Your elemental weapon mods get all the press, but weapon perks get the job done. Your best weapons in Dead Island 2 can equip a variety of craftable perks, which can augment a “normal” flaming machete or electric mace into an anti-zombie engine of destruction. You need to know where to get them first, though, so let’s go over where you can get every weapon perk blueprint.
Where to Find Weapon Perks in Dead Island 2
Perks are introduced right alongside weapon mods in Dead Island 2‘s crafting tutorial. From that point forward, you can find a number of weapon perk blueprints throughout the game, whether they’re out in plain sight, hidden somewhere, contained in lockboxes, or sold by vendors.
Screenshot by GameSkinny
Note that perks do have rarities just like mods do, which can make them incompatible with low-level weapons. Damaging, for example, is considered “rare,” so you can’t throw it on weapons of uncommon quality (green).
This matters very little by the time you’re around level 12 and not at all towards the endgame, when random zombies on the street can drop superior-class weaponry.
Initially, weapon perks draw off the same mundane pool of crafting materials as weapon mods, which can limit your ability to use them. Once you complete “The Giant-Slayer” in Venice Beach, however, your new buddy Patton introduces a new and exciting option.
Screenshot by GameSkinny
New, exciting, and incredibly gross.
After that point, you can farm a variety of gross body parts from both normal and Apex Infected by making sure to take a couple of their limbs off before you take them out. All harvested parts drop from zombies inside these distinct yellow biohazard bags (below).
Screenshot by GameSkinny
That, in turn, gives you the broad assortment of virally altered organs you need to truly turn up your weapon game. By the time you reach the last couple of maps in DI2, you should have a solid collection of zombie bits that’ll let you take your weapon perk game to its ultimate level.
Here’s a (incomplete, under construction) list of where to find all the weapon perks in Dead Island 2.
- As you’re exploring the military scientists’ field base on the Pier, keep your eyes open for a workbench that’s tucked in behind a tent, next to a nearly empty flatbed truck. This perk’s blueprint is on that workbench.
- Acid Rain
- When you first reach Beverly Hills, you may notice an empty house in roughly the center of the zone that’s been turned into a military base. It’s crawling with high-level zombies on your first visit, but once you’re at or around level 15, you can risk a trip inside. A named Runner, Sgt. Hernandez, can be found on the premises, and he drops the Biohazard Containment Key when killed. This opens a lockbox inside the house that contains this Perk.
- Check the workbench in the Play ‘n’ Win booth on the Santa Monica Pier.
- Complete the first step of the “Body Art” side quest chain in Beverly Hills to activate Francesca as a trader. She’ll sell you this blueprint for $1,000.
- Complete the Contagious 1 Challenge by landing 100 heavy attacks.
- Unusually, you can get Damaging in one of two ways. If you run through the Brentwood Sewers before you hit level 13, you’ll find the Damaging blueprint on one of the workbenches.
- Otherwise, Damaging is a reward for reaching level 13 (below, lower right), which makes it one of two perks in the game that you actually can’t miss.
Screenshot by GameSkinny
- The unique zombie Lt. Land can appear during the day inside the westernmost landing craft on the Venice Beach shoreline at any point after you’ve cleared “Beach Offensive.” Land’s key opens his personal chest in the officer barracks, which contains the blueprint for this perk.
- Do or Die
- Check the workbench in the back room of the Re-Aging Clinic safe room on Hollywood Boulevard.
- Check the shelves in the gate control room at the water treatment plant in Beverly Hills.
- Revisit the sKOpe retail outlet on Ocean Avenue at night to find the Serling Hotel Guest, a named Runner who appears in the back office. It drops the key to the Guest’s Keepsake lockbox in the empty room in the Serling Hotel.
- You automatically receive this from Sam as part of the weapon modification tutorial.
- Complete “Lending a Hand” on Ocean Avenue.
- Complete the side quest “The Hero’s Journey.”
- Hair Trigger
- Once you unlock the Metro, you can find this blueprint next to the first workbench you find on the map’s west end.
- Purchase this from Rodriguez in Venice Beach for $1,000 after completing the side quest “Cremains of the Day.”
- Revisit Roxanne Kwon’s house in Beverly Hills after you complete “Justifiable Zombicide.” Roger the trader is now stationed in Roxanne’s living room, and will sell you this blueprint for $500.
- Complete the Challenge of the same name by inflicting the Bleeding status effect on zombies 50 times. This can be done via weapon mods, the Nail Bomb Curveball, or simply kicking zombies into hazards like barbed wire.
