Gray Zone Warfare: Complete Beginner’s Guide

What should you do as a new player in this brutal extraction shooter?

With the recent controversies surrounding Escape From Tarkov, another new extraction shooter, Gray Zone Warfare, has stolen the spotlight. In this guide, we will be giving you a few tips to keep in mind when you first start out in this harsh PvPvE experience.

Complete Beginner’s Guide

If you are a refugee of Escape From Tarkov, or even something like The Cycle: Frontier (may it rest in peace), then you are going to be very familiar with this game’s formula. However, if you aren’t, then you should know that this is a PvPvE game.

Specifically, it is an extraction shooter. This means that you are going to be dropping in and out of contested areas to complete missions and gather loot while trying to survive against AI enemies and other players.

Once you are satisfied with the loot you have on hand, you must survive until you can extract at your nearest landing zone and store all of your stuff back at base. If you die before that, you drop everything you were carrying on the ground (except for stuff in your secure container, such as a TAS).

You can recover your items from your body, but if you die again, your previous corpse will despawn and you’ll lose all the loot it had forever.

One other thing to note about the gameplay is that this is a tactical shooter with a somewhat “milsim” feel. Take it slow and don’t play it like it’s Call of Duty, because you will have a miserable time if you do.

Sprinting too much will cause your stamina to drain quickly. Also, learn how to tap fire as spraying is not advisable unless you are very close to your target. Change your firing mode to prevent accidental spraying (default hotkey is B).

Gray Zone Warfare player about to extract at a landing zone

Choosing Your Faction

At the start of the game, you have to choose one of the three factions, the Lamang Recovery Initiative, Mithras Security Systems, and Crimson Shield International.

This will affect who you can team up with, so if you are playing with a group of friends, make sure that you are all on the same faction. You are also forced to be friendly with fellow faction members, which helps ease you into the PvPvE aspect early on.

As for quests, this will largely affect where your base camp is located and the orientation of your starting town. Each faction’s starting town is actually just a mirrored version of one another.

Stuff such as travel time and more will change once you start branching out into different areas. Our recommendation is to join Mithras Security Systems, as it seems to be the closest to most points of interest.

Gray Zone Warfare faction choosing menu showing all 3 choices

Character Menu

The game is more complex than your average shooter, as there is a fairly deep inventory management system that you have to keep in mind.

Basically, the character menu will show you all of your equipped gear, as well as carriers that you have on you. These carriers are where you can store items, and they will have varying numbers of available slots.

Here, you can move stuff around and rotate items (press R) to fit as much loot as you can. You can also right click an item for more options, such as unloading bullets from a magazine.

Gray Zone Warfare player checking their inventory page

Guns & Ammo System

On that note, guns here work just as they do in real life. Your magazines will have to be filled with bullets individually. This means that if you reload while there are still bullets left in the mag, you will have that same number of ammo again if you load it back into your weapon.

Since there are no indicators on your HUD that show how much ammo you have left in a magazine, you will have to manually check it by pressing V. This will make your character quite literally check the magazine, and the remaining bullets will show up on the right hand side.

There are also different ammo types and attachments that have varying functions. You will just have to read their descriptions to figure out what is the best for a given situation.

Gray Zone Warfare player checking how much ammo they have in the mag

Health System

In the same menu as your inventory, you will see various stat bars at the bottom left corner. These indicate the following:

  • Blood – Essentially your remaining health. Keep this as high as you can at all times, as you can black out if it gets low enough. Will not regenerate if hydration and energy are low.
  • Hydration – Must be replenished with drinks.
  • Energy – Must be replenished with food.
  • Weight – Indicates how much you are carrying.
  • Intoxication – Goes up with the use of stimulants
  • Radiation – Goes up in irradiated zones. Needless to say, don’t let this get too high.

If you click on the Health panel beside the Gear tab, you will see more in-depth details of where you got hit and what type of injuries you may have. This is something you will have to learn as you go, since there are numerous ways to get hurt and first aid methods to use.

Some obvious pointers include the fact that getting shot in vital organs (such as the brain) will lead to instant death. A surgery kit can help heal up certain damaged organs, but of course, a shot to the heart is going to be fatal, so wear armor!

Gray Zone Warfare player checking their health panel

The Map

The map is going to be your best friend in this game, as the names of areas will be marked here (as well as minor places you’ve been to), allowing you to easily find your task objectives and more, especially if specific coordinates are given.

Members of the same faction will also show up as blue squares, while people in the same squad as you will show up as green squares.

There are also various landing zones that you can discover all throughout the map. You can call a helicopter at base to take you to any LZ that you have previously unlocked. When you want to extract, just call for another heli and it will automatically choose the nearest LZ you can go to.

Gray Zone Warfare menu showing the entire current world map

And those are just some of the things that you have to keep in mind in this complex extraction shooter. While you’re here, check out our guide on all of the tasks for Mithras players if you are a member of that faction!


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