Dying Light 2 may initially look like a standard sequel you go into expecting a certain experience. But the more time you spend with it, the more you realise that so many of its mechanics have added depth, to say nothing of all the new tools and new systems you’ll find throughout your time.
Dying Light 2 also makes significant changes to some of the most popular, and less popular, elements of the first game. To help you get started on this journey and turn you into a dropkicking machine, we’ve prepared a round-up of tips and tricks that’ll make your first few hours a breeze, and speed up your progression.
These tips cover a wide range of topics, so new and returning players alike will find them very useful. Read on below for our round up, or watch the video. For all our other Dying Light 2 guides, hit the link to see the big page.
A big part of Dying Light 2, like the first game, is looting the items you find in your travels. Practically every room, box, closet and drawer in the game has something for you to pick up.
The main reason you’d want to do all of that looting is, of course, crafting. You use these materials to craft pretty much every item in the game, and to mod your own weapons. But you might also need what you pick up in quests and so on. There is no encumbrance in Dying Light 2, so you can pretty much just hoover up everything you come across, up to a (very generous) point.
The game is also smart enough to know when you already have the necessary items to complete a quest, so it helps to always stay topped up.
You don’t have to kill every zombie
As much as the combat in Dying Light 2 is enjoyable, it’s sometimes smart to just avoid zombies. For one, weapons have varying durability stats, so you won’t be able to just wail on every single enemy you see.
Depending on the level of the area you’re in, taking out a single zombie could take longer than you ideally want it, and these small skirmishes typically attract other nearby zombies and could end up being a big resource sink. This is especially true at night, where most zombies are out in the streets, and you get many new variants to boot.
This all means that you should engage them when you have/want to. This isn’t Left 4 Dead.
Parkour everywhere, and avoid the street-level
Picking up from the last tip; you might not even need to be on the same level as zombies. Parkour is a massive part of Dying Light 2, and you should make use of all the freedom the game gives you to traverse its vast world. If you combo your parkour moves right, you can stay on rooftops almost 100% of the time.
This helps you stay away from zombies, especially at night, where certain variants can call on other zombies and force you into a chase. It’s also a great way to survey the area and get the lay of the land. You can easily identify unguarded points of entry - if you’re looking to be stealthy – or pull off a sick drop attack on unsuspecting enemies below.
Basically, don’t go street-level unless you need to.
Block, parry and dodge
Combat in Dying Light 2 is pretty forgiving, and easy to understand. By default, you can block enemy attacks by simply holding the block button. If you time it right, you can pull off a parry, which stuns your opponent and lets you use them as a jump pad to kick some other unfortunate soul in the face.
You can also dodge to achieve a similar effect. A perfect dodge will even slow down time briefly so you can land a big move uninterrupted. Dodging does not cost you stamina, and you get two dodges to any direction before your character stumbles, so keep that in mind.
In general, your window to land a perfect block or dodge is fairly wide, so you should be doing it pretty consistently. It’s also worth knowing that you can cancel an attack animation if you dodge at the right time, which is fantastic in dealing with large groups of enemies.
Night time is a good time
Okay, night time is not actually a good time in Dying Light 2. Most zombies are out in the streets, it’s very dark (like, actually dark), your immunity is constantly draining, and there are tougher, more terrifying variants of zombies roaming about to boot.
But, night time also awards you with a lot more XP for parkour and combat. More than that, plenty of the game’s side and scavenging missions want you to attempt them at night, for the simple reason that the indoor areas where they take place will be a lot easier to explore with most of the undead roaming the streets.
It’s one of Dying Light 2’s most satisfying risk/reward loops, and you’re going to enjoy the game a lot more if you actually spend some time playing at night, so give it a try – it’s quite different from the first game.
If it ain't broke, you still can't fix it
Unlike the first Dying Light, the sequel does not actually let you repair weapons as they degrade in quality. You can’t reverse this process, but what you can do is mod your favourite weapons to delay that effect.
Every mod comes with a durability boost, listed on its description card. It might serve you better to go for a mod with higher durability rather than raw damage. For a more detailed look at weapon mods, repairing, and some of the best weapons, see this page.
The good news is that Dying Light 2 throws new weapons at you almost constantly.
You’ll get weapon rewards from quests, and out in the world. The riskiest night raids also hide some super powerful weapons, so it pays to look for them. If you do happen to pick up a lot of weapons you have no use for, you can easily sell them for some money at any vendor.
Check vendors often
Speaking of which, shops and vendors in Dying Light 2 regularly refresh their stock. As soon as you level up, go visit the nearest vendor to see what they have, because all of their stock will get an upgrade to match your current level. If you have some money from selling all those valuables, don’t be afraid to spend it on new weapons from the shops.
