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Old 03-27-2011, 03:38 PM   #1
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Re post: The Left 4 Dead 2 SI Guide

For some reason or another all the threads I've ever made got purged in the last month regardless of when they were created, so this is a re-post of the last guide I made that is essentially a compilation of all my guides over both L4D1 and 2. The links in this guide likely lead to threads that don't exist anymore, or videos that have been moved, ignore them if they don't work, I just wanted to post this again at the request of a couple people, and as an easy to link resource for a couple more, thanks.

L4D2 Special Infected Guide (v1.1)


-Edited all previous guides with updated information for L4D2
-Added sections for the L4D2 SI, the Spitter, Charger, and Jockey
-Changed some formatting, grammar errors, and spelling errors.
-Some outdated links removed

This is a compilation of all of my guides, combined with new ones, with a couple others from around the forum that I've decided to combine together to make a comprehensive infected play guide. For the most part, there is nothing new here, just all of the original threads posted to one place. The threads I link to are from L4D1, so come concepts and mechanics may be off in them, but I will be making use of what is still relevant in them in this guide. This is a result of testing, experimenting, typing, testing again, confirming, conferring, arguing about testing, typing some more, re-re-testing, smashing my head against the backspace key, and typing even more.

The motivation behind doing this is so people only have to look for one thread, instead of looking each individual one. Also, keeping this thread bumped, or even getting it stickied, will be much easier than doing the same for 6 threads. Most of the hunter, boomer, witch, tank, and smoker sections are copy/pastes from my old guides with updated information and modifications to the L4D2 world. As such, there may be latent mistakes in them, don't hesitate to point them out and they will be corrected as they are found.

I'll be formatting the guide to make it easier to read and find what you want, I will also be updating all the information as some of the guides are dated or incomplete. And as I said I'll also be editing it as people point out corrections, suggestions, or alterations. I hope these guides prove useful, and that putting them all in one place makes someone's life just a bit easier.

With all that said, this guide will be a work in progress for the next few days, many of the threads linked have probably either gotten purged or are broken. Bear with me while the links are managed and information is updated.

--General infected guide--
(thanks -Onions-)


Being a tank doesn't mean you have to go into "HULK SMASH" mode. Against a competent team a tank is only as good your teammates. Wait for your team to respawn and aim to incap at least one, who you then proceed to guard.

Play defensively as a tank. Protect an incapped survivor and let them come to you. You won't lose control as long as you maintain a line of sight and the incapped person will bleed out unless the others do something.

Avoid fire and chasing survivors into vents/enclosed spaces at all costs.

Avoid chasing green survivors. You wont catch them and they will decimate you.

(Note: Guarding does not mean stand on top of them bashing away. You do not do enough damage to kill them effectively. Incap one, find some cover and smash those silly survivors who come and rescue them. On that note, you are bulletproof. You can stand in between a pounced survivor and their teammates and they wont be able to shoot the hunter off.)


Pounce damage comes from distance. It is always point a (last jump off point) to point b (where you landed on the survivor at) that determines the distance, not velocity, not how many times you walljumped, just simple point a to b vertical and horizontal distance.

Don't spend all your time climbing to/camping at pounce spots. If you have an opportunity, take it (this goes for both 25ers and hitting the stragglers). If you do miss your pounce and your teammates are still alive, do NOT start climbing again. Get in there and utilize the chaos they create.

Walljumping can be used to create unique angles of attack. Also, the hunter is really loud and a very obvious threat. It is also very mobile. Leaping around is sure to get the attention of the survivors, creating an opening for an attack. When doing this, leap perpendicular to the survivors direction of movement to minimize damage to yourself.

See the hunter techs section for more advanced techniques

For the skinny on the Hunter's damage potential, go here http://forums.steampowered.com/forum...ght=true+facts -credits to Woden


You do not deal significant damage by yourself. Most of your damage will come from the assisting horde.

Separation is key! Grab the stragglers or the last person in the group. Hitting any person but the last will result in your tongue getting knock off immediately against good teams.

Utilize corners to your advantage. When you grab the last person turning a corner, the wall provides you with cover from the survivors ahead.

Fall damage is your friend! Fire is not! (Unless you can pull them into it) Learn the places where you can inflict fall damage. Also, learn the places where a successful smoke results in a inevitable death (whenever the survivors drop to a lower level and cannot backtrack)

Get the survivors to backtrack. NEVER pull in the direction they are going, this is the direction that they are the most aware of.

The usual smoker spots are boring and they are well watched. Pull from unconventional places.


You are a fat and loud. The idea of "sneaking" up on survivors is laughable. Do not do this.

Learn to spawn at the last possible moment. You only need to eliminate YOUR line of sight to the survivors, which is very handy for ambushes from behind poles and other unexpected props. Never put yourself in a position where you have to run after the survivors, if you fall behind keep running backwards to ghost again.

The explosion from your death is a blessing and a curse. It can potentially force an instant ledge grab incap on multiple survivors. However, it does affect the other SI on your team (will knock hunters/smokers/chargers/jockeys off their targets and will stun a tank).

Learn to boom in places that are not easily defended. True, this makes spawning more difficult but a boom in a closed room is rarely beneficial to the team.

Hitting only one person in most cases is a failed boom. Its because it attracts the horde ahead and is easy to defend against, giving the survivors an easier time of advancing. The same goes for easily defendable places. Though there are situations where booming just one person can offer great separation. Learn to recognize those situations, otherwise, hit as many survivors as you can.

If the team is separated, try booming one group and getting in between the groups. The other team will be reluctant to shoot you, even if their other teammates are boomed. You can try to get em all with your explosion or at the very least, get some cute 4 dmg slashes in.

When running up to a group of survivors, try to keep something at your back that will limit your stumble distance. Poles and such work great for this, especially if they are in a corner. That way, if they melee you, you are still in range to cover them with your explosion. On a similar note, sometimes running into a small room and forcing the survivors to melee you against a wall guarantees a 4 hit boom.

