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Heroes are special characters in the State of Decay DLC Breakdown. Most heroes are characters tied to quests in the main storyline of State of Decay. They usually have one or a few of the following advantages:
- at least one basic skill maxed out
- a Weapon Specialization already selected and maxed
- unlocks a Radio Command
- a rare/powerful weapon in their inventory
- Hero characters are unlocked by completing their respective challenges. All challenges have minimum level (scenario) requirements. For example, when starting the game, the player can only complete Scenario 1 challenges, but once Level 2 is reached, the player may complete challenges for Level 1 or Level 2, and so on.
- When a player moves up to a new Breakdown level, all progress from current challenges are reset, with the exception of the "Taskmaster" and "Scholar" challenge, which is accumulated through multiple levels.
- Once a hero is unlocked, Lily Ritter will state that an experienced survivor has been located and that the player should recruit them. They will be shown on the map with the mission named "Escort". Players must reach the destination and interact with the hero, asking them to join. Once escorted back to the player's base, the hero will join the group and can be switched to immediately. Escorting a hero home grants the player 25 Fame, like recruiting an Enclave.
- If the player chooses to start a new game, then they can pick an unlocked hero to start a new game with, instead of relying on randomly chosen characters.
- When the player starts a new game, unlocked heroes have a chance to spawn in random enclaves.
- Any Friendly Survivors missions on the map will prevent hero "Escort" missions from spawning. Thus, player should keep an eye on their progress and solve all Friendly Survivor missions before completing challenges to unlock heroes.
- If there are already two Escort missions on the map, unlocking another hero character will not spawn a third, even after the previous two has been completed, and the third hero character cannot be recruited. It is thus advisable that the player immediately recruits a hero when he/she becomes available.
- To unlock Thomas Ritter, the player has to build and upgrade every type of facilty. Just owning a prebuilt one doesn't count.
- Many Heroes re-appear in Lifeline as survivors in distress which can be extracted.
- The Year One Survival Edition adds Gurubani Kaur, Royell Vincent, Alicia Hawkes, Kilohana Young, and Kelly "Sasquatch" Eldridge III as playable heroes.
|Hero||Title||Level - Challenge||Benefits|
|Gurubani Kaur||The Prodigal||1 - Previous owners of State of Decay who purchase the Year One Survival Edition.|
|Eli Wilkerson||The Bruiser||1 - 100 Blunt Weapons kills|
|Owen Lykins||The Cop||1 - 50 Pistols kills|
|Pastor William Mulroney||The Believer||1 - Earn 500 Fame||
|Thomas Ritter||The Father||1 - Max out every type of facility|
|Raymundo Santos||The Dealer||1 - 400 kills with car door||
|Charley Marshall||The Scholar||1 - Complete all research projects||
|Jacob Ritter||The Tragedy||1 - Get torn apart by zombies||
|Alan Gunderson||The Killer||1 - Kill a dying community member||
|Erik Tan||The Sacrifice||1 - Go out in a blaze of glory||
|Cpt. Diane Montressor||The Taskmaster||1 - Play for 10 hours||
|Royell Vincent||The Joker||1 - Create twelve snacks||
|Ed Jones||The Friend||2 - Reach Level 2||
|Becca Collins||The Phoenix||2 - 100 kills with fire||
|Lyanna Carter||The Enthusiast||2 - 100 Light Edged Weapons kills|
|Andy Pimms||The Dead Man||2 - Kill 5 bloaters||
|Lincoln Voss||The Hunter||2 - 50 Rifles kills|
|Heather LaRue||The Mother||2 - Cook a feast||
|Alicia Hawkes||The Commander||2 - 3 surveys|
|Sam Hoffman||The Convict||3 - Reach Level 3|
|Judge Constance Lawton||The Judge||3 - Perform 50 executions||
|Carl Parsons||The Mentor||3 - 50 Revolvers kills||
|Amelia Crasman||The Fighter||3 - Kill 5 Ferals||
|Doc Hanson||The Healer||3 - Create Stimulants or Painkillers 5 times||
|Joel Macon||The Biker||3 - Create weapons in the workshop 5 times||
|Calliope Morris||The Gardener||3 - Grow 10 Food in the garden||
|Kilohana Young||The Defender||3 - Craft 300 Rounds of Ammo||
|K.C. Winters||The Gunner||4 - Reach Level 4||
|Job Wilkerson||The Survivor||4 - Scavenge 150 resources|
|Marcus Campbell||The Hero||4 - 100 Heavy Weapons kills|
|Zeika Rivera||The Rebel||4 - 50 Assault Rifles kills|
|Mickey Wilkerson||The Sniper||4 - Earn 25 headshot streaks|
|Evan Woodrow||The Grenadier||4 - 50 explosives kills|
|Kelly Eldridge III||The Operator||4 - Kill 10 Screamers|
|Maya Torres||The Veteran||5 - Reach Level 5|
|Dan Hovenden||The Moustache||5 - 50 shotguns kills||
|Leon Montague||The Mercenary||5 - Kill 5 juggernauts|
|Shark Hoodie Guy||The Ninja||5 - Perform 50 stealth kills||
|Walter Degrasse||The Scientist||6 - Reach Level 6|