Even after all these years, State of Decay 2 is still going strong. It's crazy to think the game released back in 2018 and is still getting consistently updated with tons of new content and achievements. Yet here we are, with Update 25 now available, bringing new elements known as Plague Territories, outposts to collect, and a few quality-of-life improvements.
The biggest inclusion is the Plague Territories, which are deadly outposts consumed by a "malevolent influence". To vanquish the evil, you'll need to venture in and defeat the heart for some juicy rewards.
Plague hearts are now surrounded by an area of malevolent influence, known as plague territory. Bases and outposts within these spheres cannot be claimed until the heart has been defeated. However, the rewards balance the risks, as enhanced outposts offer increased resources and even additional community skills.
Resource outposts are said to hold the ability to be upgraded for more resources, and those who upgrade it twice will receive "a valuable skill training resource". There are also landmark outposts, and when these are captured, they'll grant the player the "choice of one of three distinct, strategic benefits."
The update also brings in a variety of quality of life improvements, such as the much requested ability to sidearm swap in-game. You can check out the full list of patch notes below.
Plague hearts now project plague territory around them, filling the area with a nasty red mist and making it unfit for human habitation.
- Plague territory is marked by a deep red splotch on the map. Any site within plague territory has a red icon, indicating that you cannot secure or claim it.
- To free a site, you must destroy any plague heart that includes that site within its territory. In densely-clustered maps, that could mean destroying multiple hearts.
Plague hearts tend to congregate where humans do, so expect valuable bases and outposts, as well as denser neighbourhoods, to be covered by plague territory.
This change means that defeating plague hearts is no longer just a checklist item you complete before starting your legacy. It’s a day-to-day concern as you plan your community’s expansion.
Resource outposts — those that grant an income of food, fuel, or another resource — can now be upgraded to unlock increased benefits and skill training options for your community.
- Each resource outpost offers a progression of two upgrades, with escalating costs and requirements.
- The second-tier upgrade doubles the resource income and offers a skill-training action that grants you ready access to strategic skills like Medicine, Mechanics, and Computers.
- A fully-upgraded resource outpost now offers three units of that resource each day (or more, in the case of Food outposts at higher difficulty levels).
Each map now also features a single landmark outpost — a unique claimable site that offers three distinct strategies, each providing a powerful benefit to your community.
- Some landmark outposts offer a choice of three distinct benefits, while others offer a single benefit, but allow you to choose which cost to pay.
- You select your initial strategy when you claim the outpost, but you can change it later from the base screen.
Particularly valuable outposts (landmark outposts, upgradeable resource outposts, and utility outposts) are now marked with distinctive backgrounds on the map screen, allowing you to identify them more easily. So get out there and explore your options!
Another benefit of the upgraded outposts is the fact that they can unlock three new achievements, for a total of 50 gamerscore!
- Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota (10) — Claim a landmark outpost.
- A Three Hour Tour (20) — Claim 3 landmark outposts.
- But It Can Be Better (20) — Fully upgrade a resource outpost.
For a limited time, earn Microsoft Rewards when you complete any one of these achievements!
Streamlined Map Exits
Since you need to change maps to engage with plague territory and the new outposts, we’ve made switching maps much easier! Here is the new process:
- At the start of a new community, you can already see the exits marked with icons on the map screen. At first, they are locked.
- Hovering your cursor over an exit icon tells you exactly what you need to do to unlock it.
- What you need to do is simple — upgrade your Command Centre.
That’s it! Once you have an upgraded Command Centre (which follows you from base to base), your community has access to all map exits, without needing to perform any additional actions.
You now have two ranged weapon slots in your inventory — one for a primary weapon and one for a sidearm. Each ranged weapon in the game fits exclusively into one of those two slots.
- Primary weapons include rifles, assault rifles, most shotguns, crossbows, and special weapons like grenade launchers.
- Sidearms include pistols, assault pistols, revolvers, and short-barrelled shotguns.
While aiming one ranged weapon, you can quickly swap to the other by tapping Y (on controller) or 2 (on keyboard).
- This has shifted the fire mode input to D-pad Down and 3, respectively, as highlighted on the aiming HUD.
- You can remap any of these inputs on the Settings menu
ALSO! Weapon mods can now be applied to any weapon in your inventory (if they are compatible), including unequipped weapons in your backpack.
Improved Community Skills
Community Skills now apply many of their advanced benefits to the entire community, not just to the individual with the skill.
- Nutrition now offers +10 Health and Stamina to the entire community.
