The Shotgun is a firearm featured in Dead Island. Shotguns' range is approximately equal to that of a thrown weapon, and they have large spread capable of knocking down several enemies at once especially the short variation.
Shotgun shells are the rarest ammunition type and only a small number can be carried (20 for everyone, with the exception of Purna, who can carry 25, 30 or 35 by spending skill points enlarging her ammo capacity). Shotguns have low fire rate, small magazine size, but high damage (at close range), making them great yet risky firearms to use.
However, shotguns possess an ability unique among the game's basic weapons. A close-range headshot will blow off the head of most enemies in the game, killing them instantly regardless of their total health. This makes shotguns devastating against the tougher or more dangerous zombies such as Thugs, Floaters and Butchers, particularly if they catch the player unaware in a confined space and they need them dead fast. The spread of the shot can also be used against close clusters of smaller zombies where multiple heads can be hit with a single blast, delivering damage to the whole mob and possibly killing few of them instantly. Using a Short Shotgun for a wider spread helps with this tactic, but forces the player to get closer to effectively headshot single targets.
Mossberg 590 Cruiser
- Excellent in damage and spread.
- Accuracy is not very good.
- Has a surprisingly slow reload time.
- Holds 6 shells.
Franchi SPAS-12 (with or without stock) or Remington 870 Police Folder/TOZ-194
- An average shotgun in terms of damage and accuracy.
- Fast reload time.
- Holds 8 shells.
- The Shotgun can be reloaded much faster than the Short Shotgun. Depending on choice, it is wise to use this instead of the short variation.
- Shotguns have a high amount of physical damage.
- The Shotgun can be found with different appearances for aesthetic purposes.
- Besides instantly destroying their head, the Shotgun can also be used to destroy a zombie's leg, which is also automatically fatal regardless of their total health. However, zombies wearing body armor cannot have their legs shot off.
- In the Dead Island Begins trailer, the shotgun had an extremely exaggerated 1st person view.
- The shotgun's pump slightly hovers above Sam B's hand.
- The headshot is an instant kill, but unlike the curb stomp, it does not do a large amount of damage. The zombie will clearly take only a few hundred damage but will die anyway.
- The Shotguns sold by Wes Tweddle are SPAS-12 modeled.
- Animation glitch: when any type of shotgun is fired the shell ejects before the pump is worked.
- Although Shotgun ammo can be found near enemies no enemy in the game will ever use a shotgun, possibly due to the fact they are hard to kill.