If you are new to L4D2, you should play the Campaign mode first to learn the layout of the maps and gameplay basics before heading to Versus, and if you are up for the challenge, increase the difficulty to Realism-Expert.
Advanced stuff in this guide that newcomers should not worry too much about:
- SI: rocketing
- Hunter: wall kick (or silent pounce), death pounce & quick pounce
- Tank: jump rock, curve rock & haymaker
- Hittables: details on hittable types
- Sack Order
- Survivor: levelling chargers & cutting the smoker’s tongue
- Choke Points: examples
- God Frames (just take note that survivors are given 2s of invulnerability after they are released from being pinned by a charger/hunter/smoker/jockey)
- Bunny Hop
- Try to spawn at the last possible second, as spawning early will let survivors know your exact position before you attack.
- Good survivors will kill you if they hear where you are, often even through walls.
- If you spawn too far back and have no opportunity to attack, backtrack even further to respawn.
- Generally, all infected players should attack and die at the same time and respawn together with full health.
- Attacking at the same time means that the survivors have to handle 4 SI all at the same time, and you all serve as distractions for each other.
- Note that sometimes you might want to send 1 or 2 SI in before the rest to make sure the rest land.
- Unless you’re playing with friends and you already have a few of your own tactics, it’s best to just try and synch up with your teammates and go together.
- It is also a good idea to come from different sides, so that hopefully a few of you won’t even be seen as you go in. If you all attack from the same side, it’s easier for survivors to hit at least one of you.
- Attack as a team and target different survivors.
- Attack when survivors are either separated, surrounded by horde, or in a vulnerable position.
- Giving signals or assigning pre-determined attack locations could be helpful in coordination.
- Ideally, the boomer attacks first and blinds two or more survivors, making it easier for the rest of the infected to attack. However, the stronger the opponent team, the harder it is for the boomer to initiate and the role of initiation is usually passed to other special infected.
- Chargers are good for initiating attacks as they have the ability to knock into all survivors, stunning and injuring them.
- Even if you are in a bad position, by attacking together you can serve as a good distraction for your allies.
- Kill steals are usually bad, focus on preventing other survivors from reaching the survivors incapacitated by your teammates.
- There are no static roles. Boomers don’t always need to be the first to initiate.
- Sometimes the Boomer needs a distraction in order to attack.
- Distraction involves diverting survivors attention, typically with the Hunter or Jockey (usually without engagement), away from where key SI like Chargers and Boomers will spawn, to give these SI an easier time to land their attacks.
- The disadvantage is that survivors are notified of the attack. However, this is generally not a big issue as the survivors usually know the areas where the infected are most likely to come from, and players typically develop a feel for when the next attack will be coming based on how long it has been since the last one or how effective attacks are in the particular area.
- Rocketing, rocket spawning, or in specific situations rocket booming/charging, is when a SI jumps at a high speed off a roof as a way to initiate his attack and to get to the survivors more quickly and surprise them.
- The way it’s done is this: you run in ghost mode before spawning, once you’ve picked up speed and are nearing the edge, jump and spawn (before you are in line of sight of survivors). The momentum will carry you forward faster than had you been running while spawned giving survivors less time to react to you.
- This is because all SI ghosts move at 450 game units per second at max speed, which is about twice as fast as the fastest SI.
- Very effective for any SI (except Hunters, since they have to pounce around anyway and can’t mix pounces with jumps), but mostly associated with Boomers since rocketing right into the middle of survivors greatly increases the chance of covering the survivors with bile. They’ll usually be taken by surprise, and even if they can shove you before you puke on any of them, you’ll still be right in the middle of them, so all it takes is a couple of stray bullets to cause you to explode as the rest of your team goes in.
Here are a few pretty useful and somewhat hidden spots for SI attacks! There’s a lot more places like them throughout the game, so keep your eyes and mind open. Credits to Tabun for the helpful videos.
- Generally, Boomers should initiate the attack if they are confident of puking on more than one survivor.
- Boomer bile can be arced over obstacles.
- If you have to attack in plain sight, try to be in a position where it’s too far for them to shove you, but too near for them to shoot you without being hit by the bile from your explosion.
- Be careful with your positioning! If you attack from the same place as other SI, you will get killed quicker and your death will stumble the SI close to you, ruining the whole attack. If you get too close to a tank, being popped will cause you to stumble the tank, buying the survivors more time to get away and do damage to it.
- On the other hand, you can also stumble survivors, which is very useful to buy your team time, or to keep them in a puddle of spit for example.
- Stumbling your own team can sometimes be useful! For example, to help a Charger get a second charge or some punches after his first charge. If you die next to it, the Charger will be stumbled off and freed, allowing it to attack again. This is useful when you’re next to a Smoker/Hunter/Charger who has already incapacitated their target. Since the survivor is downed, he/she won’t be able to do much, and you’ll free one of your cappers (infected that can pin survivors) to attack the rest of the survivors.
- Boomers exploding near car alarms will set them off.
- If the player who kills the boomer kills him from quite far away, the alarm will not be triggered. So if you’re playing as survivor and see a boomer camping on top of an alarm car, just get as far as you can and shoot it.
- In some occasions, it may be better for the Boomer to target only one survivor as this means that the entire horde focuses on that survivor preventing him/her from saving the rest of their teammates, or from being saved.
- An example is if the rest of the team has successfully pinned the other 3 survivors, or if a tank is in play and one player is down. The boom in this second situation nearly guarantees the death of the incapacitated survivor if the tank can keep the other survivors away.
- Jockey or hunters can knock-back survivors when they pounce on a survivor and may cause some of them to fall off ledges.
- Pouncing a survivor at the top of the ladder will cause them to fall down to the ground and take fall damage if the ladder is high enough.
- If you’re going against a single survivor but you can’t surprise him and he has some skill, try to pounce around him before going in for the kill. The hope is that he’ll lose track of you, since pouncing directly is likely to get you deadstopped or skeeted.
