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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.

Tactics

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.
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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.

Achievements

Barrel rolled BARREL ROLLED (50G)
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.

Notes

  • 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.
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