How to Use Skill Points in Project Zomboid

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Bernard Perron
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If you like survival sandbox games and zombies, Project Zomboid might be for you. In this game you will learn how to survive the zombie apocalypse. You will level up and earn skill points to learn new skills and increase your survivability. Those hard-earned skill points can also help you improve your skills.

Besides skill points, you also need experience (XP) to improve your skills. Keep reading to learn how to use skill points in Project Zomboid and how they relate to XP.

How to Use Skill Points in Project Zomboid

Players earn skill points the more XP they earn. Eventually, they can upgrade a skill by spending their hard-earned skill points. There are many skills in Project Zomboid, divided into five main categories:

  • Agility
  • Fighting
  • craft
  • Firearm
  • Survivor

Each category includes two to eight skills and each skill contains 10 levels. You need to earn XP to get skill points and level up to 10.

There are also two passive skills, Fitness and Strength. They are distinct from the other five categories because the latter are completely different types.

Training a skill requires XP and skill points. You can also earn a skill point by earning XP, and the more points you have, the harder it is to earn them.

You will accumulate skill points even if you have no skills to add or upgrade. However, things get a little tricky because you only accumulate XP for actions directly related to your skill categories. Sometimes you will have enough XP but you will lack skill points, or vice versa.

Once you have enough skill points and XP, some skills in the menu will have a "+" sign on their corresponding bars. This step is where you know you can improve the skill.

Earn skill points and XP

As we mentioned, each skill requires XP to level up. You gain XP by performing actions that match the skill's description. An example is fishing, where you earn XP by using a line or spear to catch fish.

Alternatively, you can also use skill books to help you gain more XP. Reading skill books will give you an increase in XP gain rate. Your progress through each book determines the multiplier the bonus grants you.

Skill books are divided into levels of advancement, such as Beginner and Advanced. If you're not a newbie to Metalworking, then "Metalworking for Beginners" won't give you the XP multiplier boost. Be sure to use the right books to improve your skills.

After gaining two levels with each book, it will no longer be effective. As a bonus, this is when advanced books come in handy, allowing you to keep earning extra XP.

Currently, only crafting and survival skills have skill books associated with their respective categories. Instead, you'll have to train other skills slowly.

Since there are many skills in the game, let's see how to earn XP for them.

Skills in the Zomboid Project

Below are the different skills in Project Zomboid and how to earn XP for them. By earning XP, you can eventually upgrade them to improve your character's survivability.


These skills primarily affect your movement.

You improve sprint by running and sprinting. Even if you're out of shape, overloaded, or have some other condition, pressing the Sprint button will also earn you XP.

Moving stealthily by running, walking, or sneaking past zombies undetected helps you gain XP for this skill.

Walking in combat stance will increase your Nimble XP.

Sneaking up near zombies undetected also helps you gain XP for this skill.


Using a weapon belonging to a particular category will allow you to gain XP in that category. You must successfully hit the zombies and inflict damage to receive the points. All but one will make your weapon wielding more efficient in terms of hit rate, damage dealt, and beyond.

Use an ax to hit the zombies.

Attack zombies with Long Blunt weapons.

Hit zombies while equipping yourself with a blunt short weapon.

With a long blade in hand, successfully hitting zombies will earn you XP.

Any weapon in the Short Blade category will give you XP for using it.

All Spears will provide you with XP if you hit zombies.

Using any weapon without loss of condition will allow you to gain maintenance EXP. It is best to use durable weapons to train this skill.


These skills relate to creating items, repairing items, healing, and more. You can use skill books to increase the XP gained.

Using barricades, dismantling furniture, crafting planks, and building using planks will award XP for carpentry.

Every time you cook food or craft cooking recipes, you earn cooking XP.

You gain XP for this skill by harvesting crops.

Performing medical treatment on yourself or other characters will give you First Aid XP.

Creating Electric Devices or repairing them will give you Electric XP.

You can get more Metalworking XP by crafting or dismantling metal items.

To earn XP for this skill, you can repair cars or install and remove their parts.

Working with clothes increases your sewing experience.


When fighting with guns, you will be able to earn Gun Skill XP. Both skills in this category will improve your weapon handling.

Aim and shoot enemies to earn XP.

You can earn Reload XP by inserting rounds into magazines, swapping weapon magazines, or inserting bullets directly into any weapon. Dry reloading a pistol also works.


All three skills in the Survivalist category have to do with thriving in the zombified world. Your quality of life will increase if these skills are improved.

Use fishing line or spear to catch fish.

When you place traps and catch animals, you gain XP when you return and collect your kill.

When you are in a forest, you can right-click areas and search for them. You will earn XP this way.


Both passive skills are available for upgrades. Here's how to earn XP and skill points for each one.

By exercising, carrying 50% more than your weight capacity, and running, you will earn XP for Strength. Hitting zombies or trees also does the same thing.

Sprinting, fitness drills, and fighting with melee attacks without overexertion all grant you Fitness XP. Sprinting has a 50% chance to give you Fitness or Sprint XP.

Use your skill points

The skill list shows you how to earn XP for each skill in the game. Once you have earned enough XP for any skill, you can check if it is ready to upgrade. Here are the steps:

  1. Load your game.
  2. Open the "Player Status" window by clicking the heart icon in the upper left corner.
  3. Select the "Skills" tab, second from the left.
  4. Choose a skill to improve.
  5. Repeat if you can.

Alternatively, you can press "L" to open the Skills menu. From there, you can choose which skills you want to improve.

Hovering your cursor over any skill block will show you your skill level, XP, and any multipliers you have. The XP stats also include the extra amount you need to upgrade each skill.

What to learn?

Training your skills in Project Zomboid can be a long and difficult journey, but you'll have to figure out how to spend skill points wisely. If you develop a training strategy, you will eventually become proficient in more categories.

What skills have you optimized in Project Zomboid? Which skill do you think is the hardest to train? Tell us in the comments section below.

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