- Good survivors are proficient at skeeting (killing hunters in mid-air) and deadstopping hunters (shoving and stopping a hunter in mid-air) so try to attack from the survivors’ blindspots.
- During a tank fight, it is often a good idea to pounce an incapacitated survivor if he’s alone and in a confined area the other survivors can’t get to. If the tank can keep the survivors from saving your target, you can get a free kill that will most likely lead to a wipe either during that fight or later in the map.
- Pounce towards the wall.
- Aim away from the wall.
- Pounce away from the wall when the hunter touches the wall.
- Refer to the “Steering in Midair” section below to steer the hunter back into the wall again and repeat the wall jump.
- Note: you can’t do a wall jump if you are on fire.
Wall Kick (or Silent Pounce)
- While spawned and standing up, get your back to a wall.
- While in the air, pounce.
- Hold down crouch so you can keep on pouncing in case you miss.
- The use of this is to surprise survivors, since you won’t make any noise from crouching.
- You can also jump backward against a wall instead of starting with your back to it, all that matters is that you are in the air and your back is to the wall.
- Sometimes when a hunter is shoved off of a survivor, he will roll over and be instantly ready to pounce again.
- To be able to take advantage of this, you need to be holding down your crouch key.
- So hold down the crouch button while on a survivor, just in case!
- Extremely difficult (if not impossible) to successfully pull off.
- When you pounce a survivor, he will keep moving in the direction he was going for a short while.
- If he was near the edge of a cliff and intended to stop at the edge but was pounced right away, he would likely slide off the cliff with the hunter on him.
- Death pounces are usually done with the help of a smoker. When the smoker pulls the survivor off a ledge, the survivor will usually hang on the ledge, but if you pounce the survivor right before he hangs on to the ledge, it may cause him to fall off the ledge instead.
- Keep in mind that this is probably one of the most difficult/unreliable methods to kill a survivor, but it’s something to be aware of.
- It might work with the help of a jockey instead of a smoker, but this has not been tested.
- Pounce damage is calculated using the straight-line distance between the last point that you jumped from (walls count as well), to the point where you landed on the survivor.
- It does not depend on the speed or hangtime of your jump.
- Look upwards with your back against the wall, don’t look completely up, look about 80 degrees upwards from the horizontal plane (like in the picture on the right).
- Hold “Back” and pounce.
- Keep pouncing while holding the “Back” button until you reach the top.
- The video below by Tabun showcases high damage pounce locations for hunters as well as vertical wall climbing.
- Hold ‘Back’ and either “Left” or “Right” depending on which direction you want to move.
- Advantage: Easy to use.
- Disadvantage: Reduces the distance you can leap, so you have to aim your leap further than where the survivors are. It also has a very limited steering ability.
- To curve left, hold “Left” and move your mouse gradually and continuously to the left, you will curve to the left.
- To curve right, hold “Right” and move your mouse gradually to the right.
- Advantage: Much more control and steering ability.
- Disadvantage: Requires more practice.
Both methods are viable for steering. Most players primarily use method 2, with a bit of method 1 if needed.
- When pouncing on the ground or on walls, there is a short delay in between pounces.
- Pouncing immediately as you land will allow you to skip the short waiting time in-between pounces.
- If you have an auto-fire script, you can use it for this as well. Just auto-fire and you will pounce immediately after you land.
- Watch this phenomenal hunter video by DxVisceral to see quick pouncing in action, as well as many high damage pounces. Quick pouncing occurs at 00:15, 00:18, 00:20, 00:26, 00:30 and many other times throughout the video.
- Smokers can initiate attacks if there are stragglers, or when it comes to pulling survivors off ledges.
- A Smoker’s tongue can break through windows – but the tongue will break with it, and will not grab anyone on the other side of the window.
- The survivor can shove you and break your hold if you try to catch them from too close.
- However, attacking them when you are just an inch or two away will instantly ensnare them.
- There are a few areas where death pulls are possible. Some areas require the help of the hunter to cause the survivor to fall to their death (e.g. Blood Harvest Chapter 1).
- Chargers are immune to being shoved and have high punch damage and health.
- Chargers are strong in narrow corridors and are invaluable in areas with windows or ledges where a fall will lead to a survivor’s death.
- Coordinate with the Jockey/Smoker to position survivors for a death charge.
- Try to either separate survivors or to bash into as many survivors as possible.
- Survivors that are knocked aside by the charge can be sent flying over ledges even if there are railings, this can be used to instantly kill survivors in certain locations, like the start of the Parish map.
- Charging from point blank range usually fails, the charger will act as though it stumbled into a wall (a survivor in this case).
- If you charge off from a high place, you will continue charging as you drop to the ground.
- Chargers can charge through doors, but it’s possible that you’ll just stumble yourself as you break it.
- If you are carrying a survivor before you reach the door, you will not charge through it.
- If you charge into survivors after breaching the door, you will keep on going.
- Consider punching right before charging! This will cause the punch to still go through as you charge, letting you deal extra damage.
- Since you have high health and do 10 damage per punch, you might want to just punch survivors instead of charging them. If they’re not very good or if they’re all bundled together in a tight space, you can do a lot more damage by punching.
- Don’t forget you can still charge them at any time during your punching spree, which can be useful if your health starts getting low or if you can line them up for a multi-charge or a death charge.
- If another SI grabs a survivor who was rushing too far ahead and is now isolated, try getting some punches on that survivor for as long as you can, and then charge whoever comes to rescue him.
- Chargers that are charging on top of guardrails can catch survivors who are next to the guardrails (you can use a smoker to force the survivor to the guardrail). This can lead to fall damage or death charges (e.g. start of Parish map.)
- The usefulness of the jockey is highly situational; jockeys are stronger near ledges and places that survivors can be ridden off, as well as in hallways and alleys with a lot of turns, but weaker in open areas.
- Note that you can jump on to a survivor using your normal jump, or you can just drop from above them, you don’t need to use the leap attack.
- There are some areas where you can steer a survivor to walk off a cliff to their death, at other times they’ll just hang on to the ledge.
