Back 4 Blood – Basic Guide

Guide to Basics


Back4Blood is not a run and gun game. It is a min/max resource management game with a strong economy core in a zombie shooter shell.

Your goal is to spend as few resources as possible, while triggering as few hordes as possible, to complete the map. This will allow you to accumulate key resources to counter enemy threats.

Know Yourself


Take the time to review each character in the menu. Learn their starting load outs and abilities.
Review all of the cards in the deck pool, and all of the burn cards. Know what is available.

Take the time to build a deck that suits your character. Make a note of the cards you would like in your deck but cannot fit. Each card costs 500 Copper in map, so you want to save enough Copper to purchase at least one card in map, if possible.

Read each Corruption card before every single map and think about what Burn cards to use to help the team.


You can either save money or earn money, but you’ll spend it eventually.

  • You can purchase Slot Quality and Quantity upgrades for 1500 Copper.
  • You can purchase Stamina, Health, and Ammo & Damage for 1000 Copper.

Upgrades are almost always better than items. You can get items in the map. You cannot ever get upgrades in the map. Once you have multiple slots, Quality is almost always better than Quantity.

You should only purchase attachments from the shop if they are key components necessary for your build or replace existing broken attachments and provide double bonus – removing the broken part debuff and adding a buff.

You should only purchase the items you absolutely need, and you should not fill your inventory, because items will spawn in map.

The Corruption cards and the map will tell you what items you need.

  • Boss card? Flashbang.
  • Inner Hive? Frag grenades.
  • Tattler Snitches? Firecrackers.
  • Map with Nest events? Razor Wire.

In Game

If you are in the front, you should crouch. If you are in the back, you should stand.

Players in front crouch and fire, then reload. The Players in back fire while the Players in front reload. Staggering Player reloads prevents the Ridden from closing the gap and sticking damage. Likewise, when enemies approach from behind, the Players in back crouch so the Players in front can turn around and shoot over their heads without shooting their teammates.

In Nightmare, friendly fire does more damage than the Common and most Mutations. In No Hope, friendly fire will flat out kill you. Strafing and jumping around gets you killed. Plant your feet and give yourself overlapping fields of fire with clear lanes of fire.

Players with a Sniper Rifle or similar DPS should actively listen and watch for Mutations. Your goal is to identify, spot, and take them down before they can disrupt the team. Otherwise, the back line’s should focus the AOE Common (Charred, Toxic, Headpoppers) to protect the front line. It’s less about minimizing ammunition expenditures, and making sure you have the most ammunition available to eliminate Mutations quickly while your teammates clear the Common Ridden.

Map Progression

Clear each sector before progressing. If not, the Ridden are likely to attack you from behind if you trigger a horde.

Pool your resources before you need them.

Pay attention to the map timers.

Know your map triggers.



There are several Tank variants, but they all boil down to holding and clearing the front line of Common Ridden during hordes. They generate temporary health by killing Common. Likewise, some players prefer to clear Ridden waves with SMGs and Shotguns.


Generally specced to generate temp health on kills and absorb damage. Stamina is their friend. Melee usually lack any long ranged weapons. You will need to aggressively cover them from Boomers and Spitter variants.


Non-Belgian Shotgun builds focus on fast reloads. SMGs usually rely on move speed. You don’t see these builds very often in Nightmare, but occasional Tac14 builds show up. Sometimes you will see Tec 9 builds with Ammo Stash and Highwayman to generate Molotovs and Razor Wire for horde control.



When it doubt, nuke it from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure. Pinata and AI Assistance Module allow you to spam grenades and generate items for the team.


Lots of bullets, rapid fire, Suppressing Fire.


ADS and Weakspot Damage. Reload Speed helps cycle bolt action rifles faster. Your goal is to pick off Mutations before they get close enough to do damage and Stumble anything you can’t kill quickly.

Belgian & Tac-14

Fast reload speed, high weakspot damage, geared to focus down Mutations at point blank range.


Clear the horde, then revive. Stay in the middle of the group. Your goal is to protect your teammates when enemies get close and not need to use your meds. Most Players who run Doc swap either their pistol or SMG so they do not have two weapons with the same ammunition.

Trauma Heal

Usually on Doc. Focus on the three Trauma Heal cards: Medical Expert (15, Field Surgeon (3), and Medical Expert (1) with healing efficiency. If you have this build, you should use excess Support Items to remove Trauma Damage at every opportunity.


Extra lives and revive. Usually on Mom/Dan. These builds are not favorable on Nightmare where the Trauma Damage is a significant limiting factor.

