Bandits are a big problem in DayZ. At the same time, the game might be boring if they weren't out there causing trouble. Can you imagine if everyone just looted, shot zombies and wiggle waved at each other? That would turn DayZ into Walking Simulator 2014. No thanks!
At the same time, bandits have their place on the DayZ food chain. Still, nobody wants to lose their pristine gear because these nuisances are a part of the Chernarus ecosystem. With that in mind, here are the best ways to prevent your pristine Can Opener from falling into the wrong hands.
The Hat Says a Lot
There's no official DayZ dress code that separates survivors from bandits. If you've played long enough, though, you'll know there is an unofficial dress code. If the guy you spotted in town wears a Gas Mask, Dallas Mask (the one that looks like it's from Payday 2) or Motorbike Helmet, it would be wise to let him pass. Don't shoot him on sight... yet. You still need to gather more evidence before playing executioner.
Observe from a Distance
Their clothes are a good indication, but in a game where it can be hard to find exactly what you want to wear, it isn't enough proof to send someone back to the coast. If you see a possible bandit but they don't see you, spend some time observing them. Survivors tend to keep moving, looting houses, going about their business as normal people would. Bandits, on the other hand, tend to sit on rooftops, lay on hills and spend a lot of time waiting for someone to wander into a high traffic area. For example, if you see a sniper laying on the hill near the Northeast Airfield waiting for someone to show up, there's a good chance you found a bandit. Get the drop on him? Hold him up, take his ammo and Long Range Scope from his Mosin, then send him in the opposite direction with no pants. Seriously though, take his pants.
They Act Sketchy
Just because you spot someone doesn't mean you can tell if they're a bandit. Odds are you might have to interact with them a bit, in which case, there are a few things you need to watch out for.
It's common courtesy to put your gun away when meeting strangers. Just throw it on your back so you can drop a wiggle wave or a high five. Guns should stay on your back until there is a level of trust between all parties. Bandits don't like to lower their weapons and it makes sense. If you can't trust yourself, you certainly won’t trust strangers. They also try to work their way beside or behind you so when they do raise their weapons, you can't shoot them. Pay special attention to how they sound on the microphone. If there are several pauses, they might be relaying information to a buddy on TeamSpeak or Skype. If they ask a lot of questions, they could be trying to see if you have any backup they need to worry about. Bottom line, if it seems sketchy, get out of there as safely as you can and use your weapon if you have to. We don't know about you, but we'd rather go down firing the last bullet from our M4A1 then face down in the dirt with handcuffs on.
Location is Everything
We learned that a bandit likes to be in populated areas. This is especially true if there's a chance of running into a Bambi. For that reason, expect to find a lot of bandits in towns like Berezino and Svetlojarsk. They know that a healthy dose of fresh spawns will be headed into the town to loot up, so they like to hang out here. See, that is the true mark of a bandit, someone who wants to kill, but doesn't want to battle someone who can defend themselves.
The Good News
While there are a lot of bandits out there, there's also a lot of guys like Mr. Blackout who spend a good bit of their time hunting and killing them. Not only that, there's actually a DayZ Rescue Force. If you’re in danger, you can post to their Reddit page and someone will come and save you. See, as frustrating as the bandit problem can be, good people do exist in Chernarus.
Since it's always nice to see the good guys win, how about checking out one of the best YouTube commentators playing DayZ today. We mentioned Mr. Blackout earlier, now check out his video below.