- Even if you can’t get an incapacitation or death, jockeying a player off a rooftop or ledge can greatly slow down the survivors’ progress, letting you get more attacks in (and therefore more damage). Of course if the survivors are meant to drop from that rooftop/ledge, you may actually be helping them along.
- Unless you can get around a corner or cause a lot of separation/damage thanks to a good boom on survivors, separation spit or just a very good SI attack, it’s best to jockey players backwards to delay them.
- The Spitter usually attacks last, waiting for a survivor to be pinned by an infected before spitting on them.
- In particular, the Spitter and Charger combo works very well as the Charger has high hp and survivors take a long time to get up after being caught by a Charger: 2.9 seconds usually, but 3.9-4.0s if the charger is cleared in a small window during which he is playing through the animation of slamming his victim into the wall/ground for the first time.
- Recovering from a hunter pounce will take 2.3 seconds, and survivors recover instantly from jockeys and smokers.
- Do note that survivors are given 2s of god frames after being released from charger/smoker/jockey so most of the spit damage will not count.
- Spitters can spit early if you are confident of the charger driving survivors to the point you’re aiming at.
- Spit can set scavenge gas cans on fire after they’ve been picked up (they’ll glow orange instead of white).
- Spit can bounce of walls and ceilings.
- Spit can be used to block pathways to separate or delay survivors, or otherwise force them to take damage if they rush through it.
- Survivors cannot jump over spit- they will still take damage just by being over it, but they can jump on higher platforms that is not covered by the spit.
- The smaller spit puddle that plops out when you die deals more damage to survivors than normal spit, and the damage ticks stack, so try to use your death as a means of doing more damage or delaying players more.
- Spitters are usually not useful during tank fights as survivors will retreat to open areas where it is easy to dodge the spit.
- This would leave you with only 2 cappers and no common infected, making it very easy for the survivors to kill those 2 cappers as they don’t really have to bother with the spitter.
- It is normally a good idea to sack the spitter (without the rest of the team) and wait for a tri-cap infected team before attacking. Two cappers and a boomer are also effective as the boomer will blind the survivors and send in a horde, which is of a great help to the tank.
- Tank battles are often the only chance the infected has to kill all of the survivors at once.
- Large open areas are generally good for survivors, while enclosed areas are generally good for tanks.
- A tank can be killed in less than 7s, so do not rush in mindlessly.
- The tank can punch multiple survivors at the same time, but rocks can usually only hit one target.
- Rocks can move hittables. If a hittable is on top of an incapacitated survivor, throwing a rock at it will cause it to do damage to the incapacitated survivor again (and anyone who might be near it).
- Tanks can’t outrun a green survivor, but they can corner them.
- Try to funnel survivors to where it is easy for your allies to attack. A good idea is funneling them into a tight hallway and having a charger come in from the other side.
- Try to punch survivors off ledges – they take fall damage.
- If possible, the infected should try to incapacitate the survivor carrying the Molotov before he/she can throw it.
- If the infected has managed to incapacitate some survivors, the tank should try to prevent the healthy survivors from saving their downed allies; i.e. the tank should not chase one healthy survivor while the other healthy survivor revives two of their allies.
- Keep line of sight with survivors to maintain the tank’s frustration.
- Once the tank has lost frustration it will be handed to the next player.
- After the second pass it will be handed to AI. i.e. Human pass to human, then to AI.
- A tank should try to use ‘hittables’ (e.g. cars outlined in red) to instantly incapacitate survivors, but don’t over-rely on it. It is generally good to bring a ‘hittable’ to battle in as the survivors will have to be extra cautious.
- Hittables can be used to block pathways temporarily (they will despawn after some time), separating survivors or cornering them.
- If you incapacitate a survivor with a hittable, you can choose to either attack the rest of the survivors or to kill the incapacitated survivor with the hittable.
Good Case Scenario For A Tank.
- A good scenario is when the location is small and the boomer managed to vomit on at least 2 survivors.
- Another good scenario is when the survivors do not know that there is another path for the tank to take and attack the survivors, giving the tank the element of surprise (as shown in the video below).
- Many players are afraid to commit to an attack until the other infected have made a successful attack.
- However this isn’t always possible and there are times when the tank has to play its designed role as a tank
- To begin, get the tank as close as possible to the survivors, then when the special infected are ready, you rush in and try to funnel the survivors to a position where your teammates are able to attack.
- When the survivors focus-fire on the tank, it gives a chance for the rest of the infected to attack, disrupting the survivors, and giving you the chance to get close and annihilate them.
- Timing and situational awareness is important.
- Ideally, the tank should get off at least one punch on the survivors before the rest of the infected attack, as good teams will probably be on the lookout for other infected, annihilating all of your support. But this depends on the situation at hand and the survivors’ weapons.
- There are three types of rock throws. You will need to change your aim depending on which one you get.
- In wide-open areas, throwing rocks can be the best method to eliminate survivors. Be wary of Molotovs and try to throw from a place where it’s hard for them to see or shoot you.
- Your infected allies should attack survivors while you throw the rocks.
- General situations to use rocks
- Open areas
- When there are trees blocking survivors visibility
- When survivors are surrounded by zombie hordes
- When rushing straight in is suicide
- Against stronger teams, rocks are usually not very effective as good survivors are able to shoot the rocks from out of the sky.
- You will usually need a distraction from your fellow special infected in order to land a hit.
- In the video below, the tank uses rocks and a hittable to kill the opposing team.
- Simply do a rock throw, then jump immediately (timing has to be around 0.05s apart).
- You will do a rock throw while in midair, making it harder for survivors to shoot at you (especially if you are jumping off ledges).
- Aim rocks away from target, turn to face target just before the rock is released.
- Requires careful timing. It allows you to throw a rock while behind cover.
- It also makes your rock throws very unpredictable as you can appear to be aiming a rock in one direction and throw a rock in the direct opposite direction.
- Watch this incredible tutorial video by Ymtisd for a better illustration.
- An action whereby you punch and do a rock throw at the same time.