Learn the radius of your explosion. You can cover all four survivors if they blow you up even if you are out of melee range. Spawn, pop out, and vomit all out of melee range. You do NOT want the fatty to get meleed.

Booming on incap'd survivors that are somewhat separated (ie: from a tank incap and everyone is running around) is usually very beneficial and kill the survivor most of the time. - Thanks t0fu!

Going with t0fu's tip, booming an incapped survivor will make it nearly impossible to pick them up.

See the boomer section for a more in depth play guide.


While no longer terrifying, she is a potential free incap.

Do NOT let the survivors get within melee distance with a shotgun. She doesn't like it and neither should you.

You can put the witch in a Max-Anger state if you slash her continually, provided the survivors are nearby. Don't worry about the damage, she has a large hp pool.

A boomer explosion can set off a witch.

Once she notices the survivors (or a survivor), she will stop crying and look at them with a gasp. The instant you hear that, run to her and melee her ONCE, and she will startle. This ONLY WORKS if at least one survivor is still inside her detection range when you melee her, so speed is the key.

Of course wandering witches aren't so sensitive, but if she's agitated, go for the scratch and go in with her.

Likewise, a boomer explosion will only set the witch off if she has already noticed the survivors and if at least one survivor is still within her detection range. Standing by her while the survivors are 300 feet away will only get you killed to no purpose. -credits to Woden.

The most important part to remember about the infected is: NEVER ATTACK ALONE, with the sole exception of stragglers. Work with your teammates.

Try to coordinate your attacks. My favorite strategy is to smoke one with a hunter waiting. The hunter nabs the would-be rescuer while the other hunter waits to nail the tail of the other two who come to rescue your victims.

--Boomer Guide--

I'd like to start this guide by listing some points about the boomer's primary (and nearly only useful) ability, the vomit:


DPS: Zero to “a boatload”
Claw damage: 4
Role: Crowd control

--The vomit acts, not surprisingly, like a short range liquid spray, though instead of a spray it will only hit people that are on or near your cross-hair, or where your cross hair makes the "physics based liquid shot" fall.

--The vomit has a delay after spawning that it cannot be used of about one second, long enough for the survivors to hear you and start spraying, so choose your spawn spot carefully if you plan to vomit close-range.

--The max range of the vomit is roughly 30 feet away, for reference on range, this is about the distance of two cars lengthwise.

--The vomit is at it's maximum range when first shot, then rapidly reduces its range to zero, so if you're going for range, you need to be on them right when you click.

--The shot does act like a physics object, and will retain its maximum horizontal distance (roughly 30 in game feet) from up to a vertical range of 60 feet. This means if you're high up, you can rain vomit down on people from relative safety if you know how to aim it....

--Aiming the vomit from above needs a bit of adjustment of aim, instead of aiming directly at the person, you will want to aim above their head more and more as you get higher and higher. If you're 10 feet above, aim just a bit over their head, if you're 60 feet up, you'll want to aim almost 0 degrees (straight ahead of you above your target).

--A successful attack only needs you to have the vomit stream on them for a fraction of a second, so flail it around to secondary targets as soon as you hit the first before your range goes down.

--The boomer's death explosion is a non-physic radial attack, this means that it extends outwards on a plane, not up and down, and it does not fall on people like the vomit does.

--The boomer's death explosion goes through doors, often this is a great trap to set for survivors that like to blast boomers by sound before getting a visual. If you can checkmate them on a door, you'll get at least one person with either your vomit (if they open it) or the explosion (if they fall for the trap).

--You can become a "fire bomb" if lit on fire as a boomer, you don't have much time at all, but you can kamikaze into the survivors once lit to replicate self-detonation.

+ The Boomer explosion causes both Survivors and Infected to stagger , this can be bad as it can stagger a Tank ...and good as it can cause Survivors to stagger off ledges and required to be pulled up.
+ Suprisingly a Boomer is very hard to spot (easy to hear) in a Horde, use this to get as close to a group of defensive survivors.
Thanks to Asnogard for the above quoted notes.

With these things in mind, I would like to move on to tactics and team play. In this section I'll explain how to work with your teammates, and use the horde to its fullest potential.


First off, I'd like to talk about something relatively new and unused. I might be giving my enemies some good ideas here but combined with a hunter/smoker a boomer can vomit *while moving*. Now most of you already know what I'm referring to, a boomer can start his vomit, and a hunter/smoker claws the boomer, moving them in the direction and angle that they were hit at. Most people don't see the application of this... yet. Specifically for the No Mercy campaign this has a lot of potential. Using this to launch boomers off of roof tops combined with a boomer skilled at aiming can create an unavoidable boomer vomit. Even better, if not shot the boomer tends to land in the middle of the survivors. There are many applications, but I'll leave it to the community to discover them...

Another tactic not used often is to use the smoker/hunters to create an opening for the boomer to separate the survivors unavoidably. This is most commonly used on BH 3 in L4D1, but is really useful about anywhere. How this works is you have a boomer spawn somewhere safe near the smoker. The smoker pulls someone, and usually one person will come with them to help, the boomer vomits on those two people while the hunters pounce the other two. In this situation the horde will be between the still standing survivors and the people downed by hunters. While this only leads to incaps in very well synced scenarios, it still does a ton of damage if set up properly.

You can also use the following idea in a few situations:

Originally Posted by Woden View Post
Survivor melee doesn't do damage on hit. It is scripted so that after a certain number of hits, the target dies outright. A boomer with 1 HP will still last four or five melees, just as normal.

