State of Decay vehicles: Upgrades, repairs, and refueling explained

State of Decay 2 lays a heavy focus on its survival gameplay, requiring players to manage resources significantly more than in its predecessor. As a result, vehicles are now a much more valuable resource and scarcely scattered throughout the world. And to keep them in their prime, you'll need to manage their fuel, condition, and capabilities. Here's what you need to know about attending to, and upgrading, your vehicles during the apocalypse.

How to refuel vehicles in State of Decay 2

Every vehicle in State of Decay 2 has a limited fuel supply, which must be topped up to stay on the move. Located in the top left of the screen while driving, the fuel gauge indicates what percentage of the vehicle's fuel reservoir remains. If this gauge drops to zero, the vehicle will stop in its tracks, exposing your survivors to nearby hordes.

To keep your vehicle refueled, you'll need to obtain canisters across the game world. One of the easiest ways to find fuel is by scavenging key locations, such as gas stations, barns, and dedicated depots. For those with a high fuel deposit with their base stockpile, gas canisters can also be withdrawn from storage. For a long-term fuel supply, consider establishing an outpost at a dedicated fuel source.

With a fuel canister in your inventory, find the refill cap on your depleted vehicle. Lining up your character and triggering the button prompt can be tricky, so approach the vehicle slowly to hit that sweet spot. When indicated, hold down "Y" for the duration of the refill.

Don't worry if a canister doesn't fill your vehicle's tank entirely – repeat the above steps to fill it higher. A full tank will last you for almost any journey across the map, however, pack an extra can in the trunk to be safe.

How to repair vehicles in State of Decay 2

Between brutal zombie-smashing action and some unskilled driving, your vehicle will accumulate damage over time. While early stages are solely cosmetic, heavy impacts will result in increasingly dark smoke and even fire.

To repair any vehicle in State of Decay 2, you'll need to source a dedicated "vehicle repair kit." These consumable kits can be found at auto repair shops and other industrial locations. With a survivor knowledgeable in auto mechanics and an auto shop facility in your base, repair kits can also be crafted.

Any survivor can repair a vehicle when a repair kit is sat in their inventory. Walking up to the vehicle's front, a prompt will be displayed to perform repairs. Once this action is complete, the vehicle will return to its normal state.

How to upgrade vehicles in State of Decay 2

During State of Decay 2's later hours, upgrading your vehicles becomes equally as important as maintaining them. By modifying vehicles you'll have the opportunity to create zombie-killing machines prepared for whatever comes next.

Gaining the required resources and skills makes vehicle upgrades challenging, with several prerequisites to be met. Most importantly, you'll need a one-time-use "vehicle upgrade kit," which can be collected from prime traders for a high price. Alternatively, installing an auto shop at your base allows you to craft these kits.

After upgrading vehicles, various performance benefits can be seen. Among the potential upgrades are improvements to armor, suspension, storage, fuel and offensive capabilities.

Matt Brown

Matt Brown was formerly a Windows Central's Senior Editor, Xbox & PC, at Future. Following over seven years of professional consumer technology and gaming coverage, he’s focused on the world of Microsoft's gaming efforts. You can follow him on Twitter @mattjbrown.