What Traits Should I be Looking for?

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  • THIS GUIDE IS JUST MY OPINIONS ON TRAITS/BADGES. Other players will have different opinions. Hopefully you can use my thoughts and opinions to help you form your own.
  • Finding our “Preferred” Traits is nearly impossible. For that reason, I’ve tried to explain how I think each Trait can be maximized to it’s potential. The order of the Traits is close to how I prioritize them, but isn’t necessarily a strict order. Work with what you have, but since Class Tokens can be hard to come by, don’t waste them on Survivors that you don’t love!

A HUGE THANK YOU to forum user CerealKiller for creating the images used here. They are truly amazing, and I’m sure they will be a big help!

I will also include some information about Badges here, as they are basically Traits that you can choose to add to your Survivors.

Since we now have Badges, some Survivor Traits may be more valuable since they are unique to Survivors.

  • Revenge
  • Retaliat
  • Punish
  • Lucky – Although Lucky is also on Weapons, more Lucky is almost always good.
  • Dodge – Although Dodge is also on Armor, more Dodge is a good thing.
  • Bullet Dodge – okay, this trait may still not be very valuable anymore…but it is unique

For almost every Survivor Class, I’m looking to build two types of Survivors:

  • Survivors to use vs Walkers. These will be my most powerful Survivors to use against Regular, Armored, Tank, Fire & Exploding Walkers, along with Melee Freemen. These Survivors won’t have Bullet Dodge (Survivor) or Bulletproof (Armor) Traits as those traits are useless when no one is shooting at you!
  • “Meat Shields”. In tough challenge missions, your Survivors will be hit by Walkers. In certain classes, I will try to build Survivors that can take more punishment by having Traits like Defensive Stance and Iron Skin.
  • Survivors to use vs Ranged Enemies. These will be used mainly as Outpost Defenders/Attackers and in Challenge & Chapter Missions (vs the Freemen).

If I don’t think a Survivor has the potential to fit one of those criteria, I won’t spend Tokens trying to upgrade/promote them.

However, I will use Survivors with different Traits than listed in certain situations.

Many Traits are valuable against Walkers 4 or less Levels above your Survivor. Interrupt and Dodge are two traits that are very valuable vs these Walkers. Once Walkers get to 4 or 5 levels above your Survivors, those traits don’t work as often (and eventually stop working).  So, if you want to get more Challenge Stars, you will need completely different Traits to try to beat those really hard Walkers. For this reason, I have changed the priorities on my “Preferred Traits” for each Survivor Class to focus on Traits that can really make a difference when the missions get tough. For easier missions, Traits just aren’t that important. 

Traits that Interact with Each Other

  • Lucky increases the chance that other probability based Traits will take effect. The Traits Lucky interacts with are:
    • Accuracy, Bullet Dodge, Bulletproof, Charging, Dodge, Incendiary, Power Strike, Silenced, Stun Resistance, Sure Shot, Swift Strike, Threat Reduction
  • Piercing. This trait reduces the chance of body shots against high level walkers. For ranged Survivors, this weapon Trait is pretty much a “must have” if you are trying to beat maps with Walkers 4 or 5+ levels above your Survivors. Piercing should allow other Weapon Traits like Accuracy (and thus Destructive) to take effect more often, as well as the Sure Shot Survivor Trait.
  • Defensive Stance & Iron Skin (and Vigilant): Defensive Stance can be used in high level challenge missions to reduce the damage taken when attacked. You can use a specific Survivor as a “meat shield” that is there to absorb damage. Pair that with Iron Skin on your Survivor and Gear, and you can take a good amount of damage when in overwatch. These two traits can really help you earn more stars, and save time in the Hospital.

Universal Survivor Traits

You don’t have to have these traits on every Survivor, but I’m rarely sad if my Survivor has these Traits.

