The 10 Best Traits in Project Zomboid Build 41

Project Zomboid is a game filled with choices. Will you risk going into the zombie-invested warehouse to get that generator? Are you going to take the golf club or the baseball bat? Right from the start of the game you are faced with difficult decisions. Mostly based around how you want your character. One of the systems in Project Zomboid is the traits system. This allows you to pick good or bad traits for your character. This can be anything from being a little bit unlucky, to being more fit than the average survivor. Today, I’m going to count down my top 10 best traits for Project Zomboid.

I am playing the build 41 version of the game on Steam. If you aren’t already on the build 41 beta version but want to be, check out this guide. The following list will be completely biased and based on my play style. These may not be the best traits for everyone. I will explain why I always end up with these traits as I go. The list is in no particular order.

1. Fast Learner

The fast learner is basically a no-brainer here. This trait gives your character a greater rate of experience gain. This gain is applied to every single skill. The best part about this skill is that you can stack it with the books that you can find in the game. This skill gives a permanent 30% experience gain to all skills. The best part is, it only takes 6 points to apply it to your character!

With long play-throughs spanning weeks and weeks it can be important to farm the right skills. This trait just makes the process a lot quicker and easier than any other way. I use fast learner on basically every character that I plan to have surviving over a long period of time.

2. Thick Skinned

Let’s face it. We all think we are very careful and patient. That is until we are not. Sometimes accidents happen in Project Zomboid. Even without meaning for it to happen you may get trapped in a room. That or you may have a zombie sneak up around a corner. With thick skinned you lower your chance of having a bite or scratch actually break the skin. That means that one moment where you weren’t on the ball doesn’t have to mean the end of your character!

Coupled with protective clothing this trait will make you a human tank

This is a particularly good trait if you aren’t planning on using the stealth mechanic of the game. With this you may not be as afraid to take on those 2 or 3 zeds on the road. Coupled with a bit of luck, you may survive a long time. Speaking of luck….

3. Lucky

Lucky is considered by most to be the most OP trait in the game. With this trait on your character, you will find more rare items when you are looting. For example, you have a higher chance to find rare items such as axes. This makes it a rather great skill to have as looting is one of the biggest parts of the game. The description for this trait is a little bit mysterious. It doesn’t really explain the trait at all.

Players have previously thought it affects your chances of being bitten but it does not. The lucky train will only affect loot that is found around the world. Still, at 4 points this is another great cheap trait to pick up.

4. Overweight

Overweight? I head you say. But that’s a negative trait. Well sure, but you have to balance positive and negative traits. When you create your character you only have a certain amount of points to delegate. If you plan on getting all of the good traits in this list, you have to get a few bad ones to offset. One of the best places you can pick up some extra points is here. By getting the overweight trait.

Being temporarily overweight isn’t so bad in Project Zomboid

One of the mechanics that effects a character’s health is also a body weight system. You character will become more likely to hurt themselves if they are severely over or underweight. Luckily this is not permanent. If you manage to keep a healthy diet and get plenty of exercise, you can lose the overweight status is a couple of in-game weeks. To me, the overweight trait is a free 6 points to spend on other things. Trust me, you’ll get plenty of chances to exercise in this game. That being said there is also an actual exercise mechanic brought in to Build 41. Read about that here.

5. Strong

Another overwhelming community favorite is the Strong trait. Well, it’s no wonder. With the strong trait you will get a bunch of permanent bonuses. You want more carry weight? Done. You want to knock zombies back like it’s going out of style? Done. You want to be as strong as an ox from the get-go? Done. Strong is a very great trait to have. That being said, it will cost you.

You’ll find strong at the bottom of the positive traits list for good reason. With a +4 addition to your character’s starting strength you’re almost at Arnold-level strength on day one. You won’t have to go searching for dumbells on this playthrough. Keep in mind that the strong trait costs a whopping 10 points so you will have to dive into the negative traits for this one. Keeping that in mind, let’s go over to number 6.

6. Smoker

We are back into the negatives! Smoker is one of my favorite negative traits to pick up in Project Zomboid. This is due to the fact cigarettes are not exactly hard to come by in the city. You can find packs of cigarettes in just about every shop and industrial building. Couple that with the fact that they are very lightweight and you have yourself some free trait points!

Due to the ease of finding cigarettes, the smoker trait is a breeze. The real trick is finding a lighter or matches!

When you have the smoker trait on, your character will be destressed and feel happier after smoking. That being said, if you can’t find a cigarette, it will have the opposite effect. As aforementioned, cigarettes are very easy to find around the world. Choosing smoker as a negative trait will give you 4 extra points to spend on your character.

7. Desensitized

But wait, I can’t find desensitized on the list of traits to choose? Well my friend, that is because you can’t choose it. The only way you can get the desensitized trait is by picking a certain profession. Along with better aiming and reloading, the Veteran occupation has a bonus trait. When you choose to start with the veteran background this trait will be automatically applied.

