2 bed outposts. Any leftover facility slots can be facilities your survivors like, or ones your community as a whole needs, like the Infirmary. If you have a cook, make a Kitchen. Leftover outposts should be coffee shops (for the morale boost).

If you can, have one of your survivors learn or know Plumbing. Not required, but helpful.

About this time too you can elect your Sheriff leader, unlocking:

Nice Moves There

Elect a sheriff as the leader of your community.

Nice Moves There
2 guidesOnline/OfflineSingle PlayerCooperativeHost OnlyMissable

The reason I'm mentioning this is that with a Sheriff, you can raise the Lounge(s) to level 3, giving huge morale bonuses. Do so for both your Lounge and the Tasting Room.

Now head out, and defeat a plague heart and an infestation for some major morale boosts. Once done, use the Still to craft a case of beer. Now fire off the following facility abilities (if available), starting with the highest morale items first and working your way down:

  • Kitchen - Prepare Feast
  • Latrine - Latrine Duty/Clean the Toilets
  • Lounge/Tasting Room - Movie Night
  • Lounge/Tasting Room - Watch TV
  • Lounge/Tasting Room - Play Games
  • Lounge/Tasting Room - Schedule a Break
  • Lounge/Tasting Room - Mix a round of Drinks/Stock the Taps
  • Officer's Quarters - Clean the Toilets (requires Plumbing)

Just firing off several from above should be more than enough to get maximum morale, thus unlocking:

Throw Your Love Around

Reach maximum morale while in a Dread Zone or a Nightmare Zone.

Throw Your Love Around
3 guidesOnline/OfflineSingle PlayerCooperativeDifficulty Specific

If for whatever reason you're having trouble unlocking this achievement, wait until all plague hearts are defeated to try again, as you get a huge permanent morale bonus for their defeat.

Once you've unlocked Throw Your Love Around, feel free to tear down the Lounge (the Tasting Room serves as your lounge while in Squelones), the Latrine, and maybe the Officer's Quarters. Definitely replace the Lounge with the Field Hospital, thus unlocking:

Mercy Hospital

Build the Field Hospital facility at your base.

Mercy Hospital
3 guidesOnline/OfflineSingle PlayerCooperativeHost OnlyMissable

With a field hospital, you no longer need an infirmary, so feel free to switch that out for a more needed facility.

Time now to occupy the Landmark of Meagher Valley, the Wind Farm. The Wind Farm is located in the middle of the map, west of the dividing river (it's hard to miss, you'll see the windmills from far away). This will give you base-wide power, at the cost of influence (yay!), labour (meh), or parts (boo!). Since this is your second run-through of the game you should already have power from the Builder's Boon, so this outpost is essentially useless to you. Therein, once you occupy the outpost (and getting credit for the achievement), feel free to discard this outpost and pick up something better. 2/3 Landmarks down, and we'll unlock the last Landmark achievement next play-through.

Mid to end-game should be similar now to what you have been doing in your last run. Once all plague hearts are destroyed though, you'll get a different set of leader missions.

The first mission you will get is from a call from an enclave. When you arrive, they'll direct you to find one of their missing members. Heading over the missing member's last known location, you find their dead body there, with a note in its inventory. Take a note, which will direct you to a second area. Head there, and search this area to find another note. With both notes in tow, head back to the original enclave to find them under attack! Help defend the enclave and kill the attackers to end the mission.

Next mission, you will be directed to go to several local enclaves to ask for their help in defending against these new "invaders". Some will agree to help, but one or two may become hostile. In this case, you'll have to kill the enclaves that become hostile (the ScentBlock + Zombait + Bloater Gas Grenade combo works wonders here, as a reminder). Once you've visited all the enclaves, the mission will complete.

A much shorter mission this time, though this one is on a 15 minute timer - one of your friendly enclaves will radio in that they're under attack! Head on over and help defend them, killing all three attackers. Once the attackers are dead, mission complete.

