Restless Mar 19 @ 8:47pm
Game Knowledge & Improving Yourself
The list serves as a way for new and old players to continue expanding their game knowledge and personal skill. Below I will attempt to cover everything you need to know about playing L4D2. This list is still incomplete and cursory, so if you feel that I've missed an important topic, please post and I will see if I can include it somewhere. If you have any questions about anything listed, or if you've never heard of one of the items and you want an explanation, then feel free to ask away.

You can think of all information as fitting into four groups:
1. Known-knowns: You know that you know these. Obvious facts.
2. Unknown-knowns: You didn't know that these were valuable skills or important information, but you know them.
3. Known-unknowns: You know they exist but you don't know the details about the subject. Ask questions and learn about them now if you'd like.
4. Unknown-unknowns: The things you are unaware that you don't know. Hopefully this list will help you here.

Basics: Playing the game as an FPS zombie shooter at a very minimal level, you should still understand these things. These often go without saying because they are very rudimentary or obvious, and every player naturally learns about these things quickly.
1. Aiming conventions
2. Avoiding friendly fire (both shooting others and being shot yourself)
3. Map layouts
4. Weapon/Item spawn locations
5. Weapon strengths/differences/usage
6. Grenade usage (when and when not to throw pipes, molos, bile bombs)
7. Efficient health item usage (kits, defibs, pills, shots -- what they do, when and when not to use them)
8. Neutralizing common/hordes while minimizing damage taken
9. Reviving teammates or saving pinned teammates
10. Closing doors
11. Avoiding alarm cars
12. Shoving SI (hunters/jockeys/smokers off survivors, boomers/spitters to prevent vomit/spit)
13. Learning to listen to SI to anticipate their attacks, learning the different sound cues for SI and hordes -- basic awareness.
14. How to use each SI - (basic handling controls, getting comfortable with range of attacks, wallkicking w hunters, where/when to spawn as Boomer)
15. Differences between difficulties and game modes
16. Safe room door etiquette (wait for people to load and be ready before opening, also do not close doors on teammates)

Intermediate: Whether you've played the game for a while now, or you came into it with skills and knowledge from previous games, these things are generally less obvious to the average player, but can make a big difference in gameplay. Many of these skills are ones you'll be practicing throughout your entire career, while other items are tidbits of knowledge that exemplify your experience in the game. Learning the intricacies of each SI can take a long time, and then learning to apply each of them in various situations and locations on every campaign is an entirely different story.
1. The differences between Official Dedicated, Best Available Dedicated, and Local Servers. Using Steam Group servers.
2. Headshot clears, skeeting hunters/rocks, prefiring
3. Ammo conservation, timing reloads
4. Speedclimbing ladders
5. Throwing things farther/higher (gas cans, coke, propane/oxygen tank)
6. Jump+Reviving teammates to avoid fall damage
7. Godframes
8. Spawn blocking
9. Moving through hordes without taking common chip (bob and weave)
10. SI sacrifice order/spawn order
11. SI attack priority (temp vs perm HP, counting survivor incaps, targetting b&ws)
12. SI defense priority (generally clear charger/hunter first, then jockey/smoker unless ledge is a threat or survivors health reasons or witch/tank is in play)
13. Common attack priority (pipe bomb -> boomer vomit -> boomer bile)
14. Permeable walls (walls you can break as SI or shoot through as survivors)
15. Tricks on maps for survivor and infected, whether its for speed, parkour for better spawn locations, or for returning from a drop
16. Neutralizing SI - deadstop, level, cutting tongue, can drop tongue, twisting tongue, (also learning to determine proximity and direction from hearing sound cues -- general awareness and basic juking skills)
17. Crowning Witches, and other methods of killing them without taking damage
18. Tank vs Survivors (versus)
19. Survivors vs Tank (campaign and versus)
20. Shoot, Slice, or Shove?
21. Quickswitching weapons
22. Getting a downed teammate up while horded
23. Ghosting
24. How to synergize SI together (charge-spit, any capper-spit, smoke-charge, jockey-charge, 3-1s vs 2-2s, capitalizing on witches)
25. When to pin/grab a survivor, when to scratch them, and when to distract.
26. Despawning SI to get a rehit
27. Hunters - 25 DPs, mid-air steering, invisible wall kicks, repounce, stumbling, death pounce
28. Hang/death spots with Jockey or smoker,
29. Taking advantage of and avoiding death charges
30. Rocket boom, boomer stumble into spit/ledges, crouching vomit, vomit projectile behavior aka waterfalling or vomiting over barriers
31. Sacrificing spitter, spit blocks, and spitting to delay survivors from helping teammates up, bouncing spits
*32. Item flipping

