Left 4 Dead 2

"Run or shoot?... RUN OR SHOOT?!"
"Why can't that thing be on our side?"

The Tank is a Special Infected that is arguably the most powerful among the Infected in the game, along with the Witch.[1] Unless the team works together to take the Tank down, it can wipe out entire squads, with or without any help.

Appearance[edit | edit source]

Extent of Mutations[edit | edit source]

The Tank is an exclusively male Special Infected who has experienced the most extensive physical mutations of any other class of Special Infected. Evidently, the most obvious trait is his extreme hypertrophy, or abnormally increased muscle mass. Ironically, the Tank is incredibly fast and agile despite his immense size and weight, able to keep up with a healthy Survivor and even climb up buildings like other Infected.

This abnormal muscular growth is most obvious in his arms and upper body but less pronounced around the Tank's waist, hips, and legs. Though the Tank's legs are capable of supporting his static weight (such as when the Tank mounts a rock throwing attack), the Tank's disproportionate anatomy forces him to knuckle-walk, resulting in the Tank's wrists becoming swollen.

The Tank's body is covered with numerous scars and lesions from previous fights, with an especially large open sore on his left pectoral. The Tank's jaw at first glance seems to be missing, but upon closer inspection it is shown to be enveloped within his thick neck muscles.[2] It can be assumed his bones too have become stronger, otherwise the Tank's skeleton would have collapsed under the weight of his own body.

The excessive muscle mass serves as both the Tank's weapon and armor. The increase bulk gives the Tank superhuman strength; a single punch can destroy safe room doors, launch Survivors and objects a considerable distance and he can even rip off chunks of ground to serve as a ranged projectile. This also allows the Tank to take massive punishment from all sorts of weapons, and also protects his vital organs, such as his head as shooting there deals the same amount of damage as if he was shot elsewhere.

The United States Marine Corps symbol on the left side of the Sacrifice Tank's chest, instead of the regular gaping chest wound

The Tank has also suffered either heavy brain damage or a rabies-like cerebral infection, resulting in the Tank being in a constant state of unbridled rage, even more so than most other Infected; his immediate response is to attack any human Survivor on sight. Once the Tank has fixed a target, nothing short of death can stop him; bullets and explosives will not make him flinch, fire only slows him down (unless playing campaign in Left 4 Dead), and the sound of pipe bombs and car alarms won't distract him (ironically enough, though, in the Left 4 Dead intro, it is a car alarm that alerts a Tank). The Tank will even smash down doors, knock away obstacles, and plow through entire crowds of Infected just to bare down on a specific Survivor he has chosen as a target. Despite the extent of his mutations, the Tank along with the Charger are the only Infected that retains some human speech, as he may be heard saying "Noooo" when he dies.

It is presumed that the energy it costs to run the Tank's enormous body is too much, so that he must wait until the Survivors move close or start attacking to accumulate energy. However, when the Tank is completely trapped, unable to find a way to reach his target, or hasn't hit any Survivor for too long after starting a fight, he automatically dies due to frustration. However, it's merely a game mechanic to prevent the tank's music from pestering the players if he fails to reach them and yet is not killed directly. It also cuts down the time on tank fights.

Tanks in Left 4 Dead fixate on a single Survivor at a time, pursuing this person until they are dead, whereupon they switch the focus of their attacks to a second victim. While unfortunate for the victim, it provides an excellent opportunity for teammates to counterattack. Tanks in the first volume also only spawn singly and at fairly predictable times and locations, often betraying their presence by uttering distinctive growls and arm flapping movements from behind their places of partial concealment.

Once in attack mode, their growls increase in intensity and frequency and nearby Survivors will hear the ground shake as the Tank approaches them. Since Tanks lack fine motor agility, a skilled Survivor can dodge around structures and through windows to evade direct attack, open the distance and fight back. A Tank is especially dangerous when the Survivors are ambushed by one in a tight chokepoint.

The Tank received a variation skin in "The Sacrifice" at a specific location in "The Docks". The Tank is shaven bald, has jean shorts, surgical scars, missing front teeth, is bare-footed, has a Marine Corps tattoo on his chest, and what appears to be some sort of leather restraints around his wrists. His hands and forearms are covered with fresh blood. Given his appearance, he is likely a soldier who was infected and turned into a tank. When the train derailed, he broke free of his restraints and killed everyone else inside, but failed to exit his train car.

