In the zombie apocalypse presented by Project Zomboid, you’re dropped right in the middle of an undead-filled Kentucky town in 1992. Swarmed on all sides by zombies, you’ll need to pick up some weapons fast in order to take them out. Today, we’re focusing on the best melee weapons in Project Zomboid.
But with so many options around you, and so many different skill trees to specialize in, where do you even start? We’ll go through each melee weapon category in Project Zomboid and cover the strengths/weaknesses of each one. By the end, you’ll be hacking and smashing through every zombie in a blood-covered frenzy for survival.
Let’s get started!
Best Long Blunt Weapon in Project Zomboid
If you specialize in long blunt weapons, you’ll want to take either the Baseball Player or Brawler trait. These specialized traits increase certain skills when you first choose them, but the real benefit comes from the long-term XP boosts they offer to said skills.
Brawler is great if you’re using the hand axe as your secondary, but takes more points than Baseball Player.
The baseball bat is the go-to melee weapon for many zombie slayers in Project Zomboid. It’s light, durable, and powerful. If you have multi-hit enabled you can strike two zombies at once with it. It deals a bit more damage than most other weapons, hitting anywhere between 0.8 and 1.1 damage. It also strikes from further away than most, capable of hitting a home run from 1.5 meters away.
You can also upgrade the baseball bat into a spiked bat by adding five nails with a hammer. This brings the damage up to a range of 1–1.5. Adding nails does reduce the maximum durability, but you can just repair your bat by adding more nails. Nails tend to be abundant in neighborhood garages and tool sheds.
Tied with the baseball bat for the best long blunt weapon would be the crowbar. It has the highest durability in the game (1050 points), and a max durability crowbar lasts three times longer than a baseball bat. The downside is that crowbars can’t be repaired, so you will eventually need to replace them. Luckily, this is easily done by seeking crowds of zombies, where you will occasionally find crowbars impaled within them.
An advantage to having a crowbar over a baseball bat is that it has several other uses as a tool. First off, you can use it to pry barricades off what are known as “survivor houses.” These are usually stockpiles of various resources like guns and ammo, rare weapons, canned food, and high-defense clothing. It’s worth at least carrying a crowbar in the trunk of your car while you’re out looting, so you can bust into these places and take what you can.
Crowbars do less damage on average than a spiked bat, but have a whopping 6X critical multiplier. On occasion, they do a lot more damage than a bat would! This makes them better for smaller crowds than larger ones.
Best Short Blunt Weapon in Project Zomboid
For characters with the powerful Construction Worker occupation, which provides three starting skills and a huge XP boost, the best melee weapons in Project Zomboid are short blunt weapons. Out of these, the best choices are either the hammer or the nightstick.
Hammers are undoubtedly one of the best utility weapons in the game. They also do a decent amount of damage to a door if you need to bust one down in a pinch, although not nearly as much as the axe. Their range is short and their damage is relatively low, ranging from 0.5 to 1 with every strike. However, they also have a 30% critical chance for a 3X critical, which is better than their competition.
Hammers come in five varieties, three of which are useful for crafting, and two of which we actually recommend picking up. A stone hammer is good for carpentry in a pinch, but its combat stats are much worse than the others. A club hammer can’t be used for carpentry, but also has worse stats than the two other hammers. Best to stick with the ball-peen hammer and the basic, no-adjectives-required hammer.
Alternatively, you could use a nightstick. Compared to a hammer, these are more durable, with a higher range and a slightly higher damage range of 0.6 to 1.1. They have a lower critical chance and multiplier in exchange.
Night sticks are abundant among police officer zombies and thus are a decent semi-renewable weapon. The downsides are that they can’t be used for crafting, and also can’t be repaired after they’ve taken some damage. You’ll need to throw them away when you’re done.
Best Short Blade Weapon in Project Zomboid
Characters with the Chef or Doctor occupation, or perhaps the Hunter trait, will want to keep a knife on hand at all times. Naturally, the best knife of choice for that will be the hunting knife. It fulfills the utility function you need from your knives, allowing you to cut up bread or various other food items into smaller portions, as well as allowing you to craft spears and other items that require a sharp edge. Its damage, durability, range, and other stats make it one of the best melee weapons in Project Zomboid.
