Orienting Yourself and Finding Shelter
Beginning in such a large, open-world game can be somewhat overwhelming. The Dead Linger has a huge, randomly generated world. When you start the game and look around for the first time, you'll notice some world elements such as houses, trees, barns, etc. You might even spot your first zombie. You'll want to avoid them for the most part as best as you can. Try to find your way away from the zombies. If you started with a farm in sight, head for that and head to the wooden barn. In there you'll most likely find some food and if you're lucky, a weapon of some sort. If you find a gun with ammunition, only fire it in emergencies.
If you started near a town or near a house, head to the house avoiding zombies and try to find an unguarded entrance. Check in the windows and check for zombies. If you see one, be cautious and go in a different entrance if possible. If it's a single-story home, then search through all of the rooms and if you encounter a zombie and you are still weaponless, shut the door on it or run. Always leave one entrance open if you are unarmed or are just looting. Always prioritize weapons, ammunition, etc, too. If you have a gun with a lot of ammo, don't trade it out for a more 'powerful' gun with a lot less ammo. Weigh them in. And ALWAYS have a melee weapon equipped. Use melee at all times unless in an emergency or facing a human opponent.
When facing a zombie, always try to take it out strategically and stealthily. Try your best not to attract others or gather attention. Always use melee if only encountering one or two. Try to find a height advantage. Also, try sneaking up behind them if possible. If you're facing a horde, the best bet is to run and seek temporary shelter such as a roof top. When you're on the roof of a two-story building, zombies may find their way out of the windows on the top floor and attack you. If they come slowly, take them out one by one. if there are too many to face, jump off the roof and skill-roll by holding ctrl just before you hit the ground.
If you have runners after you, try to face them quickly and if it comes down to it you may need to get a height advantage and shoot them from a rooftop. But if you must, bug out after you eliminate the immediate threat, as you can easily attract a horde by doing so.
Barricading and Proper Shelter
To establish a safe zone or a proper base of operations, you should find either a two story building, a convenience store, or a log cabin. Log cabins are rare but great finds. They are nice and cozy and can be properly fortified if you can find an axe and a hammer. You should barricade all windows using wooden planks and for doors, you should use sheets of wood that you can pull off if you need to leave. You can use furniture as a backup. Make sure the area is mostly clear of zombies. When you need to search for food and loot, you should be careful about leading zombies back to your home. Try to loose their trail before arriving home. Oh, and always be sure to know your way back.
Good luck on your adventures, fellow survivors. Hope this could help.