Back 4 Blood beta: Tips and tricks for surviving the zombie apocalypse

Back 4 Blood
Back 4 Blood (Image credit: WB Games)

Turtle Rock Studios' Back 4 Blood, the unofficial successor to the original Left 4 Dead co-op zombie shoot 'em up franchise, is playable right now by way of the Back 4 Blood beta. Players that picked up a Back 4 Blood preorder or were lucky enough to be given a code after registering their email are flooding into the game right now, and something many people are finding out is that in many ways, Back 4 Blood can be quite difficult — especially when the game is being played on the tougher difficulty modes. If you're struggling to get through Back 4 Blood's levels alive, though, don't worry. We're here with some helpful tips and tricks that will help you make it to the safe room in one piece.

Take things slow and steady

Source: WB Games (Image credit: Source: WB Games)

While it's understandable to think that the best way to beat each level is to blitz through them as fast as you can, this is ultimately not the case. Back 4 Blood often hides groups of zombies and dangerous special infected enemies in places you're not likely to spot if you're rushing, and as a result, you'll likely get ambushed and take a lot of unnecessary damage by playing this way.

Instead of prioritizing speed, it's better to slow down and clear each area of the levels carefully and strategically. Not only will this allow you to identify and neutralize threats you would otherwise miss, but you'll also end up finding more healing items, ammo, grenades, and weapons that you can make use of. These supplies can be a huge help when the going gets especially tough, so finding and picking them up is valuable.

Always stick together

Source: WB Games (Image credit: Source: WB Games)

Something that's important to remember in Back 4 Blood is that alone, you're weak — no matter how skilled of a player you think you are. This is because the game's special infected are designed to punish lone wolf players who think they can handle everything themselves by pinning them down or trapping them. Someone can only be freed from these hazards by a teammate. Therefore, you should always make sure that your squad is sticking together.

Note that this doesn't mean you need to stay right on top of each other the whole time; in fact, it's better to spread out a bit so that everyone in the team can use different firing angles and won't all get caught by area-of-effect attacks some of the special infected use. Just make sure that you're all in each other's lines of sight and can help each other if need be.

Use your sidearm to save ammo

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

It's tempting to always use your primary weapon and never switch to your sidearm in Back 4 Blood, but playing like this can result in you running out of ammo in situations where you need your primary weapon's power to succeed. Therefore, try to use your sidearm as much as you can so that you always have ammo for your main rifle or shotgun when you actually need it.

Sidearms have a ridiculous amount of spare ammo and are great for killing small hordes of basic zombies, which makes them perfect for spamming down enemies between each level's more complex arenas. Don't be afraid to use one when there's not a lot of high-intensity action.

Use the environment to your advantage

Source: WB Games (Image credit: Source: WB Games)

One of the best ways to improve your team's ability to mow down the zombie hordes is to position yourselves in defensible positions near-natural chokepoints like hallways or narrow paths. Limiting the number of ways zombies can get to you makes it much easier to take them all down, especially when there are special infected on the field you need to deal with. Taking high ground is also a great way to get a clear sightline on approaching zombies so that you can easily kill them.

There are also plenty of useful items you can find in the environment that can be used to manage the horde, too. Gas tanks and canisters can be thrown and then shot to blow zombies to pieces, and both barbed wire fencing and wooden planks can be used to fortify a structure and slow incoming enemies down. Sometimes you can even find a mounted minigun that you can rip the undead to pieces with.

Pick cards that suit your playstyle

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Finally, when creating your loadout of modifier cards, we recommend focusing on cards that augment the way you like to play the best. If you're a trigger-happy player that likes to spray rounds everywhere for maximum carnage all the time, you should build your deck with cards that help you replenish your ammo stores or allow you to have larger ammo reserves. If you like kiting the horde a lot with plenty of movement, select several of the cards that give you stamina boosts. People who tend to look for lots of healing gear should use cards that improve how quickly they're able to heal themselves and others, as well as ones that increase the amount of health gained from each medkit.

Keep in mind that you won't always get to use these cards, as the cards you're able to use from your deck at the start of each level are randomized. That being said, having a lot of the same type of card in your deck increases the chances you'll be able to pick one that best suits your gameplay style while playing.

Your thoughts

What do you think of our tips? Are there any that you'd like to suggest? Let us know. Back 4 Blood is available to preorder for $60 on Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One consoles, PS5, PS4, and Windows PCs. We think that Back 4 Blood is everything a Left 4 Dead fan could ever want, and we believe it just might end up becoming one of the best Xbox games when it officially releases Oct. 12, 2021.

Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.