DayZ Standalone Alpha – Should You Buy It?

When it comes to the DayZ Alpha, most people that haven’t already paid for it are probably wondering if it’s worth buying.

From the developers telling you not to, to players essentially saying stay away unless you’re hardcore into the game, it seems like the answer would be to wait until development is further along.  While I agree that the alpha is oriented more towards hardcore players, I also think it’s accessible enough to not be something a casual fan of the mod shouldn’t invest in.

Is it well polished? No. Not at all.  But unlike most alphas, DayZ actually works.  It’s not very well optimized, so unless you have a pretty heavy-duty PC, you’re going to be stuck in 720p.  The gameplay in general is as barebones as it gets as a number of core and new features are nowhere near finished or implemented yet.  And overall, it wreaks of alpha content when it comes to animations, sounds, bugs, etc.  That said, there’s something about this alpha that begs to be talked about.  It’s fun.


Don’t get me wrong, the game is very alpha, but what made the mod fun wasn’t just the weapon variety or loot spawns, it was trying to navigate to your buddies when they spawned in, staying alive in a very hostile and harsh world, and of course, killing other players that didn’t want to “play along.”

DayZ SA Alpha hits all those points and more, while also introducing a new level of survival that only the more hardcore additions to the mod have.  Eating and drinking is critical to survival, disinfecting your drinking water and bandages is paramount, and staying alive is a constant balance of right place, right time, and inventory management.  Throw in your friends and some hostile players and you’ve got DayZ at its core and its finest.

So is DayZ ready to eat up some of your holiday savings?  Unless you’re into DayZ in a way that probably isn’t healthy for your social life, nope.  But, even for an Alpha, it shows a remarkable amount of polish and refinement.  In the coming months and by late next year, I think we’ll see DayZ taking over the gaming scene in ways the mod could only have dreamed of.  But until then, stay off my beach unless you want to starve to death in 20 minutes with a fire extinguisher on your back wearing nothing but your undies and a motorcycle helmet.


Alex DiFiori
Writer - Editorials
I've been a gamer since before most gamers were born. Now a full-fledged member of the PC Master Race, I'm enjoying all the best games from both AAA and Indie developers in glorious 1440p. Praise Gaben and may the Steam deals be ever syphoning funds from your life savings.
  • ThePoolshark

    Rocket posted the best review on his twitter that had a thumbs up rating from Steam. “I ate a rotten kiwi, and I died”.

    • Oblivion_Lost667

      This ALMOST happened to me, I made my way up to the North West Airfield, was completely kitted out, and was dying due to my inexperience with the new food system, I was ALMOST dead looking for antibiotics (I found two empty bottles of it, was disappointing lol), was seeing nothing but black and white, and what do I find in my inventory? Pills that I thought were matches I picked up. Was one of my most stupid feeling moments.

  • teo2cry

    This review is spot on!Great game.Just one problem, only 1/10 players are really friendly and it kind of sucks.That is the only real problem that has transferred from the mod imo.

    • Niosus

      You can fix technology, but you can’t fix people sadly… at least not without breaking some international treaties 😉

    • swipe_06

      Maybe the devs should encourage more teamwork with some game mechanic. Sadly people need motivation.

      • lukazo

        i thought there could be 2 ways that could possibly solve this

        1-add a in game group system like in wastland servers where you can spawn in with freinds at the closest town, this gives us a chance to go back and gather things we lost to bandits unless they wiped you all out and just ransacked everything.


        2- add a in game currency like fallout, theres a black market you go sell found loot to other players, only ingame loot no actual real money transactions, and this could then be used to put bountys on bandits heads who are frequent player killers this would urge people to be on the lookout and kill them given any chance for a reward,

        i no this doesnt fit the dayz style much but remember, like walking dead we dont want to just survive an economy needs to start up again this could be it

        • yo

          The second one sounds like Echo mod to me

          This game also needs some serious weather changing functions. We need WINTER! We need the same rough, silent and cold atmosphere that Namalsk gave us!