*Fortunate Son Plays* Thousand Mile Stare…

Being a veteran of war, this character has become completely used to the blood and terrifying things of this world. A veteran will never get panicked at anything at all in the game. You can even take a bite to the neck. Being panicked can leave your character making foolish mistakes, or missing with ranged weapons. This trait completely takes away that chance. Oh boy, you’ll be spending the points though. The Veteran occupation takes 16 skill points to take. Might I suggest an overweight smoking veteran who drives slow?

8. Outdoorsman

The beginner player might look past this one as it only costs 2 positive points to pick it up. But you shouldn’t! In Project Zomboid zombies are not the only thing you will have to worry about. Hunger, temperature and sickness are very important factors to consider if you wish to survive.

During winter the air will obviously be colder and it can also know. You character can catch a cold and from this become very sick indeed. Even the smallest sickness can end your character’s run in Project Zomboid. With Outdoorsman your character will never suffer any negative effects when they are outdoors. Meaning you can run around in the rain and snow to your heart’s content without catching a cold. Extremely useful for the ones wanting to live off the land.

9. Slow Reader

Since we are talking about easy points I have to include slow reader. You can currently only play Project Zomboid in single player. If you are only playing single player you have the ability to speed up time. Especially useful when performing monotonous activities. See where i’m going with this? Since you can speed up time when you’re reading it doesn’t really matter that it takes a bit longer. Go ahead and get the slow reader trait.

Slow Reader + Fast Forward = Free Points

Choosing the slow reader negative trait will net you 2 extra points to spend on something great. Maybe they are the next 2 points you need to create the ultimate survival machine? Regardless due to the fact you can speed up time, you won’t notice the difference with slow reader.

10. Burglar

Last but not least we have the burglar trait. Another trait similar to the desensitized trait. The burglar trait comes automatically when you pick the burglar occupation. This trait has one of the greatest utilities in the game. The ability to hotwire vehicles.

As a burglar you will not need to level up your mechanics and electrics skill in order to hotwire. You can start the game and find a vehicle. As long as the vehicle has some gas and is in good working order you can hotwire and drive it. This trait is really one of my favorites. When I am not picking the veteran I am generally picking a burglar.

How did you like the list? Are there any great traits you think that we are sleeping on? Leave a comment down below. As always, good luck out there survivors!


4 thoughts on “The 10 Best Traits in Project Zomboid Build 41”

  1. “Fast Learner” is shit, becomes useless once you’re maxed.
    Pick “Slow Learner” instead.

    “Thick Skinned” is a waste of points, you should never put yourself in a position where the trait matters, if the trait saves your life, you’re a noob.
    Pick “Thin Skinned” instead.

    “Lucky” is good, just a little expensive for what it offers, it’s an okay choice.
    Personally I go for “Unlucky”.

    “Overweight” is S-tier, probably the best trait in your list.

    “Strong” is good, strength takes a long time to level up, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s an overpriced starting perk to pick, same with “Athletic”.

    “Desensitized” is invaluable, probably the best trait in the game.
    Personally I go for the Engineer profession to unlock the specialized recipes, they’re handy and you can’t get them otherwise.

    “Sunday Driver” is something you pick if you just need 1 more point.
    It’s a unquestionable negative perk, no up-sides whatsoever to having it.
    Putting a speed limit on your vehicles is not a good idea in some situations.

    “Slow Reader” is a great perk to pick, not much to say about it.

    “Burglar” is useless once you’ve leveled up your mechanics skill, which you should do. Take either the Veteran or Engineer profession, depending on your preferences.


    Overall, the traits in your list is kinda shit and harmful for new players because they will always rely on them, especially “Fast Learner”, “Thick Skinned”, “Lucky” and “Strong”.

    You should pick traits that will help your character 5 years into the game, not traits that help you out on Day 1 and becomes redundant 1 year later when things start to look bad. Plan for success, not for failure.

    • Hey thanks for the comment.

      And thanks for the big input into traits as well. I’ve also revised a lot of things since I wrote this list. The thing is not everyone is planning for the long game. I included some traits for the reasons that a lot of people are beginners. Thick skinned is great to give your character a bit more leeway when learning the game. There’s good points to be made for and against all of them.

      But really, good input. Even though the comment was mainly criticism I wanted to approve it and let everyone see it. 😀


    • You said, “You should pick traits that help your character 5 years into the game, not traits that help you out on Day 1..”
      You recommended Veteran. Panic is reduced the longer you play. Making the Veteran perk an early game pick and completely useless mid-late game.

  2. One of my favorite traits is agoraphobic. I spend most of my time indoors, looting and reading and watching tv, so its just free skill points to me!

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