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"Smoker. He's gonna have to use that tongue to choke my foot out of his ass."
"Hey! Where'm I gettin' dragged off to?!"

The Smoker is a Special Infected characterized by his extremely long tongue. The Smoker's tongue can be launched out of his mouth at high speeds towards a Survivor, and when it reaches one of them, it automatically wraps around the target's body and drags them back towards the Smoker, where he begins clawing them. If an obstacle is in the way, then the tongue tightens and begins to choke the target.

The Smoker is voiced by Mike Patton.


Cloud of smoke emitted from a slain Smoker.

Extent of Mutations

The Smoker has been heavily mutated by a strain of the Infection and frequently makes high-pitched rasping and coughing noises that can alert Survivors of its presence. Though he resembles most Common Infected, he is taller, more durable, and his skin has become covered in growths that cause little spurts of green smoke and blood to ooze out when shot. It is said that the smoke he expels gives off a putrid smell, but it is otherwise harmless. The left side of his face is bloated and appears to be covered by a large tumor.

In Left 4 Dead, the Smoker can be seen wearing a white shirt with a green jacket along with jeans and Converse-like sneakers. Though his mentality is similar to that of the typical Infected, he is not distracted by things such as the flashing lights of Pipe bombs, nor is he attracted by car alarms going off.

When constricted, Survivors have a brief moment (1-2 seconds) to shoot the offending Smoker before their arms are ensnared by the tongue. If they fail, the Survivor is helplessly dragged off, and will take damage until they die. Survivors can be rescued by killing/shoving the Smoker, or by attacking and breaking the tongue. The Smoker's tongue will slowly grow back after being cut off and can be used to attack again after 30 seconds.

A Smoker choking Francis.

If there is an object (e.g. a car) preventing the Survivor from being dragged, then the Smoker will cease dragging the Survivor and strangle them where they are, dealing the same damage despite being unable to claw them additionally. However, if a Survivor isn't dragged all the way back to a Smoker due to a Horde surrounding the Survivor, the Survivor only takes damage from the Horde, and not the Smoker. When killed, a Smoker leaves a haze of dark green smoke-like gas (hence its name), obscuring the vision of the Survivors and causing them to cough if they stand in it, thus disabling them from calling out on found weapons/ammo or other Special Infected. Like most other Special Infected, a melee hit from the Smoker does about twice as much damage as one from a Common Infected. Only one Smoker is normally allowed on the Infected team while playing Versus, unless there are computer-controlled Infected. Some have suggested that the mutated "tongue" could actually be intestines. Occasionally, when killing the Smoker, hundreds of feet of "tongue" will spew from his mouth, supporting the intestines theory. A second theory leading to the Smoker's mutation is that the strain of Infection has caused a type of fungus or similar bacteria to grow on his face. This could be responsible for the spores or smoke clouds and his tongue(s) since, in many cases, fungi have been known to grow tentacle-like appendages that appear similar to tongues. This is supported by the fact that upon death, the Smoker's mutated tongue disappears, and you can see the true tongue in his mouth.

A third theory is that the Smoker had cancer (probably tongue or throat) before becoming Infected. This is supported by the fact that cancer occurs when a cell or group of cells mutate to the point the Hayflick limit breaks, so the cells don't stop reproducing. Since there are cancerous growths all over the Smoker's face and upper torso along with the extra tongues protruding from the growths, this may be true; it would also explain how the Smoker's tongue regrows so quickly after being snapped from the base. A fourth theory is that part of the Infection gives the Smoker regenerative abilities, similar to cancer.

Left 4 Dead 2

Smoker's appearance in Left 4 Dead 2

The Smoker has a different physical appearance in Left 4 Dead 2. The Infection has caused the Smoker to now have very large lumps and tumor-like appendages on his left arm that are larger and bulkier than that in Left 4 Dead, hinting at a form of Infected strain for the Smoker. However, there is a lack of tumors on his right arm, except for a small cluster of boils near his wrist.

Aside from the Smoker's original tongue, he now has two "extra tongues" sticking out the back of his shoulder, with one tongue coming out the right side of his collarbone, one looped at the bottom, and a large tongue sticking out the back of his neck, which makes a total of six tongues. Most notable is the presence of a massive tumor on its throat and chest, which rapidly pulses.

Locations of the tongues.

It is possible that this tumor is actually a mass of muscle that grew there to propel its tongue. The skin is also no longer dark gray, but normally colored; seems to have more shine to his skin, as if the Smoker is covered in either infectious pus or some other oily substance. In terms of clothing, he now wears a blue T-shirt and jeans with a slight sag that show the waistband of its undergarments, bearing the fictional brand name "SKIVS".

These extra tongues have no effect on gameplay.

The Smoker also appears to be limping and is unable to move fast compared to most of the other Special Infected.



General strategy

  • Always have at least one buddy close at hand.
    • Smokers become vulnerable when they grab a Survivor — not only do they become stationary, they also receive increased damage in campaign only, although only from conventional ammunition (incendiary and explosive do not gain the benefit) — a single headshot from any weapon makes them go "poof!", as well as taking much fewer bullets to kill when hit in other body parts. So, it may be beneficial to let them drag a Survivor for a while to kill them faster.
    • Have at least one player equipped with a scoped rifle.
  • Listen for the distinctive hacking/cough sound the Smoker makes.
    • Turning on "Full Captions" in the Options will put the Smoker's coughs into subtitles. This can be useful in noisy situations, to eliminate the chance of a Smoker snagging someone.
    • Smokers always tend to hang back from the other Special Infected. Smokers will generally spawn behind the team, or in a high elevation in front of the team.
    • Watch for floating green spore-like trails. They will tell you where the Smoker is or has been.
    • Following the direction of the Smoker's tongue allows you to spot the Smoker and kill them, as Smokers can stress the team if left alive too long at harder difficulties.
    • On Easy and Normal difficulties, the Smoker will give a warning call and momentarily pause before attempting to ensnare the Survivor in his view. This can be used to kill the Smoker before he can ensnare the player. On Advanced and Expert, he'll immediately ensnare the Survivor, reducing the reaction time drastically.

Upon seeing a Smoker

  • If it is far away: Open fire.
  • If it is close: Quickly do a melee attack. This is important because if you get constricted at very close range, you may not get any opportunity for shooting at all.
  • AI Smoker has a 3-second reaction time (on Easy) before ensnaring a Survivor (1.5 on Normal and instant on Advanced and Expert)

L4D2 Tutorial - Melee Weapons & Smokers

Cutting a smoker's tongue before it hits you

  • If you are constricted, there is not much to do but wait for another Survivor to save you.

Just before being ensnared

  • If you have a melee weapon (excluding the Chainsaw), it is possible to cut the tongue just before it hits you. This tactic requires knowing which direction the tongue is coming from, along with almost perfect timing. It is limited to Slashing and Shredding weapons such as the Axe, Katana, Combat Knife and Crowbar. More testing is required on this.
  • If you have a Chainsaw, timing and direction are generally not needed. If the Chainsaw is in use at the time the tongue hits, the tongue will be unable to constrict you.
  • With practice, a Smoker's tongue can be avoided even on Advanced and Expert; first, you need to know where the Smoker is; after he is in range and prepared to attack, he will scream. On higher difficulties he will snare a Survivor on sight, so take cover when he screams; then there is a good chance you can dodge his tongue. Make sure that he is far enough so that the effect is not instant, or your attempts will be futile. If done right, the tongue will drop because it was unable to reach the player and stop the Smoker for a few seconds. This is more than enough time to kill the Smoker before he attempts to flee.

