Fear is one of the five basic attributes that all survivors possess, along with Health, Fatigue, Hunger and Thirst. It represents the level of emotional distress of the survivor. While a survivor cannot die from fear and can keep performing actions even with fear at 100%, high fear levels cause the survivor's performance to drops drastically, making them much more vulnerable to injuries. Fear can only be recovered when the character is left resting inside a safehouse. It may also be recovered by using special meds bought with NECRA Credits.
A survivor's Fear level will increase each time she/he performs any action in a block with a z-density higher than 0. These actions include moving through a zone, scavenging or killing zombies. The increase in fear levels is proportional to the Z-Density in the area. High Density gives more fear.
As a survivor fear level rise, her/his performance decreases, becoming more likely to recieve injuries in combat against zombies. It is important to keep a survivor's levels of fear at a controlable level, either by avoiding high Z-Density zones, by developing Fear Skills or equipping certain Infocards that lower the increase of fear levels per action or accelerate the recovery of fear when characters are in safehouses.
Armed characters will feel more confident when encountering zombies, so their fear level will increase much more slowly than unarmed survivors. This reduction depends on the power of the weapon, a more powerful weapon will reduce fear increase by a higher amount. Firearms have a bigger effect than Melee Weapons, with even a modest gun helping more than a powerful melee weapon.
A survivor's Fear is reduced by approximately 10% per hour when resting inside a safehouse. Recovery time can be reduced installing certain Safehouse upgrades or developing skills. Fear can also be immediately reduced by 50% by using Benzodiazepine - A drug available for purchase with Necra Credits.