In the DayZ mod for Arma 2, sometimes when I spawn I get lucky and start near a town, where I can usually find zombies, supplies, and other players. This is fun!

However, usually I seem to spawn in the middle of nowhere, and am left to wander aimlessly. Recently, I spawned and followed the coast for over 10 minutes without running into any players, zombies, or buildings. Not fun!

Is there any way to figure out where I am in relation to other players? If not, is there any way to figure out where I am in relation to a town (where I'm likely to find other players)? I tried pressing M for Map, but no map was actually displayed.

In general, what steps can I take in the game to make sure I'm heading towards instead of away from the action?

  • there is an in-game map, but it's an item like any other. So you actually need to find one and carry it in your inventory.
    – Wipqozn
    Commented May 12, 2012 at 22:36
  • Just remember. Don't trust anyone in this game. If you run into someone just kill him because there is more then 90% chance that he will kill you and take your stuff instead. Play with your friends that you know and use TeamSpeak. To navigate you can use the map downloaded from the internet. While in game press ALT + TAB to switch on map. When you find the compass and the map it's a lot easier. I usually find them in supermarkets or office buildings.
    – user27162
    Commented Jun 6, 2012 at 21:19

4 Answers 4


Spawning Location

When you first spawn you'll notice some text show up on the right side of the screen. This will contain your general location, so make sure you remember this. Unless you spawn near a landmark, it's the only way you'll have any idea where you spawned.

Map & Compass

There is an in-game map, but it's an item like any other. Until you find one and store it in your inventory it won't be displayed when you press M. However, there is an online version of the map, which also contains the English names of locations. Towns will have a sign containing their name somewhere near their borders, but it will be written in Cyrillic.

There is also an in-game compass, usable with K, but like the map is only usable if you have a compass in your inventory.

The map and the compass are the most important tools at your disposable for figuring out where you are, and what direction you need to walk in order to get where you want to go.

Night time

I haven't tried this method myself, but apparently there is a way to locate the North star at night. If you find yourself wandering around alone at night this should prove useful in helping you get around.

Finding Action

Towns are the best place to find zombies and players. Zombies have a much higher spawn rate in towns (in fact they currently don't spawn in the woods at all, only near buildings). Towns are also a required stop for most players since contain the most loot. Your best bet for finding a town after you spawn is to just follow the coast in either direction. It may take some time, but you'll eventually find a town.

Something else to pay attention to is the in-game chat (by default you talk with "/", and change channels with "."). Watching this is one of the best ways to find out where players and zombies are. Players will often send messages looking for people to meet-up with, or give out warnings if their are a lot of bandits or Zombies in an area.

  • I didn't mention this in my answer since yours is more specific to navigation, but you can also use the sun to determine your bearing during the day. Commented Aug 14, 2012 at 1:53
  1. Read the text in the lower right of the screen when you first spawn to get your general location. Cross reference it with a map if the name isn't familiar to you.
  2. Use a map online like dayzmap.info to aid navigation until you find the map item in-game.
  3. You usually spawn on the south coast. Look to the east and west, scanning the horizon for tall buildings. Zoom in with the right mouse button to get a better look. There's usually a city in view (Chernogorsk or Elektrozavodska).
  4. Be careful engaging players you don't already know. Many aren't friendly.
  5. External voice chat applications can help you meet up with friends. Some options include TeamSpeak, Ventrilo and Steam.

A common misconception is that when you spawn on the coast, you should run either left or right. Do not immediately go for the major cities at first spawn. You should avoid them until you get a primary weapon, especially if you are in a popular server. First time I play, I ran along the coast, but I went all the way to the west-most border, and got lost. If you run into two bridges side-by-side, then go east (or left when facing the ocean).

Remember: Cities contain food and medical supplies, but Barns are where the guns usually are. Look on a map like this: http://dayzhq.com/map/ to find where barns and vehicles spawn. (Take note that vehicles are good to have, but can be more trouble than they're worth.)

Bandit Camps: Little known fact... The least likely place to spot a bandit is IN THEIR CAMP. By bandit, I mean groups of players playing to kill people and horde the good items. If you see a group of tents north, north west, or north east of Stary Sobor, then that's usually a bandit camp. They sometimes carry good stuff like sniper rifles, assault rifles and the lot. Hell, you might even find an ATV! Once I was playing with 5 of my friends, and we ran into a 6-7 tent camp north of stary, and we raided it without the bandits even knowing! We camped that spot of 4 days just taking whatever we want. The reason why no one noticed is because tents are known of be glitchy.

And here's some food for thought: The watch is the most useful tool in game. It tells the time, and acts like a compass:

  • When looking at the time, make note of where the sun would be (if it's 9, and it's daylight, then it's morning.)
  • Move around in a circle until the watch is lit up by the sun (In this case, it's 9:00, so you are currently looking west, because the sun is behind you)
  • What does this answer have to do with this question? They're looking for ways to find trouble—you're telling them the opposite. Have you perhaps mistaken this for a forum instead of a Q&A site? Commented Oct 4, 2012 at 23:40

Generally, if you are in one of the larger cities (electro, cherno, etc.) you will get a lot of excitement in the form of zombies, loot, and survivors, with the majority of the survivors being paranoid and trigger-happy. Personally, I just play with people I know that have the game because it's a lot harder to betray someone when that person isn't just some dude from Iowa, and I can trust them =). If you are trying to just meet random people, just make sure to watch out. Bandits can follow you to the location that you arrange to meet at and kill you both. I have done this a few times myself, and it would be a lot harder for me if people just didn't talk. The safest way is to skype with a buddy and meet in a building with one wide open entrance (church, some houses). When dealing with zombies in the city, do not shoot unless you have enough ammo to deal with the zombies. Firing in the city can turn into a real shitstorm. Not only will you get attacked by zombies, but all of a sudden every bandit knows exactly where you are; he just has to follow the zombies, wait until you kill them/escape, and then kill you in your weakened state.

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