Guide The Zeds and Freaks of SoD2


Alamo Rookie
Mar 9, 2018
Ruins of Danforth
State of Decay 2: Zed's and Freaks Guide
Written by:e5futter
Pictures by: @QuarantineRoad

State of Decay 2 is a zombie survival game where the player must scavenge for resources, build a base and community, and defending that base from threats. Undead Labs managed to add human enemies to the game, but there is no doubt that the main enemy will always be the zombies and freaks. This guide will explain the different types of zombies, their threat level, attacks, and easiest ways to kill them. If there is anything I have missed, do not hesitate to post below and I will add your quote to the guide like in the old days of the UL Forum. Enjoy!

Zeds, deadheads, zombies, creeps, walkers. There are plenty of names to call the undead of State of Decay. Zeds are the primary enemies to encounter in the world and are less lethal than their original SoD counterparts with their attacks being much weaker. Them being weaker in damage output has been balanced as they are a little bit more durable than their Trumbull Valley Cointerparts meaning you can now chop of their legs and they will still crawl after the player instead of just lying there and eventually dying. There are three types of Zeds. Shamblers, Runners, and Crawlers.

Blood Plague Zombies

Blood Plague zombies are a mutated and deadlier version of the regular zeds. They are defined by their crimson skin, exploding pustules, and glowing red eyes. Blood Plague zombies are a much larger threat than regular Zed's in that they can infect survivors with the plague. Survivors that become fully infected have three hours to cure themselves or else they will turn into a Plague Zombie. Plague zombies will be extremely thick around Plague Hearts and are very dangerous in large numbers as it only takes three bites and four swipes to fully infect. (Note: infection rates vary as some survivors will have resistance to the Blood Plague)

Threat Level (Normal Zed)
: :zombie_cool:--:zombie_cool::zombie_cool:
Threat Level (Blood Plague): :zombie_cool::zombie_cool:--:zombie_cool::zombie_cool::zombie_cool::zombie_cool:
Swipe: standard claw swipe, does very little damage
Backhand Swipe: standard claw swipe, does very little damage, can be done with either arm.
Double Swipe: A slow, two hit combo. Does little damage.
Grab Attack: A lethargic grab attack that the player will have to break free of. Does little to high damage if not broken free.

How to Kill
Honestly just use your imagination. Use melee weapons, defense weapons (ie: knives, screwdrivers) explosives, cars. As long as you remove or destroy the head, the zed will die (with the exception of .50 caliber rifles) . WARNING: using fire is a gamble as the zeds will spread the fire to other zeds and survivors, possible injuries can occur.

Threat Level (Normal Zed): :zombie_cool::zombie_cool:---:zombie_cool::zombie_cool::zombie_cool:
Threat Level (Blood Plague)::zombie_cool::zombie_cool::zombie_cool:---:zombie_cool::zombie_cool::zombie_cool::zombie_cool:

Swipe: Normal swipe attack that does little damage
Backhand Swipe: Swipe attack that can be done with either arm, does little damage.
Overhead Swipe: a quick claw swipe that does little damage.
Running Double Swipe
: a quick double swipe attack that does some damage.
Tackle: The Runner will tackle the survivor down to the ground if they aren't facing the zed. Stuns player for a couple of seconds.

How to Kill
Honestly just use your imagination. Use melee weapons, defense weapons (ie: knives, screwdrivers) explosives, cars. As long as you remove or destroy the head, the zed will die (again, with the exception of .50 caliber rifles). WARNING: using fire is a gamble, as the zeds will spread the fire to other zeds and survivors, possible injuries can occur. Runners will charge the player at a faster pace.

Additional notes about Shamblers and Runners: unlike Sod1, a zed can go from shambler to runner and vice versa. It is very random when it happens, a shambler could come at you slowly from a distance then turn runner when getting close enough.

Threat Level: :zombie_cool:

Swipe: A slow swipe that's more of an annoyance than anything
How to Kill
It's best to just use melee weapons as they are a waste of ammo. If you take away their arms they become harmless.

