Dead Island 2: Best Characters To Choose

Choosing the best slayer in the beginning is crucial, because you can't change the character mid-game.

Best dead island 2 characters to choose
Pick the best slayer out of the six options

Dead Island 2 allows you to pick from 6 different characters, each with different strengths and weaknesses. But make sure you pick the right one because you won’t be able to change your character mid-game.

Key takeaways

You can choose from six heroes or slayers with different attributes and innate skills. My list will help you understand what makes these characters special and which is best for your playstyle.

  1. Jacob:
    • A versatile character with a well-rounded set of abilities.
    • He boasts the highest peak health, making him durable in combat.
    • Former stockbroker turned stuntman with a dark-skinned appearance.
  2. Ryan:
    • Excellent defensive capabilities with the highest toughness.
    • A more defensive hero focused on survival.
    • Former male stripper with a muscular and buff physique.
  3. Amy:
    • A highly agile character with a background as a Paralympian.
    • Specializes in nimble movements but lacks toughness.
    • Wears unique outfits, including fish netting and a prosthetic right leg.
  4. Carla:
    • Strong and defensive character, ideal for beginners.
    • Former motorcycle stuntwoman with a muscular build.
    • Boasts the best resilience against damage from fire, shocks, and corrosives.
  5. Dani:
    • Aggressive and destructive character, excelling in crowd control.
    • Hails from County Cork, Ireland, with green hair and a determined personality.
    • It is best for attacking large groups of zombies with unique skills like Thunderstruck and Bloodlust.
  6. Bruno:
    • A stealthy character with a focus on critical damage.
    • Los Angeles resident with a cool and stylish appearance.
    • Low toughness and peak health but excels in dealing with quick, powerful blows.

Author’s Trust

Having explored each character extensively in Dead Island 2, I’ve distilled what makes a character excel and identified the ideal match for distinct playstyles.

– Shahzar Khalique


Best Overall Character.
Jacob, dead island 2 character, seating on a seat
Jacob from Dead Island 2 – Image captured by Gamesual

Why did I Choose Jacob?

The coolest broker-turned-stuntman you’ll ever see, Jacob is one of the best characters for beginners. He is a dark-skinned man with a short afro. Jacob used to be a stockbroker before his mother passed away. After this, he decided to follow his passion and become a stuntman.

The British national is a big fan of keeping his sunglasses on, which makes him look pretty badass. Jacob is the perfect ‘main character’ for a zombie apocalypse.

Jacob is the most versatile hero to choose from and has the highest peak health and amazing stamina. However, he recovers health quite slowly and doesn’t have the best defensive capabilities. So, you’ll need to stack on some food before fighting tougher enemies.

In addition, I think he has the worst resilience in the game. Remember that having a low resilience does not mean he is more vulnerable to zombies and blasts. But instead, it means that fire, shocks, and corrosives will do more damage to Jacob.


Jacob features the highest peak health in the game, which is one of the most important things. His health recovery isn’t excellent, so eating foods won’t recover as much health as you would want.

Health Recovery2
Critical Damage3
Peak Health5
Strongest AttributePeak Health
Weakest AttributeResilience

He has two innate abilities that are unique to him, including Ferel and Critical Gains.

Jacob, dead island 2 character
Jacob from Dead Island 2 – Image captured by Gamesual

Innate Skills

Feral – This ability gives you an additional damage boost when you’re attacking a bunch of zombies one after the other. Since multiple zombies will mostly attack you at a time, the Feral ability will be helpful if you attack quickly.

Critical Gains – We all want a character that performs better under tough situations. When Jacob has low stamina, he will have the ability to cause more critical damage. Critical hits will also bring back some of his stamina. The stamina will help you perform heavy attacks that do more damage.

  • Highest peak health.
  • The feral ability for damage boost.

  • Slow health recovery.
  • Weak resilience.


Best Defensive Character.
Ryan being scared. In dead island 2
Ryan in Dead Island 2 – Image captured by Gamesual

Why did I Choose Ryan?

Even though he has a somewhat ‘unorthodox’ past, he is a great and reliable choice. His broad and buff body tells us he often goes to the gym.