  • Lucky – I am almost always happy to have Lucky on my Survivors. Since Lucky increases the chance of other probability based Traits activating, it is very helpful. It’s not as strong as it used to be, but still very useful for some of the most important Traits.
  • Dodge – I also am usually happy to have the Dodge Trait. Dodge interacts with Lucky, and is a very helpful defensive Trait as it allows to you avoid melee attacks. However, once you get to high level Walkers, you won’t be able to completely dodge an attack for zero damage taken, but it’s still highly desirable. Similar to how body shots increase as the walker levels increase, your ability to dodge decreases as walker levels increase. As you promote your Survivors to 6/7/8/9/10 Stars, Dodge will be more effective against higher level walkers.
    • When a Walker is 5 levels above your “Actual Survivor Level” (ASL = Survivor Level + number of pink stars), critical attacks happen 100% of the time against you. When Dodge “activates” against a critical attack, it turns a critical attack into a normal attack.
  • Retaliate/Revenge – Retaliate is only on Melee (although a couple ranged Heroes have the trait), and Revenge is only on Ranged Survivors. These Trait don’t work in Overwatch, but in very tough missions you will be taking damage, so Retaliate is very helpful to get as much damage as possible. Since Retaliate doesn’t currently work in overwatch, it’s not as crucial on “meat shields.” This could change in the future, so I’d still like to have these traits.
  • Punish – Any Bruiser I choose to invest tokens into probably needs to have Punish.

Universal Weapon Traits

  • Piercing – I want Piercing on almost every gun I choose to upgrade. Without Piercing, you will Body Shot 100% of the time when Walkers get 5 or more levels above your Survivor’s level. If you want to get as far as possible in Challenge Missions, Piercing is a must have as it allows all other Traits to activate. If you use Sasha, body shots can be turned into charge points, so you may want body shots to have a chance to charge more quickly.

Armor Traits

  • Ruthless – Getting more damage on your charged attacks is a solid trait to have on your armor, and is very valuable when trying to kill very tough enemies.
  • WrestlerThis Trait is very important against high level walkers. At very high level missions, you will most likely take a lot of damage. If you can go into a struggle, and kill a high level Walker, it’s very valuable. Wrestler is a must have for earning as many stars as possible in Challenges, and for getting as far as possible in The Distance.
  • Iron Skin – I prefer Iron Skin since that reduces the damage you take on EVERY hit.
  • Dodge – I will gladly take Dodge on almost every Armor that I choose to upgrade. See above for how Dodge changes as Walker levels increase.
  • Stun Resistance – This trait is basically a “must have” in Outposts and against Tank Walkers. This trait is useless in all other scenarios (other than against Goo Walkers).
  • Health Boost – This is a one time boost to your Survivor’s Armor Health Rating. A nice bonus, but not too important.
  • Bulletproof – Useful against Ranged Weapon Survivors in Challenges and Outpost Raids. This trait is useless if you aren’t going against Raiders/Saviors with guns.
  • Sniper Harness – A great Trait to put on your Ranged Defenders in Outpost.
  • Hazard Suit
  • Training Gear

Traits - Master Traits.jpg

My list of “preferred” Traits is always changing, and will vary in different situations. So the listed Traits for each class is not a strict order, especially for Traits ranked in the middle/bottom of the list.


Traits - Assault.jpg

Since Assaults have very high Health, you can either try to maximize their Health with Traits and Badges, or you can try to boost their Damage to make them more well balanced.


  • Lucky – Always helpful, especially for increasing the chance that Piercing, Sure Shot and Dodge activate more.
  • Dodge – Dodging an attack is always the best defense!
  • Revenge – Since Assaults have a better chance of attacking multiple targets with Revenge, I see this trait to be most optimal for them.
  • Sure Shot – Getting more critical attacks is very nice, but the shorter range of Assaults may mean you are moving and attacking more often.
  • Ruthless – More damage on your charged attacks is nice.
  • Iron Skin – Taking less damage will help you earn more stars in challenge missions.
  • Marksman – Dealing more damage is always helpful.
  • Defensive Stance – Although I don’t like to overwatch with Assaults, the high health of Assaults can make them decent candidates to be a Meat Shield. I use Abraham for this purpose, so I don’t really look for this trait on regular Assault Survivors.
  • Vigilant – Since I don’t like to Overwatch with Assaults, Vigilant is not important to me.
  • Bullet Dodge – Bump this Trait up for Survivors you want to use in Outposts or against Freemen.