Advanced: You really have to go really out of your way to figure these things out, and this is going above and beyond to distinguish yourself in terms of skill and game knowledge. This is what separates the true pros from the wannabes.
1. Mouse/Keyboard dexterity
2. Mentally counting spawn timers
3. AI Director behavior - stress levels, natural hordes, spawning items
4. Console commands (customizing lerp settings, sensitivity, crosshairs)
5. Bunnyhopping
6. Playing rock Tank vs committing to an attack
7. Tank hittables, haymaker, jump rock, curve rock
8. How Versus score is calculated
9. Confogl/Promod play (know the differences - how to use t1 weapons only, no kits, no grenades)
10. Baiting/mindgames/understanding the metagame (baiting attacks, juking tank punches)
11. SI/Survivor team chemistry. Reading each other as well as communicating and positioning to attack and anticipate attacks together -- awareness levels that make Jedis jealous.

I did not talk about having a friendly or positive disposition to others ingame or get into the topic of votekicking. I will only say that the vastness of this list is one of the main reasons why the new players cannot get along with the veterans, and why the votekick system is necessary for both sides to have fun with the game. If you're not interested in at least being aware of these various things and improving yourself in this game, then you're denying yourself the most fruitful aspects of L4D2. Any spam or derogatory comments towards those who have fun playing this game on a more serious level will be reported as off-topic.

The list is by no means complete, so please post anything you think I've missed, and feel free to ask questions if you want me or others to expand on any subject. This thread is a service to those who want to improve themselves and immerse themselves deeply within the community, and to raise awareness to the incredibly high skill cap in this game and the competitive nature of this game enjoyed by many of the most experienced players.
Last edited by Restless; Jul 13 @ 4:40pm
Showing 1-15 of 65 comments
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Run Fun Mar 19 @ 9:26pm 
Good tips. But will no doubt not fall upon enough ears. I have also read your guides Restless. I refer them to players now & then on public campaign games. But I am mostly met with negativity when doing so. It's sad really. The level of arrogance from this community is out- of - hand.

Maybe Valve will put some system in L4D 3 to try to weed out the negativity. I like freedom. But sometimes taking away & punishing things is they way to go. Something to stop the rage quitting & trolling would be nice.
Dharok The Wretched Mar 19 @ 9:36pm 
Top post. A student of the game, and everyone could learn from this list. +1
Last edited by Dharok The Wretched; Mar 19 @ 9:38pm
Shelley Mar 19 @ 10:07pm 
Excellent tips. :thumbsup:

- Closing Doors: Whilst closing doors have more positives than negatives sometimes it can become a hinderance. If your close to a tank or hear it grunting then it's probably best leaving them open if you need to make a quick dash as sometimes, and i've seen this often, that alot of players become blocked by a closed door when the tanbk chases them and they run back.

- Getting a downed team mate when there's a horde (if you have adrenaline use it before picking them up) obvious to most but can't be stated enough to quickly pick them up when they are on the ground (same applies when your healing them) if you happen to be in a finale and things get hectic, adrenaline first (take it) and then heal that player who is hobbling along and/or in the red.

most of it you've covered quite brilliantly OP, excellent post.
Last edited by Shelley; Mar 19 @ 10:08pm
battle2525 Mar 19 @ 10:18pm 
Originally posted by Restless:
Intermediate:
5. Throwing things farther/higher (gas cans, coke, propane/oxygen tank)
6. Jump+Reviving teammates to avoid fall damage

Is #5 really intended game mechanic? I know you can do it but it would of been more challenging rather than just throwing the gascan up to the higher ledge (in scavenge).

And didn't know about #6. Will save a lot of time. Going to try it with bots.

