Dying Light tips and tricks – updated with DLC tips, news, and more
Welcome to our Dying Light tips and tricks guide! This will be an ongoing article, updated often. Dying Light is a big game, and like any big game – especially one with coop – it will constantly change as people find new ways to manipulate it. We’ll continue to add tips as long as the community continues to create them.
With that in mind, we do have some tips to help get you started.
There is a lot to see and do in Dying Light, and you can approach it in multiple ways, so two players may complete the same goals and have very different experiences. The game also changes significantly as you play and unlock new areas, and especially new abilities. Just playing a few hours won’t give you a full impression, not even close. We have a couple of suggestions on how to speed things up.
If you have any Dying Light tips and tricks for us, please let us know in the comments below!
This guide has been updated to include Easter eggs, quarantine zones, DLC, and more.
(Update 3.0 June 22, 2015)
(Updated on November 10, 2015)
(Updated on February 18, 2015)
The Bozak Horde DLC
The final piece of the season pass (although not necessarily the final DLC for Dying Light) is available now. It features 20 trials, all of which can be completed in 25-45 minutes – but they aren’t easy, and the faster you complete them the better your leaderboard position.
- Check out our separate Bozak Horde guide.
Dying Light: The Following DLC
Techland’s DLC, The Following, is so big that in some ways it could be its own game. The map is double the size of the two maps in Dying Light, although it is less dense. To get around, you’ll have a new mode of transport, the buggy.
Along with the new area to explore, the DLC offers new quests, weapons, and secrets.
- Check out our separate Dying Light: The Following tips, tricks, and Easter eggs, which we will update often.
Dying Light starts out slow, and if you take away anything from this guide, make it this: be patient.
When you first start, you are a weakling. You have crap weapons with no skills. The game doesn’t really begin to open up for a few hours at least until you begin to unlock the more advanced skills, especially those connected to agility. If you are on the fence about the game, at least give it until you reach level five in all three abilities, although level 10 is a better goal.
At that point, you should have enough new moves and combat abilities that it feels like a much more complete game. It fits with the story too. You begin the game as an unskilled freerunner, learning as you go. The game reflects that.
A quick way to get around this early nerfing is to play coop as soon as you are able. You can earn points and survive thanks to your partners. You don’t need to, but burning through the first few hours with friends so you can bulk your character up will give you options that fundamentally alter the Dying Light for the better.
- The city of Harran consists of two major areas: the Slums and Old Town – you’ll reach the second area as part of the story. After that you can fast travel between the areas using posters found in the two main tower safe zones.
- If the melee combat is wearing you down, you will eventually find several firearms. It then can become a FPS, but melee is far, far more effective.
- There is an exploit of sorts that you can only use very early on to quickly earn agility upgrades. While playing through the campaign, the first time you experience Harran at night night, the day will not come until you end the mission. Since you earn double XP throughout the night, stay near a safe zone and just run through a self-made course, using as many moves as possible. Since you receive additional XP at night, you can max your character up inside of a few hours if you have the patience. Even if you don’t want to wait that long, it’s worth getting a few easy levels early.
Be the Zombie/Zombie Invasion
Within Dying Light is a competitive multiplayer mode that is separate from the primary game, and split into two parts. Included in the primary game is the mode “Zombie Invasion,” which pits your human character against a unique type of zombie. If you want to play as that monster, you’ll need to download and install “Be the Zombie.”
To play as a human, you need to turn on the option to allow “Zombie Invasion.” Once you have it enabled you will randomly be attacked, which initiates the game mode. You can set it to only happen at night, occur at anytime, or turn it off altogether. If you are attacked at an inconvenient time, you can always drop out of the game before it starts – just go to the pause menu and leave the game.
Playing as the zombie is a separate game mode, accessed through the main menu before you load a campaign.
Playing as a human
As a human the invasion can happen when you are in a group or alone. To win as a human, you need to destroy the nests scattered throughout the map. Your best weapon is a UV flashlight, which hurts the zombie, leaving him exposed and vulnerable. From there you can finish it off – just make sure it is weak by checking its prominently displayed health bar.
The trick to surviving as a human is knowing where the zombie is at all times. It can pounce from the top of a building, but if you hit it with the UV light its attack will be broken – if not, you are dead. If you can coordinate with teammates, close ranks and move as a group from nest to nest.
- If you are struggling against the zombie, wait to play until you at least have the grappling hook. Having powerful weapons can help too.
- Move with caution until you kill the zombie, then cover as much distance as you can as quickly as you can before it respawns.
