Downloadable Content, also known as DLC, is content which was not released with its game initially. Said content was/is released by Valve. Each DLC is free for the PC but costs US$6.99 (560 MS Points) on Xbox 360, with the exception of The Survival Pack, which is free for both versions. Thus far, there have been six downloadable content packs:
- The Survival Pack (Left 4 Dead).
- Crash Course (Left 4 Dead).
- The Passing (Left 4 Dead 2).
- The Sacrifice (Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2).
- Cold Stream (Left 4 Dead 2).
- The Last Stand (Left 4 Dead 2; PC only).
Released on April 21st, 2009, the Survival Pack was confirmed by Valve on February 5th, 2009. The Survival Pack is completely free and is available through Steam and Xbox Live. It is preloaded on the Game Of The Year Edition.
First off, you can now play the two campaigns "Death Toll" and "Dead Air" online in Versus mode. These maps have been tweaked slightly to remove some closets and to balance gameplay. For example, downstairs in the "Boathouse Finale" has been significantly emptied to prevent corner camping, and more walls break open.
The anticipated Survival Mode is released, which pits The Survivors against endless waves of the horde, as well as multiple Special Infected. Players can hold out in 16 maps, 15 of which are extracts from Crescendo Events and finales from the four original campaigns. These maps have also been tweaked to remove exploits and to make the whole experience much harder. The last map is in the new campaign: "The Last Stand", and currently only has one map: 'The Lighthouse".
Seven new achievements have been released for the PC version of the game. There are no new achievements for the Xbox 360 version.
- Main article: Crash Course
A few months after the announcement of Left 4 Dead 2, Valve announced a new DLC pack titled Crash Course for Left 4 Dead, which includes a new campaign and more features. The campaign is touted as bridging the gap between "No Mercy" and "Death Toll", the DLC includes a new campaign consisting of two maps and about 30 minutes of gameplay as well as versus maps and a more streamlined Versus experience. The poster for "Crash Course" has the wreckage of News Chopper 5 in the background.
The pack also makes it possible to view teammates' statuses and their recharge timers, which was suggested a long time ago in Steam's forums and highly requested by the community. Chet from Valve noted that the game would become more balanced without having the game to change teams. Crash Course DLC was released on September 29th, 2009.
- Main article: The Sacrifice
This DLC details the circumstances leading up to the events of "The Passing".
"The Sacrifice" takes place after "Blood Harvest" when the Survivors are rescued by the military. While Bill dies in canon, players can choose who to sacrifice in the DLC. "The Sacrifice" takes place in Rayford, Georgia, the same city "The Passing" takes place in.
A 190-page digital comic was released in four parts throughout September and October 2010 exploring the Survivors' backstories and how Bill died.
It was released for both Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2 on October 5, 2010. For the latter version, see below.
Pre-order Baseball Bat
In a technical sense, the preorder Baseball Bat is the first DLC for Left 4 Dead 2, although it is only a single item. Players who had preordered Left 4 Dead 2 would find a Baseball Bat in every safe room. With the release of The Passing, the Baseball Bat lost this restriction and now spawns like a regular melee weapon.
- Main article: The Passing
On December 14th, 2009, Valve announced the first DLC for Left 4 Dead 2. Entitled "The Passing", players will control the new Survivors as they meet up with three of the original Survivors from Left 4 Dead in a campaign that takes place between Dead Center and Dark Carnival. A new firearm, the M60, and a new melee weapon, the Golf Club, appeared, along with a new "Uncommon Infected", the Fallen Survivor. New Survival, Versus, and Scavenge maps were made available. It was released April 22, 2010.
- Main article: The Sacrifice
Initially, it was to be released for the first game alone, but since players would have to own Left 4 Dead to experience the events that explain "The Passing", the developers opted to release it for both games. No Mercy was brought over as well because it was the most popular campaign.
Both campaigns are available in every game mode. Players will still control the original Survivors, but will find items and Special Infected from Left 4 Dead 2. Five achievements were added, as in Left 4 Dead.
- Main article: Cold Stream
Valve announced a new (non-canon) DLC on February 16, 2011. This DLC is a custom campaign developed by Matthew Lourdelet, the developer of 2 Evil Eyes and eventually made official by Valve. Even though this is not a story-canon campaign, it was released on July 24th, 2012 for PC and Mac, and August 3rd for the Xbox 360.
This DLC features the rest of the original campaigns from Left 4 Dead, "Death Toll", "Dead Air", "Blood Harvest", as well as the later addition of "Crash Course". They were ported over to Left 4 Dead 2 in a similar fashion with "No Mercy" when The Sacrifice DLC was released, featuring the Left 4 Dead Survivors.
The Last Stand
- Main article: The Last Stand Community Update
The Last Stand Community Update, or simply The Last Stand Update, is a fourth DLC for Left 4 Dead 2 made by the game community members. It was released on September 24, 2020. The Last Stand Update features "The Last Stand" two-map campaign, 20 new survival maps, 4 new scavenge maps, 30 new achievements and much more.
This content update is PC exclusive and won't come to Xbox 360.
- "The Last Stand" and "Cold Stream" are the only campaigns that aren't considered canon in the Left 4 Dead storyline.
- "The Passing" is, according to Valve, the most important campaign yet, due to the original and new Survivors meeting up.
- If Survival, Versus or Realism Versus is played at "The Port" in "The Passing", Francis, Zoey, and Louis will not be at the stand where they normally appear. This is to make it fair for the Infected team as they'd never be able to reach and attack the original Survivors.
- In the Left 4 Dead 2 demo, there were two un-released "DLCs" called the Miracle Pack and the Apocalyptic Pack which would only appear after failing to load a map that the host selected and people expected these "hidden and upcoming" DLCs to be released some time later. Chet Faliszek then explained that these were basically test code.
- Mutations are included with the Passing DLC on the Xbox 360 and Cold Stream DLC on PC/Mac devices.
- Interview: Valve reveal their new Left 4 Dead DLC