Left 4 Dead 2[edit | edit source]

The Tank as he appears in Left 4 Dead 2

The Tank is now completely bald, and his flesh has become raw and red from constant sun exposure along with the usual wear and tear. The open sores present before are now much larger and appear to be festering. It should also be noted that while in Left 4 Dead, the Tank's lower jaw can barely be seen, in Left 4 Dead 2, the Tank's lower jaw is now completely absorbed by his muscle and only the tongue flops out. The Tank's hands are smaller and less swollen, and his vertebrae are less pronounced than in the first game.[3] The jeans he wears changed a little.

The Tank's behavior has also been modified to focus on all of the Survivors, giving it a more devastating effect. Instead of focusing on one Survivor until they are dead, the Tank actively hunts down active Survivors.

The Tank will change aggression whenever he successfully hits a Survivor, targeting the nearest Survivor in range after his victory taunt. He will also change aggression if his current target is caught in the throes of another Special Infected, incapacitated, struck with melee from another Survivor, or finds a Survivor trying to help an incapacitated Survivor back on their feet. As with the original game, he will also focus on any Survivor manning a mounted gun. As with all other Infected, the Tank will prioritize any Survivor covered in bile.

Tactics[edit | edit source]

A burning Tank

Weapons effectiveness on tank2.jpg

High Power Rifles[edit | edit source]

  • Rifles, especially the snipers and AK-47 are great threats to Tanks in any situation, being able to deliver a stable stream of damage while maintaining a safe distance beyond its melee range. With decent marksmanship, his thrown projectile can be easily destroyed. 
  • A fully automatic AK-47 is the most efficient: given that the hitbox of Tank is the biggest, and its lack of weak-spot, eliminates the necessity of burst firing.
  • Sniper rifles on the other hand, excel at long range scenario as they won't suffer damage drop off. One shot is enough to destroy a thrown slab.

Explosions[edit | edit source]

  • The explosion of propane tanks or oxygen tanks are strong enough to stagger the Tank for a few seconds.
  • In certain situations (finale of the Parish), the short knock back effect is able to drive the Tank off the edge, instantly eliminating the threat.  
  • While the Grenade Launcher is unable to stunt the Tank without changing the CVAR constant, the Tank takes 300% damage from a direct hit grenade. 

Using Fire[edit | edit source]

  • Igniting the Tank with a Molotov, a well placed gas can or a box of fireworks, or environmental fire is a very common way to fight against him, as the fire will deplete the Tank's health very quickly, and also slows him down in Versus and Left 4 Dead 2.
  • The fire can be put out by water; if it slows the Survivors down, then it will also extinguish the flames on the Tank if he is ignited.
  • If setting a Tank on fire, ignite him immediately when possible. Using it too late will result in the waste of a Molotov.
  • After igniting a Tank, run and gun the Tank to deplete his health further. Shoot while running backwards and turn around occasionally to make sure an immovable object is not blocking the path, which will allow the Tank to catch up with the fleeing player.
  • In Left 4 Dead, lighting a Tank on fire in Campaign Mode will boost his speed. Although this will kill him quicker, on harder difficulties he can easily wipe out the team. If lighting a Tank on fire in that case, consider the surroundings. If he is unable to catch up, then it's safe to burn him. He is still slowed on versus, however.
  • In Versus, player-controlled Tanks will usually try to avoid being ignited by Molotovs or gas cans. This can be used to help the Survivor team:
    • By setting/attempting to set fire on choke points, the player-controlled Tank will usually either hide out or take a detour to reach the Survivors.
    • To avoid going through fires, player-controlled Tanks may choose to throw rocks and punch cars as a means of attack, and the fire can make it hard to see that the Tank is doing such things. This means that like the Tank, Survivors should also back away from fire in order to get more time to dodge should a giant chunk of rock suddenly fly out from the inferno.
    • If possible, two players should carry Molotovs to make the Tank cautious and try to avoid or target them first due to the threat of ignition.
    • Be wary that player-controlled Tanks may choose to just run through the fire, especially if the Survivors are nearing the safe room or the rescue vehicle.
  • Incendiary Ammo can help against a Tank as it will ignite him. This won't last as long but with proper burst firing from the team, it can have a similar effect to using a Molotov.