- Killing the zombie earns you the material to craft the night hunter potion, which increases all your stats.
Playing as the zombie
To win as a zombie, you just need to kill the humans. The zombie has a huge advantage in its movements. It can throw a line from itself that can drag itself over a huge distance, much like how Spider-Man moves in a video game. Once you get the rhythm, you can use the line to pull yourself, let it go, then hit another target. You can rip across the city in seconds using this method.
The most important attack the zombie has is a devastating pounce, which is an instant kill. All you have to do is be near enough to the human to see the icon pop up, and you can kill them in a single move. This attack can be broken by a blast from the UV light, but if the zombie stays out of reach, it is easy to pick off a group of humans that aren’t working together.
The zombie also has its own skill tree. There’s no trick to filling the skill tree, just keep playing.
The Be a Zombie mode doesn’t help your campaign character, so consider it a fun distraction.
- Use the high ground to your advantage. You can reach it faster than the hunters and pick off the humans as they climb the building.
- The spit attack is an excellent ranged weapon, especially if you trick the hunters into standing still and flashing their UV flashlights.
Dying Light requires an almost obsessive desire to collect things. As you explore the city of Harran, completing missions and rummaging bodies and the like, you’ll collect items. If you’ve played even a minute of the game, you’ll know how obvious a statement this is. Items are everywhere, and you need to grab as many of them as you can. Get used to using your survival sense frequently. It will also help you navigate, so use it all the time.
Some items can be sold, but the majority are used to craft usable items. You’ll need to do this often, especially early on, and especially to craft medical kits.
You’ll also find collectibles, and more importantly, blueprints that allow you to create rare weapons and weapon attachments. You can also create boosters, which shouldn’t be overlooked.
Here’s a few tips for collecting:
- Firecrackers are good to load up on in the early hours of the game. They can distract zombies away from where you need to go, and save you from being overwhelmed.
- Always loot locked police cars. If the trunk is closed, throw a firecracker away to lure zombies, then pick the trunk lock. If you’ve unlocked the camouflage ability, all the better. You may get average loot, you may get an assault rifle. It’s worth the risk.
- Once you find a patch of vegetation – herbs, lichen, shrooms – harvest everything you can. If you need to, put the extras in the bag found in the safe house until you have the ingredients to make a booster. Vegetation respawns after a few minutes. If you need some for a specific item, just wait a bit and return.
- Upgrade your inventory storage as soon as possible. You’ll be glad you did.
Dying Light is designed from the ground up to be played with others. That doesn’t mean you can’t play it alone, and in some ways it is more immersive to go it solo, but there is a lot you can do with others that you can’t do on your own. Plus, the game is much easier with others.
To unlock the co-op, you first have to complete the prologue. Once you do, you can play the rest of the game with up to three others. Make sure you set your preferences once you have the co-op unlocked. You can choose to allow anyone to join your game, only friends, invite only, via a LAN, or stick with single player.
If you want to join an exiting co-op session, head to the pause screen during your game. From there you can do a quick join and have the game place you in a random session, generally somewhat comparable to where you are in the story. If you search through the lobby though, you can choose the mission you want to join.
The way the co-op progression works is that if you are in someone else’s game, you can save any story and side quest progress that is at a comparable stage to your own game. If they are further in the story, you will have to replay that and any subsequent missions you play in your own game. You still earn experience, and everything you collect you keep.
If you are at the same point in the story, you will both be able to save that progress to your individual campaigns.
There are also plenty of co-op challenges you’ll come up throughout Harran. These can be anything from a race to a zombie killing competition to who can loot more in a set time. They generally take no more than a minute or two, and the rewards are usually worth it.
If you are already in the middle of a mission, the random challenges can be a bit distracting. If you come across a story challenge though, always accept it. The challenge will have you doing something you needed to do anyway, and you’ll receive addition XP for it if you win.
When you first start out in Dying Light, you are going to be very weak. If you have some friends that are further in the story, they can join your game and load you up with items and weapons. They can just hit their inventory and drop the item, and it is your to use, or sell. This will not work for DLC items. You can pick up DLC stuff, but you can’t use or sell any of it.
Some other, general tips:
- While playing solo, start as many side quests as possible. You don’t need to play them, but having them open means you can complete them in other people’s games and have it count to your games.
- You can change the frequency of the challenge requests you are offered. Just look for it in the online options, the same options that allow you to determine who can join your game.
- Supply drops are important (read the section on Supply Drops for more info). They are much easier to accomplish with teammates, and if you are maxed up, you can save them up and give them to someone that can use the XP.