As the next mission is the last one, make sure to stock up your entire survivor community with resource rucksacks, ammo, consumables, facility mods, sell-ables, etc. for the next play-through. Once you do this, feel free to start the last mission - you'll get a call from one of your allied enclaves informing you of the location of the leader of the invaders. Head on over, and you'll see it's a big warehouse, with the leader hanging out on top. If you get very lucky, you can use a sniper to take out the leader from a distance, but often he's out of your field of view. In that case, you'll have to enter the warehouse, climb on the roof, and kill the leader - but be careful, there are a lot of human enemies lurking around the warehouse, so use all your hostile human killing techniques (sniper guns, scnetblock/zombait/bloater gas gernader, etc) here. Once you climb up on the road, simply kill the invader leader. As there is nothing "special" about him, performing this task should be relatively easy.

Once the leader is dead, you'll unlock:

I Am the Law

Complete a campaign with the sheriff's legacy.

I Am the Law
5 guidesOnline/OfflineSingle PlayerCooperativeHost OnlyMissable


Play-through Three - Cascade Hills, Dread Difficulty, Warlord Leader

Same as play-through two, start with a team of three of your previous survivors, who should be fully levelled and loaded down with goodies. This time, you can select both the Builder and Sheriff legacies! Free starting goodies and free base power and water! Starting on the Cascade Hills map will unlock:

Dam Fine Territory

Claim a base on the Cascade Hills map.

Dam Fine Territory
2 guidesOnline/OfflineSingle PlayerCooperativeHost Only

This play-through will be similar to the other two, with the exception of not needing to do anything special for achievements. As for base progression, feel free to move to the Bridge Fort upon recruiting your fourth survivor (though you can skip this step), then onto either the Church on the Hill or the Corner Office. Either are decent choices.

When you have the opportunity, select a Warlord Leader to unlock:

Mediocre!

Elect a warlord as the leader of your community.

Mediocre!
1 guideOnline/OfflineSingle PlayerCooperativeHost OnlyMissable

As well, make sure you build your Armory on this play-through to unlock:

Citizens First and Soldiers Second

Build the Armory facility at your base.

Citizens First and Soldiers Second
2 guidesOnline/OfflineSingle PlayerCooperativeHost OnlyMissableBuggy -

The armoury should help you decimate the plague hearts fairly quickly - quick enough that you might stay in the Church/Office, though then you'll miss the best base in the original Sod2 maps, the Container Fort. The Fort does need eight survivors to move into, so keep that in mind before deciding to move. Either way, from your base of choice, wipe out the remaining plague hearts. Once they're gone, you can now do the Warlord Legacy quests. Note: in my opinion, the Warlord has the hardest of the game, though you shouldn't have too much trouble on Dread mode.

Before that though, make sure you occupy the Cascade Hills Landmark, the Leeds Concrete Silo, located in the southwest portion of the map, inside the little map "nub" sticking out the very bottom of the southwest area (or, in other words, go to the portion of the map that's the most southerly, then head to the eastern part of that southern border). The Concrete Silo is great as it acts basically like a Staging Area, setting all base maintenance costs to zero (and if you have a Staging Area already, you can now free that facility slot up for another Large Facility). Upon occupying this outpost, you'll finally unlock:

A Three Hour Tour

Claim any 3 landmark outposts.

A Three Hour Tour
2 guidesOnline/OfflineSingle PlayerCooperativeCumulative +

Onto the Leader missions: first up, a member of a different enclave will show up at your base warning you of an impending attack. Feel free to recruit this person or not. You'll want to head off the attack, so follow the quest marker now to the hostile enclave. Approaching them, you'll find them in a firefight with a zombie horde, so use this to your advantage to take them out (bloater gas grenades come in real handy here). Once the hostile enclave is dead, mission over.

