Skip to main content

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.

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.

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

Editors' Recommendations

Jesse Lennox
Jesse Lennox loves writing, games, and complaining about not having time to write and play games. He knows the names of more…
Gotham Knights character guide: Which hero should I pick?
All four Gotham Knights characters stand in front of Nightwing;'s logo.

While Gotham Knights is a superhero game set in Gotham City starring the Bat Family, you can't actually play as Batman. The caped crusader is dead, and it's up to players to save Gotham as one of Batman's four sidekicks: Nightwing, Reed Hood, Robin, or Batgirl. All four of them have very skills, Knighthood traversal abilities, and Momentum Abilities they can use to take on enemies they encounter while patrolling Gotham City. Players can switch characters anytime they want in the Belfry or go out on a multiplayer patrol with two of the same hero.

Still, you might be wondering which superhero best fits your playstyle. We've broken down the best ways to use and the best skills and momentum abilities of each hero so you can decide which one you'll use the most in your Gotham Knights adventure.

Read more
Dead Island 2 supports experimental Amazon Alexa voice controls
A screamer yells on a beach in Dead Island 2.

Dead Island 2 was the final announcement of Gamescom Opening Night Live, and it made a solid first impression with its cinematic and gameplay reveal that highlighted a zombified Los Angeles. But did you know Dead Island 2 also features Amazon Alexa voice controls?
Shortly after Dead Island 2's announcement, Amazon unveiled Alexa Game Control via a developer blog. With Alexa Game Control, players can say specific phrases to trigger in-game interactions. Supported phrases for Dead Island 2 span weapon swapping ("Swap to my best weapon."), navigating ("Where is the nearest workbench?"), and gaining the attention of enemies ("Hey, zombie!"). Alexa Game Control will work for North American players who speak English when it launches alongside Dead Island 2. 

Interestingly, Alexa Game Control won't require players to own an Echo device or say "Hey, Alexa" beforehand. Players can just say these phrases right into the headset they are using to play the game. Two caveats exist: The Verge confirmed that players will have to be connected to the internet, and Alexa Game Control's website says that players will have to connect their Amazon account to the game they're playing first. Dead Island 2 is the only game to support the technology, but Amazon has a form for interested developers to fill out. 
I can't help but think back to the Kinect days and how developers poorly added voice functionality to games like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. I then recalled my playthrough of Ryse: Son of Rome a couple of years back, where the Kinect voice-driven sections stood out like a sore thumb and could be circumvented with a button press. Voice-driven video game controls haven't worked out thus far, but Alexa Game Control is attempting to bring it back into fashion. I'm curious to see whether it will enhance Dead Island 2 or add nothing substantial to the experience.
We'll be able to see if Alexa Game Control lives up to its promises soon, as Dead Island 2 will be released for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S on February 3, 2023.

Read more
First Dead Island 2 trailer shows off unique character builds
Dead Island 2.

After years of delays, rumors, and an early leak, Dambuster Studios and Deep Silver finally revealed Dead Island 2 to the masses at Gamescom Opening Night Live 2022. The trailer reintroduced us to the game after eight years, highlighting all of the wild character builds players can create and defeat hordes of zombies with. The game also got a February 3, 2023, release date, so the wait for Dead Island 2 won't be much longer.

Like the original, Dead Island 2 takes place in a tourist-heavy location. However, now we've gone from a vacation island to the City of Angels, Los Angeles. The trailer showed how players can explore and kill zombies in the various locales that Los Angeles has to offer. These areas range from high-class Beverly Hills neighborhoods to the sandy shores of Venice Beach. Six playable characters can be used to explore these different locations, and each can be highly customized to fit anyone's liking. These characters, called "Slayers," have fully customizable abilities that can be accessed using a brand-new skill system.

Read more