- If you want to pause the game with others, just convince everyone in your group to go to the menu. If everyone is in that menu, the game is paused. If one person goes back to the game though, you are all vulnerable.
- Here’s a fun little exploit: Reviving and healing your allies gives you points. You can’t kill your teammates, but if you, say, “accidentally” threw a Molotov Cocktail at them, they will catch fire and die. You can revive them for XP, and when they fall over and die again because of the fire, you can do it again and again.
- Fast travel is your friend. You need to wait for all players to be at a destination to interact. Once one person is there though, anyone else can fast travel with a button press.
- All players in the same game loot their own items based on rank. You can’t steal loot.
- You can and should trade items and swap weapons.
The initial batch of Dying Light DLC consists of three add-ons. Each can be purchased ala carte, or you can buy the season pass for $19.99. There have also been several free updates on the way, including a new “Hard Mode” released in March.
- The first DLC, Cuisine & Cargo includes two quarantine zones, one in the Slums and one in Old Town.
- The second DLC, the Ultimate Survivor Bundle includes three outfits and four weapon blueprint.
- The third DLC, The Bozak Horde, introduces a new game mode and location. You’ll find yourself in the Harran Stadium, facing wave after wave of enemies (see the section above).
- On March 10, there was a free update, Patch 1.4. That patch included the new hard mode, a new tier of rare weapons (gold colored), new outfits, extra rewards for beating the game, and new weapons.
- A new DLC titled The Following is out now. It will be a story-based add-on with a new area that is as big as both of the two original maps, and to get around you’ll have a customizable dune buggy (see the section above).
- The level cap has been increased through an update that came out alongside The Following. All players – regardless of whether or not you purchased the DLC – will now be able to continue to improve their character through the “Legendary Levels.” These allow you to add skill points in several fields to improve everything from combat to health, and there are a lot of them. In total there are 250 Legendary Levels to max out.
There is one piece of equipment you earn later in the game that is so useful, it deserves its own section: the grappling hook. You unlock the grappling hook when you reach level 12 survivor rank. Once you do reach that point, you’ll just need to grab the hook from a quartermaster. After that, you’ll have it in your inventory and you equip it like any equipment. If you lose it, you can find a replacement at any quartermaster.
The grappling hook changes the game in a fundamental way. You can travel across either map in a fraction of the time, and it makes scaling large areas much, much easier. If you are just barely hanging on to your interest in the game, give it until you receive the grappling hook. It changes everything for the better.
- The grappling hook does not provide points like climbing does. Once you have the grappling hook, you will almost certainly progress slower in agility.
- You can use the hook to defy gravity. If you are falling, or just need to get to the ground from a high location, you can fire it at the ground. You will zip right the point of contact and be fine.
- The Old Town area is made for the grappling hook. You may want to level up in the Slums until you earn it.
Once you complete the game, you can restart the campaign under the “New Game+” option. The enemies will be tougher and the items wil be scarcer. You’ll ski over the prologue as well, so you can start it and jump right back into the heart of the story with co-op already unlocked.
To access this mode, from the menu choose the “Campaign” option. Highlight the save game (if you have multiple games, look for the one with 100-percent completion), then hit the button that says “options.” From there you’ll be able to start the New Game+.
When the daylight fades, Dying Light essentially becomes a different game. There are zombies that can kill you with little effort in the early hours, and using your flashlight is a good way to attract enemies. Running around at night is also the best way to level up your agility.
Although the risks are much higher for exploring at night, so too are the rewards. The experience doubles at night. If you are looking to grind out some agility levels, stick near a safe zone and parkour run in circles. The more freerunning moves you pull off the better, but it’s good to have a safe zone nearby if things get too intense.
- Anytime you see fluorescent shrooms, grab them. This is one of the key ingredients in creating the night vision booster, which can save your life and make the night look like dusk. You can find the shrooms in the day, but they glow at night, making them easier to see and pick.
- Keep an eye on the time by checking the menu with the map. There is a watch on the right side of the screen.
- If you want to quickly and easily build your combat rank, head to the broken bridge on the east side of the Slums at night. Make your way deep onto the bridge where a fence forces the zombies to move to the sides. Jump on a bus or van, throw some firecrackers to get them to group up, then lay down the Molotov cocktails. You’ll receive hundreds, if not thousands of points. You can also do this in the day, which is safer but you’ll earn less points.