Let’s say the gym paid off in the zombie apocalypse. It has given Ryan amazing defensive abilities and toughness.

He has a decent amount of health and is the perfect hero if you want to stay alive for a long. His abilities also aid in recovering health quicker and surviving for longer.

It is important to note that Ryan has the highest Toughness rating, meaning that zombie hits and explosions will do less damage to him. However, low Agility means his walking speed and strafing will be slower.

Health Recovery3
Critical Damage2
Peak Health3
Strongest AttributeToughness
Weakest AttributeAgility

Adding to that, he has two innate abilities: Retaliation and Seesaw. These skills make Ryan amazing when fighting against groups of zombies.

Ryan from Dead Island 2 looking in the mirror
Ryan from Dead Island 2 – Image captured by Gamesual

Innate Skills

Retaliation – This perk will reward you for playing defensively. If you dodge or block an attack from the zombie, your Force will increase significantly. This will increase your chances of knocking over zombies after blocking the attack.

Seesaw – This innate skill will recover your health if you knock down a zombie. In addition to his toughness and resilience, this ability is quite helpful in tough situations. Killing Ryan just became even harder for the zombies.

  • Excellent defense
  • Good health recovery and stamina.

  • Lower critical damage.
  • Less suitable for aggressive play.


Best Agile Character.
choosing amy's character at the beginning
Amy from Dead Island 2 – Image captured by Gamesual

Why did I Choose Amy?

Amy is another one of the six characters that you can choose to play with. She was a Paralympian before the outbreak, but now she has found a new hobby: butchering zombies. Moreover, the American is a young woman with black hair and a unique outfit.


Amy shows her Paralympic traits in the game by being the most agile character. If you’re a person who loves to play a nimble character who can work her way around zombies, you may be considering picking Amy.

On the other hand, she has extremely poor toughness, a critical trait. That means she is more susceptible to damage from zombies and explosives. Amy is a bad character for beginners with her low peak health and poor toughness.

Health Recovery3
Critical Damage4
Peak Health2
Strongest AttributeAgility
Weakest AttributeToughness

Amy has two unique perks which help her regain her stamina and give her a damage boost. These include Relief Pitcher and Divide and Conquer.

Amy from dead island 2 running away from zombies
Amy from Dead Island 2 – Image captured by Gamesual

Innate Skills

Relief Pitcher – This ability allows Amy to regain some of her stamina when she throws a weapon at the enemy. This ability seems excellent; however, throwing a weapon at the zombie isn’t the most effective thing, most of the time.

Divide and Conquer – I highly recommend Amy for this skill as it will give your character a little damage boost when attacking secluded enemies. Having a damage boost in this game is fantastic, but you’ll rarely find yourself fighting isolated zombies.

  • Highly agile.
  • Relief Pitcher and Divide and Conquer skills.

  • Poor toughness.
  • Relief Pitcher effectiveness varies.


Best Tank Character in Dead Island 2.
choosing Carla as starting character
Carla in Dead Island 2 – Image captured by Gamesual

Why did I Choose Carla?

Before she got stuck in the middle of the zombie apocalypse, she was a motorcycle stuntwoman. Moreover, she has a muscular and strong build, which assures you she can protect herself. 


Carla is one of the more defensive heroes in Dead Island 2 and is pretty similar to Ryan in terms of attributes. Her character can take a lot of damage from zombies thanks to her toughness. Adding to that, her stamina and peak health are also pretty decent.

On the other hand, her critical damage stats are the worst among all other characters. But it is important to note that after playing the character, the difference between critical damage isn’t as significant as expected. Yes, her critical damage is inferior, but it isn’t a great enough reason to not pick her.

Besides, I found her resilience to being the best in the game. Meaning she can withstand shock, fire, and corrosive damage quite easily.

She does have no agility, but as discussed earlier, her sprint speed will be the same as everyone else. Agility only affects strafing and walking speed.

