The only thing more important to Dead Island 2 than its gruesome zombies is the diamond mine of weapons it wants you to kill them with. While each of the action role-playing game’s six playable Slayer characters come with a pair of perfectly capable, calloused fits, none of them really stand a chance without a delicious assortment of impactful weapons.
Weapons are everywhere, able to be plucked from zombies’ foaming corpses, from inside locked trucks, or improvised from pieces of wood and metal. While this provides you with an endless list of options, it also means you might easily overload your limited weapon wheel with junk.
I’ll help you cleanse it and keep your selection curated and devastating. Here’s some advice and the best Dead Island 2 weapons.
There are some weapons you should avoid entirely
Aside from the off chance that you’re in the middle of a fight and every single one of your weapons is broken, you’re going to want to avoid “Improvised Weapons,” or makeshift gear that, presumably, other survivors fashioned from litter and burnt wood and then discarded.
Though these weapons are better than your bare fists, they can’t be upgraded or, in some cases, even sold; they can only be used briefly in combat until they snap or you can recycle them into upgrade parts from a workbench.
Other than during the opening section of the game, where you don’t have much choice to use anything other than these sharp scraps, avoid grabbing them. Instead, look for established weapons, which will indicate their rarity rather than carrying a simple “Improvised” label when you find them. There are four flexible categories: maiming, frenzy, headhunter, and bulldozer.
These weapons can be customized through upgrades and repaired.
Best maiming weapons (for limb loss)
Let’s start with what I think is the most satisfying weapon category: maiming.
Maiming weapons are often bladed, optimal for segmenting zombie bodies in halves and quarters. They give you back stamina for general slicing, and successfully separating limbs gives you critical hits. As with all categories, you can find out which weapons are “maiming” ones from the “weapons” section of your inventory. Click on one or hover over it and you’ll find both its rarity and its weapon type above its name.
I’ve found these to have the best basic movesets and capable of the most raw damage:
- Zombie Axe (“It Came From Monarch Studios” side quest reward)
- O-Kami and Whiskey (“The Ballad of Ricky Rex” side quest reward)
Best frenzy weapons (for slashing)
Frenzy weapons encourage bloodlust—their quick attacks stack and generate critical hits and faster attack speed. Many of them are ideal for close combat, too, short enough where you’ll need to get in your enemies’ leaking face to unleash your worst.
Some great frenzy weapons, even while unmodified, include:
- Hunting Knife
- Chef’s Knife
- Weighty Claws
- Zom-B-Gon (“Going Viral” side quest reward)
Best headhunter weapons (for critical headshots)
Precise melee fighters should choose headhunter weapons, which give critical hits while cracking heads, and have swift heavy attacks that up your agility stat in the moment they’re being executed. There aren’t too many headhunter weapons in the game, but they make killing enemies with certain immunities easy, and they’re important to have in your rotation.
I like making make use of:
- Blood Rage (“Fool’s Gold” side quest reward)
- Military Knife
Best bulldozer weapons (for sudden stuns)
Bulldozer weapons move like their namesake—slowly, but with incredible force. Their heavy attacks are all critical hits, they destabilize enemies, leaving them open for huge melee counters, and they act as an area-of-effect (AoE) attack when thrown into a crowd.
There are even fewer of these in Dead Island 2 than headhunter weapons, and I find their slowness sometimes difficult to work with, but they’re nice to keep around for when you want to knock someone out immediately.
Here are some naturally powerful ones:
- Metal Bat
- Black Magic (found in Rose’s Tattoo Parlour, unlocked by killing Rose in Venice Beach)
- Improvised Hammer (despite the name, this isn’t actually an “improvised” weapon)
Guns exist in their own league, with their own category types. Like melee weapons, there are four types of guns—tactical (blocking or dodging lead to critical hits, better agility, and improved reload speed), demolition (weak zombies will receive a critical hit, reloading improves toughness), sharpshooter (using aim mode improves damage and aiming for heads or limbs creates critical hits), and rapid fire (similar to frenzy weapons, firing fast is a stackable effect, leading to critical hits and refined accuracy).
I like keeping at least three different types in my inventory, both so that I don’t run out of ammo as quickly, and so I’m ready for both short- and long-range brain blasting.
These guns, even without modifications, are exemplary crowd controllers and for speedily killing special enemies:
- Pistol (tactical)
- Damaging Shotgun (demolition)
- Sporting Rifle (sharpshooter)
- Peggy (sharpshooter) (“Creature Comforts” side quest reward)
- Machine Pistol (rapid fire)
- Body Count (rapid fire) (“Redacted” side quest reward)
What do you think are the best Dead Island 2 weapons?