Dead Island 2: How to Beat Deadly Zombies

Deadly Zombies represent a huge difficulty spike in Dead Island 2. Here's what you need to know to take them on.

Deadly Zombies represent a huge difficulty spike in Dead Island 2. Here's what you need to know to take them on.

Dead Island 2 has a lot of variety when it comes to its enemies. Aside from regular zombies, the more unique Apex types, and all of their many variants, there are also the appropriately named Deadly Zombies

Your first encounters with these rare enemies were likely short-lived thanks to their incredible power. To help you stand a chance, we’ve put together a breakdown and some tips on how to beat Deadly Zombies in Dead Island 2.

Dead Island 2 Deadly Zombies Explained

Screenshot by GameSkinny

While most enemies will scale close to your player level, Deadly Zombies seem to be quite a few levels higher at minimum. They spawn outside of the main quest path and typically feel like their job is to keep you away from exploring certain areas.

The good news is that the basic zombies are the only ones that can spawn as a Deadly Zombie. The bad news is that it’s difficult to tell exactly what level they are since the number is replaced with a white skull and blood splatter behind it. Either way, they’ll still be incredibly strong and likely to kill you in just two swipes.

How to Defeat Deadly Zombies in Dead Island 2

Level Up First

Screenshot by GameSkinny

Leveling up is the only advice the game actually gives you on how to handle these monsters, and it’s a viable tip. The run-of-the-mill Walkers can easily overwhelm you, and if it’s a Runner that spawns as a Deadly Zombie, you might just be dealing with one of the toughest challenges that can be thrown your way.

If you come back to the area after leveling up a bit, it’s possible that they’ll no longer be considered a Deadly Zombie and will only be a couple of levels stronger. Even if that’s not the case, you’ll still have so many more tools at your disposal (which we’ll also be going over) that the job will be easier. There’s no need to be a heroic zombie slayer just yet. Play the story and level up first.

Use the Environment to Your Advantage

Screenshot by GameSkinny

Before we get into those aforementioned tools, it’s vital to mention a basic tip that will help a ton against these powerful enemies. The environment of Hell-A is equally dangerous to the undead as it is for you, and that remains true even against these zombies.

Remember to always make use of what’s around you. Shock the water they’re walking through and shoot red barrels they walk past. Hit them with batteries and dump caustic jugs in front of them.

Even though the damage isn’t as high as it would be for a normal zombie, you want to do what you can to stun them and deplete their stability bar. Anything can help, and using the environment is a great way to hurt them while saving ammo or weapon durability.

Bring Strong and Modded Weapons

Screenshot by GameSkinny

Speaking of weapons, it’s obviously important to bring your best. Sometimes that entails waiting a bit, though, since weapon choice expands the more you play. The early game is filled with steel pipes and burnt timber, while the fun swords and hammers will be available later.

Firearms also represent a huge overhaul of what you can do. Shotguns and rifles alike will inflict major damage to Deadly Zombies, and their ranged nature means you can hurt them without worrying about them hitting you.

On a related note, modding your weapons can always make a strong one even better, and they also open up a lot the further you progress. There are some really wild blueprints and weapon modifications you’ll be able to make in the second half of Dead Island 2 that completely outclass the simple choices you have in the first half.

Bring Weapons That Maim

Screenshot by GameSkinny

The weapons you use are entirely up to personal preference, although those under the Maiming category do deserve a special mention. These weapons are better suited for taking off zombie limbs, and that’s one of the best ways to limit what they can do. Runners aren’t much of a problem when they’re missing their legs, and everything is less deadly with one less arm.

Maiming also becomes more relevant thanks to an introduced mechanic later on. Said mechanic also helps to create some of the most fun weapon modifications, so make sure you always have a cleaver or machete on hand.

Wait for Better Skills

Screenshot by GameSkinny

Your initial set of skill cards is pretty basic, but you’ll be able to adjust your play style with the more you unlock. Additional cards, such as the Numen cards and the Autophage System, will allow for more experimentation once you’ve unlocked them. Later skill cards in general have some outrageous effects that can be taken even further with the different weapon modifications too. You can see all of the skill cards and their effects here.

Difficult enemies such as the Deadly Zombies also provide a great reason to swap your skill cards around if you haven’t before. The skill card system is very flexible, and these encounters are the perfect opportunity to try out something new. If you need some inspiration, check out our best skill card combinations guide.

Fury Mode

Screenshot by GameSkinny

Fury Mode is a powered-up state that’s introduced later on in the main questline. It doesn’t make you invulnerable to their easily fatal attacks, but it does allow you to hit them a lot harder and take out a good chunk, if not all, of their health.

This mechanic only improves as Fury Mode-specific skill cards are unlocked alongside the Autophage System. It doesn’t take too long to build up the meter, and these enemies are certainly worth using it for.

Avoid Them

Truth be told, you don’t have to fight Deadly Zombies at all. There surprisingly isn’t much reward or reason to slay them. Unless a uniquely named zombie with a key is in the area (such as the one for the Goat Pen Keys or Landscaper’s Keys), you won’t miss out on much by avoiding them and coming back at a later time.

That being said, exploring is a fun part of the game, and the challenge of taking down these monsters on your own or with friends can be some of the most satisfying experiences you’ll have in Hell-A. Like most encounters outside of the main quests, the choice is up to your preference on how to handle it.

Follow these tips and you’ll be more than prepared to beat Deadly Zombies in Dead Island 2. For all other Hell-A content, including how to open all the lockboxes or how to claim the Pulp and Gold Weapons packs, our Dead Island 2 guide hub has you covered.

Featured image by GameSkinny.

About the author

Samuel Moreno

Samuel is a freelance writer who has had work published with Hard Drive, GameSkinny, Otaquest, and PhenixxGaming. He's a big fan of the Metal Gear Solid and Resident Evil series, but truth be told he'd sell his soul simply for a new Ape Escape game.