- Complete the Leechblade Challenge by killing 100 zombies with melee weapons.
- Complete “The Death of the Party” side quest in Bel-Air to get Curtis’ House Keys. This lets you open the locked door at the base of the stairs in his foyer, which leads to a study where you can find this blueprint.
- If you don’t complete this quest or didn’t open that door, you can return to Roxanne’s house in Beverly Hills during “Set Sail for Santa Monica” to find a new trader, Roger, in her living room. He’ll sell you Lightweight for $500.
- As you’re leaving the CDC facility at the end of “Blood Drive,” check the workbench.
- Precision Shots
- Complete the post-game side quest “Diaries of the Dead” in Venice Beach.
- Precision Strikes
- Purchase this from Dougie in the Serling Hotel on Ocean Avenue for $1,000 after completing “Plumbing the Depths.”
- There’s an easy-to-miss workbench on the southeast corner of Ocean Avenue, inside an open shipping container next to an abandoned military checkpoint. The blueprint for Primed is next to that workbench.
- Push the switch on the front of Curtis’s garage in Bel-Air to open its left-hand door. Go inside, break the fragile crate against its back wall, and crawl through the gap to reach a hidden workbench with this blueprint on it.
- Complete the late-game side quest “More Than the Badge” in Ocean Avenue.
- During “The End of the Line,” you’ll have to defeat a few waves of zombies while you wait for the train to power up. One of those waves emerges from a trashed subway car to the northwest. This blueprint is inside that car.
- Russian Roulette
- Complete the Challenge Shockwave 1 by knocking zombies down 100 times.
- Complete the story quest “Boardwalking Dead.”
- As you enter Stage 03 on the Monarch Studios lot during “O Michael, Where Art Thou?” you can find this blueprint on a nearby workbench.
- This blueprint appears in the gun room in Nikki’s house in Beverly Hills at the end of the story quest “Justifiable Zombicide.” It won’t be there when you grab Nikki’s rifle, but it will when you return to talk to Sam.
- Static Charge
- Complete the Challenge of the same name by inflicting the Electrified status effect on zombies 50 times.
- Tactical Reload
- Purchase this from Rodriguez in Venice Beach for $1,000 after completing “Cremains of the Day.”
- Tear ‘N Sear
- Complete the Infernal Combustion Challenge by inflicting the Ignited status effect on zombies 50 times. Given how many random flammable objects are scattered across Hell-A, you should get this without trying.
- In the late game, revisit the third floor of the Halperin Hotel to find a named enemy, the Mutated Guest. This is a tough fight, but kill it to get the key to the nearby Fancy Leather Trunk, which contains this perk.
- You receive this automatically during the story quest “The Giant-Slayer” in Venice Beach.
- Complete the Challenge of the same name by collecting a total of 200 zombie parts. This only becomes possible once you’ve reached Venice Beach, as part of “The Giant-Slayer” story quest, as noted above.
- Kill the Randgate Staff, a named Voltaic Screamer, on the higher floor of the underground parking garage between Silicon St. and Stoker Pl. on Ocean Avenue. (You might recognize this area from the Lost & Found quest “Missing: Greg.”) The Screamer drops the Randgate Security Key, which opens the lockbox underneath the table in the security room of the hidden lab on the east side of Ocean. This blueprint is inside.
- Check the workbench on the second floor of the guard tower on the west side of Venice Beach, next to the fast travel point.
- Complete the post-game side quest “Organ Donor.”
- This can be found near the door in Marissa’s bedroom in the Goat Pen house in Bel-Air. You can get this on your first visit by breaking a window. Otherwise, you can return to the Goat Pen house during Curtis’s side quest “Creature Comforts” and kill the named zombie Goat Pen Jamie in the bowling alley to get the Goat Pen Master Keys.
Screenshot by GameSkinny
Weapon perks’ various effects are detailed below. Perks marked with an asterisk require zombie parts.
- Accurate*: Gain an Accuracy boost while aiming down iron sights.
- Acid Rain*: Zombies killed with this weapon explode into a cloud of fumes that deals Caustic damage (Requires Liquidator Weapon Mod).
- Agile*: Kills temporarily boost Agility; effect stacks.
- Bloodthirsty*: Kills boost Damage, generate increased Fury.
- Contagious*: Heavy Attack a zombie to spread its current status effects to other nearby zombies (Melee only).
- Damaging: Increases Damage.
- Destructive: Any zombie killed with this weapon explodes.
- Do or Die*: At low health, gain bonus Toughness in proportion to how close you are to death.
