It’s the first day of the apocalypse, and it can be totally frightening. But the key to surviving it is whether you’re ready… or not. Here are some tips from someone with ADHD who has hyper fixated on this game for a decent amount of her time.
How to Survive
So! Thank you for checking this guide out, first of all. This is going to be rather off-the-cuff, but it should hopefully help you get better and farther in this zombie survival rogue-lite based on flash games from Armor Games.
Managing your inventory and carrying capacity is incredibly important in The Last Stand: Aftermath. Being over your carrying capacity both decreases your movement speed, and increases your stamina usage. To combat this, here are some things I’ve learned that can help you keep your load low and your speed high.
- A good rule of thumb is to only carry three firearms: two to have as your primary weapons, and one backup. Make sure all three are of different ammunition types (9mm, .45, 12g, 5.56, 7.86, etc.) so that you don’t waste reserves for two guns.
- Instead of carrying Medkits around everywhere, which weigh 2 units, you should carry Bandages, which weigh 1 unit, and Alcohol, which has no weight. If you ever need a full heal from a Medkit, craft on the fly to combine the two components when you have a safe moment.
- If you ever find that you have too much Clean Water, you can combine them with Rags to make Bandages, which are 1 unit lighter.
- If you have multiple firearms of the same type, and you don’t have both equipped, you don’t need to have two sets of attachments! When you enter your inventory, time pauses, so if you need to switch your weapons out, take the attachments off of what you had equipped, and put them on what you’re switching to.
- Always keep at least 5 Infected Blood Samples on you so you can make Antiviral. If you want to feel a bit more safe, and have the space, carry a maximum of 10.
- When you dispose of something from your inventory, it’s gone. Forever. You can’t get it back. Be careful with what you’re willing to discard! It’ll take some time until you know what you like and dislike, what you prioritize and what you don’t care about.
- Always keep at least one Herbal Antidote with you. You can craft one at any fire if you combine Hog Root and White Yarrow. As far as I have found, they are the only way to cure the poison status effect.
Managing what you have in your inventory and when is surprisingly important- as you progress in the run, the resource availability varies for each category.
- The amount of items that regenerate stamina is inversely tied to the amount of firearms and ammunition you can find as you progress through the areas. From my personal experience, once you reach the Sunken City, you can notice where the lines cross. As a result, hoard stamina restoratives early on, and don’t worry about wasting ammunition too much in the early game.
- Remember how I said to pick two guns with different ammo types earlier? That also applies here. Ammo has its own weight based on the type, so discarding ammo that you don’t need is totally okay!
- Melee weapons only have a certain amount of uses until they break and are removed from your inventory. As such, don’t bother repairing melee weapons unless you feel the result would be worth it (in my experience, this would be for machetes, bats, and other large, damaged weapons that have high durability). Keep in mind that repairing a melee weapon does not restore uses of it! Ranged weapons however, have infinite uses! Repair what you use, and dump what you don’t!
- After purchasing the upgrade “Modified Radio,” you can start to find hidden drops in the area! Just listen for beeping, and if you’re playing on controller, vibrations. There won’t be a tooltip until you’re right on top of it, so run around until you find the source.
Combat, Combat, Combat!
Combat, while it can be completely avoided through stealth, is integral in surviving your run. Melee attacks use stamina and deplete a weapon’s durability, ranged attacks use ammo and deplete the current magazine, and thrown items like bottles or grenades require a parabolic aiming reticle to be thrown.
- Properly aiming and shooting is going to take some time to get used to. Practice with dinky little guns on your first couple runs until you get comfortable with the system and feel you can do more.
- Reloading firearms in this game is done through an active reload system. You hit the reload button, then hit it again in the green spot. If done correctly, the bar flashes green, you instantly reload, and whatever bullets you reloaded have increased damage! If done slightly wrong (button pressed in the white spot of the bar), the bar flashes white and it was a standard reload. If done wrong, however, the bar will flash red, and your reload will take slightly longer. If you’re ever fudging a reload, you can quickly switch to your other firearm, then switch back to try again.
- Armored zombies are immune to gunshots from all angles. Normally, you have to strip the armor off of them with melee attacks. If you’re using a melee weapon, it goes by faster, but you’re losing durability on your weapon with each use. If you do it unarmed, though, it will take longer, but you won’t lose any durability from any of your weapons, so pick what’s best for each situation.
