In DayZ I'm checking a lot of the sites that people (on the internet) have recommended to me as having a high chance of spawning good weapons and loot, however most of the time I find nothing of interest, presumably because other people have gotten there first and taken all of the good stuff.

When will these loot piles "respawn" so I can pick up all the shiny toys that I see other players with?

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    Out of curiosity, how many of those spots that "people on the internet" told you about are out in the open and suspiciously near what look like excellent spots for a sniper to hide in? Commented Jul 12, 2012 at 14:23
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    @Shadur Most of them :) I've found out about most of these spots through places like the DayZ wiki or YouTube videos (places like the military camps in Stary Sobor) so I'm pretty sure there is supposed to be loot there. Of course thats exactly why there are probably going to be snipers there too.
    – Justin
    Commented Jul 12, 2012 at 14:34
  • Are there different rules for vehicles? I never seem to find any.
    – Bob
    Commented Nov 27, 2012 at 10:10
  • 1
    @Bob Yes, the rules for vehicles are different
    – Justin
    Commented Nov 27, 2012 at 11:11

6 Answers 6


The best loot guide around that I know is backed up with code snippets. The executive summary:

  • Each building is triggered individually, and has its own loot-spawn timer.
  • Loot spawns as soon as a player is closer than 120m but farther than 30m from the building. The building's loot spawn timer also starts then.
  • Every 10 minutes new loot will spawn if and only if there is a player in the 120–30m ring. A player in that ring will cause loot to spawn on the timer even if there is another player inside the 30m ring. If you're not inside that ring when the timer checks for a player, there will be no new loot.
  • Each spawn location in a building has a 50% chance to populate whenever spawning is triggered, so emptying loot spots helps.
  • Backpacks and ammo cases don't count when the code checks if there's already loot in a spot.
  • Bonus: Zombies spawn when a player enters a 200m circle.

For a pretty picture of the trigger ranges and the code snippets to back these up, read the full guide.

  • This was actually someone else's link-only answer. This is what it was going to look like after I laid some editing mojo down on it, but it was deleted out from under my edit. I still felt it should be here in its non-linkonly version. Commented Sep 17, 2012 at 4:20
  • Perfect, exactly the information that I was after!
    – Justin
    Commented Sep 17, 2012 at 9:16

Loot respawns after a fairly short amount of time so long as there are no players near (I think it's about 100 meters) and the loot spot is empty (so pick up all the junk and move it at least 100 meters away).

The exact amount of time seems to work on a server wide 10 minute timer. Every ten minutes all eligible locations will have their loot updated. This could be 5 seconds from when you finish preparing the area (moving the junk and yourself 100 meters away), or 9 minutes.

The best bet is to move the junk from the area, and check back every 2-3 minutes.

  • Do items respawn if I log out while near the loot spawn point?
    – user9983
    Commented Jul 24, 2012 at 14:27
  • @OrigamiRobot Yes, because it's server based, and since you could log into any other server, if they kept track of people who aren't logged in, pretty much no loot would ever respawn.
    – Mr Smooth
    Commented Jul 24, 2012 at 14:54
  • You don't need to move junk at least 100 m. away. You may just throw it outside of a house out of loot spots.
    – Gtx
    Commented Aug 28, 2012 at 10:42

From my experience I believe loot spawns in a similar fashion to zombies. Once you get within a certain distance of the spawn site the game has a chance to spawn loot at predetermined locations in or near a building. Unlike zombies the loot only seems to spawn as you cross the threshold and doesn't continually spawn while you're in the area. Loot also seems to only spawn on an empty spawn location, so if someone's been through earlier the loot that spawned when they came through would still be there if they didn't pick it up or move it, thus leaving only the empty loot locations to check for loot on the relevant table. I know that zombies will only spawn within 200m of a player and I believe the same distance is the threshold for loot spawning as well. If this is all true then it's very possible to farm an area for loot by entering the area and picking up and moving the spawned loots outside of the loot spawn sites and then leaving the area and re-entering it causing the game to run the loot spawn routines as you cross the 200m threshold on your way back in. If you don't pick up and move the loot the locations that spawned the first time would be skipped as you re-entered the area.

I've yet to prove this conclusively, but I've tested a few things and I've repeatedly seen buildings that I know have multiple loot spawns only have 1 or 2 things in them the first time I ran through and as I make my rounds in the area (moving away from and then back to the building in question repeatedly over a 10-20min time span) the other spawn sites that were empty have slowly filled up till all the sites were full of loot. If I pick up the loot and move it just a few meters away from the spawn site and drop it the newly empty spawn site will often have loot in it when I come back around to the building. It's a bit tedious picking up and moving items like this, especially large objects like weapons and vehicle parts, but if you've got time and you feel secure in the area you're working in it certainly seems worth the effort if you're staying in a specific area for a decent length of time and you're moving around and expect to repeatedly revisit a building after moving far away from it.

