Essential Tips and Tricks for Beginners in Dying Light 2

In the post-apocalyptic world of Dying Light 2, Aiden Caldwell sets out on a mission to find his sister in the zombie-infested city of Villedor. As a new player, you’ll need to master various mechanics to survive. Don’t worry, though! There are some familiar features, like the grappling hook, that will bring joy to long-time fans. Let’s dive into some essential tips and tricks to help you get started in Dying Light 2.

Explore the Vast City of Villedor

Map of Villedor from open sequence of Dying Light 2.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Villedor is a sprawling city with no loading screens or delays. Unlike Harran, you can freely traverse the entire map using the power of current-gen systems. As the game begins, Aiden finds himself in Old Villedor, where he’ll gain a deeper understanding of parkour mechanics and learn about the city’s shortcuts. Keep an eye out for ziplines and pulleys as they can be lifesavers in sticky situations.

Later on, you’ll receive a pair of binoculars from Hakon. Similar to the Haedir Towers in Middle Earth: Shadow of War, these binoculars allow you to spot points of interest. They shrink the crosshairs when you look around, marking important locations on your map. Utilize them from high vantage points, like windmills, to discover windmills themselves, GRE Zones, and other valuable places worth exploring. Assigning captured windmills to factions will come into play later, so don’t worry about it initially.

While exploring, you’ll encounter military convoys promising unique-tier weapons, gear, and accessories. However, we advise against wasting time on them. These convoys are swarming with infected, and the loot rarely lives up to the effort. Instead, use the convoys as opportunities to grind Uncommon Infected Trophies, which can be picked up off dead Virals. You’ll need these trophies to level up accessories at the craftmaster.

Unlock Safe Zones for Nighttime Survival

Tips on Nighttime exploration and Howlers in Dying Light 2.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Safe zones are crucial for surviving the dangerous nights in Dying Light 2, especially in the early stages of the game. Unlike the first installment, this game features an Immunity Meter, which counts down whenever you step out of UV light. While your immunity meter increases as you level up, it can still be a challenge to manage in the early game. Prioritize unlocking safe zones to secure your survival.

Safe zones extend beyond windmills and include any location with a source of UV light. Some act as sanctuaries where Aiden can sleep for the night, while others are merely UV stations. When exploring at night, the closest UV light source will appear on your compass, usually within 100 meters. Make these light sources your starting points when embarking on night activities such as Dark Hollows and Forsaken Stores. Return to them periodically for safety before branching further into the city.

Beware of Howlers

During nighttime exploration in Villedor, you won’t encounter Volatile zombies like in Harran. However, you’ll need to be cautious of Howlers. These zombies are marked by a distinctive screaming zombie head symbol. Once they spot you, they’ll emit a loud screech that initiates a chase. Aiden must reach a UV light source to put an end to the pursuit with the zombies in close pursuit. Keep in mind that Howlers don’t necessarily have to complete their scream to alert nearby zombies. The chase begins as soon as their head icon changes from yellow to red.

While it is possible to sneak up on Howlers, we recommend avoiding them altogether. They only drop uncommon zombie trophies, which can be obtained from other sources more easily. Moreover, looting a dead Howler during a chase is often impractical. Instead, consider investing in the Air Kick combat perk, which allows you to stun Howlers from above and attack them with your weapon. By avoiding Howlers, you can focus on other aspects of the game without unnecessary risks.

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Engage in Various Activities

As you explore the world of Dying Light 2, you’ll hear a chime indicating nearby locations or activities. These activities are marked by blue squares and can take various forms. Sometimes you’ll need to fend off bandits surrounding a chest, other times you’ll have to rescue a prisoner or pursue a thief. Engaging in these activities presents an excellent opportunity to grind Immunity boosters and XP in the early stages of the game. Additionally, you’ll earn valuable rewards based on the specific event.

One particularly enjoyable activity is catching thieves. You’ll encounter a lone enemy looting a body, and your task is to chase them down and defeat them. Throwing knives can be useful in this situation, as they can temporarily immobilize the thieves, giving you a chance to close the gap and take them out. Thieves usually carry valuable items that can be sold to merchants. If you manage to reach the body they were looting, you can find additional rewards for yourself. Remember, Aiden doesn’t have to be the most morally upright person in Villedor!