Just after being ensnared

  • If you can't find a Smoker who has entangled a teammate, melee the tongue instead. After this is done, try to kill the Smoker afterward. It takes a while for the Smoker to "recharge" their tongue attack, so attack them when they are vulnerable. At the very least, warn fellow Survivors that the Smoker is still an active threat.
  • Don't bother trying to attack the tongue if you have been captured. This used to work, but a patch from Valve means that now the only way to free yourself is to kill the Smoker.
    • However, if you are facing the Smoker and he is within shoving distance of you, you can shove him, breaking the tongue and stumbling him at the same time. You will need a faster reaction speed though as there is roughly 1-2 seconds before he starts attacking you.
  • If a Smoker grabs you while you're throwing a Pipe Bomb, and no other Survivors are around or notice you, throw the Pipe bomb at the Smoker. The resulting explosion will free you from the Smoker's grasp if it is close enough. This can also be done with items that can be picked up and thrown (such as gas cans, propane and oxygen tanks, and even Whitaker's Cola), as shown in this video.
  • If you are grabbed by the Smoker, you have about 1 second to react; recognize which way you are being dragged in, and flip around to face that direction to find the Smoker. Shoot the Smoker regardless of weapon choice or distance, every little helps.
  • While most melee weapons cannot be used (aside from shoving) once you have been grabbed, the Chainsaw can be used during the small window of opportunity you get. When you hear a Smoker and think you may be the target, get out your Chainsaw, as it will take a while to be ready to use. When the Smoker grabs you, simply use the Chainsaw to instantly free yourself.
  • If you have a Grenade Launcher, shoot it just a bit higher than the tongue (assuming you see it).
  • If there is an open door between yourself and the Smoker, closing it while ensnared will break the Smoker's tongue.
  • If a short object is between you and the Smoker (like a railing), you can crouch and stand against the object to maintain your accuracy while ensnared.
    • When pulled, your accuracy degrades as though you were moving. This effect is negated if the Smoker's snare is not making you move (i.e., if you are braced against a wall or object). Crouching also improves accuracy. Altogether, it is often possible to kill the Smoker before you are immobilized.

Helping a captured Survivor

  • Use a melee attack. You can melee two things to instantly free them and avoid nasty friendly fire incidents:
    • The Smoker
    • The Survivor themselves
      • Shoving the Survivor will not free them unless they are immobilized (i.e. unable to shoot)
  • Shooting the Smoker:
    • Target the Smoker (the tongue should lead you right to it).
    • If you can't see the Smoker, then target the tongue instead.
    • If you can't see the Smoker or the tongue, shoot the Smoker through the wall or ceiling (i.e. judge the position of the Smoker relative to the Survivor getting clawed).
      • You can also shoot the tongue through the wall or ceiling.
      • Shooting the area directly behind the Survivor that is being constricted can also hit and break the tongue, freeing the Survivor.
    • If a shotgun is being used, either jump and shoot the Smoker or go around and shoot it in the back.
  • Melee weapons can cut through the Smoker's tongue if it harnessed another Survivor.

Survivor Bots' reaction

  • If you can't find the Smoker's position, look for Survivor Bots. They can often notice a Smoker's position fast. Shoot at the same spot they are shooting; however, the Bots might kill the Smoker before you can start firing at it.
  • Bots with a Submachine Gun, Assault Rifle, and Sniper Rifle can often kill Smokers fast―sometimes even before you find a Smoker's location.
  • Bots have difficulty releasing constricted Survivors. They often take a while to decide whether to shoot or shove and may choose to shove even if there is considerable distance between you and them.
  • Bots may just stand there and do nothing, unable to figure out how to kill the Smoker. They may jump into action if you get incapacitated. This typically occurs when a Survivor is being hung due to the Smoker being above his target.

Additional Notes

  • While not seen often, it is possible for a Smoker to ensnare a Survivor from lower levels. In some cases, it is possible for the victim to take "fall damage". If the height difference is extreme (e.g. several floors), the Survivor will hang off the ledge instead. In rarer cases, it is possible to instantly die rather than hang off a ledge.
  • Smokers should not be underestimated when swarms of Common Infected are assaulting the Survivors. If a victim is ensnared by the Smoker's tongue, some of the Infected (and the Smoker, if he is close enough) will attack the strangled Survivor, causing the health of the victim to drop more rapidly. This situation is worsened if the victim is in the Spitter's acid or in the fire.
  • It seems that an AI-controlled Smoker will never try to use his short-range, secondary claw attack, not even when he is surrounded by the Survivors. This characteristic is unique to the AI of the Smoker since all the other playable Special Infected, when cornered after using their main attack, will try to claw nearby Survivors to do more damage. The Smoker always will try to hide and wait for his main attack to recharge, while the other Special Infected are far less hesitant into using their secondary attack.
  • Always watch your back when a Smoker spawns. Player-controlled Smokers tend to drag players next to a Witch if one is around.


"The whole point of the Smoker is not to kill. It is, however, to slow down, separate, annoy, and generally injure the Survivors, aiding your team in slowly killing them. Any kills made is just an added bonus."

The key point to the Smoker is to be patient and wait until the Survivors are distracted and busy before stealing someone from the group; only then can the Smoker's ranged attack be effective at any time. How useful a Smoker can be depends on the environment as well; if a deadly hazard is between the victim and the Smoker, they can be forced into said hazard. Pulling Survivors towards Witches, fires, and the edges of large drops is an incredibly useful tactic that other Infected, such as the Hunter, cannot do.

  • If you're playing as a Smoker, a common yet useful tactic is to exploit the advantage of higher ground. Choking a Survivor from above is far more effective than dragging a Survivor straight to you. Although pulling is effective when necessary, the Smoker is very vulnerable to gunfire due to a lack of cover, and the Survivor can be saved easily. Being higher makes it harder to see and kill you, giving you the advantage. When executing this advantage, you can be extremely dangerous. Just constrict, step back, recharge and repeat. This can possibly lead to all Survivors at orange or red health before your death.
    • This is especially useful if the Survivor team has Bots, as the Bots will most likely stand there and watch as your victim dies.
  • As much as possible, try not to stay still. If you do, the green cloud that surrounds you will reveal your location, making you easy to spot.
  • The Smoker deals 4 damage per claw. Use it only when attempting to 'suicide' and in attempt to incapacitate a low HP Survivor.[1]
  • While dragging a Survivor, they will take 3 damage per second, but once they are close enough for you to claw them you will begin dealing 5 damage.[2]
  • When a Survivor is facing a Smoker after it grabs them, their first instinct is to send a hail of gunfire towards them in an attempt to escape. This can be used as a deadly advantage when it comes to car alarms. Stand behind the car and pull a Survivor toward you. If you're lucky, instinct will overcome common sense, and the Survivor will trigger the car alarm while attempting to escape, in which case the oncoming Horde will help you deal triple the damage you normally would.
  • Use the Common Infected in the map to help deal extra damage to the Survivor. It does more damage then your drag, and it prevents other Survivors, if you use cover, from finding you as if the Survivor is being clawed your cover will not protect you.
  • If Survivors are chasing you and it is likely you will die, go ahead and try to use your melee attack against them. Do as much damage as you can before death.
  • A experienced Survivor with a Hunting Rifle or a Sniper Rifle can easily execute you before you deal any damage. Try to aim for a Survivor with the scoped rifle first, but be sure to stay hidden. When ensnared, a Survivor cannot scope and the crosshairs will expand.

