The best weapons, upgrades, perks, and leveling tips
In Zombie Army 4: Dead War, the living dead swarm around you, and you’ll need to hold out and survive. Here’s our combat guide teaching you the best weapons, perks, upgrades, and some leveling tips to help you defeat the nightmarish horde.
Note: Although Zombie Army 4 has weapon DLCs that can be purchased individually or as part of the season pass, I’ve decided to only include the ones from the base game.
You’ve got an assortment of characters to choose from in Zombie Army 4. Each one specializes in a particular type of weaponry:
Boris – faster charging for special melee attacks; improved melee; slower speed Jun – Brain Buster (pistol special skill) requires fewer kills to charge; faster movement and lower stamina depletion when sprinting; weaker melee Karl – Overkill (sniper rifle special skill) requires fewer kills to charge; higher critical strike rating for long-range shots and lower stamina depletion when using Empty Lung (holding your breath); lower health regeneration Shola – Weapon Focus (shotgun or submachine gun special skill) requires fewer kills to charge; larger trap damage radius; lower bullet damage resistance
Karl Fairburne, given that he’s the protagonist of the Sniper Elite franchise, tends to be my go-to character. Boosts to using the sniper rifle special skill, crits, and aiming via the Empty Lung mechanic mean that you’ll be a killing machine from a distance.
Still, no matter which character you choose, they can all use the same weapons and perks. Now, let’s take a look at the best weapon loadout and upgrades in Zombie Army 4.
Sniper Rifle: Gewehr 43
There are three sniper rifles in Zombie Army 4, but the Gewehr 43 is the optimal choice. This semi-automatic sniper rifle isn’t as powerful compared to the Mosin-Nagant M91/30 — a bolt-action variant — but you won’t leave yourself out in the open after each shot.
The other semi-automatic choice is the M1 Garand. However, the M1 Garand can only have a maximum of 16 bullets per clip when upgraded compared to the Gewehr’s 30 shots. Likewise, the Garand can only be upgraded to have incendiary bullets. These aren’t as effective as the Gewehr’s electrified shots that can stun groups of enemies.
Note: All sniper rifles can be upgraded to have a Vampir Scope which returns health after each critical hit. It’s very helpful if it procs, though it automatically gives your scoped vision a blood-red tinge.
Secondary weapon: Trench Gun
Zombie Army 4 has a few choices for your secondary weapons. For SMGs, you’ve got the MP44 and Thompson, and neither of these pack a punch compared to shotguns like the M30 Drilling and Trench Gun. Shotguns are absolutely crucial for add-clearing, and you’ll be doing a lot of that in the game.
The reason why we’re going with the Trench Gun is because, when upgraded, it can have up to eight shells compared to the Drilling’s three — and the Drilling has no upgrades to increase its ammo capacity. Also, like the Gewehr 43, the Trench Gun can fire electric shots that can arc to nearby enemies.
The other choices for this category are the C96 Pistol and Webley MKVI. The former can have a 30 bullets in the clip, but it lacks stopping power and only does incendiary shots. The latter is a slow-firing revolver that can have explosive rounds, though it only has six shots.
The M1911 edges out the other handguns since it can have up to 12 shots and it has moderate stopping power. Also, its upgrade to have divine rounds lets bullets deal double damage.
Upgrading your weapons
You can find Weapon Upgrade Kits while going through Zombie Army 4‘s missions. Each one is used to unlock a new upgrade for your chosen weapon. Weapon Upgrade Kits can be earned via:
hidden pickups during missions “Gold Medal” completions (aka. reaching the highest score) completing the challenges obtaining all collectibles completing a Sticker Album Page (stickers are earned by getting kills with specific weapons or by killing specific enemy types) reaching certain ranks/levels
Note 1: Zombie Army 4 also features the “Weapon Mastery” mechanic. When you unlock all of a specific weapon’s upgrade nodes, you’ll earn a unique skin as well as gain bonus damage for that weapon’s class. As much as possible, you should focus on one weapon to upgrade first just to get the bonus.
Note 2: If you need help finding all Weapon Upgrade Kits in missions, you can check out this video from Rebellion’s official YouTube channel:
There are four special melee attacks in the game and you can only choose one each mission. By default, you have the Machete Slash. More melee attack types and additional effects are unlocked as you level up.
For instance, the Divine Blast is unlocked at level 18. It’s an AoE ground pound that stuns nearby enemies while healing you and allies. Reaching levels 48 and 73 increase the radius of its effects.
Although not a weapon per se, the Zombie Takedown is an important ability to take note of especially in higher difficulties. You need 10 kills to get this activated. Using it (default “E”) leads to a close-combat barrage that instantly annihilates your target, giving you a health boost in return. A perk called “Takedown Frequency” reduces the number of kills required for the ability to be activated.