The right way to do this trick is to have a hunter soften the boomer up until the boomer's health is at 6 or less. Then one melee from the hunter will explode the boomer.
With this idea, specifically in relation to ladders, you can get a boomer to cover survivors in vomit after he has used his projectile vomit attack. While this will stun the hunter, the other two members of the party (assuming they are alive) will be ready to attack, and I would say that even the hunter who hit the boomer could get away for a pounce. Used on ladders this can be a great stall/chip away strategy if you're trying to stagger spawns to keep attacking on said ladder.

Something a little more practical that some people still don't do with the boomer is a double horde. What I mean by this is vomiting, getting away, and suiciding when the first horde fades. I'll turn you over to Woden for exact info:
Originally Posted by Woden View Post
The vomit wears off in exactly 20 seconds, so when your meter is approaching 2/3 full, start putting on your suicide vest.
This gives your team a huge window of time to act, and usually ends up blinding the whole survivors team. The timing this should be done at is just before the vomit wears off, and they're dealing with the last stragglers in the horde, you should suicide. This is roughly 15-20 seconds, 10 seconds faster than just vomiting again, and it keeps them in the same position. This is a great way to set up hunters for 25's since it's much harder to bash a hunter coming from above when boomered.

+ A Boomer makes a decent shield , jump between a pounced victim and his would be rescuers to leave them with a nice dilema.. you can help the Smoker too. (I am pretty sure that if the booomer gets shot and explodes, the explosion will push a hunter off his prey, or to cause the Smokers tounge to release)
Thanks again to Asnogard. On top of this idea, there are places where a smoker can pull near an edge, the boomer can then get in between him and his teammates, boom the teammates, and if he's shot he will push the survivors off the nearby ledge. The other approach is to claw the survivor while hes smoked, keeping in the checkmate position so the other survivors don't shoot you.

Synergy with the spitter is a bit more obvious in that the spitter simply waits for someone to be pinned by horde to spit them. This is where booming just one person can work wonders. If only one person is boomed, they will be swarmed and won't be able to move very well. If you can get a spitter to spit on them, and even better, a hunter to pin them while the spit hits, they'll be pinned in the spit long enough to take a lot of damage. The pin can work well with a charger too if they're near a wall or the common can catch up to the charger.
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Old 03-27-2011, 03:39 PM   #2
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--t0fu's Smoker Guide--

The Smoker can be perhaps the most influential special infected class in the game if used properly. Proper use of the smoker can immediately swing things in your teams favor by grabbing a survivor in spots where the other survivors are unable to rescue them.

The smoker also acts as a critical tempo changer against the survivors.


Tongue Damage
# Dragging a Survivor: 3 Damage every 1.1 seconds
# Immobilizing a Survivor: 5 Damage (+12 damage while hitting incapacitated survivors)
# Pulling into fire: Same as above but added fire world damage (any exact numbers here would be appreciated)

Tongue Recharge
# Tongue Miss: 3 second recharge
# Tongue Grab and drop: ~5-6 second recharge
# Tongue Break: 15 second recharge

Tongue Attack Range
# Reports of around 66 feet
Originally Posted by davidheaver View Post
Plus, you can fire the tongue while the target is at maximum range for lock on, and the target can run away from you another 20-30 feet while the tongue makes it's way to grab them. Therefore, the maximum range for the tongue to lock on is vastly different to the maximum drag distance possible.
Movement Speed
# Walking: 85
# Running: 210
# On Fire: 168
# Crouching: 75


For the most part, use the buddy system with your fellow Boomer. This works both ways
# Wait for the Boomer to cover the survivors and pull one away
# Pull a survivor to distract the other survivors for the Boomer

If the survivors are cornered up someplace after they have gotten Boomed on, Don't be afraid to sacrifice yourself to add to their blindness. The smoke after you die combined with the Boomer's vomit makes the survivors virtually blind. This helps your fellow hunters to get in some nice melee swipes and/or pounces, allows a charger to walk right in, and can net a spitter extra damage before they realize what's going on.

Most of the time you will also want to spawn BEHIND the survivors and pull any stragglers backwards. This is how the Smoker acts as a tempo changer.

Much like the Boomer, surprise is your friend. The Smoker coughs loud enough for the survivors to hear him at a pretty good distance so spawn at the last possible second.


Use the Map terrain and objects to your advantage.

Ledges, Cliffs, Windows and FIRE are your best friends. By using them properly, you can not only severely slow down the survivors progress but also split them up and cause mass confusion
Learn where they are and set up accordingly.

Pulling a survivor into fire adds world damage to the survivor(and crazy fast)
There are two really good spots to try this on Dead Center 1, and if the survivors throw a careless molly it can be a good source of free damage and separation.

Use heights to your advantage. Pulling a survivor from a decent height can give them a good little dose of fall damage.

Use the horde! Damage taken by the survivor can be drastically increased with a horde of common infected pounding them away while they are immobilized

Use the witch! Pull the survivor within range of the witch. To speed things up, tell one of your teammates to smack her while she's alerted

Most importantly - Make sure you communicate and Coordinate with your team!

Outside of this, learn your death-pulls, and set up death-charges where you can.

[U--Charger Guide--[/U]

DPS: 5
Claw damage: 10
Role: Pin and separation


--The charger, similar to the hunter, has hitbox projection issues. Meaning you have to lead someone that is moving to connect with a charge.

--The charger will scatter anyone not caught directly in his charge, throwing them back and inflicting a huge amount of stun, giving other SI a chance to attack.

--The charger's claw damage is the largest outside of non-boss SI, do not neglect it.

--The charger's charge, despite it's ferocity, will get stuck on just about anything. Keep this in mind when lining up a charge.

--If you charge too close to a survivor, you will bound off of them as if they were a wall, causing a small stun to both you and the survivor.

--If you charge from above and you land on top of a survivors hitbox, you will latch on to them, act like you hit them into a wall, and begin smashing them on the spot.

--Survivors can “level” you with a single melee swipe to the head while charging, keep this in mind.

--Like the hunter, the charger can “steal” Smoker and jockey victims, this is situationally useful.

