Each character brings a unique ability and set of skills to the table.  If your looking at this guide its probably because you have decided that you want to be Logan.  Maybe the idea of throwing things at zombies excites you. Regardless of what your plans are this guide will teach you some essential things that you should know and some practices you may want to pick up along the way if you plan on throwing your weapons.

This guide is a culmination of everything I have learned about throwing while playing Dead Island. However, I don't want this guide to be one that tells you how to play the game.  Part of the fun of RPG's is playing them how you want to.  Instead I hope that you can learn some things to add to your bag of tricks so that you can better survive the zombie hordes.

Throwing Weapon (thro-ing wepon) - Any Melee weapon that can be thrown. 


  • General Good Practices
  • Common Questions
  • Starting out
  • The Glory Days (Late game tips)
  • Modding Tips
  • Tips
  • Caracter Specs
  • End
  • Plans

General Good Practice

The following is a list of good practices you may want to incorporate into your play style, regardless of level. 

  • Dodging is a very important tool that allows you to avoid damage.  Don't think you won't end up in close combat.  You will and this skill can be a life saver. 
  • Kicking, every guide you will ever read about Dead Island will include a section about kicking.  So I am going to say it here, once.  Kicking is good because it cannot be interrupted, and can knock down zombies around you.  Okay that's enough about kicking.
  • Experiment.  Just because I didn't mention something in this guide doesn't mean you shouldn't try it. 
  • Don't let the fear of losing a weapon stop you from throwing.  You should not become so attached to your weapons in this game. 99.9% of the weapons I use are from quest rewards.  Meaning that I can get them again in new game + with higher stats!
  • Don't worry about saving money.  Unless you have a clear cut goal in mind saving money is not worth it in the long run.  The more you save the more you lose when you die.  I am not saying you should go hog wild and run around with no cash, but $20,000 is a good amount to stay around at higher levels.
  • Keep an eye out for materials you need to craft your favorite mods.  If they appear in a store you should buy as much as you are willing to spend.
  • Learn to dupe your weapons.  While I normally hate exploits like this, there are so many glitches that lead to the loss of your weapon that still need to be patched I feel its justifiable.

Common Questions

1) How do I know the definition of throwing weapons?

Simple, Logan has the ability known as boomerang.  The description of this ability is "Chance to retrive thrown weapons: %".  As well the ability furious throw is stated as this "Killing enemies with throws gains additional rage".  This means that they aren't so much concerned about the weapon, but the action.

2) Can you aim for specific areas of the body when throwing weapons?

No you cannot move the red x to different parts of the target.  When you prepare to throw weapons it is not like aiming a gun.  It doesn't matter what control style you choose, you will automatically aim at their chest.  You can change the outcome depending on the situation however.  If you are close (really close), and look a little bit up there is a chance it will hit the head of the zombie, because it just hasnt had time to drop to the chest area, but from a distance looking up does not affect the impact point.  As well it appears that at random times you will hit different areas of the body, so perhaps you should think of the auto aim as more of a aiming at a zombie in general, than aiming at a zombies chest.

Starting Out

This section of the guide is for the bright-eyed newcomers who have yet to have their hopes dashed by the horded of Dead Island.  It is my hope that this section will help relieve some of the frustration that starting at level one can bring.

First Thing

The very first thing you should do, with any character, is acquire their fury skill. This can be done by purchasing the very first ability in the fury tree.  Of course this is more of a general rule than a throwing weapon one, but it is so important I felt I had to list it.

Analog Vs Digital

This choice doesn't really change throwing all that much.  It just changes it from holding left trigger and hitting right, to holding right trigger and hitting the left.  However it does give you more control in melee, and when you become proficient, allows easy decapitation of zombies with your trusty machete.

