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Dead Island 2 Best Character Guide: Which Slayers Should I Use?

Dead Island 2 features six distinct protagonists, or Slayers, to venture through Hell-A with. You’re not able to change or switch your slayer after you’ve picked one for a save file, but other save files are available to pick the others. They all handle differently so it helps to know how each excels before starting. This guide is going to go over all of the benefits so you can easily decide which Dead Island 2 slayer is the best character to choose.

Who is the Best Character in Dead Island 2?

The good news is that the answer is entirely dependent on your own preferred play style. Each slayer comes with two exclusive innate skills, a distinct set of attribute levels or Slayer Traits as they’re later called, and either the Dodge or Block skill (the other will unlock later). More skills will unlock over time that will really open up what sort of build you might want. However, they’ll still feel a little different from each other.

We’ll be going over all of the unique elements of each, but let’s start off by breaking down what each of their attributes means. An explanation isn’t provided before you pick, and not all of the names are self-explanatory:

  • Toughness – physical defense or how much physical damage you take
  • Stamina – how many heavy attacks and special moves you can do before tiring out (running doesn’t count)
  • Health Recovery – how quickly health recovers
  • Critical Damage – damage dealt during critical hits
  • Agility – base movement speed
  • Peak Health – maximum health amount
  • Resilience – defense against Fire, Shock, and Caustic damage as well as their related status effects

Dead Island 2 Slayers: Jacob

Jacob, one of the slayers in Dead Island 2.

Jacob is a well-balanced and his innate skills make him a perfect killing machine. His first skill is Feral and it provides him with a stackable damage boost for repeated attacks. The next is Critical Gains, which activates with low stamina and enhances his Critical Hits with a moderate damage boost and stamina-regaining properties. Lastly, he starts off with the Dodge skill.

This is the character to go with if you just want to keep on swinging. Both of his innate skills support him when attacking and one of them can even make him stronger when his stamina is low. With a high Peak Health you’ll have enough to spare going against hordes of zombies, although the low Resilience means you’ll want to look out for the latter variants that deal fire or shock damage.


Bruno, one of the best slayers in Dead Island 2.

Bruno is the opposite of Jacob in many ways. His Backstab skill provides a moderate damage boost for attacks from behind while Rapid Reprisal boosts both his agility and heavy attack charges whenever he blocks or dodges. He’ll start off with the Dodge skill.

You’ll need to set up situations to make the most use of Bruno. His defensive attributes aren’t great and his Peak Health is the lowest out of all the slayers. Making up for this is his high Critical Damage and Agility though, meaning you’ll want to use heavy attacks to stun zombies or dodge around them for quick back attacks.


One of the Dead Island 2 slayers, Carla.

Carla is for the players that don’t want to fight against the horde but want to fight right in the middle of them. Mosh Pit boosts her damage a little bit when close to multiple zombies and Dig Deep provides a moderate boost to her Toughness when she has critical health. She begins with the Block skill.

Her Critical Damage is incredibly low, but her Toughness and Resilience attributes mean she’ll be able to tank whatever gets thrown her way. Give her a weapon she can swing around and dive into the crowds, even if you set them on fire first.

Dead Island 2 Slayers – Dani

Dani, one of the slayers in Dead Island 2.

Dani is similar to Jacob, albeit with some unique properties thanks to her skills. Thunderstruck causes her heavy attacks to trigger a Forceful explosion on hit. As a brief aside, Force affects the stability/blue meter for zombies and draining that will knock them over and leave them vulnerable. Her Bloodlust skill gives health back for killing zombies one after the other. She starts with the Dodge skill.

Her Health Recovery is her worst attribute, but everything else is balanced nicely. The high Stamina supports her usage of heavy attacks, which are a must when playing her. The Forceful explosion from the Thunderstruck skill can stun nearby enemies, opening them up for more attacks. Dani will benefit from a swinging weapon as Carla does, but in her hands, she’ll be able to use it as a form of crowd control.


Ryan shares a lot of similarities to Carla, with both representing a more tanky playstyle. His Retaliation skill gives him a moderate boost to Force whenever he blocks or dodges. Seesaw meanwhile has him regain health whenever he knocks down a zombie. Just like Carla, he’s also the only other character to start with the Block skill.

High Toughness and Resilience attributes allow him to withstand the worst of Hell-A, and his awful Agility attribute means you probably won’t have much choice in the matter anyway. Both of his innate skills push you to weaken enemies and knock them down. Give him something with the Bulldozer weapon type, such as the various hammers, to better whittle down zombie stability. Block attacks to trigger his first skill and you’ll be knocking everything down and regaining health at the same time.

Amy – Dead Island 2 Slayers

Amy has attributes like Bruno, although she plays even scrappier. Relief Pitcher is a skill that regains her health when she hits a zombie with a thrown weapon. Divide and Conquer gives her a minor boost to damage when she attacks an isolated zombie. She starts with the dodge skill.

Staying on the topic of skills, her innate skills are the only pair that doesn’t work well with each other. They do serve as a great reminder of other mechanics and features though. Make the most use of your weapons by throwing them when low on stamina or when they’re reaching the end of their durability. Picking off zombies one by one by leading them away or using the Alexa Game Control feature to get their attention is a viable strategy. She can hold her own against a horde as long as an eye is kept on her surroundings.

The low Toughness and Peak Health attributes mean you will feel every attack. Unsurprisingly, avoiding damage is paramount for Amy. Her high Agility and Critical Damage attributes provide her with a great foundation toward becoming a glass cannon as you unlock more skills and weapons. Maiming and Frenzy weapons make Amy an especially deadly force to be reckoned with. If you’re confident with your aim, a Headhunter weapon is a great pairing as well since even throwing one at a zombie’s head will be a critical hit.

That covers the primary differences between each slayer in Dead Island 2. We’ve got you covered with all the burning questions you might have before heading through Hell-A, including whether or not you can do so with crossplay multiplayer.

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