Left 4 Dead – Versus Strategy Guide

left-4-dead125-210-versus So now Left 4 Dead has been out for a couple months and pretty much everyone’s had the opportunity to finish all 4 campaigns on expert mode. If you care to see yours truly beating the crap out of ill-tempered zombies on Expert, I’ll have a few videos posted near the bottom. However, as fun as doing single player campaigns over and over again can be… the fun doesn’t stop there, we have VERSUS mode.

Yes, versus mode is probably the most fun in Left 4 Dead, and if the game wasn’t so buggy (Let’s see… the game randomly goes into hyper speed, or even switches to a random map for no reason, you can hit people through walls with a tank… etc) then I’d have to say it’s probably one of the most enjoyable gaming experiences you can have.

Pouncing as Hunter, why I love versus

Seriously, there’s no greater feeling than doing a 25 damage pounce from a skyscraper that’s 2km away from the survivors as a hunter. The impact of the fall and having your opponent plastered against the ground as you consume his internal organs is very satisfying. A little too much actually…. Even better, light yourself on fire as a hunter and find yourself a lone target. Pounce on him and you’re doing double damage…. “OHM NOM NOM OMH OMH” as the Heavy would say.

So quickly, in case you’re a little new, let’s cover the basic ideas that will give you the edge in versus Left 4 Dead.

If you want to download the new Hunter Training map (Practice Pouncing & Climbing Buildings), then download it from the Training Section.

Survivor Tips –

1. Stay as close to your team as humanly possible… be IN THEM if possible. As dirty as that sounds, you’ll be safer if you can smell their breath.
2. You can hear EVERYTHING, listen and shoot through walls.
3. The tanks worse enemy is a molotov, always keep one handy.
4. If you don’t need to search an area, don’t. The objective is NOT to collect the most items, it’s to get to the exit with as much health as possible.
5. Be unpredictable, don’t go where the infected team will expect you to go.

Infected Tips –

1. You make noise, they will always hear you. The only exception to this is the hunter… if the hunter is standing up straight he will not make noise.
2. As a hunter, light yourself on fire to cause double damage. Before attacking, find fire, even if it’s far. It’s WORTH IT !
3. As a smoker, you can do more damage if you can pull a survivor off a ledge. That’s your job, pull people from high areas.
4. As a boomer, spawn at the absolute last second in a strategic place (you make a LOT of noise) and try to get all 4 infected with your spit.

The top mistakes people make as survivors is to simply linger around. Seriously, there is nothing in that closet…. and even if there was why would you want it ? It’s beyond me why people waste so much time at the beginning of levels looking for things like medipacks when you’re already at full health. Good teams move quickly together, skipping looking for items in favor for advancing through the map. Even when you don’t actively search the map for pipe bombs and molotovs, the map tends to give you some in very obvious locations along the way. Use those instead. The ONLY exception to this is to pick up upgraded guns. Don’t miss those.

Instead make your way through the map as fast as possible, utilizing the most direct line as possible.

Survivor Tips – Use Sound & Shoot through walls

The best thing survivors can do is to use their sound. You hear everything in Left 4 Dead, and if you use a set of high quality headphones, you’ll be able to know exactly where to shoot your survivors. If you want to take this even further and want to know how to you can make even better use of your sound, check out http://www.fragggingfundamentals.com for the answer to that one. Once you know exactly where the infected are, shoot through the walls at them! In Left 4 Dead, you CAN kill pretty much anything through a wall, as long as you shoot enough. It’s a great feeling to shoot a a boomer before they turn the corner… and even better to have them call you a cheater afterward!

If you want to truly own the boomer’s peanut, then figure out EXACTLY where you have to shoot in advance to get the kill. Let’s face it, after playing the same map over and over again, you KNOW around which walls the boomer is likely to spawn, so practice shooting through walls to hit him in single player and you’ll destroy everything and everyone in versus mode. Want to practice in single player?

Here’s how you do it quickly:
– First, start up a game in single player, choose whatever campaign you want.
– Second, bring down the console, type: sv_cheats 1
– Third, type “god”, followed by “noclip”
Now you’ll be able to float through walls and rapidly move around the map. This will allow you to rapidly figure out where to shoot through the wall.

Alright, now as infected.

Infected Tips – Coordinate & Use your Environment


That’s pretty much it. If you can coordinate 4 infected to attack at exactly the same time, you’ll do MUCH more damage than having a single hunter attack. How can you time this? Well, for starters make good use of voice communication. Warn your teammates 10 seconds in advance before you attack and pick effective places to attack.

There’s no point in attacking them when they are in a narrow corridor… they’ll just shoot you and a horde of zombies won’t do much damage either. Instead, the best time to get them is when they are in open areas.

For hunters, always take advantage of burning fire… it does SO MUCH more damage. And always find the highest possible point to jump off from. The further you travel in the air, the more damage you will deal on impact. Although difficult, it’s very lethal to land a 25 damage jump… which usually ends up being 30-35 damage points by the time someone helps your victim.

In versus mode, the infected are to take advantage of the environment, from hiding behind witches, to baiting survivors to shoot cars, it’s all about triggering the external forces in the game to do the work for you. My personal favorite is pulling a survivor towards the gas pumps on No Mercy… only to have the entire team come to rescue him and accidentally blowing up the pumps. If you haven’t tried that one yet… I highly recommend it.

A little note on the tank… Now the tank is both the most powerful force in Left 4 Dead and the worse played! I can’t believe how many players I see simply wasting a perfectly good tank. The first mistake people make with the tank is to assume that they are going to lose control immediately if they don’t attack. While it’s true that you eventually lose control if you don’t hit a survivor, the amount of time you have is more than sufficient! It allows you to carefully sneak around survivors, to tactically throw cars, wood logs, wheel barrels, whatever you find along the way to help you put down the survivors.

What a good tank will do is sneak up on ONE target, hit him until he’s down and then use him as bait. When the other survivors come to save him, hit them as well! Obviously, while the survivor is down, a hunter should immediately jump on him to try to kill him as fast as possible while the tank guards him. The worse thing to see is a tank running on fire, 1 vs 4 in the open while all the survivors shoot him. Don’t be that guy !

If you missed it, make sure you read my first article on Left 4 Dead, strategy and tips

Oh, and because I mentioned them in the first line, here are some videos of me speed running alone through the first levels of No Mercy on Expert. MAKE SURE YOU WATCH THEM IN HD!

No Mercy 2 – Done Fast

No Mercy 4 – Done Fast


About the Author

Eric is the author of Fragging Fundamentals, the ultimate guide to competitive FPS gaming.

Leave a reply 6 comments

Mike - February 17, 2009 Reply

The link to http://www.fraggingfundamentals.com is broken, prob cause there are 3g’s in it. teehee.

Eric Lancheres - February 17, 2009 Reply

Cool, thanks! Fixed

capnsprinklz - March 11, 2009 Reply

nice idea with the gas pump cant wait to try it for my self other then that great guide even though i already do all these things 🙂

PlesyX - March 31, 2009 Reply

Now that the game has been massively patched, i’d be glad to see you rush alone again in NM… I don’t think it would still be that easy… (No tank, few special infected)

adrien - April 27, 2009 Reply

You can no longer hit nonstop. Nice guide though.

Chowy - October 1, 2009 Reply

my l4d freezes everytime i try to connect t a server while using openserverbrowser

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