Dead Nation Tips and Tricks: Dead Bodies Everywhere

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Dead Nation Tips and Tricks: Dead Bodies Everywhere

What’s old is new again! Dead Nation: Apocalypse Edition hits PS4 on March 4th, 2014 with a host of new features and enhanced graphics. We’ve dusted off this comprehensive strategy guide from the game’s 2010 PS3 launch, which should get you a head start with the Apocalypse Edition. Enjoy!

Dead Nation’s nonstop shooting and scrambling will test the mettle of even a veteran gamer — and that’s part of the fun! I’ve compiled my battle-tested tactics gleaned from beating the game on the “Grim” difficulty, plus bonus tips shared by PlayStation Twitter followers. Earn more gold, find more health, beat back mobs efficiently, and choose the right upgrades. Be sure to leave your own battle-tested tips in the comments!

Mob Rules

  • Rush makes you (briefly) invincible. Pressing L2 grants you a burst of speed that makes you untouchable for a nanosecond. Use it to dodge angry Bombies, power through a zombie crowd, or sprint over flames. But even the Rush won’t save you from the dreaded Cutter…
  • Master the Melee. Melee attacks (R2) knock away all zombies, even those lurking behind you, so it’s a must for crowd control. To be a real melee monster, collect fashionable ExoGear armor pieces hidden throughout the game and equip them at the Weapon Shop.
  • Melee while reloading. Stuck in a reload animation just as a mob is closing in? Jam on the melee button (R2) to fend off the onrushing zombies — it won’t interrupt your reload progress. So no excuses: Reload at every opportunity!
  • Learn to love car alarms. That telltale red warning light is your cue to open fire — the resulting racket will bring every nearby zombie running, giving you time to slink away before the ensuing explosion.
  • Trick the Jumper into smashing other zombies. When you hear its distinctive shriek, Rush away. With practice, you can use this technique to direct the Jumper right into a zombie crowd with lethal results.
  • Listen to the music. Dead Nation’s dynamic soundtrack gets the blood pumping. But, more importantly, it can give you clues about the next threat. If you hear the music kick into overdrive, ready a powerful weapon!
  • When all else fails, throw a grenade. It’s tempting to solve every problem with bullets, but equipment like flares and mines are absolute lifesavers. Use them regularly or suffer the consequences!

Dead Nation for PS3: Multiplier and cash orbs

Cash is King

  • Keep your enemies close. Those gold and red orbs that gush from defeated zombies? They boost your cash and score multiplier, respectively, but their value decreases rapidly over distance. For maximum cash, stay as close as possible to the carnage.
  • It pays to wait. Glowing blue boxes always carry ammo; all other boxes alternate between red (score multiplayer) and gold (money for weapons and upgrades). If you’re strapped for cash, wait for each box to turn gold before opening it.
  • Cash 4 Health. Topped off on life? Don’t let that health kit go to waste. Tap R2 — you’ll squash it and gain bonus cash. Protip: This doesn’t work in real life.
  • Junk in the trunk. Car trunks always contain gold, so be sure to loot them at every opportunity.
  • Leave no gravestone unturned. Take some time to venture off the main path. Dead Nation is riddled with secret nooks and crannies loaded with item boxes and cash, and you’ll need every last dollar if you want to max out all of your gear.
  • Ammo comes first! Remember to buy ammunition and items before spending all your cash on upgrades and new weapons.

Dead Nation control scheme

Tips for Healthy Living

  • Rest a little. Your character automatically regenerates 20% of his or her life bar. If you’re low on life and facing long odds, grab that next health kit after you regenerate and you’ll come out ahead.
  • Health-o-Matic. Soda machines are scattered throughout the environments, and can provide one of two effects. Shoot it to create a noisy diversion; Melee it (R2) to gain a quick health boost.
  • Max out your Endurance. If you’re having trouble surviving, equip ArmoShell armor upgrades at the next Weapon Shop to boost your defense.
  • Rush the flames away. Flames and poison goo will melt down your health bar in milliseconds. Rushing (L2) will slough off any harmful substances and get you back in the fight.

