The Left 4 Dead 2 Survivor Mode icon.

Survival Mode is a game mode which was released in the Downloadable Content from Valve Corporation; the Survival Pack. This game mode throws waves and waves of the Infected at the Survivors until they die. There is no way to really win this through surviving, but instead the goal is to survive as long as you can and set new records.

There are currently thirty-one different maps to play on in Survival Mode, thirty come almost directly from the campaign mode while a new map called The Lighthouse, which was released with the pack, but appears to be attributed with a campaign called The Last Stand.

In almost every Survival map, the map has been changed so that several areas are cut off. The only map that is not affected by this is The Atrium in Left 4 Dead 2. Such examples include boarded up doors/ladders and restrictive barriers cutting the area off from the rest of the map.

Gameplay[edit | edit source]

Left 4 Dead[edit | edit source]

Each survival match starts with a setup time, allowing time for you and your team to scour the map for useful items. The teams will find health kits, tier 2 weapons, pipe bombs and molotovs, pills, propane tanks, oxygen tanks, and gas cans scattered around the area. Each Survivor holds on to pills, a health kit and dual pistols at a spawn point of each map(before starting the match), right after loading the Survival game. You can take as much time as you want, as the timer at the top of the screen doesn't begin until someone hits the button that alerts the Horde. Once the button (typically in the form of whatever the chapter's Crescendo Event is in the campaign) is activated, the action gets off to a furious start and escalates from there.[1] The AI hunter gains a twice as long area of effect stun when you are near a pounced teammate than the human controlled hunter in versus mode.

Left 4 Dead 2[edit | edit source]

Survival mode gameplay in Left 4 Dead 2 is very much the same related to Left 4 Dead's survival mode.

However, there are more differences compared to Left 4 Dead. There are much more items such as Adrenaline shots, Bile bombs, varied weapons and weapon upgrades. However, the team does have to face more Infected, such as Uncommon Infected and more Special Infected. Moreover, the jockey and hunter gain a twice as long area of effect stun duration when you are near a pounced teammate than they do in versus mode.

There is also a variant of Survival Mode, a mutation called Versus Survival. It has the same format as Survival Mode but this time the Special Infected are human rather than AI-controlled. This mutation however, became an official game mode as part of The Last Stand Community Update on September 24, 2020.

Strategy[edit | edit source]

As always, teamwork and staying together are necessary for survival. Beyond that, survival strategies vary from map to map and from team to team. It is possible to obtain a Gold Medal achievement by staying in one area of a map, but some may find it more advantageous to move from time to time in order to get more items, ammo and avoid the Tank, and on certain maps, it can be beneficial to stay in motion and run "laps" around the map to prevent infected from catching up. Difficulty increases with time as supplies dwindle, and surviving often involves fending off multiple Special Infected and at times, multiple Tanks.

As with Versus mode (in Left 4 Dead), the melee fatigue cooldown applies.

It is always best to hole up by gathering as much resources and finding the best spot possible before setting off the Horde. For example, preparing special ammo boxes and placing Gas Cans/Propane Tanks in a secure spot can allow the team to grab it quickly in the event of a Tank attack if they do not have any Molotovs on hand.

Once the horde is alerted, the Director will send groups of Common Infected (Uncommons will appear if they can be found in that level; for example, all Hard Rain survival maps will have Worker Infected). The Director will then start spawning Tanks after 40 seconds. The times the Tanks appear are irregular, and the Director can occasionally send two Tanks at the team in conjunction with Special Infected and a horde.

Playable Locations[edit | edit source]

Left 4 Dead[edit | edit source]

No Mercy[edit | edit source]

Crash Course[edit | edit source]

Death Toll[edit | edit source]

Dead Air[edit | edit source]

Blood Harvest[edit | edit source]

The Sacrifice[edit | edit source]

A glitch where survival mode is played in an unsupported map. Used during the "grenade hop" glitch.

The Last Stand[edit | edit source]

Left 4 Dead 2[edit | edit source]

Dead Center[edit | edit source]

The Passing[edit | edit source]

Dark Carnival[edit | edit source]

Swamp Fever[edit | edit source]

Hard Rain[edit | edit source]

The Parish[edit | edit source]

No Mercy[edit | edit source]

Crash Course[edit | edit source]

Death Toll[edit | edit source]

Dead Air[edit | edit source]

Blood Harvest[edit | edit source]

The Sacrifice[edit | edit source]

Cold Stream[edit | edit source]

The Last Stand[edit | edit source]

Achievements[edit | edit source]


Left 4 Dead 2- Beat the Rush Achievement Guide

Achievementors "Beat the Rush" Guide for Left 4 Dead 2

Left 4 Dead
None of the Survival Achievements are present in the Xbox 360 version of the game since it is free DLC.