Rock Throw[edit | edit source]

  • The Tank cannot move while throwing a rock, giving Survivors an opportunity to shoot or run past him.
  • Keep moving and jumping when the Tank is throwing rocks to avoid injuries. Jumping over rocks does not work.
  • The player will know when the Tank is going to throw by the absence of the ground pounding noise, instead it is replaced with ground getting ripped up. If captions are on, it will say [Tank Picks Up Rubble].
  • Anyone can shoot the concrete out of the air, rendering it harmless. This method, however, is not always safe, as it takes more than a couple of bullets from an Assault Rifle to destroy the rock, and a shell from the shotgun at close range. The Hunting Rifle, if equipped, is perfect for sniping these rocks out of the air. It does require some practice, so the player should not always try it. This tactic is best to use when the player can't move immediately, such as when they are on a Minigun/Heavy Machine Gun, or are low on health.
  • During the entire animation when the Tank is picking up the slab, if it is caught within the explosion from the propane tank, the slab will be destroyed immediately, leaving the rest of the duration of the throwing animation completely harmless.
  • An alternate choice if the player has a Molotov is to throw it towards the Tank as it is throwing a slab. The Molotov should hit the slab and break it with the Molotov continuing on its original path (which, if landing in front of the Tank, is a plus). The other side to the rock throw is that once it is thrown, the player only has a brief window of opportunity to break it or dodge it, depending on their distance from the Tank.
    • Similarly, if the player happens to be holding Gnome Chompski and have no time to dodge, they can throw Chompski at the rock and it will break.
  • If the Tank is controlled by the AI, he cannot predict where a Survivor will run. Zigzagging will cause the Tank to throw the rock far from your current location. However, on Expert the Tank will never miss and successfully hit any Survivor regardless of what precautionary measure they do prior to the rock being thrown, though because the rock cannot change trajectory once launched, one can simply sidestep the thrown rock.
  • The player may be unable to dodge a rock if they are limping (i.e. when your health is below 40).
  • The Tank can throw rocks regardless of where he is standing, even if he's underneath a downed Survivor or if on a wooden support such as a bridge or walkway. The ground underneath him remains the same, despite having some of it ripped out.
  • According to the developer commentary in the first game, the Tank did not originally have his rock throw attack. Testers of the game claimed the Tank wasn't much of a threat if he didn't come too close to the player. Valve took this feedback into account and then gave the Tank his rock throw attack as a projectile to attack far away survivors.
  • Survivor Bots will stand still while a Tank throws a rock, making it very likely that they will be hit. Move around so that they will follow you and avoid being hit by thrown rocks.
  • Survivor Bots will avoid nearby Tanks by running directly away from them, making it possible for the Tank to back them into a corner and cause a lot of damage to them. If possible, make sure that the bots are in a relatively open area where they can more easily avoid the Tank.

Preparing for a Tank[edit | edit source]

  • Listen carefully for the sounds created by the Tank. Make sure that it can be distinguished from that of the Hunter if one is nearby, as when prowling, Hunters create a growling sound alike the Tank's. His growling is significantly different from the Hunter's, with a more aggressive tone. Since the Tank's music doesn't start until he spots the Survivors or is attacked without being aware of their position, if a sharp cue is heard and timed growling is heard, then a Hunter is nearby.
  • Occasionally, a Tank's arm can be seen sticking out from a door frame or a corner which indicates that one is present. Fall back upon seeing this if the Survivors are not fully prepared for battle, because if much more of a Tank's body is seen, he will attack. Also, be sure not to mistake it for a Charger's arm, which is thicker, darker in coloration and won't swing up and down like the arms of an idle Tank.
  • Rarely, the Tank may spawn in an area where the Survivors do not normally go to; if this happens the Director will respawn the Tank elsewhere along the main path. Alternatively, the Tank may automatically become enraged and chase the Survivors once the game detects that the Survivors are closer to the end of the chapter than the Tank is (and thus have somehow passed by him without being spotted).
  • In most non-finale situations it is often too late to prepare for a Tank fight. Run and gun the Tank, looking backwards once in a while to ensure that a wall or other obstacle is not run into, which will allow the Tank to catch up and punch the player.
  • Make sure the whole team is together, especially if speed running via car alarms or bile bombs, as a Tank usually appears once per chapter. By starting the Tank fight too early it can cause him to easily incapacitate and/or kill the entire team because one player went too far and alerted him to the Survivors' presence.
  • Make sure all the Survivors' guns are fully loaded with spare ammo before a Tank fight; the Survivors certainly don't want to run out of ammo while fighting the Tank or having to reload immediately upon encountering one.
  • In Left 4 Dead 2, it is possible to cover a Tank in bile without alerting him, and so he will not attack the Survivors as the Common Infected attempt to tear him apart. This can be extremely useful on Expert when your team is on a critical stage or low on health, although such chances are generally rare due to the rarity of bile bombs.
  • If any of the Survivors hear a Tank while a horde is coming, move to a spot where no one can alert the Tank and face the horde. This helps on harder difficulties as the two together can create massive problems; the Tank dishes out massive damage while the horde slows the Survivors down, allowing the Tank to catch up.
    • As with above, clear out any idle Common Infected and kill any Specials lingering around. When the Tank fight starts, no Special Infected will spawn until he dies or the Survivor(s) run too far past him.

