June 5, 2023

Skills in Dead Island 2 are a new, tricky thing for players to grapple with, and it’s important that you choose the right ones to start with. In addition to unlocking new abilities and enhancing gameplay, Skills also function as the game’s difficulty selector. Players can unlock Skill cards of four different tiers, and equipping more powerful Skills increases the game’s dynamic difficulty.

The four tiers of skills, called decks, are Abilities, Survivor, Slayer, and Numen. You can have up to five Abilities, four Survivors, four Slayers, and two Numen skills equipped at the same time. Also of note is that the Abilities slots are each of a different type, labeled Defense, Jump Kick, Special Attack, Fury, and Fury Special Attack. Picking the right skills early can massively impact Dead Island 2’s gameplay experience.


Best Dead Island 2 Skills to Unlock Early

The very first skill you should unlock is Dodge. A Defensive-type ability, Dodge is a no-brainer simply because it lets you avoid incoming zombie attacks. It’s also much better than the Block Skill, thanks to the added mobility. If you time the dodge right, you also regain stamina and stun the zombie for a brief moment. Zombies stunned this way are also open to Counter Attacks, meaning this is an excellent way to turn your defense into more offense.

Building off this, you should then take Safety First and then Safe Space. Both are great when you’ve been put into a Hollywood B-Movie by Dead island 2; surrounded by zombies and low on health. Safe Space adds a local explosion to med kits, draining the stability of nearby zombies and buying time for you to get back into the flow of combat. Safety First is great for when you are out of med kits, as perfect dodges will regain a small amount of health. No worry about zombies eating your brain this way.

The fourth and final skill you’ll want to unlock early is War Cry. A Special Attack-type Ability, using War Cry boosts the toughness of all nearby squad members -including you- and weakens zombies. It doesn’t do much on its own, but the stacking effect of a combined buff and debuff cannot be overstated and lets your team mow through a horde of living dead when needed.

Switch Up Skills

Jacob fighting Zombie Horde in Dead Island 2

Those four skills, Dodge, Safety First, Safe Space, and War Cry are all really good early bonuses, but Dead Island 2 rewards mixing and matching your Skills, so don’t be afraid to experiment. Also, grab Limb Ripper after you unlock Slayer Skills midway through the game. It’s amazing.

  • 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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