Dying Light 2 Stay Human - Seven Tips to Make You a Zombie-Killing Badass

Dying Light 2 Stay Human - Seven Tips to Make You a Zombie-Killing Badass

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Dan Webb

The eagerly anticipated Dying Light 2 Stay Human is just mere hours away from release, and with all this talk about branching narratives, verticality, and factions, you may have forgotten that Dying Light 2 is all about slaying masses of Infected and leaping from rooftop to rooftop to your heart’s content. If you want to tackle the hardest difficulty – or even if you need some tips on the game’s other difficulties – fear not, we have you covered with some tips on the more nuanced RPG mechanics, crafting elements, and so forth. Ladies and gents, here are seven tips to make you a pro at Dying Light 2, and slay those Infected hordes with ease! Buckle up, folks, it’s time to get those running shoes on. 

1. On the Level

First things first - with Dying Light 2, developer Techland has sought to add some very welcome depth to its freerunning zombie-mashing title. That’s right, folks, the Polish studio has implemented some light RPG mechanics, and, if you lean into them, they can be very helpful the further you get into the game, especially on the harder difficulties.

The most helpful heads-up to go into Dying Light 2 with, is that you level up really, really slowly. After 35-hours we were only at level 5, so that should give you some idea of how slowly levelling up is. This means that items, like weapons (more on that shortly) and clothing, are more efficient and with you for a much longer time. So, if, at the nearest trader, you see a nice bit of headgear that has great stats, don’t feel guilty about buying it, especially with money not being in short supply and apparel being with you for more than a few hours.

That said, in Dying Light 2 each item now has build stats attached to it, so depending on your playstyle, it’s worth taking that into account. For instance, if you want to build a parkour specialist, look for gear that reflects that playstyle. And remember, just because a gear has a higher level, it doesn’t always mean that it’s better. We rocked level 2 bits of gear when we were level 4, because the stats were that good. The rarity may sometimes be misleading as well. We often rocked a lower level rarity as the item was actually better than it’s rarer counterpart. That said, the rarer the item, the more stat boosts it will have, but pay attention to how they strengthen your specific style. For instance, improved damage on ranged weapons is no good if you’re using a melee-only build.

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One bit of advice, though - do try and find pieces of gear with XP boosts for parkour and combat, because those two stats determine how quickly you level up, and Dying Light 2 is pretty much all about the parkour and combat.

That means, because of how levelling up works, running around and fighting will often prove useful, even if you may just be messing around and enjoying the sandbox - everything you do matters. We do encourage instead of running from A to B for a quest, you get stylish and take some crazy parkour routes on the way - it’ll pay off in the long-term.

Plus, we really should stress this (although it’s kind of obvious): due to the slow levelling-up process it’s unwise to step into an area with a level much higher than your current standing – unless you’re feeling particularly masochistic and/or confident!

Before we move on, perhaps the most important aspect of Dying Light 2, is looking out for the game’s Inhibitors: injectable needles which improve either your health or your stamina. It’s your choice which of the two you invest your Inhibitors into (you need to use three Inhibitors for each upgrade), although we highly recommend it all going into stamina for the first 10-20 hours, as there’s nothing more frustrating than running out of stamina halfway up a tall building. So, if you hear that GRE Access Key beeping, seek out those Inhibitors ASAP. More stamina means you can get to the higher points quicker too, and the rewards, like the Military Air Drops, which are on top of tall structures, can be accessed sooner.

2. Easy Come, Easy Go

It’s probably worth saying, but this is a Dying Light game, so if you’re not accustomed to the franchise, weapon degradation is just as massive in Dying Light 2 as it was in the original. So much so, that you should definitely not get attached to any weapons. And I mean any - even those super rare ‘Artefact’ ones! Weapons are plentiful, however, and even the super-common grey weapons can be pretty decent, provided you’re using the right weapon against the right enemies – a level 4 weapon versus a level 4 enemy, for instance.

