Welcome to L4D2! Unlike conventional shooters like Counterstrike, L4D2 is a game where strong teamwork is more important than skill. You will be constantly relying on your teammates to cover you and rescue you, so be sure to take care of them! Share med-kits and pills with your teammates and keep the infected off them.
While you will be facing common infected most of the time, there are also more evolved infected called "Special Infected" that not only have more health but also superior abilities that can render you helpless, requiring another survivor to assist you before it incapacitates or kills you. Refer to the Special Infected section for more information on them.
Gameplay GuidelinesStay Together & Cover Each Other
Teamwork is key to success. There are just too many zombies for one person to kill. Also, your allies are needed in case you get caught/pinned, like a smoker with its tongue. Once caught/pinned by a smoker/hunter/jockey/charger, you will have no way of freeing yourself unless you have a teammate to save you.Clear the Horde!
While Special Infected are much more dangerous than common infected, the threat that they pose is severely diminished if there are no common infected around. Clear the commons fast and quickly and prevent them from surrounding you. Stick to the walls and cover all places that zombies can attack from to reduce the chance of a zombie hitting you. If zombies are chasing you, try to lure them to a narrow alley or room where they will be bunched up and easier to kill.Move & Shoot!
This is an important concept in this game, especially during crescendos and open areas. Some crescendos, like Parish chapter 2 (The Park), will have endless hordes of zombies that do not stop coming unless an alarm is turned off, as shown in the pic on the right. If you stay still in one position, you will eventually be killed by the endless horde. Move and kill zombies along the way until you turn off the alarm. In other places such as Dark Carnival Chapter 4 (The Barns), the horde never stops coming, which is why in events such as that one it is best that you understand sacrifices may need to be made to make progress.
Try to get through open areas as quickly as possible, as zombies can attack from all directions and it will be extremely difficult to handle any natural horde that spawns. Move quickly and shoot common infected along the way to reach the next safe position.Crouch
Remember to crouch as it significantly increases your accuracy and allows your teammates to shoot over you. In close quarters, you can also use crouch to slow down your movement as you inch slowly into your teammates field of view, giving them ample time to stop shooting and let you pass.
The shove is your magic button--it deadstops hunters and jockeys, pushes away boomers and groups of common infected, and it can save your allies from being caught by a smoker and releases them from jockeys and hunters. It also pushes aside common infected much more reliably than your melee weapons, so mix up your shove with your melee attacks for the best effect. If you are ever surrounded by common infected... Shove! Don't just fire, shove off the commons before you shoot. Note that the shove doesn't work on witches, tanks and chargers. If you shove too often in a short time span, you will experience fatigue, limiting your ability to shove continuously (you can shove 7 times in a row). However, it is still a very strong and potent ability for survivors. The beauty of shoves is that it is incapable of doing friendly fire damage to your allies.
Save your Allies
If your allies are pinned, you need to save them quickly. Always keep an eye out for your allies, especially if they are surrounded by a horde; good survivors will typically know when an ally is pinned almost immediately. If multiple allies are down, you will need to make a choice based on who needs saving first. Consider which special infected is doing the most damage to your teammates and which special infected can you kill the fastest. Also consider your teammates health, will anyone die if you don't save them first? Weigh the pros and cons to decide who to save first. Also, always remember to cover your allies. It doesn't matter if you only have pistols, at least make the effort.
The starting saferoom is guaranteed to stop any infected 100% of the time other than the tank, so know that assuming the saferoom door will hold up against him is a gamble. However, every saferoom door at the end of a chapter will always hold up. Sometimes special infected will spawn inside the saferoom at the end of the chapter, so be very careful as you enter it.
In increasing difficulty
- Easy [Common Infected (CI) do 1 damage]
- Normal [CI do 2 damage]
- Advanced [CI do 5 damage]
- Normal Realism
- Advanced Realism
- Expert [CI do 10 damage if they hit from the back, 20 if from the front]
- Expert Realism [CI do high amounts of damage and body shot damage is decreased, snipers are no longer over-powered]
Start from Normal difficulty and work your way to the more difficult levels. Expert is when it becomes really difficult as you can only take a few hits before being incapped, so try to practice not getting hit before you venture into Expert mode. Do not get used to relying on the snipers in Campaign as there is a drastic drop in power when going into Realism.Realism Mode
In Realism mode, there are no more helpful survivor outlines. You need to know where all your allies are, so communicate and stick together. Items are outlined only when you get very close to them. In addition, witches cannot no longer be crowned and Rescue Closets are gone.
For Realism modes, body shots do little damage, headshots are the best way to kill infected.
The Magnum and the M60 are the only firearms that can kill commons in one hit regardless of where you aim. Melee weapons also shine as they can kill many common infected in one hit.
Preparing for Versus
Playing campaigns will prepare you for versus, but only by a small extent. By playing the campaign mode you can learn the map layouts, how to kill zombies quickly and it also gives you some idea of how to handle special infected and tanks in versus(human players will use special infected and tanks with greater skill and coordination than the AI). Thus to prepare for versus you should focus on learning the alternate paths, possible areas for infected to spawn, areas where items can spawn, and also practice killing zombies as efficiently and quickly as possible while rushing
through the map (preferably in lower difficulties like Normal/Advanced and only if the other players are able to rush). You should also practice shoving Hunters/Jockeys out of their jumps (known as deadstopping) as this will be a valuable skill in both campaign and in versus mode.
Versus mode is equivalent to a normal difficulty campaign, but with smarter
special infected and a 6,000 HP tank. Versus mode has a very different playstyle from the Realism-Expert mode; being good at Realism-Expert will not guarantee you success in versus, and vice versa as rushing is more popular in versus as opposed to taking it slow in either expert mode.
L4D2 is a game best enjoyed with friends, but If you don't have a group of friends to play versus with, then you should read a versus guide and/or watch some youtube videos before entering a game because the expectations of veteran players are high and they will be quick to kick any inexperienced players.