Repelling a Tank[edit | edit source]

  • The Tank is slightly slower than Survivors that have 40 health or above (excluding times when they are water bogged such as in "Swamp Fever") or under the effects of adrenaline. However, if they are not running in a straight line, he can catch up to them.
  • In order to keep the Tank at distance, the Survivor being chased must either take advantage of the time when the Tank is throwing a rock, or by taking an obstacle cluttered path to force the Tank to go around or climb the obstacle.
    • However, when using obstacles, it is important to use ones that cannot be used by a Tank against the Survivors, such as a car or a dumpster. A simple rock throw or punch can instantly incapacitate anyone hiding behind it.
  • Forcing a Tank to crouch is incredibly helpful, as they move extremely slow. In areas like vents, it is possible to make him die from frustration as his attacks will have little effect.
  • Do not be afraid to use melee weapons if no ammo is available. It takes 20 hits to kill a Tank with a melee weapon. Of course, one must be cautious, since walking up to the Tank and attacking him at a close range is dangerous, especially on higher difficulties. It is best to try this when a Tank is focused on a single Survivor, as the Tank's AI usually causes him to attack one Survivor at a time until they are incapacitated. However, should it come to the point that the player is left on their own and stuck with a melee weapon, they may want to consider the tactic of using a melee weapon on the Tank only while it climbs over a platform, or after dodging its attack. Should he come to the point that the player is badly being beat up by the Tank in one corner without escape, draw the melee weapon and strike it, as it may be the best way to maximize damage to the Tank before being incapacitated or even saving the player through the massive damage that the melee weapon can inflict. This is a very good method of getting rid of a Tank if the player has bots in their game, since the bots will heal the player after the battle if they can, and the player will kill the Tank with relative ease.
  • The Tank can knock down the beginning safe room door, provided the bar has been removed from it. However, if one were to crouch behind the door, it may cause the Tank to clip into the door and become stuck under the window, rendering it immobile. This is exceptionally helpful on harder difficulties.
  • The Tank climbs obstacles much more slowly than it can run. However, don't completely depend on this as he climbs much faster than a Common Infected, so be cautious if he is partway up the obstacle. Survivors also can't block the Tank if he is climbing a ladder of any sort, as his large body will push them aside.
  • If the player is incapacitated, they should not neglect the possibilities of using their pistol(s) on the Tank. Any amount of damage the player can deal to a Tank is that much less damage that must be dealt by their teammates, and if a Tank is low on health, the player's damage might be enough to finish him off.
  • If the player is in an area where a fatal fall is possible, such as the "Rooftop Finale", the player must make absolutely sure that they are between something solid and the Tank, so that his attack will not launch them to their death.
    • However, if desperate, and the Tank's current target, run off the edge (don't jump) so as to dangle from it, and he should follow you off the edge (the Tank keeps at his target even if they are incapacitated in Left 4 Dead). Once the Tank falls, or is otherwise gone, the player can have teammates help them to their feet and keep on going. This tactic also works in Left 4 Dead 2, although the Tank tends to switch target when this happens, but if it means the player won't get smacked off to their death, it will be worth it.
    • Sometimes an AI Tank will simply not know that there is a massive pit between him and a Survivor, and will run straight into said pit. This is most exploitable in the elevator shaft right before the "Rooftop Finale". Standing on the other side when a Tank spawns may cause him to drop down into the hole.
    • There are many places that can slow the Tank down, do damage to him and potentially even kill him before he reaches the Survivors, such as the pit of fire in the finale of "Dead Air", or the exploding gas station in "No Mercy", which are very useful if used right, if the player does not want to use an explosive or does not have one.
  • If a melee attack is used, the Tank will chase whoever hit him; this is extremely useful when a Survivor is incapacitated and is being pounded on, enabling a healthy Survivor to lead the Tank in circles while someone else gets the Survivor back up and into the fight. However, the incapacitated Survivor must not shoot the Tank after he has been hit or else he will turn right back around and resume his pounding on them. If so, since he is within melee range, Adrenaline Shots might be used to run faster to avoid the Tank's powerful punches.
  • When using a primary weapon, sometimes the faster, yet weaker, weapons are useful when dealing with them. Shotguns are only effective up close, which means that the Survivor(s) using them risk being severely damaged, incapacitated or killed when this happens. Assault rifles are excellent when dealing with the Tank because of the fast firing rate, damage and ammo. Scoped rifles are also another choice, as their high accuracy can allow their users to deal with a Tank from any distance.