While there is no weapon reparation per se, mods actually play a massive role in keeping your favourite weapons going longer, as every mod you attach to a weapon will repair its durability by 50. So, let’s say you have an Artefact Long Axe that you really like (Artefact is basically Dying Light 2’s word for legendary). If its durability is 210 and it has three mod slots, then when the durability drops to, say, 150, add a mod. Then when it drops again, add another. And again, then add another. This means that thanks to weapon mods, your trusty three-slot weapon effectively has a durability of 360, which is pretty massive. We’ll talk more about the mod blueprints shortly, but that’s a surefire way to get the most out of weapons, and in truth, most unique and rare weapons have two slots, so that’s an extra 100 durability for almost every weapon. With the rest of the weapons you pick up that aren’t as good as what you’re using, definitely sell them – along with your valuables – and you’ll be cash-rich in no time whatsoever!

The only weapon that is not throwaway, however, is the weapon you get at the end of the main story mission, ‘Let’s Waltz’ as a mission bonus - Dying Light 2’s bow. While the bow on its own isn’t all too powerful in the early game, if you focus on a few of the parkour perks, further down the skill tree - namely Precise Aim, Power Shot, and Parkour Shot - and combine them with fire arrows, shock arrows, and so on, it can actually become a fantastic addition to your armoury. That said, once you get to the second area, and your stamina is high enough, it’s worth heading to the Military Drop THB-V3P in the north of the Lower Dam Ayre region, as there’s an Epic Bow just to the right of it, which does 100 damage, instead of the Pipe Bow’s 30! It’s a game-changer that early on and can make every boss encounter a piece of cake if you line up those headshots. It’s an animal! Also, keep an eye out when you visit traders from then on, to see if a better version turns up. 

3. The Blueprint for Success

Perhaps the most important aspect of Dying Light 2, when it comes to making the game easier – and in our opinions, far more fun – are the previously-alluded-to blueprints, which tie-in to the game’s crafting system. Right off the bat, you’re going to want to slap all your resources into upgrading your medicine blueprint, which is incredibly weak early on – and takes an all-too-slow four seconds to use! By upgrading this, not only does it enhance its effectiveness in terms of how much it heals, but it also reduces the time to heal, which is absolutely key to mastering Dying Light 2. Then, what you choose to upgrade is up to you. Whether that’s your Molotovs, which are remarkably powerful against the masses; or weapon mods – which make every encounter that much easier. Regardless of personal preference, you should definitely invest in at least one blueprint for a tip and a shaft mod at the very minimum, and then a grip finally, for the three slot weapons, although these are fairly rare).

When it comes to upgrading blueprints, it’s not all that straightforward, as it’s not just money and some honey you need to upgrade them - you actually need ‘Infected Trophies’, which come in various forms of rarity and are received by looting certain types of Infected. Farming these can be very worthwhile!

Infected Trophies are not just dropped by the trickier enemies, like Howlers and Bolters, but there are also more standard Infected named ‘Virals’, which move slightly faster than your traditional Infected, who also drop them too. You’ll know by the way they sprint at you and scream, so while you might be tempted to loot every fetid corpse, that’s not absolutely necessary… unless you want to, of course.

Let’s talk about farming strategies next. There are a couple we found particularly effective. 1. The day time strategy: if you pick up, ignite and throw a red gas canister (found around the open world) in the daytime, this will generally attract a few Virals, which you can take out swiftly. So, if you find a group of three canisters, it’s worth stopping to attract a group – one group at a time, may I add. And then there’s strategy number 2: the night-time strategy, whereby you initiate a chase, and then stand on a rooftop and take out any Infected that climb up. Any Infected able to climb all the way up will have a trophy on them, so loot their body afterwards and you’ll have a load of severed heads in your backpack in no time at all.

