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New Features Added In State Of Decay 2's Update 23

The latest State of Decay 2 update is here! Developer Undead Labs has added a new difficulty mode, a Stay Frosty Pack featuring new equipment and outfits, and other changes — including new achievements and next-generation optimization.

The Update 23 announcement provided some details about the new Lethal Zone mode. "This new ultra-hardcore difficulty mode presents the very toughest version of State of Decay 2 that you've ever seen," revealed the post. "Zombies are even more dangerous, resources and weapons are even harder to find, and blood plague kills you even faster than in Nightmare. And yes ... all the freaks have blood plague. You're welcome."

You can play the entire game in Lethal, or just move a couple of difficulty sliders into the new mode. According to the patch notes, it contains "murderously unfair" combat with faster blood plague infection rates, more injuries from terrifying zombies, and plague hearts (of which there are three times more than normal) that take less damage and leave more plague zombies behind when they're destroyed. All freaks are blood plague freaks from content update Heartland in this mode. Up to 80 percent of houses are pre-looted and there are 33 percent fewer vehicles available. Survivors know they are doomed and consume food more quickly. Ammo, parts, materials, and weapons cost more, and fuel efficiency is reduced. In other words, good luck.

This extra difficulty may be tempered by the new items available in the Stay Frosty Pack, which features 11 bounties and four firearms you can uncover via scavenging. All are brand new, and the bounties are designed to be easier to complete so you can earn the items faster.

Additionally, four new achievements have been added, worth 100 Gamerscore. Naturally, three of them involve having your difficulty level set to Lethal. Other changes have been made to existing achievements as a result of gameplay alterations introduced by Lethal. You can now complete some achievements that used to be only available inside Heartland, for example, because you can encounter so many more blood plague freaks.

2018's State of Decay 2 has also been updated for the Xbox Series X|S, producing what Undead Labs called "by far the best console experience for State of Decay 2 players," with faster load times and 60 frames per second at full 4K or 1080p resolution. Also, the value of prestige has been overhauled to make Daybreak sessions more rewarding, and reward tiers in Daybreak have been loosened up. In-world markers have been updated to apply to all missions, and actions on the Staging Area that made build times go faster now only take five seconds to trigger. Of course, the usual bugs have been fixed as well. 

The Undead Labs team says it's now taking a holiday break, but the Bundle Up Pack will return later in one last, small update for 2020. This will hopefully be enough to tide players over until 2021.