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The Explosive Barrel is a static game object which was released in The Sacrifice DLC.

It has an explosive effect that is a combination of the gas can and the propane tank. It is immobile and thus requires careful consideration during gameplay. Explosive Barrels are usually found either in side-by-side pairs or individual barrels in close proximity to one another.

When triggered, they have three damage effects: an immediate proximity blast (as per the mentioned propane tank), enduring flame (as per the gas can) and that of shrapnel whereby the barrel's remains are thrown into the air in a random direction. The area affected by two Explosive Barrels bursting is considerable and players must maintain a safe distance when these devices are set off. A particular risk is a random shot accidentally striking an Explosive Barrel when a team member is within the danger zone.


Survivor Tactics[]

  • The barrels contain a highly explosive mix of propane and gas and should always be shot from beyond a minimum safe distance. Watch out for the flying shrapnel though, as it may land next to Survivors and spreads fire over the area.
  • Explosive barrels can decimate Hordes and inflict severe immediate explosion and subsequent fire damage on Tanks.
  • Be careful when playing with bots as their stray gunfire can detonate the barrels unlike the Gas can or Propane tank. If possible eliminate the infected near the barrels before bots spots them to save the barrel from undesireable detonation that may harm bot and their teammates or slowing the team down.

Barrel explosion

Infected Tactics[]

  • Try to incapacitate Survivors near the barrels, as their teammates are likely to hit the dangerous devices while trying to kill you and the fire and explosion will deal some extra damage to the Survivor.
  • If one or two Survivors are incapacitated next to an Explosive barrel, do your team a favor and stand next to it. Other Survivor players are very likely to shoot you when they see you and when they do, there is a great possibility that the barrel near you will be shot as well, making it explode and dealing damage to any Survivors near it, including the incapacitated Survivors. Be careful, though, because if the players already know your tactic, they will likely be wise enough not to do it and kill you later. So it is likewise suggested to cover or hide the barrels if possible from their sight so that they won't be aware of your "big surprise." Take note, though, this will almost certainly kill you either way, so only attempt this if you feel that the risk is worth the reward.
  • The Boomer is the only infected that can set off the barrels indirectly by his explosion upon death. If a barrel is placed in a path that the survivors has to go through, it's possible to purposely stand next to the barrel and allow them to kill you. Which either forces the survivors to wait until the flames are out (which buys time for your infected teammates) or run through and taking damage in progress.


Barrel rolled.png
Kill a Special Infected with an exploding barrel.

Note: It's possible to obtain the TOWERING INFERNO and BURN THE WITCH achievements with the fire from Explosive barrels as well, but the BARREL ROLLED achievement is the only one directly connected with the use of Explosive barrels. In theory, if infected walk into the fire after the initial explosion, it will also count towards the 101 CREMATIONS achievement; in practice, the explosion damage usually kills nearby Infected before this occurs.


  • The explosive barrel shares a similar model and general purpose as its Half-Life 2 counterpart.
  • Judged by the shape of red diamond label placed on the barrel, the content of the explosive barrel apparently petrol, since it bearing placard of Hazard Class 3 U.S. Department of Transport Placard.
  • Exploding barrels send out shrapnel and barrel scraps capable of inflicting modest damage on incautious players.
  • The Spitter's acid attacks do not corrode the barrel nor will they detonate it.
    • No Infected can cause it to explode on their own. It must be triggered via gunfire, flames, or explosions.
    • The Boomer's explosion can detonate the barrel, however, despite the Boomer's explosion being unable to harm survivors directly.
Primary Weapons
Tier 1 Chrome invert.png Chrome Shotgun / Pump invert.png Pump Shotgun / MP5 Invert.png MP5 / Mac10 invert.png Silenced Submachine Gun / Uzi invert.png Submachine Gun
Tier 2 Ak invert.png AK-47 / Icon weapon rifle desert inverted.png Combat Rifle / M16 invert.png M-16 Assault Rifle / SIG Invert.png SG 552 / Auto invert.png Auto Shotgun / Spas12 invert.png Combat Shotgun / AWSM Invert.png AWP / Hunting invert.png Hunting Rifle / Steyr Invert.png Scout / G3 invert.png Sniper Rifle
Special Tier Grenade launcher inverted.png Grenade Launcher / M60Icon.png M60 Machine Gun
Secondary Weapons
Sidearms Pistol inverted.png M1911 Pistol / Deagle invert.png Magnum Pistol / Pistol inverted.png P220 Pistol
Melee Weapons Bat invert.png Baseball Bat / Cricket invert.png Cricket Bat / Crowbar invert.png Crowbar / Axe invert.png Fireaxe / Pan invert.png Frying Pan / GolfClubIcon.png Golf Club / Guitar invert.png Guitar / Katana invert.png Katana / Knife Invert.png Knife / Machete invert.png Machete / Baton invert.png Nightstick / Icon pitchfork inverted.png Pitchfork / Icon shovel inverted.png Shovel
Special Tier Chainsaw invert.png Chainsaw
Other Weapons
Grenades Bile invert.png Bile Bomb / Molotov inverted.png Molotov Cocktail / Pipebomb invert.png Pipe Bomb
Upgrades L4D2 ammo explosive.png Explosive Ammunition / L4D2 ammo incendiary.png Incendiary Ammunition / Laser sight HUD invert.PNG Laser Sight
Fixed Weapons MMG Icon.png Heavy Machine Gun / Minigun icon.png Minigun
Usable Items Explosive Barrel HUD invert.png Explosive barrel / Fireworks icon.png Fireworks / Gas canister HUD invert.png Gas can / Oxytank icon.png Oxygen tank / Propane tank icon.png Propane tank
Special Items Cola.png Cola / Gnome icon.png Gnome Chompski
Featured in both games / L4D1-exclusive / L4D2-exclusive (Counter-Strike weapons / PC-exclusive)