Dead Space 2 – Survival Tips

Hello my fellow zombie slayers, I have decided to take the time to throw together a short guide with some relatively simple tips that will help you be successful in Dead Space 2. You may feel like this is completely obvious to you but if you even pick up one point I’ll be a happy boy.

So let’s get stuck in!

General Tips

The Shop

mmmmm time to spend my monies…

Firstly the most important tip which I’m sure you all do is, SAVE SAVE SAVE. Survival horrors are notoriously hard for staying alive (after all that’s the point isn’t it?) so make sure that you’re prepared and avoid that rage quit with frequent saving.

Don’t be afraid to use a power node on a supply room. I first completed this game on normal difficulty and in all honesty I found having ammo far outweighed having uber-upgraded guns.

Stasis everything. In the words of a famous supermarket ‘every little helps’, and having one or two mobs in stasis can easily be the difference between life and death by dismemberment.

Use telekinesis whenever you can. I have killed Necros on a large number of occasions with their own limbs. It looks amazing and is terribly easy :).

Finally if you can help it don’t rely on your objective line, do stray off the beaten track sometimes. 99% of the time you’re rewarded for this in one way or another (ammo, supplies, etc).

Lock n’ Load

The Pulse Rifle

The Pulse Rifle in all its glory!

The best weapon in the game is the original plasma cutter. Never ever get rid of this, because it is simply the most versatile  weapon and easily dismembers, enabling you to use your telekinesis to good effect.
* Additionally if you choose to complete the game using only this gun you get a nice fully unlocked shiny one for the next mode you choose to tackle.

In the second slot I do love to have the Pulse Rifle. This is the standard futuristic automatic rifle and mows down groups of enemies to good effect. One flaw is that ammo is incredibly easy to run out of even on the easier difficulties; for that reason I’d say NEVER use the secondary fire on it.

The last two slots change on a daily basis for me. Here I’ll either have the Javelin gun or the Buzzsaw. The Javelin is easily the best weapon to take stalkers down and anything that makes that part of the game easier should be taken. The Buzzsaw is also amazing at taking the children down (never thought I’d say that) as they never arrive in ones or twos, and you often end up with a ‘class’ full of them on your face.

Finally once you get deeper into the game you will unlock the sniper rifle. 1 shot kills… This owns. Until you get that honestly it’s really up to you what fills that slot . I personally love the line cutter as I treat it like a bigger, badder version of the plasma cutter (again I would advise against the secondary fire mines on this weapon as they just waste ammo).

Remember that the guns in this game are not balanced by any stretch of the imagination. While it is down to your play-style, some guns are completely useless in most situations; guns like the Flamer and the Detonator are seriously unhelpful and splash damage normally bites you on the ass.


First things first, upgrade your health with nodes as soon as you can, once you have full health you can afford to take risks and you get away with most of your mistakes.

The Riot Suit

He knows he looks good. He knows it.

Once you have fully upgraded your health I like to pick one weapon and increase that to a decent amount before looking at bolstering any others. I highly recommend the Plasma Cutter, with a massive clip and serious damage it turns into the hypothetical ‘Golden Gun’ and you run around one-shotting zombies everywhere.

Nodes are hard to come by, so don’t be afraid to blow some cash on one every now and then. Especially when you’re still in the realms of upgrading your health.

If you have got the Plasma Cutter upgraded along with your health, next just simply upgrade what best suits your play style.

If you’re HARDCORE

I’m currently wading through hardcore more and it is so insanely difficult, in fact my first tip would be to just avoid it if you can because only having 3 saves in the whole game hurts.

It’s okay to be a scaredy cat… Don’t worry about taking ages to go through a simple room or to creep up to what ‘looks’ like a dead Necro. I wont judge you, well, not in front of people anyway. ;)

Never panic fire, you simply can not get away with it in this mode. No matter how many necros you are faced with think smart. Use weapons with splash damage in crowded areas, use stasis on the faster Necros and if there is a door and you don’t need to be there… GTFO.

Where to use those 3 saves? Well this depends on your skill level, what I did was play through the first part over and over and over until it became a well oiled routine. Simply save as late as possible, there’s no other way to put it. This mode needs about 40% skill and 60% luck so don’t lose sleep over save games as well as nightmares about stabbing a needle in your eye.

The Foam Finger.

Yes that is a Foam Finger…

What’s the point in hardcore mode? Trust me on this one, when you complete this mode (which I actually have yet to do) you unlock an absolutely phenomenal weapon. I won’t tell you what it does for fear of destroying the reward, I will however show you a picture :D. You do also get a Riot Suit, but the weapon is what takes the biscuit.

* Update: I have been reading that many a person who has completed hardcore on PC has not received the Foam Finger. I’m disappointed to hear this and can only hope that it is patched sooner rather than later.

You may not agree with this guide at all, and if you don’t please feel free to suggest different weapon set ups or other techniques you have found that work better. I’m no expert at this game but I have devoted a lot of time to it. Overall I hope this makes getting through the Sprawl that little bit easier because this game is truly challenging on all difficulties (within reason) and gets downright impossible if you have a terrible set up.


the author

A Philosophy & Politics student who has travelled to the dark fruit side (i.e Apple Mac). From Milton Keynes lover of all games time consuming or not. Former WoW addict turned hardcore FPS gamer (you name it i've played it) and a fan of a good fun RPG!

  • Knneth

    The Ripper is the buzzsaw like weapon. This is my personal preference for weaponry. Plasma Cutter, Line Gun, and The Ripper. The Line Guns mines are actually pretty useful if you use them under certain circumstances. Like when an infecter is creating NecroMorpths. Plaster one down next to it, and you can wipe both the infecter and the corpse in one swipe. Plus since it only uses one point of your Line Racks. It’s pretty lethal when used right.

    Ripper is literally OP against The Pack -The small necromorph children that come in packs. Hence the name- Another good use for the Line Gun are against The Lurkers -The Baby Necromorphs that have three tenticals sprouting from it’s back- If you aim it while the tenticals are up. You can kill them with one Line Gun shot. Plus there is a trophy/achievement -Pending on your system- if you cut them all off with one shot with a Line Gun.

    Those Three weapons are all I usually will carry with me now whenever I play.

  • Hen

    I love Dead Space, really, it is one of the best games I’ve ever played.
    Well, in my playthroughs, I use ONLY the Seeker Rifle and the Force Gun.
    Come on, the Force Gun is pratically a cheat. Sooo easy to blow up necros, that gun makes those aliens look like fluffy babies.
    Well, about the Seeker Rifle, it is an awesome and badass sniper rifle, you should be thinking “well, an sniper rifle have a good accuracy, but lacks on rate of fire, and it is a bad weapon in closed areas”, LAME!
    The Seeker Rifle is one of the best gun in the game if you know how to shoot, well I have a good practice with snipers that I got from another games like Counter Strike or CoD, so I have a good hability on “quickscopes” and how to get out fast of a disadvantage situation with it.
    In corridors and closed areas, no one stays alive when I’m with this gun. Simply, the best.

    Well, the other guns that I like is:

    Contact Beam – That gun is an awesome option for those who like a massive firepower against a necro. The primary fire just crush their bones away and the secondary fire is the best option on emergency situations.

    Plasma Cutter – Well, this is pratically the most versatile weapon in the game, good firepower, good rate of fire, great reload speed, and good capacity. It is good for pratically all situations, including crowd control if you have skills.

    Pulse Rifle – I always loved assault rifles, the pulse rifle is a good option. It got me dissapointed because the ammo runs out incredibly fast and on the last parts of the game some necros start to deflect some shots.

    That was it!