I noticed that the weapons in Dead Island have prefixes on their names. The ones I've seen so far are:

  • Damaging
  • Feeble
  • Tiring
  • Weak
  • Flimsy
  • Spiteful
  • Disabling

In examining the items, it seems that the names are related to the most extreme stats, such as:

  • Flimsy weapons have very low Durability
  • Tiring weapons have very high Handling

However, I'm not sure of the pattern for other attributes like Feeble and Spiteful. For example, in the store I see two items, a Spiteful Baseball Bat and a Spiteful Mace. Here is a stat comparison:

                Spiteful Baseball Bat                  Spiteful Mace
Damage                  71                                  64
Force                   95                                 123
Durability              32                                  33  
Handling                70                                  24

The highest stat for both of them is Force, so why aren't they Disabling? There's a vast difference between their Handling scores and Durability is roughly the same. I don't get it.

What are all the weapon prefixes, and how do they relate to the weapon's attributes?

  • This is an excellent question. I hope there's a good answer for it.
    – spugsley
    Sep 10, 2011 at 1:55
  • 1
    Erm. Don't you mean they have highest Force? Damage is their 2nd highest stat. Sep 10, 2011 at 2:33
  • It'd be better to compare two of the same weapon type...most maces I've found are of low handling
    – Domocus
    Sep 10, 2011 at 2:57
  • @Raven Derp, yes, I was originally comparing 2 other weapons, but my game crashed and when I restarted there were 2 others and I forgot to change what the highest stat was. I was tired. editedit
    – FAE
    Sep 10, 2011 at 10:18
  • @Domocus I haven't yet found two weapons of the same type with the same prefix as I haven't played that extensively yet.
    – FAE
    Sep 10, 2011 at 10:20

3 Answers 3


There are a lot of prefixes and even more questions about them and their meaning. Some have only been seen in pre-release info or screeshots and some effects have not been well documented. There's a fairly good list on the Dead Island wiki and while it's a bit unreadable, the weapon mod FAQ lists the prefixes under the associated mods. Neither of these consider mods unique to one weapon as adding a prefix for the most part. If you can follow the association of the prefixes to the mods, the Dead Island wikia has some more detailed effect information. The accuracy of any of these sources is somewhat dubious for the effects so it may take some digging into the games' files for something more conclusive.

As you know, the game takes a base items and then adds prefixes after to modify characteristics. The game uses a weighted random algorithm with the item level as the base value to generate items and it is possible for items to have multiple prefixes. There are also prefixes from weapon mods that can be added and others of unknown origin.

I'll transcribe the known prefixes (107 at present) and their believed effects, ordering the generated prefixes according to the game's data file and I'll add whether I believe the descriptor is positive or negative:

Name            Effect
Defective       -Accuracy
Skewed          -Accuracy
Imprecise       -Accuracy
Flawed          -Accuracy
Unreliable      -Accuracy
Short range     -Accuracy
Semi-accurate   +Accuracy
Well-balanced   +Accuracy
Calibrated      +Accuracy
Accurate        +Accuracy
Precise         +Accuracy
Trusty          +Accuracy
Spot-on         +Accuracy
Perfect         +Accuracy
Dead Eye        +Accuracy
Feeble          -Damage
Puny            -Damage
Mediocre        -Damage
Ordinary        -Damage
Spiteful        +Damage
Malicious       +Damage
Damaging        +Damage
Dangerous       +Damage
Savage          +Damage
Vicious         +Damage
Cruel           +Damage
Slaughtering    +Damage
Devastating     +Damage
Deadly          +Damage
Lethal          +Damage
Flimsy          -Durability
Frail           -Durability
Shoddy          -Durability
Fragile         -Durability
Weak            -Durability
Worn            -Durability
Used            -Durability
Reliable        +Durability
Dependable      +Durability
Sturdy          +Durability
Stout           +Durability
Strong          +Durability
Tough           +Durability
Impervious      +Durability
Indestructible  +Durability
Tiring          -Force (may lower handling?)
Frightening     +Force
Striking        +Force
Threatening     +Force
Debilitating    +Force
Awe-inspiring   +Force
Formidable      +Force
Terrifying      +Force
Disabling       +Force
Shattering      +Force
Enervating      +Force
Crippling       +Force
Incapacitating  +Force
Paralyzing      +Force
Diabolical      +Force
Sluggish        -Reload
Slow            -Reload
Unwieldy        -Reload
Languid         -Reload
Medium-speed    -Reload
Brisk           +Reload
Rapid           +Reload
Quick           +Reload
Swift           +Reload
Deft            +Reload
Speedy          +Reload
Fast            +Reload
High-speed      +Reload
Super-quick     +Reload
Lightning-fast  +Reload
Critical        Crit +?
Weighted        +Damage, +Force, Crit +4%
Shark           +Damage, +Force, Crit +6%
Heavy           +Force or +Handling or +Force, +Damage, -Handling, Crit +4%
Piranha         +Damage, +Force, -Handling, Crit +4%, Bleed out chance
Barbed          Bleed 1, Crit +4%
Bleeding        Bleed 1, Crit +5%
Naild           Bleed 1, +Force, Crit +4%
Bolted          Bleed 1, +Force, Crit +4%
Glazed          Bleed 2, Crit +4%, Bleed out chance
Razor           Bleed 3, Crit +4%
Slash           Bleed 3, Crit +4%
Sawdisc         Bleed 4, Crit +6%
Explosive       Explosion 2
Burning         Fire?
Striker         Fire 1, Crit +2%
Scorching       Fire 1, Crit +4/5%
Phoenix         Fire 2, Crit +6%
Pride           Impact 1, Crit +1/2%
Impact          Impact 1, Crit +4%
Lightning       Impact 2, Crit +4%
Magic Wand      Impact 3, Crit +4%
Tesla           Impact 4, Crit +6%   
Detox           Poison 1, Crit +1/2%
Paralyzing      Poison 1, Crit +4%, Disabling chance
Venom           Poison 2, Crit +4%
Toxic           Poison 3, Crit +4%, Corrosive chance
Deathstalker    Poison 4, Crit +6%
Shock           Shock 1, Crit +1/2/4%
High Voltage    Shock 2, Crit +4%
Short-Circuit   Shock 3, Crit +4%
Old Smoky       Shock 4, Crit +6% 