A Smoker ensnaring a Survivor with its tongue.

  • If the Survivors are near a large vertical drop―such as an overhang or rooftop―take advantage of this by pulling them over the edge. This will either cause a great deal of falling damage or incapacitate them by making them cling to the edge.
  • There are certain points on each map where dragging a Survivor off a rooftop or out of a window will kill them instantly. This is a game-changing maneuver and can majorly change the difference between winning and losing a Versus match, so learn those points! Generally, this manifests in the form of the Survivor dangling over an area that a drop from freeing them would result in instant death.
  • Higher ground is a great advantage, but sometimes the low ground plays to your advantage. If the Survivors are on a high structure that takes precious time to get back on top of and you pull them off being in a position where you are not easily hit, someone else will have to come down to rescue the entangled Survivor. This can split the Survivors and will cost both the Survivor and their rescuer precious time to scale back up the building and get back with the team.
  • Try to think like a Survivor. Consider the worst possible time you've been dragged away by the Smoker, and make it happen. In particular, being dragged into the arms of a Witch or Boomer, off ledges or rooftops, and into a raging inferno are devastating.

A player Smoker constricting Bill.

  • Unlike the Hunter, a Survivor can still attack you for a second or so before they are knocked over and dragged if they spot you. If they do, you'll most likely die a quick death. In light of this, always attack from above or behind and never in front.
  • Your main job is to halt the Survivors, force them to backtrack, and give your teammates more time to respawn. Any damage you cause is just a bonus for you and your team. Again, prioritize your targets―red outlined people first. During finales, your main job is to pull people away from the group.
  • Survival sometimes leaves you well behind the Survivor team with no way to move quickly ahead of them and set up another ambush. Keep this in mind―it's sometimes better to run away from them until you get that "Press E/X to respawn" message, rather than trying to run behind them and grab someone while in broad daylight. Note that due to a recent patch, this will no longer reset your health to 100%.
  • If there is ever an area where Survivors need to drop down and there is no way back up (e.g. The Sewer in No Mercy Chapter 3), a Smoker can wait behind the Survivors until three of the four Survivors drop down and then quickly grab the fourth. As long as the fourth Survivor doesn't kill you before they're knocked over, you are almost always guaranteed a kill. Just be careful to be definitely out of the line of sight of anyone down the hole. Remember that this can hold you off from getting onto other Survivors, since the Tongue Snare will keep holding the victim if they get incapacitated.
  • One of the Smoker's best strategies is to grab Survivors at the back of the group. That way, the other Survivors probably won't notice a missing Survivor apart from their screams and calls for help.
  • You can grab a Survivor through thin objects such as doors, or windows, though normally, as you drag the Survivor away, they will be stopped by the object. They will sometimes, however, just slide though, allowing you to pull them even farther away.
  • When a Survivor is on a higher area (e.g. on the second floor of a building), look for a dividing line between you and your target (such as a car or a shipper container). Then walk towards your chosen obstacle and find an optimal distance where you are hidden behind it, but can still see the target if you jump up. Jump up and drag the Survivor. Most commonly, the Survivor will be hung at the other end while you are safely behind the divider.
  • Grab a Survivor that's on higher ground than you are — they'll take a big hit due to falling damage.
  • If you are above the Survivors and are able to aim straight down and grab one with your tongue, they generally fall into a fully constricted state immediately, as there is nowhere for them to be pulled to. This is handy for removing one of the four guns from a fight.
  • Punish pyromaniacs by dragging them through their own fire.
  • In Left 4 Dead 2, Smokers release targets that they drag hang on to ledges. This can be extremely nasty, given the Smoker's faster tongue recharge, as a quick Smoker and Jockey team or a slow Survivor team can be defeated easily simply by dragging someone off and snaring or riding the rescuers to the same fate.
  • In campaigns like the first part of The Parish, you can become a very bothersome and downright annoying opponent if you use the higher ground and ledges to drag Survivors from the group as your allies cause havoc. Not only do the narrow alleyways make it hard for the Survivors to back up and shoot you, but you can easily step back a few feet and be safe from the volleys of gunfire.
  • If the Survivors use bile bombs, punish them by dragging one of them through the Horde, leaving an opening for a Charger.
  • Hope that the Survivor you ensnared doesn't come into clawing range. This is because the other Survivors will notice the "[Player name] is being constricted by the Smoker", and with the clawing, the Survivors will know where you are.
  • The Bots are extremely dangerous towards the Smoker. The Bots will notice where the Smoker is quickly while human players can take time to find Smokers.

Working with teammates

  • The Smoker also works well with the Hunter. Between them, they can immediately silence two separated Survivors without a fight.
    • You can also make use of Hunters "kill stealing." If the Survivors are tightly packed and far away or high up, you can drag a Survivor away, let a Hunter pounce them off you, then recharge and drag other one away. This works well in a situation in which Hunters would be easily dealt with otherwise.
  • There are several locations where a Smoker can pull a Survivor and have a Hunter pounce on them to kill, not incapacitate. One such spot exists on the roof of No Mercy, in the area where the Survivors exit when they climb the ladders. Another exists in the first chapter of Dead Air, when the Survivors must exit onto a roof with "HELP" written on it.
  • Cocky Survivors will usually chase after a fleeing Smoker, whose tongue is recharging, in order to kill them off. If you notice this behavior, take advantage of it. Run towards an alarmed car, a Hunter, or any other hazard and have the enemy run into them too.
  • Give the Tank less to deal with by grabbing a Survivor shooting at him. The last thing a group of Survivors need is to have one of their friends dragged a long distance away during a Tank battle.
    • This is also helpful towards Chargers who are under attack while pounding a Survivor into the ground.
  • Common Infected don't stop attacking a Survivor just because you have him entangled; in fact, it's the bane of a Survivor covered in Boomer bile. Try to prey on Survivors covered in bile, especially when they're weak.
    • Alternatively, if a Boomer has vomited on the three other Survivors, you can take the opportunity to grab the fourth. While the other three are covered in bile, they cannot see aura signals of their allies. In the mess of the Horde battle, the lack of an aura means they may not even notice.
  • Stand just behind or in a Spitter's pool of acid and pull a Survivor into an acid patch.

Good Ambush Spots

There are a number of places a Smoker can pull a Survivor to that will result in instant death or incapacitation. There are also a few places where you can grab a Survivor and others will not be able to help them.

Left 4 Dead

No Mercy

The Apartments

  • If a Survivor is careless enough to jump on the slightly higher ledge on the rooftop they start on after you spawn, you can grab a Survivor, and they will hang helplessly. If another Survivor frees them, they will fall to their death. If they don't help your victim, you will eventually kill them.
  • Grab the last Survivor before they jump through the hole to the ground floor, but be conscious of the fact that the other Survivors can shoot through the ceiling. Also be aware of the AI Survivors' ability to climb back up through the hole.
  • There is a long corridor of tall buildings outside the main building you leave from, which makes a great rooftop ambush area.

