Dead Island 2 skills are your first port of call to dispatch the undead in new and gruesome ways. While veterans of the series may recall the skill tree system from the previous game, Dead Island 2 employs a deck of collectable skill cards that you can equip to unlock certain combat moves and buffs for your chosen slayer.
Our list of Dead Island 2 skills is arranged by their relevant tiers and includes the bonuses that each skill provides in the zombie game. Skill cards can either be found or earned in Dead Island 2, and they can dramatically change your playstyle – we recommend pairing them with Dead Island 2 blueprints to really make the most of them. Without further ado, here’s our list of all the skills on offer to really bring the pain ahead of the Dead Island 2 release date.
All Dead Island 2 skills
You begin Dead Island 2 with only two skill slots available, though you’ll quickly begin to unlock more as you progress. You can switch out the cards in your skill deck at any time and at no additional cost, and we highly recommend doing so when encountering Dead Island 2 bosses. It’s important to take stock of all the skill cards available in your deck from time to time, since new cards may also create powerful synergies with cards you previously overlooked.
Dead Island 2 skills come in four tiers:
The Abilities skill tier functions slightly differently from the other tiers, since you can only equip Dead Island 2 skills that are specific to the ability of each slot. As their name suggests, these cards change the nature of your existing combat moves, making them even more powerful. Unlike skills in other tiers, these cards can only be unlocked after completing story quests.
Here are all the Abilities skills in Dead Island 2:
- Dodge: Well-timed dodges regain your stamina and stun zombies, leaving them open to a devastating Counter attack.
- Block: Well-timed blocks regain your stamina and stun zombies, leaving them open to a devastating Counter attack.
- Drop Kick: Perform a forceful Jump Kick attack that can send regular enemies flying.
- Jump Kick: Perform a powerful Jump Kick attack.
- War Cry: Let out a fierce yell that boosts toughness for you and nearby squad members. It also weakens nearby zombies.
- Ground Pound: Drive a forceful blow into the ground that drains the stability of nearby zombies.
- Dash Strike: Dash forwards and strike zombies, leaving them weakened.
- Blood Rush: Slay zombies and perform Counter attacks to build Fury.
- Surgical Focus: Autophage skill. Maim zombies to build Fury. But don’t lose focus – taking damage will drain Fury.
Fury Special Attack
- Overhead Smash: Press Q in Fury Mode to let loose and unleash a powerful Ground Smash.
- Scream: Press Q in Fury mode to emit a piercing wail that weakens nearby zombies.
- Spitting Cobra: Hold Q in Fury mode to vomit caustic bile on unsuspecting zombies.
The Survivor tier contains Dead Island 2 skills that provide welcome stat bonuses and passive healing that boost your overall survivability. Certain skills are also capable of removing harmful status effects, or giving you a bit of breathing room when becoming swarmed in the RPG game.
Here are all the Survivor skills in Dead Island 2:
- Bob and Weave: Dodge attacks in quick succession for a moderate boost to attack speed and agility that can stack multiple times. (Amy and Bruno only)
- Hot-Footed: Autophage skill. Drop Kick attacks ignite zombies, but they also drain your health.
- Invigorating: Counter attack zombies to regain extra health.
- Lightning Strike: Autophage skill. Dash Strike attacks electrify zombies, but they also drain your health.
- Pain Magazine: A well-timed block or dodge triggers a recharge boost for your active curveball item.
- Quake: Your Ground Pound attacks get a major boost to force that can send regular zombies flying.
- Rallying Cry: Your War Cry regains health and removes harmful status effects from you and nearby squad members.
- Ravenous: In Fury mode, slay zombies to replenish your Fury and stay enraged longer.
- Safe Space: Using a med kit triggers a forceful explosion that drains the stability of nearby zombies.
- Shin Shrapnel: Slide attacks get a major boost to damage and can send regular zombies flying.
- Vivisuction: Dash Strike zombies to regain health.
- Wrecking Ball: Flying Kick attacks weaken zombies.