Now that you've been spooked by a hostile enclave, your next mission is to drive around to some other local enclaves to ensure their loyalty to you. The first enclave you approach will be overrun by zombies, with no survivors. The second enclave will be outright hostile to you, and you'll have to wipe them all out. Same story with the third enclave (only difference is you have to talk to them first). With the fourth enclave, you'll discover they've already left the map, not to be seen again. Search this base to find a pamphlet denouncing you and your community! This discovery will end the mission.

Same deal now as usual for a final mission, stock up all your survivors on rucksacks and anything you want to port to future games. Once kitted out, feel free to start the last mission. More hostiles! You'll be tasked to get information about the coalition forming against you, and when you show up, three survivors will attack. Kill two, and the last one will surrender, letting you know where the headquarters of this new coalition is. After deciding the fate of the surrendering person (kill them or let them go), its off to the final battle! This time, the final location will have four people defending it. Take them all out to end the mission, and unlocking:

Be Still My Dog of War

Complete a campaign with the warlord's legacy.

Be Still My Dog of War
3 guidesOnline/OfflineSingle PlayerCooperativeHost OnlyMissable


Play-through Four - Meagher Valley, Nightmare Difficulty, Trader Leader

Some changes this time - instead of Dread, start a Nightmare level game. Again, pick three of your levelled survivors to start with maxed out skills and pockets full of goodies to get you off to a strong start. NOTE: we'll be back on the Meagher Valley map - this is because the Squelones Brewing Company is so compatible with the Builder Legacy that it's worth pairing these two items up (plus, Drucker County is a dreadful map, so we'll use it in a later play-through). Starting a game on Nightmare difficulty will unlock:

Rage Against the Dying of the Light

Enter a Nightmare Zone.

Rage Against the Dying of the Light
1 guideOnline/OfflineSingle PlayerCooperativeDifficulty Specific

Play this the same way as you did the previous outing at Meagher Valley, although this time you won't have the Builder Boon to provide you water and power (and you don't have to max out morale either). Be very cautious at the beginning of the game as the difficulty has just been notched up, and it can catch you off guard if you're not careful. This is a good map to do some more Red Talon Soldier and Operative recruiting if you have the Daybreak prestige for it, as you'll want to get your population up quickly to be able to move into Squelones. Grabbing a few of them should unlock:

My Own Private Army

Recruit a Red Talon contractor to your community four times.

My Own Private Army
2 guidesOnline/OfflineSingle PlayerCooperativeShop

With high-level characters, and a head start with the gear they brought along, you shouldn't have too much trouble surviving, as late-stage Dread is akin to early-stage Nightmare. Just make sure to not break down doors if you can avoid it, or shoot unsilenced guns if you can, as noises on Nightmare difficulty cause a lot more issues in Nightmare than they do Dread. The good news is that if you can survive the early-stages of Nightmare, you'll be just fine.

Once you're into Squelones, make sure to promote a Trader Leader to unlock:

Doctor Terminus

Elect a trader as the leader of your community.

Doctor Terminus
1 guideOnline/OfflineSingle PlayerCooperativeHost OnlyMissable

With the trader leader, you'll absolutely want to make the legacy project. Build the Trade Depot (it will be a central part of our plans), and unlock:

Who Run Bartertown?

Build the Trade Depot facility at your base.

Who Run Bartertown?
2 guidesOnline/OfflineSingle PlayerCooperativeHost OnlyMissable

Now, we can build an extra farm or hydroponics facility, turn the food produced into whiskey or craft beer via the Still, then call in a trader with the Trade Depot to trade the whiskey/beer for any materials we need. We can now fully stock up our base without ever having to leave home! The safest possible setup imaginable!

But, all good things must come to an end. Around end-game you'll have to leave your base to hunt down the plague hearts (Note: there are now 12 - 19 plague hearts on the map, vice the 10 - 16 you get on Dread, so you'll have to work a little harder this time around).

Hopefully during this time or well before, you've been killing Juggernauts, so you will have unlocked:

Blood Farmer

Extract 20 plague samples from plague juggernauts in a Dread Zone or a Nightmare Zone.

