7 Days to Die: SMG Auto Turrets

Learn how to build and use SMG Auto Turrets

The pinnacle of base defense: Automated Turrets. There are several different types of turrets in 7 Days to Die. The SMG Auto Turret variant utilizes a mounted submachine gun and lots of 9mm ammunition to blast enemies with minimal player involvement. Just ensure you have enough bullets and electricity to feed these hungry beasts.

This guide will walk you through how to craft and set up SMG Auto Turrets in 7 Days to Die and offer advice on how they can be used to defend your base.

How to craft SMG Auto Turrets

As one might expect, these defenses are some of the most powerful in the game. Because of this, you will need late-game materials and have maxed out your Traps crafting skill at 75. They can rarely be found in turret bundles, but if you want to make your own, you’ll need a Workbench and the following components:

The Traps crafting skill can only be improved by finding and reading copies of the Electrical Traps skill magazine.

How to set up SMG Auto Turrets

Setting Up and Configuring SMG Auto Turrets in 7 Days to Die
Setting Up and Configuring SMG Auto Turrets

Auto turrets have a unique interaction screen that may confuse those unfamiliar with it. To help simplify this interaction, we will briefly run through the basics of how this screen works.


SMG Auto Turrets use 9mm ammo and can hold up to three stacks at a time. Auto turrets will only accept standard ammo and not fire specialized ammunition such as armor piercing or high-powered rounds.

Once your turret is loaded, MAKE SURE that you press the “lock ammo” button. A turret will not fire until its ammo container is locked.


The targeting widget allows players to adjust the settings of what their turrets will shoot at. By default, they are set to fire on zombies and strangers, but they can be adjusted to attack you, your allies, any combination of those four, or nothing at all.

How to use SMG Auto Turrets

Now that your turrets are loaded, powered, and ready to fire, it’s important to make sure they have a good line of sight to what you want them to shoot. Unlike robotic turrets, auto turrets aren’t very smart and have a limited firing area.

Here are some tips to help make sure your turrets are as effective as they can be:

1. Vision Cones

When placing your turrets and holding a wire tool, the vision cones of auto turrets become visible. You want to ensure that the vision cones of your turrets are not obstructed and reach far enough to cover the area you want to be protected. It’s good practice to look at your turret’s camera preview to make certain it can see everything you want.

2. Protect Your Turrets

Turrets are relatively sturdy, but you still don’t want zombies ripping them apart and ruining your defenses. To protect your protectors, place them somewhere they cannot easily be reached from the ground. Auto turrets can fire through everything you can, so it’s perfectly acceptable to construct them behind iron bars or other barriers that bullets can pass through.

3. Kill Chutes

A particularly effective method of base defense centers around constructing kill chutes. These reinforced bottlenecks limit how many zombies can enter at a time and condense them into one place to make firearms and explosives more impactful. Setting turrets at the back of these chutes can ensure they have plenty of time to blast incoming zombies while preventing them from avoiding their vision cones.

Pros and cons of SMG Auto Turrets

Two SMG Auto Turrets Deployed in Front of Doorway in 7 Days to Die
Two SMG Auto Turrets Deployed in Front of Doorway


  • Auto turrets are expensive, requiring high-grade materials to craft and maintain.
  • These devices consume copious amounts of ammo and must be reloaded regularly.
  • This trap requires a constant flow of electricity to remain functional.
  • Their vision cone is somewhat limited, requiring several turrets to cover wide areas.
  • Bullets fired by them can damage or destroy structures.


  • SMG Auto Turrets are extremely deadly and can easily wipe out entire hordes with enough ammo.
  • They are surprisingly accurate, hitting headshots about 15% of the time, which is impressive considering how fast they fire.
  • Turrets can fire from raised locations and behind permeable covers.
  • These traps can be toggled on and off using devices like switches and pressure plates.

Tips and tricks for using SMG Auto Turrets

Wiring the Turrets Up to Electricity in 7 Days to Die
Wiring the Turrets Up to Electricity
  • Building cages around exposed turrets protects them while still allowing them a clear firing pattern.
  • Auto turrets work well in synergy with debilitating traps like Barbed Wire and Electric Fences.
  • Turrets can be placed upside down or on the sides of walls. Just make sure the structure can support their weight.
  • Firing areas can be overlapped to increase the damage output of turrets.

Final thoughts on SMG Auto Turrets

The Fun Pimps understood that no tower defense is complete without automated turrets. Though they may be resource-intensive, the inclusion of turrets into your defenses will significantly improve their survivability and reduce the pressure on the player to protect all angles.

Looking for some other tips to help you get started in 7D2D? Check out our 10 Tips for Getting Started and the 7 Days to Die Beginner’s Guide.

Aaron Van Dyck's avatar

About Aaron Van Dyck

Aaron Van Dyck is a thriller novelist with a passion for survival games and exploration. He started writing at the age of 13 and has always been drawn to the sense of self-reliance and freedom found in open worlds. An avid urban explorer and RPG enthusiast, he enjoys dungeon crawling and has a particular love for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Far Cry 5, and Cataclysm: DDA. He's also a fan of shooters and action games with immersive stories and unique monsters to encounter.

View all posts by Aaron Van Dyck →