"♪ Gonna beat me a zombie to death with a nightstick~♪"

The Nightstick is a close combat weapon in Left 4 Dead 2 that can be found lying around maps or dropped by Riot Infected upon death.

It can be found in the following campaigns:

Melee Mechanics Edit

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 Nightstick is classified as a Bludgeoning weapon: it will spew blood, but will never dismember the Infected.


  • Has the fastest attack rate of all melee weapons (except for the Chainsaw), and unlike Chainsaw, you could use it infinitely.
  • Can be randomly dropped by defeated Riot Infected


  • Has an incredibly small arc of swing
  • Has poor hit registration, meaning that you may have a hard time hitting enemies with it
  • Has an odd animation for a swing from this weapon, meaning that it can be hard to tell if you have scored a hit
  • Not recommended for killing Boomers due to bile showering attacker and any nearby Survivors


Confedaracy of crunches CONFEDERACY OF CRUNCHES (30G)
Finish a campaign using only melee weapons.

Tank burger TANK BURGER (30G)
Kill a Tank with melee weapons.

Beat the rush BEAT THE RUSH (15G)
In a Survival round, get a medal only using melee weapons.

Club dead CLUB DEAD (15G)
Use every melee weapon to kill Common Infected.



Nightstick in The Parish

  • The Infected police officers from Left 4 Dead have Nightsticks hanging from their belts, though these are merely aesthetic.
    • The Riot Infected in Left 4 Dead 2, however, have their Nightsticks horizontally and can be used.
  • The in-game Nightstick is based on a Monadnock PR-24 police baton, of which it is a side-handle baton type, which itself is derived from the tonfa, a traditional weapon originated from Okinawa, Japan.
  • As of December 16, 2011, the Nightstick does not appear exclusively in a single campaign. Some Custom Campaigns already had it, and the Left 4 Dead 2 ports of Crash Course and Death Toll have it as well. Cold Stream also has the Nightstick because the Memorial Bridge chapter has Riot Infected.
  • The Nightstick and the Frying Pan are the only melee weapons that can't cause any physical deformities to Common Infected, meaning no decapitations or dismemberment. They are also the only melee weapons that can send Infected (excluding the Tank) flying when hit. It should be noted that Nightsticks, while classified as weapons, were never intended to cause permanent harm in real life, although they can do so if required using extra force.
  • Thrusting a nightstick baton like a bayoneted rifle is more effective than swinging it as a bludgeoning weapon, but this melee attack is not available to players, even though this weapon features the projecting handle that makes it possible to do so.
  • It is the fastest blunt-object melee weapon in the game.
    • Due to its speed, the Nightstick, with 20 continuous swings, can kill a Tank faster than any other weapon (excluding the Chainsaw because it's DPS is too high). However, the requirement to get close enough to use it diminishes its effectiveness greatly, and the Chainsaw's a lot better at that.
  • In the Achievement CLUB DEAD, the Nightstick is referred to as a Tonfa, while all the Survivors refer to the "Tonfas" as Nightsticks. This is likely a mistake on the developers' part.
  • The Nightstick has poor hit detection when swung, meaning sometimes it appears to have hit an Infected or a Survivor and act as if having missed, or vice versa. Worse still, the impact audio may still play as if the target was hit. This, coupled with its short range, makes it less effective than some melee weapons.
  • The Nightstick was voted the least favorite melee weapon in a Blog post by players in both the PC and Xbox versions. This is because it's pretty hard to use despite how fast it could attack.

Console CommandEdit

There is only one console command for the Nightstick:

sv_infected_riot_control_tonfa_probability XX (where XX is a floating point variable)

The variable above will determine the probability for the Nightstick to be dropped by Riot Infected when killed. The value is a floating point number, meaning it can be a number with a decimal. This specific command restricts it to any number between 0 and 1 inclusive. The default is 0.1, therefore all Riot Infected would have a 10% chance of dropping a Nightstick on death, thus, setting it to 1 will guarantee a Nightstick to drop every time a Riot Infected is killed.


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