Temporary Health

Deck specced to use the cheap and effective Pain Pills. Also not favorable on Nightmare because of Trauma damage.

Know the Terrain

Each map has a predetermined number of unlockables that may require Tool Kits. Tool Kits cost 350 Copper each. The first three Acts’ requirements are posted below. Extra Tool Kits can be used to unlock free heals in the First Aid Cabinets. Using an extra Tool Kit on a cabinet saves you 50 Copper. Wasting a Tool Kit costs you 350 copper.

A competant team should not need to unlock any Miniguns or Passages on Recruit, Veteran, or Nightmare. You can no longer use Miniguns to block Ridden or Mutations from passing through doorways. Nor can you use them to jump back onto higher terrain.

Each unlockable passage should have one or more safe spots for the team to form up and focus fire a singular choke point. You can augment this with throwables and explosives as necessary.

Know the Enemy


The Common Ridden come in many flavors. Vanilla Common are typically not a threat.

Charred, Toxic, and Headpopper Ridden counter Melee Players through AOE and crowd control. If you have a Melee tank, and you are holding a choke point, and you are not Weakspot Damage specced for Mutations, your primary targets are the Charred, Toxic, and Headpopper Ridden, so that you can proactively mitigate any damage they would cause to your Melee tank.

Your Melee tank will likely be specced to their role, but every single bit helps. They will, however, gain life by killing Ridden, and you deny them life by killing the Vanilla Ridden, too. Don’t do that, unless the Ridden has flanked and is attacking from behind.


There are many variations of Ridden. In general, they are the threat and everything else is a distraction.

Your order of threats:

  1. Most threatening – Slasher
  2. Spitter variants
  3. Everything other Mutation. Not kidding.
  4. Ridden

A single Slasher with any upgrade will wipe a team by itself if the team does not focus it down quickly, and the Slasher’s Bleed will kill downed players if you revive them before the Bleed completes.

The Spitter variants will disable players, and usually do so from consirable range. Since most of the team uses short range weapons, Spitters are generally immune to players. If you have a long-ranged weapon, and you hear a Spitter, you should be actively hunting for the Spitter, call out the direction to the team, and bait the Spitter in a situation that is advantageous for you and your team.

Managing Mutation Aggro

The Tallboy deserves a special note because the Weakspot is on the hidden shoulder as it approaches the team. When you aggro the Tallboy, it will approach you, and another player should flank the Tallboy and attack the vulnerable weakspot from behind.

Likewise, the Exploder will run in a straight line once activated. Stop shooting the Exploder once it activates, and let your teammates run out of the way and out of the explosion zone.

Boss Variants


Flashbang the Ogre, pour damage into the Weakspots. Will burrow at half health and return later in the map. Alternatively, you can use map choke points to corral the Ogre into an advantageous position and shoot it with impunity.

Note: If you have armor, you can let the Ogre grab and throw you to consume 1 armor. Make sure to say, “Whee!” on voice comms when this happens. It’s also courtesy to leave 100 Copper for the Ogre as a thank you.


Sometimes solo, sometimes in pairs. If you’re above ground, they will create an AOE damage. Use grenades and focus them down one at a time. If you are in an Inner Hive, they will not create the AOE effect.

You cannot, and should not, corral the Breakers into chokepoints, as the choke point will divide the AOE regions into two halves. The choke point will kill you.

Note: You can pipe the garage before opening the gate to trigger the Breaker, and the watch towers and roof shooters will kill it, but I haven’t tried this since they fixed the AOE.


Alerting a Snitch will trigger a horde. Check the Corruption cards to see if you have Tattlers. If not, you can snipe them or group fire to kill them quickly.


Flashbangs and Stun Guns with focus fire. Weakspot is in the back. Will burrow at half health and return later in the map.


If a Sleeper grabs you, it will trigger a horde. Since players have a harder time fighting off a horde than most bosses, this arguably makes Sleepers one of the sneakiest bosses in the game. And since there are many Sleepers, it makes them even more insidious.

You can hear Sleepers and punch them through walls from behind. Sleeper spots are also predetermined, so you should learn them and prefire them whenever possible.


With knowledge of yourself, your enemies, and the map, you should be able to flawlessly complete Nightmare. Careful planning before allows you to coordinate your deck and roles with your teammates for each campaign. Understanding the Corruption cards and map events allows you to coordinate your purchases and spend only what you need. And meticulous execution of each map section allows you to maximize your loot throughout each game.


  1. It’s good to note that when the Hag does the berserk animation (watch the subtitles), you can flash her without setting off a horde.

  2. Small correction: Hinterland has 1 stash room and 1 minigun. There’s no other spot to use a toolkit on that map.

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