- It is performed by carefully timing your rock throw immediately after punching (about 0.01s).
- It allows you to punch the survivor and be able to throw a rock at him/her the moment before they are able to recover. After which you could run up to the survivor and do another punch. This combo inflicts 72 damage.
- Note that haymakers are banned in competitive configurations like Confogl.
- Refer to the awesome video below by BRBBOWFLEXINL4D to see some incredible haymakers in game. Haymakers occur at 00:15, 00:22, 00:40 and 00:47. Notice how the last Haymaker takes out 3 survivors!
- Do not focus too much on them, if it’s taking you too long to get a hittable in play and you’re taking a lot of damage or losing a lot of frustration, just leave it and go in for punches if you have SI support or hide/get out if you don’t.
- Crouching while punching will cause the hittables to fly more accurately and can also cause them to slide along the ground, enabling you to hit incapacitated survivors.
- To hit the hittable as far as possible: jump on the hittable, crouch and aim downwards.
- You don’t need to be behind a hittable to punch it- you can be on the side of it. Just get very close to the hittable and punch in the direction that you want the hittable to go; you will need some practice to maximize this method of aiming.
- Hittables will typically deal 100 damage but can sometimes deal 0, 8, 48 or 200 damage.
- Tables, trashcans and other small item do very little damage but can be useful in obstructing the survivors’ path.
Here’s a short clip by Tabun showcasing tips on ladder climbing, jockey leaping and how to aim hittables with a tank (01:08).
- Do at least 100 damage to players.
- Often do an additional 100 damage after incapacitating the survivor as the movement of the car after incapacitating the survivor causes it to hit twice.
- Deal 100 damage per hit to incapacitated players.
Parish Bridge Finale Cars:
- On the Parish finale as well as some custom campaign finales there is a script that causes them to only deal 25 damage per hit on non-incapacitated players.
- Phase out your camera for a short while when you are hit, almost like you’ve been stumbled (except you’re not really stumbled).
- Do 0 damage to incapacitated players.
- They can do full damage if you use a trick: instead of hitting the survivor with the car directly, cause the car to bump into a second car, which in turn hits the survivor. Secondary damage like that will not be affected by the finale script.
Bumpers Cars: (the ones in Dark Carnival):
- Work exactly the same way as cars.
Blood Harvest Logs:
- Work exactly the same way as cars, and in addition to being bigger, they seem to always get the 100 extra damage.
Swamp Fever Logs:
- Do 48 damage per hit. Can sometimes do 96, in a way similar to how cars can do 100 extra damage post incap.
- Do 0 damage to incapacitated survivors.
Dumpsters (the ones that are very common in Dark Carnival):
- Work the same as cars, but rarely (if ever) get the 100 bonus damage on incap that cars get.
- Work like cars, although it’s rare to get the 100 bonus damage.
Haybales (as seen in Blood Harvest):
- Do 48 damage per hit to survivors.
- Do 0 damage to incapacitated survivors.
Baggage Carts (as seen in the Dead Air finale):
- Do 48 damage per hit to survivors, sometimes 96, same as swamp fever logs.
- Do 0 damage to incapacitated survivors.
- Insanely difficult to aim if upright, ie if the wheels are on the bottom: knock them on their side first, and remember to crouch when you hit them so they’ll slide close to the ground.
Boat Debris (as seen in The Sacrifice):
- Do 23, 31, or 54 damage per hit to survivors, and are capable of getting an over-hit like cars and baggage cars for double damage, albeit extremely rarely.
- The debris that is shot from the destruction of the boat that does the damage can sometimes be used a second time, but it will usually just break.
Brick Stacks (as seen in The Sacrifice):
- Do 13 damage per hit to survivors.
Subway Pillars (as seen in No Mercy):
- Do 8 damage per hit to survivors.
Handtrucks (aka Dollies):
- It is hard to aim properly.
- Do 8 damage per hit to survivors
Tables, rubbish bins, chairs, etc:
- Do 1-4 damage per hit.
Note that all of the damage values for lower-end hittables such as haybales and swamp fever logs (not counting props like tables) can have a much wider range of actual damages. Damage is based on the velocity of the hittable, the maximum damages being the ones listed, but if the object is moving below a certain (very low) threshold, it will do less than maximum damage. Most hittables are also capable of getting over-hits, like cars, and thus doing damage twice in a single hit. It can even happen to have the first hit do full damage and the over-hit only do a fraction of it. This is more trivia than anything else though, as things like this will very rarely happen.
The general idea is that the quicker something dies, the quicker it gets put back into what we’ll call the spawn queue. So the quicker you’ll get it again. It’s not 100% reliable, but it’s reliable enough to make it matter.
- A Spitter and a Hunter were in the spawn queue. The SI have their spawns and are about to attack: they have a Boomer, Charger, Smoker and Jockey.
- They go in.
- They die in this order: Boomer->Jockey->Charger->Smoker. So they’ll be added to the “spawn queue” in that order. Boomer first.
- So now the spawn queue would (most likely) be: Spitter->Hunter->Boomer->Jockey->Charger->smoker
- So your spawns on the next attack will be Spitter, Hunter, Boomer and Jockey. As you can see, if the Boomer dies early, he’ll be early in the queue and he’ll be in the next attack again.
This is not 100% accurate, and you have to keep in mind that there must always be at least 1 non-capper (Boomer or Spitter) in every attack, but it can make a world of difference in the right situations.
When you only have one or two more attacks before a big choke point, think about what spawns you want to have then, and sack accordingly! If you have a good team and you know the players, don’t be afraid to just send SI in alone without doing anything big on the last attack, as long as you can secure the right setup for the choke point.
- Everyone needs to do their part, and this means killing your share of common infected, no matter what. Don’t just save your ammo for SI, you’re hurting your team by not helping clear commons.
- Survivors often forget to clear the horde when there is a tank – this just gives the tank more support.
- Stay together.
- Be alert to save allies immediately.
- Block spawn locations for infected. They can’t spawn in areas where you have line of sight.