  • Piercing – This Trait is a must have if you want to get as far in challenges as possible.
  • Wide Spread – Gold or Silver Wide Spread is a great trait to hit as many enemies as possible. On certain maps where you can’t hit multiple enemies, traits that do more damage can be more useful than Wide Spread, but that is very rare.
  • Destructive – On tough missions, getting that extra damage from a critical will help finish off enemies quicker. Destructive is even better when you have Sure Shot on your Survivor.
  • Lucky – Always acceptable on guns.
  • Lethal – More Damage is good, but it doesn’t add a lot of Damage.
  • Accurate – More Critical Attacks is a nice bonus.
  • Silenced – Not a bad Trait in theory, but not something I’m really looking for.
  • Interrupt – Since I don’t Overwatch much with Assaults, I do not want this Trait.


  • Damage Resistance
  • Health
  • Damage
  • Critical Damage
  • Critical Chance


I enjoy using Abraham in the leader position on many challenge missions to take advantage of his Leader Trait, and also as a “meat shield” to take attacks from Walkers since he has both Defensive Stance and Iron Skin when he is Legendary.


Traits - Bruiser.jpg

I think I reversed the preferred Traits for Bruisers here. In missions, I would prefer Concussion, Charging and Lucky, and in Outposts I’d prefer Concussion, Lucky and anything other than Charging.

Since Bruisers have high Health ratings, I am also looking for a Bruiser built around Defensive Stance & Iron Skin to absorb damage in high challenge missions.


  • Punish – Getting an extra attack should be useful.
  • Lucky – Helpful for getting Concussion and Dodge to activate more.
  • Dodge – The best defense is to avoid an attack!
  • Iron Skin – Taking less damage is really important, especially on Meat Shields.
  • Retaliate – Although Retaliate doesn’t currently activate on overwatch, dealing some extra damage when attacked can be very helpful.
  • Defensive Stance – With the high health of Bruisers, they make perfect Meat Shield candidates.
  • Power Strike – This trait should be very helpful when backed into a corner, especially on Meat Shields.
  • Ruthless – More damage for a charged Bruiser attack isn’t a big deal for me.
  • Vigilant – Bruisers don’t deal much damage, so extra damage isn’t very helpful.
  • Strong – Bruisers don’t deal much damage, so extra damage isn’t very helpful.
  • Bullet Dodge – Bump this trait up for Outpost Defenders!


  • Concussion – Stunning an enemy for an extra turn is the ideal scenario for a Bruiser.
  • Lucky – Getting Concussion and Dodge to activate more is the primary reason to have Lucky.
  • Charging – Since it’s hard to get kills with a Bruiser, getting to their Charge ability quicker is very nice.
  • Destructive – More damage on a Critical attack is a bonus.
  • Accurate – Getting more Critical attacks is always great.
  • Lethal – Bruiser weapons don’t deal much damage, so the extra damage isn’t a big bonus.
  • Interrupt – Since Bruisers stun their enemies on non body shots, Interrupt is almost completely useless. The only place it is useful is against Tank Walkers when you don’t body shot them.


  • Damage Resistance
  • Health
  • Damage
  • Critical Damage
  • Critical Chance


Traits - Hunter.jpg


  • Lucky – This is extremely helpful to help get Sure Shot, Piercing, Dodge and more to activate more often.
  • Dodge – Dodging an attack is always the best defense.
  • Sure Shot – Since Hunters can attack multiple enemies from a distance, Sure Shot is a fantastic trait that’s a must have on Hunters for me.
  • Revenge – This trait should be pretty useful on tough missions.
  • Ruthless – More damage on your charged attacks will be useful.
  • Marksman – More Damage to finish off enemies quicker is great.
  • Iron Skin – Taking less Damage can help you get more stars.
  • Vigilant – I don’t overwatch a lot with Hunters, but getting more damage when you do is a nice bonus.
  • Defensive Stance – I don’t overwatch with Hunters very often, but you could use this when backed into a corner in tough challenge missions to get some extra stars.
  • Bullet Dodge – This is only helpful in Outposts and against Freemen.