Additional weapons can be acquired some missions. These include the Preacher double-barreled shotgun, the Panzerschreck rocket launcher, flamethrower, and heavy machine gun. These have limited ammo and, once depleted, they can no longer be used. You may also detach machine gun turrets and bring them with you if you have the “Heavy” perk (which, coincidentally, increases their ammo).
The best perk choices
You can have up to five perks in Zombie Army 4, but you’ll need to level up first to unlock more slots. A perk slot is available at level 1 (by default), and more are unlocked at levels 5, 15, 25, and 35.
Those are just for the slots that let you equip perks. The perks themselves have different unlocking prerequisites: Some are straightforward reaching levels 23, 44, and 58 to increase the ammo count of your pistol, shotgun, and sniper rifle, respectively. Others may require you to search for collectibles. For instance, “Back Catalogue” (increased special ammo) has you looking for comic books while “Exterminator” (lower special melee attack cooldown) has you searching for zombie hands. There are those that require specific types of kills. The “Heavy” perk (lets you carry turrets/increased heavy weapon ammo) will have you getting 50 heavy weapon final blows. Meanwhile, “Brain Buster Expert” (increased number of headshot targets for Brain Buster) requires that you get a lot of kills using that ability. “Enhanced Vigor” and “Enhanced Stamina” require that you finish any chapter besides the introductory one without either your health or stamina dropping below 50%. There are even some egregiously specific ones such as “Combo Extension” (increases your combo chain timer). This perk and its subsequent upgrades require dozens of multi-kills when your timer is below three seconds.
Below, you’ll see some examples of maxed-out perks I’ve acquired so far in Zombie Army 4:
So, what exactly is the best perk? I’m quite a fan of “Second Chance.” It’s similar to the “Last Stand” mechanic that you’ll see in FPS games like Call of Duty. It tends to be a mandatory pick since you’ll never know when an Armored Giant’s smash or a Butcher’s slash end up downing you.
The “Second Chance” perk lets you revive once per chapter if you kill enemies within a timeframe (increased to two procs when fully upgraded). Combine this with “Survivor” (increased bleed-out time, use Brain Buster skill instantly when downed, revive with full health) and you’ll be back in tip-top shape in no time.
Other obvious choices include:
“Combo King” – replenish health, stamina, and special melee attack when you get a 50-combo chain “Combo Extension” – as mentioned, this perk increases your combo chain timer “Sniper Focus” – reduced Empty Lung stamina cost and increased Overkill damage; perfect for those who main Karl Fairburne
For those who focus more on Zombie Army 4‘s multiplayer, “Combat Medic” and “Tightly Knit” can aid you often. The former lets you revive teammates and heal yourself faster. It also lets you shoot teammates with divine bullets to heal them (which is great if you upgraded your M1911). The latter decreases the damage you take when teammates are nearby, though the first unlock comes only once you reach level 93.
Leveling up in Zombie Army 4
The gist about leveling up is to attain Gold Medals when you complete levels to earn the most exp. That’s done by keeping your combo chain up. You can simply play each mission, join multiplayer lobbies since some teammates could help finish the job for you. If you’re keen on farming, there’s a ridiculously easy way to amass a high score while upgrading the “Combo King” and “Combo Boost” perks.
Pick “Dead Ahead: Chapter 2 – Locomotive Lockdown.” It’s the first mission after the short tutorial. Select easy or medium difficulty and a four-player setup (to spawn more mobs). Make sure you’ve got the “Combo King” perk equipped and, if possible, also “Combo Extension.” Remember the loadouts I mentioned earlier since those weapons are what you should be using.
In the HQ, don’t open the door to the train station just yet. Plant some teller mines in the surrounding area first. There’s also an ammo crate nearby so you can stock up. Once you’re ready, open the door, skip the cutscene, and eliminate the undead.
When your combo chain is around 90+, start making your way to the next area. Hopefully, your combo timer will last long enough to kill an extra zombie. You should be able to keep your chain at 100+ as you continue to progress. You’ll eventually reach a trainyard with traps that let you electrocute zombies, netting you more points.
Finally, you’ll reach the market square where you encounter Suicider Zombies. If you selected the four-player setup, you’ll have a hundred or so enemies shambling towards you. It’s possible to reach a 250+ combo chain if you’re fast enough, or two 100+ combo chains. That’s a quick and easy 350,000 to 400,000+ score for a 15-minute run, and you’ll have fully-upgraded both the “Combo King” and “Combo Boost” perks.
Also, take note of Zombie Army 4‘s weekly challenges. Some of these have specific restrictions and boons. The one for this week leads to the same mission. The difference is that you can’t use your secondary weapon, but you’ve got unlimited sniper rifle ammo. You’ll rack up your combo kills in no time
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