You can also look out for the blue diamond ‘Encounter’ objectives that pop-up randomly (especially at night), as sometimes it can lead to a special infected like a Bolter you can kill, which always has a trophy on its body. The only issue you may have upgrading blueprints in the later stages is with the ‘Unique’ trophies which are required to upgrade higher level blueprints; these can be looted from Infected bosses during the main story, GRE Anomaly areas at night, or anywhere a Charger, Goon, Demolisher, or Volatile spawn.

4. Be Resourceful 

We’ve talked about blueprints, sure, but once you’ve bought and upgraded the blueprint, you still need to craft the damn things. Alas, this is where the obsessive looters will surely shine. From the minute you start the game, you’re going to want to buy the rare (blue) and uncommon (green) resources every time you are in the vicinity of a trader. For starters, they’re cheap as chips, but they will come in handy later on. In fact, if you’re in the late game and are struggling for resources, you can fast-travel between the Bazaar and the Central Loop and the vendor will have restocked - and have new weapons and gear - by the time you get back.

Money is rarely an issue in Dying Light 2, especially if you adopt the following strategy: horde and loot every weapon you come across; sell every weapon below your current level, and all green and grey rarity weapons; then, use that money to buy a moddable weapon. And, as mentioned previously, mod said weapon when its durability is down by 50, and then do the same with the second mod, ensuring your weapon will last for ages. In the meantime, you’ll collect enough weapons to sell to buy a new one, so you can repeat the process. In truth, you probably won’t even need to buy a moddable weapon when you’re more than a few hours in, as you’ll have loads of them anyway. This is a surefire way to be rolling in coin, with little effort. 

Let’s talk about specific loot tips. Even if you’re buying the rare and uncommon items like we told you to, there’s a chance you’ll need even more. Especially camomile and honey, which are needed to craft medicine. These can be found on rooftops, as indicated by pointy yellowy-orange trees. There you’ll often find UV Shroomz, a bird house with feathers (for crafting arrows when you get a bow), and also a weapon – that you can sell or use. These locations are perhaps the most important of all. You can find other rare materials at Dark Hollows/Forsaken Stores, more on those shortly. By far the most valuable pieces of loot, though, are alcohol (for Molotovs), oxidizers (for certain weapon mods), and feathers (for arrows), so keep an eye out for those.

A few final points, here: 1. Use your ‘Survivor Sense’ (by clicking and holding in the right analogue stick) to see what’s lootable in the environment; 2. Save your Military Medkits for the end of the game (trust us); 3. Anything you loot, like an Inhibitor container or a locked chest, will actually respawn loot in it (not Inhibitors themselves, though) if you revisit it at a later date, which can help improve your gear, weapons or give you plenty to sell later on - your call. And 4. Don’t spend too long looking for Inhibitors early-game, as later on, you can activate antennas that place their locations on the map. If you do hear the audio cue and see the distance marker in the bottom left corner of the screen, however, it’s worth taking the time to seek them out. Oh, and don’t, I repeat, don’t, forget to sell those valuables (holding triangle while in the shop), you’ll amass quite a few of them while you’re out in the open-world, and they’re only good for selling. Do remember though, folks, that the higher the difficulty, the scarcer the resources! So if you’re playing on the highest difficulty, you need to be extra diligent!

5. Night Fever

In the original Dying Light, as soon as the sun went down, that was usually our cue to go and get some much-needed shut-eye! Alas, not anymore, folks! In Dying Light 2 nighttime is now your time to shine, because out in the much more dangerous, pitch dark open-world are a ton of goodies that will help you out not just in the short-term, but also in the long-term.

The aforementioned Dark Hollows and Forsaken Stores are basically internal locations teeming with Infected during the day, but at night, they’re relatively empty and full of goodies (which seemingly respawn on revisits, too!). The two most worthwhile locations to visit are the GRE Quarantine areas and the GRE Anomaly sites, which are usually home to Inhibitors galore. And Inhibitors are the key to unlocking more skills, and increasing both your stamina and health, which is definitely not going to hurt your chances of survival in the game’s open world. The GRE Anomaly zones can actually be tricky-ish boss fights, so make sure you’re tooled to the nines before you wade into one of those. As soon as you get the good bow we referred to earlier, though, and some fancy special arrow types, these can be a cakewalk.

