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"This could be fun!"
"This right here'll mess some shit up."

The Pitchfork is a close combat weapon in Left 4 Dead 2, introduced in The Last Stand Update along with the Shovel.

It is found in the following campaigns:

Melee Mechanics[]

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.


All versions[]

Main article: Achievements

Confedaracy of crunches.jpg
Finish a campaign using only melee weapons.

Tank burger.jpg
Kill a Tank with melee weapons.

Beat the rush.jpg
In a Survival round, get a medal only using melee weapons.

Level a charge.jpg
Kill a Charger with a melee weapon while they are charging.


Achievement Lickety-split.png
With a sharp melee weapon, cut a Smoker's tongue before he ensnares you.

Achievement Pure Satisfaction.png
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.
Primary Weapons
Tier 1 Chrome invert.png Chrome Shotgun / Pump invert.png Pump Shotgun / MP5 Invert.png MP5 / Mac10 invert.png Silenced Submachine Gun / Uzi invert.png Submachine Gun
Tier 2 Ak invert.png AK-47 / Icon weapon rifle desert inverted.png Combat Rifle / M16 invert.png M-16 Assault Rifle / SIG Invert.png SG 552 / Auto invert.png Auto Shotgun / Spas12 invert.png Combat Shotgun / AWSM Invert.png AWP / Hunting invert.png Hunting Rifle / Steyr Invert.png Scout / G3 invert.png Sniper Rifle
Special Tier Grenade launcher inverted.png Grenade Launcher / M60Icon.png M60 Machine Gun
Secondary Weapons
Sidearms Pistol inverted.png M1911 Pistol / Deagle invert.png Magnum Pistol / Pistol inverted.png P220 Pistol
Melee Weapons Bat invert.png Baseball Bat / Cricket invert.png Cricket Bat / Crowbar invert.png Crowbar / Axe invert.png Fireaxe / Pan invert.png Frying Pan / GolfClubIcon.png Golf Club / Guitar invert.png Guitar / Katana invert.png Katana / Knife Invert.png Knife / Machete invert.png Machete / Baton invert.png Nightstick / Icon pitchfork inverted.png Pitchfork / Icon shovel inverted.png Shovel
Special Tier Chainsaw invert.png Chainsaw
Other Weapons
Grenades Bile invert.png Bile Bomb / Molotov inverted.png Molotov Cocktail / Pipebomb invert.png Pipe Bomb
Upgrades L4D2 ammo explosive.png Explosive Ammunition / L4D2 ammo incendiary.png Incendiary Ammunition / Laser sight HUD invert.PNG Laser Sight
Fixed Weapons MMG Icon.png Heavy Machine Gun / Minigun icon.png Minigun
Usable Items Explosive Barrel HUD invert.png Explosive barrel / Fireworks icon.png Fireworks / Gas canister HUD invert.png Gas can / Oxytank icon.png Oxygen tank / Propane tank icon.png Propane tank
Special Items Cola.png Cola / Gnome icon.png Gnome Chompski
Featured in both games / L4D1-exclusive / L4D2-exclusive (Counter-Strike weapons / PC-exclusive)