So by now you have probably at least heard of the Day Z mod, if not bite the proverbial bullet and picked it up to play for yourself. For those who are curious about how to best survive on their first day, I have compiled a list of what I consider to be useful tips for players and fans alike. While some of these seem like common sense, you will be surprised how many players simply do not notice or think of them while they are scampering around the map trying to not be eaten by the zombie horde.
The first and probably most important tip for new players is to use cover. The game offers ample woodland areas that run parallel to the roads, and hugging the walls of a building as you sneak by it will keep your profile from sticking out and being easily noticed by observers. The player who is walking down the open street is the same player who is likely to be picked off by a rifle or noticed and chased by a zombie.
The second ties into movement inside the game as well. Movement breaks down into two very easy categories: The correct way and the way that gets you eaten. The correct way to progress through the majority of the areas of Day Z is at a slow, crouched pace. Yes, this is an infuriating slow way to move through areas but it will keep you alive by not having you make too much noise or be as easy to see as if you were standing. It is somewhat acceptable to run through an open field or woodland that you have taken the time to look at to check for zombies or players. Running on the road creates as much noise as gunfire does, and is easily the best way to attract the zombies to your delicious meat. Just remember that running in the open still makes you a target for the players who are into that sort of thing.
The third tip has to do with item conservation as well as gathering, and is pretty straightforward in any game with loot: loot EVERY. SINGLE. THING. You have no idea what you will find on zombie bodies (typically nothing, but there is always the chance) and there is gold buried in the loot piles on the map. Spawning into the game with just some food and bandages, not even a weapon now, makes finding a good stash of loot an absolute priority now.
On the subject of looting, there is the ethical way of searching loot piles as you come across them and pillaging the best items for later use. Players will want to stockpile the obvious things like food, ammo, bandages, and canteens. If you are lucky enough to come across a blood pack or morphine, definitely pick these up to carry. Blood packs replace lost blood, and morphine allows for the fixing of broken bones at the hospital. Items of this rarity can sometimes be used as bargaining chips to players who have corned you, but be wary as by telling them you have these items you are simply becoming a better target to loot.
The less than ethical way is to use the first weapon you come across to kill a fellow player who has better loot than you. This typically entails lying in wait inside a tower, stairwell, or other choke point and hoping you get the drop on them. Yes, there is plenty of player killing from what I have seen inside the game, as there will always be players who log into games like Day Z specifically to hunt down other players.
Day Z comes down to the players ability to gather the basic supplies and a decent enough weapon to stay alive, on top of learning how to move through the world without attracting the hoard. The few tips I gave here are the basic premise on how to do this, so best of luck avoiding the horde.