  • Piercing – If a rifle doesn’t have Piercing, I won’t upgrade it.
  • Lucky – This is extremely helpful to help get Sure Shot, Piercing, Dodge and more to activate more often.
  • Large Caliber – Some players must have Large Caliber, but I don’t need it…especially against tough walkers when having a trait that does more damage is very helpful.
  • Destructive – Against tough walkers, this trait is extremely helpful when you get a critical.
  • Incendiary – This trait is very good on maps where you have plenty of space to set Tanks and Armored Walkers on fire and let them burn out.
  • Lethal – Dealing more damage to multiple enemies can be very helpful.
  • Accurate – More critical attacks is great, but less necessary when you have Sure Shot.
  • Silenced – Not a bad Trait in theory, but I prefer more damaging Traits.
  • Interrupt – Again, I don’t Overwatch a lot with Hunters, so I don’t care for this Trait.


  • Damage
  • Critical Damage
  • Damage Resistance
  • Health
  • Critical Chance


Traits - Scout.jpg

If you own the Pitchfork or Kingdom Spear, Power Strike becomes much more useful on a Scout. You can safely overwatch from a distance, then attack without moving on the next move!


  • Lucky – Increasing the chance of other traits activating is always great.
  • Dodge – The best defense is dodging an attack.
  • Retaliate – If you get attacked, retaliating is always a great thing.
  • Ruthless – More damage from the powerful Scout charged attack could be huge!
  • Power Strike – This trait can be extremely valuable if you use the Kingdom Spear or Pitchfork. It’s also helpful if you place your Scout next to where Walkers will spawn.
  • Strong – Doing more damage is always a bonus.
  • Iron Skin – Taking less damage can help you get more stars in challenge missions.
  • Defensive Stance – I don’t overwatch a lot with Scouts in tough challenge missions, but if you do, Defensive Stance can be very valuable.
  • Vigilant – If you like to overwatch with Scouts, more damage is great.
  • Bullet Dodge – I use Scouts when I raid to grab the Trade Goods and run, but I will sometimes fight when someone blocks the Trade Goods so this Trait is occasionally helpful.


  • Threat Reduction – Reducing the number of Walkers that Spawn is extremely valuable when challenge missions get tough.
  • Charging – Getting a charge attack quicker is a nice bonus, plus the extra damage in a charge attack is always nice.
  • Swift Strike – Gaining an extra attack point from a kill can be extremely useful.
  • Destructive – Destructive will make a charge attack from a Scout even more powerful.
  • Lucky – Increasing the chance of other Traits activating is very helpful.
  • Lethal – More damage is always nice.
  • Interruptor – This isn’t a bad trait, but I typically only overwatch on Raids.
  • Accurate – More critical attacks is never a bad thing, but this trait eventually stops working when you get all body shots.


  • Damage
  • Critical Damage
  • Damage Resistance
  • Health
  • Critical Chance


Traits - Shooter.jpg


  • Lucky – Getting other Traits to activate more is a great thing.
  • Dodge – The best defense is dodging the attack.
  • Ruthless – More damage from the powerful Shooter Charge Attack could be very helpful.
  • Revenge – This trait should be pretty useful on tough missions.
  • Sure Shot – Getting more critical attacks is great, and this works even better with a Pistol that has High Powered.
  • Marksman – Doing more damage is nice.
  • Iron Skin – Taking less damage can help you get more stars in challenge missions.
  • Vigilant – I use overwatch on Shooters more often since they can only attack one target at a time. The added damage is a nice bonus.
  • Defensive Stance – Paired with Vigilant and Iron Skin, you can have a very powerful overwatch/meat shield Shooter.
  • Bullet Dodge – This can be helpful in Outposts and against Freemen.


  • Piercing – This is a must have trait on a Pistol.
  • Destructive – The extra damage on a critical attack is great against tough walkers.
  • Charging – Getting a charge attack quicker is great on a Shooter.
  • Lucky – Getting other traits to activate more is always awesome.
  • High Powered – Pair this trait with Sure Shot (and Piercing, of course), and will have a very powerful Shooter.
  • Lethal – More damage is never a bad thing.
  • Accurate – More critical attacks is nice.
  • Silenced – Good in theory, but I prefer a more damaging trait, especially with an overwatch Shooter.
  • Interruptor – This trait is much more valuable when paired with Piercing on an overwatch Shooter.