  • Avoid "teasing" the Tank, as this will increase the chances of the Tank focusing on that Survivor and no one else on the team.
    • Also avoid standing too close to the Tank as he will target whoever is closest to him. However, this can be used to the Survivors' advantage to draw away a Tank chasing after a wounded teammate.
  • Avoid bunching up together such as in a closet or corner and trying to unload onto the Tank while he assaults the team. Doing so will make all the Survivors very easy targets for the Tank. If there is an object around such as a log, car, dumpster, or forklift, the Tank can send it flying towards the Survivors to instantly incapacitate everyone. Doing so will also allow the Tank's punches to hit multiple Survivors at once. The best action may be to stay apart but within range of teammates, in case any Special Infected tries to pick them off.
  • If there is a Minigun or Heavy Machine Gun nearby, you can use it to force the AI Tank to switch targets. The AI Tank always goes for the person mounted on the Minigun/HMG. This is exceptionally useful if the player's team is on one side of the area being chased by a Tank, and they are on the other side by the Machine/Minigun. These weapons are also excellent for inflicting heavy damage on an attacking Tank should one spawn at a distance within its arc of traverse (e.g. the "Death Toll" and "No Mercy" finales).
  • The Tank takes 15% less damage against combat and auto shotguns for balancing purposes, in the process reflecting real-world buckshot performance against animals with tough hides — something the Tank most certainly has. Pump shotguns are unaffected however, due to the much lower damage per second of pump-action weapons.
  • If the player and their teammates are equipped with Auto Shotguns, they may be able to kill the Tank before it can inflict damage to anyone. (Auto shotgun damage — 3000 per magazine totaling to 2550 damage due to 15% damage resistance; see Tank health statistics). In addition, a propane tank can deal a fair amount of damage to the Tank and stumble him, allowing the Survivors to quickly finish him off with shotguns as he is stumbling.
  • If a Tank spawns after the Crescendo Event at the crane in the second stage of "Dead Air", try lighting the Tank on fire and making him fall between the buildings. This will cause the Tank to lose a significant amount of time for an attack, and often he will burn out before climbing back up. If no one else damages the Tank, then the player would earn an easy "Man vs Tank" achievement.
  • If the player is close to the safe room at the end of a level, run into it. The Tank cannot get in, and the player can shoot at him through the door. Keep a safe distance from the door, though: he can still punch the player if they are too close. Do not try this at the start of a level, because as stated before, starting level safe room doors are breakable for tanks.
  • Be wary when using bile bombs and Molotovs on the Tank at the same time. Common Infected running through the flames to chase the Tank will light on fire, rendering the Common Infected useless unless there are Infected CEDA Workers present to attack in campaigns in which they appear; even then they aren't very common, meaning the summoned Horde is still mostly destroyed and the player is a bile bomb short. Try to set the Tank on fire first before throwing bile bombs so he will run out of the fire when the Horde arrives.
    • Note that the fire on the Tank doesn't damage the Infected attacking him.
  • In Left 4 Dead 2, the player may also want to consider whether or not they want to throw just a bile bomb at a Tank:
    • In Campaign Mode, it will not provide the blinding effect (Special Infected controlled by the AI aren't affected at all).
    • If the Tank is unaware of the Survivors' presence, a bile bomb can severely wound or even kill him depending on the difficulty. Never throw a bile bomb if the Tank is aware of the Survivors' presence, as he will move too fast for the Horde to catch up and surround him. This results in the horde moving out to attack the Survivors as soon as the bile wears off, which could endanger the whole team.
    • Bile bombs are rather rare in "Dark Carnival" (they occasionally appear in the first segment and always on the last) and "The Parish" (where they appear on the second and forth segments). The team may need it for a Crescendo Event and may not have enough due to its rarity in those chapters.
    • On the plus side, it outlines the Tank in any non-Realism Mode, allowing everyone to know where it is (apart from Survivor Bots, who usually don't acknowledge it until it is too late)
  • Be sure to deal with Special Infected as soon as possible while fighting a Tank; distractions caused by their attacks may lead to superfluous damage to the survivors.
  • Regardless of difficulty, AI Tanks will generally do a victory taunt (roaring, punching the air, beating his chest or slamming his fists on the ground when on fire) when he successfully incapacitates, kills, or hits a Survivor. Use the opportunity to unload your ammo on him while he is stationary, or if you are close to him and willing to deal massive damage, hit him with a melee attack and then run. Note that in higher difficulties his victory taunts will be shorter.