- Search fast for items and move quickly through the map.
- Rush when SI spawns are down, move carefully when they’re up.
Priority for saving allies in descending order
- Death pulls/charges/rides or ledge-hangs, or Jockey/Smoker positioning survivors for a death charge.
- Any SI who has pinned a friend in spit
Note: Priority for saving allies is highly dependent on the situation (e.g. when there is a tank, common infected, etc). Be aware of your situation and make good judgments. If you have 2 players up and 2 pinned, it may be best to not go for the same clear.
- Ideally, use a mic to call for help. If not it would be good to bind some keys:
- Enable developer console.
- Type in console:
- Bind i “say_team SAVE ME!!!”
- Bind o “say_team Items here”
- Bind p “say_team Go!”
- Move to a location that is easy to defend, with few spawn points.
- Block spawn locations but retain line of sight with each other.
- Backtrack as far as you need to.
- If the tank has cornered you, try to juke it. Run up right in its face right after it swings its arm (during this time it is unable to attack). Jump, fient, and try to slip past the tank.
- If the tank is throwing rocks from a distance, one tactic is to hide behind cover and get out of the tank’s line of sight, it will cause the tank to lose frustration faster and be forced to come close and attack you. If you have snipers, it’s probably better to just shoot the tank.
- Rocks can be skeeted in the air, even with just pistols.
- Rocks can be taken down in one shot by snipers or shotguns (when close).
- Tanks do not take more damage from headshots, or less damage from leg shots, unlike all other infected.
- Tanks will spawn in roughly the same area as for the previous round’s survivors.
- Gas cans are useful to set tanks on fire.
- Set the tank on fire if possible.
- Melee weapons do a lot of damage to tanks (300 per hit on unmodded games), but it is only a good idea to use them if you can juke the tank face-to-face or if it’s chasing one of your teammates and doesn’t notice you smashing its back.
- A survivor’s outline will fade and disappear when he is walking, crouching or standing still, and not shooting.
- This can be useful for surprising infected in many different situations, or to take advantage of situations where visibility is so limited that not even infected can see you without the outline, such as in a sugar cane field (but beware of common infected, who may reveal your position).
- Usually done with the shotgun unless you have excellent aim with the sniper.
- With the shotgun aim for the body, esp. stomach, with other weapons try to aim for the head. If it’s a high pounce you will usually have enough time to kill him with any automatic weapon regardless of where you hit him.
- Can also be performed with the melee weapon. You need to swing earlier than you’d think for this.
- Shoot the hunter and quickly shove in one swift motion.
- The idea is that if you miss the skeet, the shove will hopefully save you as it allows for a larger margin of error.
- The hunter’s hitboxes are slightly in front of the hunter, so you will need to shoot & shove slightly earlier than you would expect by seeing the hunter’s animation.
- If you aren’t an expert at leveling, either dodge or make sure the charger has taken some damage first so he’ll die even if you don’t hit his head. With a tier 2 shotgun, you can kill the charger more safely than with a level, with just 2 quick blasts to the stomach.
- Watch this exceptional video by Lortagreb to see how to level chargers.
- You can cut a smoker’s tongue as it is shoots its tongue.
- The timing has to be just right.
- Listen to the noises the smoker makes to know when to cut.
- You will have to account for the distance as well.
- Aim slightly down to cut, use its feet as a guideline.
- Only sharp melee weapons such as axes can cut the smoker’s tongue.
- Crowning refers to killing witches in one shot with a shotgun. Run up to the witch as close as possible. Aim such that every single one of your bullets will hit her, it does not need to be a headshot. Shoot as many times as needed.
- ‘Draw Crown’ involves startling the witch from a distance, and crowning her when she reaches you. Crouch for greater accuracy. Your other teammates should prevent the other special infected from disturbing you. This tactic is useful when the special infected are well positioned at the witch.
- If your team aims to gun down the witch with heavy fire, try to get a sniper to headshot her from a distance. This will stun the witch, giving your team more time to kill her.
- As there are many methods for killing a witch, try to trick the infected team to prepare their spawns at the wrong location.
- Skip the witch if it is possible.
- Wandering witches are not as easily startled as sitting witches.
- Witches run slower when they are on fire.
- If the witch sets fire to herself, she doesn’t attack anyone unless provoked.
- A special infected can scratch the witch to further agitate her.
- Sub-machine guns are usually better at killing tanks than shotguns.
- Four SMGs can shred a tank from 6000 hp to 0 in a matter of seconds in the hands of good players, making it the preferred choice for tank fights among Tier 1 weapons.
- Overall better for killing SI.
- Sub-machine Gun (Uzi)
- Less damage than silenced version (20), but with less damage drop over distance, meaning it does more damage to distant targets.
- Silenced Sub-machine Gun
- More damage (25), but with a high damage drop over distance.
- Note that in most situations the distance isn’t enough to make it weaker. So it is usually best to take a silenced SMG over a normal one (the main exception is when there’s no sniper or rifle and you have an opponent tank throwing rocks from far away).
- Good for skeeting, killing Boomers/Spitters in one shot (and Hunters/Smokers if you’re close/good enough), clearing common in tight areas where they get bundled up.
- Usually a good idea to have at least one on your team to crown any witch that may spawn.
- Very high damage reduction with distance as well as very low accuracy, making them a close-range weapon only.
- More friendly fire damage from accidents since each shot will fire several pellets, each doing 1 damage.
- Shoot-shove: shove right after shooting a tier 1 shotgun to increase your firing speed. Shotguns have a typical rate of about 1 shot per 0.9 seconds or so, but shoving right after shooting allows you to fire the next shot about 0.25 seconds earlier.
- Pump Shotgun (Grey & Brown color)
- Shoots 10 pellets, each doing 25 damage.
- The higher number of pellets leads to a bigger spread, and therefore less accuracy.
- Because of this, it is effectively the weaker shotgun.
- Chrome Shotgun (Grey & Black color)
- Shoots 8 pellets, each doing 31 damage.