--While incredibly rare, if a charger and a jockey land an attack on the same survivor at the same time, the jockey can ride on the charge while doing damage to the survivor. The jockey is knocked off once the charger begins to smash his victim, and the jockey is given a long re-charge timer.

--The charger is fairly unique in that he serves both as a pinner and as a separation SI. The main difference between a pinner and a separation SI is mobility of attack after initiation, the second being damage. The charger changes from one to the other mid-attack, first separating, then pinning, and for this reason, he should be though of initially as a separation SI, and then as a pinner. With this in mind, we can move on to tactics.


Death charges are the end-all be-all of charger potency, but if you're obvious about them, you will get baited every time. For this reason you should work with hunters, smokers, and jockeys in that order to score a death charge. The best and easiest example is The Parish finale, crossing the bridge. Have a hunter spawn up first, get a pin on a death charge spot, and have the charger waiting with a spawn they know they can get. If timed right, there is nothing the survivor can do outside of an insanely lucky melee level.

Stealing a smoker or jockey's victim is usually out of the question, and it's better to just protect against rescue with the charger, but if they're about to be (or already in the smoker's case) incapped, there is some use to it. If you charge someone back or forward even further away from the survivors before they get incapped, that's that much more time the last 2 SI have to attack, and more damage the survivors will take.

Also, never neglect the scratch, nearly reaching 10 dps this attack is one of the strongest if you can keep them coming. Mixing in with a horde, or getting a scratch before you back up to charge is a great way to gain some easy damage.

Co-ordinate with your spitter, and used enclosed spaces. I can't count how many times a charger on some stairs has done over 100 damage with a spitter. The stun the charger creates is so much that spit damage becomes unavoidable, and if the spitter can die on top of the puddle she already made, the damage will double.

Also be sure to watch out for people pinned by horde, either from crescendo, director, or boomer, they make themselves much easier targets, and again, a spitter is your best friend here.

--Spitter Guide--

DPS: 3 for new spit, 8 for old spit, 2-3 for people pinned by other SI.
Claw damage: 4
Role: Support DPS


--The spitters DPS is highly variable as you can see above. She does the most damage when a survivor steps into or is forced into spit, rather than being spat on and sitting in it the entire time. This is contrary to what the design intent was, which was “the longer you stand in the spit, the more damage you take”. The reality is that the older the spit is itself when a survivor steps in it, the higher the DPS will be ramped.

--The spit puddle the spitter spits, and the spit puddle the spitter makes when she dies stack with eachother's DPS. Usually this means you net an additional 3 DPS on top of the first spit puddles DPS if you die on someone who get's stuck in both. Just for perspective, a survivor that stands in fresh spit for the entire duration of both puddles takes upwards of 68-88 damage depending on how quickly the spitter dies on them.

--Spitters can bounce their spit off of walls, ceilings, and invisible ceilings, using the spit more as artillery. The bounce isn't much, but it's usually enough to get it past doorways.

--If you spit, and the ball reaches max range, it will nearly stop and drop at a very steep arc. Not quite straight down, but close. This means if you are on the other side of a wall, you can spit almost straight up, and it will land on the survivors on the other side.

--Spitters can spit mid-air, useful for trying to spit on one group of survivors while protecting a pin by body blocking from a rocket spawn.

--The spitter has low HP, and a massive hitbox. Her head hitbox is actually above the players POV, so there are times where you think you're behind cover, but you're really not. Keep this in mind, the spitter is fragile and needs either a distraction or cover to not be negated.


Spitter/charger is one of the most common ways to deal relatively assured damage if set up properly. Make sure to communicate with the charger, and anticipate him getting the charge with your spit. If possible, predict where the charge will end and spit there before the charger gets to it, contrary to how the mechanic is suppose to function, the older the spit it when the survivor enters it, the higher its DPS.

Dying on top of people and spitting a pin then body blocking is something I see disappointingly little of in pubs considering how easy it is. If someone gets pinned by a hunter/smoker, or you're right beside the place where a charger will pin a survivor, spit on the downed person, then body block. If it's a hunter, charger, or smoker, as opposed to a jockey in a corner or pinned by CI, get some scratches in after spitting on them. Again, be careful when doing this to a smoker, and never do it to a jockey. If you pull this off, you'll get double spit damage if the survivors kill you to get to the pinner.

Don't neglect using your spit to separate people either. A good example of this use is snagging someone as smoker when the survivors go around a corner, and spitting so that the survivors will have to step in old spit to make the save. Combining this with a charger or hunter to protect against the rescue is even better.

The spitter can be reliant on environment at times, make sure to only spit when you know the survivors aren't just going to hop right out of it. Open areas are generally off limits, unless someone is pinned by common or someone gets a solid pin with a charger or hunter. Crescendos are always a safe bet with help from your team, but always be on the lookout for a pin to spit on.

--Jockey Guide--

DPS: 3
Claw damage: 4
Role: Separation


--The jockey can pounce someone without left clicking at all. You can normal jump (spacebar) or even just fall onto a survivor from higher elevation.

--The jockey can be one-hit by any melee, survivor or SI. While a bug, it is a danger to be aware of until it's patched.

--The jockey is arguably the least potent infected, but there are still times he can shine, and has the potential to perform death attacks in very specific areas.

--The jockey's pounce is most affected by hitbox manipulation, so much so that if you are chasing a survivor and they don't stop, it is nearly impossible to land a pounce on them as you will slide off their model nearly every time.


The jockey is mostly a support SI, someone to cause more chaos where chaos is already present. He exists to take advantage of separated survivors, and separate them some more. He is at his best when get can drag a survivor way back away from his friends so the other SI can attack their would be rescuers. Here and there he can get some quick incaps, but his purpose is essentially the same, you are inconveniencing the survivors and drawing attention to make openings for better attacks.