When you come across a group of bandits surrounding a prisoner, try freeing the prisoner before engaging in combat. You might need to shoot an arrow or throw a knife to cut their bindings, but it’s worth the effort. Freeing the prisoner will make it easier to deal with the remaining bandits.

If you encounter an enemy with a siren, prioritize eliminating them first. Sounding the alarm will attract more bandits to the scene. Once all the bandits have been taken care of, the survivor will reward you with an immunity booster. Engaging in these activities frequently will provide you with a stockpile of immunity boosters, making nighttime exploration a breeze.

Occasionally, you’ll stumble upon bandits guarding a chest or find a chest unguarded. Be cautious when approaching a chest by itself, as it may be a trap. Prepare yourself for a fight against multiple bandits at once. Keep in mind that the rewards from these activities might not be as valuable as others, but the XP boost is still worthwhile. Also, keep an eye out for environmental weapons, such as spears and spike traps. Spears inflict significant damage against all enemy types and can even be carried as equipped weapons. Just be aware that you’ll drop your spear if you switch weapons or loot something. Spike traps provide instant kills when enemies come into contact with them.

Master the Art of Parrying

Fighting human enemies in Dying Light 2 requires more skill than in the previous game. Until you unlock helpful combat perks like the Drop Kick and Grapple, parrying will be essential for survival. To parry, wait for the enemy to launch a normal attack, then press the block button (L1 on PS5) just before their strike connects. If you’ve acquired the Perfect Parry combat skill, a successful parry will slow down the enemy, allowing you to either vault kick another enemy or perform a powerful attack.

You can chain vault kicks when facing multiple enemies, but keep in mind that this may not always be the most effective strategy. Instead, follow up a vault kick with a few melee attacks against the same enemy. Remember, you can also parry attacks from zombies, although their timing is more challenging to master.

Note that certain attacks cannot be parried. If an enemy’s health bar lights up red during their attack, you’ll need to dodge out of the way. Larger enemies cannot be parried either, but they have slow and predictable attacks. Dodge behind them to get some hits in before they swing again. Be cautious, as large human enemies and Demolisher zombies have deceptive attack ranges. You might think you’re out of their reach, but that’s not the case. If they wind up for an attack, we recommend dodging backward twice to create sufficient distance.

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Maximize the Use of Inhibitors

Tips for using Inhibitors in Dying Light 2.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Inhibitors play a critical role in leveling up in Dying Light 2. When you find three inhibitors, either cumulatively or simultaneously, you can increase Aiden’s overall HP or stamina. We recommend focusing on stamina for the first few levels and then investing subsequent inhibitors into HP. Why? Because death in Dying Light 2 carries minimal consequences. You’ll respawn close to your objective, and the XP loss is minimal.

Leveling up either HP or stamina unlocks more perks. Combat perks tend to be more beneficial, so leveling up HP allows access to abilities like Head Stomp and Dropkick. While there are parkour perks available, such as Dart, Stealth Movement, and Tic Tac, other parkour perks like Firm Grip and Active/Safe Landing provide passive benefits.

Your GRE key will notify you when inhibitors are in close proximity. Most GRE Inhibitor containers are hidden in Dark Zones, requiring you to return at night. While you can stumble upon inhibitors through general exploration, these usually contain only one inhibitor (you need three to level up). Occasionally, you may find inhibitors locked in safes, with the safe combinations located nearby. Follow your GRE key whenever it detects a container. If it’s not within a Dark Zone or near a GRE Anomaly, try to find it before moving on.

Progress to the ‘Water Tower’ Main Quest

Before immersing yourself in hours of exploration and side quests, it’s advisable to focus on the main campaign until you reach and complete the mission called “Water Tower.” We won’t spoil any details, but once you’ve successfully completed this quest, you’ll unlock faction assignments. Assigning districts of Villedor to either the Survivors or Peacekeepers (PK) grants you access to specific environmental perks associated with each faction. Survivors offer more parkour and navigational perks, while PK provides combat-focused accessories. To assign a district, you’ll need to capture a Water Tower or Electrical Station, after which the game will prompt you to assign it to a faction.

