Dying Light 2: The Best Skills and Character Build

Dying Light 2 offers two extensive skill trees that are pretty easy to navigate once you know what the best skills are.

Dying Light 2
Photo: Techland

Underneath all the zombie-slaying and parkour traversal, Dying Light 2 is fundamentally an RPG, which means that quite a bit of your time in the game is going to be spent unlocking new skills in order to optimize your character build.

Skills in Dying Light 2 are split between two trees: Combat and Parkour. As you’ve probably guessed, the former helps you with the game’s various combat sequences while the latter will help you bounce around its environments. There are times when the two skill trees even interact in fascinating ways that really unlock a variety of creative possibilities.

While Dying Light 2 offers a fairly straightforward skill system, the number of options available to you can sometimes make it difficult to decide which skills you should really focus on and which ones you can probably put off until later (or ignore entirely). So far as that goes, here’s a little look at the various skills available to you in Dying Light 2 and which ones you’re really going to want to focus on in order to increase your odds of surviving.

Dying Light 2: How Do You Level Up Your Character and Unlock New Skills?

At its heart, Dying Light 2 utilizes a “practical” skill and leveling system that allows you to level up your character as you perform certain moves and actions more often. So, as you perform more Parkour moves or complete Parkour challenges, your Parkour level will increase. As you fight more zombies (or anything else in your way), your Combat level will increase. You’ll also receive a bonus in both categories by leveling up at night (when everything is a little more dangerous).

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Every level you unlock in either category will grant you a skill point to spend, but unlocking certain skills will require you to also unlock previous “prerequisite” skills as well as raise your overall Health or Stamina through the use of Inhibitors (special items used to raise those vital traits). You’ll need three Inhibitors to level up your Health or Stamina.

Dying Light 2: Every Parkour Skill in the Game

High Jump – This allows you to jump higher and reach higher ledges
Firm Grip – Make the final climb on ledges even when your stamina is gone and maintain your grip when jumping from heights
Fast Climb – Move faster on ledges when moving up and to either side (140 Stamina and Firm Grip Required)
Ledge Jump – Jump while climbing on ledges to get higher more quickly (200 Stamina and Fast Climb Required)
Active Landing – Reduce fall damage and keep your momentum
Safe Landing – Increases the height from which you can land without taking any damage (140 Stamina and Active Landing Required)
Landing Jump – Jump instantly from an Active Landing (200 Stamina and Safe Landing Required)
Sleek Runner – Increase your speed while navigating tricky obstacles like slopes, balance boards, climbing pipes, wall openings, etc. (120 Stamina Required)
Slide – Slide while running to pass through low holes in walls and other passages (160 Stamina and Sleek Runner Required)
Slide Jump – Perform a jump directly from a slide without losing momentum (200 Stamina, Slide Required)
Stealth Movement – Increase your overall speed and mobility while sneaking. Gain the ability to perform a crouch jump (160 Stamina and Sleek Runner Required)
Crowd Runner – Run through a group of enemies without losing momentum and lower the damage you receive (160 Stamina and Sleek Runner Required)
Far Jump – Use any obstacle to spring from it and jump further (120 Stamina Required)
Double Jump – Reach even greater heights while jumping off obstacles (160 Stamina and Far Jump Required)
Rotate Jump – Turn 180 degrees during a jump (200 stamina and Double Jump Required)
Dart – Temporarily increases your movement speed, which allows you to cross wider gaps, reach higher ledges, or run longer on walls (140 Stamina Required)
Dash – Dash for as long as your stamina lasts (180 Stamina and Dart Required)
Afterboost – Gain a brief burst of speed after performing specific parkour moves (240 Stamina and Dash Required)
Energy Jump – Jump off enemies while in Dart/Dash (180 Stamina and Dart Required)
Bash – Bash through obstacles and enemies without stopping (200 Stamina and Dart Required)
Tic Tac – Run alongside vertical surfaces (160 Stamina and High Jump Required)
Wall Run – Run upwards on vertical surfaces (200 Stamina and Tic Tac Required)
Wall Run Jump – Jump up while performing a wall run (240 Stamina and Wall Run Required)
Wall Combo – Combine Tic Tacs or wall runs into longer combos (260 Stamina and Tic Tac Required)

Dying Light 2: Every Combat Skill in the Game

Vault Kick – Jump over staggered enemies and follow up with a kick
Air Kick – When dropping onto enemies from above, strike them with a power kick
Vault Power Kick – Add force to your Vault Kick and send enemies flying (Air Kick and 140 Health Required)
Head Stomp – Headstomp enemies that lay on the ground (140 Health and Vault Power Kick Required)
Dropkick – Perform a powerful kick while jumping (180 Health Required)
Perfect Dodge – Dodge at the perfect time to stagger your enemy
Grapple – Use the momentum of attacking enemies to throw them to their side (140 Health and Perfect Dodge Required)
Grapple Throw – Increase the momentum of enemies thrown with Grapple to knock them to the ground. (180 health, Grapple skill required)
Power Attack – Perform a power attack that deals more damage, interrupts enemy attacks and blocks (120 Health Required)
Windmill – Perform a powerful attack that hits all enemies around you (160 Health and Power Attack Required)
Ground Pound – Perform a powerful attack while in mid-air (160 Health and Power Attack Required)
Perfect Parry – Perform a perfect block to stagger your enemy for longer and trigger a slo-mo effect (120 Health Required)
Block Projectiles – Block incoming projectiles like knives and arrows (160 health and Perfect Parry Required)
Deflect Projectiles – Deflect an incoming projectile and send it back to your attacker (240 health and Block Projectiles Required)
Block Charge – When blocking, charge at an enemy in front of you and knock them to the ground (160 Health and Perfect Parry Required)
Stab – Quickly take down an unaware enemy (160 Health Required)
Stab Followup – Automatically throw a knife at another enemy after performing Stab (200 Health and Stab Required)
Ledge Takedown – Quickly take down enemies by pulling them down from a ledge (240 Health and Stab Followup Required)
Smash – Smash enemy hands while dropping onto them from above (200 Health Required)
Smash Jump – Perform a jump right after Smash, giving you the opportunity to follow up with another aerial attack (240 Health and Smash Required)
Precise Aiming – Increase your aim with all ranged weapons (160 health required)
Power Shot – Adds piercing and bonus damage to all ranged weapon shots (200 Health and Precise Aiming Required)
Serial Shot – This allows you to fire up to 3 projectiles at the same time (240 health and Power Shot Required)
Parkour Shot – Gain the ability to use ranged weapons while parkouring (220 Health and Precise Aiming Required)

