State of Decay 2 is a game about making tough choices that will affect how your game plays out. From the mundane to the major, users will be constantly bombarded with decisions. The first real question the game asks will determine where you end up developing your community. At the end of the tutorial, the military soldier will give you three options to choose from – foothills, plateau, and the valley. Each has their pros and cons, so it’s important to know what they offer.
Keep in mind, you can have up to three communities in State of Decay 2 at any time. This means if you want to build a society in each region then you just need to go to the menu and select “Manage Communities.” If you skip the tutorial then State of Decay 2 will automatically place you in a region you haven’t played before.
Here’s a breakdown of each region and which one we suggest starting at.
The first location offered is a region full of forests, hills, railyards, and small towns. Foothills is a fairly spacious map, that doesn’t have a ton of condensed areas to scavenge. This makes it easier to not attract unneeded attention, especially when it comes to fighting Plague Hearts or Infestations. However, this can make traversing certain areas with a vehicle difficult, especially if you don’t have something that’s designed to go offroad.
Foothills also offers up the best starting base of three different regions. Your home base is surrounded by high walls and zombies can only enter through four small gates. This makes sieges or zombie attacks much easier to repel, especially if you have a shotgun. As for the actual loot, we found a solid amount of resources early on, but it’s critical that you get a car early. Many of the prime looting locations are pretty far from your starting home.
We recommend Foothills for newcomers who are trying to avoid fighting hordes of the undead.
For those looking for something a bit bigger, Plateau is the largest of the three regions. This location is full of steep mountains, open terrain, and prominent towns scattered across the map. There is a lot of ground to cover in this region, which makes it one of the trickiest early on. You will become more reliant on searching through the neighboring houses and small town right by your home base. This does make some zombie encounters easy, but many of the actual buildings are pretty close to one another. It’s possible for things to spiral out of control, especially when you head north
When it comes to the starting base, Plateau’s is a mixed bag. The walls can be scaled by zombies, but the back end is against a cliff face making entry less likely. There’s also a handy storage facility and parking spots right next to the house. While we like this base, moving to a more secure location should be a priority.
Plateau is the most difficult of the three and recommended once you have a better understanding of the game’s mechanics.
A personal favorite, Valley is a mix of suburbs, cities, and farmlands. If you want to get into a fight with the undead and are comfortable sneaking past hordes then this is the location for you. This region is full of stores, homes, and structures that are tightly packed together. It’s fantastic for looting and you should have no issue finding resources in the early, mid, and even late game. However, this layout also means there are more zombies to deal with and Infestations can be a problem if left unchecked. You’ll need to do a lot more cleansing than you’d have to in Foothills or Plateau.
Valley’s starting location is good, but not amazing. It has two parking slots and some inaccessible walls. Defending the area is pretty easy, but this base appears to attract more special zombies such as Juggernauts or Screamers. Because of this, you’ll want to arm every survivor just in case. If you do pick Valley, we suggest finding a base in the farmlands as they are easier to defend during attacks. Where this region shines is in co-op as the abundant supplies make it easy to share and find what you need.
Valley is a good starting location for those who want more resources but will prove difficult if you aren’t capable in a fight.
Our Pick for Beginners
If you are just starting out in State of Decay 2 we suggest picking Foothills and then moving onto Valley. Foothills strikes a good balance of looting and has the best place to defend in the early game. While Valley has more resources and Plateau is bigger, both can be difficult if you’re unfamiliar with the game. Remember to get a truck as soon as possible if you do decide to go to Foothills.