The jockey can allow other SI to take his victim, meaning he, as pointed out above, can be a useful SI to set up attacks that require specific positioning. Death charges are the first to come to mind, but remember the survivors will be pushing to get you off their friend, so the other survivors coming to melee you are in just as good a position for a death charge/smoke as your victim.

Keep an eye out for common, and avoid them. They will stop your ride in its tracks, allowing the other survivors to catch up before your purpose is served. When the survivors are boomed, go for people who aren't boomed to get some separation off of the CI, make them work for you, not against you.

--Tank Guide--

This guide will explain everything I know about the tank, and will be used as a place to share and update knowledge on the game from this car chucking behemoth's perspective. Just like any other guide, this is to be used as a compendium, and not a work created by a single author. If you have knowledge, share it, if I give incorrect information, question it, if you don't understand something, ask for an explanation.

This guide, as the others, will be separated into two sections: Knowledge, and tactics. Knowledge being intrinsic properties about the tank, the other being in-game application of said properties.


--The tank's punch will hit multiple survivors within roughly 10 degrees of his center of attack in a cone (center of attack = cross hair). This means if you are centered on a survivor, and another survivor is in horizontal range of the attack, they have to be within that cone to be hit also.

--The tanks puch can be used to "stun lock" a survivor. What this means is that once you hit a survivor as long as they don't go flying away or up the side of a hill, you should be able to hit them again before they can completely recover. Meaning you can do this over and over until they're incapped.

--You can do what has been coined as a “haymaker”, which is essentially punching, then cutting the punch animation short, and throwing a rock. To do this you simply roll from puch to rock, left click to right click, with the right timing. To get the timing you will probably have to practice this for a bit until you get the hang of it. This can be used as an alternative stun-lock if you hit the survivor outside of normal stun lock range.

--You can jump and attack at the same time, as an example of it's range and usefulness, you can hit people that are attempting to just on top of things to avoid being hit. His range is deceptive, and he can hit people on top of most things the survivors can jump on.

--The tanks punch range is slightly more than the survivors melee range.

--The tank slows down considerably when being shot, so yeah... don't get shot.

--While any survivor is in the safe room, the tank will *NOT* lose any of his rage meter. Hitting the survivors with a rock or punch will re-fill their rage meter to full. Hitting people with physics objects (trees/cars) will not re-fill the rage meter at all. Staying within visibility range of the survivors will also keep your rage from going down, but this is a bit glitchy.

--Rocks have a bigger hit box than the physical rock, you can hit people around trees and other cover by getting the physical rock as close to the cover object as possible, making the hit box go through it ant hit the person. Survivors are stunned for ~3 seconds when hit by a rock.

--Rocks go incredibly far, chances are the survivors are in the range of a good rock throw from the second you spawn in as the tank.

--If a tank runs out of rage in a situation where the AI can't take over, the tank will instantly die.

--Tactics-- (Tanktics?)

First off, I want to point out that the tank is NOT a lone killing machine. You need your team to make openings in 90% of the situations that come up in an even-skill game just to not waste the tank.

Also, and say this with me in your best Frankenstein voice now: FIRE BAD!!!. *Ahem*, yes, fire indeed bad. If you get lit on fire, you can count on the survivors out running you unless your boomer is spot on with a horde. To avoid said fire, you're going to have to trick the survivors into wasting molotovs and gas cans. To do this, charge in like you don't know what you're doing, and you're going to waste the tank. At this point someone will probably shoot their gas can, or throw a molotov directly at you. If you see a molotov coming, try to dodge to the left or right, since it can be hard to judge if the survivors threw it too far, or are coming up short.

Now that we've covered not getting bathed in flame, I'll move on to actual team tactics, and Tank tactics.

The first one, which I love, is the rock to smash combo. This is *very* useful if the survivors are all green and out-running you. Try to get them into a situation where they have to curve around you to get away, and at this point, throw a point blank rock. They'll probably light you up with whatever guns they have, but it's very hard to dodge a rock at that distance. Once you hit them, you can usually charge them and "stun lock" them, or at least get them to yellow. Use this with your teammates coming in as backup to prevent total survivor escape.

Another great rock tactic is rock sniping, though this takes a lot of practice, can make a tank useful in a place where otherwise it would be wasted. Basically the whole strategy is to stay just out of visible clip range, and throw rocks. Since it just takes one hit to re-fill your meter, you can do this for a decent while. This gives your team (specifically your boomer) a chance to cause chaos and give you time to rush in and mess some people up.

Camping downed survivors, or killing them if you can, is extremely useful and far too often overlooked. Your team has to help you with this most of the time, but if you incap someone, stay in range of them. Use them as bait, and keep hitting them until someone tries to come to the rescue. Either way you get heavy damage on one survivor (sometimes killing them), and damage on the other survivors slowing them down, making an attack for the rest of your team much easier.

The boomer is your best friend, but can be dangerous to be around... if your boomer can get a horde to come, it often means game over for the survivors. Rush in with the horde, and start doing damage. The dangerous part comes if your too close to them, they act as propane tanks and wills tun you just like an explosion, giving survivors plenty of time to shoot you, or even light you on fire.

Smokers, hunters, and chargers need your protection, if a hunter pounces someone separated from the group, stand in front of him, take the hits for him and let him do the damage. This way, the survivors will have to get close or move out of cover to save their friend. Smokers you should also treat this way, but there's much more you can do with them. This takes practice to find the distance, but just like the other infected, you can hit the smokers victim without hitting the smoker. So find the distance, and go nuts on the survivors while blocking for the smoker. For the charger, play it the same as a hunter, shield the survivor until they're incapped.

You should also always be looking for "home runs", by this I mean places to hit the survivors off the map, or off a high surface for extra damage and team separation. Any time the survivors are on a higher surface you can do this, just be aware of any lips the surface might have that might prevent them from flying off. Once separated, let your team take care of them, and work on doing the same to another survivors.

