3 Ways To Reduce Panic in Project Zomboid

Hardcore survival RPG Project Zomboid has an insane amount of mechanics involved in the game. Every body part has it’s own health and damage effects, every weapon has its own skill and damage types and there are also many physiological problems you’ll have to deal with in Project Zomboid. One of the things that can affect the character in this apocalypse simulation is panic. Just as in real life, coming around the corner and coming face-to-face with 6 flesh-eating undead is going to make your character start to panic. We will talk about what you can do to reduce panic and what it is in the game.

What is Panic?

Panic is one of the moodles that are apart of the game. There are positive and negative moodles and panic is definitely going to be on the negative side. There are four different stage of panic in Project Zomboid each with their own debuffs. Panic always starts with the first level and will gradually get stronger if your character is exposed to things that make them panic even more. Panic will reduce your characters shooting accuracy and vision. The 4 stages of panic and their in-game tool-tips are;

  • Slight panic: “Do your best to remain calm”
  • Panic: “Accuracy Reduced”
  • Strong Panic: “Accuracy Severely Reduced”
  • Extreme Panic: “Accuracy and Vision Severely Reduced”
The slight panic moodles will reduce your characters accuracy

The more your character is exposed to situations that cause panic the more stressed they will get and thus, their accuracy and vision will get gradually worse at each level.

How Do You Get Panicked in Project Zomboid

There are many different reasons that the player may get panicked during a play through of Project Zomboid. Naturally, characters will be very panicked when there are large groups of zombies around them. The more zombies that are in close proximity to the player, the more they are going to panic. This is especially true if one suddenly comes into the player’s vision close up, such as coming around a corner and having a zombie appear right in front of you.

There are other factors that play into having a player get panicked often. If the player didn’t get enough sleep or is tired or hungry they are more at risk of becoming panicked at the sight of enemies. There are a large amount of different traits that are apart of the games and having some of these traits applied to your character can make them become more or less panicked at different things in the game.

Traits That Affect Panic

When creating a character you will have to balance positive and negative traits to even out the amount of points you wish to spend on your character. Some of these positive and negative traits have an effect on how likely the character is to succumb to panic. I will list all of the traits below that have any effect on panic in Project Zomboid and give the brief in-game description.

Positive Traits

These traits have a positive effect on panic meaning that the player will become less likely to become panicked. Along with regular traits it also include a trait which is given by selecting the Veteran occupation which negates panic entirely.


Less prone to becoming panicked”

As seen in the in-game description for the brave trait, this one will make the character less prone to becoming panicked. Your character won’t immediately get panicked when they come into close contact with a couple of zombies with this trait enabled. You will still, however, have trouble dealing with larger groups without getting panicked.

Adrenaline Junkie

“Moves faster when highly panicked”

This is a fun trait to get for the role-players or those that want to do an interesting run. The Adrenaline Junkie makes the player move a lot faster when they become panicked. This is great for running away from large groups of enemies.


Does not reach a state of panic”

If the player picks the Veteran occupation/past they will not reach any kind of panic at all in the game. This is one of the best jobs that the player can pick as it completely removes one of the negative moodlets completely from the game. Be advised that there is no point getting both the veteran and the Desensitized state together as they kind of counteract each other.

Negative Traits

There are also a bunch of traits that work negatively with the panic mechanic. A lot of players don’t feel like the panic system impacts their combat ability a lot and choose to take these negative traits in order to have more points to spend on some of the stronger ones. Choosing any of these traits will either worsen the effects of panic or make the player become panicked in situations out of general zombie and death contact.

The player is not able to take any of these negative traits if they are playing as a veteran character.


“Especially prone to becoming panicked”

The cowardly trait makes the character become panicked in regular situations a lot easier. Other than this there isn’t any major downfalls.


Gets panicked when outdoors”

A lot of people will be able to relate to this one. As the player spends more time outdoors their panic level will start to rise. Going back inside will have the character start to relax again. This can be annoying if you don’t already have a decent base set up and have to travel a lot. When in cars the player won’t get panicked with this trait.


Gets panicked when indoors”

The opposite of agoraphobia is claustrophobic. Characters with this trait will start to become more panicked when they spend lots of time indoors. As the game goes on and your character becomes more used to the world the effects of panic when happen less. It will gradually take longer for your character to become panicked. This is a difficult one at the start of the game through as you will be spending a lot of your time indoors looting and such. Make sure you pack a tent for this playthrough.


Panic when performing first aid on self, cannot perform first aid on others, gets stressed when bloody.”

This is another pretty bad trait to take upon. This trait makes the player afraid of blood and gore. Probably not the best trait to have when the apocalypse comes. One of the biggest downsides to this trait is the fact that you cannot perform first aid on others at all. That is going to annoy your friends if you plan to play Project Zomboid coop.

Those were all of the traits that can affect panic gain and reduction. Now we will go into what you can do if your character is panicked and how to manage it throughout the game to help you survive.

3 Ways to Deal With Panic In Project Zomboid

There are three good ways that you can manage stress in Project Zomboid. You can play as a veteran who is immune to the effects of panic, you can leave the situation and head to a safe location for a while or you can play the game for a long time to keep the panic down. I will go into all three of these methods below.

Start a Veteran Character with the Desensitized Trait

The desensitized trait complexity removes the panic effect in Project Zomboid
One of the best traits in Project Zomboid

As aforementioned, the Veteran job comes with the added bonus in the form of a trait called desensitized. When this does is completely removes the panic mechanic from the game altogether. From their previous combat experience the veteran will be able to handle any situation without getting panicked.

Honestly if you are having trouble in the game with the panic mechanic, the best thing you can do is to make your character a veteran. Already started a game where you’re too attached to your character? Read on.

Wait Out the Panic in a Safe Location

The best thing you can do if your character becomes panicking mess is to leave the area. Head to a safe house or another location on the map where you have previously cleared it out. Making sure your character has had a full nights sleep will also reduce how quickly they become panicked. A tired survivor is a twitchy edgy one. Make sure you have a good rest and just generally try to avoid the undead. The panic is very mild at the first level and you probably won’t notice any big changes at all. It only really becomes a problem is the character gets really panicked.

Survive Long in The Game

The longer the game goes on, the less your character will get panicked. Well, sort of. The number of survived in-game days has an invisible effect on your character. Waiting it out for a few months will make you realize how different the game is. One of the things that gets easier in the game is the panic mechanic. As the character is exposed to so many happenings in the game they will gradually get desensitized to it all.

The game values will not make it harder for your character to get panicked however, it will simply decrease the time it takes for your character to return to normal. For example, even 1 year into a game you character will still get a fright when they suddenly see a zombie around the corner. But, they will take a lot less time to calm down. Many players are reporting that after 2 in-game months their characters are almost instantly getting rid of the Panic debuff as soon as they leave the panic-inducing situation.

Hopefully this short guide has helped you understand how to deal with the panic buff and given you some information for your next playthrough. Remember, starting again is part of the fun. Don’t take it too seriously! Until next time survivors!

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