Dead Island: Survivors is the latest zombie game to shuffle its way into the Android catalog. It might not have much to do with the original Dead Island, but new tower defense elements make the game harder and more complex.
To help out zombie-bashing newbies, we’ve compiled this list of tips and tricks for Dead Island: Survivors. Just listen to us and you’ll be island-hopping your way to victory before the infection spreads too far.
Always check zombie pathing
This one should come as no surprise, considering most of the game is devoted to tower defense. Unlike most games in the tower defense genre, the pathing of each wave can change from one horde to the next.
The red line shows the path zombies will take to your camp, but there are all kinds of ways the undead attackers can stray from that path (more on that later).
While more difficult hordes spawn zombies in new locations as you rescue more survivors, sometimes the same spawning location has two different paths. Zombies might come out of one of two tiles, and each one could path differently depending on your defensive turret placement.
As a result, you always need to check pathing before hopping into a battle. Even two consecutive loot hordes with the same weakness might have different pathing. Don’t get caught with your beach trunks down.
Take advantage of the map
The battlefield in Dead Island: Survivors is always changing, and you’ll have to use it to your advantage to survive each attack.
On top of numerous interactive elements on the screen like exploding barrels and swinging cranes, the map layout itself can work to your advantage. For example, putting a cannon next to a body of water can knock even the beefiest zombie to a watery grave. Despite the beach attire, apparently zombies can’t swim.
Also be on the lookout for other hazards like puddles of water and oil spills, which can be combined with electricity or fire to produce some nasty effects for the invading forces. These can be triggered by well-placed traps or by weapons that deal elemental damage.
Create corridors of (un)death
Once you’ve seen where the zombies come from, you should try to set up a long stretch where you can clump up zombies and mow them all down at once.
Early on, your options for funneling zombies are fairly limited. It might feel like barricades are a waste of 200 metal since they don’t do any damage, but they are vital to buying enough time to whittle down the undead before they get too far.
Barricades are key to whittling down the wights before they get too far
Flamers and blazing torrent traps offer decent area damage when you first unlock them. They both have good range and attack in a straight line, so try to line everything up so zombies path through the entire damage cone.
As you advance you’ll unlock much longer range traps, allowing you to be more creative with your carnage.
Keep tapping with slow characters
In the absence of an auto-battle mode, one of the few automated features in Dead Island: Survivors is that if you tap on a zombie just once your character will continuously attack it. The game bills this as a way to prevent finger fatigue, but it comes with a huge loss in overall damage.
Some of the playable characters in Dead Island: Survivors, like the starting character Sam B., have slow attack speeds. If you rely on auto-attacks you’ll be swinging until the mutated cows come home.
To take down zombies quickly, keep tapping on them. You’ll have to find the right rhythm so you don’t interrupt your attack animations, but this method allows you to attack much faster and deal much more damage.
Fast attacking characters like Marshanda and Zara might be fine with a single tap, since their base attack speeds are much higher. Stick to these kinds of characters if you’re prone to fat-fingering and attacking the wrong zombies (like me).
Lead zombies away from vulnerable spots
Zombies are dumb. For the most part, once they catch a whiff of fresh brains they’ll follow it until the end of the world. Although to be fair, the end of the world might not be too far off.
As the sole defender of the base camp, you’ll also have to bait zombies away from vulnerable areas. Usually that means the final stretch of land in front of the gate to your base camp.
As the sole defender of the base camp you’ll also have to play the role of bait
If you’re careful, you can also pull single zombies out of the crowd to take them down well before they make it to your front line of turrets. This is a great way to deal with high health zombies and trap-disabling stinkers.
You can also use traps with knockback like the cannon to smack the living dead off their pre-determined path. Combined with barricades, this can leave zombies trapped hopelessly in a corner.
Buy another builder
Gems are hard to come by in Dead Island: Survivors, so you’ll want to spend them wisely. The game encourages you to use them on speeding up trap boosts and suitcase unlocks, but the best plan of action is to save up for an additional builder.