Last edited by Kaizoku: 03-27-2011 at 03:41 PM.
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Old 03-27-2011, 03:40 PM   #3
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--Hunter Guide--


DPS: 8
Claw damage: 6
Role: Pinner

--The hunter has the most technical skill out of any SI, detailed explanations of which can be found in the “hunter techs” section of this guide.

--The hunter's claw does 6 damage and has a short range AoE property, which can be devastating to teams that stack during crescendos, gather up during a horde, or are pinned, see below.

--You can claw people that are smoked/charged, just be careful. If you get too close to the smoker, you will knock him off the survivor, and you will be doing damage to the charger.*DO NOT* try this with the jockey, as he has a bug where he can be instant killed by any melee.

--Damage pounces on people who are smoked, charged, or jockeyed do not do damage. Don't listen to that "ding", or the text on the screen that says you did 25 damage, they both lie.

--While using the claw (right click) you cannot use "a" and "d" to strafe, but you can still use your mouse look with "w" and "s" to curve while clawing.

--Just like any SI, you can pre-fire the right click while running up to your target, reducing the chance of the attack being negated by a bash.

--The hunter's pounce has too many properties to list here, (again, see this thread) but one property to keep in mind is hitbox properties. When the hunter pounces, his hit-box is projected in front of him dependent on velocity. This means where you aim is not necessarily where your hit box is going to be when you want it to be there. Lead your targets.

--Hunters have a shriek threshold range. This means, within a certain distance, when you tap or hold crouch with survivors in sight, your hunter will make a loud noise alerting them to where you are. Keep this in mind when you're trying to be stealthy, or when trying to be a distraction for your team.

--When standing, hunters are the only SI that are completely silent. There are many uses for this, mostly for setting up unexpected pounces/scratches.

--Hunters on fire created by the survivors do increased DPS once they have a survivor pinned. They do not get a DPS boost from environment based fire

--Hunters stagger people when they land a pounce in a small radius like a shock wave going out from the pounced survivor's position. Survivors that are too close get stunned for 1-2 seconds and are pushed 7-10 feet away. **survivors can jump when a hunter lands on a fellow survivor to avoid getting stunned and pushed**.


I'd like to initially talk about common habits I see in normal level public play that can easily be avoided and will help your team out amazingly if you are conscious of them. Hunters *hunt in packs*. I cannot stress enough, that unless you have a perfect, near unavoidable 25 damage pounce lined up and your teammates are all dead, DO NOT ATTACK ALONE. This goes for all SI, but I see this out of hunters the most. Talk to your team, and see what order you want to attack in, and sync up with their spawn timers before going in.

Now that the basic concept of team-play has been reiterated, the importance of SI class co-operation will be emphasized. What order you attack in, and where you come from is most of what a hunter should be thinking about in ghost mode. This will determine what you'll be doing while alive. If the hunter goes in first, you're the bait. Make noise, jump all over the place on the way in, but once you are in make sure to land on someone. If you get the other SI on your team to do this as well, the boomer should be able to waddle right up and get an easy barf-bag. If you go in last, you're the damage dealer of the group. Use boomer hordes to get easy damage pounces on stationary or distracted targets. If the smoker pulls someone in the confusion, cover the pull, go for the first guy running at that smoker. Same with a charge or jockey, protect the other pinners

Now on to hunter stun, one of the best properties of the hunter's primary attack. Even if a team of survivors is stacking in a tight corner, if your team can manage to land just one hunter that's enough of a window for the rest of your team to attack. It's rare, but you can even use the stun to slide people off of ledges to incapacitate them. If you have two or more hunters, you can chain pounces off of each-other's stun making the window for attack even bigger for your remaining team-mates, though this is really rare in L4D2. With chargers in mind, hunters make the absolute best pinners to set-up for death charges. If you pin someone on a death charge, you're almost assured to get it barring glitches and a lucky melee hit.

Another more advanced team tactic, is using boomer hordes as a means to create separation. The difficult part of this concept isn't execution, but the ability to see the opportunity when it comes up. The situation you'll be looking for, is when your boomer team-mate booms part of the survivor team. At this point, you and your hunter team-mate pounce the survivors that are green. If the attack goes as intended, the horde will ignore the green survivors and pack around the boomed ones, cutting them off from their teammates. This can cause some serious damage, especially when the smoker/jockey/charger jumps in to cover the hunters pounces. The situation can be delicate, but when you pull it off it can be very difficult for the survivors to recover from. Always attempt to use a hunter for this, since he has a combination of high DPS and a relatively easy to land attack that pins a survivor on the spot.


--Hunter Techs--

As a preamble/disclaimer, I turn you over to -Onions-:

Originally Posted by -Onions- View Post
Please for the love of L4D, do NOT practice these techs in VS. Unless you are 100% comfortable with them, stick to utilizing the situation.
Use the practice server setting at the bottom of the guide to practice these, because no one wants a hunter on their team pouncing around like a hopping chicken with its head cut off.


Fairly simple, the hunter's best friend. Causing up to 25 damage maximum (yes, even while on fire) depending *solely* on the distance from point a (jumping off point) to b (victim). It can be hard to quantify how much distance will net you a 25, so get out there and find your favorite spots. I find new 25's every day, and soon me and a friend will try to release a tutorial to show hunters just where they all are. *Fire now does nothing for the hunter, and I for one, don't care. I also want to add that you do not need to hit crouch again to wall jump at any time. If you know you're going to hit the floor though, you'll want to tap or hold crouch just before you hit the floor to immediately jump again.

In addition to everything above, if you pounce someone close to his teammates, said teammates will be stunned and shoved away seven or eight feet. They are always pushed away in relation to where the teammate is that got pounced, and while slightly useful in most scenarios, there are some maps that give this mechanic potential. If you mange to stun someone off a ledge, it will incapacitate them in the hanging state, functioning exactly like as if a smoker pulled them off.