Checklist Overview

  • As you are leveling never upgrade the weapons you throw most.
  • Learn what effects a weapon is prone to apply when thrown.
  • Never purchase weapons from a vendor, period.
  • Know when not to throw your weapon.
  • Get familiar with melee weapons and pick your preferred type.
  • Its not just Logan that can benefit from thrown weapons.  Any character can throw weapons, and the skills/ideas here can hopefully add to your play style.

To throw or not to throw..

The first thing I did with Logan was throw the paddle I got at the beginning of the game.  Stupid yes I know.  But I really wanted to see the mechanic.

It is through this experimentation that I learned the very definition of throwing weapons in dead island. As I stated before every weapon that can be thrown, is a throwing weapon. Meaning that Logan is not the only character that can benefit from throwing. 

Now I have not confirmed this, but it seems to be widly believed that bonuses for weapons also apply to them when thrown.  So if you are Sam B with a bonus to damage for blunt weapons, that bonus will carry over when a blunt weapon is thrown.

What to throw?

So if pretty much every weapon in the game is a throwing weapon, what should I throw? This will go along with your chosen character.  You should look to see what skills offer bonuses to your weapons.  Specifically critical chance.  This will become even more important as the game progresses.

When to throw?

If it looks like a zombie, and talks like a zombie, its a zombie. 

Up and coming throwing enthusiasts seem to take this at heart. If its a zombie, I should throw something at it. Sadly throwing in this game is not that cut and dry.  I don't mean to crush your dreams or anything but throwing for kills in the early levels is pretty much pointless. I did it, and it was annoying.  Sure I could kill 2-3 zombies with my entire inventory, but that meant that after every 2-3 zombies I had to pick up my entire inventory. 

Take heart, there is a point to throwing in the early game.  The first is for experience.  You should throw different kinds of weapons to see which you prefer.  As we know weapons have different effects on zombies, this transfers over to throwing.  A machete is more likely to take off a limb than a kitchen knife. 

The second is for crowd control.  If you see a zombie running at a fellow survivor you can hit it with a weapon as well as alerting your companion.  This will make the zombie pause and give your ally time turn and face the zombie, hopefully preventing those dreaded triple hits from behind.

As well throwing weapons are good for executions.  If you see an enemy with low health you can pick it off from a distance quickly.  Throwing weapons are also great for blowing up red explosives before you gain access to firearms.

What Weapons do I suggest?

 So your probably looking at me going "Sensei, what should I get?".  And I am going to say, "I don't know".  And you are going to be uber depressed.  But its because I really don't know how you play and what you like to do. But don't worry I won't just let you fend for yourself. Instead I will give you an ideal "sample" inventory that you may want to shoot for at the beginning of the game.

  • Machete. This is my favorite weapon all around.  This will be your main melee weapon.  Feel free to upgrade it and keep it repaired. Depending on rarity you may even want to mod it.  For hints on mods for throwing check below.
  • Molotov. These are great for thugs in the first couple acts.  Without firearms these bad boys can be quite difficult.  Take the molotov and throw and they will be reduced to ash.
  • Knives, cleavers, sticks, oh my.  The rest of your inventory should be your throwing weapons. These should be fire and forget weapons. You will constantly be getting better and better weapons as you level up.  So losing that level 4 homemade knife in that zombie isn't the end of the world.

The Glory Days (level 20 and up)

Meanwhile, at the Legion of Doom...


Forget everything I said in the beginning of this guide.  Well, ok, maybe not everything...  But as you level up your strategy will (and should) adapt.  Why?  Well by now you've probably/hopefully noticed that you can cut the heads off of zombies with the machete, or knock them down and curb stomp them.  Oh and your probably getting swarmed more often.  So what does this mean? Well we've got a new rule.

Choose your fights!

Your probably in the city now, maybe the jungle.  And you have to learn that you cant just stand there and kill everything.  Often you will be swarmed by 10+ zombies (especially in the city) and this is not good for your health or your weapons durability.  Also if you've been throwing your weapons like I think you have, your going to have an increased chance of losing your favorite weapons if/when you die.  So use the terrain to your advantage.  Jump up on vehicles, anything you can find.  Or just run.

