Best Negative Traits - Project Zomboid Guide - IGN (2024)

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Project Zomboid has a rich and vibrant character creation process that can greatly impact how players experience the game.

In the same way that you can customize your game with the different Game Modes, it's possible to use essentially premade characters with the Occupation list or to create your own with a mix of different Traits. Some of these Traits are positive, and others are negative.

While having no negative Traits may seem like the best option for building a character, having some negatives can offer a more immersive experience - and even free up some points, too. Here are the best negative Traits in Project Zomboid, ranked in no particular order.

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Underweight

You can choose from multiple body types when building a character in Project Zomboid and Underweight is the easiest one to navigate during a game.

The Underweight description notes that it provides "low strength and low endurance", makes characters prone to injury, and takes a point off of their Fitness skill. That being said, it's easy to mitigate this if you maintain your character's diet and exercise during a run.

Eating good quality food (healthy foods in good condition) regularly throughout your match and avoiding over-exercising can help to neutralize this Trait fairly quickly. Considering it frees up 6 points in the character creation screen, it's well worth the effort.

Weak Stomach

The Weak Stomach Trait can be overcome with ease if you simply pay attention to which foods your character picks up and eats.

This Trait notes that it provides characters with a higher chance of getting a food illness, which occurs when eating rotten or spoiled food.

This becomes more of a risk the longer a playthrough goes on for, but generally, paying attention to food descriptions and stocking up on non-perishable foods when doing supply runs will help to lower the chances of any sicknesses.

It frees up 3 points in the character creation screen, so it's not a massive relief but it's still worth the effort.

Smoker

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This one is fairly divisive - some folk will agree that the Smoker Trait is easy enough to deal with and others will consider it more hassle than it's worth.

With this Trait, Stress and Unhappiness increase steadily if tobacco is not smoked. There is a significant Stress drop if tobacco is smoked, though, which can actually be a bonus if you structure your character well and remember to keep an eye out for both a lighter/matches and cigarettes.

Make sure to check the pockets of any zombies you kill (assuming you have time). Sometimes, they

The Smoker Trait does give you an extra 4 points to play with, too, so keep it in mind for your next run if you're struggling to find extra points when building your character. It may add a few extra steps to your supply runs but it can be beneficial in the long term.

High Thirst

This negative Trait really depends on how long you're intending to keep a run going for. It does get trickier the longer you maintain a character with High Thirst - as the water does get shut off at a certain point in the game - but it's not impossible by any means.

As the name suggests, High Thirst means your character requires water a lot more often than a standard character would. You'll need to keep an eye out for water sources and keep a full water bottle with you as you explore to avoid illness and death.

It can be an extra step to consider during supply runs or even when organizing your inventory, so having good inventory Mods can make a difference.

High Thirst is worth picking if you need a negative Trait as it frees up an extra 4 points during the character creation process.

Slow Reader

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If you're playing on a more intense difficulty level, this may be one to avoid - but if you're opting for a more casual Project Zomboid experience, Slow Reader is one of the best negative Traits to pick up.

Slow Reader means, as the name suggests, that a character simply takes longer to read educational books that help with leveling up skills like Tailoring. This isn't a game-breaker by any means, as with the right planning, you can read in a safe zone.

This negative Trait only frees up 2 points for character creation. We wouldn't recommend the Illiterate Trait - even though it frees up 8 points - as this Trait removes the ability to read entirely and can make skill scaling a lot more difficult.

Up Next: How to Level Up Tailoring

PreviousOccupationsNextHow to Level Up Tailoring

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