Dead Island 2 tips and tricks to help you slay in Hell-A

11 beginner's tips for Dead Island 2 that'll transform you from survivor to slayer in the zombie apocalypse.

As terrible company goes, narcissistic movie stars and influencers are arguably on a par with the undead hordes. But while we can’t help you with handling fragile egos, our Dead Island 2 tips and tricks will save you from becoming just another zombie buffet in the nightmare of Hell-A.

Dead Island 2 starts off fairly easy, but the difficulty quickly ramps up if you don’t get to grips with several of its combat systems and leveling mechanics. So in this guide, we’ll be sharing 11 key Dead Island 2 beginners tips that we learned to ensure that the only brains on the menu are the ones you’re bashing out of a zombified diner’s skull.

Dead Island 2 tips and tricks

1. Learn your weapon types (i.e don’t just aim for the head)

By this point, everyone knows zombies. You aim for the head and the job’s sorted, right? Not so in Dead Island 2, because each weapon falls into a category type that you’ll want to check before putting it to use.

dead island 2 tips and tricks weapon types
Each weapon type scores critical hits in a different way. 
© Deep Silver

Headhunter weapons like golf clubs score natural crits to the dome, but Maiming weapons excel at chopping off limbs instead. Frenzy types like daggers start dealing crits after a flurry of blows, while Bulldozers are built for heavy attacks. Learn your weapon types and you’ll take down zombies far faster than simply flailing at their faces.

2. Use your environment

Speaking of expediting zombie death, check your surroundings when up against larger numbers. Hell-A is littered with oil-filled jerry cans, fire hydrants, car batteries, and all sorts of items that’ll help you fry, boil, and melt those human-munching menaces. Before you dive into a fight, look around and make use of what’s available to speed things up or counter an elemental zombie’s powers.

Dead Island 2 tips and tricks environment
Explosions are fun and functional!
© Deep Silver

3. Blocking is easier than dodging

Depending on your chosen character, you’ll gain either the dodge or block skill card early, unlocking the other after a few hours of play. Pull off a well-timed dodge or block against a zombie and you’ll have the chance to strike back with a counter for massive damage and a health boost. The only trouble is, perfect dodging is a lot harder than perfect blocking. Bobbing and weaving might seem fun, but it’s much easier to tap the block button any time a zombie takes a swing than it is to closely dodge the blow. 

Even if you’re an agile character like Amy or Bruno, we’d highly recommend giving the block skill card a go once it unlocks. It can let you chain counters together to quickly whittle through enemies while topping up your own health.

Dead island 2 tips and tricks block
Dodges feel cooler, but blocks will keep you alive and let you counter. 
© Deep Silver

4. Choose a few weapons to stick with (and use Level Match)

As you and the zombies you’re facing level up, weapons quickly fall off the power curve, meaning it’s not worth investing crafting materials to upgrade loads early on. Pick a couple you like and stick with them. You can then use the game’s Level Match function at a workbench to raise their damage to a reasonable level for a cost. So long as you have the different elemental types available, you’ll be good for any encounter. Any other weapons you've gathered can be scrapped at a workbench for resources or sold to a trader for extra cash.

There are several rare weapons you can unlock early if you find the right keys, but you can also purchase fuses from traders to unlock hidden stashes that almost always contain a valuable weapon or two. Get the right gear, level it up, and scrap the rest. 

Dead Island 2 tips and tricks weapon levels
Love a weapon? Level Match to raise its damage. 
© Deep Silver

5. Get the best zombie-slaying gear

The key to surviving the zombie apocalypse is preparation, and you can’t do your slayer any bigger favor than picking up some high-end gaming gear. Lopping off zombie heads on PC? The Pulsefire Haste 2 wireless mouse will ensure your blade always finds the mark. Dishing out damage on Xbox? The officially licenced Clutch Gladiate comes with programmable back buttons you can assigns to quick curveball throws or heals in the middle of the action. And no matter what platform you play on, a quality headset like the Cloud Alpha will ensure those slow-motion impacts can be appreciated in full, bone-crunching glory.

6. Abuse curveballs

Curveballs are recharging, throwable items which include shurikens, pipe bombs, and vials of zombie-attracting blood. They’re easy to forget about, but used well they can help you take out mobs of standard zombies in seconds. Shurikens are great if you can hit the head, but a lure followed by a pipe bomb guarantees a gory fountain of zombie bits flying into the air

7. Fighting a Crusher? Jump their slams

The toughest enemy type you’ll face early is the Crusher, a beefcake of a zombie that clearly doesn’t think dying is an excuse to skip leg day. These meat mountains are slow, but their area-of-effect slams deal damage and knock you over. The good news? All you have to do to avoid them is jump. When a Crusher rears up for a slam, you can keep swinging away so long as you get airborne by the time the strike lands.

Dead Island 2 tips and tricks crusher
Crushers look scary, but a little hop can keep you save from them. 
© Deep Silver

8. Beware alarms

Security booths, police cars, and a few other buildings come with alarms that’ll trigger if you try to smash your way in. Even if you’ve mopped up the nearby undead, that alarm will summon large numbers of new zombies if you leave it ringing. Always check for an alarm box you can destroy before breaking in, or make sure you know where it is inside so that you can quickly shut it down when the siren starts screaming.

9. If in doubt, run!

If a fight’s going south, don’t feel like you have to play fair. Aside from a few story-based sequences, you’re free to leg it past or away from most enemies in Dead Island 2. When running low on med kits, scarper away from foes to recharge curveballs and hunt for any nearby healing items before you dive back into the fray.

10. Revisit places at different times of day

Dead Island 2 beginners tips and tricks
Take out tough zombies, earn valuable rewards. 
© Deep Silver

Dead Island 2 doesn’t have a day-night cycle, but time will pass as you play through the story. Revisit areas when this happens and you’ll often find new enemies and options present themselves. Most locked stashes simply require returning at a later time to discover the zombie holding the key. Exploring will net you valuable weapons and resources, but be warned: you’ll need to face off against some unusually powerful undead while you’re at it.

11. Don’t forget your skill cards

Despite being a core part of the game, skill cards are easily forgotten once you get out there in the world. Every now an again, check over what you’ve got equipped to ensure you’re using a set that actually benefit your style of play. You can even swap out survivor cards mid-fight to give you extra healing options. Oh, and make sure you equip the drop kick as soon as possible. Trust us, it’s the most fun available in the game.

Dead Island 2 tips and tricks beginners drop kick
Drop kicking a zombie never gets old. 
© Deep Silver

Those are our Dead Island 2 tips and tricks for beginners, but what secrets have you discovered? Share them with us so we can all make it out of Hell-A together.

Associate Editor

Henry Stenhouse serves an eternal punishment as the Associate Editor of AllGamers. He spent his younger life studying the laws of physics, even going so far as to complete a PhD in the subject before video games stole his soul. Confess your love of Super Smash Bros. via email at, or catch him on Twitter.


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