Thanks for the list.
[†]Munkee_King[†] Mar 20 @ 1:01am 
Originally posted by ♥.:Rachel:.♥:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2msQwpzatQc

HAHA! omg XD
ilikeminetoasted Mar 20 @ 7:27am 
1. Mouse sensitivity - for optimum turning speed, arc slicing with axe/katana, 180 bashing

2. Keyboard controls layout optimization - quick scopes, etc

3. Some kind of surround headphones or speakers. Not strictly required but helpful.

4. Learning Teammate awareness - Learn how to hone in on a pounced teammate when boomed, Know what teammates have or need (all at the bottom of your screen), ability to pass pills or adrenaline, learn to cancel pipe bomb/bile/consumable when teammate throws it, listen to teammate sound cues (black and white cue comes to mind), Know where teammates are, etc.

5. Importance of attacking together "as a team". Learn when and when not to go alone. This refers to SI.

Use and put these where you want. As stated, these and the above list is the reason why mics are not the end all in this game. There is soooooo much more than just a mic. Most people have no clue about 80% of these things.
Restless Mar 20 @ 6:04pm 
Originally posted by Dr Chaos MK:
Good tips. But will no doubt not fall upon enough ears. I have also read your guides Restless. I refer them to players now & then on public campaign games. But I am mostly met with negativity when doing so. It's sad really. The level of arrogance from this community is out- of - hand.

Maybe Valve will put some system in L4D 3 to try to weed out the negativity. I like freedom. But sometimes taking away & punishing things is they way to go. Something to stop the rage quitting & trolling would be nice.

Thanks for the continued support and recommending my guides to others Dr Chaos. Hopefully those guides and this list reaches the people that needs them most!

Originally posted by Dharok The Wretched:
Top post. A student of the game, and everyone could learn from this list. +1

Originally posted by --:
Awesome list, kudos +1

Advanced players also are very aware of their surroundings. Along with that awareness, making quick judgement calls in busy situations is something I noticed with extremely advanced players. And by extremely advanced, I mean like the .01%ers in terms of skill.

Thank you.

Originally posted by Shelley:
Excellent tips. :thumbsup:

- Closing Doors: Whilst closing doors have more positives than negatives sometimes it can become a hinderance. If your close to a tank or hear it grunting then it's probably best leaving them open if you need to make a quick dash as sometimes, and i've seen this often, that alot of players become blocked by a closed door when the tanbk chases them and they run back.

- Getting a downed team mate when there's a horde (if you have adrenaline use it before picking them up) obvious to most but can't be stated enough to quickly pick them up when they are on the ground (same applies when your healing them) if you happen to be in a finale and things get hectic, adrenaline first (take it) and then heal that player who is hobbling along and/or in the red.

most of it you've covered quite brilliantly OP, excellent post.

re: Closing Doors
Nearly everything in the game has exceptions; nothing in this game should be taken as "always do x" or "never do y". There will always be that time where the opposite is the best course of action. That is part of what makes this game so difficult to master and fun to play. I agree that if you have teammates who need to go through doors while you're kiting a tank, then its best to let them close the doors, or not close them at all since they only buy you a second or so against a tank. Similarly, don't close the safe room door on your teammates!

re: Getting a downed teammate when there's a horde
Adrenaline, pipe bomb, and bile bomb are obvious options if they're handy, but a crucial part is either having a teammate clear the horde off the downed survivor, or using your body to block the path of the horde while you get them up. You'll take some damage, but it will allow you to get your teammate up instead of the revive constantly failing everytime they get hit.


Originally posted by battle2525:
Originally posted by Restless:
Intermediate:
5. Throwing things farther/higher (gas cans, coke, propane/oxygen tank)
6. Jump+Reviving teammates to avoid fall damage

Is #5 really intended game mechanic? I know you can do it but it would of been more challenging rather than just throwing the gascan up to the higher ledge (in scavenge).

And didn't know about #6. Will save a lot of time. Going to try it with bots.

Thanks for the list.

I believe the 'super throw' is intended, where as the jump+revive is probably a result of a bug. However, we are 5 years into the game's development, so if it hasn't been fixed, it can be assumed that the developers intend to keep them in the game.

