The Best Weapons In Dead Island 2: Early Weapons, Legendary Weapons, And Best Guns
In Dead Island 2, the game's greatest feat is thankfully also its most prevalent mechanic: combat, combat, combat. The weapons and their customization options run very deep, which is important since the enemies do too. The game introduces a ton of new enemies, but you'll be finding never-before-seen weapons and even weapon classes many hours into the game--I've played 30 hours and am still finding some new types. For this reason, it's important to know about the best Dead Island 2 weapons and mods.
From unique legendary weapons with one-of-a-kind names you can earn by completing certain quests to the best weapon platforms on which to apply your most devastating mods, the level of customization in Dead Island 2 makes for one of the best showings in the crowded zombie genre. There are so many weapons here that you'd be forgiven for overlooking some key aspects of how to effectively mod weapons or where to get the best ones. We've compiled a list of our favorites so far, so you can follow along and not miss out on the RPG's best zombie-slaying axes, hunting rifles, and so much more.
Before we jump into the full list, it's also worth noting how mods work. In full, the game has 36 weapon mods and 43 weapon perks. Mods give weapons status effects, such as fire, bleed, and poison, whereas perks give weapons passive or activated skills, such as improving their overall damage, reload speed, or causing chain effects across multiple zombies. Mods and perks are found through exploration, bought from traders, or earned as quest or challenge rewards.
Mods also come in tiers on many occasions. For example, early in the game, you may have an Uncommon (green) Electricity Mod, which provides a slight electrifying ability to a weapon you mod it with. However, later in the game, you can find better versions (Rare, Superior, and Legendary) of this same mod. Most of the time, it's best to just apply the best version of any mod you have, though if you were strapped for crafting supplies, a lesser mod will also demand fewer materials. But, as mentioned in our Dead Island 2 tips, you won't need to worry about running low on crafting materials very much.
With all of this introductory text out of the way, let's dive into the best weapons and mods in Dead Island 2. We'll be going over some of the game's best-available loot, but also some of the best early weapons, as well as some standalone mods you can apply as you see fit.
Best early melee weapons in Dead Island 2
All of the weapons shown after this section are middle- or late-game finds. You'll do well to equip them, but you won't even have the option until you're done or nearly done with the story. So for players looking for the advantage earlier in the game, we also wanted to highlight some of the game's best weapon platforms. From there you can customize them as you'd like.
Based on dozens of hours of collective play, we really recommend the firefighter's axe, the heavy wrench, and the machete. The axe and wrench both pack a punch that delivers huge single-blow damage to one zombie, or they can sweep a small horde out of your way in one go. The machete is a sharper and faster option for those who want to stay nimble. Like always, these weapons are merely platforms on which you can modify the zombie-slaying tool of your dreams. The only downside is most loot drops are randomized--you'll even find your co-op partners will get different loot than you, so we can't reliably point you toward these items. But when you come across them, they may be worth investing in.
There's also one early example of a weapon that's better than most you'll find around the same point in the story. For that, you'll want to complete The Clean And Snatch Lost and Found quest, which you can start by picking up a note in the pool of Roxanne's house in Beverly Hills. For your efforts, you'll land the Electrified Officer's Sword, a Rare (blue) weapon that will be a step up from anything else you might find at that time, assuming you tackle the quest soon after you get to Beverly Hills.
You'll unlock this devastating sledgehammer as a reward for completing the last mission in the main story. It seems intended to be the first Legendary-tier item you can even unlock in the game, so don't worry if you're approaching the last mission and are still only picking up purples (Superior tier). Emma's Wrath is a unique item, hence its one-of-a-kind name. Unique items such as this cannot be sold or scrapped for parts, so you need not worry about accidentally getting rid of it. And if for some reason you misplace it, you'll find it in your Unclaimed Property tab in any weapons locker found within safehouses.
As for why it's one of the best, well just look at it. This devastating melee weapon is not only extremely effective as one of the game's room-clearing Bulldozer-class weapons; it also moonlights as a shotgun. You can prime its shotgun aspect by skull-stomping or countering any zombie, making the next hit you deliver come with a powerful shotty blast. Its Superior Melee Impactor Mod is fixed, as are two of its perks, but even then it leaves space for two more perks for you to choose, so you can customize one of the game's most powerful weapons to your liking.
This Legendary-tier revolver is unlike anything else in the game. One of its two fixed perks includes explosive rounds, and it fires not just one, but three at a time. This is an excellent option when you need to clear a path through a confined space, as the fireworks-like explosion will knock zombies down if it doesn't just explode them in the first place. Though it's called Big Shot, I call it my "GTFO" gun, as it's saved me from being swarmed a number of times.
Because it's orange in rarity, you can infer this doesn't drop until late in the game. You'll unlock it as a reward for completing the side mission "It's Not Your Fault."
