Left 4 Dead Wiki
"I know you can hear me, goddammit. Let me the hell out!"
"Hey guys, are you having fun out there without me?"

A Rescue Closet is a designated area, usually a small room with one door, in which previously deceased players can respawn readily for release back into the game by a teammate.


A Survivor trapped in a closet

When a Survivor is killed by any means (to the Infected, by another player, freefalling, etc.), they must wait one minute after they have died (in addition to the team moving about).

After one minute has passed, if the team is at a medium-range of a Rescue Closet, the deceased Survivor(s) will appear inside said Rescue Closet in a yellow outline, calling out to be released. This does not affect the deceased Survivor(s) spectating the map, and if the group moves too far away from the closet, the trapped Survivor(s) will vanish until the group comes back or find another Closet.

Upon opening the door, the Survivor(s) inside will rejoin the team.

The deceased Survivor(s) cannot do much to speed up this process of rescuing, and are completely dependent on their teammates.

Newly-rescued Survivors start with 50 permanent health, a random tier 1 weapon, and a single P220 Pistol. Their primary tier 1 weapon is determined by what weapons you had when you died:

However, in Left 4 Dead 2, Survivors will not have any primary weapon if they died with a tier 1 primary. Your secondary weapon does not affect what you will get upon rejoining; the default is a single P220 Pistol.

There are many Rescue Closets in the campaign maps of Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2. They can be anything, ranging from a small storage area, to an outhouse or porta-potty, or even a bathroom. Rescue Closets rarely may have items in them, which the respawned Survivors cannot obtain until they are rescued. The size of the rescue closet also determines how much Survivors it can hold; for example, porta-potties and outhouses can only hold one Survivor, while other closets can house three or two Survivors. They are typically a short walk away from the main path.

Most Rescue Closets have doors that are invulnerable to all sorts of attacks until they are opened. Once opened, the doors can be broken down like normal.

Opening a door leading to a Rescue Closet will usually disable that closet. However, if a closet is near a Crescendo Event or a finale, it will keep respawning Survivors until the event has started, and is subject to normal rules after that.

The plot-line logic behind rescue closets was that closeted Survivors represent a new lone Survivor joining the party, as the Developer Commentary in The Subway map states that "finding a lone Survivor that joins your team is a staple of the horror movie genre".


  • If you are the last Survivor, move to a safe location and attempt to wait things out, or carefully proceed further into the map but not too far that the Director decides to spawn infected again. Once you see the orange outline(s) and hear the respawned Survivors shouting, run to the closet they are in (all Survivors that are dead long enough will respawn in the same closet) and rescue them. However, if you are closer to a safe house, run to there and finish level. Everyone will be back when the next chapter starts.
  • In Left 4 Dead, it is possible to get a view of respawned Survivor(s) without triggering a rescue in certain circumstances. (Ex. Going to an adjacent stall next to another that has a respawned Survivor inside it, climbing the toilet and looking over the stall to see them.) The respawned Survivor(s) are usually transparent, but on rare occasions, they will be fully visible.
  • If you die in Single Player mode or if all human players has died in Campaign mode, you are given no chance to respawn. As stated above, the AI will not normally continue without human players unless console commands or mods have been used to allow the game to continue without human players.
  • In Left 4 Dead 2, when far away from a dead Survivor, it is often better to continue on instead of using a defibrillator, as chances are they will respawn closer to you in a Rescue Closet.
  • AI Bots will not take and/or use defibrillators in any mode in Left 4 Dead 2, but they can and will open Rescue Closets.
  • Sometimes opening the door will not immediately rescue the trapped Survivors, but you can force them to be rescued by having an unobstructed, complete sight of their bodies. This glitch is especially common in the bathroom rescue closet in the Burger Tank restaurant at the beginning of "The Sewer."
  • When the door is destroyed in the rare instances it is breakable, the closet will lose the ability to spawn Survivors.
  • If a teammate is badly injured and/or black-and-white and a closet is nearby, it might be beneficial to kill the teammate and wait for them to respawn. Their equipment will remain where they died to be retrieved after they respawn, and they will return to 50 permanent health. However, this tactic is not recommended if you are on Expert and the director is starting to spawn Infected again, as you must wait at least 1 minute before rescuing your fallen teammate.


Main article: Achievements

Left 4 Dead[]

L4d hero closet.jpg
Rescue a Survivor trapped in a closet.

Left 4 Dead 2[]

PC exclusive[]

Achievement Three's a Crowd.png
Rescue three Survivors from a single rescue closet.


  • Sometimes, the door can get damaged when shot at and open a hole, but the Survivor is still registered as trapped.
  • Occasionally, the Survivor will not even be on the door, but instead on a wall, shelf, or sometimes just in the middle of the room.
  • If any items spawn in the Rescue Closet, the trapped Survivor will not be able to pick it up or use it until they are rescued.
  • Very rarely, a Survivor may spawn in a closet that has another way to get inside (a window, etc.). This provides an alternate way to rescue the Survivor, if going to the door proves to be dangerous.
  • Sometimes (although rarely), in Crescendo Events of Left 4 Dead 2, AI Survivors in Rescue Closets can automatically get out and rejoin the team, even if the alive Survivors are afar.
  • If two or more Survivors are spawned inside a Rescue Closet, they will most likely be bracing other parts of the room (i.e. bathtub, different wall, etc.)
  • Map-making mistakes where a Survivor is braced against an object opposite a thin wall may cause visual bugs. At certain points in their animations, parts of their body may clip through walls, and if they are opaque, their clipping parts will be visible to living Survivors on the other side.
  • If a player uses the 'jointeam' glitch or 'sb_add' commands to create another character, the player or bot will spawn in dead and must be rescued from a closet, regardless of having the sequel's defibrillator, as the players/extra bots don’t leave a body. Rescued players/bots that first spawned into their character as dead start out with 50 Permanent health and a single P220 Pistol. Extra bots disappear once the next map is loaded and will drop their equipment as if they died.