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Which character should you pick in Dead Island 2?

After a brief introductory sequence showing how each of the playable characters, referred to as Slayers in Dead Island 2, end up on the doomed evacuation plane at the start of the game, you are forced to pick who you will play as. If you hadn’t played the first game — and considering it came out over 10 years ago we wouldn’t blame you if you hadn’t — then you may not know that your choice of character is more than just cosmetic. Each of the six playable Slayers not only starts off with its own stat distribution from the others but with two ability cards as well. In a narrative sense, almost nothing is different depending on who you pick, so this decision all comes down to choosing the right character for how you prefer to play. Don’t let the excitement of bashing in some zombie heads rush your decision and first make sure you understand just how important this choice is in Dead Island 2.

Can you change characters in Dead Island 2?

Ryan's character bio card.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

This is the main reason your character choice is so important. In Dead Island 2, once you choose a Slayer, you’re locked in for the duration of the game. If you want to try out a different character, you will need to start the game over from scratch, so unless you’re okay with undoing all your progress, or want to do a second playthrough, give this decision a good deal of thought so you don’t have any regrets.

Every character’s stats and skills

Amy making the shush guesture.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

There are six playable Slayers in Dead Island 2, so we’ll run through each one at a time to go over their stats (ranked on a scale of 1 to 5), Innate Skills, and what kind of player they would be best suited for.


Amy is a speed-focused Slayer with a focus on dealing high damage to single targets, as well as using thrown weapons. She’s very squishy, so if you like playing ranged and dancing around your enemies, Amy is a good pick.

Her first Innate Skill is Relief Pitcher, which restores a portion of her stamina when you hit a zombie with a thrown weapon. Her second is Divide and Conquer, which gives a small boost to her overall damage when fighting a lone zombie. Here’s how her stats look:

  • Toughness — 1/5
  • Stamina — 3/5
  • Health Recovery — 3/5
  • Critical Damage — 4/5
  • Agility — 5/5
  • Peak Health — 2/5
  • Resilience — 3/5


Similar to Amy, Bruno can’t take a ton of abuse but can melt away a zombie’s health with critical strikes. Sneak up from behind to seriously do some damage thanks to his Backstab skill. Rapid Repraisal gives him a boost to both his agility and heavy attacks if you pull off a block or dodge. In terms of stats, here’s how his are broken down:

  • Toughness — 2/5
  • Stamina — 3/5
  • Health Recovery — 3/5
  • Critical Damage — 5/5
  • Agility — 4/5
  • Peak Health — 1/5
  • Resilience — 3/5


Carla is in many ways the opposite of Amy. Her Resilience is her strongest stat, which reduces damage from all elemental effects, plus has great toughness as well. Her Mosh Pit skill gives her a damage boost when fighting multiple zombies at once, and Dig Deep boosts her Toughness when low on health, making her quite an effective tank. Check out her stats here:

  • Toughness — 4/5
  • Stamina — 3/5
  • Health Recovery — 3/5
  • Critical Damage — 1/5
  • Agility — 2/5
  • Peak Health — 3/5
  • Resilience — 5/5


Dani’s pitiful health recovery is offset by her decent toughness, but mostly her Bloodlust ability. If you go on a killing spree, she will regain health as you kill, making her a very aggressive Slayer. Thunderstruck adds to this by adding an explosion to all of her heavy attacks, which you will do often with her high stamina. Speaking of stats, here they are:

  • Toughness — 3/5
  • Stamina — 5/5
  • Health Recovery — 1/5
  • Critical Damage — 3/5
  • Agility — 3/5
  • Peak Health — 4/5
  • Resilience — 2/5


This could be the most well-rounded character in Dead Island 2. His stats are fairly balanced, with the exception of the best Peak Health and lowest Resilience. For Innate Skills, Feral allows Jacob to stack damage boosts when landing multiple hits in a row, while Critical Gains boost any crit damage he deals while low on Stamina. He’s a great choice if you want a more “standard” play experience:

  • Toughness — 3/5
  • Stamina — 4/5
  • Health Recovery — 2/5
  • Critical Damage — 3/5
  • Agility — 3/5
  • Peak Health — 5/5
  • Resilience — 1/5


Last but not least, we come to Ryan, the toughest of the six Slayers. He’s best suited to players who want to get into the fray with heavy weapons and swing away without much fear of dying. Retaliation helps by giving him a force boost after a block or dodge, which pairs perfectly with Seesaw which restores some health every time you knock down a zombie. Take a look at his stats below:

  • Toughness — 5/5
  • Stamina — 3/5
  • Health Recovery — 3/5
  • Critical Damage — 2/5
  • Agility — 1/5
  • Peak Health — 3/5
  • Resilience — 4/5

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