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Back 4 Blood beginner’s guide: 8 tips to help you survive

How to take on the Ridden and make it back

Four human characters hold weapons in a screenshot from Back 4 Blood. Image: Turtle Rock Studios/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

Back 4 Blood is the new Left 4 Dead-like game from the studio that made, well, the original Left 4 Dead. While it’s fairly similar to its 2008 predecessor, Back 4 Blood adds some new and modern mechanics. And without a coordinated team, you can die on even the lowest difficulty.

But we’re here to help you get zombie legs back. Here are eight tips to keep you and the rest of your Cleaner friends alive in Back 4 Blood. We’ll teach you about using Copper, buying cards from Supply Chains, and setting your difficulty.

Stick with your friends

Back 4 Blood is a co-op game, and you’ll have three other players with you, no matter what Even if you’re playing solo, you’ll have AI teammates. There’s power in numbers in Back 4 Blood, and it’s important not to run too far away or lag too far behind. Stay with your team.

If you’re isolated, special zombies can pin you down, and you may need a friend to rescue you. If you want to stay alive, or just keep your health up, make sure a pal or two is always nearby.

Use Solo to try cards before you buy cards

For those who don’t have a group of dedicated zombie hunting friends, Back 4 Blood offers a solo mode (with those aforementioned AI allies). While you can’t earn any rewards, like Supply Points, in solo mode, you’re able to use all of Back 4 Blood’s new cards.

Cards operate like mini perks that can increase your damage with certain weapon types or offer bonus health in Back 4 Blood, and you can play a new one at each safe house to give your character a bonus. When playing with other players online, you can only use cards you’ve unlocked via the Supply Chain (more on that in the next section), but solo players can customize special, unrestricted solo decks.

These solo decks let you play with all of the cards, with no need to unlock them. Make a deck you think you might like back in town, dive into solo mode to find the cards you can’t live without, and then prioritize the Supply Chains that offer those cards for your multiplayer games.

Finish out Supply Chains to plan your next shopping spree

Supply Chains are the way to pick up new cards for your multiplayer decks. The Supply Chain vendor in town will give you three Supply Chain trees at a time. You’ll need the Supply Points currency to buy cards (and cosmetics) on each tree. To earn Supply Points, you must complete online missions.

Each Supply Chain has a theme, and you don’t need to spend your way through one before swapping to the other two. But while the later cards are expensive, it’s best to finish a Supply Chain before jumping to a new one. Once you finish out a chain, the vendor will take it away and add a new option the next time you talk to them. By finishing out a Supply Chain, you’ll get a chance to reprioritize for your next spending spree.

If you need a lot of cards fast, buy out the early cards on all three supply chains. But if you’re looking to diversify your decks with new options, finish the chain before moving on.

Spend all of your copper to avoid wasting any

Players aim at a Retch in a screenshot from Back 4 Blood. Image: Turtle Rock Studios/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

While running through the zombie apocalypse, you’ll find copper sitting on the ground or on tables. You can spend copper at safe houses to upgrade your weapons, buy items like pain pills, or even expand your inventory.

Copper is a precious resource, but don’t be stingy with it. It doesn’t play into any systems back at Fort Hope, and you’ll lose any copper you have on you when you hit the finale of your current level group. Spend it to get the best stuff you can, and maybe consider buying some items for your poorer teammates if you don’t know what else to buy.

Heal selflessly

Back 4 Blood is all about the team. You could be the healthiest Cleaner out there, but if all your friends go down, you can still get chucked off a tall building or incapacitated by a special zombie. But just like Left 4 Dead, you can heal your allies with items just like you can heal yourself. Keep your team alive, and you’ll have a higher chance at success.

Before you use that bandage, think to yourself “Who needs this more? Me, or my buddy?”

Play around with difficulty

Back 4 Blood can be hard, and without a group of players you’re actively talking to, you likely won’t make it far on the game’s middle difficulty, Veteran. Consider playing on Recruit with random players or friends to gain more Supply Points and unlock more cards before jumping into higher difficulties.

If you’re bored on easy, you can always pump up the difficulty for your next round. But it’s worth pointing out that progress is locked on a difficulty basis — if you make it halfway through Act 1 on Recruit, you’ll need to restart the entire act if you want to bump it up to Veteran.

Always be pinging to help your friends

A close-up of the Stinger from Back 4 Blood Image: Turtle Rock Studios/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

Back 4 Blood has a pretty handy ping system. You can look at any items — or even special zombies — and ping them. This will highlight whatever you’re looking at for your allies, getting their attention. This is great if you’re playing with random players or want to draw a friend’s attention to a weapon they might like.

If you’re playing solo, this feature is unfortunately pretty useless. In our solo runs, we didn’t see any AI bots pick up the items we pinged or mount any pinged turrets.


You’ll be killing a lot of zombies in Back 4 Blood, but sometimes it’s better to just book it. There are a few levels where zombies can just overrun you and your team if you’re not careful, especially when you get close to the safe room. While it may be all about the team, sometimes it’s better for everyone to make sure one person makes it through that door and finishes the level.

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