Originally posted by ilikeminetoasted:
1. Mouse sensitivity - for optimum turning speed, arc slicing with axe/katana, 180 bashing

2. Keyboard controls layout optimization - quick scopes, etc

3. Some kind of surround headphones or speakers. Not strictly required but helpful.

4. Learning Teammate awareness - Learn how to hone in on a pounced teammate when boomed, Know what teammates have or need (all at the bottom of your screen), ability to pass pills or adrenaline, learn to cancel pipe bomb/bile/consumable when teammate throws it, listen to teammate sound cues (black and white cue comes to mind), Know where teammates are, etc.

5. Importance of attacking together "as a team". Learn when and when not to go alone. This refers to SI.

Use and put these where you want. As stated, these and the above list is the reason why mics are not the end all in this game. There is soooooo much more than just a mic. Most people have no clue about 80% of these things.

Some were already on the list, some were not, but I amended them in. Awareness never stops improving at all levels of the game, and team synergy/chemistry is something even competitive teams continue to work on every day, and something even most experienced public versus players exhibit, albeit to a lesser degree. These two things are skills that you will never fully master because they change with each team and in each situation.
Visi Mar 20 @ 6:49pm 
Originally posted by ♥.:Rachel:.♥:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2msQwpzatQc
Haha, that came to my mind as I was reading it too.

Originally posted by Munkee, Yes or No ✔:
Originally posted by ♥.:Rachel:.♥:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2msQwpzatQc

HAHA! omg XD
I'm willing to bet you've never seen Pulp Fiction.

Originally posted by Restless:
~good advice~
Nice list, Restless. Kudos for taking the time to write all that out.
Last edited by Visi; Mar 20 @ 6:49pm
[†]Munkee_King[†] Mar 20 @ 7:00pm 
Originally posted by Visi:
Originally posted by ♥.:Rachel:.♥:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2msQwpzatQc
Haha, that came to my mind as I was reading it too.

Originally posted by Munkee, Yes or No ✔:

HAHA! omg XD
I'm willing to bet you've never seen Pulp Fiction.

Originally posted by Restless:
~good advice~
Nice list, Restless. Kudos for taking the time to write all that out.

Wouldn't know. Dont know anything by that name/genre/ or title.
But I found the video funny.
Restless Mar 20 @ 7:04pm 
Originally posted by Munkee, Yes or No ✔:
Originally posted by Visi:
Haha, that came to my mind as I was reading it too.


I'm willing to bet you've never seen Pulp Fiction.


Nice list, Restless. Kudos for taking the time to write all that out.

Wouldn't know. Dont know anything by that name/genre/ or title.
But I found the video funny.

The Boondocks clip guest starring Samuel L. Jackson is a reference to a scene from Pulp Fiction, a movie he starred in with John Travolta/Uma Thurman in the 90s (or was it late 80s?).
[†]Munkee_King[†] Mar 20 @ 7:05pm 
Originally posted by Restless:
Originally posted by Munkee, Yes or No ✔:

Wouldn't know. Dont know anything by that name/genre/ or title.
But I found the video funny.

The Boondocks clip guest starring Samuel L. Jackson is a reference to a scene from Pulp Fiction, a movie he starred in with John Travolta/Uma Thurman in the 90s (or was it late 80s?).

Oh.. Well, I knew the voice, the guy, the show, what it was ripping off. Just didn't know that was the name of a movie.
Last edited by [†]Munkee_King[†]; Mar 20 @ 7:06pm
Restless Mar 20 @ 7:07pm 
Originally posted by Munkee, Yes or No ✔:
Originally posted by Restless:

The Boondocks clip guest starring Samuel L. Jackson is a reference to a scene from Pulp Fiction, a movie he starred in with John Travolta/Uma Thurman in the 90s (or was it late 80s?).

Oh.. Well, I knew the voice, the guy, the show, what it was ripping off. Just didn't know that was the name of a movie.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PE9Qm8mShik

Enjoy. Movie is worth a watch if you've never seen it. One of the best films of the decade.
[†]Munkee_King[†] Mar 20 @ 7:08pm 
I've seen it.
sorry if it seems I got a attitude, not a good day.
Restless Mar 21 @ 11:37am 
Originally posted by Visi:
Originally posted by Restless:
~good advice~
Nice list, Restless. Kudos for taking the time to write all that out.
You're welcome.
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Date Posted: Mar 19 @ 8:47pm
Posts: 65