Left 4 Dead Ultimate Resource Guide :: Secrets, Strategies, Weapons, Characters


-=[ Retired BF Admin ]=-
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Left4Dead is far more than just another spray and pray game. It combines the horror of zombie films with the intensity and competitiveness of CounterStrike. A majority of the game revolves around frequent communication with teammates, strategic movement, cover and fast reflexes to beat the game on Expert difficulty, or survive a single level in Versus Mode. Many zombies in the game have the ability to either completely pin you down, requiring the aid of fellow Survivors, or can temporarily blind you, and summon large numbers of zombies to your location.
What the game lacks in back story, it makes up for in replayability. A system called "The Director" makes the placement of every zombie different each time you play through, including when your party wipes and needs to restart. While using the same tactic may work a majority of the time, the hardest difficulty settings are what really make the game exciting and challenging. Holding out in many fights take far more than a trigger finger. Strategy, backup planning, and keeping in radio contact with your teammates will determine your survivability.
Friendly Fire is another aspect of the game Steam has made permanently on. While shooting a teammate isn't much of a big deal on the first two difficulty settings, taking a single shot to the back by a shotgun can completely disable a fellow teammate, leaving your party exposed to zombie rushes.
The game is divided primarily into two different styles of play as described below:
  • Playable as single or cooperative multiplayer.
  • Available on 4 levels of difficulty.
  • Up to 4 players can help each other through 4 different campaigns spanning 5 levels each (20 levels total).
For those that prefer a PvE environment, campaign mode allows you to cooperatively navigate through the 5 levels in each campaign with up to 3 of your friends. Those slots that aren't used by players are controlled by AI, which while may be much better than nothing at all, sometimes it's AI can leave you for dead with a single Hunter wailing on you. Players will always be much better at helping keep zombies off your 6 o'clock, and won't follow you around like just another zombie if you're trying to setup a trap for an incoming Horde Rush.
The 4 campaigns take you across miles of terrain infested with zombies, many of which are laden with traps to lure a Horde Rush to you, or difficult terrain which can make sticking together challenging.
  • Multiplayer only.
  • 2 players required, 8 player max.
  • 2 full campaigns available for Versus Mode at the time of writing this post.
  • Infected players play as special zombie classes.
In Versus Mode, each team of up to 4 players take turns navigating through each level with the Infected team playing as 4 of the 5 different special zombies found in the game. As Infected, by yourself you typically die from just a few shots, so directly attacking the Survivors by yourself without distraction only succeeds against a team of 9 year olds banging on their keyboards.
An extremely obese zombie with blisters and slime covering it's body. These zombies do their damage at close range. Once every (approximately) 30 seconds, you can spray bile on up to 4 nearby Survivors. This bile temporarily blinds players and attracts all nearby zombies to the victim. If no zombies are alive in the general area, they are spawned by the game and immediately charge their targets.
  • In addition to their projectile vomit boomers explode when killed sparing the same vomit in all directions. The range is such that a melee hit should, generally, put them at a safe distance to be killed.
These zombies are able to leap far distances to pounce on their target. Once a Survivor is pinned, they're unable to get away until a teammate shoots or shoves one off. They can be detected by their distinctive screams.
  • Their pounce can be interrupted if you time a melee attack while they're in mid-air, about to pounce on to you.
  • The farther you tackle a Survivor from when leaping at them, the more initial damage you do to them. Pouncing on top of a victim doesn't guarantee you'll injure them.
This type of zombie has a face covered in growths and boils. Their special attack allows them to use their elongated tongue to pull Survivors over a distance. The smoker has a distinctive cough and leaves a trail of spores wherever it goes, when killed it leaves a cloud of smoke clouding the Survivors' vision.
  • Their tongue attack can be used to pull a Survivor out of a fortified area causing the Survivors to have to move to save the victim.
You'll know when a Tank is coming, from their growls, the ground shaking, and their own music. Yes, they have their own music. If you took the hulk, colored him gray, and removed his lower jaw you'd be looking at a tank. With more health than any other zombie in the game a tank requires all the Survivors' attention to take down. The tank's attack is so powerful that it will knock the victim a few feet backward. It also can rip up huge pieces of the ground to throw at the Survivors, damaging them and stunning them.
  • An effective strategy against the tank is to light it on fire and RUN! The fire will eventually kill it and if you aren't wounded tanks wont move any faster than you.
  • As the tank remember Survivors only have to be incapacitated. There is little use in beating on an incapacitated Survivor while the rest are filling you with bullets. However if someone else is the tank and you can't slow down the other Survivors it is a decent strategy to finish off what the tank leaves behind.
Witch - (Non-Playable)
It looks like a crying little girl. Don't be fooled. While they have less health than a tank they can incapacitate, or on expert kill on their first hit. Thankfully most of the time they are avoidable. A witch will be set off by a Survivor making too much noise close by, being shot, or having a flashlight shined on her. You will know when a witch is close by from the eerie choral music that plays and her distinctive moans. Once the Witch kills whoever disturbed her she will run away and despawn.
  • If you must fight a witch your best friend is distance. More time to do damage to her is critical if you want everyone to survive.
  • Crouching (Ctrl) or walking (Shift) will allow you to sneak much closer to the witch without her noticing. Just don't stay too close for too long!
  • This is the only special zombie in the game which cannot be controlled by human players.
Horde Rush - (Non-Playable)
These waves of Infected are spawned by a Boomer spraying Survivors, exploding on them, when the group stays in the same location for an extended period of time, or sometimes at random. This is just a large swarm of normal zombies which serve as a great distraction while your teammates pounce players separated in the confusion. These zombies can do dramatically more damage to Survivors that are tied up by a Smoker as well.
  • Preceded by a distinctive horn in the distance, you'll soon learn to listen for this sound after getting caught by surprised by a wave of zombies.