The choice of faction depends on your preferred playstyle. If you enjoy ziplines and parkour accessories, allocate districts to the Survivors. If you prefer more assistance in dealing with infected enemies, assign the districts to the PK.

Smartly Manage Your Weapon Arsenal

A full inventory of weapons in Dying Light 2.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Don’t become too attached to specific weapons in Dying Light 2, especially in the early stages. Weapons degrade over time, and most of them offer similar performance. The primary distinction lies between two-handed and one-handed weapons, with one-handed weapons being our preferred choice. Two-handed weapons lack speed, and you may find yourself overwhelmed by enemies. On the other hand, one-handed weapons are agile and deal sufficient damage. Additionally, parkour moves and combat perks that unlock as you level up contribute significantly to your damage output.

Environmental weapons provide the best options in Dying Light 2. These include spike traps, exploding gas cans, and spears scattered throughout Villedor. Exploit gravity by kicking enemies off rooftops, which often proves more effective than engaging in direct combat.

When it comes to upgrading your weapons, avoid wasting resources on low-level gear. Save your valuable resources for higher-level weapons (levels three, four, and five) and use them sparingly during main quest missions, GRE Anomalies, and encounters with special infected. Aiden has a generous inventory capacity, allowing him to carry up to 24 weapons at once.

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Craft Your Way to Success

Crafting is a crucial aspect of survival in Dying Light 2. Throwing knives, for example, are highly versatile accessories that can be crafted easily using scrap and rags. They interrupt enemy attacks, blow up gas cans, and swiftly dispatch enemies by tapping the Left Trigger. Ranged weapons in Dying Light 2 have a friendly lock-on/aim assist, so don’t overthink your shots. Throwing knives lose their value once you unlock more potent ranged weapons like bows and crossbows. Arrows and bolts require scrap for crafting and prove more effective overall.

Other blueprints you’ll encounter include medicine, lockpicks, and various boosters that help Aiden survive the infested streets of Villedor. Keep an eye out for rooftop gardens filled with honey and chamomile. These ingredients are essential for crafting medicine. You can recognize rooftop gardens by the tall yellow trees sprouting from them. These gardens also offer other crafting materials and weapons that respawn over time.

Explore Alternate Healing Options

Aiden looking for a safe zone in Dying Light 2.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

In addition to medicine, Aiden has multiple methods of healing at his disposal. One of the most beneficial options is finding campfires, indicated by an open book icon on the compass. Simply sit down at a campfire, enjoy a short story or song, and watch as Aiden regains full health. Survivors construct these campfires throughout Villedor, providing an excellent alternative to using medicine. It takes approximately one minute to recover your health, especially if you’ve been leveling up HP with inhibitors. This is an ideal time to stretch your legs, grab a snack, or check your phone.

Resting in any safe zone also restores your health. Since you can freely cycle between day and night, there’s no reason to venture out with anything less than full health. In fact, we found resting and using campfires to be our primary sources of HP recovery, rarely needing to use medicine. Remember, death in Dying Light 2 is not overly punitive. Perhaps the rags you save can be put to better use, such as creating Molotov Cocktails?

Understand Armor Mechanics

Dying Light 2 features four distinct armor classes: Tank, Brawler, Ranger, and Medic. Tanks offer greater damage resistance and excel when using two-handed weapons, while Brawlers perform better with one-handed weapons. Ranger armor enhances ranged attacks and stamina, while Medic armor boosts healing abilities.

To maximize the benefits of armor, stick to a single class or a combination of two classes. Only by wearing a complete set from one class or a mixed set from two classes can you fully experience the corresponding boosts. Even artifact gear, the highest tier of armor, only provides up to a 10% boost in different areas. If you desire a significant increase in one-handed weapon damage, for example, you’ll need to wear a complete set of Brawler armor.

In the image provided, we are wearing a combination of four Brawler pieces and two Ranger pieces. This combination results in approximately a 21% increase in one-handed weapon damage, among other perks. Ideally, we would complete the Brawler set with a shirt and shoes. However, for now, the Ranger pieces complement our playstyle, as we enjoy using throwing knives and bows.

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