State of Decay 2: How To Manage & Improve Your Community | Base Happiness Guide

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The community is the heart and soul of State of Decay 2, and keeping your people happy is always your top priority. When the community becomes depressed, people will leave (or worse) and make your life in the zombie apocalypse even more of a living hell.

Your community, and your actions, dictate the final goal you’ll need to accomplish to “win” at the end — sometimes that means wiping out Plague Hearts, and sometimes that means wiping out every other enclave on the map.

Depending on your playstyle, there are plenty of ways you can change how your base is run, and here I’m going to provide a comprehensive guide covering everything you need to know about base happiness.

More State of Decay 2 guides on Gameranx:

How To Manage & Improve Your Community | Base Guide

You can have up to three communities saved at any given time, and you can roll random characters or select characters from completed games that have finished their legacy project. For this guide, we’re going to assume you’re starting totally fresh.

Getting Started – Selecting Your First Survivors

Select “Manage Communites” from the Main Menu to start up a new, fresh community. Selecting your first three community members is incredibly important. You can reroll them as often as you like. This is what we’re aiming for:

  • Get community members with these skills:
    • Computers (For fully upgrading the Command Center)
    • Medicine (For producing Blood Plague Cure)

For the third community member, try to roll a useful skill — Craftsmanship is great for crafting / building, while gardening will help you create a garden. You’ll want to get characters with as many stars in the special skill as possible.

The fifth bonus skill is totally random, and finding survivors in the environment with medicine / computer skills can be really difficult. Sometimes you just won’t find them. Get those two skills, and you should be set.

The other four skills (Cardio, Wits, Fighting, Shooting) will get leveled up over time. Don’t worry about those star ratings at all. Focus on just the fifth skill slot.


Your First Base

No matter which region you start in, your first base is always the same. You’ll need to move into a large two-story house. The starting house always has a set number of bonuses and amenities:

  • Starting House Base:
    • Command Center (Every base has one. Your command center will move with you.)
    • Storage (Every base has storage. After relocating, you will gain a bonus temporary material storage, so you won’t lose resources when you move to a new base for a set amount of time.)
    • Two Parking Spots (Every base has at least two parking spots. Park your cars here to keep them.)
    • 3 Empty Small Lots (One needs to be cleared.)
    • Master Bedroom (Requires repair.)
    • Double Bunk Room (Single room with four beds.)
    • Chef’s Kitchen

Every community starts with three survivors — except for the tutorial community, that will start with four. There are our meters in the Base menu you need to be aware of.

  • Resources: The amount of resources you currently have. If any are below 5, it will lower your community’s morale. If you have zero of a resource, especially food or medicine, it will greatly lower your community’s morale. Without food, people will begin to starve.
    • Before upgrades, you can only carry 20 resources each. If you collect more than that, you’ll steadily (and quickly) lose excess resources.
  • Morale: Morale is the health of your community. If morale is below the center line, people are unhappy — unhappy people cause fights, make mistakes, ruin resource batches, and cause morale to lower even further. Happy people will bring more supplies to the base randomly and provide other useful benefits — try to keep people stable or happy at all times.
  • Effects: Active Effects are special bonuses that are currently active in your base. When you move into a new base, you’ll gain a +500% Global Build Action Speed bonus. Other things, such as personal grudges or private traits, will raise or lower morale. Others are facility specific — using seeds to increase the yield on crops will give you a +1 per day food active effect. There are many active effects, so check to see how your base is doing often!
  • Threat Level: The threat level meter is at the bottom of the base menu, and this tells you the risk of a zombie attack. The higher the meter, the more likely your base is about to be attacked. This will raise as more zombie infestations occur around the map, and causing noise (building, using facilities) will raise the threat level sharply. The threat level will drop back down after a construction job, so it’s best to spread out base actions before your threat level hits critical levels.

You can upgrade your base and stick with it, or move into a new base right away. To make a successful base, this is what you’ll need to do.

How To Make Your Community Happy | High Morale

A happy community is the same no matter where you call home. There are certain factors you’ll always need to keep in mind.