Lets get the the point... Weapons

Since you read the beginning of the guide you know that all weapons that can be thrown, are classified as throwing weapons. So this is very important for skills such as boomerang (Logan), and any skills that deal with bonuses to your weapons.  Your throwing weapons should go along with what your specialized in.  Because you will actually be USING your weapon, not just throwing it.  The only tip I can give you is that one handed vs 2 handed doesn't really matter.  If you are aiming at a zombie while preparing to throw it will hit it (at least with Logan).  So you shouldn't have to worry about throwing distance when comparing the two. 

However I will say that I still prefer weapons such as the machete, because it sticks into zombies and is easier to find because of this.

When to throw?

In the earlier guide I told you throwing weapons in the early game was stricly educational. This is when that begins to change.  You have probably become familiar with almost every melee weapon type in the game by now.  So you should be able to make a more informed decision on where to go from here.

An unstrung bow is just a stick... sadly there are no bows in dead Island, so its more like an un-modded weapon is a stick.

Throwing weapons that have no mod in the mid to late game is just pointless (unless your Logan who has a 9% chance to instant kill... but that's irrelevant). You will be dealing with groups of zombies now, so you need weapons that have a chance of actually doing some damage.  Mods provide that extra power. From turning a zombie into a walking time bomb, to a walking transformer, all is covered below.

Modding Tips

Like I said before mods become more and more necessary as the game progresses. It becomes increasingly important to throw weapons your character specializes in as well.  If you have an increased crit chance, the more likely it is for the mod to take effect.

 Below I will provide a list of the "best" mods and provide you with the required materials.  However you may not have access to these immediately.  Feel free to use a similar mod in this situation.

You holding out on me skull?

So if you have found this guide you obviously like to keep up on dead island news.  So you've probably heard about these skulls.  As of now there are only 5 known skulls (there are probably only 5, but who knows).  Each one gives you some very interesting weapons.  But 2 are very beneficial for throwing.  Each cost $10000 to make, so you may want to protect your investment and dupe a few copies of it. 

Mind-Blowing Military Knife

This mod is obtained by finding and placing the purple skull.  Video here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXVOpuB4jXU.

This knife does not do much damage compared to higher level weapons, but it has a 75% chance to crit.  Oh and did I mention that when it crits it blows the zombies head off?  So basically it equals an insta kill most of the time.  This is extremely useful for Logan.  When specced right, his throwing weapons will deal damage to zombies around the victim you hit.  Combining Economical Throws with this knife means you can drop groups of zombies in no time.  I however rarely use this combo, because it makes the game too easy. 

The only downside to this weapon is that it is only good against infected and walkers.  It will not kill suiciders in one hit, and it does minimal damage to thugs/rams/floaters/butchers.

The required materials are

  • Battery
  • Diamonds x 5

Plague-Bearing Military Knife

This mod is obtained by finding and placing the blue skull.  Video here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imDChukzZ2w

This knife does slightly more damage than the mindblowing (8 damage i think?)  but has a 100% chance to crit.  Oh and it poisons the zombie.  Making this better for killing the bigger guys than the mindblowing knife.  As well this is arguably a better weapon for throwing for characters other than Logan due to its guaranteed crit chance.  This will still work with Logan's ability, but why not just use the mindblowing knife and get the insta kill? 

The required materials are

  • Deodorant
  • Diamonds x 5

They're shockingly delicious

Mods such as this are great for throwing.  If your lucky, the zombie you hit will electrocute not only itself, but damage the zombies around it.  Hitting a zombie in the middle/front of a group will heavily damage those around it.  And block the route for the zombies behind them

Short-Circuit Mod

This mod is for most bladed weapons.  However the equivalent mod is Old Smoky for machetes.

The required materials are

  • Duct Tape x 3
  • Wire x 3
  • Large battery x 2
  • Magnet x 2
  • Electronic Scrap x 2

Magic Wand Mod

This mod is for most blunt weapons.

