Keen Hearing and Fast Learner are two of the best beginner traits in Project Zomboid. Let’s take a look at the best Positive traits and best Negative traits to consider when building your character.

Best Negative Traits

Not all negative traits are created equal. There are certainly quite annoying ones to deal with but there are also ones which are easy to overcome and essentially give you free points to spend on your positive traits.

Let’s take a look at these freebies.

NamePointsEffectNotes
High Thirst+6 200% thirst Grab a bottle and you'll be fine.
Pacifist+4 75% XP of Melee and Aiming skill. Just offset this with the Fast Learner trait.
Prone to Illness+4125% progression rate of zombification.

170% chance of catching a cold, 120% cold strength, and 150% cold progression speed.
If you get zombified you're dead anyway. Avoid colds by staying dry.
Short Sighted+2-2 foraging radius in search mode.

Can be negated with glasses and reading glasses.
Basically free points. It affects foraging vision. Regular vision is unaffected.
Slow Reader+270% reading speed.Good for single player as you can fast forward.
Smoker+4Stress will constantly slowly rise. Smoking Cigarettes will lower the stress level.Cigarettes are easy to come by. Just head to the nearest gas station and you'll find plenty behind the checkout.
Underweight+6-1 Fitness. Starting weight is 70 and is only present between weights 65 and 75.

80%x melee damage.
+10% chance to trip by while run/sprint vaulting a low fence or from lunging zombies.

85%x chance to fail a tall fence climb.
Doesn't give as many points as Very Underweight but opens up the Athletic trait.
Very Underweight+10 -2 Fitness. Starting weight is 60 and is only present between weights 50 and 65.

60%x melee damage. +20% chance to trip by while run/sprint vaulting a low fence or from lunging zombies.

75%x chance to fail a tall fence climb. 10 more fall damage.
Plenty of food in the beginning. Eat the high calorie ones to gain weight faster. The -2 Fitness can be offset with the Fit Trait.
Weak Stomach+3 200% chance of food illness. Food illness lasts shorter.Plenty of fresh food from the start. Food illness is easy to avoid.

Best Positive Traits

Now that you have your points it’s onto the good stuff.

NamePointsEffectNotes
Athletic-10+4 Fitness. 40% running/sprinting endurance loss from the trait itself. Costs more but better than Fit. Cannot be paired with the Very Underweight trait.
Dextrous-2 50% inventory transferring time.You'll spend a lot of time transferring items. It's a looting game after all.
Fast Learner-6 130% XP for all skills except Strength and Fitness.A big part of Zomboid is leveling character skills. A must have. It'll also help offset that Pacifist trait.
Fit-6 +2 FitnessAffects endurance, fatigue and attack speed. Fitness and Strength are hard to level up.
Keen Hearing-6 200% perception radius. Zombies that approach from behind will be visible much earlier. Another must have. It'll help you spot zombies behind you.
Speed Demon-1 200% Gear switching speed, 115% top speed for all vehicles.The only skill that costs only 1 point. If you have a spare point grab this one.
Stout-6 +2 StrengthAffects carry capacity, melee damage and push knockdown.
Strong-10 +4 Strength, 140% melee damage. Even better than Stout. Take this if you have the points.

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