Before you jump into Dead Island 2 for all your zombie killing needs, it’s worth taking a look at our 10 best tips and tricks. Regardless of whether you’ve played previous games in the franchise, we all know it’s been quite a while. So it doesn’t hurt to have some advice going in.
Especially since we’re all learning how new mechanics work in this sequel. I’ve included a variety of tips covering topics like combat, how to make money, and plenty more to get the most out of your experience.
Tip 1 – Spamming Attacks Isn’t Always Effective
Learning the combat in Dead Island 2 can be a little tricky as you fight new zombie types. While boring Shamblers are easy to slice and dice, others like Runners can be a bit more challenging. This is why it’s important to have some strategy instead of spamming attacks at the front of a zombie.
Over time, you’ll get a feel for what weapons you enjoy using and how they work best. For example, I don’t mind slower weapons because they often have a lot of Force to knock zombies around. Regardless of what weapons you use, a good kick can be all you need. Alongside well-timed dodges for countering.
Tip 2 – Heavy Attacks Can Make You Vulnerable
Charging up a melee attack can be powerful but also dangerous. When you let go of that attack and gravitate toward a zombie, you may think you’re invulnerable. However, you’re not and can easily get hit by nearby enemies. Heck, you can even get hit by the zombie you’re attacking.
With that said, you are invulnerable when countering enemies after executing a well-timed dodge or block. Aside from that opportunity, it’s worth paying attention to a zombie’s blue bar/stability. Once you deplete their stability, they’ll fall to the ground or their knees and have to recharge. This is a great moment to whack away.
Tip 3 – Experiment With Different Skills
As you get deeper into Dead Island 2 you’ll unlock a variety of active abilities and passive skills. While it can take some time to get alternate abilities, you will unlock a ton of passive skills along the way. These passives can enhance your abilities, help you heal, and often deal more damage overall.
Try to mix it up every now and then to find what works best for you. Especially if you’re struggling to stay alive so you can take full advantage of healing passives. Such as the Invigorating Survivor skill which regains extra health when countering.
Tip 4 – How to Get More Skills in Dead Island 2
Before you can start experimenting with all those different skill cards, you’ll need to unlock them. This is where it can take a while since there are several ways to get skills. First, it’s important to explore each HELL-A district since you can find them laying about. Similarly, you can also defeat special zombies called Apex Variants that can drop them too.
Another method for sporadically unlocking new skills is via challenges. You can complete tasks like killing a bunch of zombies with a certain elemental weapon for a reward. We’ll dive more into challenges in the next tip. Regardless, the main way you’ll get most of your skill cards is by leveling up or progressing the story.
As you get a little time in Dead Island 2 you’ll likely start getting notifications for completing challenges. While many of these revolve around killing zombies, plenty of them have to do with other miscellaneous tasks too. Such as collecting journals or using Med Kits to stay alive.
Even though many challenges offer a small cash reward for completing them, you can also get permanent buffs too. Such as extra weapon damage, more health, stat increases to your character, and more. Therefore, it’s worth spending some time completing challenges whether or not you choose to focus on them.
Tip 6 – Read the Zompedia Entries
The Zompedia is your bestiary for learning about every zombie type both common and Apex Variants. Before you can learn about their weaknesses and strengths, you’ll need to take out each type several times. However, it’s definitely worth taking a peek at every now and then. You may learn a new trick you didn’t know about.
Certain tips are a bit obvious so don’t be surprised if you don’t always learn something new. But, there is a good amount of information about elemental weaknesses and attacks certain zombies do. Which can come in handy when you start fighting late-game zombies that are much more complex.
Tip 7 – How to Find Parts/Materials
One of the first things you’ll notice in Dead Island 2 is that it’s a lot of looting. Almost every area is filled with several items you can grab. Then, on top of that, you’ll take out some zombies that drop more items. This can become tedious if you’re already loaded with materials known as Parts that you don’t need.
Fortunately, you can check the Parts category of your inventory for where to find each one. While Parts like Scrap and Fabric can be found everywhere, you may struggle to find other ones. Such as uncommon Parts like Wire and Chemicals. But, it really depends on what you use most so each player’s experience may vary.
Tip 8 – How to Make Money in Dead Island 2
Whether you’re buying items from traders or repairing a precious weapon, it gets expensive fast. This is why it’s important to understand how making money works in Dead Island 2. First, you’ll sporadically get a small amount of money from killing zombies and looting their wallets. Although, this doesn’t add up to much so you’ll need a better strategy.
My main method for making money is selling weapons to traders. You’ll frequently get them from zombies, quest rewards, and more, so you’ll need to offload them eventually. I tend to get rid of lower-stat weapons without thinking twice about it.
Tip 9 – Elemental Mods Are Good and Bad
Attaching mods to your weapons for elemental damage can lead to fun results and often extra damage. However, some zombies are immune to certain elements which leads to dealing zero damage. It’s not a case of your weapon no longer burning an enemy, but still dealing some damage. You literally deal none.
As you get into Dead Island 2’s late game, it’s important to vary the elements you have. This is so you’re ready for every zombie type you may encounter. But, it’s worth mentioning that there is one mod that will always work. This is the Impactor mod which deals extra Physical Damage and increases the Force stat.
Tip 10 – How to Get Keys For Locked Containers
This final tip is valuable since you won’t learn it until much later in Dead Island 2. As you explore HELL-A, you’ll come across a ton of unique locked containers with names. The only way to get inside many of these containers is by killing an elite named zombie nearby.
Which seems to be relatively basic information at first that you wouldn’t think much about. However, you will frequently come across containers where that named zombie can’t appear yet. This is because you may not be far enough in the story to discover that new zombie. Once you make it far enough, the zombie will spawn and appear in earlier districts.
That’s all there is to this 10 best Dead Island 2 tips and tricks guide. Be sure to share some of your own tips in the comments once you get hands-on with this action zombie game.
Jeff is a journalist with over 10 years of experience writing, streaming, and making content about video games. With an associate degree in journalism, he’s a sucker for RPGs, survival games, roguelikes, and more.