Additional notes about Crawlers: if they have both of their arms, they can lift themselves up a bit and perform a very fast and creepy crawl after you.

Additional notes about Blood Plague zombie attacks: Blood Plague zombie swipes will reduce the time needed before turning by four minutes, bites reduce time by thirty minutes!!

Uncommon Armored Zed.

The Armored Zed makes a return to State of Decay 2 with quite a few changes. There is no difference between the Army and SWAT zed other than appearance. They can both be shamblers, runners, and crawlers (if you take their legs off). The main difference from the previous State of Decay is that their helmets can be shot or hit off. They are a rarer spawn but Army Zed's will spawn more frequently at military outposts/locations while Swat zeds have a higher chance of spawn at police stations and some checkpoints.

How to kill
Using firearms is a waste of ammo as it takes a few shots to take the helmet off. Armored Zed's are also immune to fire. The only easier way to take them out is to knock them down and execute with melee weapons. If you have a maxed out swordplay or close combat you can just instant execute them. You can also use explosives or run them over with a vehicle.

Addition Armored Zed note for Daybreak DLC: It seems that the Armored zeds will do more damage to barricades than normal zeds. So take them out first!

Additional note on killing all regular Zed's including armored zed: any .50 caliber (or Cleo heavy rifle, if you have Daybreak) will kill a zed when you shoot them in the chest.
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Alamo Rookie
Mar 9, 2018
Ruins of Danforth

Freaks are the uncommon of the zeds that have evolved to have special properties. Freak zeds are a bit more rare to come by, and while few are far weaker than their counterparts, they are all deadly in their own rights. If you encounter any of these freaks, expect a fight. Over the course of the past 15 months, these freaks have changed in ways making them weaker, but in other ways making them much, much stronger. In this section of the guide I will go over all five of these freaks, their strengths, weaknesses, abilities, and how to thoroughly kill these abominations. These notes were obtained from a few months of research, survivors and Red Talon Operatives have perished to get this information to you. We will start with the weakest.



Missing it's arms, jaw, and a lot of the skin on it's left side of it's torso. The screamer is a relatively harmless zed that can't bite, scratch, or infect survivors. What it can do is unleash a deafening howl that attracts all zombies in the vicinity of it's scream. When alone, screamers are harmless, but paired with a horse, or a Feral and Juggernaut, they become a far deadlier threat. Screamers can mostly be found in infestations, but will appear to scope out areas that have recently seen a lot of noise. Screamers are very quiet when wandering around, and can hardly be heard. The only defining noise a screamer will make will be when it is taking a deep breath to unleash it's howl. These enemies are not to be underestimated.

Threat Level (Standard)l: :zombie_cool:---:zombie_cool::zombie_cool:
Threat Level (Dread): :zombie_cool::zombie_cool::zombie_cool:
Threat Level (Nightmare): :zombie_cool::zombie_cool::zombie_cool::zombie_cool:

Howl: a devastating howl that will stun nearby survivors. The howl unleashes a soundwave every 1 second for five seconds. Before this attack, the screamer will have a small period where it will take a deep breath. This is the window of opportunity to kill it.

2) Beserk Howl: This mostly occurs when there are multiple screamers in the area, and normally follows after another screamer performs the regular howl. This howl unleashes a barrage of soundwaves that lasts for five seconds. The screamer will appear to go to a knee.

How to Kill
Fire, explosives, firearms, melee, vehicles. You name it, the screamer is weak to it. Just make sure to kill it before it screams.

Side note: shooting a screamer in the chest or thigh with a .50 caliber rifle will cause it's head to explode.


The walking Chemical weapon: The bloater is one of the most dangerous freaks out there. A slow, bloated corpse filled with a deadly toxin, the bloater is one of the most dangerous of the freaks. The Bloater can now, though rather slowly, climb over small obstacles, like a railing. Bloaters can also run at survivors, and go into a sleeplike state where they can't get back up. This type of freak is very fragile, but deadly. The cloud of gas can kill survivors in a minute. In Dread and Nightmare difficulties, the Bloater is by far the deadliest creature and should not be taken lightly. Bloaters in Dread and Nightmare will kill you in seconds.

