June 10, 2023

After many years since the first game’s release, Dead Island 2 is finally here with six new playable characters known as Slayers. The six Slayers will each have two innate abilities to start off the game in addition to a Skill Deck that can be used to build on those and customize the character fully.

The six Slayers are Bruno, Dani, Amy, Jacob, Ryan, and Carla. While there is no wrong option to choose since the Skill Deck allows players to really shape their character, the Slayer cannot be changed mid-game and there are certain reasons some players may prefer kicking off their game with one over another.


Related: Dead Island 2: Story, Setting, Release Date


Bruno is a Slayer born and raised in LA, where Dead Island 2 takes place, making him the only local Slayer option. Prior to the apocalypse, Bruno filled his time by pulling off big-time heists and hustling on the streets of California. Although he’s always had a talent for knife skills, they’ve never been more essential to his survival until now.

Bruno has two innate abilities special to him, Backstab and Rapid Reprisal, which allow him the ability to do more damage by lying low and are explained further in the chart below. Both of these make Bruno a solid choice for those looking to strategically take out zombies and sneak their way through the game.




Bruno - Backstab Card Dead Island 2


Bruno gets a moderate damage boost after attacking a zombie from behind.

Bruno - Rapid Reprisal Card Dead Island 2

Rapid Reprisal

When avoiding an enemy’s attack via block or dodge, Bruno’s agility and heavy attack charges are boosted.


Dani Character Image and Card from Dead Island 2

As an Ireland native and fierce brawler, Dani is a force to be reckoned with. Her stubborn attitude and foul mouth are matched only by her twisted sense of humor. Having been a competitive roller derby player prior to the apocalypse, she is more than prepared to plow her way through all enemies in her path.

Dani will stop at nothing to ensure her survival in Dead Island 2, making her a solid choice for players that are ready to get up close to the action. Her two exclusive innate abilities are Bloodlust and Thunderstruck which are explained in detail in the chart below.




Dani - Bloodlust Card in Dead Island 2


After quickly slaying zombies, Dani will regain some of her health.

Dani - Thunderstruck Card in Dead Island 2


Heavy Attacks will trigger a forceful explosion on impact.

Related: Dead Island 2 Will Actually Make You Want A Zombie Bite


Amy Character Image and Card from Dead Island 2

Amy is a Paralympian which means she’s got a lot of drive and athleticism that has been channeled into slaying zombies ever since the apocalypse began. She’s no stranger to finding creative solutions to complex problems all while maintaining her chill persona. Despite her laid-back attitude, she’s no slacker and always works hard to keep her mind sharp.

Her incredible agility makes her a viable option for many Dead Island 2 players who value the ability to make a quick escape and take zombies out one by one. Her two exclusive abilities are Relief Pitcher and Divide & Conquer which are explained below.




Amy - Relief Pitcher Card in Dead Island 2

Relief Pitcher

After damaging an enemy by throwing a weapon, Amy will regain stamina.

Amy - Divide & Conquer Card in Dead Island 2

Divide & Conquer

When attacking a stray zombie on its own, Amy gets a damage boost.


Jacob Character Image and Card from Dead Island 2

Jacob was already one of the most popular Slayer choices among players before the game’s launch due to his antihero rock star flair that was featured in a Dead Island 2 promotional video. After losing his mother in London, he decided to bring his charm and reckless abandon to California in the hopes of becoming a big-name stuntman.

However, after everything fell apart, he took his lack of self-preservation and desire for something exciting and channeled them into his most significant role yet, a carefree Zombie Slayer. Jacob is a great option for the players that aren’t looking to grind too hard and just want to have a good time. His two exclusive abilities, Feral and Critical Gains, play right into Jacob’s reckless attitude by boosting him in times of danger.




Jacob - Feral Card in Dead Island 2


Minor damage boost when attacking in quick succession.

Jacob - Critical Gains Card in Dead Island 2

Critical Gains

Moderate critical damage boost when stamina is low. Jacob will also regain stamina when critical hits are landed.


Ryan Character Image and Card from Dead Island 2

Ryan is one of the Dead Island 2 Slayers on a mission for more than just his own survival. This former exotic dancer is taking his stubborn attitude and dry humor to the undead streets of L.A., also known as HELL-A, in an effort to rescue his brother who was separated from him in Fresno before the apocalypse began. He’s a great choice for players who are excited about the gore factor of Dead Island 2 and favor brute force over ranged attacks.

If looking for a way to get in on all the action without too much concern for whether the Slayer can handle it, Ryan is the one. His two innate abilities, described in the chart below, are Retaliation and Seesaw. Both will boost Ryan when battling enemies head-on.




Ryan - Retaliation Card in Dead Island 2


Ryan gets a moderate force boost when using a block or dodge move to avoid an enemy’s attack.

Ryan - Seesaw Card in Dead Island 2


Health is regained each time a zombie is knocked down.


Carla Character Image and Card from Dead Island 2

Being a former motorcycle stunt rider, Carla is unfazed by danger. Her street smarts, confidence, and physical build make her a tough opponent for anyone in Dead Island 2 that crosses her path. While many LA residents are scared of the new undead threat and fear for their own survival, Carla is enthusiastically accepting this new deadly challenge. She is a great choice for players who are ready to get in there and show off what they can do when things get really difficult, like having a Dead Island 2 weapon break mid-fight.

She’s especially viable for those looking to 100% complete the game which will require putting themselves in a lot of dangerous situations to gather collectibles. Her two innate abilities are Dig Deep and Mosh Pit which play to her strengths by giving her a boost when situations become even more dangerous.




Carla - Dig Deep Card in Dead Island 2

Dig Deep

Moderate Toughness boost when health is critical.

Carla - Moshpit Card in Dead Island 2

Mosh Pit

Minor Damage boost when surrounded by a group of zombies.

Picking The Best Slayer

Slayer selection screen on Dead Island 2

Every Slayer in Dead Island 2 is a solid choice, but players should weigh their options as some are more equipped for utilizing brute force and rushing hoards of zombies while others are better for sneaking around and engaging in one on one battles. Aside from their two innate abilities, each slayer also has a set of stats instilled in their character from the start that can be viewed on the selection screen.

They are broken down into six different categories: Toughness, Stamina, Health Recovery, Critical Damage, Agility, Peak Health, and Resilience. Each stat is numbered 1 through 5 depending on how well the Slayer performs in that category with 1 being the worst and 5 being the best. Each Slayer will have a mix of stats to balance them out.


These stats should be weighed, in addition to the innate abilities, when selecting a Slayer. On top of their stats and exclusive abilities, there is a Skill Deck system in Dead Island 2, similar to the Skill Tree in Dead Island, that allows players to add more generalized abilities, via cards, to each Slayer. However, these cards must be unlocked or collected while progressing through the game, which is why it’s important to start off the game with the ideal Slayer as further customization will not come right away.

These cards, once gathered, will help to make up for any weak points the Slayer may have. The important thing to remember is there is no wrong choice, it’s not a matter of whether each Dead Island 2 Slayer is equipped to make it to the end, they are. It all comes down to how each player wants to play the game.

  • Dead Island 2 Key Art

    Dead Island 2

    Dead Island

    PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Microsoft Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S


    Dambuster Studios

    Deep Silver

    First-Person Shooter, Action RPG

    Online Co-Op, Online Multiplayer

    Unreal Engine 4


    Dead Island


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