Dead Island 2: 10 tips for getting started in Hell-A

Zombies wandering across an LA beach in Dead Island 2.
(Image credit: Dambuster Studios)

Dead Island 2 takes you to Hell-A as you bash, electrocute, and explode your way through zombie hordes. It's more than just a simple hack-and-slash adventure, though; using the destructive environment around you can save you if you're in a pinch and the new weapon upgrades will see you burning and melting foes as you go.

Whether this is your first venture into killing zombies or not, there are a few things you'll want to know before setting out to kill the hordes. So, with that in mind, here are our 10 tips for surviving Hell-A.

Dead Island 2: 10 tips before you begin 

Keep an eye on challenges for passive rewards

(Image credit: Dambuster Studios)

You'll complete all sorts of challenges, some with several tiers, as you play through Dead Island 2 just by killing zombies, using specific weapon types, kicking them in the face, and so on. Different challenges yield different rewards, such as overall health increase, cash and critical damage bonuses, so it's well worth experimenting with different kill styles to improve your character passively.  

Buy fuses from trader ASAP

(Image credit: Dambuster Studios)

Don't be like Sean and forget to read the tutorial pop-up that instructs you where to get fuses. You'll unlock Carlos, the trader, once you reach Jaunt's mansion and unlock the workbench from Sam, and from there you can buy fuses. Fuses will open locked doors and contain uncommon or rare, weapons and a bunch of crafting resources, so they're definitely worth stocking up on. A fuse will set you back $1500, however, and Carlos frequently only has two available at a time, so stock up every time you return to the mansion. 

Look out for named zombies

(Image credit: Dambuster Studios)

When visiting locations, you'll commonly find safes and doors locked with a specific named key. Unfortunately, where you'll find them is often randomised, but what you need to look out for is a named zombie. They'll have a name like Safe Key Kevin, so keep a look out for them and make killing them a priority. You will often find safes or locked doors near the entrance or end of an area, so remember to circle back to find them. 

Use water, fuel and caustic solutions to your advantage

(Image credit: Dambuster Studios)

You'll encounter puddles of water, caustic solution, and patches of fire as you explore LA, as well as jerry cans, containers, oxygen tanks and more that you can use to your advantage. You can upgrade weapons to cause electric, fire or caustic damage to zombies, but what's even better is that you can hit a body of water with an electric weapon and the entire thing will continuously fry enemies for a few seconds.

You can also throw jerry cans containing various liquids to create an AOE attack when used with the correct weapon type, and what the likes of oxygen tanks to explode enemies. This is especially useful when you're in a Kill 'Em All situation and there are some tankier enemies about.

Repair and upgrade your weapons with perks and mods to add effects

(Image credit: Dambuster Studios)

The workbench becomes available after you reach Jaunt's mansion and talk to Sam B, and it's here that you can repair, upgrade and scrap weapons. You can also craft med kits and bullets, as well as any perks or upgrade blueprints you've found. You'll want to make sure your favourite weapons of choice are always repaired every time you come across a workbench, as well as making sure you have an electric, fire damage and caustic weapon ready to go, plus a mix of melee, heavy and ranged weapons. Some perks will increase your attack speed, damage and durability, so mix them up to craft the wildest weapons possible. 

Switch up your weapons and curveballs regularly

(Image credit: Dambuster Studios)

Curveballs are discovered as you progress through the story and you'll get the likes of a meat lure, chem bomb—which clears away caustic solutions and fires—pipe bomb, molotov cocktails and death stars. You'll want to switch these, along with your weapon, pretty regularly, as some levels are more caustic-damage heavy whereas others would benefit from fire damage and protection. Basically: pay attention to what's going on and don't just continuously try and smash your way through as you will end up burning to death accidentally like I did. 

Block, parry, and dodge, especially if your skill cards grant you bonuses

(Image credit: Dambuster Studios)

Some characters, like Dani, will get ability bonuses if you block, parry or dodge attacks. Dodge is left alt on keyboard, and timing a parry right can be difficult on some of the faster-moving zombies. Well-timed blocks and dodges also regain stamina, letting you get more aggressive and hit enemies with fully charged attacks. 

Kick the shit out of everyone

Dani kicking the air

(Image credit: Dambuster Studios)

If traditional blocking sounds boring to you, you could also equip all your kick cards and boot the shit out of every zombie that has the misfortune of walking near or below you. The Flying Kick and the Wrecking Ball card that lets you weaken zombies is a very strong combo, especially when you aim for the head. You can get Wrecking Ball by completing the #clickbait quest when you return to LA at night.

Kicking is a good way of getting a zombie away from you quickly, and it's hard to describe how fun it is hoofing a zombie in the face for a one-hit kill. What's more is: your legs are unbreakable, so no worrying about whether you only have one kick left in you. Melee skills in general are pretty strong, so don't forget to work the Ground Pound move you got from Bridezilla into your kicking regimen, too.

Remember to craft medkits

(Image credit: Dambuster Studios)

While you can find med kits out in the wild and top up your health with energy drinks and protein bars, you could also switch to the Fabricate tab while at a workbench and craft some. Crafting medkits requires you to find specific materials, so here's what you should prioritise picking up if you're in dangerous need of a health kit: 

  • Two adhesive 
  • Two fabric
  • Chemicals

Look for blueprints

(Image credit: Dambuster Studios)

Blueprints can be bought from traders in Jaunt's mansion, Venice Beach, and beyond, and can also be found near workbenches. Blueprints enable you to upgrade your weapons with mods and perks, and craft things like medkits and bullets. Mods allow you to add damage buffs like bleeding, fire damage, or electrical damage, and perks can make your weapon lightweight, mutilating or increasing damage in lieu of speed.

Guides Editor

The first three games Lauren played on PC were Star Wars: X-Wing, Zoo Tycoon and Barbie Fashion Designer, which explains her love of all things space, strategy and aesthetically pleasing. Lauren recently took over as PC Gamer's Guides Editor after three years of writing many dozens of Destiny 2 guides at VG247, as well as casually trying to shoehorn in The Witcher 3 articles wherever possible. When she's not trying to force everyone to play as a Warlock in Destiny 2, Lauren is either mastering her SEO abilities to help smash the competition, or patting one of her red sons.