  • Every survivor needs a bed. Don’t recruit more survivors than you have beds. This will effect morale and lower total stamina on runs.
  • Food is the most important resource. Keep at least 10 food in your stockpile at all times. Build a Garden (seeds can double your daily yield) or establish outposts on food production buildings to keep your food situation under control.
    • Ammo / Gas are luxuries that aren’t necessarily required.
    • Materials are needed for building / crafting, and may be needed for certain facilities. (Extra bed upgrades need daily materials.)
    • Medicine is the second most important.
  • Don’t die! Death leads to depression as your other survivors mourn the lost. That means you don’t want survivors to die, and you especially don’t want them to die from the Blood Plague.
    • The Blood Plague also causes a morale loss. If any survivor has the Blood Plague, everyone in the base will feel it.
  • Check the Base Effects screen for active effects. Certain survivors might have a terrible personality, or they might be prone to causing more problems. If a survivor is too much trouble, you might want to exile them.
    • ¬†Other survivors might just help you improve morale!
  • Power and Water are required for maximum happiness. There are specific special facilities you can build on small slots to provide power or water to your entire base. These are useful, but not required for most of your run. If you want maximum happiness, though, you absolutely will need power / water on for all facilities.
    • You can do this by unlocking Water / Power outposts. These will provide water / power to all your facilities, even if you move to a new base.
    • Mods can be used to add power / water to a single facility. While this is useful, it won’t raise your total morale very much. Only do this to unlock facility-specific functions, like new crafting recipes or garden upgrades.
    • NOTE: Mods are totally useless if you don’t activate them in the facility menu! Fill portable generators with gas, or they will not provide power.

The basics are simple, it’s getting them done that’s hard. Here’s everything you need to do (basically) to keep your people happy.

Managing Your Community – Step-by-Step Tasks

To really improve your community, you need a steady, constant supply of influence, resources, and weapons. That means you need to do three things:

  1. Scout every area from a survey point and plan resource raids. Collect bags of resources, as many as you can fit into a vehicle, in a single run. Don’t over-collect. If you have 20+ of any single resource, stop depositing resources in the base inventory.
    • Find and park at least two cars at your base at all times. If you have extra resource rucksacks, just leave them in a parked car that stays at your base until you need them later.
    • Swat out survivors and complete their personal quests. Always carry: a melee weapon, a gun, a stack of bullets (optional), snacks (optional for stamina), fire-crackers, and three health items.
    • If you’re going on a long resource raid, repair your vehicle and place a gas can in the vehicle’s inventory.
  2. Complete radio call missions to find enclaves. You want to become friendly with any and all enclaves. Allied enclaves provide passive bonuses like radio commands, extra beds, extra storage, and more.
    • Trade with allied enclaves to earn lots of influence fast. Trade books, mods, resource rucksacks, plague cures, and junk items.
    • Check friendly enclave survivors by talking to them and look at their stats. From here, you can find survivors that might be useful — computer skills, gardening skills, or medicine skills. If you find one, you can ask them to join your community. This is cause the enclave to disappear, but it’s worth it.
  3. Clear infestations and plague hearts. This is the basic goal of the game, and it’s fairly straightforward. Find more plague hearts, and destroy them with consumable thrown items. Often, enclaves will want you to hunt these down.
    • When all the plague hearts are destroyed, you can begin work on your legacy goal.

Raid for resources, make friends with enclaves, clear plague hearts, and rinse / repeat until you have enough influence to upgrade your base.


Upgrading Your Base

Every map, essentially, features six bases you can capture. To take a base, you’ll need to spend influence and have a certain amount of survivors. Check every corner of the map, and use survey towers to easily spot every base — enclaves will naturally pop up wherever you set your base.

After establishing a base, everything will move there — make sure that you upgrade your storage space before the temporary storage boost effect is over, or you’ll lose any excess resources you bring over.

  • Starting Base: Free – Two-Story House. Same on every map.
  • Small Base: 500 Influence / 3 Survivors – Bridge. Highly fortified, but extremely small.
  • Medium Base: 1,000 Influence / 5 Survivors – You’ll find two of these per map.
  • Large Base: 1,500 Influence / 6 Survivors – Sturdy compound. Not very customizable.
  • Massive Base: 3,500 Influence / 8 Survivors – Huge fortress with multiple large facility slots. Highly customizable.

The largest bases are the ones you want the most to sustain a large community, but larger communities require more food. Make sure you have enough food resource buildings, such as hydroponics or a farm, to keep your base fed. You won’t be able to sustain a base this large with scavenging alone.

Which bases are your favorites? Let us know in the comments section!