  • In Left 4 Dead, Tanks will usually pound on an incapacitated Survivor, making him a stationary target and easier to deal with as long as the Survivor is not killed. Tanks do not do this in Left 4 Dead 2, but it is still possible to force him to pound on an incapacitated Survivor, as long as you are willing to risk sacrificing a teammate. By standing close to the incapacitated Survivor, or helping them up, AI Tanks always go after those being helped up unless they are too far away. Swing a melee weapon quickly, and continue until the Tank dies. However, the Tank does outwit this method on occasion and will instead land a punch on the attacking player, which can be deadly on higher difficulties. If it appears that the Tank is about to attack the attacking player, they should quickly perform an abortive attempt to help the victim up so the Tank will direct his aggression towards them.
  • Avoid fighting a Tank and a horde at the same time, as this can be very difficult, and can often result in failure, incapacitation, and/or death.
    • When a Tank is already alerted, a Horde will only spawn when the Survivors trigger an event (such as being vomited on by a Boomer or triggering a car alarm). Of course, Hordes and Tanks always spawn at the same time during finales when the Survivors are attempting to board the rescue vehicle.
    • If the Survivors have to fight a Tank and a Horde simultaneously, it is advised to use any throwable items in the player's possession. Use Molotovs to block the Horde's incoming path (don't throw it at the Tank unless he comes from the same direction, or the Survivors will still be surrounded fairly quickly), or throw a pipe bomb to eliminate most of the horde. Alternatively, in Left 4 Dead 2, you can throw a bile bomb on the Tank to turn the oncoming Horde against him, or throw it in the opposite direction from which they are coming from to occupy them until the Tank is dead.
  • When one or more Survivors are covered in Boomer bile, Tanks will usually choose them as his first target(s). It is still possible to force the Tank to focus on another Survivor (like operating a Minigun), however.
    • Be wary that if an incapacitated Survivor is biled, the Tank will often focus on them and kill them on higher difficulties, so quickly get his attention so he can stop pounding them.
    • If it happens, it is advisable to shoot the Tank up-close to deal the highest damage possible.
  • If the player are being cornered but the area is large enough for you to run past the Tank, use an adrenaline shot to run faster. This will usually cause the Tank to miss his punch while the player passes by. Running past the Tank with normal speed is possible, but the player's timing must be very precise or they will get punched.
  • In Survival Mode, "The Plantation" or "The Port", the Survivors may be forced to fight two Tanks at the same time. Try to make the two Tanks chase you together; this prevents you from being cut off from two sides, and helps you to set them on fire with only one Molotov or Gas Can. In some narrow doorways or corridors, Tanks may even attack each other.
  • The Tank occasionally walks backwards, which is a glitch when it re-targets a player behind it. However, if he does this and he punches with his hand forward, he can still hit the Survivors. Sometimes he may turn around as he gets close enough to you before striking.
  • AI Tanks work with the Special Infected. If he senses that a Special Infected has pinned a Survivor, then he will ignore the two and go for other targets. If there are no other targets to find, he'll simply remain idle. As such, they usually won't kill the other Special Infected unless they accidentally get in front of them, which is extremely unlikely.
    • If the Special Infected gets its victim and somehow ends up near the Tank (such as Charger carrying the Survivor towards the Tank), the Tank may attack that Special Infected in order to kill its victim, which inadvertently kills it.
  • During the "The Bridge" finale, it is possible to sprint past the Tank on the bridge (and not fight him at all) by using an Adrenaline Shot at just the right moment.
    • However, this will cause the Hordes to spawn again once they near the oil tanker leading to the tilted bridge segment.
  • AI Tanks will either spawn at a close or far distance. If it's at a close distance, throw a Molotov or (for safety) a pipe bomb (allows the Survivors to gain some fair distance from him) and kill him that way. If he spawns far away, he will start charging towards the Survivors, so either stand ground and fire until he gets too close, or move back to a spot that gives the Survivors an advantage over the Tank (not recommended for Advanced and Expert).
  • Just because a Survivor is down doesn't mean they will certainly die if another Survivor does not get them back up quickly. If the other Survivors keep Infected off of them, they will have 100 seconds to live, normally more than enough time to kill a Tank. They might also attract Common Infected, which can usually be dispatched by the incapacitated Survivor with the Pistol quite easily. This keeps the Infected away from Survivors fighting the tank.
    • However, on Expert difficulty, the Tank will more likely pound the downed player first, so the player may have to use a melee weapon, or mount the Minigun to draw his attention away from downed teammates.
  • Tanks can only be stumbled through a propane tank, an oxygen tank, an explosive barrel, an explosive-laden Grenade Launcher shot (normal shots do not stumble), or the explosion of a nearby Boomer. If any of these three are next to the Tank, shoot them to stumble him; the few seconds can be helpful by allowing the Survivors to distance themselves or finish him off.

