Dead Island 2 perks and mods explained

Dead Island 2 perks
(Image credit: Deep Silver)

Dead Island 2 perks and mods are used to apply various elemental effects and buffs to your zombie-slaying tools, which can really help you slice your way through the shambling hordes you'll encounter all over Hell-A. When you combine them in the right way they can elevate your average Dead Island 2 weapons into fearsome death-delivering devices, so it's worth taking the time to understand how different add-ons function and which ones provide the greatest benefits. To help with that, I've got details on where to find new perks and mods, explained how these two complementary systems work, and selected some of the best perks in Dead Island 2 to steer you in the right direction.

How to get new Dead Island 2 perks and mods

Finding new Dead Island 2 perks and mods via blueprints

(Image credit: Deep Silver)

The most obvious way to get new Dead Island 2 perks and mods is to find the blueprint collectibles scattered all over each area, especially on and around workbenches, which you simply interact with to pick up and add to your crafting repertoire. You can also purchase blueprints from Traders, receive them as rewards for completing quests, and occasionally they'll be added when you defeat certain enemies. Keep checking the Blueprints section under Collectibles in the menu, to see what recent additions you've gathered up.

How do Dead Island 2 mods work?

A list of Dead Island 2 mods

(Image credit: Deep Silver)

Applying Dead Island 2 mods to weapons gives them one of six statuses, inflicting a specific type of elemental damage on zombies you attack or boosting certain attributes for your Slayer. Each of these mods is available in either Melee or Ranged form, dictating the type of weapon they can be applied to, and in Uncommon, Rare, or Superior quality which provides a minor, moderate, or major boost to damage and other attributes if mentioned. The full details are:

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Weapon ModEffect
Cremator modInflicts Fire Damage, successive hits apply Ignited effect.
Electrocutor modInflicts Shock Damage, successive hits apply Electrified effect.
Impactor modBoosts Physical Damage and Force, successive hits apply Traumatized effect. Hitting traumatized or vulnerable zombie sends it flying to deal damage.
Liquidator modInflicts Caustic Damage, successive hits apply Melting effect.
Mutilator modBoosts Physical Damage, successive hits apply Weakened effect. Hitting weakened zombie regains stamina.
Puncturator modInflicts Bleed Damage, successive hits apply Bleeding effect.

What are the best Dead Island 2 perks?

Dead Island 2 perks

(Image credit: Deep Silver)

Dead Island 2 perks can be applied to weapons to boost particular attributes, though earlier ones you acquire will reduce a different attribute at the same time to create a trade-off. Initially you'll fabricate these using standard parts, but once you progress past a certain point in the main story you'll also unlock Autophage perks fabricated with zombie parts harvested from fallen enemies. Don't forget to refer to the abilities of your Dead Island 2 character and the Dead Island 2 skill cards you have equipped to help determine which mods will benefit you the most.

The best Dead Island 2 perks we've discovered are the following, which provide a solid mix of Health regeneration, increased damage, and explosive impacts:

  • Bloodthirsty - moderate Damage boost from killing zombies and increased Fury generation
  • Empowering - increased damage from Critical Hits and Heavy Attacks
  • Hazardous - hitting zombies with a Status Effect causes a Forceful explosion
  • Leech - chance to regain Health by damaging a zombie
  • Shockwave - knocking down zombies causes a Forceful explosion on impact
  • Vampire - chance to regain Health by killing a zombie

Bear in mind that if you select perks that generate explosions or particular status effects, you should be mindful of the areas that you're fighting in otherwise you may accidentally catch yourself in a fiery blaze or caustic cloud that ends up sapping your health and does more harm than good. For additional options, these are all of the other Dead Island 2 perks we've found so far:

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Regular Weapon PerkEffect
Damaging (both)Damage increased.
Enhanced (melee)Damaged increased, but Durability reduced.
High-Caliber (ranged)Damage and Force increased, but Magazine size and Accuracy reduced.
Lightweight (melee)Attack Speed increased, but Force reduced.
Reinforced (melee)Durability and Force increased, but Attack Speed reduced.
Slaughter (melee)Limb Damage and Durability increased.
Speedloader (ranged)Reload Speed increased.
Tactical Reload (ranged)Reload Speed increased by killing zombies.
Weighted (melee)Force increased, but Attack Speed reduced.
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Zombie Weapon PerkEffect
Agile (both)Agility increased by killing zombies, effect can stack.
Contagious (melee)Status Effects spread to nearby zombies on Heavy Attacks.
Do Or Die (both)Toughness increased when low on Health, effect stronger when Health lower.
Infectious (melee)Bleed Damage to zombies increased, and nearby zombies Bleed too.
Mind-Blowing (ranged)Killing blows to the head trigger explosions.
Primed (both)Active curveball recharge increased by killing zombies.
Restoring (both)Stamina regained by killing zombies or Critical Hits.
Skilled (melee)Damage for Heavy Attacks increased and charge faster by killing zombies.
Static Charge (melee)Electrified charge to zombies increased, repeated hits shock nearby zombies.
Tear 'N Sear (melee)Maiming zombies generates burning fuel below them.
Unstable (melee)Chance to trigger explosions on Critical Hits.
Vigilant (ranged)Damage increased by reloading.
Violent (both)Damage increased by killing zombies.

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Iain Wilson
Guides Editor

Iain originally joined Future in 2012 to write guides for CVG, PSM3, and Xbox World, before moving on to join GamesRadar in 2013 as Guides Editor. His words have also appeared in OPM, OXM, PC Gamer, GamesMaster, and SFX. He is better known to many as ‘Mr Trophy’, due to his slightly unhealthy obsession with amassing intangible PlayStation silverware, and he now has over 500 Platinum pots weighing down the shelves of his virtual award cabinet. He does not care for Xbox Achievements.