Blood Farmer
2 guidesOnline/OfflineSingle PlayerCooperativeDifficulty SpecificCumulative +

As well, you should have long ago killed 100 hordes, but if not, simply drive around and "Car-Fu" them to death as you find them, and eventually, you'll unlock:

Is There No One Else

Destroy 100 hordes in Dread Zones or Nightmare Zones.

Is There No One Else
1 guideOnline/OfflineSingle PlayerCooperativeDifficulty SpecificCumulative +

One more achievement for you, for killing all the plague hearts in a Nightmare Zone, you'll unlock:

Peerless

Kill all plague hearts in a single Nightmare Zone.

Peerless
2 guidesOnline/OfflineSingle PlayerCooperativeDifficulty Specific

With the plague hoards dead, it's on to the Trader Leader Legacy missions. Fortunately for us, while not nearly as easy as the Builder legacy missions, the Trader missions are not nearly as hard as the Sheriff or Warlord missions.

The first quest, with a lot of driving involved - make sure to have room in your inventory for this one. An enclave will call you asking to trade - when you arrive, they indicate they want hygienic goods and will trade tobacco for it. You'll automatically pick up the Package of Menthols. Head to the next indicated enclave, who will happily take the Package of Menthols, but do not have hygienic goods. Instead, they have a plethora of games, adding the Horseshoe Game Set to your inventory. Off to the final quest marker, who will take the Game Set and give you a Pack of Razors. For some reason, the quest ends right here, and you do not have to return the razors to the first enclave (though feel free to head out there and sell them anyways).

Next quest up: an enclave will contact you and wish to speak with you. Do so, and they'll indicate another enclave is going to ambush an upcoming trading summit. Head out to this new enclave and talk to them - here, you'll have a choice: you can kill them (the hard route) or you can go out and get them a rucksack of the resource they want (the easy route). Either way, this will end the mission.

On to the final quest! Do your usual overloading of survivors with rucksacks and supplies (I advise having one of the survivors you don't mind losing kitted out with explosives and Molotovs for the Lethal run), and head over to where the aforementioned summit is going to take place (I heavily recommend bringing a follower with you, best it be from an allied enclave to make them expendable). You'll meet with representatives of a few enclaves in a warehouse, but during the meeting, you get ambushed by hostile survivors. Simply kill them, and talk to the surviving enclave members. When you do, it will start a three minute zombie attack on the warehouse. Survive this, and you'll unlock:

Speedy Delivery

Complete a campaign with the trader's legacy.

Speedy Delivery
3 guidesOnline/OfflineSingle PlayerCooperativeHost OnlyMissable

For completing a legacy in a nightmare zone, you'll unlock:

Over the Rainbow

Complete a legacy arc while in a Nightmare Zone.

Over the Rainbow
3 guidesOnline/OfflineSingle PlayerCooperativeDifficulty Specific

Also, for completing all for legacies in Dread and Nightmare, you'll unlock:

Tried and Tested

Complete the legacy arcs for all four leader types while in a Dread Zone or a Nightmare Zone.

Tried and Tested
2 guidesOnline/OfflineSingle PlayerCooperativeDifficulty SpecificMultiple Playthroughs Required

At this point, you're done with all your full play-throughs, now on to the partial ones.


Partial Play-through Five - Your Favourite Map, Lethal Difficulty, No Leader

Green and Normal difficulties are very easy. Dread is fairly easy if you know what you're doing. Nightmare is tough but fair. Lethal... well, Lethal is punishing. Fortunately, we only have to stay here long enough to get a few quests done, and we can quit out of this and move on to Heartland (and/or 150 hours of sitting on a tower, see the section below for details).

Start a new game on Lethal difficulty, and grab three survivors from previous games you don't mind losing (since we're not going to complete this campaign). Once will preferable be loaded down with ammo and explosives. Select any map you want. Once you load in, you'll unlock:

Bless Me Now With Your Fierce Tears

Begin a session with minimum difficulty set to Lethal.

