Dying Light

From Before I Play
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  • Have a lot of normal zombies that you need dead, but can't clear them in melee safely? Stand up on something tall enough to be safe (like a van or a building) and toss firecrackers to gather them, then molotovs to clear them out. Neither firecrackers nor the molotov counts as anything loud enough that fast zombies will come to investigate.
  • Giant zombie in your way? Throw melee weapons at them. There's a relatively early game talent that will let you throw any melee weapon. Coincidentally, the big concrete club those assholes swing around makes a really good ranged weapon when you throw it at them. It's so good that it's worth carting around one or two of those rebar clubs in the early game so you can throw them whenever you encounter a giant dude.
  • Living people are really annoying to fight. Fortunately living people also really don't handle being lit on fire well. So any time you find a group of 3 thugs camping something you want (like a supply drop), throw a molotov right into the middle of them. All three of them will burn to death without any further intervention on your part. Also living people usually have great weapons that sell for good money, too, so don't forget to loot their weapons.
  • In coop, the loot you see (with the exception of weapons actively being wielded by the NPCs) is all instanced. So you see your own loot. Each of your coop buddies sees their own individual sets of loot. So feel free to take anything you see lying around; you're not being a greedy dick when you hoover up everything in sight.
  • Talent tips: Extra bag space is great. Crafting more items for fewer resources (aka make more molotovs) is great. Instant escape from zombie grabs is a literal life saver. Instantly killing prone zombies is revelatory. Camouflage is good. Jumping off of zombies while sprinting is good (and with the drop attack is hilarious). I never used two handed weapons, so I can't tell you if the talent abilities for two handers are any good, but the charged swing power attack for one handed weapons is garbage and usually will get your ass eaten.
  • Don't go outside at night. The night time special zombies are real bad news.
  • Counterpoint to the above: DO go outside at night, there are no penalties for dying at night and you get double EXP for agility and power, plus any night-time air drops are totally uncontested. It's pretty hard, but also pretty damn fun, so you'd be doing yourself a disservice avoiding it completely.
  • Do side quests. The writing is often much better than the main story and the rewards are often quite good. You can preview your rewards to decide which side quest to do first.
  • The companion app is worthwhile eventually as you can eventually access really good weapon upgrades more reliably than they're found in the main game. You could just as easily give it a pass though.
  • Getting ranks in Sturdiness (all the way up to 3, or 175 total health) is one of the only things that can save you from being one-shotted by exploders or endure being chewed up by a human with an assault rifle. Prioritize it in the mid-game at latest. Regeneration is pretty worthless, even upgraded it will never save you.
  • Pre-grappling hook, Light Drop and Forward Roll really reduce frustration in traversal. Post-grappling hook they let you be more fast and loose with hookshotting around and have more fun.
  • Throwing melee weapons or power-attacking with a one-hander are really situational at best and pretty slow. Even two-handed weapons are kind of too slow to use well.
  • Falling to your death (during the day) results in much less lost Survivor XP than being killed by zombies, in case you ever have a rock-and-a-hard-place decision to make.
  • You'll start with basically nothing for weapons, but keep bugging your two quartermasters (in the Towers, and Spike down the street) for daily re-ups and you'll get the materials to make a basic craftable weapon that will take you places early on.
  • Most of the craftable weapon special effects are no great shakes, but impact is pretty fun. It's hard to get it in any great quantity on non-two-handed weapons though. Electricity is effective but it can zap you a bit too if you're too close, and burning's even worse for that. Toxic is just ok but it's not a liability at least. Craft weapons more with an eye for damage/handling/durability boosts.
  • Bows are a good combination of ranged weapon and special effects all in one slot but its stopping power really falls off in the mid-game as zombies get tougher. Throwing stars with the same effects are eventually a quicker and better option, and they're craftable much earlier.
  • DIY grenades aren't so great either, and they're really loud. Most of the craftable potions you can get via perks or side quests aren't really worth much of anything, nor are the flammable/conductive fluids, once you get going. Crafting is best for medkits, firecrackers, molotovs, melee weapons and not much else.
  • Guns aren't very useful outside due to their loudness, but shotguns are strong enough to be worth keeping around 24/7 and are also your main workhorses indoors.
  • I don't think it was made so clear but you can only repair a weapon from X to full durability a set number of times. Color-coded weapons really just signify greater numbers of times they can be repaired. Orange is the highest and best but does not necessarily mean high damage by default. Accordingly, save your ++ durability weapon upgrades for orange or purple weapons.
  • Always break down your cheapo weapons for metal parts. If you take advantage of a particular easter egg weapon or two you'll need lots of metal parts. The easter egg weapons are well-balanced enough to make the early game easier but they drop off mid-end game so don't be shy about looking up how to get them if you're not having fun.
  • Build Survivor XP by bringing in supply drops (ideally at night, or from underwater) or rescuing dudes in random encounters. Build Agility by unlocking traversal perks that give you more ways to earn it, particularly at night. Build Power by having a zombie kick-party near a spiky object that will instantly kill them if they so much as touch it, and by eventually getting the kill streak perk. There's no real rush to max out any of these trees but you'll want to get Survivor high enough for that grappling hook ASAP.
  • Pick the locks to police cars/vans, I found some really nice guns in those vehicles, including a police rifle that I found early on that never got topped for damage output all throughout the main game.
  • Get the perk that lets you smash downed enemies' heads asap, it's super handy.