- The smaller number of pellets leads to a tighter spread, making it reasonably accurate even at medium distances.
- Although it might not seem so, its accuracy makes it superior to the pump shotgun, even allowing for skeets at fairly long distances.
- Overpowered weapons of mass destruction at close range.
- Can kill Chargers with 2 quick shots to the stomach, anything else with a single shot.
- Tank destroyers, as can be seen in a chart at the end of this section.
- Make short work of witches since the player can burst several flurries of shotgun pellets, making it difficult to fail a crown.
- Also the worst weapon in terms of friendly fire, since some players may spam bullets recklessly when blinded by bile, leading to a lot of ff.
- Auto Shotgun (Tactical)
- Shoots 11 pellets for 23 damage per pellet.
- Combat Shotgun (SPAS) (Completely Black Color)
- Shoots 9 pellets for 28 damage each. More accurate than tactical shotgun.
- Effective at all distances, strong at medium and close range.
- Effective SI killer, better than auto shotguns at medium range but weaker at close range.
- Combat/Desert Rifle (SCAR)
- Good Damage per second (DPS) of 368.4, about similar to the Assault Rifle.
- Good damage per shot (44) and highest damage per magazine among rifles (2640).
- Largest clip-size but slow reload time compared to other rifles.
- Burst shooting limits the ability to spray bullets at close range.
- Generally not recommended due to limited spray ability and long reload times, but good at medium-long ranges.
- Assault Rifle (M16)
- DPS of 376.2 is quite similar to SCAR.
- Lowest damage of all Tier 2s per shot (33) and least damage per magazine among rifles (1650).
- High firing rate good for close range spraying.
- AK 47
- Least accurate of the rifles, with a high spread.
- Good DPS 446.
- Slightly lower firing rate than assault rifle.
- Highest damage per shot (58) and good damage per magazine (2320).
- Tank destroyer at close/medium ranges.
- Try to fire in very short bursts at longer ranges, otherwise you will miss every shot.
- Very effective at killing SI, thanks to its long range and accuracy.
- Can kill Chargers in 2 headshots, everything else in one.
- Slow reload time compared to rifles and not as good at close range due to slow firing rate.
- Effective at killing commons that are in a straight line thanks to great bullet penetration.
- Damage does not drop with distance.
- Thanks to the lack of damage drop, they can devastate the tank before it even gets in.
- Both snipers do the same damage per shot (90) and have the same DPS (360).
- Hunting Rifle
- Small clip-size and slow reload, but more accurate while moving than military sniper.
- Military Sniper Rifle
- Double the clip-size of the Hunting Rifle, but has a slightly longer reload time than the Hunting Rifle and is extremely inaccurate on the move.
M60 Machine Gun
- Very powerful weapon against everything, with 454.5 dps (50 per shot) and will kill common infected in one shot.
- It is pretty similar to an AK-47 in terms of damage and accuracy, but with only 150 ammo and no need to reload.
- Recommended if you can get your hand on one, but be careful, think about what’s ahead of you so you don’t run out of ammo before getting to a replacement. Don’t be afraid to abandon it early if the ammo is low and you find a new weapon.
- Great for killing common infected and tanks, decent for killing SI.
- Not recommended since you will usually either end up doing a lot of damage to your team if you’re careless, or barely using it at all if you’re careful.
- Great for killing common infected, as they will usually be attracted to you and the chainsaw will kill all commons in a cone very quickly.
- Makes for easy tongue cutting and hunter/jockey skeeting if one tries to pounce you while your chainsaw is revved up. Can kill other SI extremely quickly as well.
- Can kill a passive witch before she gets a chance to attack.
- Very effective tank buster.
- Pretty useless unless dual-wielded.
- Good as a side-arm when you are carrying a shotgun, for medium to long-range kills.
- Capable of high dps at close ranges if playing with an auto-fire macro or really fast and precise fingers. It can have a higher damage per second (dps) than a SMG.
- Not very accurate when fast firing though.
- High damage per shot (81, highest of all non-sniper weapons) and good accuracy while standing still.
- Bullets can penetrate several common infected, helping kill more efficiently if they’re funneled.
- Better than pistols if you have good aim, especially as a secondary for shotguns.
- A good secondary for hunting rifles: the high damage and faster reload time make it almost an extension of your HR in terms of clip size. You can kill commons with the magnum, switch to your HR for SI, and then switch back when you’ve used up all the bullets in your current clip, so you can keep shooting without having to reload for the final few shots.
- Kills common infected in 1 hit, can kill several with a single swing.
- Does 250 damage to witch per hit (25% of her health).
- Does 300 damage to tank per hit (5% of his health).
- Kills all SI except Charger with a single hit to the body (other than legs).
- Does 65% of the charger’s health in most hits, killing instantly only if it’s a headshot.
- Attack speed, shape and size of swing vary with melee weapon type.
- Can klll commons 360 degrees around you if you swing and spin correctly.
- You can’t shove while holding a melee weapon while being caught by a smoker’s tongue, quickly switch to your primary to shove.
- Recommended secondary for SMGs, rifles and sniper weapons.
- With accurate timing and precision, you can kill attacking hunters, jockeys and chargers with one hit, cut the smoker’s tongue (sharp weapons only) and even break rocks thrown by the tank (not recommended).
- Watch this video illustrating tricks with melee weapons: Power of Melee
- Unless you have a surplus of pipe bombs or it’s an emergency, save them for when someone is boomed, especially during a tank fight.
- If your teammates are all in trouble and you’re about to be pinned, it’s okay to drop the pipe bomb next to where you’ll be pinned or where someone else is pinned. When it explodes you will be released! This is especially useful against smokers since they can’t recharge right away and it can also save survivors from death pulls to a location where the survivors cannot head back.
- Unless you have a surplus of molotovs or it’s an emergency, it’s recommended that you save it for the tank. If the tank’s been killed or you know there’s no tank, use it however you see fit.
- If the horde is coming from behind you during an event, it’s a good idea to throw it behind so all the common infected die.
