Back 4 Blood is easy to play but difficult to master. This guide will teach you some things we wish we knew before getting into the game.
Back 4 Blood is easy to play but difficult to master. It’s one of those games that requires patience, time, and most importantly, the willingness to innovate your tactics and stray from what you’re used to. As a spiritual successor to the Left 4 Dead franchise, you may pick up the game armed with preconceived notions about how it’s played. And while having experience in Left 4 Dead and its sequel may come as a bonus in terms of general gameplay, your expectations might have that might end up setting you back and leave you frustrated.
With that in mind and about a hundred hours in playtime, we’ve put together a guide to shed light on a few details we wish we knew about Back 4 Blood before playing it.
START ON RECRUIT
For starters, you’ll want to play the game on the easiest setting. Unlike Left 4 Dead’s easy mode, recruit isn’t actually all that easy. It’s a challenge. Think of it as the default setting – what you’ll want to play with the first time you start up the game. Given how few cards you’ll have at your disposal, your presence in harder difficulties is going to prove a hindrance more than a help to your teammates if you start on Veteran difficulty.
On Recruit, you won’t encounter most of the game’s more difficult challenges and the bosses, while challenging, aren’t going to wipe out your entire squad. You’ll get half the supply points for completing missions and unlocking new cards, but dying less means completing more missions, and earning some points is better than earning no points at all.
The card system, as detailed in our card guide, should give you some idea on how to plan ahead for harder playthroughs.
CARDS ARE DRAWN IN ORDER
As detailed in our cards guide, the cards in your deck are drawn in the order you put them. Keep your best, most useful cards at the top and keep the secondaries toward the bottom when you can afford to unlock them in later levels.
SHARE YOUR AMMO
Sharing your ammunition with your squaddies is as easy as entering your inventory and clicking on the ammo type. It’ll drop a stack of them. It’s very useful for when one of your buddies is out of bullets, obviously. For added benefit, equip a different primary weapon than what the rest of your team is using. If one of them has a rifle, go with the shotgun or the SMG. It’ll allow the entire team to have more ammunition to go around and you can always stock up on ammo for your friends for any guns you’re not using.
Copper, the game’s version of currency, does actually matter. In fact, it matters quite a bit more than many of the cards you can use to equip yourself with because it’ll provide both you and your team the means to upgrade your stamina, health, and quality of the grenades, supplies, and utilities you equip throughout the campaign.
At the start of every mission, you have the option to buy two upgrades from the store. These upgrades are team-wide. With enough copper, every member of the squad can pitch in and get both unlocks.
Beyond that, if you’re playing the game on Veteran and Nightmare, it costs 400 copper to use the first aid station. You’ll need copper to heal yourself up to the max or you’re going to be walking around with a quarter of your health the whole time.
TRAUMA CAN MAKE OR BREAK A RUN
Trauma is a semi-permanent reduction to your health, and it is inflicted when you take a lot of damage. When you heal up, you won’t get all your health back unless you use a medical kit or a first aid station. On long runs, you can end up with only a sliver of your health remaining – not enough to get to the end unless you’re capable of avoiding hits.
Besides saving copper to use the first aid station, there’s a few cards you can pick up to reduce the amount of trauma damage you take. Having Doc on your team as a support character with the right cards will also help your entire team survive the campaign.
SNIPER RIFLES ARE SPECIALIZED WEAPONS
Although not quite as ubiquitous as submachine guns, shotguns and rifles, you can find sniper rifles scattered across the campaign that you’ve probably skipped or left untouched. They’re slow, unwieldy, and not at all useful against hordes of common ridden. What the game doesn’t tell you is that they’re also the best weapons you have at your disposal to take down special mutations and bosses – god tier, in fact.
But for them to be viable, you’re gonna need to pick up the card that lets you equip two primary weapons: Two is One and One is None.
Not only does the card let you roll with a shotgun and a rifle and basically never run out of ammo, it lets you equip a sniper rifle without any of the drawbacks of having to use it as your primary firearm. With this equipped, you can whip out the sniper rifle any time you need to deal with a boss and they’ll trouble you no more.
ALWAYS BE PINGING
Use the ping function. If you’re playing on the console, hit the left bumper. If you’re on the PC, hit Q. Use it often. It’ll highlight weapons, ammo, and supplies, and yes – it’ll highlight enemies. Some cards let you do more damage to tagged enemies. Someone on your team might have those cards. So ping everything.
Another benefit to pinging comes from pinging weapons. It’ll show you and your teammates the quality of the weapon on the ground without having to walk up and inspect it.
USE DISCORD TO COMMUNICATE
Seriously. Use voice chat. It may not be the only way to coordinate with your team and it’s unnecessary on Recruit difficulty, but it’s the best way to ensure success on Veteran and Nightmare.