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Metal Gear Survive defense guide: Our favorite fences, barricades, traps and strategies

How to survive against the endless hordes of Wanderers


In Metal Gear Survive, you’re tasked with crafting fences, barricades and weapons to defend a location from swarming zombie hordes. Whether you’re securing a warp point, the Digger or your base of operations, you’re almost always defending something. Learning how to defend efficiently is key to progressing in Metal Gear Survive. Thankfully, we’ve got some strategies for you. This guide will teach you how to defend yourself, your base and your allies in Metal Gear Survive.

Use the natural choke points

Placing a fence at the end of this stairway makes it impossible for Wanderers to reach you

Metal Gear Survive frequently forces you to outlast a zombie horde, and building a good defense is so important that we already listed it in our tips for Metal Gear Survive.

On some missions, you’ll need to survive as enemies swarm the objective. On others, the Wanderers will take designated paths. No matter where they’re coming from, be sure to close off their entrances with fences, barricades and traps. The Wanderers are dangerous because of their numbers and their speed, not their intelligence. If you put something in their way, they’ll walk into your trap. Closing off their path gives you an excellent opportunity to save time and strike from a safe distance.

Craft defensive units based on your weapon

A normal fence with the Attack Penetration perk

A normal fence has the Attack Penetration perk, so you’ll be able to thrust your spear and fire your arrows or guns through them. You can kill crowds of clustered enemies quickly through these penetrable fences.

However, if you use a blunt weapon like the sledgehammer or bat, you won’t be able to strike through these fences. But hope is not lost. Instead, use the slightly less efficient, slightly more dangerous barricades. They’re not as tall as fences, and zombies can destroy them quickly. But you can swing over them and hit your enemies. Just don’t get too close, as you aren’t safe from their damage.

Use fire arrows and molotov cocktails

One fire arrow can light up multiple Wanderers

In Metal Gear Survive, like in most zombie fiction, fire is deadly. Flames can ignite your enemies, nearby grass and keep spreading when flaming zombies run into each other.

You’ll be able to build molotov cocktails early in the game. We suggest that you always carry the maximum number of these whenever possible. Molotov cocktails deal massive damage to groups. Throw them at fences to get the horde to back off. If you find yourself getting overwhelmed, molotov cocktails will save your life.

Fire arrows are even more powerful than their bottled cousins. While they don’t seem to have the same explosion radius as a cocktail, you can hold dozens of them at once and build them in bulk. Wait for a small group of enemies to gather around a normal fence, then fire a flame arrow. The arrow will explode on impact and light nearby Wanderers on fire. Your fences may take some damage as the zombies pile up, but you’ll get far more bang for each arrow fired into a group.

Place traps in front of fences and barricades

Once Metal Gear Survive starts to get a bit more serious, you may find yourself with some trap blueprints. You can use items like spinning blades and flame traps to your benefit in lots of different locations. However, some spots are better than others.

If you have a stationary trap like the ones mentioned above, consider placing them in front of a barricade or fence you’ve created. These traps usually do damage over time — sometimes constant low damage, sometimes occasional burst damage. Keep the zombies in a location for an extended period of time — like you can with a fence or barricade — and your traps will benefit you.

Use the tools given to you first

Complete a nearby Walker Gear mission to make defending the Digger easier

Metal Gear Survive is a management simulator. If you don’t manage your food and drink, you’ll die. If you don’t manage your ammo, you’ll die. If you don’t manage your traps, you’ll die. As such, you want to conserve as many of your tools as you can. Thankfully, there’s a relatively easy way to do that.

As you defend harder and harder locations, they’ll sometimes have useful equipment. At first, this’ll appear as a turret or a mortar scattered around the defense location. But by the end of the game, you’ll be getting full on trap set ups.

Instead of panicking and firing your hard farmed bullets into the zombies, use the turret. Instead of throwing the precious molotov you made, use the mortar behind you. If you find a Walker Gear before a mission, you can also bring it in with you, taking advantage of its powerful gun.

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