Hunter “pushing”

It's been elusive to nail down, but the "push" mechanic of pounces is indeed a consistent and intended mechanic. For anyone who doesn't know, you can "push" people off surfaces for extra damage in pounces, while it has a minimum drop distance of about 35 feet to do damage, it scales up VERY quickly, getting up to 75+ damage at 45+ feet for a fall. To do this, pounce someone on a ladder (no mercy map 3, final ladder is a great place), you may not see it, but when you pin them to the ground below the game will make a "ding" noise confirming the push damage, if you're in the air long enough or don't do initial pounce damage, you will see "player pushed other player for xx damage". This is extremely deadly, but insanely situational, and nearly impossible since the removal of bunny pouncing in L4D2.

Pounce Sliding:
First person: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ordZo3OTkz8
Third person: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIMimafzg2c

Something I'm sure everyone has accidentally done, you can actually slide your jump if you know what you're looking for. If you hit *any* edge of a surface at the end of a pounce, you will slide off the edge with the velocity and angle you hit it at. The angle and speed of approach is irrelevant for the success of this mechanic, the sweet spot for sliding is *very* hard to hit, so if you're going to try it, prepare for a lot of practice, or a little luck. The most important part of this mechanic is that it DOES NOT re-set your jump distance like wall jumping does, thus, elongating your jump for more damage and range. The places you can do this tech and hit someone are very few, but if mastered, can really take people by surprise and do a lot of damage.

Pounce sliding is cause by landing on the ankles/feet part of the hunters model on the edge you want to slide off. This is why curving is so important, because curving positions your model so that you can hit the edge with nothing but your models ankles/feet.

Wall jump

A hunter's best *best* friend. The true virtue of the wall jump itself, is it's ability to get a hunter out of bad situations quickly. If you miss a jump, bounce off the floor, get out of there, and re-set. The wall jump can also be used as a wonderful distraction, if you can wall jump quickly and accurately, you can distract a group of survivors long enough for a boomer or smoker to make his move. The actual mechanics of the wall jump are generally known, but haven't been specifically discussed much. Left click to jump off wall when you hit it, right? Well, there's much more to it. First off, wall jumping has minimum angle requierments. These numbers aren't quite concrete, but they are very close to accurate for in game purposes. You must be looking roughly ten degrees away from the wall, and at least 10 degrees up or down, to initiate a wall jump. This creates a conical "jump zone" while you are touching or gliding on a surface you can leap off of.

I'll also briefly explain the "silent wall jump", if you pounce once as a hunter during that specific life as a hunter without wall jumping with that pounce, you can do the "silent pounce". After you've done a normal pounce, you can then jump against a wall (Like a wall jump, but you're just normally jumping) and left click. You will hop off the wall instantly. This is useful if the survivors are either bad, or bogged down and can't kill a hunter whose been bashed off for a quick getaway. This isn't so useful as an attack opener, it may work here and there, but it's not as useful as the other techs are for openers.

Also, you do *not* have to hold crouch the entire time, and it's actually better if you don't. I'll explain why next...

Jump curving
First person: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-q4OJec4_4g
Third person: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUeOnAxpB8g

Many people know you can slow or even stop your jump mid-air by using the "s" key, but for those of use who have "surfed" in CS or TF2, we know that "a" and "d" are even more useful. Using your mouse look, and "a" and "d" you can curve your jump to an extent. Obviously this has great utility for correcting your aim mid air, but it also has some more technical uses involving wall jumping. First, I'll explain how to curve specifically. To curve left, gradually look to the left and hold "a" mid air, it's the opposite for right. If you are holding crouch, stop it! You're losing a lot of air control if you do, so stand up mid air to better your curving. Now for wall jumping, knowing the minimum wall jump degree "cone" helps here, as you can curve yourself into a wall you would have otherwise missed, and jump off of it. Curving also helps you attack from places survivors can't see. Now, curving leads to an even more advanced tech...

Strafe Jumping, A.K.A, Kai Jumping

This tech comes in two versions, diagonal, and vertical. I'll explain diagonal first, since it's the easier of the two. To attempt this, it would bee a good idea to have wall jumping, and curve jumping mastered first.

First person: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYzKDZOo6BY
Third person: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQ0QRajPiPs

To do this, first you must find a relevant place to practice it. Dead Center two behind where you drop off onto the RV is a nice place to practice. Once there, remind yourself of the jump degree cone, because it's going to be really important. Jump and curve into the wall you want to do this on at a 45 degree angle upward (diagonal is focusing on both horizontal and vertical distance). When you curve into the wall to jump, look 10 degrees away, and jump again, holding your strafe button to curve the entire time, curve *back* into the wall, and do it again. Doing this, you can jump up a single wall diagonally. You can, of course, adjust your angle for what is appropriate, but much under 30 and you start to lost altitude. This is best suited for long flat walls close to areas the survivors pass by, and can easily get 25's in places you can't usually jump from. For vertical distance without much space to work with, try vertical...


First person: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YdNQ6p7PQl4

Much more difficult than diagonal vertical requiers that you have the following mastered: Wall jumping, curve jumping, diagonal jumping, jump cone.

To perform this, begin your jump just as you would for a diagonal, only instead of around a 45 degree angle up, you will need to use something much closer to 75/80. Do your first jump, but instead of holding your strafe key, and looking away from the wall again, turn all the way around towards the wall, going from your beginning strafe key, to "w", to the opposite strafe key.
The goal of this is to keep yourself sliding on the wall the entire time you're turning around, once turned around, proceed just you would with a diagonal jump with an angle of 75-80 still. If you can repeat this, congratulations, you've learned the hardest hunter tech I know of. This is useful for 25's in mostly unknown and unexpected places, much faster setups for jumps, awkward escape angles, and very high angled attacks.

*100% vertical* method of vertical oriented hunter jumping.