Short blades have a special unique attack that can only be performed while holding one. This attack results in an instant kill, so they’re best used against individual zombies — preferably when you get a chance to land a sneak attack. Beware, though, as there’s a chance your knife will get embedded in the zombie during the insta-kill. This weapon is a risky gamble if you’re taking on a whole crowd.
You can find hunting knives in places like gun shops, but also frequently embedded in zombies wandering the mean streets of Kentucky. Chances of finding one here are especially high out in the more rural sections of the game. You can even find hunter zombies that have one on their belts.
Best Axe Weapon in Project Zomboid
Axes are an excellent utility weapon in Project Zomboid. If you start with the Lumberjack or Firefighter occupation, you can start with an incredibly high skill in axes. Invest in enough negative traits, and you can take the Brawler trait as well. This lets you start with four whole skill points in axes and a massive boost to your XP gain in them as well.
There are five weapons in the axe class: the relatively utility-focused stone axe, the heavy damage wood axe, the super high critical damage multiplier pickaxe, a hand axe you can tuck into your belt loops, and a basic fire-fighter style axe. Of the four, the only two worth using in a combat situation are the basic axe and the hand axe.
The basic axe provides the most balanced distribution of stats and can chop down the front door of most buildings in the game with just three swings. You’ll make a lot of noise for your undead friends, but you can just wipe them out with said axe.
The wood axe is great for chopping down trees or doors, but it’s just far too slow to be used safely. The pickaxe will fare better due to its high crit chance and damage, but it’s still a bit too slow.
Hand axes are one of the best sidearms in the game. They give you the utility of busting through doors and chopping wood as needed, and are combat-ready in a pinch. While they are a bit lackluster in combat, they barely take up any space/weight, and their utility is enough that we had to include them as an option.
Best Long Blade Weapon in Project Zomboid
Undoubtedly the coolest and simultaneously most powerful melee weapons belong to the long blade weapon class in Project Zomboid. They’re the only melee weapons that don’t have any occupations or traits that enhance your abilities with them. Even a completely unskilled user can decimate a crowd of zombies if they pace themselves properly.
The downside is that by the time you’ve trained yourself to use them, you’ll have pretty easy access to guns. Long blades take up the same slot as a long gun, and the damage difference is pretty notable.
The katana does a whopping 8 damage per swing, making it the deadliest weapon in the game by far. For reference, the heavy sledgehammer that swings very slowly still caps out at 3 maximum damage. The katana truly possesses unparalleled destructive power when it comes to taking down hordes of zombies.
The catch for all of this is that the katana is one of the rarest items in the game. You’re unlikely to find one without going into a gun store, a Louisville pawn shop, or a boarded-up survivor house. After sixty days in the game, there is an incredibly slim chance that you’ll find one impaled into a zombie.
The only other weapon in the category is the machete, which fills a more utilitarian niche. It can chop trees and doors and still likely one-shot a zombie if they get near you. It can also be used with one hand so you can keep a flashlight in the other.
Best Spear Weapon in Project Zomboid
Crafted Spear (with Machete)
Spears are the only weapons in the game that are usually crafted instead of being looted. Basic wooden spears become decent enough weapons once your maintenance skill gets higher, but the real key to the spear is their special ability.
You can charge individual zombies from a distance away and score an instant kill by running them through with your spear. This tactic needs to be timed well to keep you out of trouble, but the range and special abilities of a spear make it well worth the practice. You can also go fishing with one if you can’t get ahold of a rod!
The best item to strap to the front of your spear is the machete, befitting how rare it is to find one. This will take some duct tape, but will massively increase the maximum durability of your spear, along with the damage it does with every strike.
Join the High Ground
Out of every weapon you can find in Project Zomboid, picking the “best” ones can be tough without knowing exactly what situation you find yourself in. But in general, this short list is made of pretty accessible weapons and lets you know what items you can definitely ignore.
We hope you found our guide to the best melee weapons in Project Zomboid useful! If you think we should include another weapon on our list or have any more questions, leave a comment below and make sure to subscribe for more news, articles, and guides on all of the latest gaming trends.