Action Points (AP for short) are a basic unit of Urban Dead used to perform actions. Almost any action, such as moving to an adjacent block, searching for items, attacking, analyzing a zombie with a DNA extractor or attempting to build up a barricade expends 1 AP. Some actions, such as moving a zombie without Lurching Gait or standing up after dying, require more AP.
The efficient use of action points are the primary goal for most tactics.
A conscious character can perform actions even if the cost of that action exceeds their remaining AP; in this case the action will be executed, leaving them unconscious with negative AP.
Regeneration and Maximum Amount
A player can have a maximum of 50 Action Points. Action Points begin regenerating as soon as their amount drops below 50 and regenerate at a rate of 1 point per 30 minutes (meaning that a character can fully regenerate 50 AP in 25 hours.) When a players AP total is 0 or fewer, the following in-game message is displayed:
Exhausted, you can go no further.
"There may eventually be character skills which modify the maximum AP and its recharge rate, but the basic starting-character settings will remain the same."
Any action with a cost greater than one can place a player in negative AP if the player has fewer action points than the action's AP cost. The action is performed and the player receives the standard "Exhausted, you can go no further" message but their AP indicator will show a negative number. The player's AP will continue to replenish at 1 per half hour but they will be unable to take any other actions until their AP is 1 or greater. Common occurrences of actions which cause negative AP are revivifying zombies, bellowing, scouting safehouses and repairing high cost ruins.
At the beginning of Summer Time, also known as "Daylight Saving Time" (DST) or "British Summer Time" (BST), AP regeneration between 01:00 and 02:00 GMT will take half a hour shorter, resulting in the player gaining up to 2 free AP due to the clock skipping over the 01:00 to 02:00 time frame. The same holds true at the end of Summer Time, in which AP regeneration between 00:00 and 01:00 BST will take half a hour longer, resulting in the player losing out on up to 2 AP due to the clock rewinding back one hour.
If a player is using their AP at the moment Summer Time changes are being placed into effect, their next action will save them either 2 AP (during the beginning of Summer Time), or will cost 2 AP extra (during the end of Summer Time).
The AP mechanic has undergone very few changes since the launch of the game. However, the way in which it can be used has been changed quite often. For example, in an effort to make the game more balanced, Revivification costs were increased from 1AP to 10AP on March, 28th, 2006. This had a major impact on sieges since combat revives became a less powerful survivor tactic. Other updates which affected search odds and attacking had an less direct affect on AP expenditure but are no less a source of debate in regards to the balance of the game.
Guides and Tactics
Since Action Points are such an intrinsic mechanic in the game, many guides and tactics take AP expenditure and conservation into account. A few guide deal specifically with AP, however.
- Guides:Damage Per Action - A guide which examines attacks and their AP efficiency and quantifies the results into a number called the DPA (Damage Per Action)
List of AP per action
- Logging in or out as a character.
- Buying skills.
- Looking at or editing your profile.
- Looking at someone else's profile.
- Adding to or modifying your Contacts list.
- Looking at the full list of survivors in the location you're currently on when said location holds more than 50 of them by pressing the "list names" button.
- Attempting to enter a building that you cannot enter (because of barricades or, if a zombie, closed doors) or exit a building you cannot exit trough the main doors (by pressing the "Leave" button on a heavily barricaded building as a survivor, or at any barricade level as a zombie).
- Clicking the "jump from window" button while inside tall buildings. To guard against accidental suicides, clicking this button produces the message "Are you sure you want to jump out of a window? This will kill you." and costs 0AP. Confirming the jump costs 1AP (see below).
- Dropping an item.
- Trying to attack/gesture/generally do things to a character who isn't there (because they've moved, or they're dead), unless noted below.
- Attempting to retune radio transmitter (pressing the "Retune transmitter" button). Note that the retuning itself will cost 1AP and in case of handheld radios attempt to retune does cost 1 AP.
- Opening mobile phone in a suburb with online phone mast
- Occasionally, any actions made while inside a scouted safehouse will cost 0 AP. The frequency of 0 AP actions while inside scouted safehouses is approximately 1 in every 10 actions.
Note that most of these actions do count towards the daily server hit limit.
- Stepping inside a building, even when you're a zombie with the Memories of Life skill and the doors are closed (they are opened automatically).
- Stepping outside a building via the "Leave" button unless you can't do so.
- Jumping off from a tall building's windows (note that if you're a survivor the first time you press the button you'll be asked for confirmation, so pressing the button only once doesn't spend any AP).
- Moving from one square to the next (including diagonal movement).
- Using a DNA extractor (even if the target cannot be analyzed/has already been sampled today/doesn't exist).
- Using binoculars (even if building isn't tall enough).
- Using the "Search the area" button once (even if nothing is found).
- Searching with your inventory full.
- Using any item in the inventory except for a revivification syringe (even if the item has no active use, e.g. GPS receiver).
- Using a revivification syringe on anything except zombies without the Brain Rot skill.
- Standing up after being revived with a Mk. I or Mk. II revivification syringe for survivors that already possess the Ankle Grab zombie skill.
- Closing a building's doors.
- Dumping a dead body from a building.
- Cleaning bloodstains.
- Accessing NecroNet.
- Improving a barricade, or attempting to.
- Opening a portable radio receiver for tuning (clicking on the radio item in inventory).
- Tuning a radio to a frequency (even if the frequency remains the same).
- Using a First Aid Kit, even if they are at full health (unless the target moves away).
- Setting a safehouse.
- Cleaning defiled graffiti.
- Moving from one square to the next (including diagonal movement) with the Lurching Gait skill.
- Standing up with the Ankle Grab skill if the zombie hasn't been killed by someone with the Headshot skill.
- Performing a Flailing Gesture.
- Using Scent Death.
- Ransacking a building that is empty of survivors.
- Groaning by using the Feeding Groan skill, or failing to do so because survivors in the area have moved or died.
- Defiling grafitti.
- Moving from one square to the next (including diagonal movement) without the Lurching Gait skill.
- Standing up with the Ankle Grab skill after being headshot.
- Getting up after being treated with the Mk. 2 revivification syringe (Mk. 1 syringes work instantly and do not cost AP) without possessing the Ankle Grab skill.
- Using a revivification syringe on a zombie without the Brain Rot skill or with that skill and inside a powered Necrotech building.
- Spraypainting on a Billboard.
- Getting up after being "killed" (reduced to 0 HP) without possessing the Ankle Grab skill.
- Bellowing using the Bellow skill.
- Standing up after being headshot without possessing the Ankle Grab skill.
- Using NecroNet Access to manufacture a revivification syringe.
- Repairing damage to a ransacked building. Repairing a ransacked building is based on the number of days the building has been ruined, and costs 1 AP per day ruined. It is possible to go into negative AP (thus being unable to do anything until you reach positive values) when repairing a ransacked building. Such examples of negative AP are listed under Decay and the Extreme Repair Gallery.