First person: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9KGsJnukc0
Third person: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hm04093TM3I

You can climb straight up any mostly flat surface, no matter how thin it is. To do this, simply put your back to the surface you want to climb, hold "s", jump straight up, and wall jump by looking 10 degrees down. While holding "s" you will continually go back to the wall. While this tech gains no horizontal distance, and gains it's vertical the same speed as the strafing method, it is much easier, and just as applicable in many scenarios.

^credit: Foxdie^

Bunny Pounce

As a forward, this was removed in L4D2, but I am leaving this section in in case anyone wants to try it in L4D1.

This combines the oldschool "bunny hop" that most veteran steam gamers know and love, and applies it to the hunter game. As posted and discussed before, you can bunny hop from a pounce with the correct timing of the space bar. Using the momentum of a low angle pounce, you can launch yourself at a low angle, long range jump. The problem is, is that most of the time, it is just a *jump* and not a pounce (this will be discussed later). The best method of using this tech/mechanic is to do a single low angle pounce, hold the direction key you want to use to move (A, W, or D), hit space with the right timing, and land on your target. The most difficult part is the bunny hop timing, so don't get frustrated if you don't get it.

There is a range of angles that this tech will work 100% with, which is -1 to -10 degrees. Just for fun, I tested if you can walljump to a bunny pounce, and that is also confirmed. There are some scripts around that claim to make bunny pouncing easier, but so far I've found that nothing beats just getting the timing and angle down.

--How to Make a Practice Server--

To practice anything in this guide on your own, use the following:

At the main menu with console enabled, drop console and type "Map " with the space after map, use the arrow keys to cycle through the maps until you find the one you want. Type “versus” after the map name with a space before “versus”, hit enter and you'll start your own server, when the game starts, drop console again and type these commands:

sv_cheats 1
sb_stop 1
sb_all_bot_team 1

Along with those command, you'll want to know these commands:

z_spawn <class> (class is hunter, boomer, tank, smoker, and witch)
give health
jointeam 2 (join survivors)
jointeam 3 (for infected)
warp_far_survivor_here (puts a survivor where you're pointing, thanks jon_the_d)

This is what I know, tried, and tested in all ranges of the game I have played in over the past year and a half, combined with the efforts and knowledge of everyone credited in the guide. I re-made this guide in the hopes that, with the spread of information, the players as a community can grow and enjoy the game as much as possible, whatever level they play at. Will this guide be seen by the entire, twelve-thousand large, player-base? No, will hundreds of people on these forums see it? Probably. Will at least one person learn something new, and enjoy the game more because of this guide? I think so, and to me, that's enough a reason for this guide to exist.

I'll be formatting/editing this guide in the next few days to make it more readable and convenient. If you have any formatting suggestions, corrections, questions, comments, requests, corrections, additions, ideas, or especially corrections, please let me know in a reply or PM.


Last edited by Kaizoku: 03-27-2011 at 03:42 PM.
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Old 03-27-2011, 09:15 PM   #4
Koga Shiro
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Wow, massive update Kai. Good read, I have to confess I can't do a lot of these things. Thanks for posting it.
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Old 03-28-2011, 12:52 PM   #5
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5 star topic would be nice if it was a sticky one though.

nudge at forum mod's and valve
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Old 03-28-2011, 01:00 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by TGUSOL View Post
5 star topic would be nice if it was a sticky one though.

nudge at forum mod's and valve
Mods here have already said it won't be a sticky, all they did was put a link in the "important threads" sticky, but that's kind of pointless if they're going to randomly purge all the threads that that thread links to, I know all my links in there won't work anymore.
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Old 03-28-2011, 01:18 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Kaizoku View Post
Mods here have already said it won't be a sticky, all they did was put a link in the "important threads" sticky, but that's kind of pointless if they're going to randomly purge all the threads that that thread links to, I know all my links in there won't work anymore.
I'm going to be trying to figure out if there's a way we can get this kind of info preserved or at least archived.
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Old 03-28-2011, 01:29 PM   #8
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Well, either way I have this guide backed up on my PC fully formatted for forums and all, I just kind of wish it had gotten a sticky, since it's been the only comprehensive and fully in-depth guide to the SI. At this point it's kind of a "that's nice, but everyone already knows this stuff and the player base is tiny so a guide doesn't have much of a purpose" kind of thing.
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Old 03-28-2011, 01:46 PM   #9
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maybe we need a another sub forum like custom maps and cold stream.

A community section, where you get info like this and about things like confogl, mods , specific steam groups, fan made content information only no discussion, like a proper message board rather than a forum.

just an idea.
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Old 03-28-2011, 09:31 PM   #10
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Would be cool, I just don't think this place gets enough traffic anymore for mods to care. Hell, we couldn't get anything like that when this place was booming and really in need of it.
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Old 07-10-2011, 03:10 PM   #11
Koga Shiro
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Bumped for the new players.
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Old 07-11-2011, 05:15 PM   #12
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Sticky it, mods. Also, Kaizoku? Would it be okay of me to suggest increasing the text size of the section headings to make them a little easier to spot when quickly scrolling through?
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Old 07-11-2011, 08:01 PM   #13
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This game has no tutorial or practice mode for infected, and they will refuse to sticky a guide on the forums.

This is very stupid.
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Old 07-31-2011, 06:32 AM   #14
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Old 09-06-2011, 03:28 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Smear View Post
Sticky it, mods. Also, Kaizoku? Would it be okay of me to suggest increasing the text size of the section headings to make them a little easier to spot when quickly scrolling through?
Sure, no problem. I'll mess with it when I get some down time and see what looks better.

Originally Posted by Phaseshifter View Post
This game has no tutorial or practice mode for infected, and they will refuse to sticky a guide on the forums.

This is very stupid.

There's just no interest, and they very rarely endorse or acknowledge things done/created by this community. I can't complain too much though, at least the guide here is still getting views, and it's been translated into 3 other languages.
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