When it comes to multiplayer affairs, few come close to the magical formula of Left 4 Dead. However, with the future of that particular franchise dead in the water (for now), Turtle Rock Studios is hoping to fill the gap with Back 4 Blood. Whether you are a seasoned zombie killer or a new Cleaner signing up for the end of days, here’s everything you need to know with Geek Culture’s Complete Back 4 Blood Beginner’s Guide!
Back 4 Blood Release Date and Story
Originally delayed from 22 June 2021, we can look forward to clearing the world of the Ridden come this 12 October 2021.
Taking place after a catastrophic outbreak, most of humanity has either been killed or infected. The creatures, now known as the Ridden, roam the world and pose a danger to all living things. A group of Veterans, known as the Cleaners, are coming together to take back what is left of our world. That is where you come in.
From the off, you need to know that Back 4 Blood is a purely multiplayer affair. Even alone, you will have bots that can help you out, but nothing beats having real human players along for the ride.
When it comes to online co-op play, players will be in teams of four, while it can go up to eight players in PvP. Split-screen multiplayer will not be supported at launch, but it may be something to look forward to in the future. Crossplay is enabled, so PC and console players can enjoy the game together, even in the Back 4 Blood beta.
Back 4 Blood also features a headlining card system, with each match allowing players to build a 15-card deck. This deck will contain various boosts and modifiers, allowing you to give yourself a leg up during different encounters in the game.
On the other hand, the Ridden have corruption cards that will shift things in their favour. This can include special enemies, weather effects, and are determined by the Game Director, the AI that monitors players and adjust the game to keep things interesting.
Guide to Surviving Back 4 Blood Beta
If you are reading this now, the early preview of the Back 4 Blood open beta would have been over. Instead, the world is free to jump in and have fun as part of the open beta which runs from 12 to 16 August.
You will get access to two PvP maps, two co-op maps, and the Fort Hope community hub. However, it all counts for nothing if you cannot survive, and in order to do that, you are going to need some help. This is where our complete Back 4 Blood beginner’s guide will help.
Preparing for the Hunt
When you first jump into the Back 4 Blood beta, you will find yourself in Fort Hope. This hub area will be where you can check out the firing range, see the upcoming unlockables that are available, build your deck, and kick things out for PvE or PvP.
The firing range will be a good place to start, helping you to get used to how weapons fire, their rate of fire, and how they handle. Each weapon comes with its own unique attributes, but at the end of the day, you just want the best weapon to suit your playstyle when it comes to popping Ridden heads. You can certainly do that as you enjoy Back 4 Blood, but the firing range is a good place to check things out too.
Remember to also check your deck for the current cards that are in the open beta. With the different boosts, skills, and bonuses, be sure to understand how you want to play, and how you might fit into your team, be it with friends or with public matchmaking.
Support players will do well with more grenades, bandages, and first aid kits. If you are focused on killing, increasing your ammo count and reducing reloading speeds are a given. While the number of cards is limited for the open beta, it gives you a good idea of what to expect in the future and afford players the flexibility to experiment.
With all of that set up, you can start queuing up for your first foray into the online co-op world of the Back 4 Blood beta.
General Tips & Tricks
- Turn up the sound! Audio cues can let you know where enemies are, and allow your team to plan ahead.
- Hearing well also extends to communications with your team. Talking to each other is always a good way to increase your chances of survival. Prioritise enemies, share upgrades and supplies, and shoutout if you need to take a break and explore.
- Synergise your cards! Stacking stamina or ammo boosts can go a long way in giving you a good start, and make upcoming encounters easier.
- Coordinate your weapons. Make sure not everyone is looking for the same ammo, and you will have a better time moving forward.
- Damage comes in two forms in Back 4 Blood – normal and trauma damage. The former can be healed using bandages and medkits, while trauma damage requires first aid stations, which are likley found behind supply caches. Painkillers provide a temporary fix for trauma damage.
- Whenever given the chance, be sure to purchase toolkits. This open up access to secret areas that contain valuable resources, such as the aforementioned first aid stations.
Combat Tips & Tricks
- Facing the Ridden, going it alone is a guaranteed recipe for disaster. Stick to your team, communicate, and do not be an action hero!
- Since the team is the key here, be sure to look out for that friendly fire. Even if it is not that substantial, damage adds up, so be sure to watch where you fire.
- Always utilise your sidearm and save precious ammo for your primary weapons. The power of primary weapons are great, but it means little if you do not have the ammo. Sidearms have plenty of spare ammo lying around, so do not forget about them.
- Be on the lookout for environmental aids, such as well-placed gas canisters. Shoot them and enjoy the large explosion.
- Most of the enemies have glowing weakspots, so as per video game logic, aim for these areas and deal extra damage.
- Reloading is very important, but when danger comes close, you can melee to push the Ridden away AND not interrupt your reloading.
- If you are using a throwable, a red area will be displayed to indicate its blast radius. Keep away from friends and aim for the undead.
- Prioritise the dangerous enemies, deal with larger targets such as Tallboy or Stingers, as they can easily wipe out teams if left unattended to.
- You will find weapons during your adventures, and better rarity weapons will always have better stats. Replace your starting weapon as soon as possible. Weapons also come with helpful mods. Should you find a red-coloured mod, be sure to replace them with new mods.
Guide to Understanding the Back 4 Blood World
- The dangers are not only the Ridden, be sure to look out for flocks of birds. If you spook them, they will alert any nearby hordes and ruin your day.
- Keep your eyes out for contextual clues, as they will tell you what to expect. Signs can point to alarms that have been set, so be extra careful to check around the environment.
- Grab every Intel Folder you see, as they can either reward you with a free active ccard, or allow you to spend coins to get a more powerful bonus.
- Speaking of coins, scavage around before leaving an area. The more money you have, the more your spending power when the situation arises. Having a teammate with the card to sense coins can be very valauble.
- As much as possible, get the high ground. Back 4 Blood actually gives players more maneuverability, so jump and climb your way to safety.
There you have it, Geek Culture’s complete beginners guide for Back 4 Blood. Although this may only apply to the Back 4 Blood open beta now, it will definitely come in handy when the game launches in October too. By getting the practice in now, you will be much better off in the future.
Pre-order the console copy of Back 4 Blood from your favourite local game store.