Image Credit: Bethesda
Forgot password
Enter the email address you used when you joined and we'll send you instructions to reset your password.
If you used Apple or Google to create your account, this process will create a password for your existing account.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Reset password instructions sent. If you have an account with us, you will receive an email within a few minutes.
Something went wrong. Try again or contact support if the problem persists.
Weave around enemies or mitigate damage in Dead Island by understanding how to defend, dodge, and counter.

Dead Island 2: How to Defend, Dodge, Block, and Counter

Weave around enemies or mitigate damage in Dead Island by understanding how to defend, dodge, and counter.

Knowing how to defend, dodge, block, and counter in Dead Island 2 will keep you alive against the zombies and Apex enemies ravaging Hell-A. However, the mechanics are tied to certain things like Skill Cards and Abilities, and not all are available depending on your build. Further, sometimes a well-timed dodge is better than a block to defend yourself. Here’s what you need to know about defensive actions like dodge and counter. 

Recommended Videos

Dead Island 2: Defend, Dodge, Block, and Counter Explained

The dodge and defend actions in Dead Island 2 are tied to your Abilities Card loadout and are technically block mechanics. The way you counter is a bit different, and we talk about that more below.

Dodging and blocking are part of the same card slot and keybind. As such, you may only choose one type of defensive action at a time, not both.

These are the controls on each platform:

  • PC: Left Alt
  • PlayStation: L1
  • Xbox: LB

Screenshot by GameSkinny

Dodging Versus Blocking: Which is Better? 

Dead Island 2‘s dodge and block mechanics have their own pros and cons.

  • Dodging gives additional mobility when sidestepping or moving backward to avoid incoming attacks. However, you’re open to hits from all sides if you’re not careful.
  • Blocking lets you mitigate melee hits from most zombies from the front. This will also work whether you’re using a melee or ranged weapon. However, you’ll still get hit from the back. Likewise, your character will move slowly while blocking.

Countering and Stunning: Perfect Dodges and Perfect Blocks

Both dodging and blocking will regenerate a bit of your stamina. Moreover, if you press the button at the right time — just as a zombie is about to attack — you can temporarily stun them.

This will allow you to follow up with a counter by pressing the corresponding interaction keys that appear. A counter leads to a devastating blow with your weapon, likely killing a weaker enemy outright.

Screenshot by GameSkinny

Apart from this, there are also Apex zombies that can be stunned through various means:

  • Most Apex zombies will kneel down after taking a huge amount of damage, allowing you to strike them a couple of times with impunity.
  • You can cancel the shriek from Screamers by damaging them in the middle of the animation.
  • Butchers have leaping attacks that will temporarily leave them vulnerable if you manage to dodge or block the hit.
  • Mutators have a three-hit combo where the third swing leaves them vulnerable for a few seconds.

Last but not least, some Skill Cards synergize well with your defensive capabilities, increasing your survivability. For instance, Safety First regenerates your HP via well-timed blocks and dodges. There’s also Invigorating, which grants additional HP when you’re able to counter your foes. You can learn more in our best skill card combinations guide.

These are the basics on how to defend, dodge, and counter in Dead Island 2. For more about the game, you can visit our DI2 guides hub.

Featured image via Deep Silver.

GameSkinny is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more about our Affiliate Policy
Image of Jason Rodriguez
Jason Rodriguez
Jason Rodriguez is a game reviewer and guides writer from the Philippines. With around 5,000 published articles, he's freelanced for numerous outlets, including GameSkinny, GameSpot, Polygon, IGN, PCGamesN, PC Invasion, and more.