Dying Light 2 beginner's guide: Stay human with these tips and tricks

Dying Light 2
Dying Light 2 (Image credit: Techland)

The sequel to the popular open world zombie title Dying Light, Dying Light 2, has finally arrived. And much like its predecessor, the game is full of thrilling combat scenarios, interesting locations to discover, and plenty of loot to go around. If you enjoyed the first game's combination of open-world parkour exploration and tense melee-centric engagements with hordes of the infected (or you're interested in trying that formula out yourself), you'll enjoy what Dying Light 2 has to offer.

However, something to keep in mind is that Dying Light 2 can be quite difficult at times — even more so than the first game, in some respects. Thankfully, the game's challenge is far from insurmountable as long as you make an effort to get familiar with the mechanics, play smart, and take advantage of everything the game's world has to offer. Here are five tips, tricks, and strategies that will help you overcome the infected hordes and thrive in the post-apocalyptic world of Dying Light 2, one of the best Xbox games for fans of the zombie genre.

Practice your parkour

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Above all else, the biggest tip I can offer to new Dying Light 2 players is that you should spend time practicing your parkour skills. Leaping from rooftop to rooftop, swinging from dangling ropes, and hopping across street lights is not only the best way to stay safe while traversing the game's open world, but it's also the best way to get out of danger as well. Most zombies can't climb or jump, after all.

Every parkour interaction in Dying Light 2 uses your jump input, and to successfully grab ledges or climb over obstacles, you'll need to press that input when your character is as close to the top of them as possible. In situations where you need to jump to a new platform, it's also crucial that you use your directional movement control to land in the intended spot. Making mistakes while parkouring around the map can result in a lot of lost health or stamina, so getting comfortable and familiar with these interactions is very important.

Avoid the street level

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Players should also make an effort to avoid the streets of Dying Light 2's open world as often as possible — especially at night, which is when zombies are faster, less susceptible to damage, and more powerful. This is where the majority of infected hordes can be found, and while the edges of the streets do often offer ways to quickly parkour to the rooftops if necessary, you can't always safely reach those spots when you've got a large crowd of zombies to contend with. Encountering groups of bandits on the street is common during the day, too.

At night, street travel is near-suicidal, as in addition to the buffs normal zombies get, special infected also begin to roam the streets. Some notable special infected include Howlers, which will alert the horde to your presence if they spot you and force you to try to find the nearest UV lamp-illuminated outpost, as well as Volatiles, which are extremely dangerous zombies that are just as fast and strong as you are.

Ultimately, you should stick to the rooftops and stay off Dying Light 2's streets whenever you can. If you have to traverse the streets for a quest or for looting, do it during the day, and wait until the coast is clear and no zombies are near your objective.

Explore and search everywhere

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Dying Light 2's gear and crafting systems demand that players collect plenty of materials from the open world, so I strongly recommend thoroughly searching each location on the map for valuable items and resources. These can often be used to create healing items, consumables that enhance your combat abilities, and more, and having the materials needed for these at the ready can be lifesaving. Zombie corpses and containers can be looted, too.

Two specific types of locations you'll want to keep an eye out for are rooftop stashes and Global Relief Effort (GRE) facilities. Rooftop stashes usually have a large amount of crafting materials and a few weapons or armor pieces, while GRE facilities contain special inhibitors that you need to upgrade your health and stamina. The former can be identified by the bright and tall yellow trees that are always nearby, while the latter are structures marked with a teal or turquoise color.

Chain abilities in combat

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Regardless of whether you're fighting a horde of infected or a group of cutthroat bandits, chaining your abilities in combat is the best way to come out on top in Dying Light 2. When you time a Perfect Block (blocking right as an attack is about to hit you), you can stagger enemies. This allows you to use your parkour skills to leap off of their heads and deliver a devastating kick to another enemy nearby, which then staggers them. You can then chain this combo over and over until you run out of stamina, and in many cases, all of the enemies you're fighting will be dead by that point.

As you progress through Dying Light 2 and earn character upgrades, you'll discover new and more powerful ways to both stagger enemies and take advantage of staggered enemies. The mechanic of chaining these abilities together fundamentally stays the same throughout the game, though, and it's always the best way to take down your opponents.

Don't be afraid of the night

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While being out during the night in Dying Light 2 is very dangerous, you shouldn't always shy away from exploring after the sun goes down. Some of the best upgrades for your crafting recipes can be found by killing special infected, and locations like Dark Hollows and Forsaken Stores are actually safer to explore at night since the zombies within leave the area and go out into the streets once the sun sets. The former are typically filled with valuables and money that you can use to purchase helpful items from vendors, while the latter contain plenty of crafting parts that can be used to create powerful weapon modifications.

The night's dangers are certainly scary, but they aren't inescapable. If the horde sees you and a chase starts, you can often get away from the pursuing infected by taking cover in special hiding spots that are found throughout Dying Light 2's open world. You can also hightail it to the nearest friendly safehouse or outpost, both of which have UV lamps that keep the infected at bay. And if all else fails, you can eventually outrun many threats too, though your parkour skills need to be on point.

Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.