Threat Level (standard)::zombie_cool::zombie_cool::zombie_cool:


Charging Tackle: When the Bloater gets withing a certain range of a survivor, it will perform a running tackle. However, the bloater cannot slow itself down and will eventually fall causing it to explode, releasing a deadly toxic cloud. If it reaches the survivor, it will result in the same deadly explosion. Injuring the survivor and rapidly decreasing their health.

Burst: The Bloater will burst into a deadly toxic cloud that will injure a survivor and rapidly decrease their health.

How to Kill

Safe method: Shoot them in the head with any caliber smaller than a .50 and the Bloater will fall down to the ground. Once the bloater has fallen it will slowly release gas until if finally falls apart and dies. If you get too close to the bloater before it dies it will explode, so just leave it be until it dies.

The fun but somewhat dangerous method: fire. Using a firebomb, Molotov, or anything that can create fire will cause the bloater to combust. The explosion is incredibly loud and will draw in nearby zeds. The great thing about using fire is it gets rid of the gas instantly. Using a Molotov on the gas after killing a bloater will also cause an explosion, killing all Zed's in the gas.

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Alamo Rookie
Mar 9, 2018
Ruins of Danforth


Agile, smart-ish, and a remarkable Hunter. The Feral is the second deadliest freak in the country being able to dodge cars, leap over fences, walls, and on the hood of a moving vehicle. In Nightmare difficulty, they will roam in packs. The only downgrade the feral has received is it's strength. The Feral doesn't hit as hard and won't actively Dodge gunfire, it can also be killed by any caliber, from any distance. What it lacks in durability, it makes up for it in speed and aggressiveness. The feral is able to launch a multitude of attacks within a few seconds, injuring survivors and rapidly decreasing their health. When you hear it's signature roar, you know you'll be in for a fight. Only an expert in melee combat can go toe to toe with one and get out unharmed.

Threat Level(Standard): :zombie_cool::zombie_cool::zombie_cool::zombie_cool:

Threat Level (Dread&Nightmare):


Spear: when facing a survivor, it will spear them to the ground, dealing damage. This will also leave the survivor stunned for about 1.2 seconds. During this stun phase, the feral can and will unleash another swipe attack, injuring the survivor.

Swipe: When not charging the survivor and in close quarters combat, the feral will perform a one handed swipe. These can be rapid strikes.

Lunging Swipe: when charging a survivor, the Feral will perform a quick swipe that will deal minor damage.

Tackle: When chasing a survivor or coming from the side, the Feral will perform a swinging tackle and slam the survivor to the ground. This leaves the survivor open for attacks from zeds. Deals a tiny bit of damage.

Rapid Strikes: A backwards leap dodge, much like a survivor does when tapping the dodge button, after the dodge it will perform a devastating three hit combo. If caught in this attack, your survivor will be injured.

Killing decapitation: When the survivor is dying, and they're Max health is below 15% the feral will pounce on top of the survivor, smash their head into the ground repeatedly, bite their throat out, and smash the survivors head in half. Afterwards you may see the feral tugging on the corpse, as if it's toying with it's kill.

How to Kill

The Feral's attacks can all be dodged fairly easily. The main factor you're going to have to watch out for is your stamina. Bladed and close combat weapons will eventually kill it, but if you want a fun finisher against it use blunt weapons. Blunt weapons will eventually stun it after about 5-10 hits. When it is stunned simply run up to it and you will perform a beautiful finisher, decapitating it.

Firearms are also the best way to go. It's pretty rare for it to dodge when being aimed at. So take aim and go for the head, one shot will do it.

Fire does not kill ferals. It take quite a few low grade explosives to take one down and it's a waste. High grade explosives like grenades, landmines, and deployable minefields will kill them.