          • lukazo

            yeh winter sounds dope! i loved namalsk! plus we need the weapon loot of namalsk to! its not fun running around dayz with a melee weapon! i know bandits are a problem but nothing more funner then getting a weapon easy and fighting them!


      Unfriendly players should be no problem if you play with friends?

      • Getting into firefights with a 4-8 man squad against foes with even larger numbers is just epic and what DayZ is all about now. Gone pretty much are the days of playing an RPG, these days its a giant pvp fest with a few lucky people leaving alive. I happen to love it.. only my PC is not quite ready for SA, it needs some upgrades before I make the leap from mod to SA.

        • VEX_VEHIX

          Sweet! I like the sound of it. Makes me want to hurry and build a nice rig.:)

      • teo2cry

        If you are just walking around with your friend and suddenly with no warning whatsoever you get shot in the back by someone who you didn’t see…it still is a bit of a problem.Even if you and your friend see and approach the guy with caution and you don’t want to harm him,he only sees you two as an even bigger opportunity to get even more loot then he would get form one guy so he still attacks.

    • zacflame

      DayZ community:

      100% of players call themselves friendly or a noob.
      10% of players are friendly or a noob.

  • Energize

    I’ve been loving the DayZ Standalone, I haven’t ran into to many bugs or glitches, the graphics and gameplay are a huge step up, it’s awesome.

  • Arvid

    Yes buy it!!

  • selveste_gud

    dayZ, the hiking simulator.

    • MeBossYouNot

      Aren’t you clever.

      • selveste_gud

        thanks! mom always said I was a clever fella.

  • KennyKyle

    I like it. Add me on steam so we can group up. Kennykyle1, it will be kenny from south park with weapons. Preferred with mics.

  • softgrip

    You guys might like Rust. 🙂

    Is the DayZ jump still like hurdling over a wombat?

    • Jeremy Smith

      Rust is definitely very Dayz-ish. but man Rust is full of assholes too.. haha. I played 3 days and every time I logged off and got back on my house had been destroyed by C4 and all my stuff was gone… people are hacking the crap out of Rust, giving themselves crates of C4 and then going around blowing down houses. Also, you can block someone in their house by placing spikes in front of the doors… that really will piss you off. Rust looks very promising but its just as far off from completion as DayZ standalone is.

    • Joshster thirtyseven

      i have been looking at gameplay of both of them but i must say that i like the way dayz is more than rust but i also like the way in rust it is a bit easier to get supplies

  • MeBossYouNot

    Kill or be killed. Thats how I do.

    Survival of the fittest, baby.

    • born2expire

      Yup, kill to protect what you have.

  • Sam Brown

    As I lay unconscious by a burnt out car a real person that I have never met ran to and back from a hospital with medical supplies and performed an operation to save me in the middle of the night. If you want to feel a range of emotions, more so than the original mod in 2012 I would say invest in the game. You get constant updates and the full game for free when it is released.

    Edit: Oh and the Alpha runs smoother than Battlefield 4 (slight sarcasm, but sadly not completely).

  • BoinQ

    The amount of game breaking bugs is rediculous. Don’t buy it if you’re thinking of it.

  • unstoppableguy1

    If I buy the alpha will I get the full game for free?? or will I have to buy the whole game again?? SOMEONE PLZ TELL ME

    • Jason Faschingbauer

      Buying an alpha/beta will always get you the full game. You’re alpha will be receiving updates over time until it’s beta and then again once it’s finished.

  • Carl Sciberras

    i prefer dayz mod still, not so much because of arma II and its given weapon and vehicular diversity, but more because of the atmosphere it had/has.
    the uncertainty, no real web based maps, the immersion was more ‘real’
    plus now every 2nd tool shoots you rather than tries to survive, camp , live with you…

    but thats just me

  • Heath

    I bought it, and yes there are lots of bugs, but its a alpha. I love this game and i think it was well worth the money just to learn the game before the big rush of people once its perfected