- Although you earn more points at night, it is also far easier to die at night, and dying costs you. When you die you could lose survivor points. You can’t drop a level, but if you die enough you can lose hours of progress. That shouldn’t drastically change your attitude, just be careful.
This tip will be obvious to anyone that has ever played an open world game, but it is worth repeating: accept all the quests you can. You will keep them in your quest log, even if you aren’t actively pursuing them. If you are planning on playing with others, you may first want to explore central hubs like the Tower and load up on side quests before others join. The quests will typically be seen on your map under an “!” icon, and they just require you to speak to the quest giver to initiate them.
You can always activate these quests with a co-op partner(s), but you will all need to be present to accept the quest, which can be a pain.
When you are out in Harran, frequently check your quest log. You can only track one quest at a time, so check the others to see if you are near one a side objective. Once you complete it, don’t waste time heading back to report it. You’ll save time and effort by waiting and reporting several at once.
- Keep an eye on the map. Any quest not actively being tracked will appear as a white circle. You may find several circles in one area, so knock them out if you have time.
Supply drops can be assigned as a mission/quest, or you can engage in them as random events. There is a point late in the game where they stop coming to the Slums though, so take advantage early.
In the Slums, when you hear the sound of an airplane, instantly scan the skies. It shouldn’t take too long to see a cargo plane inbound. That plane will then drop a supply crate, and unless you are in the middle of a mission, run for it immediately. The longer you wait, the more well equipped human enemies you’ll need to fight off.
In the Old Town area, you’ll find supply drops scattered throughout the map. They will typically be guarded, and will require you to pick their locks. Clear the area first, or have the camouflage ability.
- If you are playing with people that have maxed out their survivor rank (and you haven’t), you can all go to a supply drop. Even if the character doesn’t need the package, they can still collect it. After that, you can drop the package for the lower level person to pick up. You can double, triple, or quadruple your survivor points at a quartermaster, with a little help.
Hidden throughout Harran are eight quarantine zones: Five in the Slums and three in Old Town. These won’t typically show up on your map, and you have to investigate to receive the option to engage. To find the quarantine zones, look for buildings with orange and black stripes canvas covers or doors.
There are multiple types of quarantine zones, but the best require you to recover the packages you would find in supply drops.
Finding these zones can be difficult. If you want to receive the achievement for completing them all, you will need to track them down. Check out the video below for a look at the locations of the eight quarantine zones.
- The first DLC introduced two more quarantine zones. The first is in the Slums on the western side of the map in a tunnel. The second is in Old Town on the east side of the city. Once you down load the DLC, they will appear on the map.
The best tip we can offer when it comes to weapons in this Dying Light tips and tricks guide is don’t get too attached, especially early on. The weapons you find lying around are generally going to be weak. They break, and you can only repair them a handful of times. You’ll be picking up weapons that may top 100 damage. By the end of the game, you can wield weapons with 2,000 damage.
Upgrading weapons is an essential part of the game, and many of those components can be crafted. Don’t hesitate to use them if you like the weapon you have. You’ll get plenty more, you don’t need to save them.
The three most important stats you should consider when choosing a weapon are: damage, durability, and the number of repairs. The first two are self-explanatory, but the third is the number of times you can repair the weapon before it is useless. If the durability is low and you can only repair it a few times, it’s not worth focusing on. There is also a skill upgrade that occasionally means you won’t use a repair. You can’t rely on it though.
The deeper you get into the game, the more firearms you will find. These weapons can’t be destroyed, but you will need bullets, which can be looted or purchased. Ammo is somewhat scare in the first section of Harran you explore, but the deeper you get, the more options you’ll have to get ammo.
- The weather can affect weapons. If it is raining, equip a weapon with electric damage for more of an impact. Alternatively, a fire weapon will be less effective in the rain.
- Manually combine elemental effects. Throw water on a zombie then use electric weapons, or lead them to a puddle and hit the water to shock them.
- Don’t overlook the throwing stars. Upgrading to elemental stars opens up a whole new realm of attacks.
- Molotov cocktails are devastating early on. If you want to take out a huge group, get to an elevated position, throw a firecracker to draw enemies in tightly, then throw a Molotov.
- The kick is weak. It is mean to get enemies off of you and, but not kill them.
- There are two types of assault rifles. The police rifle is more powerful but semi-automatic. The Military rifle is automatic, but weaker.
- It’s good to have one firearm in your weapons wheel for when you are being shot at. After you have one you like, you can collect others for some easy cash.
- Gold weapons are rare, but there are a few ways to improve your odds. Check out the DLC section above for some hints.