The Subway

  • There are numerous static fires in the subway tunnels; use these to your advantage!
  • In the generator room on the walkway above the Crescendo Event trigger, a Smoker has a great vantage point.
  • If you go ahead of the Survivors after the Crescendo Event, you can break the windows of the first office, go on the roof, and, if they are near a window, you can drag a Survivor down for some nice fall damage and separate them from the group.

The Sewer

  • You can grab the last Survivor trying to go into the sewer.
  • You can possibly pull a Survivor back into the manhole that they exit in front of the hospital, holding them back and possibly getting some fall damage.
  • After the Survivors activate the Crescendo Event, grab the last Survivor crossing the roof and pull them down behind the trucks. This will hold the Survivors back severely.
  • If there is only one actual player left on the Survivors, set up near the manhole cover outside the hospital. When the Survivor emerges from the manhole cover, quickly ensnare them. The AI will not free your victim. (Do NOT use this tactic in a 4v4 unless there is only one or two Survivors left.)
  • Before or after the Crescendo Event, stand near the gas station and pull any Survivor towards it. If the other Survivors aren't smart enough, they'll try to shoot you along with the gas pumps nearby, blowing you up along with the Survivor, possibly crippling them or even killing them!

The Hospital

  • After a flight of stairs leading from the starting safe room, there is a walkway which, if you break the metal bars that support it, you can drag Survivors off of to slow their progress, as they have to climb some stairs to its far left to get back onto it again. This is most useful in the middle of a Horde or Tank attack.
  • Near the conclusion of the elevator Crescendo Event, as the Survivors are closing the elevator door, snatch any one of them to secure an ensured kill. The elevator is programed to be one way, meaning there is no way for the other Survivors to return and rescue your victim.
  • On the 28th floor, there is a curve on the roof. As shown in the video below, you can grab a Survivor and dangle them until they die or another Survivor kills you.

Rooftop Finale

  • You can hide on the roof with the satellite and grab a Survivor as they emerge from the roof access ladder. The unsuspecting Survivor will be pulled off and most likely perish, though incapacitation/fall damage is only possible.
  • If you grab the last Survivor to leave the high roof, you will likely kill or incapacitate them because the other Survivors cannot get back up to save them. Be warned, however, that experienced Survivors may be able to shoot you through the elevator doors.
  • Attached to the building where the rescue chopper is called are two sets of pipes that run across to two smaller buildings, usually with grenades on them. Conveniently located next to these pipes is a two-story drop; you can ensnare a Survivor and drag them off of the pipes. Depending on that player's health, it can put them in red health or incapacitate them.
  • When the rescue chopper arrives, try to stay hidden. As the Survivors run to the chopper, grab the one with the most health. Pull them behind a building then have the other Infected attack the Survivors at the chopper. This will give the Tank a good chance to kill the three others and keep them from getting out to rescue the one you snagged while you slowly kill them.
  • As Survivors make their way to the finale, stand on the upper level in the elevator shaft and pull a Survivor through the elevator door, causing them to hang off the edge over the shaft, buying your team some time.

Crash Course

The Alleys

  • There are a few buildings at the beginning where you can try to snag a Survivor.
  • Witches like to spawn in this chapter. Drag a Survivor towards the Witch; they may startle her by trying to kill you.

The Truck Depot Finale

  • There's a drop off point right before entering the finale area. Try to grab a Survivor here.
  • Darkness is your friend. When the generator dies, the lights go off, and a Survivor will go and restart the generator. It takes them a little bit to restart the generator, plus they'll be fighting a Horde of Common Infected. Hide behind the building and drag them to you. Another Survivor will have to go rescue them and restart the generator, making them an easy target for a fellow Hunter.
    • The first Survivor may throw a Molotov or Pipe bomb to draw the Common Infected away, so watch out.
  • The Survivors like to go on top of the building where the Minigun is. Stand in the back corner near the window and grab a Survivor when the lights go out.
  • The Hunter is your ally — their "kill steals" will help a lot when the generator goes out.

Death Toll

The Turnpike

  • You can pull a Survivor off the broken bridge and kill or incapacitate them with low health.
  • There are many holes in the roof inside the tunnel that you can attack from with relative safety.
  • There are many trains you can pull Survivors off, including some that other Survivors can't get back onto to rescue their friend.
  • You can drag Survivors back down the hill that leads up to the safe room.
  • There are ladders the Survivors have to climb―if you stand on the bridge ahead of the Survivors, snag one while they are climbing near the top; they will be pulled into midair. If at this point you are killed, the drop will incapacitate them due to the height of the bridge and most likely previous attacks from the Smoker.
    • You could also wait at the bottom of the bridge and wait for the Survivors to climb up the ladder.

The Drains

  • To the left of the starting safe room is a high wall with some generators on it. This makes a great spot to attack from, as it is close to where the Survivors start. If you team up with a Boomer, it is hard to hit you from behind the generators.
  • Inside the right pipe is a hole that you can attack from to grab stragglers or anyone running ahead.
  • There are a series of manholes and holes in the floor, as well as many overhanging walkways near the exit to the sewers, which is a haven for ambush Smoker attacks.
  • You can pull a Survivor back down the walkway after the Crescendo Event.
  • Just outside the safe room, there is a walkway you can pull Survivors off of.

The Church

  • The watchtower at the beginning of the level can prove dangerous to the Survivors if they go to the top of it, as you can grab them and pull them off.
  • After the Survivors jump off the boxcar at the end of the train yard, try to ensnare the last one. They'll need to take some time to save them.

The Town

  • Right at the start, you can pull a Survivor off the balcony they go onto for serious damage.
  • Later on in the level, there is a walkway that the Survivors must jump up onto from a van. You can slow the Survivors down by pulling them from this.
  • Outside the safe room, before all the Survivors jump down behind the mesh fence, you can pull the last one back where the other Survivors will have a hard time saving them. Most players will leave them to die because they don't know that you can get back over the fence by jumping on top of the generator.

Boathouse Finale

  • You can pull Survivors into the water from many different places, but the best is from the back of the house and from the walkway where the boat arrives.
  • You can also pull Survivors from the walkway on the house, down into the Horde below.

Dead Air

The first two chapters in this campaign were practically made for Smokers, as they have an incredible number of extremely dangerous spots for the Survivors if they are pulled by a Smoker.

The Greenhouse

  • As the Survivors are crossing the first wooden bridge, you can pull them off, either from below them or on a nearby rooftop.
  • Right before the apartments before the street, there is a ladder. If you are on top of the building to the left of the ladder, you can drag Survivors who just reached the top of the ladder, and they will be dragged a long ways off to you. When your tongue is broken/you are killed, the victim will either hang where they can be saved or will occasionally just fall to their death, as demonstrated here.
  • When the Survivors go down into the apartments before the street, you can pull the last one back, and the other Survivors will be unable to go back and save your victim.