You can find the loot tables for the different buildings at the DayZ wiki and they were recently also added to the DayZDB map (http://dayzdb.com/map for those that don't know about it). The tables will tell you how many spawn locations a given building has, and give you a breakdown of the rarity of loots by spawn chance.

  • The more I test this the more convinced I am that this is exactly how loot works in DayZ. Given Maciej Hehl's comment about loot spawning next to him I would guess that any time a player crosses the 200m threshold from a loot spawn site the site has a chance to spawn loot. So farming loot as a team of 2+ players repeatedly moving through a town and moving all the loot out of the spawn sites on each trip through would mean that each spawn site they come within range of will get a chance to spawn loot for each player so you'd get more loot spawns with more players, but you'll also get more zeds!
    – lorebot
    Commented Aug 31, 2012 at 1:22
  • Over the weekend I did some more testing on this. Found an empty server and spent a couple hours farming items using different techniques. I've discovered that loot does in fact spawn on a timer and will only spawn within a given distance of a player. I spent an hour running around a factory, never getting more than 100m from the main building, but the loot kept respawning every 2-3 minutes and I made my rounds as long as I kept the spawn sites clear.
    – lorebot
    Commented Sep 3, 2012 at 17:46
  • Later I had a friend logon and we farmed together and loot seemed to spawn faster. I'm guessing that every time a loot site finishes its timer it rolls for every player in range. So more players mean more successes on the loot tables, and thus more loot spawning.
    – lorebot
    Commented Sep 3, 2012 at 17:46

I am playing on I have not messed around with the moving and dumping the junk loot, but that seems to match my observations. It seems to me that if a spot is empty, it may or may not spawn loot every few minutes. I do not think that you have to go very far away at all. I have literally walked out a door, and walked right back in to find the previously empty building filled. Also, if you leave unwanted loot in place, it stays there until you go quite some distance from the area.


I was looking for some explanation of the loot spawn mechanics in DayZ and I got here.

I'm still looking for a definitive answer, but my observations suggest Mr Smooth is wrong in many aspects.

I described some of my observations below. but be aware all can change in new versions.

For now (version and my current experience), my hypothesis is, that the mechanism which determines what loot spawns (if any) is triggered when a player approaches the location and the distance gets below some threshold. I suspect that this mechanism could be triggered by purposely entering and leaving the zone. I don't know what the distance is and if it's the same for all types of buildings or spawn spots. Also, I don't know if entering the zone triggers one time roll only or if it starts some process of many rolls over time. In the first case it should be possible to generate a new loot by entering and leaving the zone. Maybe even a few steps back and forth would do the trick, but one would have to know the exact distance. In the second case, there is no need to move. One just has to get within range and wait. Getting too close stops the process (assuming there is such process)

Loot definitely doesn't spawn with time when there are no players near. I saw too many almost completely empty fire stations and other buildings, when I rushed into them from far away. There was plenty of time for loot to spawn before I had come, but it didn't. Moving in the vicinity of the spots, changing the distance leads to more loot appearing over time.

It is also not true, that there can't be any players near the loot spawn spot. I have experienced loot suddenly appearing next to me in the past. But I think other players moving nearby are necessary for that.

Of course loot can't spawn in an occupied spot, but it is not necessary to take the garbage 100 meters away. I managed to get new loot in the barrack at the airfield, after dumping the garbage at the entrance, just outside the door.

I think crash sites are a different story. I don’t believe loot spawns near them after the initial one gets picked up. But they are way too rare and dangerous for me to gather enough experience and observe the behavior.


My technique for farming loot in areas is bring along a spare bag or two with me in a vehicle. Take an empty bag into ex. building1 fill it up and dump it in the center or easily accessible area. Go back to vehicle and grab another bag then head to building 2 and repeat. Return to your vehicle and get your normal (preferably large capacity) bag and take anything from the other bags you've set up.

After you've gotten your goodies back to the vehicle storage you just run a circuit of the locations you've set up. After a while bags will spawn in the buildings you're working over and you can pick those up and move them near each loot spawn. I can confirm that the 30m and 100m rings are accurate.

I've had really good luck doing this with military locations and in towns with supermarkets and fire stations. If you've got a bandit problem you can usually buy em off by providing a situation where the service of loot cleaning you can provide is worth more than your murder.

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