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The Best DayZ Mods, Ranked

TheGamer 9/11/2022 Matthew Mckeown
© Provided by TheGamer

Despite its rocky launch out of early access, DayZ has come along in leaps and bounds with continuous updates refining its once clunky controls and awkward combat with a slicker, more fast-paced style. New maps, as well as weapons, have been added and old familiar locations have been tweaked and given a facelift over the years.

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The modding community in that time has also been incredibly busy with tons of creative and unique mods being released that add new elements to the game with base building, deeper realistic survival mechanics, additional zombie varieties, and plenty more. With such a vast catalog of player-created content to choose from, it can be a little intimidating to take those first steps into putting mods in DayZ. So to ease you into it here are some that are worth trying out.

Updated on September 11th, 2022, by Matthew Mckeown: Like the dead in which it contains, Day Z keeps on shambling on. Kept alive by new updates like hazardous zones, additional clothing, and weapons, plus a Community of modders that have done some great work adding all sorts of fun toys, gimmicks, and changes to the classic game.

There are new mods almost every week, some are better than others but they all bring something new to the game, whether through new items and gear to completely overhauling, reworking, or adding new mechanics. They’re all relatively easy to get up and running, so it’s worth delving into the Community Mods if you’re looking to spice up your zombie apocalypse. There are a lot of add-ons to get through, but here are some more of the best Dayz Mods.

The MorePresents Mod

Sometimes you want to keep your changes simple and the MorePresents mod is a great way to make your adventures in DayZ look more festive with some Christmas-themed gifts.

Created by the two-man modding team of Chopper and Jest, this interesting mod adds free gifts around the map ranging in sizes from small, medium, and large throughout the map. Inside these cheerfully designed boxes are gear and items with the higher tier items appearing in the larger boxes. Although, don't go sprinting towards one in glee if you spot it as there are also a few landmines shaped like boxes scattered around to keep you on your toes.

Dog Companion

If Dogmeat from the Fallout series taught us one thing it's that everything's better when you have a dog keeping you company. Now with the DayZ-Dog mod, you can bring along your own canine companion into the zombie wastelands.

Originally created by the user HennySea but now with a whole team behind it, the DayZ-Dog mod adds a friendly dog companion that can follow you and attack infected. There are three different breeds to choose from; the German Shepard, Siberian Husky, and Czechoslovak Wolfdog, so there are some pretty big pooches to be pals with.

TES: Tales Of Emerald

An impressive mod that was made by Romzet. TES: Tales Of Emerald lets you live the ultimate Skyrim fantasy of being able to play the game.. inside another game. This unique and completely insane concept of a mod adds a new area to explore and converts the majority of DayZ's mechanics into a Skyrim setting.

It's an impressive mod that brings a huge island that features four different types of biomes spread out across a 10 by 10-kilometer map that you can wander around to your heart's content. With rich lore that can be explored by reading books and scrolls that were left behind. For combat enthusiasts, there's a class selection system with options ranging from warrior to master crafter, magician, and more. There are also 50 different skills to choose from to customize your character, a new melee system, and 30 different creatures and monsters to murder. There’s plenty here for Skyrim fans to chew into.

No Sprinting Zombies

When DayZ first launched the Zombies were infamous in the Community for their high aggression and speed. They were on par with the infected from the movie 28 Days Later with how they could chase you down with Olympic Sprinter speed over the distance of several in-game miles.

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This lovely mod by Staiff slows down their gait somewhat and gives you a more George Romero kind of zombie that slowly shambles after you. So if you want more of a realistic and classic undead experience and are tired of being dogpiled by lightning-fast Walkers then grab this free download from the Steam Workshop.

The Land Rover Defender

Created by a modder named Tyson, this brilliant mod adds the hardy Land Rover Defender to drive around the infected infested lands of Chernarus or Livonia if you own the DLC.

Available in five different colors ranging from yellow to grey and even a special UN logo-covered version, this is an all-terrain vehicle that will keep you safe as you scout out new locations. The Defender in real life is renowned for being a tough offroad vehicle that's hard to stop, so it makes sense why this would be perfect for the zombie apocalypse.

The Tree House

There's a lot of great spots to set up shop in DayZ's massive map, but why not get sneaky with your lair by hanging out in your very own treehouse hideaway with this brilliant mod by BigGrampa.

Although before you go grabbing crafting parts for scaffolding, to use this building you will need to have the DayZ Editor Mod installed. With this you can edit the game world and place down a treehouse wherever you like, just make sure nobody discovers it as you can't disassemble and run away like you would a player-built base.

Radioactive Animals

If being chased down by zombies or shredded by hostile player gunfire isn't enough of a threat in DayZ, then the Radioactive Animals mod might just be for you.

This brutal addon was created by SneakyPig and adds Wolves and Bears into the blighted landscapes of DayZ. These deadly new creatures can be killed for resources and they come in three tiers of difficulty; Tough, Beast, and Juggernaut, with the higher tiers providing more pelts and meat but more of a difficult fight. If you wanted more from the underdeveloped Hunting side of DayZ then the Radioactive Animals mod is a nice way to fill up the wasteland with more critters to kill.

Winter Chernarus

Despite the Chernarus map in DayZ being absolutely massive (around 225km), the rolling hills, sparse towns, and vacant farmhouses can start to get repetitive and dull after a while.

With the Winter Chernarus mod, you can add a festive arctic chill to the infamous Eastern European wastelands created by Bohemia Interactive. This mod seamlessly transitions Chernarus's constant Autumn into an eternal Winter with fields and forests given a liberal white dousing. It's a great way to freshen up the sparse map and give it more of an isolated and dark feel.

