- "I know you're out there! Now LET ME OUT!"
A Rescue Closet is a small room with a single door in which previously deceased players respawn readily for release back into the game by a teammate.
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 gets close to a Rescue Closet, the deceased Survivor(s) will appear on the game screen in a yellow outline, asking to be released.
Upon opening the door, the Survivor(s) inside will rejoin the team. They will start with 50 permanent health, a random tier 1 weapon, and a single P220 Pistol. This weapon is determined by what weapons you had when you died. If you died with an assault rifle (Combat Rifle, AK-47, or M16 Assault Rifle) or a submachine gun (normal or silenced), you will respawn with a submachine gun (can be silenced). If you died with a shotgun (Chrome, Pump, Auto or Combat) or Grenade Launcher, you are given a chrome or pump shotgun. If you died with a Hunting or Sniper Rifle, you will have a 60% chance of getting a submachine gun and a 40% chance of a shotgun. Rarely in some earlier maps of campaigns if you died with a tier 1 weapon, you will respawn with a single pistol only. 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 Left 4 Dead campaign maps. They can be anything, ranging from a small storage area, to an outhouse or porta-potty, or even a bathroom. Rescue Closets may also 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 2 or 3 Survivors. They are typically a short walk away from the main path.
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 disable that closet as the door was opened.
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 "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. Once you see the orange outline and hear the respawned Survivors shouting, run to the closet they are in (all Survivors will respawn in the same closet) and rescue them. However, if you are closer to a safe house, go there and close the door behind you. Everyone will be back when the next chapter starts. If a Smoker or some "pinner" Infected spawn, you will have to either restart or have to dodge the attacks with care.
- If a Survivor can be rescued from a bathroom stall, you can go to an adjacent stall, climb the toilet and see them banging the door.
- If you die in Single Player mode, you are given no chance to respawn, because, as stated above, the AI will not normally continue without human players.
- In a Left 4 Dead 2 campaign, when far away from a dead Survivor, it is often better to go straight on instead of using a defibrillator because chances are they will respawn closer to you in a Rescue Closet.
- AI Bots will not take defibrillators in any mode in Left 4 Dead 2, but they can and will open Rescue Closets.
- Sometimes opening the door will do nothing. In this case, walk in and the Survivor should spawn. 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, the closet will lose the ability to spawn Survivors.
- If a teammate is badly injured 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.
- Sometimes, the door can break when shot at, but the Survivor is still registered as trapped.
- Occasionally, the Survivor won't even be on the door, but instead on a wall, shelf, or sometimes just in the middle of the room.
- If there is any supply in the Rescue Closet, the trapped Survivor won't be able to pick it up or use it until they are rescued.
- Rarely, a Survivor may spawn in a room of a house in which you can break open a window to get inside, but this will not rescue them and only the yellow outline can be seen instead of the body.
- 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 inside a Rescue Closet, they will be bracing other parts of the room (i.e. bathtub, different wall, etc.)
- Occasionally, a glitch may occur where a Survivor is braced against an object opposite a thin wall. At certain points in their animations, certain parts of their body may clip through the wall and be visible to living Survivors on the other side.
- If the player uses console commands to create "extra" bots. They will be added but not alive, and must be rescued in the closets to make them help the player. Newly added bots will only have 50 Permanent health and a single P220 Pistol. In addition players who died by hanging or spawned with console cannot be respawned with the console command "respawn" and using Rescue Closets are the only way to let them respawn. The extra bots disappear once the next map is loaded.