The Crane

  • Inside the two windows next to the Crane, you can stick your head out of one. When a Survivor reaches the top of the ladder, you can pull them off. This results in some very nice fall damage. Additionally this will often lead to a glitch where the Survivor floats at the height they were at and then come to rest where the Smoker is, as if they had been pulled along a solid floor. This can lead to them becoming trapped on the window ledge as if they had fallen off of it when the Smoker is killed, or falling to the ground behind the fence and being incapacitated due to the height, which is an unreachable spot unless one of the Survivors knows the falling revive glitch.
  • You can pull the Survivors through the windows while you are on top of the Crane. Sometimes this will even result in a deathpull.
  • When the Survivors are on the rooftop that contains the Crane itself, you can pull them off from many directions.
  • You can pull Survivors who are crossing on the dumpster. Sometimes this will even result in a deathpull. The rooftop which leads into the office building the Survivors must enter has a break in its edge wall nearest to the dumpster, a pull from here on a Survivor crossing the dumpster is almost a guaranteed instant kill, but the Survivor team will be watching this spot, making pulls from here difficult.
  • Pulling one of the Survivors on the first wooden bridge can instantly kill them. This is difficult to do, however.
  • When the Survivors cross the second wooden bridge linking the two buildings, you can pull an enemy off from the narrow alley down below.

The Construction Site

  • When the Survivors are on the upper areas of the scaffolding, you can pull the Survivors off for some fall damage.
  • All around this chapter are high buildings with accessible roofs. This should, needless to say, greatly help you.

The Terminal

  • In the area where all the planes have crashed, there are static fires that you can pull a Survivor into.
  • Try to shoot your tongue through the metal detector at a Survivor. They will be dragged back through the metal detector and set it off, spawning a Horde for the other Survivors to deal with.

Runway Finale

  • If you stand right in front of the static fire in the crater, and pull a Survivor into it, you can kill or incapacitate them quicker, plus, in the time it takes to get someone to help them, they may die.
  • As soon as the first three people have jumped off the ramp just outside the safehouse, try to ensnare the last person so they're trapped up on that ramp. The Survivors cannot go back to rescue them, though they may be able to see and kill you.

Blood Harvest

The Woods

  • If a Survivor walks by the ledge of the chasm, you can pull one of the Survivors off into the abyss.
  • The trees and brush are your friends. It's extremely hard to spot a Smoker in the dark woods.
  • If a Survivor walks too close to the edge of the train tunnel below, you can grab them, but they may just be hanging for their life. They may still fall and die, but hanging is usually the case.

The Tunnel

  • You can pull a Survivor off the walkway immediately after the office-like areas for incapacitation or fall damage.
  • You can pull an enemy out of the first window they come near after going up the stairs by the emergency door.
  • In the tunnels, there are a few static fires; try to hide behind them and pull your victim into the flames.

The Bridge

  • After the Survivors exit the side passage, you can stay on the edge of the hill that they'll go up, and should get a couple good pulls in before death.
  • Likewise, if they're up there, simply drop down and try to pull one off to slow them down.
  • After the Survivors go up the bridge that they broke down, you can pull a Survivor off the cliff they are on and kill them.

The Train Station

  • If you pull a Survivor out of the barn, you can do a good bit of damage. Also on the train station, pulling an enemy off the roof onto ground level can kill or incapacitate someone. On the same level, there is a very long, large chasm, and, needless to say, you can drag them down to a misty grave.

Farmhouse Finale

  • When the Survivors jump down to the cornfield, if you grab the last one, they are pretty much doomed. Make sure you are far back though, because someone with a Hunting Rifle may be able to take you out before you do any serious damage. You can also, right at the start, hide on the very edge of the cliff beside the safe room and, right as they go out, spawn and kill one.
  • There is this one spot at the beginning where, if a skilled Smoker is in place, they can drag a Survivor to them. If the Smoker is killed, it'll result in the Survivor falling to their death. There is a rocky outcrop just outside of the safe room to the left. Get in as far as you can without falling and wedge yourself in. Jumping and crouching is required. Most Survivors are aware of this trick and move quickly out of the safe room door, but a new Survivor may take their time getting out of the safe room door. Spawn as soon as possible and pull a Survivor on sight.

Left 4 Dead 2

Dead Center

The Hotel

  • When the Survivors are out on the first ledge, try spawning on the ledge below. When they are crossing up above, try and snag the last Survivor before they enter rooms again. This provides the perfect opportunity for another Special Infected to run in and attack. Also, when your attack recharges, just repeat the process and create a group of hanging Survivors.
  • After the elevator, Survivors will most likely be frantically dashing for the safe room. Take advantage of their panic and snag a Survivor through a wall of fire. Not only will the Survivor receive additional damage from the fire, but their teammates will either be too far ahead with the Horde to assist, or when they do notice, they'll have to go around the flames, giving you even more time.

The Streets

  • A nice way to stop the Survivors' progress is spawning on the Save 4 Less store, and snagging the Survivor who has the Cola.
  • Grab the last Survivor leaving the Save 4 Less store, as their teammates will be busy delivering the Cola, allowing you to do nice damage/kill them if they are attacked by a Tank or are rushing for the safe room.
  • In the part of the level where the Survivors jump down on the trailer, just after passing the room with weapons and a medical cabinet, spawn behind them. When three jump down, grab the last one who hasn't. The others will be too far down to help them. If you do it right, you can drag them to you and kill them faster.
  • Remember the walkway where you must go up the stairs on the path, then down the stairs to get to the gun store. A Tank can spawn on the lower stairs. If this happens, stay behind the Tank and grab a Survivor. The others will be too busy with the Tank to help them.
  • If the car alarm is set off at the end right before the safe house, grab the last Survivor to go in. This will give the Horde a chance to reach them and either they will go rescue them and be attacked, or leave them to die while they close the door.

The Mall

  • Escalators are always a good spot to hinder the Survivors' progress. Snag the last Survivor going up or down the escalator while other Special Infected cause chaos down below. Try hiding in the higher level areas which are inaccessible to the Survivors while using this method to improve chance of survival.
  • Anytime during the Crescendo Event is great for picking off Survivors. Normally, one or two of them tend to run off in a mad scramble for the alarm. It's your choice whether you want to kill the ones at the back or the ones at the front. Either way, you're sure to do some damage in this part.


  • Hang around on the top level. You're sure to get a few good pulls without taking damage (unless they have a skilled sniper).
  • Alternatively, if all the Survivors are hanging around in the top levels, one may prefer to snag them from the lower levels, leaving them in a hanging state.
  • Target hasty Survivors who only want to collect gas cans. Show them why they shouldn't stray on their own.
  • Attacking anyone who is filling up the gas tank is always a good idea, but not totally necessary. You can leave that job to a more powerful Infected like the Hunter.
  • If the glass protecting the Survivor's walkway is broken, you may be able to snag them off if on a lower level, and manage to kill, incapacitate, or leave them hanging off the edge.

The Passing

The Riverbank

  • There are plenty of rooftops in this campaign which can be used to delay the Survivors.
  • Grab any Survivor during a storm; just like Hard Rain, the Mic layers will be drowned out by the storm, and outdoor Survivors will have less vision.
  • There are plenty of alarmed cars in the area and just as much high ground to pull a Survivor to one to eventually set it off.
  • The Bride Witch is out in an open area, so attempting to pull Survivors to her is out of the question. Instead, pull Survivors away that attempt to kill her and have a Jockey ride someone in. Most people do not realize that the Bride Witch is also startled by the radio, setting off the explosions near her (they will NOT stun her unless moved), or bad weather. If any of these occur and the Survivors aren't ready for it, pull anyone during the midst of the confusion.

