Without a doubt, one of the hottest games this year is Left 4 Dead 2. Gamers all over the world are fending off the zombie hoards while exploring all the new content, including the popular new game mode Scavenge. Some gamers may be intimidated by such a drastically different game mode, and if you are one of them, don’t fret. I’ve cooked up a basic guide to get you started.
I’ve split this guide up into three easy-to-use sections. First, I’ll discuss the Basics, then I’ll move onto Beginner Survivor Strategies, and after that I’ll finish up with Basic Infected Strategies. If this article gets a positive response, I’ll release a second edition with more in-depth map-specific strategies.
Scavenge pits two teams of four players against each other. While one team plays as survivors, the other team plays as the infected. The whole idea of the mode is that the survivors must find gas cans within a 1:20 time limit. There are 16 cans located across each map. Once a gas can has been added to the generator, 20 more seconds are added to the clock. The job of the infected team is to stop the survivors from getting the gas cans into the generator and forcing the time to run out. Because there is a time limit, Scavenge games tend to finished in 10 to 15 minutes.
When a game is made, the lobby creator can choose from a one round game, a three round game or a five round game. The team who gets the most gas cans into the generator wins the round. The team who wins a majority of the rounds wins the game. If both teams use the same amount of cans, the point is awarded to the team who collected the cans faster.
While this may sound straightforward at first, there are little details that make Scavenge more challenging. For example, once a survivor picks up a gas can, the outline turns orange (as opposed to white). An orange can will explode if it sits in the Spitter goo for more than three seconds. Destroyed cans will respawn where they were originally located after the fire dies down. If you’re fast enough, you can jump into the Spitter goo and pick up the can before it explodes.
Another little detail that makes Scavenge more challenging is overtime. If the timer runs out, but a survivor is still carrying a gas can, the game will not end. The Survivors can still fill the generator and gain 20 seconds to get more cans. It is up to the infected to incapacitate the survivor with the gas can in order to end the round.
One thing worth noting is that the Survivors are unable to fill the generator if they are being attacked. This will become important when we get to the infected strategies.
There are several techniques that survivors can use to make getting cans as efficient as possible. One of the most popular is the 2 & 2 split. This strategy requires extreme coordination and communication. Basically, you send two people to fetch cans, while two stay behind to fill up the generator. Obviously a good infected team can destroy this by incapacitating the two hunting for cans.
This strategy is only recommended for experts who know their teammates. If you do choose to follow this strategy, you’ll want to make sure everyone on your team is equipped with long range rifles like the AK-47 or the M16. This will make sure you can provide cover for the other pair if you have line of sight.
Another strategy is the 3 & 1 split. Basically it is the same thing as the 2 & 2, except you send three to hunt for cans. The 3rd player hunting for cans is there to provide cover for the filler, as well as the hunting party. Also the 3rd player is there to prevent the double incapacitate seen in the 2 & 2.
The safest strategy is to have all four players stick together. The only draw back to this strategy is that your team will be slow to load cans, which can bite you in the ass if the other team ties you.
Some tips to help your survivor rounds include:
- Round corners wide and pre-fire: Boomers are usually the key to starting off a good infected assault. Players who spawn as a Boomer tend to hide behind corners in order to get the jump on the survivors. To avoid this panic, try to round the corner as wide as possible while pre-firing at the wall. If a Boomer spawns in, he should die before you even see him.
- Tossing Cans: Try to look for areas where you can toss a can down/over/through to your partners waiting to fill. Be careful though, a good Spitter will destroy these cans.
- Pay attention to Special Infected kills: When a player on the infected team dies, he/she will be forced to wait 20 seconds until they can respawn. If you kill three or four infected players in rapid succession, you will have 20 seconds free of interference (other than common infected). Toss a pipe bomb or boomer bile and rush for those cans.
- Know where everyone on your team is: With the addition of the Jockey, knowing where your teammates are becomes critical.
- Heal early: Unlike versus mode, health has no bearing on score. Your only focus is to fill the generator with gas cans. Why risk getting incapacitated and inconveniencing your team? Heal early to avoid slowing down your team.
With the addition of the Spitter, Charger and Jockey, the Infected team has plenty of new avenues to explore. Your primary goal on the infected team should be to stop the survivors from filling the generator. Incapacitating them is just a bonus, it’s not necessary to winning. Keeping that in mind, here are some basic Infected strategies.
- Communicate: Just like playing as the survivors, communication is key. A well organized Infected team has a much higher chance of taking down the survivors. Try to keep your team informed of where you are and when you plan to attack.
- Be patient: Nothing kills an Infected team’s chance at winning like rushing in and attacking the survivors right off the bat. As I mentioned under the Survivor Strategies section, “When a player on the infected team dies, he/she will be forced to wait 20 seconds until they can respawn.” If all the Infected team dies right away, the Survivors are able to run freely and collect gas cans. You can prevent this by being patient and striking when the time is right.
- Surprise your enemy: What I mean by this is, don’t spawn in right away. All special infected make noise that allows the survivors to easily detect where they are. If you wait to spawn in, you will avoid getting taken out too early due to sound.
Now that the basics are out of the way, here are some more advanced Infected strategies.
- Bait and Switch: If a survivor sees a special infected, chances are they will try to chase them down in order to force the 20 second respawn timer. You can take advantage of this by luring one survivor away and then double teaming him. This strategy works best with two instant incap infected like the Smoker and Charger. If two survivors come hunting, even better. As long as you have 2 instant incap infected you should be alright.
- Focus on the weak link: As I discussed in the Survivor Strategies section, most teams tend to split up into two group of two; one filling and one hunting. Try to coordinate an attack on the hunting party with all four of the special infected. This will force the filling team to go on the move, allowing common infected to deal some damage, while the special infected clean house on the other two.
- Spit on the generator: A survivor is not allowed to fill the generator if they are taking damage. The easiest way to slow down a team of survivors is to spit on the generator while they are trying to fill it. This will also give the other players on your team a chance to incapacitate the survivors, forcing them to drop the gas can in the Spitter goo, which will explode the can.
- Start with a boom: Most special infected teams try to start their attack with a Boomer because it causes the most confusion. Besides attracting tons of common infected, Boomer Bile clouds the survivors vision making it difficult for them to help out their teammates. The easiest way to get a good boom on the survivors is with a Boomer Bomb. A Boomer Bomb is when a Boomer spawns some place high off the ground (Think top floor above the car in Dead Center) and intentionally commits suicide by jumping off into the middle of the survivors. This minimizes the chance that the survivors will see you coming and maximizes the chance that you will boom more than one player.
Hopefully you guys found this helpful and will now have the confidence to jump into a game of Scavenge. Like I said at the start of this article, if this receives a positive response I’ll make a second guide with more in-depth strategies and map-specific tactics.