-=[ Retired BF Admin ]=-
Re: Left4Dead: How to not look like a jackass



Single Pistol

[ind]Your first sidearm you start out with. This holds a 15 round clip, and has unlimited ammo. You'll soon see why this isn't much of a game breaker with how inaccurate it is while standing up, and how many shots it takes to kill a zombie on Expert mode. On Easy, they usually 1-shot kill. Your pistol(s) is the only item you can use while incapacitated unless you're being strangled by a Smoker, or pinned by a Hunter.[/ind]

Double Pistols

[ind]You get a second pistol as early as the first level of the game, giving you 15 more shots before needing to reload. Again, these are usable while incapped, but don't rely on their accuracy while laying sideways on the ground. Great for people with a shotgun that need to hit medium range targets without unloading half their shotgun shells. Decent accuracy at medium-long range while crouching still.[/ind]


[ind]This is your only automatic weapon in the first few levels of the game. Notorious for running out of ammo if you've suffered a few consecutive zombie Horde Rushes, they provide more medium-long range support than pistols, and accuracy if you need to be able to hit precision targets at medium range. These are far more effective at shooting a Hunter off a teammate than a shotgun if you're too far away to melee it off. Also good for shooting a Smoker at a distance that is dragging a teammate away from you.[/ind]

Pump Shotgun

[ind]Superb at crowd control, a single shot from a pump shotgun will mow down rows of zombies if you're looking into the face of a Horde Rush. Be extremely careful with a shotgun on Expert mode however. A single shot to a teammate can bring them from full to 1 health on Expert mode.[/ind]​


M4 Assault Rifle

[ind]Essentially a HUGE upgrade from the Uzi in terms of accuracy and power, allowing you to conserve ammo much better than with the Uzi. Typically 2 non-headshots will take down a regular zombie. Excellent for spraying a room full of zombies down, or giving long range supporting fire. Additionally, while you may want to manually burst your shots to conserve ammo, it's accuracy when completely unloading clips makes it a great Tank hunting weapon. You're able to unload clip after clip accurately (while standing still) and at a safe distance to help take it down.[/ind]

Auto Shotty

[ind]With twice the firing speed of the Pump Shotgun, this gun can quickly reduce a Horde Rush into a few stragglers at the back without having to reload. Make sure at least one in your party has this gun for heavy crowd control.[/ind]