The Underground

  • When Survivors cross the pool hall down to the construction site, pull the last Survivor away from the window. This usually results with a helpless Survivor.
  • Survivors have to cross on a plank of wood three stories above the ground. There are two main places to pull Survivors: Down below in the alleyway or above on the roof of the same building. The alleyway is the most common, so have some kind of distraction beforehand so the Survivors won't instantly target you. Above the building is tricky, but can usually result in the Survivor falling without your death. However, there are plenty of other spots to try.
  • When Survivors activate the Gauntlet Crescendo, they have to drop into the sewer water again, a point of no return. Snag the last Survivor as they attempt to jump. This strategy is very lethal if you have a Hunter to pounce the victim after you snag and drag them back, as a Hunter is much more difficult to shoot than a Smoker, and deals damage faster.
  • As Survivors run through the sewer water, pull the last one back. The water will slow a rescuer and allow more damage, though a Grenade Launcher (if there is one) can kill all the attackers and possibly you.

The Port

  • You can attempt to snag the lagging Survivor before they make it to the lift.
  • While attacking those who are filling up the generator will buy your team time, it usually ends up a waste if there is more than one Survivor with a gas can, and if your team does not have a Spitter.
  • Lone Survivors with gas cans make great targets, especially if you have an active Spitter.
  • Watch for the original Survivors, because they also act like Bots and can find and kill you before you can get the new Survivors.

Dark Carnival

Coach getting snared and drenched in Spitter acid.

The Highway

  • In the Whispering Oaks Motel, there's always an alarmed car somewhere. Drag the Survivors off the walkway and into the car. With help from a Spitter and/or Boomer, the Survivor's fate could be sealed.
  • Pulling a Survivor off the second story walkway is a bad situation for any Survivor.
  • A great way to dispose of one of the Survivors is to pull the last one to go down the gully when the other three are already at the bottom. Be sure you are away from the edge, so the other three can't kill you. This way, there is little to nothing they can do to free their doomed teammate.
    • When the Survivors are approaching the Motel through the signboard (where the Hunting Rifle is placed), hide inside the room to the right under and opposite of the signboard. Break the door down completely and snare a Survivor while they are still on the signboard. The Survivor getting snared will be dragged to you and take fall damage (usually down to red health or instant incapacitation). This will slow all of them down while trying to save the snared Survivor. Placing a Boomer or Spitter in the same room can deal even more damage to the snared Survivor.
    • When the Survivors reach Whispering Oaks Amusement Park, there's also an alarmed car there. Constrict a Survivor to make a Horde come at them.

The Fairgrounds

Snared Nick while the other three have jumped down.

  • If someone is slower and is not down the big slide, snare them. The others must come back up to rescue them, which will slow them down and give your teammates more time to respawn.
  • Get on the roof of the Merry-Go-Round. You can slow down the Survivors when they try to turn it off.
  • Right before the Merry-Go-Round, the Survivors must jump off a green platform. Snag the last one to jump just before he/she goes down. If done correctly, you could kill or incapacitate the Survivor. It is impossible for their teammates to go back and save them.
  • When the Survivors have passed Kiddie Land and are on top of the building behind it, you may spawn and climb onto the train tracks in Kiddyland (directly behind the stairs and the ramp). Position yourself just at the edge of the tracks without falling off. This spot is perfect for snaring one Survivor, dragging them all the way back into Kiddyland, and dealing fall damage to them. You cannot immediately snare them when they climb out of the stairs (they are out of your tongue's range), so you might need a distraction, such as Spitter acid, to force them to move closer.

The Coaster

  • Grab the Survivors when they run the track. Pulling them off and away from the team will slow them down, giving the Horde more time to deal damage.
  • There is a glitch where Survivors "climb" up onto the roller coaster, enabling them to forego starting the coaster. It is very difficult to do properly, so dragging them off is guaranteed to frustrate them.
  • The hole inside the Tunnel of Love (after the "swan maintenance room of love") is a good spot for you to snare the last Survivor before they jump down, giving you a free kill. Be careful to stay away from the edge of the hole, or their teammates will be able to shoot you.

The Barns

  • In the Crescendo Event, there is a roof behind the Survivors. This is perfect for ambushing anyone who gets up on the platform.
  • The Witch can spawn during the run to the safe room. Get behind her and try to pull a Survivor towards her. If you fail to drag them all the way to her, she might still be startled when the other Survivors try to free your victim.
  • When the Survivors are inside the barn houses, spawn on the Stache Whacker tent and wait for them to climb the roofs. Snare the first Survivor and drag them back to you, delaying them a bit. Remember that you are on top of the Stache Whacker tent, which leaves you in a very vulnerable spot. If you are lucky, you can drag them off of the roof before you are killed. Depending on where they are before getting dragged off the roof, they may or may not take fall damage. Keep in mind that this only applies if the Survivor is ON the roof because the areas between roofs prevent them from being dragged off. This spot also has the tongue range issue, so you might need some distractions to force Survivors to move closer to the edges.

The Concert

  • A Witch occasionally spawns in the area before the concert; try and drag a Survivor into her. Even if you fail to do so, it is possible that the Survivors will accidentally shoot her in their rush to save their ally. This can cause a great deal of damage to the Survivors (possibly even killing one before they can start the finale.
  • Stand on the roof of the stage and drag Survivors off the top of the giant scaffolds in the stands. This will kill them instantly unless something is blocking them.
  • If the Survivors make their stand on the stage, try to drag one off the stage. This also makes a good opening for a Charger or Hunter to pin (even incapacitate) whoever comes to save them. This tactic is particularly effective if the survivors are spread out across the stage.
  • It is possible to constrict Survivors from the roof of the stage. This only works if they are standing almost directly beneath you, though, so you may not want to hold out for this tactic.

Swamp Fever

Plank Country

  • The swamp has hiding places all throughout the campaign.
  • Snag Survivors from the second story in the building near the ferry.
  • When the ferry leaves some distance, pull a Survivor into the water.
  • Pull Survivors off of the walkways.

The Swamp

  • If the Survivors get on the wing of the plane, get on top of it and snag them.
  • Witches like to hide in the water. Drag Survivors into them.

The Shantytown

  • Lurk behind buildings.
  • Pull Survivors away from the team during the Crescendo Event, especially Survivors who love to hold out on the roof of the shack. Pulling one down can be devastating.
  • When the other Survivors enter the safe room, grab one Survivor off the walkway.

The Plantation

  • Pull Survivors off of the second-floor balcony.
  • You can pull survivors from the hole in the roof, as it offers a relatively good view of the house's interior. This is a fairly exposed position, however, so you may want to save this for when you have other Special Infected to back you up.
  • When rescue arrives, pull back the last Survivor. The others must then choose to save them or leave them for dead.

Hard Rain

The Milltown

  • When entering the Burger Tank, there is a large hole in the roof that Smokers can snare Survivors from without being vulnerable (unless the Survivors climb the ladder outside to kill you).
  • If you can manage to pull a Survivor outside the Burger Tank where Virgil drops them off, a Charger could force your victim into the water, causing them to die instantly.
  • There is always an alarmed car in this chapter. The ones you can take advantage of are the first, second and fourth trigger-armed cars as they follow the main path and are near a good area. Go behind it and pull a Survivor into it. This may trigger it or cause a foolish Survivor to shoot you and trigger the alarm.

The Sugar Mill

  • Anytime you drag a Survivor into a Witch is a good drag, as it will almost certainly incapacitate them.
  • The sugar field at the end of the level is perfect for Smokers. Have a Boomer vomit on the Survivors and take ones that haven't been puked on, or if they were all unlucky, just drag one off. They aren't going to notice until it's too late.
  • If you can manage to ensnare a Survivor off the edge into the center hole of the building where they must trigger the Crescendo Event, you could leave the victim hanging as their teammates frantically try to help them up while avoiding the massive Hordes.