- Playing the night invasion is a good way to increase your odds at a gold weapon.
- Police vans and chests that are difficult to pick are a good place to look for gold weapons, and having four people will further increase the odds.
- Demolishers and goons will occasionally drop a gold weapon.
Easter eggs, news, and secrets
Dying Light is filled with Easter eggs big and small. We’ll continue to add to this list, but if you find one we haven’t added yet, please let us know!
- EXPCalibur: If you want a powerful weapon early on, go grab the EXPcalibur. It’s easy to find, and offers an attack power of well over 300+. To find it, just head southeast of the Slums to the location on the map shown above. Once you hit the edge of the land, look out over the bay and you’ll see a small, rocky island. Swim out to it and you’ll find a zombie with a sword embedded in it. You’ll need to hold the interact button to grab it, and be prepared to spend around three minutes just holding that button. You’ll get the sword eventually, but don’t leave yet. If you wait a few seconds, the zombie will burst into flames, leaving the sword’s blueprint behind.
- Checkers: On the roof of the tower you’ll find a checkers board against a wall. You can make one move for each trip to the Tower. You’ll need to leave the Tower and come back to move again. If you when you’ll receive a blueprint for a “Sick bomb.”
- Korek Machette (Thanks to Shacknews for this one): Located on the roof of an apartment building northwest of the Tower (see the image to the right), you’ll find a small blue toolbox hidden against a wall, behind a stack of crates. To open it you’ll need to repeatedly interact with it for several minutes. It will eventually open, giving you the blueprint. To craft it, you’ll need a lot of alcohol (10) and a lot of metal pieces (20).
- Super Mario Bros. (This one comes via YouTuber xGarbett): In the southwest corner of the Old Town map, there is a building with a chimney (it’s easier to check out the map location that to describe it). Climb to the top of the building and look down into the chimney to find what looks like a green pipe. Interact with it and you’ll find yourself in a Dying Light/ Super Mario mashup.
- Destiny Loot Cave (Also from xGarbett): In the northeast corner of the Slums, in a small, watery canyon west of where you can harvest lavender, there is a wooden fence. Jump over the fence and swim down, and you’ll find a small cave system. Swim inside the cave (it’s a short trek), and you’ll find a handful of stuff, including a funny little dig at the game Destiny that reads “Your destiny is to build your own legend (and get loot).” Be warned though, the cave is not empty.
- Play guitar: At some point in the first few hours of Dying Light, a guitar will appear in the Tower near a bed you can use. If you use it, you’ll hear a couple of off tune notes, but that’s it. Later in the game when you are searching the school, you’ll come across a book on how to play guitar. After that, you’ll sound much better.
- Stasis Field Projector (This one comes courtesy of Segment Next): When you are in Old Town, you’ll eventually engage in a quest involving “Rupert the Gunsmith,” which takes you to the Magic Fortress. In a room above Rupert’s you’ll find a pink teddy bear. Continue to interact with the bear until it explodes and reveals the Stasis Field Projector blueprint.
- Legend of Zelda’s Master Sword: You won’t actually get to wield the Master Sword unfortunately, but you’ll get a chance to see it about half way through the game. Before you leave the Slums for Old Town, make sure you complete Dawud’s side quest. If you do, when you are in the sewer entrance int he story mission to go to Old Town, you’ll see Dawud’s son carrying the Master Sword.
- QR Code: In the Tower in the Slums, you’ll see a poster for a kickboxer named “The Scorpion.” On the bottom, you’ll see a QR code that you can scan. If you do, it will take you to a website written by people from Harran. You can save the time and check it out here if you prefer.
- Plants vs Zombies (This one comes from IGN): After completing the mission “Broadcast” near the end of the game, there is a secret area with a nod to the game Plants vs Zombies. After you climb the antennae, head down the hill on the left side of the cliff to the valley marked on the map to the right. Stay to the left until you see a zipline. Make your way to it, then use it. Stay on the high rocks on the right and look down until you see a toxic lichen. Drop down and it will tell you to use it rather than take it. Do so and you’ll see a screen based on the game.
- More on the story There is a prequel novel titled Nightmare Row on the way, written by James Bond novelist, Raymond Benson. The book will tell the story of siblings Mel and Paul Wyatt as the attempt to survive the initial zombie outbreak.
More Dying Light tips and tricks coming soon!
The game is massive, and the more people play, the more it changes. We are already working on a few new sections for our Dying Light tips and tricks guide. If you have any tips, or if there are things we missed, please let us know in the comments below!