Dying Light 2: The Best Combat Skills


One of the best Combat skills in the game is also one of the simplest.

This basic maneuver not only lets you perform a running kick on your opponents (which is very useful for maintaining momentum during combat) but makes it much easier to knock enemies off tall places and instantly dispatch them

Power Attack

Power Attack is one of those RPGs skills that aren’t particularly exciting but is honestly enough of a necessity that you should just forget about the fact it should probably have been included in the base moveset.

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Along with allowing you to perform…well, a powerful attack, this move can also interrupt enemies when used properly. That makes it the ideal way to deal with some of the bosses and minibosses that you’ll start running into later in the game.

Block Projectiles

Perfect Parry (one of the prerequisites for this move) is also quite useful, but it’s really just an appetizer for this incredible ability.

Block Projectiles lets you block incoming flying weapons, which probably doesn’t sound all that exciting until you realize that some of the toughest enemies in the game pretty much depend on your initial inability to block exactly those kinds of attacks.


Again, I’m not entirely sure why this isn’t just a base skill in the game, but this ability that allows you to perform a devastating sneak attack on unaware enemies is a must-have.

Yes, this move was designed with stealth in mind, but the fact that it allows you to preserve your weapon’s durability means that it indirectly contributes to direct combat scenarios.

Perfect Dodge

Continuing or theme of generally useful Combat abilities that aren’t all that exciting is Perfect Dodge: a move that lets you stagger opponents by performing a perfectly timed dodge.

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This move really is the lynchpin of so many basic encounters. Staggering an enemy opens them up to so many different types of attacks, and this is one of the absolute best ways to stagger most enemies without having to use your weapon or very advanced skills.

Dying Light 2: The Best Parkour Skills

Firm Grip

Firm Grip is a very useful Parkour skill you can acquire early on that essentially allows you to both grip certain surfaces much easier while falling and make one last “desperation” jump to another ledge after you’ve run out of stamina.

This is really just a great insurance policy skill that will save your life from time to time and will certainly allow you to preserve more stamina in the long run.

Active Landing

Simply put, Active Landing is arguably the most valuable skill in Dying Light 2.

If Active Landing did nothing but reduce the amount of fall damage you take, it would still be an irreplaceable ability. However, it’s the fact that this skill allows you to maintain your momentum after falling from a great height that makes it truly special. Be sure to upgrade this to Safe Landing when you get the chance.


While I can’t explain the narrative reason why you can’t just sprint in Dying Light 2 right from the start, I can tell you that the only way to perform a basic sprint function in the game is to unlock Dart and Dash.

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Dart grants you a short burst of speed that allows you to clear larger gaps, which is certainly useful, but is really just a precursor to Dash: your basic sprint function. Go out of your way for these.

Far Jump

It may be tempting to skip Far Jump in favor of other early Dying Light 2 skills, but this sneakily valuable ability will be useful for the rest of the game.

Far Jump lets you use obstacles to gain momentum and perform longer jumps. There are times when it is simply nice, but there are other times when it lets you reach areas that would otherwise be inaccessible.

Sleek Runner

This spot was going to go to Dying Light 2‘s various wall-running abilities, but since you’re probably going to unlock those at some point anyway, I have to give Sleek Runner a little love.

This skill greatly increases your speed while you’re navigating wall openings, loose boards, and other generally unstable structures. Again, the beautiful thing about this simple ability is that it greatly increases your ability to navigate environments without having to really do anything special.

Dying Light 2: The Best Character Build

Talking about character builds in Dying Light 2 is kind of an odd task. Because you’re able to eventually unlock every skill through a combination of XP and Inhibitors, you don’t necessarily need to devote yourself to a particular “build” in the classic RPG sense. Instead, you’re often just going to have to choose which skills to acquire/focus on first while you’re working your way through the game.

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So far as that goes, I would highly recommend focusing on using Inhibitors to increase your Stamina and gain Parkour skills over using them to increase your Health and gain Combat abilities. Stamina tends to be a little more valuable than Health in the long run (no pun intended) as you’re going to be freely using it more often than you’re going to be freely spending your health. Because Stamina is tied to the more advanced Parkour upgrades, it just makes sense that you’re probably going to be prioritizing those as you acquire more stamina. Parkour abilities are also generally more useful than Combat abilities as you’re going to be relying on them more often in different scenarios.

That being the case, I’d recommend using your early Inhibitors to acquire earlier Parkour abilities like Safe Landing, Sleek Runner, and Far Jump over their early Combat skill tree equivalents. You’re absolutely going to want to spend some points and Inhibitors on the Combat tree at some point, but because you’ll get the most mileage out of those abilities a little later in the game, it’s fine to work your way up to them rather than prioritize them early on.