Mill Escape

  • Same as The Sugar Mill, except there is a heavy storm that has come in and made it hard for the Survivors to see. Use this to your advantage.
  • Since the path to the safe room where the Survivors first see the Sugar Mill when they come from the Milltown is full of water, constrict the lagging player. This can cause the other Survivors to slow down, but that is if they want to get the maximum amount of points.

Return to Town

  • Any rooftop or alleyway will do thanks to the rain. It is almost impossible to pick out a Smoker in the thick downpour, though when it ends, you can be seen and killed.

Town Escape

  • Right outside the safe room, the Survivors must jump over the broken fence. If you can spawn behind them and pull the last one, it is almost nearly impossible for them to save your victim.
  • Same snare spot as The Milltown. If the Survivors are in the Burger Tank, you can use the same snare spot. This time it is much more effective, as there is a big distraction: torrential rain.
  • You can also pull Survivors off the roof if they are on top of the Burger Tank.

The Parish

The Waterfront

  • There are many tall buildings; use them to your advantage.
  • There is a hole in the roof of the kitchen. Get on the roof and grab Survivors when they are in there.
  • Again, alarmed cars are always great ambush spots.

The Park

  • Outside the beginning safe room to the left (Survivor's POV) is a building you can climb in apart from the last level. This place is always handy for a good snag, especially if the Survivors have just been covered in Boomer bile.
  • Capture the last Survivor while they're running the Crescendo Event. A good place to do this is right after the caravan. While they run off, hide behind a fence in the previous area they traveled through and snag the last one. From this angle, you're not an easy target, and neither is the captured Survivor.
  • Additionally, pulling any Survivor off the central platform is a bad situation for all of them (a good area to do this is on top of the roof directly to the left of the platform), especially if they're struggling to reach the alarm.

The Cemetery

Rochelle caught before getting to jump onto the caravan.

  • There are many "points-of-no-return" in this map; the house which you jump out of onto a caravan, the sewer entrance and the hole in the bridge. Time your shot and you'll get easy kills. (Unless another Survivor has Adrenaline then the survivor can use the Adrenaline and jump back into the house)
  • The Impound Lot. This is the major playground for many Specials, especially the Smoker. Drag an unlucky Survivor into a car and hope that the others shoot the car and not you. With the addition of a good Boomer vomit, you may even take the life of that unlucky Survivor.

The Quarter

  • There's a lot of twists and turns here which can easily confuse a Survivor. Use this to your advantage.
  • The Crescendo Event will create absolute chaos. Try dragging a Survivor down to the ground, causing them to take a lot of fall damage.

The Bridge

  • Always aim for the last Survivor. Chances are that the others will leave their poor teammate behind at your mercy.
  • Holes are littered across the bridge. Use them to your advantage!
  • Some Survivors may use the upper level route half-way across the bridge. Snagging them off not only causes additional damage due to the fall, but also it makes teammates panic, for they have to make a wise decision: teammate or chopper.

The Sacrifice

The Docks

  • There are a few buildings up ahead that you can pull the Survivors up on.
  • Try pulling down a Survivor from the window into the long alley.
  • There's a drop-off point right before the Survivors reach the train car. Snag one of them, but be warned: it's an open area.
  • While the Tank is creating chaos, grab a Survivor behind one of the boats.

The Barge

  • The Crescendo Event with the crows is a good place. Snag a Survivor and pull them down the hill.
  • Use the boat for cover to grab a Survivor. There are holes in the boat where you can pull them down.

Port Finale

  • Right at the beginning, climb up the building into a window facing the safe room, and snag the last one.
  • When the generators are started, wait for the Tank to barge in, then grab a lone Survivor.
  • The generator right next to the bridge is a good spot. Pull a Survivor into one of the rooms.
  • Snag the Survivor that tries to sacrifice themselves — pull them into one of the rooms so the Survivors on the bridge can't see you.


See Main Article: Achievements


Left 4 Dead

L4d drag and drop.jpg
Rescue a Survivor from a Smoker's tongue before he takes damage.

L4d tongue twister.jpg
Kill a Smoker who has grabbed you with his tongue.

L4d no smoking section.jpg
Kill 10 Smokers as they are pulling helpless Survivors.

Left 4 Dead 2

PC exclusive

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


L4d chain smoker.jpg
Constrict two Survivors in one life as a Smoker.

L4d big drag.jpg
Drag a Survivor 100 feet with your tongue as a Smoker.

L4d achievement drag biled survivor.png
Smoker pull a bile-covered Survivor until you hold him during Crash Course.

Behind the Scenes

The original design of the Smoker was to "pop in" to the Survivor group in a cloud of smoke, seize any Survivor, and "pop out" again to leave the unlucky Survivor stranded. Valve changed the design, however, saying it was "too challenging for the players." This design has never been seen in any video footage, suggesting that it was dropped early in development.

In early footage, the Smoker seems to have had the ability to release pitch-black smoke whenever he wanted to. If the Survivors were near the Smoker when he fired his smoke, they would have been pushed back, as if they were hit by a Boomer explosion. In addition, the Smoker's tongue would drag a victim at a significantly faster rate, but the victim would be able to fire at the Smoker while they were being dragged. Not only that, but apparently during beta gameplay, the Smoker's tongue was unable to lift the Survivor caught above the ground should the Smoker be on higher level. In this instance, a caught Survivor would not be hanging, but rather still on ground level attempting to break free. A video of the old Smoker behavior can be seen here.

A later video shows that the player took something called "poison damage" from a Smoker. When a person was affected by poison damage, the damage inflicted would turn into temporary health.

An unused server variable shows that the Smoker's smoke was supposed to injure anyone that walked through it. The command is set to "0" by default, meaning that the player takes no damage while walking through it. However, some servers have changed the variable to other numbers so that the player takes damage by running through the smoke. The altered variable is the damage that the Smoker's smoke does to players.

During development, it was possible to release the tongued victim, via right click while a Survivor was being pulled. This can still be accessed by using the console command tongue_allow_voluntary_release 1.

Glitches and Oddities

  • It is possible for a Smoker to pull a Survivor on top of them, or even behind them. This usually happens when a Smoker pulls a Survivor that is almost directly above them, causing them to fall onto the Smoker, but resulting in them hovering above the Smoker while being strangled.
  • In the demo for Left 4 Dead 2, the Smoker lacked an animation for when he first released his tongue to ensnare a Survivor.
  • In Left 4 Dead 2, the Smoker's smoke cloud would give an assist if a Common Infected hit a Survivor affected by the smoke cloud. (Confirmed on PC and Xbox 360)
    • Also in Left 4 Dead 2, the smoke cloud may, on very rare occasions, cause damage. The damage caused will be small, ranging from 2-4 for each second a Survivor stands in the cloud.
  • If a Charger knocks a Survivor into the air, it's possible for a very skilled Smoker to pull them out of the air. When this is done, the Survivor will levitate, maintaining the knocked-back animation, and will slowly progress towards the Smoker while floating.
  • Though a rare glitch, it is possible to not take damage by a Smoker's tongue snare, although this is generally due to poor positioning by the Survivor.
  • It is possible to take drag damage in single player and campaign mode even though this feature is only available in Versus mode. This happens when the Smoker should have choked/clawed his target for damage, but the target is dragged further due to poor positioning on their part. Due to the split-second damage state, the game believes that the Survivor is being attacked by them and applies damage to the drag rather than cancelling the damage until the Smoker begins clawing or choking his target.
    • If a Survivor stands on top of a car, there is a chance that they will immediately start taking damage while being dragged.
  • When a Survivor is being choked and being attacked by a Tank at the same time, there is a high probability for the Tank to break the Smoker's tongue, releasing the Survivor without dealing any damage to them.
    • In reverse, if a human-controlled Survivor is being punched by the Tank and a Smoker snares the Survivor after the hit, the camera will remain in third person even if the Survivor is released. However, this can be fixed by using first aid kits, defibrillators, and ammo packs as these items reset the camera.