- Also useful to set witches on fire if you feel it necessary, or to block off SI spawns.
- During an event you could also throw a bile bomb and stack a molotov on top of it, to make sure there aren’t too many commons around when the bile wears off.
- If you are surrounded by zombies, throwing a molotov on the ground may be a good idea, but get out of the fire quickly.
- Molotovs can break a tank’s rock in midair, so keep that in mind when you are trying to light the tank on fire while it is throwing a rock.
Bile Bomb (Vomit Jar)
- Best saved for events, to keep the horde focused on a single spot so you can get past them more easily and quickly.
- The priority of targets for common infected is this:
- Pipe bomb.
- Biled infected.
- Biled survivors.
- Biled floor where a bomb was thrown.
- Survivors that are near.
- Because of the priority of targets for common infected, throwing a bile bomb is generally useless when someone in your team has been puked on, unless you throw it on the tank.
- Bile bombs can be very useful in tank fights as it blinds the tank. The tank will also have to be constantly moving and avoiding commons as they deal significant damage in great numbers.
- Remember that you will have to deal with common infected spawned by the bile if you use it outside of an event, so it can sometimes do more harm than good.
The damage of all survivor weapons depends on the part of the infected body that you hit. The damage is multiplied by the following values, based on body part:
- Head: 4x (only 1.25x with shotguns!)
- Stomach: 1.25x
- Legs: 0.75x
- Everywhere else: 1x
Note that tanks and witches are not affected by damage multipliers. Neither are commons apart from headshots.
Keep this in mind when thinking of where to aim while shooting special infected! Can you see his head? Can you hit it? If not, just aim for the stomach. Always aim for the stomach with shotguns!
For a very handy chart on the effectiveness of weapons on tanks, which is relevant in terms of close-range comparisons against any class, go here.
Note that these were done from a close range, and do not count the damage drop over distance and accuracy of each weapon. Also, a Molotov on its own will kill a Versus tank in 75 seconds.
- Make or break moments. Usually the point of no return, narrow corridors, edge of cliffs or top of ladders.
- For infected, try to ensure that the full team is available for these places as they are usually your best chance for inflicting damage outside of tank fights.
- Some tactics include throwing a Molotov or even a pipe bomb and quickly exiting when the infected are looking for where it lands (ladder situation).
- For ladders, it may also be good to survey the situation at the top of the level before exiting as infected will generally not attack until you have climbed out. If one of them comes to the ladder to scratch/punch you, make sure you have a player at the bottom to shoot it.
- Sometimes the infected team feels that an instant kill is too difficult to perform and may just focus on inflicting as much damage as possible.
We will not go into too much detail on tactics for specific choke points, since there are many possible tactics for every choke point.
Our aim is to showcase the common strategies to give you a better understanding of what you could try and what you should watch out for at a few choke points.
There are two main strategies here: do massive damage in one go, or delay and separate. First option is riskier and kind of an all-or-nothing, second option is safer but likely to not pay off as well.
Option 1: Massive Damage
Recommended setup: Jockey, Charger, Spitter, and Hunter
The goal is to trap survivors in spit in the corner. Wait for at least 3 of them to get up. If one is too adventurous and tries to rush, get him with the jockey. When 2-3 of the others are up, charge in. Try to have the Charger block the survivors from getting out with his body. Spit in the corner. Pounce another guy. Get the jockeyed survivor back in the spit.
If you get shoved off, keep pouncing/leaping at them for more stumbles in spit. If you get a multi-charge, all the better. You could have a Boomer instead of a Hunter to get more commons in and to blind the survivors and stumble them in spit, but it’s not really recommended.
Option 2: Delay and Separate
Recommended setup: Jockey, Charger, Spitter/Boomer, and Smoker
The goal is to carry some players off the roof, while keeping the others stuck up there. There’s a lot of different ways to act if you’re going with this one, it’s mostly about adjusting to whatever the survivors and your team are doing. Here are some guidelines for each class:
Smoker: Set up near the small ramp so the Charger can charge the player off, or on top of the smaller tilted roof of the small room in the corner, from which you can pull players straight off on your own.
Charger: Either charge the Smoker’s target off if the Smoker is on the same level as you and not on the other roof; charge the players into the corner to stop them from rescuing the jockeyed/smoked players and/or get a charge-spit; or charge a player off the roof who tries rescuing the smoked/jockeyed survivors.
Jockey: Get the first guy if the Smoker doesn’t take him, otherwise get the second one. If the Charger charged the second survival or even got a multi-charge, grab one of the others. Try and carry them off the building in any direction, or back down the ladder.
Spitter: Spit on the corner as the Charger goes in. You can spit a bit early since survivors will usually be in the corner anyways, and the Charger can just push them back if they try to get out.
Boomer: Puke on the survivors in the corner after at least one of them has been dragged/jockeyed away to get a helpful mob that will delay them from helping the other survivors.
Be careful of common infected that might block the survivors as smokers are dragging them. Have a teammate SI scratch them to clear the way.
Recommended setup: Jockey, Charger, Spitter, and Smoker
In this choke point people usually take advantage of the long ramp to do a lot of damage and even instant deaths. A Boomer is not all that useful, since you already have a lot of support from the event horde and there’s no need to focus them on a single player. A Hunter could have some use, but it’s not the best option.
Hunter: Set up on the large tower that is in the middle of the coaster track, which is behind the survivors when they are taking this choke point. The height allows you to get a 25 damage pounce.
Jockey: Set up at the top of the ramp. Grab the first guy to get to the very top and take him forward or off the ledge, while your team tries keeping the rest at the choke point.
Charger: Set up at the top of the ramp with the Jockey. It’s best to not attack until the Jockey has taken his target, unless the survivors are all bundled up and you can get a multi-charge. When you do attack, try to line the survivors up. A multi-charge pretty much guarantees an incap or even death for each of the survivors hit by the charge after the first one.
Spitter: Spit on the Charger if he grabs a survivor, otherwise get a separation spit to help the Jockey along. Keep an eye out for survivors who are completely surrounded by common infected and can’t move, those are good targets as well. Do what you think is best!
