Dead Island Wiki
Dead Island Wiki
For the replacement in Dead Island 2, see Skills (Dead Island 2).

An example of Purna's skill tree in Dead Island: Riptide

Dead Island and Dead Island: Riptide feature an RPG-style levelling system for each character. As you earn XP for killing zombies, completing quests, etc, you gain skill points to put into one of three trees: Fury, Combat or Survival. Each character has some of their own specific skills to learn, and some are shared. The skill trees span from top to bottom and at least one of the previous skills must be fully learned before the next row will be unlocked. To learn a skill from a particular row, the player must spend a skill point, up to a maximum of three to max out a particular skill. These are not refundable, so choose your skill wisely before you unlock it. Skills greatly depend on the class of hero, so some offer sharp weapons skills and some offer blunt weapon skills, etc. Before you choose your character, be sure to study them all carefully to select the one that will fit your play style.

It's also important to note that even at max level, you will not be able to max out each skill tree, so choose your skills carefully as you level up, as they are not refundable and are limited. You can have a maximum of 60 skill points in Dead Island and a maximum of 70 in Dead Island: Riptide.


The survival tree features mostly passive buffs and skills, usually based around health and interacting with the world. Depending on the character, some of the skills will be different, however some common skills shared between all characters is lock picking (able to open higher value metal chests), deeper pockets (more inventory slots for weapons) and weapon maintenance. There's usually at least one skill that buffs either health, stamina, damage resistance or even multiple of these.


The combat tree focuses on the unique skills of the heroes. This will be unique around the hero and generally focuses on the durability, damage, critical chit chance and stamina usage. One common trait that all combat trees share is the ability to headstomp when kicking the head of a downed zombie. It can also buff any modification damage to modded weapons. For example, Xian Mei has a skill in her combat tree that increases the damage duration and chance for any weapon with a poison based mod.


The fury tree is the most unique out of the three skill trees. It focuses on the unique fury special move that each character has. The trees share the same general format of increasing the amount of rage gained, the XP gained while in rage mode, the damage and length that it lasts as well as generally buffing the heroes damage resistance while in rage mode. It's the shortest skill tree but when maxed out, it allows for devastating killing power in emergencies.

Hero Dead Island Dead Island: Riptide
Sam B
Xian Mei
John Morgan