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Well as you can probably tell there was a positive reaction to my first L4D2 scavenge guide, so I figured I better make good on my promise and get going on Part II. If you happened to miss out on Part 1 of my guide, click here.

While my last guide focused on helpful, general tips for beginners, this guide will go slightly more in depth with map specific strategies for three of the most popular maps (Dead Center, Dark Carnival, and The Parish) and more advanced tips and tricks. Like the previous guide, I’ve split this one into three sections: Survivor tips, Infected tips, and map guides.

Survivor Tips


Deny Spawns:

As you probably know, the Infected team cannot spawn when in direct sight of a survivor. Why not take advantage of this and deny prime areas for the Infected team to spawn? Basically, you want to keep common spawn sites in view, so that the Infected team has less freedom to spawn in and attack. An example of a good spot to do this comes from the Dark Carnival level.

If you sit on the white fence that borders the swimming pool, you deny most of the obvious spawn points (top of gas station, various motel rooms, behind the cars in the parking lot). Be careful though, you don’t want to separate yourself from your team just to deny a spawn. There is always going to be a spot the Infected can find; you just want to make them waste time finding it.

Know where your gun is:

Everyone who plays shooters has a favorite gun that they are most comfortable with. In Left 4 Dead 2, mine happens to be the AK-47. In Scavenge mode you are not given all the weapons right off the bat. Instead you are given a few choices, with the rest scattered across the map. Try and remember where your favorite gun spawns on each map.

Then try and work it into your gas can finding path, preferably as early in the round as possible. For example, I know that in Dead Center the AK-47 spawns on the bottom floor by the two cans. The first thing I do is to tell my teammates that I’m going for those two cans and that I’ll need some cover. If all goes according to plan, I’ll have my AK-47 and two gas cans before the Infected team has a chance to strike.

The same principle goes for melee weapons, throwing weapons, and healing items.


Master Melee:

In Left 4 Dead 2, melee weapons play a major role. Nothing clears common infected like a few swipes from a machete. As I’m sure you’ve found out by now, each melee weapon has two variables: reach and speed. If you can find the right rhythm with a melee weapon, common infected will never touch you.

I suggest you pick a common melee weapon, (other than the katana, everyone goes for the katana) like the fire ax or cricket bat, and work on finding the right rhythm. Once you got this down, common infected will never slow you down again.

Think clear instead of kill:

In Scavenge mode each second counts. Nothing slows a team down like shooting all the common infected before filling up the generator. Instead, you just want to help keep the guy(s) with the can(s) clear of common infected with melee weapons. This will cut down on friendly fire, unnecessary reloads, and accidental can explosions.

Infected Tips


Work with a Spitter:

If you are an incap Special Infected (Charger, Smoker, Hunter, jockey) try to hang out with the Spitter. This way you can force a survivor who is carrying a gas can to drop it. While you are distracting the survivor, the Spitter can cover the can with goo causing it to explode, and hopefully do some extra damage to the guy you have incapacitated.

High Pounces:

One interesting thing about the Hunter is that he does more damage the higher he pounces from, dealing a max of 25 damage instantaneously. This makes the Hunter great at picking off already weakened survivors. The only issue is that it takes a little practice to get used to, but it’s a must have skill for any Special Infected player.


Learn death pulls:

There are certain areas where a smoker can pull a survivor that when the he is freed, he will fall to his death, or at the very least, incapacitate him. These pulls are often in very open spots, which allows the survivors to get off a few shots before you drag him to his doom, so timing is critical. I’ve listed a few of these spots in the Map Guide section. The rest you are going to have to find on your own.

Death Charges:

Much like death pulls, a death charge is where you (playing as a charger) run a survivor off a cliff (or some other high area) causing an instant incapacitation or death. I’ve included a few of these in the map guide section, as for the rest, you’ll have to find them on your own.

Death Ride:

Pretty much the same thing as a death charge, except with a Jockey. Again, I’ve listed a few spots in the Map Guide section.