- Each special zombie’s attack can be evaded safely with a well-timed dodge!
- For Bursters, the fat ones, lure them close and dodge away as they start their explosion animation. The cloud lasts for a while, so be careful! (There are also Poison Bursters!)
- For the tiny zombies, they go down in one hit from anything, but almost always come in groups of five or more. I recommend either a pistol you have an ungodly amount of ammo for, or just unarmed melee.
- For Chargers, the big hunky guys, dodge to the side right before they charge at you, and dodge away when they stomp. Bonus points if he hits an object when charging, because he’ll be stunned! (Armored Chargers will start to show up in later areas of the game, and their armor can be stripped with the same methods as armored zombies. Careful though, when doing special attacks, they cannot be stunned!)
- For Leapers, the ones that crawl everywhere, dodge to the side right as they jump at you, and empty your clip at them.
- For Spitters, the green girls who shoot poison goop, dodge away as they fire, and make them Swiss cheese. They tend to keep their distance, so getting up close won’t be easy.
- For Flamers, the flaming, slow walking skeletons, take them out from a distance with gunfire. The fire on them can spread to you, and it does massive damage, and when they die, they explode in a fiery blaze.
- Running out of stamina is worse than running out of health- you can’t heal yourself back up if you die because you couldn’t escape. You can still melee attack without stamina, but you won’t be able to dodge or sprint until you take a moment to recover.
- One handed melee weapons are fast, usually on the lighter side, and allow you a larger range to jump to a zombie and hit it- they’re best for single targets. Two handed melee weapons are slow, heavy, do more damage, are great crowd control, but you don’t jump nearly as much towards zombie targets. Pick the one that fits your situation best!
- Chem-Lights can be used to distract zombies so you can sneak by! Keep in mind that they only work if you haven’t been spotted yet, and you’ll be just fine.
Prolonging Your Run
It’s no fun if your run only takes a couple seconds because you ran out of health, or your infection overtook you!
- Remember that you’re on a time limit. As soon as your infection reduces your health to zero, the run is over. To combat this, you can find Antivirals while exploring your run! Using one will temporarily halt your infection, and you always start your run with one.
- Always save Batteries for accessing Antivirals. You can only keep one spare Antiviral on you at a time, though, so if you have more than five, it’s perfectly okay to use one on a Radio or Supply Cache.
- Save your Electronics to combine with Scrap to make Batteries. You can also use Electronics to make Beeper Bombs if you have excess of them or excess Batteries, but it’s usually better to save.
- Don’t be afraid to use an Antiviral early if you have a spare and spot an extra one! It’ll reset the timer, and Antivirals heal you a bit when you use them! Keep in mind that using an Antiviral animation locks you, however, so make sure you’re safe.
- As time passes, your maximum stamina will decrease. This can be combated by using stamina restoring items, like various canned foods, Clean Water, Cooked Mushrooms, et cetera.
- Stamina is more important than health. Prioritize stamina restoring items over health restoring items. Again, you can’t heal yourself if you die because you couldn’t run away.
- Keep yourself under carrying capacity! For my fellow loot goblins, this will be an immense challenge, but it pays off. You need that extra movement speed and faster stamina recovery. Trust me.
- Only heal or use stamina items when you’re dangerously low. Don’t use a bandage because you took one damage, and don’t eat canned food because you’re only 10 or so stamina below maximum. This said, however, if you feel concerned about your capabilities to survive on low health or stamina, don’t be afraid to top up just in case.
Knowledge is how you increase your capabilities with each run. Effects and upgrades carry over from run to run, so don’t be afraid to get your upgrades! Knowledge can be found while exploring, represented with a blue diamond on the item’s box. These have no weight, and are immediately converted, so don’t hesitate to pick them up. In The End, you can talk to Radar to access these upgrades. Out in your run, you can do so via radios, whether battery or generator powered.
- Start with the “Modified Radio” upgrade and the “Boltcutters” upgrade. These will allow you to find many more resources early on, and continuing the tree will help even more!
- The “Backpack” upgrades are pricey, but each one will increase your carrying capacity by around 20 units. I promise they’re worth it.
- The “Searching Speed” upgrades, for whatever reason, also increase the speed at which you repair and fuel your car!
