Gray Zone Warfare Guide – 10 Need-to-Know Tips for Beginners

Even for extraction shooter veterans, Gray Zone Warfare can take some getting used to. Here are some tips to get you started.

Posted By | On 06th, May. 2024

Gray Zone Warfare Guide – 10 Need-to-Know Tips for Beginners

Madfinger Games’ Gray Zone Warfare is the latest tactical first-person shooter phenomenon, selling 400,000 copies in just two days since launching for PC via Steam Early Access. It’s especially successful due to controversies surrounding Escape from Tarkov due to its own extraction shooter elements and realistic gunplay.

Gray Zone Warfare takes place on the fictional Lamong Island, a massive sandbox where a “mysterious event” has resulted in an evacuation and quarantine. Three different Private Military Companies investigate for their clients, which means delving further and discovering what happened.

There’s a lot still to be included in the game, such as the enigmatic Ground Zero, which will serve as an end-game area down the line. However, Gray Zone Warfare presents a solid gameplay base with a smattering of quests to complete, PvE and PvP modes to partake in and some interesting mechanics despite several performance issues (which the developer is working to address).

What should you know when jumping in for the first time? What are some helpful tips to keep in mind while on the ground? How does the experience differ from your average extraction shooter/sandbox FPS? Here are a few tips and tricks to remember, whether it’s your first raid or the thirtieth.

Carry the Essentials

As with any extraction shooter, ensure you carry the essentials when heading out. These include a backpack, meds, a helmet, a primary weapon, a secondary weapon, some magazines, armor and so on. Some items like food and water are acquired pretty easily on the field, so don’t worry about stocking up too heavily on those when heading out. The same goes for primary ammo and additional weapons, especially when scavenging comes into play. Ensure that you deposit valuable items, armor and weapons into your locker between raids – if you die out in the wild and the loot is lost, they’ll be necessary for the next excursion. The alternative is wasting valuable cash to replace them, which isn’t ideal.

SafeLock Box

If there are items that you desperately need to protect, use the SafeLock box. While it doesn’t have a lot of space, any loot within can’t be taken by enemy players and won’t be lost if you die. Use this for any important items you desperately need to extract and don’t want to lose. If you’re running low on space, try using an M-FAK or I-FAK since it occupies a single slot in your pockets but can store multiple healing items.

Recovering Loot

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After dying – which can happen frequently, so be prepared – you have a chance to recover the loot from your corpse. While it seems like looting it before enemy players can is the way to go, you should also beware of dying again on the way back to your corpse. Dying again will cause the first corpse to disappear, which means your loot goes bye-bye. It’s also worth noting that allies in PvE can’t recover your loot if you go down, so returning to the site of death and doing it yourself is thus important.

Allied Drops

If you’re having a hard time returning to your corpse, your teammates can help by doing the next best thing. Have them right-click on your corpse, which causes the items to drop onto the floor. Even if you die again, your loot will remain ripe for the picking. Again, picking up your items and ferrying them to a safe location isn’t possible for your teammates, so get back as soon as possible, regardless of how many additional deaths it may take.

Scavenging Weapons

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Food and ammo aren’t the only items you can scavenge on the battlefield – there are weapons as well. This can be important if your primary weapon runs out of ammo while in the middle of a gunfight. The AKM is currently a popular option since its ammo is plentiful in the world and there are plenty of enemies with it in the starting areas. Just beware that the sight options are limited. Alternatively, you can pick up an AKM and sell it when returning to base. They fetch a decent amount, which can go towards your next raid.

Ammo Economy

It may be obvious, but Gray Zone Warfare isn’t a first-person shooter where going in guns-blazing is advised. Assessing situations, relying on cover and the environment, playing stealthy and coordinating with your teammates can often be the recipe for success. Check your supplies regularly, including your ammo. When reloading your weapon, it will swap out the entire magazine, meaning any remaining bullets are lost. Hit the V key to check how many bullets are left in a magazine before reloading. If you hold Left Alt and press V, a weapon check is initiated, which tells you the remaining ammo in the magazine and firing mode. Make a habit of doing this whenever there’s a lull in the action.

Switching Firing Modes

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Speaking of firing modes, several weapons have different types, usually full auto and single shot for the primary assault rifles. To switch between these, press B. If you’re at a distance or sneaking up on an enemy, go for a single shot to make more precise shots and thus save ammo (pressing and holding Left Alt will also help in steadying your aim). If enemies swarm you, go full auto to take them out at mid to close range. Get used to managing recoil, regardless of the firing mode, especially since it can change as the bullets in a magazine dwindle.

Stamina Management

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You’re going to be running around a lot in Gray Zone Warfare, so managing your stamina is key. However, it’s also important to not continuously utilize it in a single go, instead pacing yourself, since your character will get tired more easily. Use too much stamina at a time and it can affect your aim, making for some awkward encounters if enemies suddenly pop up. Also, don’t forget to keep those food and water levels topped off at all times since they can affect your overall condition.


Perhaps one of the most notable mechanics in the game, healing isn’t determined by a traditional health bar. Instead, you have a blood count. If you’re injured, it will slowly deplete, resulting in various issues. Check your character’s status and pay attention to the colors of different parts – splints are required for bones that are yellow or orange, for example. If you’re “hurt”, as indicated by your status, some Painkillers can make it go away.

You can also use a Surgery Kit to repair damaged organs, like your liver if you’re suffering from nausea. Blood bags are also essential as they refill any lost blood. Keep an eye on your status throughout and examine your allies whenever possible to see if they need healing.

Ensure that you have some healing items in the quick-access gear slot. If you’re in the middle of a battle and can’t open your inventory, pressing 5 will use these items to heal up. It’s also possible to cancel healing animations and other actions by pressing right click, in case you’re suddenly ambushed. Some enemies (and enemy players) won’t give you the luxury of fighting back so easily, but it’s better than leaving yourself open.

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