Killing with a vehicle is a bit tricky as you have to read which way the Feral will dodge. If you're lucky you can take it out. If unlucky, hell Dodge and jump on a door. IMPORTANT: Ferals can not be knocked off the doors like regular zeds. You'll have to spin out to knock them off, this won't kill them, but it will give you about a second to drive away. If a feral is on the hood of your car, ram it into a wall. This will instantly kill it.



The largest, and most dangerous of the freaks: The juggernaut is remarkably fast, strong, and resilient to damage. It doesn't care what's in its way, be it a wood fence, drivable car, or even other zombies, it will run through it all to get to a survivor. It's almost as fast as a feral when going into it's charge attack, and can take dozens of rounds of ammunition to take out. The juggernaut is a true apex predator.

Threat Level: :zombie_cool::zombie_cool::zombie_cool::zombie_cool::zombie_cool:


Uppercut: a quick uppercut that will knock down survivors.

Backhand: when behind or to the side of a Juggernaut, it will perform a turning motion followed by a backhand that has a pretty decent Area of Effect. Also knocks down survivors.

One-handed fist slam: Raises one arm and slams it's fist to the ground, dealing damage, knock back, and stunning the survivor.

Two-handed fist slam: will leap, raising it's arms in the air, and slamming them to the ground causing a small shockwave, dealing damage, and knocking the survivor to the ground.

Left Hook: A quick lunch that knocks survivors to the ground, deals minimal damage.

Shoulder Tackle: Will let out a roar before sprinting towards survivors at alarming speeds, the performing a shoulder tackle when close enough to a survivor.

Chokeslam: The only right-handed attack by the Juggernaut, it will grab the survivor, slam them to the ground and perform a two-handed fist slam, guaranteed injury to anyone caught in this attack.

Killing Grapple: when a survivor's in critical condition, the juggernaut will grab them, sink it's teeth into their side and continuously pull their legs until completely tearing the survivor in half.

How To Kill
The Juggernaut is a tank, and it is strong, but there is a pretty long cool down to attacks. He will also telegraph these attacks fairly well. It is easy to dodge all of them.

The Juggernaut it primarily Left-handed, so always watch it's left or be towards it's right side. It's only right handed attack is it's Chokeslam Grapple.

As for killing Juggernauts, it is invulnerable to Fire, though thermite explosions do tend to stun it if it is close enough to the grenade itself.

Explosives are an easy way to deal with a Juggernaut, it takes only four pipebombs to bring one to it's knee, allowing it to be executed. All other explosives will kill it in three-four uses.

Vehicles can kill the Juggernaut but it will severely damage the vehicle. It will also take multiple hits to take one down. It's best to use the rear end of the vehicle and back into the Juggernaut.

Firearms will also kill them, how quickly depends on the firearm. .50 Caliber rifles will kill them in four shots, while everything else will take 30+ rounds.

Side note: torso shots will also deal damage, unlike all other Zed's you can bring a juggernaut to its knee by just shooting it's torso. Though it will need to be either executed or shot multiple time in the head to finally kill him.

Melee: it may seem like a death sentence to go up against a juggernaut with sticks and knives, but it's quite an easy task once you've learned his attacks. You will deal much more damage with attacking him from behind, so dodge his attacks and hit him in the back. With telegraphing their attacks, it's also easy to take them down with Close Combat weapons!​
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Alamo Rookie
Mar 9, 2018
Ruins of Danforth
Blood Plague Freaks
Blood Plague Variants for the Feral, Bloater, and Screamer are, as of right now, only found in the Heartland DLC. Juggernauts are found in Daybreak, Heartland, Dread difficulty, and Nightmare difficulty. These variants have evolved and adapted to the Blood Plague environment of Trumbull Valley.

Blood Screamer

[Image will be added at a later date]

The Blood Screamer is an incredible threat to those that venture into Trumbull Valley. Unlike it's regular variant found outside the valley, the Blood Screamer has an actual attack to defend itself, which also infects survivors with the plague, and it's intense howl can stun survivors from a greater distance. It's howl will also spawn Plague Zombies as well as a couple of Blood Bloaters.

Threat Level::zombie_cool::zombie_cool::zombie_cool::zombie_cool:
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