- Metalwork now offers +15% melee weapon durability to the entire community.
- Automechanics now offers +25% fuel efficiency and +50% vehicle stealth to the entire community.
- Pathology now offers +50 infection resistance to the entire community (instead of +100 to the individual).
- Surgery now offers +20 Health to the entire community.
- Plumbing now offers +20 Stamina to the entire community.
This change led us to make additional balance tweaks to some skills that already offered community-wide benefits.
- Cuisine now offers +15% Influence gains and +6 Morale to the community (over the previous +10% Influence and no Morale).
- Electrical now offers +25 parts per day (over the previous +20 parts per day).
- Munitions and Pharmacology now offer +10 to Ammo and Meds Storage (respectively) because the +3 they used to offer was garbage.
We also made changes to some of the Red Talon fifth skills, though not all of them affect the entire community.
- Combat Medicine and Demolitions now offer +2 stack size to the individual (over the previous +1 stack size).
- Firearm Maintenance now offers -25% gun durability loss to the entire community.
- Logistics now offers +1 stack size to the entire community (instead of +2 to the individual) and retains its +25 parts per day.
- Mobile Operations now offers +25% fuel efficiency to the entire community (instead of +50% to the individual) and retains its +1 fuel per day.
Other Fixes and Improvements
As always, we’ve continued to make smaller-scale improvements to the game alongside the headliner features above.
- We fixed a bug that could cause an exploding bloater to affect a vehicle that was well outside the range of its gas cloud.
- Rapidly damaging a plague heart will no longer cause its second gas explosion to fire improperly and ineffectively.
- Survivors no longer take infection damage from feral attacks that they successfully dodged.
- Followers now use grenade launchers more effectively against hostile humans.
- Followers no longer fix broken firearms for free.
- When you search for a new enclave via the radio, we now try to spawn the incoming enclave close to your current position, rather than close to your base, giving you more control over where they are likely to arrive.
- The enclave you meet during your arrival on the map with a new community (after skipping the tutorial) can now be recruited immediately after their mission.
- We removed all remaining instances that we could find of an enclave with the deprecated, meaningless “Cold” relationship status.
- The host can now see the tether bubble on the map, helping them to avoid accidentally teleporting their multiplayer guests.
- We added an option to toggle in and out of aim mode, rather than having to hold the aim button down. You can find it on the Settings menu, under Accessibility.
- Hovering your cursor over a plague heart on the map now reveals what type of rucksack you will earn if you destroy that heart.
- The aiming HUD now displays icons for the Aim Snap and Assault Kick, reminding you when you have access to these special abilities.
- Enclave icons now appear when you survey enclave-occupied sites from a survey point.
- Surveying a site by aiming at it from a survey point is now much quicker.
- Survivors are no longer unhappy when their base is missing certain common facilities (Workshop, Infirmary, Garden, or Watchtower), giving you more freedom in your base-building strategy.
- Traits that cause survivors to argue more often now very specifically tell you how to avoid the arguments while retaining the survivor.
- We’ve reduced the number of notifications that pile up immediately upon loading your community.
- You can now withdraw rucksacks from the Storage facility while it is mid-upgrade.
- The parking slots in front of Camp Kelenqua are no longer swapped on the Base Screen.
- The stealth tutorial now reiterates the stealth input multiple times to make players more likely to understand the process.
- The blood plague cure tutorial now actually consumes the dose of cure you use on your dying friend, instead of leaving it in your inventory.
Things We Fixed Earlier But Forgot to Patch Note
- The Professional Deejay trait assigned by a travel conversation no longer applies the Music skill. This should be the final case of a travel conversation potentially filling that last skill slot. You need fear them no more.
- When deleting a community from a save slot, we now name the community in the confirmation dialogue, to help reassure you that you are deleting the one you intended.
- The Community Difficulty slider is now the one that applies modifiers to the Threat level at your base, not the Action Difficulty slider, bringing the mechanics in line with their description.
- We closed an exploit that allowed players to (laboriously) duplicate ammo via the vehicle inventory.
- The RTX Cyclone now counts as a shotgun for the purpose of completing bounties.
- We’ve also made a raft of minor improvements to art, audio, UI, and localization.
Still with us? That was a lot, but it just reinforces the continuing effort to keep the game going after all these years. Update 25 is available now on Xbox, so if you're itching for more State of Decay 2, now is the time.
Will you be diving back into State of Decay 2? Let us know in the comments below.