Hunting Rifle

[ind]This semi-automatic rifle will kill all but the Witch and Tank with 1 bullet, regardless of where you hit your target. Great for clearing out long hallways or finding that Smoker that keeps dragging teammates around on rooftops. Only gun with a scope to zoom in. Like with the shotgun, beware of friendly fire. This thing hurts too much to make mistakes.[/ind]​


Mini Gun

[ind]A high caliber, stationary gun one person is able to use at a time. This gun only has a 180º arc, so the person using it will need cover from behind. This gun can rip a Tank to shreds if he's distracted to run in front of it by another teammate.[/ind]

Molotov Cocktail

[ind]Your standard-issue tank killer explosive. This will incinerate any regular zombies coming at you through a confined space, easily cleaning up a Horde Rush. The fire can spread sometimes at random however, and will temporarily light a Survivor on fire if it spreads too close. Any Infected caught on fire will stay on fire until they die, so watch out as the tank! Once on fire, Survivors can easily kite you around the map waiting for you to burn to death.[/ind]

Pipe Bomb

[ind]A nice distraction, typically used for clearing out a heavily infested lair of normal zombies, or distracting an impending Horde Rush. These will lure only normal Infected to it, but is still an excellent countermeasure to an Infected player attempting to separate or confuse your team.[/ind]


[ind]These are found at the start of each level, in special First Aid shelves in certain rooms along your path, or sometimes seemingly at random, typically hidden in a corner. Using one while your health bar is colored green won't benefit you nearly as much as using it on someone who's yellow or red. Medkits take around 5 seconds to apply, making you vulnerable to Hunters, Smokers, and any other zombie going after a stray Survivor.[/ind]

[ind]The game also makes use of a sort of TKO rule, where you can be incapacitated up to two times without healing. A player becomes incapacitated once their health goes below 1 from zombie attacks, or being shot by a teammate. Once on the ground, a player has a limited amount of time before they will die, unless they are helped up to their feet by a teammate. Once back on your feet, you will have a temporary boost to your health, however it will eventually bleed out down to 1, making you limp along at an agonizingly slow speed. A single hit will typically incapacitate you again, so popping pills are generally a good idea to keep up with the party, and avoid being incapacitated by a single regular zombie.[/ind]

[ind]After the 2nd consecutive time of being incapacitated without using a Medkit however, your game colors will go completely black and white, and you'll hear the thumping of your heart - typically referred to as "being Black & White". If you are incapacitated a third time, you will die instantly, so healing someone in this condition should take priority.[/ind]


[ind]Pills provide a temporary boost to your health which can help you keep up with the rest of your group (If your health bar is yellow or red), and make incapacitating you a little harder for Infected players. These should be saved for people that have recently been incapacitated but aren't Black & White, and are bleeding out, to help keep on their feet, and keep up with everyone else. These can also be popped instantly, rather than having to be channeled for 5 seconds, making it much safer to use while in combat than a bandage.[/ind]​


The following are some general tips we've come to learn from playing the game in Versus mode. It will help you be more useful to your team, and increase your odds of winning.


[ind]Spawning is probably one of the most reckless things I see teammates do as Infected when trying to kill the Survivors. Many people will find the nearest corner they can spawn behind and go right after the first person to walk by. While the obvious "going after the first person" should automatically sound stupid to you, many people ignore the fact that positioning and timing is everything. Use the time you have before you spawn to find the best spot to engage a straggler from. While you're spawning you can follow around Survivors in a ghost mode. Use this time to gang up on Survivors with teammates or find the perfect spot. Jumping out into the open and pinning a Survivor does nothing if their teammates just shove you off and execute you. But waiting around a corner (waiting for 3 of the 4 Survivors to jump off a ledge they can't climb back up) to spawn, and pulling the 4th guy back out of line of sight of his teammates can help you pick a Survivor off with a single life. There's plenty of locations where once a Survivor jumps off a building or a ledge, they're unable to climb back up it. USE THEM TO YOUR ADVANTAGE! Teach them what happens when they're retarded and don't move together as a unit!![/ind]