Bless Me Now With Your Fierce Tears
1 guideOnline/OfflineSingle PlayerCooperativeDifficulty Specific

Now, play this map as you would normally, setting up an infirmary, garden etc. Close to the beginning of the game, you'll usually pick up a chain of quests from an enclave that at first has you harvest some blood plague samples, followed by helping them take out a plague heart. If you get this, you're in luck, as you get an extra follower to help you take out that plague heart! Bring a follower, and tons of explosives, as you'll have to face down hordes of zombies and at least two blood plague ferals when attacking the plague heart. Hopefully, you have an arsenal of explosives with you (six c4s should do the trick). Expend any remote explosives you have, as you will no longer need them. Upon victory over the plague heart, you'll unlock:

Retrieve Biomass

Kill a plague heart with minimum difficulty set to Lethal.

Retrieve Biomass
2 guidesOnline/OfflineSingle PlayerCooperativeDifficulty Specific

Last task in our Lethal run - we need to kill one of each of the four specials on the map. Note: you need to kill them yourself, vice a follower doing it, so "Car-Fu" is your best bet here. Simply drive around, and find each of the four specials (screamer, bloater, feral and juggernaut). Feel free to run over the screamer. DON'T run over the bloater obviously, get out of your car and shoot them. For the feral, either use the gunslinger trick or the car side door trick to take it down. And finally, for the Juggernuat, use your Car-Fu "back-up-to-damage trick" to take it out. As cars are basically made of tissue paper in Lethal you may break your car doing this, so should you do so, get out and either throw pipe bombs at the Juggernaut or shoot it in the head with a .50 calibre gun. Upon killing all four special types, you'll unlock:

Barbershop Quartet

Kill one each of the four blood plague freaks with minimum difficulty set to Lethal.

Barbershop Quartet
2 guidesOnline/OfflineSingle PlayerCooperativeDifficulty Specific

Along with the above achievement, if you haven't unlocked the following already, you will now:

Lilac and Spoiled Gooseberries

Kill 25 blood plague bloaters.

Lilac and Spoiled Gooseberries
1 guideOnline/OfflineSingle PlayerCooperativeCumulative +

No Gut, No Glory

Kill a blood plague juggernaut.

No Gut, No Glory
2 guidesOnline/OfflineSingle PlayerCooperative

And with that, our Lethal sojourn comes to an end.


"Bonus" Play-through - Drucker County, Dread/Nightmare Difficulty, 100 Days on Top a Tower

As every day equates to one hour of play, essentially the True Grit achievement is asking you to play on the same map for 150 hours. Brutal. Fortunately, there's a way to get this achievement while you're sleeping.

To begin, let's grab our last map achievement, so start a game with three random survivors (don't use your pool of good ones, three randos will do) and set it to Dread or Nightmare difficulty in Drucker County. Doing this will net us:

Ten Thousand Gallon Hat

Claim a base on the Drucker County map.

Ten Thousand Gallon Hat
2 guidesOnline/OfflineSingle PlayerCooperativeHost Only

Now, whatever you do, until you unlock the True Grit achievement do NOT claim the Vogel House as your base - you want to be baseless until the achievement unlocks. Instead, from the starting area, follow the road south (away from the Vogel House), then northwest at the T-intersection. You'll quickly come across a climbable survey tower. Climb this - your two followers should follow you up. Now that you're here, all you're going to do is stay up here for 150 hours. As the hours go on, your followers will complain of lack of food, and of exhaustion, but no worries, you and they will not die of hunger or exhaustion up here.

The best part of this "Wait on Top of a Tower" method - if you quit out of the game to do other things or load different communities when you load back in you and your followers will all still be at the top of the tower!

Therein, every night, simply rubber band the right stick on your controller so that you're constantly rotating (but not moving, you don't want to fall to your death). Now go to sleep. When you wake up, eight hours will have passed (meaning eight days in-game time). Rinse, repeat for the next night, and the night after, etc.

