Testing.png "What if just your beard starts to turn?"
This article requires testing. You can help Left 4 Dead Wiki by experimenting with gameplay, and then changing it.

The Explosive Barrel was first released within The Sacrifice DLC and 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.

An explosive barrel exploding...

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.


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.
  • Exploding barrels send out shrapnel and barrel scraps capable of inflicting modest damage on incautious players.
Left 4 Dead
Tier 1 Pump invert.png Pump Shotgun / Uzi invert.png Submachine Gun
Tier 2 M16 invert.png Assault Rifle / Auto invert.png Auto Shotgun / Hunting invert.png Hunting Rifle
Sidearms Pistol inverted.png M1911 Pistol
Left 4 Dead 2
Tier 1 Chrome invert.png Chrome Shotgun / Pump invert.png Pump Shotgun /
Mac10 invert.png Silenced Submachine Gun / Uzi invert.png Submachine Gun
Tier 2 Ak invert.png AK-47 / Scar invert.png Combat Rifle / M16 invert.png M16 Assault Rifle /
Spas12 invert.png Combat Shotgun / Auto invert.png Tactical Shotgun /
G3 invert.png Sniper Rifle / Hunting invert.png Hunting Rifle
Sidearms Pistol inverted.png P220 Pistol / Deagle invert.png Magnum Pistol
Special Tier Grenade launcher inverted.png Grenade Launcher / M60Icon.png M60 Machine Gun
Other Weapons
Melee Weapons Axe invert.png Axe / Bat invert.png Baseball Bat / Chainsaw invert.png Chainsaw /
Cricket invert.png Cricket Bat / Crowbar invert.png Crowbar / GolfClubIcon.png Golf Club /
Guitar invert.png Guitar / Pan invert.png Frying Pan / Katana invert.png Katana /
Machete invert.png Machete / Baton invert.png Nightstick
New Melee Icon shovel.png Shovel / Icon pitchfork.png Pitchfork
Grenades Molotov inverted.png Molotov Cocktail / Pipebomb invert.png Pipe Bomb / Bile invert.png Bile Bomb
Upgrades L4D2 ammo incendiary.png Incendiary Ammunition / L4D2 ammo explosive.png Explosive Ammunition /
Laser sight HUD invert.PNG Laser Sight
Other Weapons Minigun icon.png Minigun / MMG Icon.png Heavy Machine Gun /
Gas canister HUD invert.png Gas Can / Oxytank icon.png Oxygen Tank / Propane tank icon.png Propane Tank /
Fireworks icon.png Fireworks / Explosive Barrel HUD invert.png Explosive Barrel / Cola.png Cola /
Gnome icon.png Gnome Chompski
Counter-Strike Weapons Knife Invert.png Combat Knife / MP5 Invert.png H&K MP5 / SIG Invert.png SIG SG552 / Steyr Invert.png Steyr Scout / AWSM Invert.png Accuracy International AWSM
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.