A second builder not only lets you unlock two suitcases at once, it also lets you boost two traps simultaneously. Apparently opening suitcases isn’t a full time job, so each builder can perform both tasks at the same time.
An additional builder will run you 599 gems, which is just over five bucks if you decide to spend real money. If you’re the type of person who likes to keep free-to-play mobile games “free,” it will take you around a week of casual play to get there.
To build your stash of gems more quickly, make sure you grab achievement rewards and open the zombie suitcases (bottom left) whenever they’re available. Also you should do missions whenever they’re up.
Target loot hordes and missions first
Although your purpose for traveling to the infested travel resorts is to save survivors, it’s worth it to take your time and finish the loot hordes and missions first.
Loot missions are the only part of the game not always defense based (although often it is), but they reward unlocked suitcases. It might not sound like much, but each mission essentially saves you three hours.
Make sure you have at least 1500 extra metal before reaching a new survivor milestone
Loot hordes reward a locked suitcase and up to 900 metal, depending on your performance. Make sure you have at least 1500 extra metal before reaching a new survivor milestone — if you don’t, you’re in for a nasty surprise.
When you reach a new milestone you can place several more traps on the map in order to compensate for more difficult zombie hordes. If you don’t have enough metal, you’ll have to take them on with whatever you already have.
That puts you at a huge disadvantage, and might prevent you from collecting any new suitcases at all. Planning ahead is the only way to prevent this, and if you’re already reading this, odds are you understand the need for preparation.
Use your consumables
In Dead Island: Survivors consumables are, well, consumed. Each time you use them you have to pay a small amount of cash to use them in the next battle.
This might discourage the frugal fighter from using them, but consumables can single-handedly turn the tide of a battle. A well-timed waterbomb next to electric traps can devastate large groups of zombies, and downing an energy drink could be the only thing keeping your brains off the dinner plate.
Downing an energy drink could be the only thing that keeps your brains off the dinner plate
Take a few seconds before each battle to pick the right consumables. This will depend on the horde’s weakness, your trap setup, and your preferred play style. Generally you’ll do fine sticking to your strongest, highest level consumables.
At the end of the day, it only costs 20 or 30 bucks to replenish your supplies — nothing compared to the time you’d have to spend repeating the battle. After the first few trap upgrades you’ll have plenty of cash on hand.
Keep in mind, that items are consumed even if you fail the mission. That’s just another reason to always go in prepared!
Call companions in a pinch
Another unique element of Dead Island: Survivors is that you can call in your unused companions (or friends on your friends list) to help out in the heat of battle. This way you can gang up on the ghoulish invaders to take them down even faster.
Once used, companions are on a pretty long cooldown before they can be used again. You can spend a small amount of gems to reset the timer, but they should be used sparingly. Save your companions for critical moments.
Companions let you gang up on the ghoulish invaders to take them down even faster
Remember, your companions only join you for a limited amount of time. After 20 seconds (or running out of health), they’ll leave you to fend off the undead attackers on your own.
If you really like using companions consider playing as John Morgan once he becomes available. His passive trait allows companions to stay on the battlefield for an extra 20 seconds, and boosts their damage.
Like most free-to-play mobile games, Dead Island: Survivors is designed to be played in short bursts. There isn’t a stamina system limiting game time, but if you try to play for hours on end you’ll quickly find it difficult to advance.
Don’t forget to grab the free daily suitcase
Taking breaks gives your builders time to unlock suitcases (you can only hold four at once), which is the best way to get more cards and improve your defenses. It also gives builders time to finish boosting your traps, giving them that extra ounce of power.
Waiting also lets you replay missions, which respawn on the map every four hours or so. As mentioned above, these give lots of rewards like unlocked suitcases and gems. These could be just the boost you need to overcome the next wave of undead.
If you decide to take your time, don’t forget to grab the free daily suitcase. It’s in the shop alongside the paid suitcases.
Dead Island: Survivors tips and tricks – Conclusion
Hopefully these Dead Island: Survivors tips and tricks are enough to keep you from succumbing to the infection. Follow them and you’ll be a brain-bashing pro in no time.
Have any more tips to add to the list? Let us know in the comments!