- Invest in the “Knowledge Retention” upgrade quickly, so you can start to fill out the rest of the upgrades as you continue.
- If you’re tired of your melee weapons breaking on you after a pitiful amount of uses, I recommend the “Weapon Durability” upgrades. They’re more effective than you think!
- Get all of the “Safehouse ____ Chest” upgrades as soon as you’re able to. These make Safehouses more than just a place to spend your Knowledge and craft- now they’re a helpful restock too!
- Start increasing your stamina ASAP with the “Stamina” upgrades. You’ll thank me later.
Supplies are the other in-game currency! They can be found as rucksacks for you to put in your car’s trunk, you gain them any time you level up (shown in the top right), and any time you allow The End to pick up a supply drop! Supplies are used to stock the Armory in The End. While in The End, Debbie is who you would talk to when using your Supplies. Keep in mind that you cannot use them while out on your run!
- Blue unlocks grant you immediate Knowledge!
- Brown unlocks will give you different starting loadouts for your Volunteers.
- Golden unlocks will stock the armory with a permanent item that replenishes each run! Get these first.
- Red unlocks allow you to find new items when exploring. It’s incredibly helpful if you feel you haven’t been doing well with what you can get.
- Cache unlocks will give you a listed amount of an item and put it directly into the Armory. Unlike the golden unlocks, these are NOT replenished after each run. Despite this, they can be helpful!
- Beige unlocks will stock the Armory with exactly what’s listed on them. Like the cache unlocks, these are not replenished after each run.
- If you find a supply cache, and you don’t think you need the Supplies, it’s okay to take what’s inside instead! I’ve found hundreds of bullets for a gun I enjoy using in them before, so do what’s best for you in the moment!
- You yourself cannot damage your car, and zombies can only damage it when you’re inside. As such, it’s a great use for hiding, or repeatedly stunning a Charger. Remember to repair your car every so often!
- Keep your distance from turrets and goop-covered radios. The latter will rapidly progress your infection if you aren’t under the effect of an Antiviral!
- Stay out of waist-high water! Zombies can be hiding under there, indicated by bubbles on the surface, and they’ll immediately grapple you.
- Speaking of grappling, the difficulty of the QTE is directly based on your current stamina level. Even more important to keep an eye on it now!
- Use your stuff! You can’t hoard things in this game! Trust me, I tried! Throw your grenades, your molotovs, your can bombs! Shoot your bullets! Whack zombies with your weapons! The only things you should be conserving are food, Batteries, and healing items!
- If something weighs nothing, just pick it up. There’s no harm in it, and who knows, you might need it!
- After you complete each zone, you gain the ability to skip around the map, provided you have the gas! This means you don’t have to visit every single node on the map in order to progress, as long as you can provide fuel and repairs.
- Each zone has its own special zombie type. There’s a small amount of crossover, but usually it’s minimal. The Suburbs has small zombies, the Mountains have Leapers, the Sunken City has Spitters, and Hell has Flamers. Bursters and Chargers can be found everywhere, but Poison Bursters can only be found in the Sunken City, and Armored Chargers can only be found in Hell.
- The node you visit determines the standard loot you can find. Military outposts, checkpoints, etc. will usually have grenades, combat knives, ammunition, and some firearms. Housing usually has stamina restoratives. Shops can either have crafting materials or firepower, depending on the shop on the map. I’m sure I haven’t covered all of them, but it won’t take long to find out what has what, don’t worry.
- If you ever find that you keep falling through the map, or got stuck in impossible geometry, quit back to the main menu and reload the game. You’ll start back right at the beginning of the node you were in. Any supply caches you find on that node cannot be changed in this way, so don’t try to save scum your loot.
- Dying is okay. You didn’t suck at the game, you didn’t make a major mistake, you just died. It’s so integral to the game that you are quite literally guaranteed to die at some point if you don’t take Antivirals. If you find yourself getting frustrated, just take a deep breath, step away for a moment, and revisit the game when you’re feeling better. Remember, it’s just a video game, and you don’t HAVE to play it. Prioritize your health.
- Have fun. Play the game in the way that you enjoy it the most. Don’t burn yourself out on it. You got this game to enjoy it, so do just that, okay?
If you made it this far, thank you for reading everything. I greatly appreciate it. This is my first guide and I really hope that it helps at least some of you in playing this goofy little game that I’ve near fallen in love with.