The Party Starter is a legendary pair of brass knuckles, which you'll receive if you complete the "Drunk and Disorderly" Lost and Found quest. To get it, you'll want to check the first-floor bathroom of Ocean Avenue's Serling Hotel. Pick up the note from the zombie that's chowing down on someone, which will tell you about a group of dudes looking to party at the onset of the apocalypse. The clues will tell you of two locations in Venice Beach's boardwalk (Roses Tattoo Parlor and Gang Green weed dispensary). Then, you'll have to go to Santa Monica Pier, to a restaurant that's aptly named Pier Grill.
Grab the notes and kill the unique zombies in these locations. Eventually, you'll be able to open the trunk of a white SUV in Serling Hotel's parking lot, which happens to have this festive weapon.
The Blood Rage is a legendary dagger--and actually an Easter egg weapon that calls back to the earlier game--obtainable after you're done with the "Fool's Gold" Lost and Found quest. You can start this by heading to the Santa Monica Pier - Lifeguard HQ fast travel point. Drop down to the main facility, where you'll find a Crusher named Dante. After killing Dante, he'll drop a clue about a locker, which is just around the corner in the garage. From there, you'll need to visit two more locations in The Pier to gather notes:
- One is on a bench behind an ice cream shop near the Ferris Wheel.
- The other is in an alleyway to the left of a yogurt shop in the boardwalk (along the northwestern portion of the map).
After getting both, head to the small section off to the side of the Lifeguard HQ building and kill the zombies that will spawn. You'll be able to dig up the chest, which nets you this reward.
Bodycount is a legendary auto rifle that can be yours once you complete the "[Redacted]" Lost and Found quest. You can start this by going to the quonset hut to your left upon entering the Venice Beach military base. Kill the zombie with a unique name, and you're given a note. It pertains to a cargo container on the beach, and subsequent notes also provide clues as to the other locations. We've marked the final location of the weapon in the image below, both in the world and on the map. Guns aren't great in Dead Island 2, so you may as well have one of the best ones.
Though it's just Superior (purple) in rarity, Wildstyle is my personal favorite weapon in the game. You can earn this special firefighter's axe for completing the side mission "Art of War" after you've unlocked The Metro zone for fast travel. In it, you'll search for a rumored abandoned weapons cache, and after taking down a huge horde and two tough bosses--seriously, play this one in co-op if you can-- you'll be rewarded with this awesome zombie-chopping device.
Not only is it really colorful and cool-looking, it has the abilities to match. Its special ability makes any zombie killed with it leave behind a large fire in their place, as though you've ignited one of the game's oil spills. Basically, killing the first zombie in a line of them will cause others behind them to become engulfed in flames. This is super effective not only when bottlenecking and clearing hordes, but it also saves on durability, as you'll often spend much less time actually hacking away at the undead. Sit back and enjoy the campfire.
The Brutalizer is one of my three favorite weapons in the game (alongside Wildstyle and Emma's Wrath). This heavily modified machete combines jagged metal edges in all directions in such a way that fighting with it feels like you're putting zombies through some sort of heavy machinery. It's gnarly and super effective. You can make it yours when you complete the five-part Body Art questline, which begins in Beverly Hills.
This sword of legend is almost a fantasy object, as it's basically a movie prop that doesn't skimp on its sharp edge. If ever you wanted to cut up the undead in a style that would make Geralt of Rivia proud, you'll want to complete the side mission Beacon of Hope near the end of the game. We don't want to spoil where it begins, so just understand that you can start it once you make it to the game's final unlockable region.
Best gun class in Dead Island 2 - Hunting Rifle
As we said in our Dead Island 2 review, the guns are clunky and not nearly as enjoyable or reliable to use as melee weapons. However, they're still available in some abundance, at least once you know how to get guns in Dead Island 2 in the first place. With that in mind, we wanted to point you toward the best gun type in the game. The shotgun is underpowered, and the pistol is rather bland. Some others are better, but none are better than the hunting rifle.
This single-shot gun isn't great at horde management--use a melee weapon for that--but if you need to devastate a tough enemy or even a boss in short order, the hunting rifle's damage per hit is unrivaled. Make sure you keep a good one leveled up and modded and you'll have the game's best option when facing single enemies or small groups that you can manage from a distance. You can get a Superior (purple) hunting rifle for completing the side mission "Creature Comforts."
Now for something a little different: How about a great weapon perk? The Contagious perk is one of our favorites, as it allows status effects to spread from the initial carrier to others. For example, if you pair it with a status effect such as fire or electricity and apply the effect to the zombie in front of you, it can spread to others without you having touched them. Zombies don't really practice social distancing and they're famously anti-vax, making them highly susceptible to this perk. To unlock it yourself, you need only to complete the Contagious challenge, which asks you to hit 100 zombies with heavy attacks (hold right trigger). With such a low bar to unlocking it, you can have one of the game's best perks really early on.