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Back 4 Blood characters unlock guide

Here’s how to unlock Doc, Hoffman, Karlee, and Jim

Four human characters hold weapons in a screenshot from Back 4 Blood. Image: Turtle Rock Studios/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Ryan Gilliam (he/him) has worked at Polygon for nearly seven years. He primarily spends his time writing guides for massively popular games like Diablo 4 & Destiny 2.

Back 4 Blood characters begin with four Cleaners — the game’s name for playable characters. But did you know that you can unlock four other Cleaners, offering you eight in total? In this Back 4 Blood characters unlock guide, we’ll teach you how to add Doc, Hoffman, Karlee, and Jim to your Back 4 Blood roster.

How to unlock characters in Back 4 Blood

If you played through the first four levels of Back 4 Blood, blowing up the ferry and destroying the bridge, you’ve seen the groovy cutscene that shows off Doc, Hoffman, Karlee, and Jim. That’s because all you need to do to unlock those characters is complete “The Devil’s Return” level in Back 4 Blood’s first act. Well, sort of.

The complete roster of Cleaners in Back 4 Blood
Evangelo, Walker, Holly, Mom, Doc, Hoffman, Jim, and Karlee all have their own starting cards and weapons
Image: Turtle Rock Studios/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment via Polygon

Chances are you’re here because something went wrong. Back 4 Blood gives you the option to play through the first section of its campaign solo. But it doesn’t do a great job of explaining that playing on solo disables in-game achievements, called Accomplishments.

Unfortunately, the way to unlock the four extra Cleaners is through an Accomplishment called Paid The Toll (Complete “The Devil’s Return”). So while you may have beaten the mission, it doesn’t count you were alone.

If you’ve moved on from “The Devil’s Return,” have no fear. All you need to do is start a new campaign from the beginning or jump straight to “The Devil’s Return” level — just make sure you’re playing online and not solo. Complete the level, watch the cool cutscene again, and you’ll finish out your Back 4 Blood roster.

Like the original four characters, Doc, Hoffman, Karlee, and Jim all start with their own unique cards and starting weapons. So be sure to pause the game and check out the Cleaners menu to read up on each one.