On night 18, during your sleep (assuming you need eight hours like me), you'll unlock:

True Grit

Survive 100 days within a Dread Zone or a Nightmare Zone.

True Grit
5 guidesOnline/OfflineSingle PlayerCooperativeDifficulty SpecificTime Consuming

Now, if you haven't had three deaths total yet between all of your Dread, Nightmare and Lethal play-throughs, simply take this gang, (finally) move into the Vogel house, and lead them out one at a time, letting the zombies kill them. Once your entire crew is dead (or sooner depending on how you did in previous runs), you'll unlock both:

Welcome to the Dread Zone!

Have a survivor within your community die while playing in a Dread Zone or a Nightmare Zone.

Welcome to the Dread Zone!
1 guideOnline/OfflineSingle PlayerCooperativeDifficulty Specific

and:

Enjoying Your Stay?

Have three survivors within your community die in a Dread Zone or Nightmare Zone.

Enjoying Your Stay?
1 guideOnline/OfflineSingle PlayerCooperativeDifficulty SpecificCumulative +

and along with them:

Sayonara

Have a survivor within your community die.

Sayonara
1 guideOnline/OfflineSingle PlayerCooperative

One last item - the Landmark for Ducker County is the Sasser Regional Hospital, which is directly west of Wally's Bar and Grill, along the same road Wally's is on. You should have set up Landmark outposts in the other three maps by now so all the Landmark based achievements should be unlocked, but in case you missed one, you can set up an outpost here if needed.

Method to skip Play-throughs Two and Three

NOTE: the previous section of the walkthrough was written with playing all four Leader Legacies from fresh communities, as per what the game would lead you to normally do. You can skip playthroughs two and three above however by manipulating your save files. This is dangerous though as if both your cloud save and local saves accidentally gets erased, or your cloud save gets corrupted, you will lose all progress in this game, including any progress in Daybreak. You have been warned!

There is a method to skipping the second and third play-through should you wish by deleting your local save file.

Essentially, do play-through one as normal, and when you finish your last quest and unlock the Builder Legacy achievement, immediately press the cn_guide button, press cn_start while on the State of Decay 2 tile, and select "Manage Game & Add-ons". From this menu, scroll down and select "Saved Games", select your game, then choose "Delete from Console". Doing this will automatically shut down the game, and once you restart, you'll pull your save down from the cloud, putting you at a time before completing your last legacy mission. MAKE SURE YOU DELETE YOUR SAVE FROM THE CONSOLE ONLY. If you delete your save from both the console and the cloud, you'll destroy all your progress in the game, including progress made in Daybreak. Do not do this. Make sure you delete from console only.

At this point, load your community again and head into the community menu, select your leader, and pick "Demote Leader". This will give your base a temporary morale penalty, but allow you to pick a different leader with a different legacy. Once you do this, be sure to build their leader project (Trade Depot, Sniper Tower, Armory or Field Hospital), and complete the game again as normal. Then, after popping the legacy achievement, do the same trick again as above. Rinse, repeat to complete all four legacies, their associated achievements, and the achievement for completing all four legacies in a Dread or Nightmare zone.

(Note: in times past, to get rid of a leader, you had to either exile them, or get them killed. A recent patch allows now for leader demotions, so no more killing your own survivors to get achievements! Or at least, no killing except for the achievement that requires you to kill your own survivors directly...).

Doing the above, you'll now have to get the maximum morale achievement on your first Dread run (it's harder on your nightmare run, but not impossible). As well, you'll probably be well short of hordes and Juggernauts for their respective achievements, so you may have to take time to hunt them down in your original Dread or Nightmare games. Given this, you'll still save a lot of time, with the trade-off being the dangerous prospect of losing a save file on accident. Up to you which way to go - I personally liked the game so I got all the achievements "legit", but as achievement hunters, it's nice to have a method to be efficient.

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