State of Decay 2: Here’s The Best Way To Destroy Plague Hearts | Combat Strategy Guide

Plague Hearts are an annoyance that only become more and more dangerous as you make progress in State of Decay 2. You’ll have to fight deadly swarms of Plague Zombies if you try to take one down — and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. If you’re not careful, you’ll quickly get infected by the Blood Plague. Then it’s all over for your survivor.

Plague Hearts are a serious problem, and if you want to keep your territory (mostly) safe, you’ll need to destroy all of them on the map. For each Plague Heart you destroy, the rest will grow in strength, becoming tougher and summoning more Plague Zombies when they’re threatened. To manage your community morale and clear areas of an overabundance of Plague Zombies, you’ll need to destroy the hearts.

Attacking a Plague Heart unprepared is the fastest way to get killed in State of Decay 2. If you want to continue living, here’s some of the best strategies you can use to quickly (and safely) destroy a Plague Heart.

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How To Destoy Plague Hearts Safely | Best Methods Guide


Plague Hearts are marked on your map with a bloody red symbol — it’s best to avoid these areas until you’re fully stocked and prepared for a fight. Here, I’m going to talk about my personal method for destroying Plague Hearts — as far as I know, this is the safest, fastest way to destroy hearts when you’re first getting started.

Your equipment will get better, but this method short work for the entire game. It’s all about going in solo and using decoys to distract the hordes of zombies that the Plague Heart summons. Before going out to fight a Plague Heart, here’s how you’ll want to prepare.

  • Plague Heart Preparations – What You Need:
    • Any powerful gun. If you have extra ammo to bring, that will help.
    • Bombs. You can construct molotovs in a Lvl. 2 Workshop, or Soda Can Bombs. I recommend bringing at least 9 consumable bombs. If you’ve found grenades, bring those too.
    • Decoys. You can build Boomboxes, Fire Crackers, or Fireworks Tubes at the Workshop. Bring 5+ with you, just to be safe. It’s better to be over-prepared than underprepared.
    • A vehicle. Don’t walk to a Plague Heart. Always drive. You might need to make a quick getaway.
    • All the basics. Bring all the basics, including any melee weapon, bandages, and snacks.

When you’re ready, let’s go over this method, step-by-step.

The Best Method For Destroying Plague Hearts

When you’re loaded down with a strong gun, plenty of bombs, and lots of decoy items, it’s time to travel to a plague heart. Don’t bother bringing an AI partner — they’re bound to get killed or worse if you’re using this method. On a standard run, followers will be helpful, but this is a high risk method that’s fast, and mostly safe if you’re going solo.

  • Plague Heart Hunt – Step-by-Step:
    1. Drive to the location, preferably during the day.
    2. Park away from the entrance. You can clear out some of the Plague Zombies now before attacking the Plague Heart, but it isn’t necessary.
    3. Throw down a decoy. Be aware that some decoys take a moment to activate. The Boombox lasts the longest, and can be activated remotely after being placed — that makes it one of the best decoy items early on.
      • Zombies will ALWAYS chase a decoy, even if they’re busy attacking you. They’ll run right by you.
    4. When the zombies are distracted, rush inside the Plague Heart lair and begin chucking bombs. Make sure to wait for the explosion / fire to burn for a moment before throwing another. Between throws, you can unload your gun into the heart.
    5. Listen for your decoy or look at the mini-map. Make sure to throw down another decoy before the previous decoy is finished.
    6. Continue to attack the Plague Heart with bombs / guns. Don’t attack it with melee weapons! It has an area of effect attack it uses to gas your survivor.
    7. Keep throwing down decoys while tossing bombs / shooting until the Plague Heart is destroyed.

The Plague Heart will continue to summon huge hordes to help it as you attack. You’ll want to bring more powerful bombs to the Heart later in the game, as it gains HP after each heart is destroyed. Make sure the incoming hordes are distracted, and you’ll be safe. Once the Heart is dead, the zombies in the area will disappear.

This is why you won’t want to bring a follower. An AI companion is likely to attack zombies, even when they’re distracted. That ruins the whole purpose of the distraction — you don’t want to waste your time on the zombies. Just focus on damaging the Heart.

It’s also important to know that hearts will retain any damage you do to them. If you run out of decoys, sprint for your vehicle and escape. You can return later, and the heart can be destroyed then. No need to put yourself at too much risk. You can also use your car to rundown zombie hordes — but I think it’s more efficient to cluster zombies with a decoy, then bomb them all.

For destroying a Plague Heart, you’ll gain a heft amount of influence, an improvement to morale, and you can collect 4-5 Plague Samples from the corpse.