The required materials are

  • Duct Tape x 3
  • Wire x 3
  • Large Battery x 2
  • Phone x 2
  • Electronic Scrap x 2

The strategy for this mod is quite simple.  Throw it at a zombie and hope that it will work.  The greater your critical chance the more likely it is to succeed. What weapon you place this on is up to you.  Consider how often you will throw it.  If you are not going to use it in melee, it may be a better idea to attach to it to a small knife or a similar weapon.  One that you can "fire and forget".  This has its benefits.  When playing with groups you don't have to worry about your valuable weapons being swiped.  

Sticky Bomb Mod

What could be better than throwing a knife into a zombie?  How about said knife having explosives strapped to it? This mod takes any knife you find, and turns it into a great tool of destruction.  When the knife explodes it will do 5000 damage, and at times, will set the zombies around it on fire.  The only downside is that you lose the knife, the upside is that it only costs 50 dollars to create. 

NOTE Players who use Logan should take a particular interest in this mod.  If you have the boomerang skill, there is a chance that the knife will "boomerang" back.  This is most likely a glitch, as the boomerang note does not appear.  But this means that for the price of one you can have multiple explosive knives.  (My record is 5)

The required materials are

  • Bleach
  • Wire
  • Duct Tape
  • Wrist Watch

The strategy for this weapon should be very obvious.  Its great for killing thugs/rams and large groups of zombies.  Just be careful, nothing is more humiliating than sticking a zombie to then have it charge you and thus getting yourself killed.

Character Specs

Here I will cover specific ideas and tactics for throwing weapons with each characters.  From suggested weapons, to suggested abilities.  This will continue to grow as I experiment with each character more and more.

I would just like to warn you all about the danger of what I call honey pot skills.  These are skills that sound amazing, that you then realize were a total waste.  Currently in Dead Island you cannot respec, making them even more dangerous.  When picking a skill really sit down and think about what you are doing.  There are many instances of the horrible XP gain skills.  These are just aweful.  What will these skills do for you when you reach lvl 50 (the max level)?  If you answered nothing well you just earned yourself a cookie.  So please, take the time to think about what skills you are picking.


Ok so the guys the "throwing weapons expert", so what?  Well lets just say that Logan takes throwing weapons from being useful and cranks it up to 11.  When specced right he can damage entire groups of enemies with one throw, and even apply elemental effects on a single crit. 

Logan is also the most universal character.  No one should only use one strategy in this game, you should not just run around just throwing weapons because your character specializes in them. This is why Logan can be proficient with all types of weapons.  He gains abilities to enhance blunt, sharp, and firearms in his skill tree.  And he is the only one to pull that off.  He is a jack of all trades after all.


For leveling up its a personal preference situation with Logan.  I find that machetes and similar edged weapons are preferable once you get the Sharp Apprentice skill. 

If  you want to really use Logan's skills, modifying the weapons you throw with elements such as shock is a great idea.  If you want to make infected and walkers look like a joke, get your hands on the Mind-blowing Military Knife and the Economical Throw skill.  These two items together make large groups of these types of infected laughable and only minor annoyances.  I try to keep my use of this combo to a minimum.  Just because I like some sort of challenge.


All of the following skills benefit throwing.

But first I would like to specify a skill that I think you should neverget.  It is called Shinobi.  This, when maxxed out, gives you a 9% chance of instantly killing a zombie.  That means every 1 out of 10/11 hits with a thrown weapon will instantly kill a zombie.  I personally don't like those numbers.  To me it seems like a notorious honey pot skill.  If you want instant kills that are more reliable, get the Mind-Blowing Military Knife and the Economical Throws skill.

Boomerang, Reliable Boomerang, Righteous Boomerang

This ability is needed to progress your survival tree (which has some interesting abilities in it to boot).  This ability makes it so every weapon you throw has a chance of ending up back in your hand.  Meaning that the annoying hunting around for your thrown weapons won't last forever.