Health Recovery3
Critical Damage1
Peak Health3
Strongest AttributeResilience
Weakest AttributeCritical Damage

Carla is also given two innate abilities at the beginning: Mosh Pit and Dig Deep. These skills complement her defensive playstyle.

buff character named carla
Carla from Dead Island 2 – Image captured by Gamesual

Innate Skills

Dig Deep –It aids in killing zombies easier with a decent toughness boost when your health is pretty low. This means when you are weak, enemy attacks will do less damage than usual, increasing your chances of survival.

Mosh Pit – This unique skill is perfect for fighting many zombies together. Fighting a cluster of zombies gives you a minor damage increase to your melee attacks. And we have seen that these damage boosts are very effective.

  • Strong and defensive.
  • Best resilience.

  • Lowest critical damage.
  • Limited Agility.


Best Aggressive Character in Dead Island 2.
Dani a dead island 2 character
Dani from Dead Island 2 – Image captured by Gamesual

Why did I Choose Dani?

Dani is a middle-aged woman hailing from County Cork in Ireland. She was a retail assistant back in the day before she joined a roller derby team. Her character is determined to escape the apocalypse and meet up with her team so that they can go to their upcoming match.


If you pick Dani as your hero, fighting large crowds of zombies will be a walk in the park. Her attributes allow her to be more aggressive and destructive. Dani is the best character for attacking, thanks to her amazing max health, toughness, and stamina.

One of the major factors that I will recommend Dani for is her stamina, which is the best in the game, so she can constantly make heavy attacks. That and her unique skills make her the perfect hero for crowd control. On the other hand, her health recovery is the worst in the game.

Health Recovery1
Critical Damage3
Peak Health4
Strongest AttributeStamina
Weakest AttributeHealth Recovery
Dani , a Dead island 2 character
Dani from Dead Island 2 – Image captured by Gamesual

Innate Skills

Bloodlust – This skill allows Dani to regain her health whenever she kills multiple enemies quickly. It is important to note that this skill covers Dani’s lack of health recovery and makes her a hero with no weakness.

Thunderstruck – This innate skill allows a forceful explosion whenever she hits a heavy attack on a zombie. This explosion will knock back the surrounding zombies, giving you time to recover and recharge your heavy attack. 

  • Highest stamina.
  • Bloodlust skill compensates for poor recovery.

  • Poor health recovery.
  • Thunderstruck skill requires heavy attacks.


Best Stealth Character.
Bruno attributes and stats
Bruno from Dead Island 2 – Image captured by Gamesual

Why did I Choose Bruno?

Unlike most other characters, Bruno lived in Los Angeles before the outbreak. He is a smooth and cool-looking character who always has a plan. Before the outbreak, he used to pull off heists on scammers.


His life before the outbreak is reflected in his attributes. He is a stealthy character who likes to attack from behind. Unfortunately, this character is prone to take damage from zombies’ strikes. 

Health Recovery3
Critical Damage5
Peak Health1
Strongest AttributeCritical Damage
Weakest AttributePeak Health
Bruno standing in line
Bruno from Dead Island 2 – Image captured by Gamesual

Innate Skills 

Backstab – This innate skill gives Bruno a good damage boost while attacking zombies from behind. That can either be from sneaking up on them or hitting them and strafing behind them quickly.

Rapid Reprisal – This fantastic skill is a perfect combination with Backstab. Whenever you dodge or block an attack, your Agility will build up, and Heavy Attack will charge faster. This will aid you in maneuvering behind a zombie to provide the final blow right after you dodge his attack.

  • Stealthy with critical damage focus.
  • Backstab and Rapid Reprisal skills.

  • Low toughness and peak health.
  • Relies on Agility.

Which Character Is The Best?

I would consider Jacob the best character.</strong>

From my experience, I found that Dead Island 2 has a character suited to every play style. However, I believe Jacob is the best among all available characters. His well-balanced attributes, including impressive peak health and stamina, make him a reliable character for various situations. 

Jacob’s unique innate skills, such as “Feral” and “Critical Gains,” also contribute to his exceptional performance in combat scenarios. However, if you prefer a different playstyle, I recommend you review the other characters in the list and pick one that stands out.

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