Dead Nation for PS3: Shocker

Weapon Tips

  • Rifle: Limitless ammo makes this a handy fallback, and its charged “powershot” drills through a crowd like a hot knife through butter. The powershot can also snipe out a dangerous target in the middle of a crowd. Upgrade it early, but don’t rely on it.
  • Shotgun: Upgrade early and upgrade often. Perhaps the single most useful weapon in Dead Nation, the Shotgun makes mincemeat out of the toughest zombies. Don’t get trigger happy, though: ammo is painfully limited.
  • SMG: This rapid-fire weapon is best used against weaker zombies such as skeletons. On higher difficulties, the SMG will barely faze tougher enemies — use it with caution and upgrade it gradually over the course of the game.
  • Flamethrower: This specialized weapon fits a niche role. You’ll need to top off every upgrade to reach its full potential — a pricey proposition. It’s best for crowd control, as flaming zombies move slower and tend to scatter.
  • Blade Cannon: A keeper! The bladed projectile will carve through an entire horde, instantly killing all zombies — including the dreaded soldiers and fat men — with one well-placed shot. It’s also a one-hit kill against Bombies, though Jumpers and Cutters will barely shrug. It’s definitely worth upgrading.
  • Launcher: This powerful rocket launcher is the ideal choice against Cutters and Jumpers, though it starts with only five shots. Upgrade the ammo capacity posthaste, and always fire from a safe distance!
  • Shocker: This lightning gun can flash-fry a huge horde in seconds — if you have the cash to max out its upgrades. The Shocker will also immobilize lesser enemies, making it a powerful alternative to the Flamethrower.

Dead Nation for PS3: equipment

Equipment Tips

  • Flare: Invest in the Duration upgrade to keep zombie mobs distracted longer, then let loose with the Shotgun, Blade Cutter, or Shocker.
  • Grenade: Zombies will lunge for the blinking light, making Grenades a great choice for redirecting rampaging mobs. Stay clear of the red explosive radius!
  • Mine: Upgrade these bad boys as quickly as possible, especially to gain multiple Explosive Charges. Even though mines don’t attract special enemies like they do with zombies, you can still utilize them by standing behind mines and luring them in.
  • Molotov: Handy in a pinch, but self immolation is a constant risk. Molotovs are perhaps most useful for creating a literal firewall between yourself and an angry horde. Use with caution!
  • TNT: This screen-filling explosion inflicts the most damage of all, making it valuable against the rock-hard Cutters. As with the other items, zombies will be attracted to its blinking light.

Dead Nation: Co-op

Co-op and Community Tips

  • Make sure to balance the weapon loadouts for co-op play, so you can handle all types of zombies (via @EGjonas)
  • In co-op, play back-to-back to keep lights surrounding the area and you’ll have fun mowing down hundreds of the undead. (via @MeatRations)
  • Pump the first few rounds into the cars BEFORE you need them to blow up. Prime ’em. (via @BenKuchera)
  • Always exploit the exploding cars AFTER you’ve looted them. (via @Geofortean)
  • Use a charged shot to quickly set off a car alarm or a soda machine. (via @psnstores)
  • Upgrade the default Rifle to max power, then use bottlenecks in the environment to line up the zombies. Boom! Multi-kill! (via @Essmithsd)
  • Always be moving while engaged in combat. If you need breathing room, melee and rush are an effective way to buy precious seconds. (via @driftingdrafts)
  • Reload, switch weapons, and switch back to the original. The weapon will be at full stock without the wasted time. (via @Taggart451)
  • In co-op, stick side-by-side in a narrow alleyway and lure the zombies in while backing up. Using Molotovs for a line of fire and Mines (via @GameOnGreggy)

Comments are closed.


  • Nice tips :D And yes, the Shocker is very useful, haha :P Although I still didn’t use it until the last level. It worked wonders against those army guys (I think?) with hard hats that made them very resistant to guns.

    What a surprisingly awesome game. I had my doubts at first with a few issues, mainly the lighting and the overhead zoomed out view which made it hard to make out certain details but by the last few levels, it really picked up. The last level was INSANE and very intense but the overall experience was just absolutely terrifying at times. The lack of checkpoints and brutal gameplay sections just create a crazy sense of fear from never knowing what to expect or when to get sliced in half. *hears heavy footsteps on the distance* OH ****! :P I beat it on Grim difficulty so I’m sure it was a totally different and very challenging experience. Started out a new run on Morbid now and it already looks to be harder!

  • love the game, but I feel like it definitely need some tweaking still. Need to add an option to map items and weapons to face buttons and dpad. And lower the cash earn to the bottom of the screen too, gets in the way of action.

  • Sid, all I have to say is a Full Rifle, Zombie Clowns and a hell of a lot of headshots :-). This game is pure crack and it all of the videos at the PS Home Gamescom Space honestly sold this game for me. I’m heading over to level 4 so far and I’m enjoying every minute of it. This has been excellent year for PSN with Castle Crashers, Spelunker and Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 to say the least. Two questions:

    1. Can you ask Housemarquee to patch up Dead Nation with some Playstation Home Goodies?

    2. Off topic: When is Hard Corps: Uprising coming out? I have been itching for some Contra style fun for a while now.

    • Glad you like the game, and sure, I’ll ask. As for Hard Corps, I don’t know! I loved the oldschool Contra games (and yes, Contra: Hard Corps on Genesis) so I’ll see what I can learn.