Map Guide

Dark Carnival

Survivor tips


Sit on the Fence:

The white fence that surrounds the pool where the Survivors spawn is a great place to deny spawns. Hop on up there with a scoped rife and provide cover while the rest of the team is hunting for cans. If you get into trouble, the rest of your crew shouldn’t have a problem with picking off the Special Infected from a distance.

Start with the far cans:

I always try to start this map by going for the far cans. Sure it’s where you are most likely to get attacked, but it also has a huge pay off. In one trip you’ll be pulling in 4 cans, which should provide you with plenty of time to scour the rest of the motel. Typically, when going for these four cans, I’ll send two to the far ones by the truck, one on the highway overpass, and one providing cover from the road. This way of organizing helps cut down on common spawns for the Special Infected.

Special Infected Tips


Stack the far cans:

If all four of the Special Infected spawn by the two furthest cans by the truck, you have a good chance at doing some real damage. Wait until they pickup the can before striking. Once they have them, lead in with two incap infected (preferably a Smoker and Hunter). This will cause them to drop the cans, allowing the Spitter to cover them with goo. The last of the four infected should try and distract the other two survivors so that maximum damage can be achieved.

Billboard Pull down:

A great way to deal extra damage to the survivors is to Smoker pull them by the billboard. If you can, try to pull them up the ladder, so that when they are freed, they have a long way down. If they manage to get up before you can spawn, do your best to pull them down from there. This will cause some confusion, and if the survivors aren’t paying attention, separation.


Spit from the motel rooms:

There are plenty of hiding spots in the motel rooms. As a Spitter, try and camp in one of these rooms, so that you have a clear shot to the generator. Now you can help delay the Survivors when they are filling the generator.

Dead Center

Survivor Tips


Camp the information kiosk:

Generally the 2 – 2 split works pretty well on Dead Center. The best place for the two fillers to wait is in the information kiosk right were the Survivors spawn. There are only two entrances, which helps funnel the common infected into two lines. Also, because it is surrounded by half-walls, if one of you gets Smoked, Charged or Jockeyed, there is little chance for separation.

Work your way up:

When playing Dead Center, I always start from the bottom and work my way up. This way you are not wasting time backtracking or scrambling for cans. Also, your teammates in charge of filling will have a general idea of where you’ll be in case you need cover.

Don’t rush your cans:

One common mistake I often see when playing Dead Center is that the Survivors are too eager to throw cans down to the car. Toss them one at a time, making sure your fillers are getting the job done before you throw another. Too often do I see a pile of cans right next to the car waiting for a Spitter to make them explode.

Infected Tips


Boomer Bomb:

I mentioned this in the last guide, but it deserves repeating. Start the round off by Boomer bombing the survivors from the top floor. It takes a little practice, but it’s worth it. The amount of confusion you’ll create will allow the rest of your team to do some significant damage. Also, the swarm of common infected will help slow down the survivors, preventing them from getting the three easy cans on the first floor.

Death Charge:

When the Survivors are on the second of third floor, try and charge them off the walkways. Depending on several factors (angle of charge, height off the ground, obstacles in the way) the charge can result in two outcomes, if done correctly. One of which is you’ll end up charging them off the walkway and continue charging until you hit a wall on the bottom floor.

This will have the unfortunate survivor separated and taking a crap load of damage. The other is you’ll charge them off, they will take fall damage, and ultimately die. The best part about this strategy is that it exploits the Charger stun. When a Charger grabs a survivor, any other survivors around them are knocked back. On the thin walkways, it is real easy for the Charger knock back to push survivors off the ledge, forcing an incapacitation.

Death Ride:

While not as effective as a death charge, a good death ride from a Jockey can force a player off a ledge, resulting in an instant incapacitation. Sure they may have another player to pull them up, but that’s what you have teammates for.


Death Pull:

I found that the best death pulls happen when the survivors are on the second floor. Because the walkways are staggered (the third floor is slight askew from the second) Smokers have a clear shot from the third floor to the second. If done properly, a Smoker can pull a Survivor off of the second floor walkway resulting in an instant incapacitation or a dangling survivor, who will die from the fall if he is freed.