Smoker: Set up behind the bushes/trees to the right of the ramp, before the tilted fence that the survivors have to jump over to get to the start of the coaster. You can pull survivors off the ramp and ledge-hang them, or cause fall damage. Sometimes you might fail and they’ll be stuck on the ramp instead of being pulled down if you time it wrong. Try to grab them when they’re nearly at the top, just a few feet away from the start of the railing; practice a bit to find out the best time to pull. Try to coordinate with your team to decide which survivor to grab. You may have to initiate the attack if the Jockey or Charger is unable to. Keep in mind that all it takes is a shove to release your target from your tongue.
- One of the core mechanics of the game, is survivors becoming temporarily immune to damage after being cleared from infected.
- This mechanic is meant to make the game easier on survivors when they are getting up and cannot defend themselves.
- The damage immunity duration is exactly 2 seconds, during which the survivor is immune to all damage but you can still stun, bile or send them flying with a tank’s punch.
- If a player has god frames while getting death-charged or being punched off a roof or anything similar, he will still die.
- An important note for SI play: scratching a survivor as he gets up will usually do no damage whatsoever. Get-ups after a pounce take 2.2 seconds, get-ups after a charge usually take 2.9 seconds (but 3.9 or 4.0 in some rare situations). God frames last 2 seconds. So by standing there and attacking the survivor instead of his teammates, you will at best only get a single scratch’s worth of damage before being shoved and killed.
God frames are given to a survivor when the player is released after one of the following events:
- After being pounded by a charger.
- But NOT if the player was still being carried and not pounded. The charger has to have slammed the player against the wall/ground.
- After being ravaged by a hunter.
- After being choked/pulled by a smoker.
- After being ridden by a jockey.
By “released” we mean that the survivor is no longer being pinned because of SI dying/being shoved, tongue breaking, or from another SI stealing the target.
Situations where SI can end up taking away their own chance at doing damage:
- Stealing each other’s targets. In addition to focusing too much on a single player rather than spreading out and pinning different survivors, you will give him 2 seconds of damage immunity.
- High damage pounces will be ignored even as will any damage for the duration of the god frames.
- Trying to keep a player in spit when his team is still nearby and capable of killing you.
- For example, if a charger was pounding a survivor in spit and then was cleared, the player will become immune to spit damage and everything else for 2 seconds.
- He’ll still take damage for the last 0.9 seconds of his getup though, and he’ll take more damage while getting out of the spit.
- But if a hunter pounces him too soon, the hunter’s and spitter’s damage be ignored.
- In addition, if the survivors kill the hunter quickly, the 2 second immunity duration will be refreshed; the survivor will be not take any spit damage and the spit might have faded away by the god frames are over.
God Frames can be exploited by survivors to save them from an instant incapacitation!
- When a tank is hurling a hittable at a player who is pinned, e.g. Coach in the video below. If the survivors clear the SI shortly before the hittable reaches Coach, he will be immune and take no damage from the hittable.
- In this video it happens early on with the smoker clear, and near the end with the hunter. Thanks to good clears and SI focusing on a single player, the SI were slaughtered without doing any damage.
- Credits to Sidd2008 for the wonderful example.
Some situations are a mix of poor SI play and good survivor play.
- If a player is going to crown a witch (or is being attacked by her in general) and an SI tries to grab him and gets cleared, the player will be immune to the Witch scratches for 2 seconds.
- If multiple SI try getting him and keep getting killed, the duration will be refreshed. It can buy the survivors enough time to kill the witch before she does any damage, robbing infected of an incapacitation.
- Allow you to do exactly that: climb ladders faster. Works for both survivors and SI, including ghost SI.
- Once you get on the ladder, face either to the left or the right of the ladder
- Using the example in the picture on the right: hold “Right” and “Forward”.
- You will climb the ladder at twice the normal speed.
- Alternatively, look downwards like in the picture on the left.
- Hold “Back” and “Right”.
- You will also climb the ladder at twice the normal speed.
- Be careful not to fall off at the top of the ladder.
- Bunny hopping increases your speed and jump distance.
- You can bypass water slowdown or keep up with your team when you’re the only one slow (under 40 health, crippled).
- As SI, you can gain a massive speed advantage as tank to catch up to the survivors, or get a great speed boost as you spawn with other SI to catch them by surprise. Can be combined with rocket spawning.
- All survivors and SI can do it.
- The difficulty/timing varies a bit depending on whether you’re a survivor or infected and which kind of infected you are.
- You can combine bhops with jockey leaps to move extremely quickly as a jockey. Simply alternate bhops with leaps: start with a leap, best if you always aim it at about the same angle (~45 degrees is good) so you can keep the same timing. Bhop when you hit the ground. Leap again as you hit the ground the next time, with the same angle and the same timing. Bhop on the next landing. Repeat for as long as you’d like.
- Refer to the amazing tutorial video below by ProdigySim to see how Bunny Hopping is done.
- You can throw gas cans higher if you shove immediately after you throw it.
- You can heal yourself with a med-kit while reviving an ally. You will have to trigger the reviving animation before the healing animation.
- You won’t get stumbled by a boomer’s explosion if you are in midair when the boomer explodes.
- You will take reduced fall damage if you fall next to an incapacitated teammate and trigger the reviving animation before you touch the ground.
- Autoexec configs (from www.l4dnation.com among other websites) can optimize gameplay settings to help you identify enemies, allies and items by changing glows, crosshair and brightness.
- Changing lerp and network settings can improve your play by giving you a more accurate view of the current position of players. For a complete guide refer to L4DNation.
- It’s always helpful to watch a competitive match to see how the pros play.
- Note that competitive play tends to imply modifications to the game, such as an overhaul of the scoring system, the limitation or removal of tier 2/3 weapons, health items, throwables, etc, as well as a plethora of bug fixes, exploit blocks, and other gameplay changes to make the game more challenging and balanced. Competitive configs are based on confogl.
Thanks for reading!