- Empowering: Critical hits/heavy attacks do more Damage.
- Energized*: Killing a zombie recharges stamina; the lower your stamina, the better the effect.
- Enhanced: Increases Damage, lowers durability (Melee only).
- Ferocious*: Kills generate additional Fury.
- Guardian*: Increased Toughness while weapon is equipped (Melee only).
- Hair Trigger: ??? (Firearms only)
- Hazardous*: Hit a zombie that’s suffering a status effect to trigger a high-Force explosion.
- High-Caliber: Increases Damage/Force, but reduces magazine size and accuracy (Firearms only).
- Honed: Increases Critical Damage, reduces Damage.
- Infectious*: Zombies suffer additional Bleed damage on hit and other nearby zombies start Bleeding (Requires Puncturator weapon mod).
- Leech*: Damaging zombies may restore health (Melee only).
- Lightweight: Increases attack speed, lowers Force (Melee only).
- Mind-Blowing*: Headshot kills make zombies explode with high Force (Firearms only).
- Precision Shots*: Multiple hits in succession give you a small but stackable Damage boost (Firearms only).
- Precision Strikes: Multiple critical hits in succession give a temporary Critical Damage boost; effect can stack (Melee only).
- Primed*: Zombie kills make Curveballs recharge faster.
- Reinforced: Increases Durability/Force, lowers attack speed.
- Relentless: Critical hits temporarily boost Damage.
- Restoring*: Kills or critical hits restore stamina.
- Russian Roulette*: Increased Damage when your magazine’s low (Firearms only).
- Shockwave*: Knock down a zombie to trigger a high-force explosion (Melee only).
- Skilled*: Zombie kills give a temporary bonus to heavy attacks’ damage and charge time (Melee only).
- Slaughter: Increases limb damage/Durability (Melee only).
- Speedloader: Increased reload speed (Firearms only).
- Static Charge*: Hits generate more Electrified charge; multiple hits cause an explosion that Electrifies nearby zombies (Requires Electrocutor Weapon Mod).
- Tactical Reload: Zombie kills temporarily boost reload speed (Firearms only).
- Tear ‘N Sear*: Maim a zombie to generate a pool of burning fuel underneath it (Requires Cremator Weapon Mod).
- Tenacious*: When low on health, Toughness goes up; the lower your health, the stronger the effect.
- Unstable*: Critical hits may trigger an explosion (Melee only).
- Vampire*: Killing zombies may restore health.
- Vengeful*: Gain a significant Damage boost if you’re knocked down or an enemy interrupts your attack.
- Vigilant*: Reloading temporarily boosts Damage (Firearms only).
- Violent*: Kills temporarily boost Damage.
- Weighted: Increases Force, lowers attack speed (Melee only).
Superior and Legendary Weapon Perks
Unique weapons in Dead Island 2, such as superior weapons and legendary weapons, have equally unique perks. At time of writing, there doesn’t appear to be any way to detach or clone these perks from these weapons, and unique weapons can’t be scrapped.
Most of these weapons are rewards from various side quests that become available after you complete DI2‘s story. While they’re quite powerful, they’re also primarily here for bragging rights, or to help you mop up the last few Combat Challenges. A level 30 Slayer is dangerous on their own; a level 30 Slayer with a legendary weapon is a threshing machine.
- Big Shot — Boomstick: Bullets fired by this weapon explode, which can inflict Traumatized
- Bodycount — Exit Wound: Bullets that strike a zombie may inflict Bleed damage to other zombies nearby
- The One — Headhunter: Decapitating a zombie restores health and stamina and triggers a high-Force explosion
- Overkill — Emma’s Wrath: A Skull Stomp or Counter primes the weapon; its next hit within a few seconds will also hit the target with a shotgun blast, doing extra damage and inflicting a stun
- Blood Rage — Puncture Wound: Multiple successive critical hits raise your critical damage and may inflict additional Bleed damage; effect can stack
- Krakatoa — Reaper: Hit a zombie that’s Ignited to prime the weapon; while primed, Heavy Attacks inflict additional Fire and Limb damage; effect can stack
- Party Starter — Spitting Fire: A Heavy Attack that knocks down or kills a zombie gives you a boost to Fire Resilience and inflicts Ignite on nearby zombies
- The One — Swift Blow: Heavy Attacks charge faster
That’s all you need to know about all the weapon perk blueprint locations, and some handy information on superior and legendary weapon perks. For more tips and tricks on Dead Island 2, check out our DI2 guides hub.