Firearms are one of the two main classes of weapons available in Dead Island and Dead Island: Riptide, with the other class being melee weaponry. They are ranged, powerful, expensive, and immune to the needs of both repair and stamina. Nevertheless, they are relatively scarce and require similarly scarce ammunition in order to function. Even the most basic firearms are exceptionally rare before Act II.
Although not affected by all Skill Trees, firearms can be wielded by any of the Heroes: while Purna enjoys the largest number of firearm-related skills, Xian Mei and (in Riptide) John Morgan have no such skills.
The performance of each firearm varies according to four distinct parameters:
- Damage — The base damage dealt by an attack with this weapon. Actual damage may vary according to the body part hit and the distance to the target.
- Accuracy — Determines the chance of hitting the target when not aiming down the weapon's sights (higher numbers indicate greater accuracy).
- Rate of Fire — The number of rounds that can be fired in a period of time (usually per minute).
- Reload Speed — The time it takes to reload the weapon (higher numbers indicate slower reload times).
Firearms in Dead Island and its sequel may be categorized under five headings:
- Revolvers — Single-action, revolving-cylinder handguns.
- Pistols — Semi-automatic, magazine-fed pistols.
- Rifles — Semi-automatic and burst-fire assault rifles, and (in Riptide) a bolt-action sniper rifle.
- Auto Rifles — Fully automatic assault rifles.
- Shotguns — Pump-action, short-ranged.
Upgrades and Modifications
Any firearm in the player's inventory may be upgraded at a Workshop up to three times and at increasing cost, for improved damage and (sometimes) other parameters. In addition, any firearm may be modified to have improved and unique parameters, if the player possesses the requisite Mod, materials, and cash. Firearm Mods fall under the following four categories:
- Explosive Mods
- Fire Mods
- Poison Mods
- Shock Mods
No firearm can fire without the proper type of ammunition, and each hero can carry a limited number of bullets from each type. Ammunition, while scarce, can be acquired from various locations, corpses, and Merchants. Eventually, the player can acquire mod-blueprints or "recipes" to manufacture each ammo type at a Workshop.
There are three types of ammunition:
- Pistol Ammo — Compatible with all pistols and revolvers.
- Rifle Ammo — Compatible with all rifles and auto rifles.
- Shotgun Ammo — Compatible with all shotguns.
There are three ammunition blueprints (or mods) which enable the player to make the relevant ammo at a Workshop, provided that one has the requisite materials and cash: