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"Rule #1 for survival. If your run out of Stamina, that's it. Can't fight, can't run away. You're done."

Cardio is a skill that everyone in State of Decay possesses. It governs your maximum Stamina in game and is increased by running.

Level 1: +0 Max. Stamina
Level 2: +5 Max. Stamina
Level 3: +10 Max. Stamina
Level 4: +15 Max. Stamina
Level 5: +20 Max. Stamina
Level 6: +25 Max. Stamina
Level 7: +30 Max. Stamina
Unlock Marathon: You're used to running long distances without tiring. Sprinting drains your Stamina 50% slower.
Unlock Combat Endurance: Decreases the rate at which you lose Stamina in combat.

Level Up Strategies

Generally sprinting four times to total depletion of the Stamina bar will increase your Cardio skill from 1 to 2. Every level after that will require approximately one more sprint per level up.

One strategy for leveling up quickly is simply to sprint where-ever you go with whatever character you are using. This can be risky as sprinting especially at low levels will quickly deplete stamina and leave you vulnerable to attacks by Zombies. Of special concern are Ferals and Juggernauts as they can quickly kill a character if they are stumbled upon at the wrong moment.

Another strategy is to simply have characters 'sprint the yard.' Most home bases will have a large area outside that is still within the secure perimeter of the base but also will cause stamina depletion when running. Running inside this area will increase Cardio as well.

At the beginning of the game both Maya Torres and Marcus Campbell's Cardio skill can be increased with relative safety due to the low concentration of Zed.

It takes approximately 39 full sprints from maximum Stamina to 'nothing left' to improve a character from Level 1 Cardio to Level 7.

Traits that Affect Cardio

Traits that improve the rate at which Cardio is gained generally reduce the number of sprints required to improve Cardio by 1. Conversely traits that lower the rate at which Cardio is improved will increase the number by 1 usually.

Traits that Improve Cardio Gain

Traits that Decrease Cardio Gain

Asthma Attacks: Improves cardio slowly (Approximately half normal Cardio gain).

Traits that Offer Additional Ranks of Cardio

Liked to Hunt: +1 rank to Shooting, Cardio and Wits