The Dead Island 2 skills that appear in the Slayer tier improve your capacity to slice and dice your way through the walking dead. Most of these skills bestow stat bonuses or passive healing after performing specific combat moves by providing damage buffs. The best defence is a good offence, and these skills prove it.
Here are all the Slayer skills in Dead Island 2:
- Air Assault: Flying Kick a zombie for a major boost to critical damage. (Amy and Bruno only)
- Breakdancer: Slide attack a zombie for a moderate boost to agility and attack speed.
- Carnage: Autophage skill. In Fury mode, your attacks get a major boost to damage and force, but they also drain extra Fury.
- Clear Sightlines: Knock down a zombie for a moderate boost to the damage of your ranged weapons, weapon throws, and curveballs.
- Corpse Bomb: In Fury mode, slain zombies erupt into powerful explosions.
- Cull the Weak: Attacks to zombies with low health get a minor boost to damage.
- Deadeye: Hit a zombie with a curveball item to trigger a recharge boost that can stack multiple times.
- Heavy Hitter: Autophage skill. Heavy attacks get a major boost to damage, but they also drain your health.
- Hunting Season: Hit a zombie with a ranged weapon or weapon throw for a moderate boost to the damage of your melee weapons.
- Janus Rage: When your Fury meter is full, get a moderate boost to toughness. When it isn’t full, get a minor boost to damage.
- No Mercy: Attacks to zombies suffering a harmful status effect get a moderate boost to damage.
- Pyro: Autophage skill. In Fury mode, your melee and overhead smash attacks ignite zombies, but they also drain extra Fury.
- Second Wind: Attack a zombie while sprinting for a moderate boost to damage. (Amy and Bruno only)
- The Limb Reaper: Maim a zombie to regain health.
- Volatile: Autophage skill. In Fury mode, your melee attacks trigger explosions on impact, but they also drain extra Fury.
- Voltaic Scream: Your Scream attacks electrify nearby zombies.
The final tier of Dead Island 2 skills are some of the most powerful you can unlock. Numen skills are only accessible to those immune to the zombie bite (that’s you) and as such they can completely change your approach to combat. Want to spit acid or trigger explosions? With Numen skills equipped, you can.
Here are all the Numen skills in Dead Island 2:
- Glass Cannon: Autophage skill. Get a moderate boost to critical damage, and an even bigger boost when your health is low, but your toughness is reduced.
- Seismic Stomp: On impact, Skull Stomp triggers a forceful explosion that drains the stability of nearby zombies and makes them bleed.
You begin your sun-drenched gorefest in Hell-A with no Dead Island 2 skills in your deck besides the Innate skills that are unique to each slayer. While these become less vital to your build as you unlock cards from the main tiers, we recommend crafting your deck around these skills to get the greatest returns from your chosen Dead Island 2 slayer.
Here are all the Innate skills in Dead Island 2:
- Relief Pitcher: Amy regains stamina when hitting a zombie with a weapon throw.
- Divide and Conquer: Amy gets a minor damage boost when she attacks isolated zombies.
- Backstab: Bruno gets a moderate damage boost when attacking zombies from behind.
- Rapid Reprisal: Boost Bruno’s agility and heavy attack charges when he avoids attacks with a block or dodge.
- Mosh Pit: Carla gets a minor damage boost when close to multiple zombies.
- Dig Deep: Carla gets a moderate toughness boost while her health is critical.
- Thunderstruck: Dani’s heavy attacks trigger a forceful explosion on impact.
- Bloodlust: Dani regains health when slaying multiple zombies in quick succession.
- Feral: Jacob gets a stackable minor damage boost when attacking in quick succession.
- Critical Gains: Jacob’s critical hits when stamina is low get a moderate critical damage boost and regain stamina.
- Retaliation: Ryan gets a moderate force boost when using block or dodge to avoid an attack.
- Seesaw: Ryan regains health each time he knocks down a zombie.
With a full deck of Dead Island 2 skills at your disposal, you might just stand a chance at surviving the mean streets of Hell-A. Ensure your rig will also survive by checking out the Dead Island 2 system requirements, and swing by our Dead Island 2 review to find out whether the action-adventure game was to our taste.