  • Is there any way to play online with people that are not on your friends list? I couldn’t figure it out. ??????????????????

    It really is an awesome game. :D Love it so far. Planning on beating it this weekend for sure lol.

    (On a more negative sidenote though, I agree. Mapping weapons/items to the face buttons would be awesome. And unlocking the save file too…
    I was so happy that Rock Band 3 didn’t have a locked save. That was one of the main selling points for me.
    It’s pretty lame that i have 3 PS3s in my house and if i want to play Dead Nation upstairs then i have to start a whole new game. :/ Just saying. Still love the game though. :D Solid 9/10 for me ;)

  • So i’ve completed my solo run on Morbid. I have to say it was very simple, don’t get me wrong their was some very intense moments but nothing I would throw a controller over. I’ve already started on my Undead play through and it been pretty straight forward. Very well made game I must add, I stand by all of House’s products now.

    • Yeah, I’m on Morbid myself. It seems a bit tougher in terms of enemy hit points (more like Grim on co-op, but solo’d) but it’s manageable. Rush is getting a workout!

  • As a busy married man, PLEASE patch it so that I can leave a mission at a checkpoint and return to it later. Sometimes I simply cannot stick with it until the end of a level and need to get back to it later.

  • The game is awesome. Very, very addicting. Same makers as Super Stardust HD. If you liked this ppick up Stardust too. XD.

  • Great game. Just wish you could save a littler more often.

  • @6 you had a full friendslist it would free the game up??? explain please?,. free the game up?? and another question,is anybody having this problem also??,. there’s NO PLAYERS MET SHOWING UP!! player’s met on all other game’s show up’ but not on DN.. will there be an update for this and when? someone pLz answer.. THANX!!

  • It would be awesome if when doing online voice chat in game you would sound like talking through a radio but pretty clear.

  • you guys should do like a zoom in slow motion kill for when you do a charge shot with the rifle to show some of the beautiful detail of dead nation, also if not that could you guys put in a patch to disable the h.u.d. not only does it prevent screen burn but also helps see zombies that are behind the h.u.d. great game.

  • How I wish emergency health kits were available. So many cases where that would have been better than the grenade.

  • I need to pick this game up!

  • How the Heck do I turn off all the Stats all over the screen in Dead Nation Single Player mode. It actually blocks and hides zombies and makes it hard to see…and is SUPER ANNOYING…all games allow you to turn off all the on-screen stats so you can really be immersed in the game and not distracted by scores, weapon counts, health bars. Your On Screen Stats actually hinder the game and remove the intensity of the realism. The Score at the top center of the screen hides zombies, your health and boost bars distract, your flare icon distracts, and your lower left hand weapon indicator is annoying…I want to turn all this JUNK off..usually by just clicking the joystick, but I can’t find away to turn off all these onscreen stats, it really is annoying…PLEASE PATCH THIS!!

  • Plz just make a game like GTA meets 28 days later. A big open world FPS zombie shooter. Every building you can get in EVERY BUILDING. and you could play with 10-19 other friends online or even more.
    Top down zombie shooters fail. Just stop it with this one and make a real FPS zombie open world shooter. Ok thank you

  • i really gotta pick this game up…gotta finish undead nightmare first ugh…

  • To people asking about those weapons mapped to Square / TRiangle etc: In the options you can define player 1 and player 2 controller configurations, so if you want to switch those weapon switching keyes. Go wild! :)

  • Some great tips here. Thanks for the post!

    Shame not that many people are playing this game…

  • love the game , it does need online voice chat , good thing is coming !!!!

  • Simply amazing, I was convinced to buy this game after watching the preview for it, realising it was local as well as online multiplayer and having such a high rating for a PS Network game! Very helpful advice, and those spoilers for equipment and weapons are great to look forward to (i think i’m having enough fun sniping with charged shots though atm XD) Protip: Try not to set your partner alight with a molotov.

  • Nice post BUT you forgot to mention another TIP&TRICK.

    A very useful TIP is that while reloading a weapon and switching to another in the process will instantly reload the weapon you was reloading before you switched.

    For example, I would have 34/300 ammo for the Flamethrower and I want a quicker way to reload instead of waiting the long reload times. I would press in R3 the the D-Pad to the right and switch back and walaaah, a fully reloaded Flamethrower quicker than the usual reloading time.