Frustration[edit | edit source]

The Tank has a frustration meter which starts ticking once the Tank spots the Survivors, halts when he sees the Survivors, and refills when he hits them. If the Tank cannot reach a Survivor because they are too far away, he will eventually die from frustration. The meter depletes on various speeds, which may be determined by the difficulty setting.

Survivors[edit | edit source]

The number of Tanks depends on the server preferences, the game difficulty and the "mood" of the Director. In Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2, the Tank is usually seen at least once per level. It is possible to encounter two Tanks on the same level if playing on Expert, though this is extremely rare. The only exception to this is the first level in "Dead Center" and "No Mercy", where no Tanks appear unless playing on Versus. If a Tank does not appear in a level where they may spawn, the chances of one appearing increase in the subsequent chapters. It is possible, but extremely rare, to not encounter any Tanks until the finale.

In all finales at least three Tanks are spawned; two while the rescue arrives and one when the rescue vehicle is waiting. The only exception are "Dead Center", "Swamp Fever", "The Passing" and "The Parish". In "Dead Center", it is possible to skip the Tank fight if the team is fast enough to fuel the car and in "Swamp Fever", there is a possibility of two Tanks spawning in the second wave (always on Advanced and Expert), or in the case of "The Passing", after a set of waves that followed a single Tank spawn. In "The Parish", a Tank appears mid-way through the bridge, which can be skipped as it is not a mandatory fight. If killed however, a second Tank will appear as the Survivors near the rescue vehicle.

Tanks will appear uncommonly if the third Tank wave is repulsed, but more will spawn with increased frequency (indicated with a music change) if the team intentionally holds out on going to the rescue vehicle.

"The Sacrifice" also plays host to an increased number of Tanks. During the "Port Finale", a Tank will spawn for each generator which must be activated to lower the bridge. During the sacrifice event four Tanks will spawn at the same time (albeit from a distance for balancing reasons).

The Tank is heralded by a brief ceasefire in finales, where the Horde will stop rushing (unless a Survivor has been covered in Boomer bile), allowing players to catch their breath. In other chapters there are generally fewer Common Infected around, almost making things eerily quiet — a calm before the storm. It is possible that this is because the other Infected have fled, as the Tank seems to eviscerate anything standing between it and its target without hesitation, although the Tank does not attack the Infected intentionally. Another possibility could involve the fact that the Common Infected have no real sense of self preservation, so fleeing from a Tank is not instinctive. Instead, the lack of Common Infected in this situation could simply be to balance the gameplay so that it is not too overwhelming.

