Dying Light 2, Techland’s latest open-world zombie RPG, has officially launched on most major platforms. You’re probably playing it right now. But maybe you’re getting your ass handed to you in the early levels, like I was when I started the game on normal instead of easy. That’s OK. There are multiple ways to gain experience points without just beelining for the main story. As a matter of fact, you might want to veer off the beaten path a little bit. The extra levels you can get by doing so will make a big difference later on.
As in the original 2015 Dying Light, you accrue experience points by bounding around and kicking ass. Running, jumping, climbing, fighting anything and everywhere are the keys to leveling up Aiden Caldwell and unlocking abilities in his combat and parkour skill trees. So while you’ll level at a certain pace just by playing, you can maximize your rate of advancement by tweaking your approach a little. Here are some suggestions on how to level up faster in Dying Light 2.
Once you’re loose in the open world, one way to gain some easy parkour experience is by simply climbing everything around you: The pole attached to the side of some dilapidated house. That precarious wire structure connecting two cinder towers. Whatever you can get your hands on is a quick way to level up because just about every activity—from the shortest of mantles to the furthest of leaps—gives you experience points.
Side-quests open up after you do the first two or so main missions, and they’re an excellent way to amass additional levels on the side. Some even reward you with thousands of combat or parkour points, meaning just two or three side missions can easily grant you an upgrade point or two.
While a few side-quests result in experience in both skill trees, most tend to favor one skillset over the other. So if there’s a particular ability you’re eyeing but find it hard gathering experience points in either combat or parkour, just hit up a side-quest. You’ll gain an upgrade point in no time.
As a side note, even if you don’t plan to knock them out immediately, grab side-quests whenever you see them, because you might just solve them in the course of normal gameplay, which is effort-free XP for you.
Things get sketchy at night. Zombies flood the streets and act aggressive as hell. Then there are the swift bolters, the towering demolishers, and the screeching howlers that alert other nearby zombies, which then start a chase. I recommend the chase, particularly because you get even more experience if you make it safely to a UV-lit safehouse. But if that’s too nerve-racking (and it can be!), then just stick to the roofs and have a run. You’ll see that by performing the same parkour actions you would during the day, you’ll get an extra helping of experience points. As in the first game, running at night kinda doubles the amount of experience you earn, which makes the dark perfect for leveling.
As you explore the city of Villedor, you’ll come across time-limited challenges. For example, one has you delivering sandwiches to folks around the city in three minutes or less. I know, no one really needs a turkey club dropped off in record-breaking time during a zombie apocalypse, but as silly as these challenges sound, they’re easy to complete and reward you with a wealth of experience points. And they’re simple to spot! Whether browsing the in-game map or scouting the horizon with your binoculars, just look for icons shaped like the fist (combat) or foot (parkour) from the skills menu, and set your waypoint.
There’s really just one way to gain combat experience points: fighting. Any squabble is a good squabble since it all adds up to more experience, but you’ll get more XP for your efforts if your ass-kicking’s happening after nightfall. Again, the dark almost doubles the amount of experience points you collect. So if you get into squabbles at night, especially near a safehouse where the UV lights can protect you, then that’s easy levels right there. Stock up on weapons and just let the dumb zombies come to you.
Windmills scattered around the city act as your safe havens, a place to store your items and buy stuff from NPCs. They also serve as a very convenient base from which to hit nearby side-quests and challenges, generating more XP. You just gotta activate the windmill first, which has a stamina requirement. Scope out a windmill with your binoculars before approaching; if the icon is red, you need to build up your stamina more before attempting it. If it’s white, run out and add it to your growing, anti-zombie enterprise.
The beginning of Dying Light 2 can be a challenge. Despite being some freerunning master or whatever, Aiden starts off squishy. It’s possible you’ll die. Leveling up fast, I’ve found, is the key to success in the early going. Because once you’ve unlocked some skills and collect better gear, things become a breeze.