L4d bronze mettle.jpg
Earn a Bronze medal in Survival mode on any official level.

L4d silver bullets.jpg
Earn a Silver medal in Survival mode on any official level.

L4d violence is golden.jpg
Earn a Gold medal in Survival mode on any official level.

L4d distinguished survivor.jpg
Earn at least a Bronze medal on every official Survival level.

L4d heroic survivor.jpg
Earn at least a Silver medal on every official Survival level.

L4d legendary survivor.jpg
Earn a Gold medal on every official Survival level.

L4D last stand.jpg
Complete one round of Survival on The Last Stand.

Left 4 Dead 2

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

PC exclusive[edit | edit source]

Achievement Getting Started.png
Earn a bronze medal on any official survival map.

Achievement On Our Way.png
Earn a silver medal on any official survival map.

Achievement This is Where the Fun Begins.png
Earn a gold medal on any official survival map.

Achievement A Little Hack and Slash.png
Earn a bronze medal on every official survival map.

Achievement Like Lambs to the Slaughter.png
Earn a silver medal on every official survival map.

Achievement Killing Spree.png
Earn a gold medal on every official survival map.

Achievement Golden Freeman.png
Find the golden crowbars hidden in the Left 4 Dead 1 survival maps.

Achievement Supreme Survivalist.png
Survive for 30 minutes on any official survival map.

Tips and Tricks[edit | edit source]

These tips are general, not for specific maps.

  • Always stick together; breaking off will cause a large problem to the team and severely weaken them.
  • Try to find everything you can find in the map. Throw Gas cans and Propane tanks in a place where you won't shoot them by accident, so that you have a backup supply of "Molotovs" if you do not have any actual Molotovs.
  • Place everything you need in the area you plan to hold out in. This is useful as you do not have to run to a nearby supply area and get attacked easily.
  • Players playing with Bots will have a slight disadvantage over a team of players. While they have good accuracy, they often don't work alongside the player, especially when the Infected are swarming them. They can't use any throwables, pick up deployed weapon boxes and waste healing items. They will almost never use their healing kits if they are under attack, and have trouble rescuing players.
  • Try to find a melee weapon in the map. This is useful when you are surrounded by Infected or when killing Tanks. Most maps tend to have a couple of melee weapons scattered throughout the area.
  • A Defibrillator will be extremely useful in case the Infected manage to kill someone.
  • Have a Molotov handy to deal with the Tanks, especially when the Director sends two of them coming at you. Bile Bombs and Pipe Bombs are also useful for getting the Common Infected away from you.
  • Tanks and hordes spawn at consistent times during the first 12 minutes.
    • Tanks will consistently spawn at 0:40, 1:55, 2:55, 4:25, 5:25, 5:35, 7:05, 7:45, 8:25, 10:05, 10:45, 11:20, 11:30 and 12:50. Take note of the double Tank spawns at 5:30 and 11:30, as well as the long gap between Tanks between 2:55-4:25, 5:35-7:05, 8:25-10:05, and 11:30-12:50.
    • New hordes of common infected do not spawn from approximately 3:50-4:25, 9:00-9:35, and 12:00-12:30; this means that, during those times, the only infected that can spawn are Special Infected, making those times ideal for ammo runs, healing, or other actions that would be risky if done while infected were attacking.
  • Always try to find a spot where you have an advantage of some sort. Consider the following when choosing a place to hold out:
    • Ammunition: Is there an ammo pile or a weapon pickup nearby that you can use to replenish your ammo without having to wade through hordes of infected?
    • Supplies: Are there any other supplies nearby that you can pick up when you use the ones you're currently carrying (i.e. pills, First aid kits, etc.)?
    • Points of Entry: Where will the infected come from? Try to keep the number of entry points down to two or one, if possible, so that at least two survivors are covering each entrance. How much warning will you have when they come in that way? Will you be able to kill them before they reach you? This is the most important consideration for when you have to fight Tanks, unless you have a plan to escape when the Tank comes.
    • Escape Routes: Is there a specific route that you can take that will get you away from the infected quickly, or at least give you room to breathe and kill any major threats? Is there somewhere you can go that will confuse the Infected's AI and force them to take a longer route to reach you, buying you some time?
    • High Ground: Where do the Infected climb up? How fast do they reach you? If you fall off, get knocked off, or get dragged off, how long does it take to get back up to your teammates? How easy is it to fall off, get knocked off, or get dragged off (i.e. is there a handrail keeping you up high, or could any passing Smoker bring you down almost instantly)?
    • Line of Sight: How far away can you start killing infected? How long does it take for an infected to reach you after you can first start shooting them? This is an especially important consideration when dealing with Tanks, because if you can see a Tank from far away, you can potentially kill it before it even reaches you.
  • Survival mode has similar mechanics to Versus mode. Jockeys and Hunters can stumble nearby players when they pin a target, and may cause them to fall off causing someone to get them back up. However, a Smoker's drag does not cause damage to players.