There are still a lot of unknowns pertaining to the prefixes. I've seen the burning prefix shown in screenshots, but I'm not sure if they've actually been found and exist within the game or if they were part of the pre-release screens. It is listed on the wiki so I added it, but information on these is scarce. There's also the question of effects on handling as few of these seem to provide their clear effects on it as the critical mods seem to reduce handling and the tiring prefix has been described as doing this as well, but the effect is hard to corroborate.


I've noticed the following, but I haven't seen any confirmation behind it, so it's just my own observations: (keep in mind these are comparing two of the same item, as in your baseball bat/mace example, their stats are so different because they're different weapons.

Spiteful tends to have higher damage and higher force (where applicable)

Damaging tends to have higher damage than Spiteful, but lower force

Cruel seems to have even higher damage than Damaging, but I've only ever seen one, so it's much rarer, and I don't really know if it's higher damage, or it was just on a very good weapon already, need more info for this one

Devastating again seems to have even higher damage than Cruel and higher force than Spiteful, but again, I've only seen it once, so it's the same circumstances as above.

Weak tends to have lower damage

Feeble tends to have lower force

Flimsy tends to have lower durability

Tiring tends to have higher handling (which I'm 90% sure increases the amount of stamina used per swing)

Dependable tends to have higher durability

I have no idea what disabling does, I'm guessing something like higher force than spiteful, but lower damage, kind of like the opposite of damaging.

Firearms also have:

Sluggish which tends to have a lower rate of fire

Defective which tends to have a lower damage score

I've also come across a couple more than I don't have enough information on yet, but I'm working on, they are as follows: Crippling, Frail, Dangerous, Diabolical and Slaughtering.

Also, keep in mind that it's not named based on it's stats. It's given it's stats, and then given the prefix modifier afterwards, with the lower end stat changes less likely to occur on higher quality (blue/purple/etc) weapons.

So in general, a Spiteful weapon is generally the most well rounded high end weapon, while damaging/disabling (if I'm even correct) seem to be more specialized high end weapons.

  • 1
    I've now also come across Savage. A Savage Stick had Dmg:81/Force:128/Dur:33/Hand:70. Hm. Should we make this a comm wiki effort?
    – FAE
    Sep 10, 2011 at 20:35
  • @Mr.Smooth do you have a reference link to your quote Also, keep in mind that it's not named based on it's stats. It's given it's stats, and then given the prefix modifier afterwards. Because if it is the other way around, it's prefixed beforehand and then the stats are calculated based on its prefix, it makes a world of difference. Sep 14, 2011 at 16:23
  • @Mechaflash I've re-written this comment about 5 times now, so I'm just going to say this: First, I had a normal machete level 20, and a damaging machete level 20 and the only difference was the damage stat, so it's my best guess that they were generated with the same stats, then damaging got the bonus. If it was generated with those stats and then named, well it doesn't really seem to make a difference. Second, I can see how it could make a difference though, so I'm going to attempt to do more research and I'll post back here when I figure it out.
    – Mr Smooth
    Sep 15, 2011 at 6:19

just to elaborate some more and throw what may seem like a stupid addition into the mix, we have the optional prefixes for weapons ( devestating, disabling, etc.) which denotes an additional attribute difference to the base weapon stats. however i am interested (apart from attaining an all encompassing list of possible prefixes) in seeing if anyone can categorise in order the second part of the prefix. the ones like home made, ordinary, things like that. i have in front of me as we speak

Devestating Homemade Double Blade. which seems like a relatively decent weapon but it instantly highlighted for me how incredibly little i know about the weapon naming system in the game. i can see it is very similar to the system borderlands uses but apart from that i haven't a clue and i've just been driving blind in my weapon selections. cheers. :D

  • Homemade isn't a prefix its a type of knife, cleaver or machete.
    – skovacs1
    Apr 23, 2012 at 7:02

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