This also unlocks a very interesting glitch with Sticky Bomb's.  Check it out in more detail in the mod section of the guide.

Heavy Hitter

First skill in the combat tree.  You literally have to take it.  If you want to use Logan you really don't have a choice.  But it does benefit throwing with increased damage and crit chance for blunt weapons.

Mass Driver

This increases the range of your throws.  The benefit of this should be self explanatory.

Sharp Apprentice

This skill offers the same benefits as heavy hitter, except it applies to sharp weapons.  Oh and it unlocks the ability to curb stomp your enemies.

Mighty Throw

Increases the damage your throws do by a good percentage.  30% at level 3.

Telling Blows

This is the second most important ability Logan has regarding throwing.  The greater the critical the chance the more likely it is that the environmental effect on your weapon will be triggered.

Economical Throw

This is the best throwing weapon skill in the game.  While fully upgraded you will only do 30% damage to the zombies around your intended victim, elemental damage and effects will also be passed to these zombies!  You can feel like Thor with a magic wand throwing weapon!

Drunken Master

I hesitate to put this ability on this list.  But it is an early damage booster that I feel should not be unnoticed.  By drinking alcohol you can do 60% more damage.  Throws are auto aim anyways, and this additional damage in the beginning of the game can be nice.  However many may not find using this ability enjoyable.  While I personally love it for both throwing and melee.  It also works great with the skill Medicinal Purposes.  Not only will you do more damage, but you will heal while drunk!

Furious Throw, Battle Rage

These two abilities increase the rate at which you gain rage.  However I find both to be pretty much un-needed. But if you have extra points to spare you will be getting kills with throwing weapons and one handed weapons.  And extra rage is not really a bad thing. 

Sam B

Sam B is the tank.  Meaning that he can soak up damage pretty easily, and he can heal.  So why would you want to throw weapons if he is a powerhouse?  Well just because he can take damage, doesn't mean he should.  Sam B can be surrounded just as easily as any of the other characters.  Throwing your weapons affords you the possibility to knock a zombie out for the fight and deal with it after its friends.  At least, in theory.

So it is widely believed that weapon bonuses apply to a weapon even when thrown.  So this means Sam B's blunt weapon bonuses will carry over when thrown.  So if you keep a blunt weapon on hand for throwing, you have an increased chance of this weapon breaking something on the zombie, or at the very least knocking it over.  This can give you a few valuable seconds to deal with other threats.


First off it should be obvious that you want to pick blunt weapons.  The rest really doesn't matter.  If you have the Big Stick skill along with other damage boosting abilities a two handed weapon may be a wise choice.  But the increased damage from this skill is minimal.

Sam B will benefit most from the Plague-bearer knife, however a good hammer ( or blunt weapon ) for throwing can substitute in until the Plaguebearer is obtained.


The following suggested skills are for their benefits to throwing ONLY. These are not the best skills for every Sam B build.

Heavy Hitter, Blunt Expert, Earthshaker

These are the 3 most important stages in Sam B's combat tree.  Each increases a host of good stats and unlocks new abilities.  The most important to throwing however, is the increase to damage and crit chance for blunt weapons.

Hammer Blows

This ability, when at rank 3, has a 30% chance of instantly knocking out a zombie.  Giving you even more time to deal with other threats.


This increases both the force and damage for all blunt weapons and is a must have.

The following abilities are good, however the bonuses they provide are quite minimal.  Unless you are going heavily into a combat build they may not be worth the points.

Critical Impact, Telling Blows, Powerful Impact, Big Stick, Exploit Weakness, and Lights Out. 

Xian Me

This chick is crazy, and I mean it.  She seems harmless but she has Kung Fu that could quite possibly put Chuck Norris down for good.  Whatever reason she truly has for being on the island (spy, etc), she is not someone to mess around with.


