Dying Light 2, Techland’s massive sequel to the 2015 original, is an open-world action-adventure game with RPG elements. So as you might expect, there are tons of skills to unlock. Some are useful. Others, not so much. There are also a few tantalizing ones that may seem like things you’d want to acquire early on but that you should actually straight-up avoid in the beginning, like the double jump. It’s not that great! Instead, here are some abilities that will serve you well in the early hours. You should pick these up first. Seriously, don’t even think about the double jump.
Before getting to the abilities themselves, it’s worth breaking down how leveling in Dying Light 2 works. There are two trees to comb through: Combat and Parkour, each with 24 unlockable skills. You need to meet a certain stat requirement first, like having 180 health points, as well as a prerequisite skill (for certain abilities) before you can unlock whatever skill you’re eyeing. For example, to unlock the Parkour skill Slide, you must first acquire the Sleek Runner ability and have at least 160 stamina points.
You earn experience points for the two skill trees by performing actions corresponding to that tree (i.e., fighting for combat, jumping for parkour). Upgrading your stats is a different conversation (or blog?), but the short of that is this: You gotta find inhibitors around the world. You inject yourself with these inhibitors, booster shots that look like steroids or something, to increase Aiden’s health and stamina points. Doing this gives you more resilience while also letting you unlock some abilities in the skill trees.
OK, now onto some Dying Light 2 skills you should unlock early in the game.
Requirements: Unlock Vault Kick, the first skill in this tree
Since you’ll spend the majority of your time on rooftops, you should have a way to get the drop on an enemy and deal some damage before they know what hit them. The Air Kick is exactly that. An airborne jump kick performed by dropping onto enemies, you can unlock the Air Kick as soon as you get a Parkour upgrade point, and you won’t regret picking it up. It’s been an amazing move for me in dealing with the bandits on Villedor’s roofs. Air Kick them off to their death and boom! Parkouring just got a bit easier during the day.
Requirements: Unlock High Jump, the first skill in this tree
This one’s a no-brainer, especially since misjudging the distance between rooftops could end in a gruesome splat. Unlockable with a single Parkour upgrade point, Firm Grip is a skill that strengthens your fingertips so you don’t fall to your doom when grabbing ledges from great heights. This is a lifesaver. So often would I jump from roof to roof, only to find Aiden incapable of holding on long enough when things went south early on. Firm Grip alleviates that frustration, ensuring you maintain your grip when parkouring.
Requirements: Unlock High Jump, Have 140 Stamina Points
You might need to stockpile a Parkour upgrade point to unlock this one, as it requires you increase Aiden’s stamina stat with inhibitors at least three times to reach the required 140 points. Still, you’re gonna want the Dart skill fairly early on. It gives you a short burst of speed, which then lets you jump wider gaps, reach higher ledges, and run longer on walls (once you unlock that skill). Again, you spend a lotta time on roofs, either running from point A to B or escaping a zombie chase. Darting in both situations not only gives you a leg up, but it also helps you cover more ground. It was a necessity throughout my playthrough, and combining it with other skills—like the Parkour ability Far Jump—makes it all the more effective in the long run.
Requirements: Unlock Vault Kick, Have 120 Health Points
Similar to Dart, you’ll need to hold onto a Combat upgrade point for a minute until you increase Aiden’s health stat to 120 points from the starting 100, which takes just one set of inhibitors. But once you do, the Power Attack is a vital combat ability and something you’ll want to grab in the beginning. In fact, I found it to be a vital combat skill. It does exactly what you expect: deliver a devastating blow after holding the attack button for a brief second. The move also staggers the enemy for a bit and deals a good amount of damage. Really solid for wiping out bandits or combo-ing with other skills.
Requirements: Unlock Active Landing, Have 140 Stamina Points
You’ll probably unlock the prerequisite skill Active Landing early on, which is an ability that reduces fall damage and maintains momentum when landing. Immediately after that, though, you totally oughta pick up the Safe Landing skill. This is an essential parkour skill should you miss a jump. Basically, it’s a souped-up version of Active Landing, increasing the height you can fall without taking damage once you hit the ground. This will happen a lot, so instead of dying because of a mistimed jump, just get the Safe Landing skill.
This is just a small selection of unlockable Dying Light 2 skills, and really, you can’t go wrong picking up any of the game’s abilities early on. Except for the double jump. You will be disappointed with that as it’s both negligible and useless when compared to other skills. While I encourage you to experiment with the two trees Techland has baked into this sequel, there’s no denying that some skills will serve you better when you’re starting out. May these suggestions give you confidence as you traverse the game. It gets treacherous out there, so make sure you’ve got the right abilities to survive.