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • Dark Carnival's "Screaming Oak" Crescendo Event from The Coaster can be activated while playing Survival mode, but requires noclip or console commands to reach.
    • The Coaster survival map was originally supposed to be officially implemented as a survival map with The Last Stand Update, but was scrapped during development. Despite this, it is still accessible when loaded up through the console and includes all the changes made by the Community Update team, such as the helicopter flyover and the propane tank explosions along the tracks.
  • You can, with the help of reduced gravity, noclip, or glitches, reach the Sacrifice bridge, activate the real finale once everyone is on the bridge, and effectively win the campaign on Survival mode by restarting the generator.
  • In Left 4 Dead, a pistol will spawn at the beginning of the maps. It is unknown why it spawns, as it is the only sidearm available in the game and you spawn with dual pistols.
  • Using Console Commands, you can load maps such as The Woods, The Hotel, The Apartments, or other maps that don't exist as official survival maps in survival mode. Certain items that allow you to proceed to the future parts of the level will become static, therefore preventing progressing through the chapter. In Left 4 Dead 1, by using various glitches, it is possible to reach the end saferoom and proceeed to the next chapter in survival mode for The Generator Room, The Alleys, The Drains, The Church, The Street, The Crane, The Construction Site, The Warehouse, The Bridge, and The Traincar maps. While it is possible to reach the end saferoom area on The Gas Station, the saferoom door is removed in survival mode, which prevents progressing to the next chapter.
  • There are some areas of the map where the Infected can not reach you. If you are in one of these spots, the AI Director will spawn Spitter spit on you even if a Spitter isn't already present. This spit will not go away until you either leave the area or are incapacitated. This has been known to occur inside of maps near the edge in areas where Infected can reach you, killing or injuring teams who are not cheating.
    • Known areas where this can happen include the area near the edge of the roof in The Rooftop and on top of the portable bathrooms on the off ramp in The Bridge.
    • The most common reason for this is that an infected is stuck somewhere and can't properly path to the player it's targeting, resulting in the director thinking the player is out of bounds.
  • If you play at The Port, Francis, Louis, and Zoey will not be there, due to the fact that they would be doing all the work for you if they were there.
  • In Dark Carnival it is easier to earn the achievement STACHE WHACKER because no Infected will spawn. However, once a score of 42 is obtained, it will set off the Horde immediately and start the timer.
    • The player can also get GONG SHOW at the same time, but will need to make use of noclip or reduced gravity to reach it.
  • In the game files, Survival Mode is often referred to as 'Holdout Mode,' similar to how Campaign Mode is referred to as Coop Mode. Leftover code regarding a game event for surviving 30 minutes as well as textures exist for a potential 'Platinum' medal, suggesting a medal better than gold was planned but likely removed due to the difficulty and or fatigue of playing for longer times.
    • The Last Stand Update for Left 4 Dead 2 introduced an achievement for reaching 30 minutes in survival mode, this is a nod to the scrapped platinum medal.
  • In L4D1, according to the game's debug information, survival mode's difficulty peaks at 17 minutes, where all infected reach the fastest possible spawn time and the maximum respective spawn count.
  • The game files in Left 4 Dead reference 2 maps, Freighter, in which you had to start a generator, and Highrise, where an elevator had to be started.
  • Similar to Versus mode, Ellis' and Zoey's bots (and Francis' in the Xbox 360 version of Left 4 Dead 2) will pick up a Shotgun instead of the sniper rifle for balancing reasons.
  • The Witch doesn't spawn in Survival Mode, most likely because the players are usually supposed to hold at a location instead of exploring, which defeats the purpose of a witch blocking the path.

References[edit source]

Gameplay Modes
Introduced in Left 4 Dead Introduced in Left 4 Dead 2
Single icon.png Campaign icon.png Versus icon.png Survival icon.png Scavenge icon.png Realism icon.png Mutation icon.png Realism Versus icon.png
Single Player Campaign VS Survival Scavenge Realism Mutation Realism VS
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