Embrace your inner zombie slayer... by embracing your inner zombie. Here are some fun facts to know and tell about the chillingly-named Autophage system in Dead Island 2's endgame.

Dead Island 2: Autophage System Explained

Embrace your inner zombie slayer... by embracing your inner zombie. Here are some fun facts to know and tell about the chillingly-named Autophage system in Dead Island 2's endgame.

Let’s talk about the Autophage system in Dead Island 2, which means we’re going to be talking about something that involves significant spoilers for story mode. If you’re looking to go in clean, play through DI2 and come back later. We’ll be here.

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Late in the game, you’ll gain the option to equip powerful Skill Cards that come with an additional benefit/drawback, which is Autophage. Autophage Cards are some of the best in the game, but you have to give up some of your humanity in exchange. Here’s what you need to know.

Autophage and You: A Guide for Newly Minted Self-Cannibals

A number of your Skill Cards in Dead Island 2 have a property, as marked by a black-and-white skill icon, called Autophage.

Autophage cards all have one thing in common: their benefits are pretty good, but they come with a considerable drawback. A combat skill might inflict a status ailment but drain health, or your melee attacks in Fury mode might deal extra damage but cost more Fury to use.

Depending on which Slayer you’re playing, you could start to see Autophage cards like Street Brawler pop up as early as level 19 through the course of leveling. If you don’t see it before then, you’ll receive the Surgical Focus card for clearing the story quest “The Final Gauntlet.”

Screenshot by GameSkinny

Whenever you equip a Skill Card with Autophage, it raises you one tier on the in-game Autophage menu (above, lower right), to a maximum of three. Like the cards, Autophage has both significant benefits, most of which revolve around your Fury mode, and increasingly punitive penalties.

Screenshot by GameSkinny

Autophage Tier One

At Autophage Tier One, you receive a slight penalty to your Toughness or Peak Health, depending on what character you’re playing.

In exchange, you get a boost to either Force or Attack Speed whenever you kill a zombie. Your Fury mode also lasts a little longer before expiring, and any zombie you kill in Fury mode restores a little bit (~5%) of your Fury meter, so you can stay mad for longer.

Autophage Tier Two

At Autophage Tier Two, your stamina meter regenerates more slowly, but killing zombies gives you a short buff that restores your stamina on a successful attack. You also enjoy increased Fury mode duration and meter regeneration (~8% per zombie kill in Fury mode) over the benefits from Tier #1.

Autophage Tier Three

Finally, at Autophage Tier Three, you no longer passively regenerate health, and both food and medkits restore significantly less HP. Instead, you get a short-duration damage boost and regain a lot of health whenever you kill a zombie. I tested this out, and was getting over 1,000 HP per Walker kill on a level 30 Carla.

Your Fury mode duration is also significantly increased, and you refill your Fury meter by roughly 10% whenever you score a zombie kill in Fury mode.

Screenshot by GameSkinny

In conjunction with the Anger Mismanagement and Ravenous Skill Cards, Autophage Tier Three lets you stay in Fury mode for an amazingly long time. I was in Fury for a solid five minutes while testing this, and only stopped because it got boring. This allows you to tear straight through hordes of zombies that might otherwise pose a genuine threat. When you’re in nearly-permanent Fury mode, you can actually run into a problem where there aren’t enough zombies in Hell-A.

Getting to Autophage Tier Three at any point, even for a couple of seconds, unlocks the trophy/achievement Down With the Sickness.

Screenshot by GameSkinny

Going on an Anger Mismanagement / Tier Three rampage is an easy way to accomplish the Combat Challenges Dangerous DNA (kill zombies while at Autophage Tier Three) and Furious Fighter (kill zombies in Fury mode).

However, this isn’t exactly a cheat code. As you’ve probably noticed by now, Fury mode lets you do a lot of burst damage, but isn’t much help against some of the tougher enemies in the game.

Mutators in particular seem to be heavily resistant against whatever damage type you inflict when you’re in Fury. You can mow down normal zombies by the dozen with high-Autophage Fury, and even bully Crushers and the occasional unwary Butcher, but you still need to be a little careful.

Screenshot by GameSkinny

Conversely, Dani and Jacob both have low enough Health Recovery by default that they can roll around with Autophage at Tier Three and it doesn’t change their overall game plan. If anything, it’s an improvement over their default stats, as one zombie kill at Tier Three is worth a 30% heal. As long as you’re fighting hordes and not single targets, like named Mutators, it’s very difficult to die.

At time of writing, there don’t appear to be any significant changes to DI2‘s storyline which involve the Autophage mechanic. The tutorial is worded as if there might be unknown drawbacks to staying at high Autophage besides what’s listed on the in-game menu, but if there are, they’ve yet to appear in any obvious way.

That’s what you need to know about Autophage, a way in which you can truly embrace violence in Dead Island 2. For less angry, but just as violent tips, check out our dedicated guides hub.


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Author
Thomas Wilde
Survival horror enthusiast. Veteran of the print era. Comic book nerd.