The Smoker in the Left 4 Dead 2 Intro Movie. The Australian intro has smoke emitting from him, but not the American version.

Smoker appears behind Bill in beta trailer footage

  • The Smoker is the tallest of all the Infected, including the Tank. The Smoker may be this tall for intended irony, since it is said smoking stunts growth. His height may also be a design to help the Survivors distinguish the Smoker from regular Infected, as well as allowing Survivors taking easier shots to the Smoker, should he have someone entangled. Alternatively, this can help the Smoker see over things in front of him to help snare the Survivors more easily. It is possible that the Smoker was as tall as he is before he was Infected. By looking at his clothes, one can see that they are not short, meaning he didn't grow much since being human. It may also be simply for gameplay purposes; since the Smoker frequently stands atop large buildings and, when holding a player, stands directly behind them, the Smoker being a taller Infected makes him easier to shoot.
  • It may have been inspired by the Licker from the Resident Evil series, as they both have long tongues to use against their enemies.
  • When a Survivor is killed by a Smoker's constriction attack, a loud crack can be heard. This is most likely due the Survivor's ribs breaking under the pressure, or possibly the Survivor's neck snapping.
  • After a Smoker has his tongue shot, it cannot be avoided unless it hits a solid object, is shot, the Smoker dies, or if the player uses noclip to get out of the map. This means Smoker tongues grow longer while going after their target, regardless of range, while also homing in on the Survivor targeted. This can be observed on any map with a sky: simply activate cheats, go into noclip, and have a Smoker shoot his tongue at you. No matter how you dodge, the Smoker's tongue will eventually home in on you (although it will only constrict you for a short time without dealing damage).
  • Strangely enough, the Smoker's tongue attack seems to coil itself automatically to the Survivor, like a spinning rope, but the tongue does not spin.
  • The Smoker was ranked #3 in Game Informer magazine's "Top 10 Villains of 2008," stating "There's nothing more terrifying than being dragged up the side of a building and realizing that there's nothing you can do to save yourself."
  • Like the Tank, the Smoker appears to have no claws, but when his ensnared victim gets close, he starts swinging his hands as if beating or slapping the Survivor. This could be why the Survivors do not seem to take extra damage from the Smoker attacking them.
  • In the Zombie Survival Guide trailer for Left 4 Dead 2, a Smoker's tongue stays wrapped around Ellis after it has been cut in half by a Chainsaw. In a normal situation, the tongue simply disappears.
  • Seen in this beta trailer, it seems the Smoker appears behind Bill between the flickering illumination of the gun's fire. It is unknown exactly what the Smoker did to him, but once the scene changes, blood splatters onto the side of a car. Keeping with the trend of the Survivors being killed in this video (Francis thrown against a wall, Louis pushed off a roof, Zoey crushed by a Tank), we can assume that Bill was ambushed and clawed to death. As the note above mentions, the Smoker was originally intended to "pop in", attack someone and leave. This may have not been altered at the time the beta footage was released.
  • In Left 4 Dead 2, the Smoker can pull a Survivor from a Jockey, giving the Jockey a full energy refill. This also prevents the Survivor from shooting after they are incapacitated.
  • The Smoker leans to the right in both games and walks in an awkward shamble. Also, the direction the Smoker leans in is opposite to his biggest boils and tumors, implying that the tumors contribute to a significant amount of his total mass, compensating for the loss of balance from such weight.

Nick hangs in the mid-air while being pulled by a Smoker on the roof.

  • In the first Left 4 Dead, the Smoker would emit its signature scream/cry when spotting a target was exclusive to AI-controlled Smokers. However, when controlled by a player, the Smoker would only make its occasional coughs and wheezes even when targeting Survivors. This minor bug was fixed in the sequel. If you are playing Campaign or Versus and hear the Smoker scream, you or your teammates have been targeted by the Smoker and should take evasive action immediately.
  • When the Smoker pulls a Survivor off a place which would normally kill the Survivor, the Survivor instead gets into the "hung" state instead of dying; if one were to reach the Survivor and shove them, they would drop a few feet and die as if they jumped from the place they were dragged off. (Note: This even occurs in places where the ground is not an "instant death zone", such as the Atrium ground floor.)
  • The deformities and pustules covering the original design are very similar to the effects of someone with mouth cancer, a side effect of excessive smoking.
  • In Campaign, if a Smoker pulls a Survivor towards a Witch, the tongue will break when the Survivor is within proximity of the Witch. In Versus, the tongue will not break. A possible reason is to balance the game, especially in Expert, as a singular slash from the Witch will kill the unlucky Survivor.
  • In early versions of the game, the Smoker's cloud upon death was supposed to damage Survivors as long as they stood in it. This was removed and now the smoke is harmless, but several modified servers re-enable this feature.
  • His Left 4 Dead 2 icon, along with the Jockey are the only Special Infected to show a Survivor as well as the Infected.
  • The caught Survivor can be choked from different angles, resulting in alternate animations; like being pulled up from a roof and getting stuck in mid-air (see image to the left).
  • The Smoker bears several similarities to the Barnacle in the Half-Life series. Both of them utilize the same attack methods; pulling and choking victims to death. Also, the tongue sprite of the Smoker is actually an improved texture of the Barnacle's tongue.
  • It is likely that the Smoker in Left 4 Dead 2 is not the same person from Left 4 Dead 1. Aside from the obvious addition of more tongues and tumors, the main difference is the Smoker's attire: whereas the Smoker in the first game wore white sneakers, a white shirt and green jacket, in Left 4 Dead 2 the Smoker wears black shoes and a blue T-shirt, with no jacket.
  • Although the Smoker in Left 4 Dead 2 has six tongues, he can only use the one in his mouth. This may be because the extra tongues are just useless growths. It may also be for gameplay reasons.
  • Although the Smoker from the second game has an entirely new model and design, when you play as him and switch to the "how to play/information" box in ghost mode, he will be shown in his original design attacking a survivor.


See image archive for more images…

See Also


The Infected
Introduced in Left 4 Dead Introduced in Left 4 Dead 2
Boomer nav.png Hunter nav.png Smoker nav.png Tank nav.png Charger nav.png Jockey nav.png Spitter nav.png
The Boomer The Hunter The Smoker The Tank The Charger The Jockey The Spitter
Introduced in Left 4 Dead Introduced in Left 4 Dead 2 Cut Infected
Witch nav.png Common nav.png Uncommon Infected nav.jpg 70px-Screamer nav.jpg
The Witch Common Infected Uncommon Infected The Screamer