Anything with an edge.  Sharp weapons are here specialty after all, the character selection screen even says so!


Similar to Sam B and Purna, you will seek improvements to weapons that suit your character.  In this case sharp, because they will still apply when the weapon is thrown.  However Xian Me's skills that benefit throwing are more damage over time oriented.

Blade Fighter, Sharp Expert, Blade Master

I'm pretty sure you should get these no matter what build you are going for Xian Me. The throwing bonus comes from increased damage and crit chance with each skill.  Along with some other cool abilities and bonuses.

Flawless Blade

This increases the amount of damage you do with sharp weapons by the most significant amount.

The following abilities are ones that must be looked at together.  So I will put skills together that are beneficial to one another.

Deep Wounds, Telling Blows, Serrated Blade, Master Assassin, Pressure

All of these abilities will in some way affect the bleed effect on zombies.  So if this is an effect that interests you, you may want to check out these skills.

Poisonous, Master Assassin

These two abilities will affect the poison effect.  If you are interested in poisoning your enemies, check these out.


While this ability doesn't increase the lethality of your throws, but it does have a chance of keeping those pesky zombies away.  Which can help with your throwing.


Purna is a team player, hard to believe right?  Yeah she's the one and only character that has support abilities in this game.  Oh she also specializes in guns, which are pretty much scarce for a good portion of the game.  But the good thing is that these abilites also boost your stats, so I guess that helps.


For throwing, sharp weapons.  No option really if you want your bonuses to carry over.


Just like the other non Logan characters, you want to go with weapon boosting skills.

Blade Fighter

Increases your damage and crit chance for sharp weapons.

Hard Knocks

Increases damage with melee weapons.  Which is nice because its not just sharp weapons.  But you have blade fighter, which increased your skills with blades by just a little bit more.

Elemental Affinity

This increases the duration of elemental effects.  Meaning that when the effect from your modded throwing weapon takes affect, it will be even more potent.

Boost Mood, Boost Ambience, Boost Aura

These boost skills for damage, force, handling, or durability for everyone.  So this increases the damage and force for your throwing weapons.

The end, or is it?

When you throw a weapon in the "late game" its much different than early on.  Throwing weapons should not be used as weapons to kill every zombie you cross.  They should be used to give you the upper hand in a fight, or perhaps stop a zombie that is charging an unknowing friend.  Well, unless your Logan with the Mind-Blowing Military Knife and the Economical Throw skill... But whats the fun in that?


This guide will continue to grow.  And I will add to it more as I experiment.  In this game throwing is not as cut and dry as say, shooting or melee. You have to be willing to try things.  And experimenting is how you will form your own unique style.  All I can do is pass on the knowledge that I have obtained.  I am also not proud.  If someone finds something about throwing that I have not specified in this article, please bring it to my attention.  As amazing as I am I am only human...

I do not mind if you copy and paste this onto a forum, or provide a link somewhere.  All that I ask is that you keep it up to date! 


So do I have any more pockets of wisdom or techniques to share?  Only one.  Its the patented throw-kick/grab-throw.  I know catchy name huh.  When facing 1 tough enemy, or maybe a weak enemy you want to dispatch quickly.  You can perform this neat move.  Throw your weapon into a zombie.  Then move up and kick it, and at the same time retrieve your weapon.  This essentially means your pulling your weapon out while pushing the zombie away.  Then hit the jump button and back to dodge backwards.  The next swing by the zombie should miss, and you are free to throw the weapon again, or close in for a melee kill.  This works great for thugs.


This section is about plans I have for this guide.  I will continue adding items to this guide over the next few weeks.  I will continue doing research and experimenting with new things.  As well I will be condensing and formatting the guide so that it is legible, easy to navigate, and not just a big wall of text.  When I learn something new on Dead Island (about throwing), the first thing I want to do is get on here and tell you all about it.  Sadly I am usually in a rush so while I get the info on, it is not formatted the way I want.  I will continue to remedy this.