Dead Island 2 is an action role-playing game developed by Dambuster Studios and published by Deep Silver. It is the sequel to the popular game Dead Island, where players have to survive in a zombie-infested world. One of the critical choices you have to make at the beginning of the game is to select one of six playable characters, each with their unique skills and abilities. In this guide, we will help you pick the perfect character based on your playstyle and preferences.

What’s the Difference Between Characters

Each of the six characters in Dead Island 2 will have their own unique dialogue during conversations. It has been confirmed that each character was written by a different person, lending validity to their individual personalities and feelings within the game. This also adds an element of replayability.

In the first Dead Island game, each playable character had a unique skill tree. However, Dead Island 2 will feature a skill card system that offers more freedom. As you progress through the game, you will find skill cards that can be added to your character’s skill set. These skill cards are not restricted to a specific playable character.

While each character has two innate or unique skills that cannot be changed, there are skill cards that are unique to a specific character or even one or two specific characters. These unique skill cards can be found throughout the world of Dead Island 2. So basically, other than some dialogue options, one or two skills cards, and Innate Skills, there isn’t any difference at all.

The Skill System in Dead Island 2

Dead Island 2 features a skill card system that allows players to customize their characters based on the skills they acquire. Players can collect skill cards and add them to their characters’ systems to increase their abilities. Each character has two innate or unique skills that cannot be changed and are always present. There are also skill cards that are unique to a specific character, adding more depth and variety to the gameplay.

All Playable Characters in Dead Island 2

Amy – The Paralympian

Amy Innate Skills - Image by RespawnFirst

Amy is a quick-witted Paralympian who loves zombie slaying. Her innate abilities are Relief Pitcher, which gives her extra stamina when hitting a zombie with a thrown weapon, and Divide and Conquer, which grants her a minor damage boost when attacking isolated zombies. Amy is best suited for a dodge-style playstyle, thanks to her fast and agile movements. She can use throwable weapons to spread out enemies and blow them up, and her stamina gain and damage boost from attacking isolated zombies make her an excellent choice for hit-and-run tactics.

Bruno – The Hustler

Bruno Innate Skills - Image my RespawnFirst

Bruno is a calculating hustler who always has a plan, whether it’s for pulling off heists on big-time scammers or taking down the undead. His innate abilities are Rapid Reprisal Boost, which increases his agility and heavy attack charges when he avoids attacks with a block or a dodge, and Backstab, which gives him a moderate damage boost when attacking zombies from behind. Bruno is an excellent choice for co-op play, where he can take advantage of his backstab ability to attack zombies while his allies distract them. He also has a lot of flexibility in terms of attacking style, with Rapid Reprisal Boost giving him a buff for either blocking or dodging.

Carla – The Mechanic

Carla Innate Skills - Image by RespawnFirst

Carla is a motorcycle stunt rider who is unfazed by the rings of fire, jumps over ravines, and mid-air flips. Her innate abilities are Dig Deep, which gives her a moderate toughness boost while her health is critical, and Mosh Pit, which grants her a minor damage boost when close to multiple zombies. Carla is an excellent choice for a tank playstyle, as Dig Deep reduces the damage she takes while Mosh Pit increases her damage output when surrounded by enemies. She is best suited for melee combat and should be in close quarters with enemies to make the most of her abilities.

Jacob – The Stuntman

Jacob is a charming guy and a former stuntman. His two Innate Skills are focused on self-preservation. The first innate is Feral gives Jacob a moderate critical damage boost when his stamina is low and crits regain stamina. Anyone picking Jacob as their main should use lighter melee weapons to trigger Feral for a quick damage boost.

The Feral skill incentivizes players to confront enemies directly and maintain a fast attack rate to accumulate damage boosts. As a result, this ability is ideal for close-range combat and dispatching formidable zombies.

Moreover, the Critical Gains skill enhances critical hit damage and stamina regeneration in situations where the character’s stamina is depleted. This prompts players to maintain an offensive stance, take calculated risks, and deliver significant damage while avoiding enemy surges.

Dani – The Retail Assistant

Dani may be a former retail assistant but she is a fireball. She loves slaying zombies and is one of the most aggressive characters in the game. Her Thunderstruck innate skill allows her to deal a lot of damage to zombies, especially in groups. Use this ability to your advantage when facing hordes of zombies or tougher enemies. Her second skill, Bloodlust, complements the first ability by allowing her to regain health when slaying multiple zombies in quick succession. Try to aim for groups of zombies and take them out quickly to activate this ability and replenish your health.

Ryan – The Exotic Dancer

Ryan’s abilities are geared towards a defensive playstyle, so it’s important to focus on blocking and dodging enemy attacks. Use his Retaliation ability to gain a boost in force when blocking or dodging, which can be especially useful against tougher enemies.

Ryan’s Seesaw ability allows him to regain health every time he knocks down a zombie, so prioritize knocking down enemies whenever possible. This can help you sustain yourself during extended battles and keep you in the fight longer.

In addition to focusing on defense and knockdown attacks, it’s important to upgrade Ryan’s weapons and abilities to maximize his effectiveness in combat. Consider investing in skills that improve his blocking, dodging, and knockdown abilities to make him even more formidable.

Finally, keep in mind that Ryan’s abilities are best suited for solo play or as a supporting character in a group. His defensive playstyle can help him stay alive longer and draw enemy attention away from other players, but he may not be the best choice for players who prefer a more aggressive or damage-focused playstyle.

Which Character You Should Pick

If you’re looking for a character with a strong offensive presence in Dead Island 2, Dani is an excellent choice. Her Thunderstruck ability provides a significant boost to heavy attacks, allowing her to deal devastating damage to groups of zombies or tougher enemies. Additionally, her Bloodlust ability allows her to regenerate health when slaying multiple zombies in quick succession, making her a highly effective survivor in extended battles. Compared to Ryan, Carla, Amy, and Jacob with defensive abilities and lackluster offensive skills, Dani offers a more aggressive playstyle that can be highly effective in clearing out hordes of enemies. So if you want to take the fight to the zombies and emerge victorious, Dani is a perfect choice, especially if you give her the right tools to play with.

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