    Please don’t make an update to take this off because I use this and it’s a very good little glitch that makes a game a classic.

    Thank you,
    syk1288 – Mr Waffles

  • *I would press in R3 then the D-Pad to the right and switch back and walaaah, a fully reloaded Flamethrower quicker than the usual reloading time.*

    Sorry for the typo.

  • Smart tips/advices for people who going to play Dead Nation, nice and thanks.

  • can someone please inform them about the game-breaking online co-op bug. the second player in online co-op has weapons and items downgraded or lost altogether after every other chapter.

  • How about a recommended brightness setting? Most games have an image that you have to tune the brightness to (I.E. “turn down until you barely see the zombie”) – Dead Nation has nothing. There’s no way of telling if we’re playing darker or lighter than we’re supposed to.

  • @sid & 19

    I’m a little confused by why the PS site and the PS3 lists for trophies are stored in separate databases. What’s the deal with this level of gross incompetence?

  • Awesome game.

    Rush and the items adds a lot depth, the story is fun, the graphics are great, the upgrading is what I have been wanting in this type of game, and the level design allows for multiple tactics. Good stuff.

    I was hoping the flamethrower would be like the flamethrower in Super Stardust. I have not figured out the flamethrower in DN yet; it seems weak for its price. I have tried combing it with a flare, but the other weapons seem to work better. Perhaps I am using it wrong.

  • I’m having trouble aiming. The controls to me feel a bit fubar. I feel like I should be able to aim in between the portions where I’m turning and I just cant do it. I thought perhaps my controller was broken etc. But was simply not the case…

  • this game is insane…hard and wonderful! thanks for producing an excellent and compelling game :B

  • @glody
    how are you trying to aim? you want to constantly keep the right control stick aiming in the direction you want to shoot. i noticed my friend trying to aim a little to the right by moving the right stick to the right, but you have to point at the 1 O’clock position to aim a little to the right.

    not sure if thats the problem you were having. just remember you point the stick to where you want to shoot not in the direction you want to shift your aim. aiming seems pretty precise to me, in case you were wondering.

  • Sure no one’s reading this one anymore, but I picked up Dead Nation last night after reading this. The game rocks, and these tips definitely help. Thanks Sid!

  • Not True..Packy :)

  • Ok i picked this game even if there is no voice chat yet because you guys are crazy!! T_T all of you guys tease me to buy it already… @11.99 gone… but i like the game!!! please put the voice chat already thanks…

  • @52

    Sid, thanks for the info. This is definitely a fun game and I can see Dead Nation becoming a bigger game in the future.

  • I very much agree with NJLurch87. This is ALWAYS happening with me and my friends. It needs to be fixed. Luckily I’ve always been the leader so I wouldn’t lose as much as my co-op partner but I still would lose something sometimes. It’s annoying that something you worked hard for just go POOF! and you don’t know where it went.

  • This game is great but it has a couple issues that make it hard to enjoy. First one is how come there aren’t more check points toward the end of the level. I have a hard time dealing with all those zombies i get really far and i die, than i have to start it all over again. Im referring to the fourth level toward the end via the lift/elevator scene. I beat all four waves but then die on the lift, shouldnt there be a check point?? i mean seriously i respect how challenging the game is but this is just ridiculous its pretty much rather impossible to enjoy. My second is how come i have to invite someone to join my game rather make it a free lobby where any random person can join. Otherwise that said everything else is great. The music is unique, its very suspensful and i jump from time to time, also love the graphics very very creative.

  • @48..

    Nice to know the armor stays upgraded for a new game.
    But I’ve found on my first playthrough,(I’m up to the graveyard.(Awesome level..!).I’ve purchased all the weapons bar the SMG.Kinda wish I had’nt.on my nxt playthrough I’m gonna limit what I buy cause Half of it i don’t use.Lol..

    @ Sid.Dude..they really gotta patch the save point situation.Although I like the tension,I’m a through Gamer..some levels have taken nearly an nice if it WOULD save maybe at every second checkpoint..Its kinda a long old slog otherwise and covering the same patch over again gets tedious quicky..!

    One more thing.’Copy protected savedata’.BIG downfall.This needs to change now!!I back up all my savedata in case my PS3 crashes or dies.(happened b4..).And copy protection is unfair to those that Need to back up data.Why do they do that anyway…?Is it so others can’t ‘share’ their data on other systems!?Thats jus’ silly and pointless in my opinion…

    Thanx for an Awesome game..(Excuse the long Rambling comment..:)..)


    • I was getting burned by the Save points myself today, and it was frustrating. But it made me more determined to make it to the checkpoint the next time, and play more carefully. The feeling of relief when I finally made it to the Weapon Shop was palpable.