Boomer & Hunter/Smoker tag teaming
[ind]One of the worst things you can do as a Hunter is just randomly leap into a group of the Survivors hoping to do a little bit of damage. When they're closely packed together, they're going to hear you leap on top of someone next to them, and shove you off or shoot you almost immediately (remember they have a distinctive scream?). One of the best opportunities to pounce a Survivor is immediately after a Boomer explodes on 2 or more Survivors.[/ind]

[ind]Most of the time 1-2 of the Survivors won't be hit by the Boomer (Unless you have a really good Boomer), so they're still able to see what's going on perfectly fine, just with a lot of zombies in the way. Try to hit one of them with your Hunter, or drag one of them away from the group with your Smoker. While the blinded guys are struggling just to figure out which way is up, and trying to shove all the Infected away from them, you can wail the crap out of someone that otherwise would be holding the team together.[/ind]

Strategic Dragging
[ind]On a few occassions I've pulled off the near-impossible with a Smoker, killing a Survivor by myself, while his teammates could do nothing to save him. It's rare, but I think that's mostly because many players don't know how to use a Smoker effectively.[/ind]

[ind]In select few areas of a map, Survivors will come across terrain requiring them to jump down a ledge they can't climb back up, or move across terrain where falling off of it will severely put them behind the rest of their team. While we can't list every single location in this guide, look around while you're getting ready to spawn. Find somewhere that you would HATE to get dragged off of if you were trying to move really fast. Think of a worst-case scenario, and make it happen. Dragging a fking Survivor a few feet from his teammates on level ground with zero distractions gets old when it's my teammates doing it. Dragging a Survivor off a ledge, forcing him to navigate through hostile grounds however, can get a player killed.[/ind]​


Stick Together
[ind]It is critical to stay together and watch each other's back. Note, however, this does not mean take your time. Lingering in one area just lets the Infected pound on you while you make little or no progress. Every bit you move forward contributes to more points. A good team sticks together and keeps up a good pace stopping only to pick up weapons, ammo, and health. Equally though a good team moves only as fast as it's weakest member. Getting hit by a zombie slows you to a near stop. Their are times when the weakest member on your time is more harm than hurt. While it is not often sometimes you must leave the weakest behind. Remember though having one more person survive to the end is worth one multiplier more in points and however much health they are left with so you rarely will be able to gain many more points from leaving a Survivor behind.[/ind]

A big thanks is owed to RyanXWing for writing some of the content in this guide, and for 99% of the screenshots used in this guide.

This post is welcome to be edited by any moderators that may wish to update outdated information. This information was written exclusively for BattleForums.com, and may not be duplicated without the author's written consent.

"14 points... we just unzipped our pants and unloaded pro into their fucking mouths!!"
~ coRtALoS______________________________________________________________________


Premium Respected Member
Re: How to Kick @$$ at Left4Dead :: Ultimate Resource Guide

if only this game had a double barrel shotgun


Premium Respected Member
Re: How to Kick @$$ at Left4Dead :: Ultimate Resource Guide

nope a double barrel to the face of a zombie would just be more classier and pwn them more


Nothing special
Re: How to Kick @$$ at Left4Dead :: Ultimate Resource Guide

Classier maybe, but it'll get you killed.


Premium Respected Member
Re: How to Kick @$$ at Left4Dead :: Ultimate Resource Guide

awesome but a double barrel would be even funner


BattleForums Senior Member
Re: How to Kick @$$ at Left4Dead :: Ultimate Resource Guide

But it'll get you killed.


Auto Shot gun is the best weapon for taking out tanks.


Premium Respected Member
Re: How to Kick @$$ at Left4Dead :: Ultimate Resource Guide

the double barrel shotgun would also do more melee damage than a pistol


BattleForums Senior Member
Re: How to Kick @$$ at Left4Dead :: Ultimate Resource Guide

I think everything does the same melee damage.


Premium Respected Member
Re: How to Kick @$$ at Left4Dead :: Ultimate Resource Guide

how would you know you havent used a double barrel shotgun


BattleForums Senior Member
Re: How to Kick @$$ at Left4Dead :: Ultimate Resource Guide

Zoey owns.