If you want to unlock fast-travel, which you can upon reaching the second part of the city, you’ll want to clear out some Metro Stations at night (others are inhabited by Renegades and can be tackled at any time of the day), which can come in very handy when things start to open up a lot more, especially getting around with ease at night to maximise the night time hours.

Lastly, on the subject of night, there is one mechanic you kind of have to master before you fully get to grips with surviving at night, and that’s the Immunity meter, which determines how long you’re able to survive out in the dark. This timer can be extended naturally with Inhibitors, as you level up your stamina and health, and can be restored with the aforementioned UV Shroomz and Immunity Boosters, the latter of which you can also craft. Any UV lights will fully restore the meter, so unlock as many outposts as you can, whether that’s a Windmill or a Nightrunner Hideout, so you have plenty of options between looting runs for places to top up your Immunity without using items. By the way, nighttime starts around 7.30pm (you’ll hear a warning alarm) as the sun goes down, and darkness falls by 8pm, then lasts until 8am when the sun rises once more. And guess what? Whatever you do late at night gets a night time bonus, as well! It’s win-win!

6. Faction Reaction

Right, not so much a “DO THIS OR FAIL” tip, this, for one main reason: and that’s that you should probably play Dying Light 2 how you want during your first time through, because those choices you make have wide and lasting complications and consequences, and it feels odd choosing a faction just for its rewards. In truth, while the rewards are great, they’re not going to screw you over if you don’t have them. That said, in order to unlock the ‘Boot Licker’ achievement or trophy, you do need to pick a side from the off and stick with them throughout everything. Which, let’s be honest, isn’t how the fate of The City should be decided. It’s a pretty shitty trophy if you ask us.

If you’re asking us which way to go, purely from a rewards standpoint, well, honestly, there’s only one choice here: you’ve got to back those Peacekeepers. Sure, while the Survivor parkour rewards are fantastic, the actual Peacekeeper rewards can be game-changing, especially when taking on the Infected hordes. The crossbow pack at level 4 can be devastating, and the electrical traps, the car bombs, the Molotov lanterns and more, can actually help you out when things get sticky. The Survivors’ rewards are going to help you get around quicker and more safely, sure, but you don’t really need any of it once you’ve gained access to the game’s paraglider. It’s worth siding with the PKs just for the crossbow, in truth. That thing is badass!

7. When in Doubt, RUN!

And last, but by no means least, sometimes, it’s okay to run away from an encounter, whether it’s against the Infected or the Renegades. You can’t kill everyone. Well, I mean you can try, but occasionally, it can be a fruitless exercise. If you’ve done as we said and invested in increasing your stamina first, then you’ll have a ton of parkour skills you can use to get away. Investing in the Far Jump and Double Jump are no-brainers if you want to get around the city quickly.

Due to the verticality of Dying Light 2, it’s also likely you’ll get killed more often than not by fall damage, so, invest in Active Landing and Safe Landing as soon as you can, and if you’re making a huge jump to ground level, if you can land on a car (or even a bus), trash bags, or mattresses, those will also break your fall. 

And remember, if you do get stuck in an impossible situation, look for things in the environment to help you out, whether that’s oil spills, gas canisters, throwable spears left in impaled survivors on the floor, or our favourite, environmental spikes, which if you can kick a zombie onto, results in an instakill. Same goes for Renegades, as well. And if all else fails, grab a mate to join you in co-op, and just do it together!

So there you have it, folks, seven tips to make you a pro at Dying Light 2 Stay Human, and to tackle the open world with relative ease. You can check out our Dying Light 2 Stay Human review here and obligatory comparison video here.

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