The Parish

Survivor Tips


Stick together:

Because of the map design (the hedge maze around the generator) the Survivor team should not split up. There is no way for the fillers to cover the survivors who are hunting for cans, so don’t even bother with it. Just stick together and you’ll stand a better chance.

Close to Far:

From my observations, it is very rare for a Survivor team to clear all the cans on this map.  There are just too many choke points where a good charge or pull can create separation. Instead of worrying about clearing all the cans, just try to get as many as you can into the generator. The best way to do this is to get the cans in order of distance. Start with the closest cans and work your way out.

Stick to open areas:

This map in particular has very few decent spots for the Infected to spawn at. The ones that are good tend to be in tight areas, like the walkways of the hedge maze. Don’t give the Infected a chance to use these. Stay out in the open so you force them to come to you. Sure you’re going to have to go though these tight spots eventually, but the fewer times you do it, the fewer chances the Infected will have.

Infected Tips


Use the hedge maze:

The Infected have a distinct advantage over the survivors because they are able to climb up and down certain parts of the hedge maze. A good Spitter player will be able to climb up the wall, cover the generator in goo slowing down the Survivors, and then get back down before the survivors have a chance to shoot. Jockeys can also utilize this as a good way to get close to the Survivors as they go though the tight corridors of the hedge maze.

Use choke points:

There are several good choke points on this map, where the Survivors are forced into a tight corridor, limiting their ability to cover one another. An example of one of these choke points is the alley by the highway. A good infected team can set up so that a Charger charges the first Survivor out of the alleyway. A smoker or Jockey can grab the second one out. A good Boomer or Spitter can create some separation by distracting the other Survivors while the Charger and Jockey/Smoker wail on the others.

Well, that’s all for Part II of my Left 4 Dead 2 Scavenge Guide. Hopefully you guys found something useful in here. If you have any other tips or tricks, let us know about them by leaving a comment below.

  1. avatar legendary hypo

    unless it’s changed since l4d1, the hunter does damage the further he is from the survivors. height definitely helps, but it’s the distance that gets you that legendary 25dmg

  2. This is an absolutely invaluable guide, Alex. I have to admit I haven’t played scavenge mode yet as the group I tend to play with enjoys the campaigns, but when we do get into it, I’ll be sure and follow these pointers.

  3. avatar Ice truck killer

    I’ve seen too many people with lack of common sense who need to read your guide! I’m actually addicted to this mode and I won most of the games I played (in a team with at least 2 other good players) but still, it is amazing how one person can screw up a round or a best of 3 game!

  4. avatar PowerSaw

    i say this guide of scavenge is actually much better than i have anticipated. Well done. Except, you should make a 3rd guide. Maybe having the specific skills of what each infected should be capable of; like the examples of combinations of Special Infected, and tough situations.

  5. avatar Huge

    Its a must for everyone who’s aiming to become a pro. Unlucky must players just do the Rambo thing or keep moving like a hen, unable to cover the team, being hard to cover and taking a lot of friendly fire.
    I’m new to L4D2 but i was a good player at the first version, specially with a friend which did a real coop.

  6. avatar thomas

    I have a good tip. As a smoker u grab one of the survivors to an edge then the charger take the survivor over the edge and he dies. This tactic also woork with the jockey :)
    Another good tip: “Communication is the key to vicory”

  7. avatar Daventhal

    Yeah. This

  8. avatar Daventhal

    Yeah. This guide should be required reading for anyone who wants to play scavenge. Then again, it is kind of fun to own a bunch of people who don’t know what they’re doing.

  9. avatar this is really messed up


  10. avatar fallon

    this is a good game

  11. avatar crob000

    take out map exploits from the guide please. Some of those death charges and jocks are considered cheats. You would be banned from many servers for using them especially during a match of any sorts. You get away with it on pub servers but I have personally found myself banned for life on one server for using them before. I have to agree that they promote quitters and unfair teams vs a fun fair match so they should be treated at exploits and nothing more. If a player requires exploits to play… they will find a server empty in no time.

  12. avatar stupid dick


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