Left 4 Dead Wiki
Left 4 Dead Picture.png "You're gonna want to see this!"

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"Soon as we get the truck moving, I am going to RUN YOU OVER. Stupid generator."
"All right, look, no messin' around, let's get these cans."

Temporary Power Generators can be found throughout both games in Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2. They are diesel generators of a standard industrial design. Frequently encountered throughout both games, they provide the basis for survivor task-roles in the "Crash Course", "The Passing", "The Sacrifice" campaigns.

The general principle is that this equipment has been brought in by CEDA to supply electric current either to augment the power grid or to replace it when the main electric system fails. These generators deliver power to floodlights, workshop equipment and operationally important infrastructure such as the river bridge at Rayford.

Visible Types[]

The generators come in four different visible types as seen in the Gallery section below:

  • Generator with no attachments
  • Generator with short floodlight attachment
  • Generator with tall floodlight attachment
  • Generator with a signal/radio attachment

Motorized Types[]

There are two different ways the portable generators can be powered up:

  • Gas can/Fuel (e.g. "The Passing")
  • Manual Crank/Battery starter switch (e.g. "Crash Course")

In Scavenge Mode in Left 4 Dead 2, they serve as the main objective for the game as Survivors try to fill them up before the other team incapacitates them or they run out of time.


For more options or a better understanding of tactics, view the finale pages' "Strategy" sections.

Survivor Tactics[]

  • Stay together as a group and try to be relatively close to the generators themselves, especially the generators in the original Left 4 Dead, since they stall out and require the Survivors to restart them.
  • Ensure the Survivors are providing cover to the lone Survivor restarting the generators as the horde will continue to attack, making that Survivor more vulnerable to hits and taking damage.
  • Similar strategy when pouring gas into the generator in Left 4 Dead 2: Stay as a group and move together to get more gas cans, to ensure less vulnerability to the Infected.
  • Cover the lone Survivor who is currently pouring the gas can into the generator as, again, they are more vulnerable to hits from the horde.

Infected Tactics[]

  • The Survivors will have to work and stay close together; use this as your advantage.
  • Though you cannot predict the Survivors' movements and coordination most of the time, work as a team of Infected when the Survivors return to the generators as they will be more vulnerable then.
  • If the Survivors are trying to get the CHAOS GENERATOR achievement, make sure to aim for any of the generators that has one person at them.


Crash Course[]

L4d achievement repower generator.png
Restart the generator within 30 seconds of it shutting off in the "Crash Course" campaign.

The Sacrifice[]

Chaos generator.png
Have all three generators running at once in "The Sacrifice" finale.

The Passing (Scavenge)[]

Play 5 full games of Scavenge on The Port.



  • Most of the time, the Survivors do not need to power up the generators as someone else has already done it for them (most notably, in Left 4 Dead 1).
    • Almost all of the generators encountered in the game already have fuel as well. The only time that the Survivors ever had to refuel a generator outside of Scavenge mode is in the Port.
  • There are only two generators throughout the series that stall out and force a Survivor to go back and restart them.
  • Even though there is a flip switch visible on the generator in the Truck Depot Finale, a Survivor has to start a crank manually instead of flipping the switch.
  • All of the Survivors clearly hate using the generators as they are noisy (which attracts hordes) and take too long to respond to the needs of the Survivors:
    • Nick, Ellis, Coach, and Rochelle comment on how much gas the generator needs to take before becoming fully functional and operational.
    • Bill can comment that whoever fill things with gas are idiots, something that the new Survivors have been burdened with. (And, ironically, it also occurs to the Left 4 Dead survivors in the finale of Left 4 Dead 2's The Last Stand campaign.)
  • The generators at Rayford Port are the only ones that require the original Survivors to crank manually first, then to power it up before it apparently runs out of fuel; whereas the other group of new Survivors have to find more fuel for it.