It is found the following campaigns:
- Dead Center
- The Passing
- Dark Carnival
- Swamp Fever
- Hard Rain
- No Mercy (Left 4 Dead 2 only)
- Crash Course (Left 4 Dead 2 only)
- Death Toll (Left 4 Dead 2 PC version only)
- Blood Harvest (Left 4 Dead 2 only)
- The Sacrifice (Left 4 Dead 2 only)
- Cold Stream
- The Last Stand (Left 4 Dead 2 version)
Great for clearing out crowds of infected, this handy lumberjack-approved melee weapon will have you stacking up the zombies like cordwood.
Melee weapons replace Pistols in the secondary weapon slot. Unlike Pistols, close combat weapons never need to be reloaded and cannot run out of ammo (excluding the Chainsaw). They have two main drawbacks: a limited reach and (with a few exceptions) relatively long cooldown periods. Close combat weapons cause minimal friendly fire damage to the Survivors, even on Advanced and Expert difficulty levels (the Chainsaw is an exception).
These weapons are extremely effective. All melee weapons, on all difficulties, kill Common Infected and most Special Infected in one hit, aside from the Charger (which takes two—but see point below), the Witch (which takes four), and the Tank (which takes twenty, excluding the Chainsaw). Due to their death effects, it is generally advised to melee neither the Boomer (unless there is no choice) nor the Spitter (unless it is possible to move away immediately from the resulting acid splash).
The melee weapons appear to do more damage if an Infected's head or upper body is targeted. With the correct timing it is possible to kill a Charger with one hit while it is charging, allowing a Survivor to "level" a charge without first dealing damage to the Charger and to gain the achievement "Level a Charge".
The Fireaxe is classified as a slashing weapon: it will sever limbs and spew blood on the screen.
Pros and Cons
- Wide swing.
- High spawn rate.
- Extremely consistent hit registration.
- Predictable attack pattern.
- Can be used to cut a Smoker's tongue.
- Slow swing rate resulting in low DPS.
- Attacks may obstruct the user's vision.
- Not recommended for killing Boomers due to bile showering attacker and any nearby Survivors.
- Main article: Achievements
|CONFEDERACY OF CRUNCHES||(30G)|
|Finish a campaign using only melee weapons.|
|Decapitate 200 Infected with a melee weapon.|
|Kill a Tank with melee weapons.|
|BEAT THE RUSH||(15G)|
|In a Survival round, get a medal only using melee weapons.|
|Use every melee weapon to kill Common Infected.|
|LEVEL A CHARGE||(15G)|
|Kill a Charger with a melee weapon while they are charging.|
|With a sharp melee weapon, cut a Smoker's tongue before he ensnares you.|
|Kill a Witch using only a sharp melee weapon, without anyone getting incapacitated or killed.|
- The Fireaxe's design is based on a firefighter's axe and usually used to slash through certain obstacles such as wooden gates. It's normally found lying on the floor or on a wooden crate; in the case of Swamp Fever, a usable axe may sometimes be found stuck in a tree, suggesting that a previous unknown Survivor had used it as an improvised wood-cutting axe.
- A Fireaxe can be found in Whitaker's shop in The Streets in Dead Center.
- It was originally planned that you could decapitate a Witch by sneaking up on her and swinging the Fireaxe at her head but this capability was subsequently scrapped.
- In early gameplay video, the Fireaxe had an animation in which the Survivor brings it over their head and slices downward, probably chopping the Infected in half. This too was later abandoned.
- Vertical slash animations were never included for melee weapons aside from the Pitchfork.
- In the beta version, Fireaxes could be found in The Parish campaign (it still can be found during Developer Commentary).
- Following the September 24, 2020 update, the Fireaxe can now also be found in Death Toll. This is the case only for the PC version, however.
- There is a texture of the Team Fortress 2 Fire Axe in the game files, located in the materials/models/weapons/melee/fireaxe folder. A small difference is that it only has a texture and in its VMT file it does not have the toon-shading and lightwarps etc.
- When attacking with the Fireaxe as one of the Left 4 Dead 2 survivors, Coach's grunt noise is sometimes played.
- As of the Last Stand update, this has been fixed; the Left 4 Dead 2 Survivors start using their own grunt(s) when swinging the Fireaxe.
- If the player increase the weapon's FOV (cl_viewmodelfovsurvivor) higher than 60 (default is 51) the player can see survivor left arm on the screen and partially obstructing the view. This is especially noticeable if the player uses custom survivor models that may have larger arms.
- Following the Last Stand update, this issue has also been fixed.
|Tier 1||Chrome Shotgun / Pump Shotgun / MP5 / Silenced Submachine Gun / Submachine Gun|
|Tier 2||AK-47 / Combat Rifle / M-16 Assault Rifle / SG 552 / Auto Shotgun / Combat Shotgun / AWP / Hunting Rifle / Scout / Sniper Rifle|
|Special Tier||Grenade Launcher / M60 Machine Gun|
|Sidearms||M1911 Pistol / Magnum Pistol / P220 Pistol|
|Melee Weapons||Baseball Bat / Cricket Bat / Crowbar / Fireaxe / Frying Pan / Golf Club / Guitar / Katana / Knife / Machete / Nightstick / Pitchfork / Shovel|
|Grenades||Bile Bomb / Molotov Cocktail / Pipe Bomb|
|Upgrades||Explosive Ammunition / Incendiary Ammunition / Laser Sight|
|Fixed Weapons||Heavy Machine Gun / Minigun|
|Usable Items||Explosive barrel / Fireworks / Gas can / Oxygen tank / Propane tank|
|Special Items||Cola / Gnome Chompski|
|Featured in both games / L4D1-exclusive / L4D2-exclusive (Counter-Strike weapons / PC-exclusive)|