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Follow the dark path or use the light

Combat Advice

Dying Light Walkthrough and Guide by CMBF
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Combat Advice

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First and foremost you should be aware that Dying Light is a game that not only focuses upon but celebrates melee combat. There are a bunch of reasons for this, but in the end they can all be boiled down to the following:

1. You Don't Have to Reload a Melee Weapon
This is a game in which resources are scarce, and ammunition even more scarce. It is also a world in which it is necessary to kill a lot of enemies. With all that being so, it makes sense that you will want to develop a combat style and focus that does not require constant re-supply of ammunition and all that goes with that process.

2. Silence is Key
In the world of special military units they don't celebrate sharpshooters. Or firearms. No, the real operators are the ones that they refer to with tags like “Ninja” who go in and do their jobs and then leave with nobody even knowing that they were there - until they are long gone.

It is not just the perceptions and fear that come from silent nearly invisible enemies - hell none of that really applies for the most part here. In the case of the Quarantine Zone, the real advantage to this sort of approach is that by making your kills silently you are not alerting the OTHER infected to your presence or the fact that you are thinning their ranks.

Welcome to Harran and the Tower Survivor!

3. Flexibility
The secret to success in the sort of environment you find in the Quarantine Zone is being a very easy and flexible operator. Anything has the potential of being a weapon - all that is lacking is the imagination and skills of the person wielding it!

With that in mind, we will offer you our best wisdom on the matter of combat in the Quarantine Zone with a special emphasis upon survival. Because in this specific instance dying is bad.

A Few Words on Dying
The last paragraph of the third value above points out that “dying is bad” - and that tends to be true in every game in this genre, but it is especially true in Dying Light for a reason we are about to explain to you. Before we do though, you need to understand and embrace the simple proposition that dying in this game has a potentially incredible destructive consequence that you may not even suspect.

Standard Death: In the typical survival-horror action-adventure game, death usually means re-spawning at a specific point or points, with the loss of your possessions and perhaps some sort of penalty in terms of score. We wish that was all that there was to the process here, but sadly death in Dying Light has catastrophic consequences that can easily ruin your day - and the game.

So let's start with why...

Stat and XP Penalties: When you die in Dying Light several things happen. The first that you can see is your character, Kyle, re-spawns at the nearest Safe House. The second is you may have lost some objects you did not want to lose. The third is that you may be feeling - depending on how you died - a bit embarrassed.

What you can not see however is the massive destruction that your death has caused to your character. Because each time you die the game deducts points from the different point-based systems - with the most destructive being your Survivor Points and then XP.

The first death is not too bad - you can usually shirk that off and mark it down to the expense of learning not to do that. But if it is the second or third? Or God help you more than that? You cannot easily dismiss the results of that, let us tell you! Why?

Because each successive death results in a more severe punishment. That's right, we said “punishment” and we meant to say that because there is no other words to accurately describe what the results of dying are in this game.

In simple terms this game has a uniquely vindictive method for punishing the player for dying.

Each time that Kyle dies experience points are deducted from his survivor skill -- and as hinted at above, the actual amount is different depending on how many times that Kyle has died in this particular situation. How he died also plays a role in determining the punishment - specifically for example allowing him to die in the exact same manner, from the exact same mistake? Yeah, that gets punished far more severely.

To put that in perspective for you, repeated deaths in a single zone while attempted a specific task can actually end up costing you ALL of the progress you made in your entire last DAY of game play. Now tell us that does not sting?

You need to understand that there is no such thing as a “good” death in the world of Dying Light inside the Quarantine Zone. So you need to try very very hard not to die. Because the penalties are not even remotely commensurate with the act.

Until further notice your name is Survivor 31 - if you survive they might learn your name...

Choosing Your Weapons
As you begin to gain experience with the different weapons in Dying Light you are going to find that there are specific types and weapons that you like better than other types or weapons. When that happens it is the opening act of the process known as acclimation. It is where you start to really become one with the game and is generally said to be the beginning of immersion.

With that in mind we thought you might enjoy a spot of reference in the form of a mini-guide to the weapons of the Quarantine Zone!

The weapons of Dying Light can be divided into four basic types - the order of which as presented below having no meaning in terms of value or effectiveness. These are:

  • Close Range/Melee
  • Explosives
  • Firearms
  • Mid Range/Long Range

Close Range/Melee
These are the weapons you will use the most - the sort that allow you to get the job done close-in and personally, which is where melee combat happens.

Flash Lights

One Handed Melee

  • Axes/Hatchets
  • Bats
  • Blades
  • Hammers
  • Knifes
  • Machetes
  • Nailed Plank
  • Pipes
  • Swords

Rebar (Boss Weapon)

Two Handed Melee

  • Baseball Bats
  • Two Handed Axes
  • Two Handed Hammers
  • Two Handed Swords


  • Grenades


  • Assault Rifle
  • Pistols
  • Rifles
  • Shotguns

Mid Range/Long Range

  • Grappling Hook (Unlocked at Level 12 Survivor Skill)

Due to the noise that they make firearms are not as useful to you as good melee weapons - with the exception of rifles and shotguns - rifles allow for long range accuracy so you can in theory snipe with them from safe positions above the fray. Shotguns are useful as a weapon of last resort in crowd situations.

Survivors come in all shapes, sizes... And ages it seems.