The same also goes for gear. You’ll actually be surprised how many good sets and relevant items you’ll find at vendors. The even better news is that their inventories vary, so if you’re on the lookout for a particular weapon, don’t be afraid to check a bunch of traders.
Stamina is more important than health
You can play Dying Light 2 as a tank, blocking every hit and just daring enemies to drain your massive health pool. But that’s not fun. What you should do instead is spend a lot of your inhibitor points on stamina. Having a vast stamina pool helps you climb up higher before getting tired, and saves you if you miss a jump or a hand hold, since you’ll have enough juice left to continue the climb.
Stamina also dictates how many swings you can throw before needing to back off, how long you can stay in the air on your glider, and pretty much all of the game’s advanced movement abilities. While HP will help you stay alive longer, stamina will get you out of trouble (and into trouble, if you like) more quickly and easily.
Don’t bother hunting for inhibitors
The only way to boost your stamina or HP in Dying Light 2 is, of course, by finding those inhibitors. You can spend a lot of time hunting for them, and following your pocket tracker to try and nail down where they actually are.
But you don’t have to. The normal story progression throws a fair few of them at you as it is. You’ll find them at GRE locations, and out in the world, and while it’s always good to go for them if you’re in the area, you can easily coast on what the main campaign grants you if you don’t want to spend any time looking for them.
Unlock as many safe houses as possible
Safe houses are all over the place in Dying Light 2. They’re not always houses, of course, sometimes it’s just a couple of UV lights and a bed on a roof somewhere. But all of them serve the same function: they let you sleep to pass the time, give you access to your stash – and more importantly, act as spawn points when you eventually fall to your death.
The more of these you have unlocked, the closer to where you died you’re going to respawn. Activating a safe house is only a matter of finding it, and turning on the generator. There’s a decent coverage of them across the game’s world, so take a moment to light a few of those bonfires, or UV lights in this case.
Military airdrops are super good, but hard to reach
One other thing you should definitely go for in Dying Light 2 are these military airdrops. They almost always come with a platforming challenge, as they’re typically sitting on a roof somewhere.
It will take you a little bit of time to wrap your head around the puzzle of actually getting to them, but it’s worth it. These airdrops carry a lot of higher-tier loot – the perfect reward after navigating the obstacle course that precedes them.
Once you reach the game’s second map, it will get harder to reach them, because of the sheer scale of those buildings – so don’t give up.
Firecrackers and molotovs are a killer combo
If you find yourself surrounded by a large horde of zombies, especially if you keep having to get out of their grab attacks, there is a way to efficiently clear a whole lot of them at once.
Using a firecracker – or bait – to lure them into an area, and following that up with a hot molotov once they’re all congregated is a fantastic way of getting rid of zombies. This is especially useful indoors, where you sometimes get swarmed by several of them and don’t always have somewhere to run.
Depending on the level of the molotov you have, it may not kill them all, so you will have to do a little clean-up afterwards to finish off whoever remains.
Prioritise gear with XP bonuses early on
A good way to go through the early skill grind quickly is to wear gear with XP bonuses on parkour or combat. If you stack a bunch of bonuses here and there, it all adds up, and you’ll be making a lot of progress through the early levels.
Though it might be tempting to go for gear with armour, or damage bonuses for melee, ranged etc., shooting for faster XP is actually more beneficial in the long run. As we discussed, the game gives you better and better gear and weapons the higher your level gets, so you’re really trying to get to that point as soon as you can – because it’s then that those damage bonuses are really going to matter.
You’re not safe when unlocking chests
This is a quick tip if you tend to stop and unlock every chest and car trunk you come across in Dying Light 2. You should clear the area around you before attempting the animation, especially if it’s a tricky lock to pick, or one of those where you have to hold the button for a while.
Basically, don’t leave your back exposed. This is not a problem for those playing co-op, of course, since you could just have a friend watch your back, but solo players need to be extra careful.
You can sacrifice lockpicks to skip the lockpicking animation
If you’re really in a hurry, and have an abundance of lockpicks, you can skip the lockpicking animation entirely in Dying Light 2. You simply hit your alternate interact button to sacrifice some lockpicks and access what's inside immediately.
The higher the quality of your lockpick (check the blueprint), the tougher locks you’ll be able to do this with. It’s quite a neat trick to save time, so always keep a stack of lockpicks on-hand. Catch our lockpicking guide for everything you need to know about it.
Keep an ear out for the bell rings
Time passes quickly in Dying Light 2’s days. If you’re too busy to check what time it actually is in-game, keep an ear out for the bells. You’ll hear bell rings at different stages of the day: noon, afternoon, night etc. The night one is the loudest, and comes with added sirens and suspenseful music.
Being close to night time is hard to miss, but all the other ones might be, and those bell rings will alert you of the different times of day as you mantle and slide your way through the game’s rooftops.