  • You can’t keep your weapons upgraded because it would make the hiscore system unbalanced. The game is pretty much perfect as it is.

    The only thing missing is voice chat and since it’s going to be patched soon.. I personally have no complaints at all.

    Fantastic game. Great tips.

    • Agreed. For example, I started a new game on Morbid and it was a struggle to stay alive with the wimpy default SMG and shotgun. It changed my strategy on what I wanted to upgrade, and when: I went straight for upgrading mines and grenades.

  • Great tips, can’t wait to buy this game!

  • Sick game… but having connection problems with online campaign. Are there server issues? Also single mission connections are hit and miss.

    • I haven’t actually tried online yet, but I alway advise using direct ethernet connection for maximum performance. Try that

  • Already using a direct ethernet connection. I can connect to single mission online games pretty regularly now. Still having problems connecting to online campaign though. Trying to connect i usually get “operation failed” error screen.

  • Want +1

  • For those explorers like myself, can I request a “replay level” option? Unless I’m missing something, it’s impossible to go back and replay a level again with all your gear.

    As in, my wife and I have been playing offline co-op together, and she accidentally fell into an area that I had to follow. Cost us at least one big area of exploring. When we tried to reload the level, we weren’t given the same weapons / upgrades we had and it was for “points”, whatever that meant.

    Not a major gripe, but one that was disappointing to us as we like to grab everything we can and really explore. Beyond that, amazing game! I wish more developers made quality games with offline multiplayer. There’s not enough of them for the wife and I to play together!

  • #1 thing that helped me the most when I started playing was swapping R1 and L1.

    L3 for movement and R3 for aiming is standard and my brain doesn’t have to work to hard to learn something new. But, had a lot of issues with R1 for firing since I was aiming and firing with the same hand. This set up works fine for FPS since it’s always firing forward at a creature, but when it controls a circular direction like in Dead Nation (and Alien Breed), whenever I fire my aim changes slightly at certain angles.

    So, since I’m firing way more often than I am throwing an item, I swapped the R1 and L1 and it removed any chance of having my aim change slightly. This helped tremendously with keeping my aim on exploders and the fast moving/dodging undead.

    I might replay through the first two chapters since I learned a lot on my own throughout the experience (looting car trunks was one I smacked my forehead about considering up to that point I’ve just been using them as free bombs.).

  • thebay408 wrote: For those explorers like myself, can I request a “replay level” option? Unless I’m missing something, it’s impossible to go back and replay a level again with all your gear.

    + over 9,000 for this suggestion. As I said directly above, I’ll be replaying just because of what I’ve learned (and skipped out on at least one piece of armor on each of the first two stages).

  • This game is a STEAL for 15$. Top ten PSN games for Sure. I just wish you could switch from “top down” to “behind the player” view with the press of a button. If this was possible, Dead Nation would be a better zombie game than COD: Zombies. BRING BACK THE “BEHIND THE PLAYER” VIEW PLEASE!!

  • Haha, one here said that the USA was superior to fighting the zombies.
    Finland has past you score with 20x less players than the USA.
    US not so superior anymore. :D

  • End of cemetary level… bleh. This is not how it should have been done. After you figure out you better take care of the howlers in the crypts before doing anything else the whole thing just turns into a random shooting arena dropping mines and grenades at random hoping that a mob of unseen zombies don’t surround you while your boost is charging (since you can’t see jack).

    The part about having to get the howlers is the only strategy that can be applied here, the rest is just pure mindless mayhem and it boils down to what’s in your inventory and luck at the end of the day to survive it. I hope the following levels don’t go this route too much. If you’re going to put somebody into a shooting arena at least make the lighting good enough to see what’s going on a WEE BIT.

    I’m going to reiterate the need for saving the game at checkpoints again. It’s okay at the easier difficulty levels but when you hit a snag playing on the harder ones I feel like my eyes are going to pop out and I need to take a break for several hours or a day before I want to continue.

  • It’s really great Post!!
    Thanks For Sharing.

  • The metagame virus cycle is NOT based on population (apparently). Check their Facebook page. The devs response was this:

    The ranking isn’t based on the each nation’s population numbers although Finland would be no 1 in that way as well. Finland has already killed almost 3x census figures. (We have 5,2 million people here). Also, the number of recruits, who can contribute to the metagame virus cycle calculations, isn’t restricted even though there are a few countries that have currently reached the cap of their national leaderboards such as UK. Every kill counts!

    The inner workings of the metagame will be explained in a separate Playstation blog posting and here at Dead Nation fb-pages early next year. It’ll be clear to you all soon.

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