Working Radio Mod

DayZ can be quite a quiet game. Unless you're talking with your friends or there's a nearby PvP gunfight going on, there's a lot of long stretches of silence and it can make the game world feel empty and dull. But with this radio mod by Yuki, you can entertain your pals or add a little background noise to the game.

This simple little mod adds fully working radio sets to the game that will play a number of songs. The radios in cars will also blast tunes as your cruising along, so your commute to your base can now have a fun soundtrack. Also, dotted around the map are unique tapes with more music that can be picked up and collected in special cassette tapes for that vintage music nostalgia. With future plans for more placeable radios, more tracks, and a new battery system, this musical mod is one that's worth using.

Stalker Anomaly

DayZ is the perfect Stalker replacement at times and this mod only makes it more so. Developed by a solo modder, this exciting addon introduces six separate anomalies from the Stalker series that you need to avoid to stay alive.

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The anomalies also come with spawner settings so you can tweak their location, radius, their geometry, what sets them off, and their damage output. So if you want to make your wasteland particularly dangerous you can tweak it to your heart's desire with the Stalker Anomaly Mod. There's also a separate detector mod that's worth downloading as well if you want to give yourself a fighting chance.

DayZ Camo Overhaul

DayZ has a lot of outfits to wear and overtime patches and updates have added all sorts of interesting choices. From civilian gear to police and ambulance driver outfits, there's a lot of fashion choices available. Although sadly the military gear is a little drab and same looking, that is unless you use the DayZ Camo Overhaul mod.

Containing over 1,600 items, 49 new camo patterns as well as new face coverings like hoods, scarves, and masks to choose from. The DayZ Camo Overhaul mod adds plenty of fashion choices for those looking to show off their favorite military outfit.

Alien Invasion

There are a lot of fun and weird creature mods for Day Z that bring all sorts of different ghouls to the woods of Chernarus and beyond. If you’re looking for something a little bit sci-fi then the Alien Invasion mod by Cole should be on your Steam Workshop subscription list.

This simple little addon adds a heli crash event to the game, but instead of a downed helo it’s a UFO. Awash in an otherworldly green light, this terrain-embedded aircraft comes with a couple of wandering Greys that guard it. Though don’t expect rayguns and laser blasts should you mount a raid on one as their AI is a little simple and based on the regular Zombies. But it can be terrifying to see one of these creatures lurch out at you from the dark.

CardPack

Day Z is one of those games where there can often be long stretches of absolutely nothing happening as you trudge along through the wilderness. So why not lighten up those long journeys by showing off your Pokemon Card collection with the CardPack mod by JungleT.

This unique Mod adds collectible Pokemon cards into the game. They can be opened and stored away safely in your inventory or traded, other than that they’re just a fun collectible. The addon is still in its early stages but there are plans for more card packs in the future.

ZSpawn Selection

Any Veterans of Day Z, especially back during the early Arma Mod days will tell you at length how much of an absolute pain in the neck the spawning system was. For those not familiar, after death, the game would dump you on the shoreline of Chernarus in a random location. This may not seem bad, but considering how vast and similar looking the map is it would often take a long time to figure out exactly where you were.

If you were playing with friends it would be hours until you would meet up with your buddies again if you died. But with the ZSpawn Selection Mod from Pattowie, you can drop back into the action wherever you want. This handy addon lets you choose where you revive and with maps this massive it’s a huge time saver.

Nature Overhaul

Though it may be set during a zombie apocalypse, the maps of Day Z don’t feel particularly abandoned or uninhabited. There may be burning wrecks here or there, but towns feel lived in and it can be a little stale after a while seeing these surprisingly normal-looking locales.

However, if you want a Last Of Us-Esque nature reclamation of the world then the Nature Overhaul Mod by Kaffeina is a recommended download. This addon brings over 8000 trees, wrecks, and roadblocks to the Chernarus map, making it fit more with the end-of-the-world vibe the games going for. Everything is overgrown and it can make exploration of familiar spots much more interesting and exciting.

TraderPlus

Sometimes the rinse repeat cycle of DayZ's survive, scavenge, and shoot zombies gets a little tiring. Adding a new economy that encourages you to buy and sell new items is a great way to freshen up gameplay and add a little life to the barren wastes of Chernarus and Livonia.

The TraderPlus mod brings a number of special traders that you can trade gear and other items with. This mod also features a surprising amount of depth as the value of items can depend on their quality and rarity. Each trader also comes with a safe zone that stops campers from ambushing any would-be merchants on the road.

DayZ Expansion

By no means is DayZ a perfect game. Even now it's still a little rough around the edges, prone to bugs and errors and there's not really much to do. But that's where the DayZ Expansion Mod comes in.

This pack completely overhauls Dayz from the ground up and adds a ridiculously large amount of content to play with. From refined crafting and base-building to updated areas, new vehicles, items, and the ability to edit the map or create custom missions to play, it's a massive improvement to the game. If you want something that can revitalize your zombie survival experience then the DayZ Expansion mod is one that's highly recommended.

Namalsk Survival

Though Chernarus and Livonia are pretty large, once you’ve explored them there’s not really much else to see. But, if you’re looking for a world filled with post-apocalyptic threats then the Namalsk Survival map is worth checking out.

This unofficial map was made by a team of modders, features tons of new locations, random events, features like frostbite and the need to fight the cold, plus it's still getting updates. There’s also a Community created map that highlights all the notable locations of this unique frozen wasteland so you can hit the ground running.

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