Get Your Kicks In
Any time you use one of your weapons you degrade it to some degree. While you may need to use the weapon during the initial stage of combat, once you have the enemy down on the ground there is NO excuse for swinging hat weapon and removing any further percentages to its condition. None whatsoever!

No, in that instance you should be focused upon getting your kicks in - literally.

As you develop the Kick combat skill you will increase the amount of damage you do with your booted foot - and more to the point you can easily kill an injured enemy once they are down on the ground by simply caving in their skull.

You get some XP, you make the enemy dead, and most important of all, you conserve the condition of your weapons!

So yeah, be sure you get your Kicks in because as far as we know there is no downside. Kicks do not deduct Stamina Points, Kicks do not degrade the performance of Kyle's legs or feet, and hey, Kicks do indeed kill - eventually.

When you first engaged the infected with a weapon you should have been aiming at its head - but either way once it is down on the ground your aim should STILL be at its noggin - only your weapon is the tow of your boot for a Kick - or the heel of your boot for a Stomp.

Crushing the skull of your target is still far and away the most effective and certain means of rendering them hors de combat. Enough said.

Deciding When to Repair
The more experience you get with combat in the game, the more likely it is that you will have developed some preferred weapons. Favorite weapons... Call them what you like, the point is that you will eventually find a specific set of weapons and a specific combat style you like.

When that happens you are going to want to treat those weapons with the affection and care that they so clearly deserve. Don't.

Weapon durability in Dying Light is effectively unique - the entire system works different than in any other game in the genre you have ever played. You can trust us on that observation because we have played most of the games in the genre because this is what we do for a living.

Each weapon you may use in the Quarantine Zone comes with a specific number of "repairs" that are possible for it. In practical terms the way to look at this is simple: each of your weapons has a very specific and predictable lifespan. None of them will last for ever.

What that means is simple: you're only able to fix them a handful of times before you can never fix them again. That unique circumstance dictates that you hold off repairing your weapon(s) until you absolutely have no choice in the matter, and you never repair them unless you have to.

Weapon Upgrades and Mods
As a result of the finite repair life of a weapon you need to take a very cold and very restrictive view on the issues of weapon upgrades and mods.

It really is simple math: you can only fix that weapon X number of times. Any time you mod or upgrade a weapon you are using up finite resources. Valuable finite resources. So the question you must ask yourself is - am I getting the best results from those finite resources by applying them to this weapon that I can?

If the answer is no, then you don't do the mod/upgrade. If the answer is “I don't know” then you DO NOT do the mod/upgrade. Because you have to know. Simple as that.

That is really good advice - and not just for kids!

Hanging on to The Good Stuff
When you have found a weapon that speaks to your soul, and you find that you love it enough to care about it, there is nothing worse than reaching the point when it can no longer be repaired, and no longer remains serviceable. When that moment arrives you have a tough decision to make: discard it or stick it away in your sock drawer as the focus for some good memories later on.

Well, there is maybe one other option... The weapon could be Born Again...

Please understand that this is not guaranteed - but when you've run out of repairs for a weapon, there still might be a way to fix it... Maybe... You might be able to accomplish that miracle through the act of completing an escort mission.

Right now you are probably asking yourself how that works?

Here is the deal: As you navigate the Quarantine Zone you can sometimes find that there are random survivors who appear on the map as a Blue Shield Icon.

These are uninfected humans through which you can flag an Escort Mission.

The thing about that is that one of the potential rewards for success in this special type of mission is the option to "refurbish weapons" -- and yes, that means what it sounds like it means.

Depending on the mission and its level of challenge this reward will either add and additional repair to the Repair Counter for that Weapon - or it might actually reset the ENTIRE counter. So yeah, there is always some hope left for that sword you affectionately named Betty-Sue...

Special Note: This only applies to players who do not feel cheating is bad... If you are willing to cheat in a game (we are not) there is a way to duplicate any weapon you find that you feel is or will be very valuable to you. Check the Cheats and Hacks Section of our guide for details. Just don't say we did not warn you that using Cheats and Hacks in games like this - especially for weapons - has the silent and hidden effect of altering forever the sense of accomplishment you feel for your successes and can (often does) cheapen the game play experience.

Treat Medkits Like Gold
When Kyle gets hurt he will only naturally heal to 25% of his health bar. To get the rest of the way you have two options - Medkits or hitting the bed in a Safe House. The thing is that early in the game all the way through mid-game Medkits are pretty hard to come by - so you should be very reluctant to use them at all and only if you have to.

If you are not forced into combat with low health you are far better off heading immediately for a Safe House and healing by sleeping there than you are in using a Medkit. Fair warning mates.

Strategic Kit Items
Due to the crafting system and its need for all sorts of resources you want to scavenge everything you can from string to blades and everything else.

Whenever you visit a Merchant or Quartermaster you should try to acquire all of the cheaper crafts resources they have in stock - and you should make it a point to always buy Firecrackers and Lock Picks - as both are incredibly useful to you.

Lock Picks allow you to open loot crates - which you need to do a lot.

Firecracker are a distraction device you can use to lure the infected away from the object or area you need to get to. They are also a useful weapon to use with the exploding zombies in that tossing one near then will trick it into blowing up. More to the point the crackers may lure OTHER infected into the blast radius for that explosion, thus killing more than one infected with your firecrackers!

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