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It is found in the following campaigns:
- Swamp Fever (PC version only)
- Hard Rain (PC version only)
- Blood Harvest (Left 4 Dead 2 PC version only)
- The Last Stand (Left 4 Dead 2 version)
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 Pitchfork has the unique ability of causing vertical gashes during upward swings.
Pros and Cons
- Can be used to cut a Smoker's tongue.
- Ideal for picking off lone Infected due its decent speed.
- Very poor hit registration due to the first two being strictly frontal swings.
- Only the third swing is horizontal. This makes the Pitchfork poor for hordes due to its small hitbox.
- 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.|
|Kill a Tank with melee weapons.|
|BEAT THE RUSH||(15G)|
|In a Survival round, get a medal only using melee weapons.|
|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 20 Jockeys with the shovel or pitchfork.|
- Like the Shovel, the Pitchfork has unique swing sounds and hitsounds.
- The Pitchfork's ability to cause vertical gashes on an Infected appear to be unused gore effects; these were the effects slashing weapons would have created had they kept their downward swinging animations, seen in some early prototypes of Left 4 Dead 2.
- The Pitchfork is the first and only melee weapon to have a vertical swing used officially in-game.
- In a Reddit post, one of the community developers involved in The Last Stand Community Update revealed that the addition of the Pitchfork into Left 4 Dead 2 is a reference to the video game Blood, where it can also be used as a melee weapon. The in-game Pitchfork having four tines as well as its vertical swing being a wholesale borrowing from its Blood iteration further support this statement.
- The Pitchfork (alongside the Crowbar) previously suffered from a bug that prevented it from goring Common Infected and cutting Smoker tongues. This was fixed in an update on October 21, 2020.
- There are two locations in The Last Stand where the Pitchfork is almost always guaranteed to spawn. One can be seen leaning against a stack of concrete sacks after leaving the garage on the way to the junkyard, and another can be found inside the cabin Survivors can enter before reaching the lighthouse in the finale.
|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)|