Without a doubt, DayZ is a very challenging game to get started in. This initial experience can be very frustrating if you don’t have voice coms with a group of players to ask questions of, so I thought I would throw some initial pointers out there for our readers who might be interested in giving the mod a try.
First off, you start with nothing. In about an hour, if you don’t get killed by zombies or another player, you will starve to death or die of thirst, so your first priority after spawning is always Food, Drink, and a weapon.
You need this map bookmarked, and it’s best to check it often as you move through the territories. You always spawn along the coast, though some spawn sites are better for a new player than others. I have found that Elektro, Chern and Kamenka are the best sites to start in, due to the high concentration of starter supplies accessible quickly. Be advised that Chern is highly populated so that adds to your risk. The Kamenka starter route has been widely publicized so that is also frequently contested, which leads me to favor Elektro.
In the beginning, High-Value Barns, SuperMarkets, Fire Stations and Deer Stands are your top priority. If you start in Elektro, just haul ass to the market, and juke the zombies you are training out on the back room, then circle back in uncontested. You will usually find a secondary weapon, lots of food and drink, various supplies and ammo here. Next you will want to creep (X) or Crawl (Z) to the Fire Station, as this is defined as a Military Site which has a chance for more advanced weaponry. To loot what you find, look at the items and press (G). If an inventory item has a number to the left of it, select it and press (Take). Remember that to stand up after an alternate position, simply click (C).
After you have looted these sites, head north to the Power Plant, and follow the path west to the Barn at the end of that road. Here you can finish off whatever starter supplies you are missing.
Now where you go is up to you. In the past I traveled towards Starry Sobor for the Military Tents to acquire advanced weaponry, though the most recent spawn I am running right now, I went North to the next Barn, then East to the Helicopter Crashes, and Deer Stands in and around Meta on my way to rendezvous with my assault team in Berenzino, where we were headed before I was slain at the Northern airstrip last night.
Remember to move slow… scan the tree lines and horizons. You can zoom your vision by using the (Right Mouse) and you shoot your weapon with the (Left Mouse) . Scrolling the (Mouse Wheel) allows you to swap between weapons or opens options such as Take Hatchet, Climb Ladder, Take Pack etc… (R) reloads your weapon. Don’t forget you always need to reload a new weapon before it will fire.
If you start bleeding, hit (G) and click on a Bandage to select Bandage Myself. Alternately, you eat and drink the same way, as well as utilizing your medical supplies to fix ailments like broken legs, low blood, etc.
Arma’s controls are not entirely intuitive, especially if you are a veteran of MMOs and certain FPS franchises, and are expecting the game to play a certain way. It can be frustrating initially, but after the first day or so, you will get the hang of it, and the experience is well worth the learning curve once you get in and get your feet wet. Good luck and post any questions you have for myself or other DayZ players to answer.