Left 4 Dead fans have been waiting for this for a long time, but thanks to spiritual successor Back 4 Blood, we finally have an intense new co-op zombie shooter to fill that void- thanks to the same studio that brought us Valve’s beloved series in the first place, in fact. As you’d expect Back 4 Blood can be a pretty grueling game, and it demands a lot from its players, which means actively thinking about the game’s mechanics and using them properly is crucial if you want to make any meaningful progress. Here, we’ll be going over a few basic beginner tips and tricks that should help you settle into the groove more easily.
DON’T RUN OFF ALONE
Back 4 Blood is very co-op focused. It does allow players to play solo, but make no mistake- this is a co-op game through and through. That, of course, means working together with other players as a team, and one of the most important things to keep in mind to that end is to stick together with at least one teammate at all times. Running off alone is a surefire way of getting yourself killed, and quickly at that, which in turn will mess things up for your team as well- so always remember that you’re stronger together, as cheesy as that sounds.
KEEP AN EYE ON YOUR TEAMMATES’ HEALTHS
Keeping with the theme of teamwork, another important thing to remember in Back 4 Blood is that you should give some thought to healing before you actually do it- in that simply healing yourself with a bandage when you’re at low health probably isn’t always the best possible use of the item. Take a look around at your teammate, and if you have someone in your squad who’s at lower health than you, focus on fixing them up first.
FOCUS ON TEAM UPRADES
Again, just as it is with healing, progression in Back 4 Blood also encourages players to focus on your team rather than the individual character you’re playing as. Of course, you can always focus on yourself if you want, but upgrades that apply to the entire team – like additional support items or upgrades to ones that you already have – are generally much more useful, especially in the long run.
USE THE PING LIBERALLY
Pinging systems have become something of a staple in multiplayer shooter since Apex Legends popularized the mechanic, and as you’d expect from a game as focused on co-op as this one, pinging is crucial in Back 4 Blood. The basic applications – marking loot and enemies – is useful in an of itself, of course, but it comes in handy in other ways as well, such as pinging a Mutation enemy to alert your teammates of its location, or pinging a weapon to instantly let everyone in your team know how powerful it is.
PAY ATTENTION TO THE ORDER OF YOUR CARDS
Cards are one of Back 4 Bloods’ most central systems, but there’s a trick to using them that is surprisingly easy to miss, at least initially. Rather than being randomized, the cards in your deck will be drawn in the order that you built our deck- which means the placement of each card is something you should pay close attention to. Identify the cards that are the most important and useful and make sure you get them early on.
TRY OUT CARDS IN SOLO MODE BEFORE BUYING THEM
Due to some weird progression blocking issues and the inability to unlock achievements, solo play in Back 4 Blood is a bit of a stunted experience- but it does have its uses. When played online, Back 4 Blood only lets you use cards that you’ve unlocked via Supply Chains. In solo play, however, all cards are accessible from the get go, which means you can try out whichever one you want, see which ones you like, and then focus on working towards unlocking those when you play online.
USE COPPER SMARTLY
Copper is an important currency that you’ll be scavenging as you comb through the environments in Back 4 Blood, and it’s used to purchase various boosts, like weapon upgrades or inventory expansions. Unless you’re playing on Recruit though, you’ll also need Copper to heal yourself at first aid stations. Our advice? Make sure that you always have 400 Copper saved (when you can help it, at least) so that you can use it at the next station you find.
This ties in with a couple of points that we’ve already discussed. Copper Scavenger is a handy card in Back 4 Blood that instantly highlights any and all Copper piles close to your location, even through walls, and even makes Copper spawn in the world in greater quantities. As you’d imagine, it’s incredibly useful. Always ensure that at least one person in your team runs Copper Scavenger, preferably as the first card of the deck. In fact, the more the better- you’ll make a lot of money very quickly.
DON’T WASTE AMMO
Ammo conservation is key in Back 4 Blood. Of course, given how many enemies you will run into, and how much health some of them have, it’s not like you won’t be spraying barrages of bullets on foes. But you should know when to do that- when possible, saving your ammo and using other means to beat back the Ridden is something you should always look to do, whether that’s with melee attacks, your side arm, or the bash attack.
ALWAYS BRING TOOLKITS
Toolkits are one of the most crucial item in all of Back 4 Blood. They let you get past locked doors and into otherwise restricted areas or even bypass alarms, and quite often, you’ll be rewarded with valuable loot. Sure, you have very few inventory slots, but filling up one of them with a toolkit will help you out way more than you’d imagine. Ensure that you always have a toolkit on you.
BEWARE OF CAR ALARMS
Back 4 Blood can be a devious game- it knows that its Ridden hordes can be a pain to deal with, and it tries and takes you by surprise with traps that draw the attention of these hordes. One such trap is car alarms- if triggered, you’ll get a brief warning of what’s about to happen, but you can also spot these cars from a distance thanks to their blinking lights. Be extra careful around these, because even a single bullet will trigger the alarm.
BEWARE OF BIRDS
Even trickier to deal with car alarms are birds. Often you’ll spot small flocks of birds scavenging meat off of corpses- if you do, steer clear. Shoot in their direction, walk too close to them, or startle them in any way, and they’ll start making a racket, which will then draw the attention of any and all Ridden around you. If you’re particularly wasteful, you can use up one of your grenades to quickly kill them, but if it can be helped, simply avoiding them is the better option. Of course, that’s not always possible, so keep that in mind.
GET TO HIGH GROUND
Given how overwhelmingly outnumbered you will often be when hordes of the Ridden come barreling down on you and your team, it goes without saying that running and gunning isn’t always the most useful method (though sometimes it is). When you find yourself going up against large groups of foes, it’s best to find high ground, which there’s no shortage of in most environments that you’ll find yourself in. Climbing on top of a stack of crates or going up a ladder and then picking off enemies as they climb up to get to you can be an incredibly effective strategy.
USE MOLOTOVS SMARTLY
Molotovs are extremely useful tools in Back 4 Blood as well, and just like grenades or healing items, you need to pick the moments where using them would yield the best results. For instance, if you can get to the end of a chokepoint and get enemies to funnel down to you through it, dropping a molotov at that spot can be quite useful. At the same time though, simply picking out a massive group of enemies clustered together and tossing a molotov in there works as well.