  • Damage
  • Critical Damage
  • Damage Resistance
  • Health
  • Critical Chance


Traits - Warrior.jpg


  • Lucky – Getting other Traits to activate more often is great.
  • Dodge – The best defense is dodging the attack.
  • Retaliate – If you get hit, attacking back is great.
  • Power Strike – When backed into a corner, Power Strike can deal a lot of damage to multiple enemies.
  • Defensive Stance – Again, I don’t use Overwatch on Warriors often, but Defensive Stance can help you last a bit longer in missions.
  • Iron Skin – Taking less damage can help you get more stars in challenge missions.
  • Strong – Dealing more damage is always nice.
  • Ruthless – More damage to the Warrior’s charged attack could be very helpful.
  • Vigilant – I don’t use Overwatch a lot with Warriors, but if you do, Vigilant is a nice damage bonus.
  • Bullet Dodge – I don’t use Warriors on Raids or against Freemen, so I don’t value Bullet Dodge on Warriors.


  • Wide Arc – I won’t upgrade a Warrior weapon without Gold Wide Arc.
  • Lucky – Getting other Traits to activate more often is great.
  • Lethal – More damage is great.
  • Destructive – The extra damage on a critical is fantastic.
  • Interruptor – I don’t use overwatch on Warriors, so I don’t use this trait very often.
  • Accurate – Getting more critical attacks is never a bad thing.


  • Damage Resistance
  • Health
  • Damage
  • Critical Damage
  • Critical Chance


20 thoughts on “What Traits Should I be Looking for?

  1. Thanks for taking the time to do this, it’s been most useful for me. I would like to ask you a question about legendary/epic gear vs. rare gear. I’m just entering survivor 14 lvl and legendary/epic is harder to come by. But when I do have legendary/epic why does it only take a one lvl higher rare gear to “seem” to be the better choice.
    I hope that not to stupid of a question, but I’m having a really hard time figuring this out.


    1. Not a stupid question. At your level, rare equipment may be the better option. You will probably find yourself outgrowing your equipment after a few weeks when you level up your Survivors, so it’s good to focus on upgrading whatever gear you think is best for your the Survivors you use the most. As you get higher in level (and it takes longer to upgrade buildings and survivors), and get more Survivors, then focusing on equipment becomes a bit more important. But for now, if a Rare piece of gear seems better, go with your gut…you’re probably right!!!


      1. I do not know how to share pics here. Maybe a link to an upload site like Photobucket or Dropbox? If you’re on the forum, you could also send a PM to OneLessTitan

        Liked by 1 person

  2. When you get higher in level; 12, 13, 14, I’m iffy on what is more important weapon/armor level or the traits. For example would you rather be a level 12 survivor with level 10 or 11 gear with traits you want? Or would u rather have more damage and defense with gear that is 1 or 2 levels higher then your survivor? So let’s say I have lv 12 survivor and armor and weapon with the traits I want at lv 10. Or would I rather have lv 13 or 14 weapon and gear?


    1. Josh – it depends on how you like to play. If you are playing Normal Scavenge Missions, then the Traits don’t matter as much, so more damage is better. If you are trying to push your self in Challenge Missions or beat very tough Chapter Missions, then a couple Traits like Piercing and Threat Reduction may be your only chance!


  3. Hi, this is a great article which explains a very confusing part of the game. Focusing on survivor traits with the aim of winning challenge stars what would be your preferred 5 traits given the new update now includes a few more?


  4. Could you please update your post to include the new traits that have just been released! Thank you so much for this post! It has been invaluable to me and I imagine many others out there! Thank you!


  5. Do you think it is better to upgrade a level 20 rare or epic weapon that has piercing over a level 20 legendary weapon that does not?


    1. For the most part, yes. I don’t use Rare weapons (other than the free pitchfork), but I use a lot of Epic Gear that has more desirable traits than my Legendary gear. For lower player levels, I think Rare gear would be fine since you’ll outgrow the gear quickly. But once you get closer to max level, I’d try to find at least Epic stuff.


  6. Hi professor, great article! Is there any reason why revenge was left completely off your list for shooter class? It looks like an oversight but maybe not. Thank you


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