How to Use Skill Points in Project Zomboid

If you like survival sandbox games and zombies, Project Zomboid might be up your alley. In this game, you’ll learn how to survive the zombie apocalypse. You’ll level up and gain Skill Points to learn new skills and increase survivability. These hard-earned Skill Points can also help upgrade the skills you have.

How to Use Skill Points in Project Zomboid

Other than Skill Points, you also need experience (XP) to level Skills up. Keep on reading to learn how to use Skill Points in Project Zomboid and how it’s tied to XP.

How to Use Skill Points in Project Zomboid

Players gain Skill Points the more XP they earn. Eventually, they can level up a skill by spending their hard-earned Skill Points. There are many skills in Project Zomboid, divided into five main categories:

  • Agility
  • Combat
  • Crafting
  • Firearm
  • Survivalist

Each category has two to eight Skills, and each Skill contains 10 levels. You have to earn XP to get Skill Points to advance to Level 10.

There are also two Passive skills, Fitness, and Strength. They’re separate from the other five categories due to the latter being different types altogether.

Training a skill requires XP and Skill Points. You may also earn a Skill Point by gaining XP, and the more points you have, the harder it is to make them.

You’ll accrue Skill Points even when you don’t have Skills to add or upgrade. However, the situation gets a little tricky because you only accrue XP for actions directly related to your Skill categories. Sometimes, you’ll have enough XP but lack Skill Points, or vice versa.

Once you have enough Skill Points and XP, some skills on the menu will have a “+” sign on their corresponding bars. This stage is when you know you can upgrade the Skill.

Earning Skill Points and XP

As we mentioned, each Skill requires XP to level up. You gain XP by performing actions that match the Skill’s description. An example is Fishing, where you gain XP by using a line or spear to catch fish.

Alternatively, you can also use Skill Books to help you gain more XP. Reading Skill Books will give you an XP earning rate boost. Your progress through each book determines how much of a multiplier the bonus grants you.

Skill Books are divided into levels of advancement, such as beginners and higher. If you’re not a beginner in Metalworking, then “Metalworking for Beginners” won’t give you the increased XP multiplier. Make sure you use the right books when it comes to leveling your skills up.

After you gain two levels with each book, it won’t be effective anymore. As a bonus, this is when advanced books come in handy, allowing you to keep earning extra XP.

Currently, only Crafting and Survivalist skills have Skill Books associated with their respective categories. You’ll have to train other skills the slow way instead.

As there are many skills in the game, let’s look at how to gain XP for them.

Skills in Project Zomboid

Below are the various skills in Project Zomboid and how to gain XP for them. By earning XP, you can eventually level them up to improve your character’s survivability.


These skills primarily affect your movement.

  • Sprinting

You level up Sprinting by Running and Sprinting. Even if you’re unfit, overburdened, or have another condition, pressing the button for Sprinting will also let you gain XP.

  • Lightfooted

Moving stealthily by Running, Walking, or Sneaking near zombies undetected helps you gain XP for this Skill.

  • Nimble

Walking in Combat Stance will increase your Nimble XP.

  • Sneaking

Sneaking near zombies undetected also helps you gain XP for this Skill.


Using a weapon belonging to a particular category will let you earn XP in that category. You must hit zombies successfully and deal damage to receive the points. All but one will make wielding your weapons more effective in hit rate, damage dealt, and beyond.

  • Axe

Use an axe to hit zombies.

  • Long Blunt

Attack zombies with Long Blunt weapons.

  • Short Blunt

Hit zombies while equipping a Short Blunt weapon.

  • Long Blade

With a Long Blade in hand, successfully hitting zombies will let you earn XP for it.

  • Short Blade

Any weapon in the Short Blade category will give you XP for using it.

  • Spear

All Spears will provide you with XP if you hit zombies.

  • Maintenance

Using any weapon without losing condition will let you gain Maintenance XP. It’s better to use durable weapons to train this Skill.


These skills have to do with creating items, repairing objects, healing, and more. You can use Skill Books to increase XP gained.

  • Carpentry

Using barricades, dismantling furniture, making planks, and constructing using planks will yield XP for Carpentry.

  • Cooking

Any time you make food or craft food recipes, you gain Cooking XP.

  • Farming

You gain XP for this Skill by harvesting crops.

  • First Aid

Performing medical aid on yourself or other characters will give your First Aid XP.

  • Electrical

Creating electrical devices or repairing them will give you Electrical XP.

  • Metalworking

You can get more Metalworking XP by making or dismantling metal objects.

  • Mechanics

To gain XP for this Skill, you can repair cars or install and remove their parts.

  • Tailoring

Working with clothing increases your Tailoring XP.


When you fight with firearms, you’ll be able to gain Firearm skill XP. Both skills in this category will improve your gun handling.

  • Aiming

Aim and shoot at enemies to gain XP.

  • Reloading

You can gain Reloading XP by inserting rounds into magazines, swapping weapon magazines, or inserting bullets directly into any gun. Dry reloading a pistol also works.


The three skills in the Survivalist category have to do with thriving in the zombified world. Your quality of life will increase if these skills are upgraded.

  • Fishing

Use a fishing line or spear to catch fish.

  • Trapping

When you place traps and catch animals, you gain XP when you head back and retrieve your kill.

  • Foraging

When you’re in a forest, you can right-click on areas and forage them. You’ll gain XP this way.


The two Passive skills are available for upgrades. Here’s how to gain XP and Skill Points for each of them.

  • Strength

By exercising, carrying 50% more than your weight capacity, and running, you’ll gain XP for Strength. Hitting zombies or trees also do the same.

  • Fitness

Sprinting, Fitness Exercises, and fighting with melee attacks without overexertion all grant you Fitness XP. Sprinting has a 50% chance of giving you Fitness or Sprinting XP.

Using Your Skill Points

The list of Skills shows you how to gain XP for each Skill in the game. Once you earn enough XP for any Skill, you can check if it’s ready for upgrading. Here are the steps:

  1. Load your game.
  2. Open the “Player Status” window by clicking the heart icon at the top-left corner.
  3. Select the “Skills” tab, second from the left.
  4. Choose a skill to upgrade.
  5. Repeat if you can do so.

Alternatively, you can press “L” to open the Skills menu. From there, you can pick the skills you want to upgrade.

Hovering your cursor over any skill block will show you your skill level, XP, and any multipliers you may have. The XP stats also include how much more you need to upgrade each Skill.

What to Learn?

Training your skills in Project Zomboid can be a long and challenging journey, but you’ll have to figure out how to spend Skill Points wisely. If you strategize training, you’ll eventually become proficient in more categories.

What skills have you maxed out in Project Zomboid? Which Skill do you think is the hardest to train? Tell us in the comments section below.

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