Similar to Witches, individual Tanks that appear during the finale chapter before the actual event starts are extremely rare and only occur on specific campaigns; such as in "Dark Carnival", a Tank can spawn while the team makes their way to the stadium while relatively short finale paths like "Dead Center" and "Hard Rain" a Tank fight before the finale is impossible.

Tank chasing Bill

Infected[edit | edit source]

"The Tank's job is to deal major damage to the Survivors in a short period of time, and to instantly change the pacing of the current game. If the Survivors are not prepared to fight the Tank as a team, they will be split up and inevitably killed individually."

Occasionally, players are able to take on the role of the Tank in Versus mode. The Tank is immediately aggressive much like the finale Tanks encountered at the end of each campaign.

Similarly to AI Tanks, player-controlled Tanks have a frustration meter, which depletes when the Tank cannot see the Survivors but is aware of their presence. This meter will pause when the Tank sees the Survivors, and can only be refilled when the Tank successfully sees and hits a Survivor with any attack. In the Taaannnkk! mutation, the frustration meter is removed for balancing reasons.

Once the frustration meter is depleted, control of the Tank is given to another player if available. If the second player's frustration meter is depleted, the Tank becomes AI-controlled. When players are controlling the Tank, they can break down walls highlighted by yellow cracks. Though multitudes of Common Infected can eventually break down the walls, as can other Special Infected, only Tanks can break through the beginning safe room door.

There was an update for both the Xbox 360 and PC versions of the game where certain objects that can be punched/thrown (cars, dumpsters, etc.) are highlighted in red. The items highlighted in red usually instantly incapacitate a Survivor on impact (except in "The Bridge" finale where the cars only take out a large amount of health to balance gameplay due to their abundance on the bridge).

Movement[edit | edit source]

  • Avoid crouching through ventilation shafts and windows after Survivors. The Tank will move incredibly slowly whilst taking damage and crouching (from weapons such as the Auto Shotgun especially), almost to a point where he will find it difficult to move at all. Although this problem has been addressed by Valve, it is never a good idea to move though an area where the Tank is forced to crouch or use the button to crouch while the player is a Tank. Attack the Survivors through the window with rocks, or, if they are in a vent, let teammates flush them out.
  • Use alternative routes where possible to "sneak up" on or flank the Survivors. Make sure the route isn't too large so as to avoid the frustration meter from emptying. It isn't uncommon for a Tank player to get around the Survivors to attack them from behind, only to have his frustration meter empty on them as he is getting into position.
  • In a scenario where all of the Survivors bunch up and use auto shotguns, attempt to put as much distance as possible between the Tank and them. Keep them in line of sight (or behind good cover if the player is good at rock throwing), and pick them off with a volley of concrete blocks.
  • Some maps contain walls or other barriers that can only be destroyed when a Tank punches through them. For example, the window on top of the CEDA van in "The Park" can be only destroyed by the Tank (and he can use this to enter the van and attack the Survivors inside), although the windows on the sides work normally (and are not large enough for anything but a Spitter's spit or Smoker's tongue to pass through).

Resistance and Life[edit | edit source]

  • Even though the Tank has the highest number of hit points of any other infected (6000 in Versus), a skilled Survivor team can take him out without taking damage themselves.
  • Avoid being set on fire to the best of your ability.
    • Take notice of any Survivors who have Molotovs before you approach, and avoid these players until they are distracted or have used their Molotov.
    • If the player chooses to hit a Survivor that has a Molotov, be sure to incapacitate them as fast as possible.
      • If only one Survivor has a Molotov, it may be prudent to focus on incapacitating them before their teammates to remove the threat of ignition.
    • If the player sees somebody who is about to throw a Molotov, change direction immediately. But if the player is separated from the Survivors, use the Rock Throw to hit them instead.
    • Fire alone kills a Tank after 30 seconds.
    • If the player is set on fire, charge the Survivors. The player won't have much time to attack, so every second counts.
    • If there is water nearby (like in the "Boathouse Finale"), dip in to put the fire out. This also works in "The Sewer" of "No Mercy".
    • In late levels of the "Hard Rain" campaign, the player should not worry about Molotovs, due to the levels' flooded environments.
  • At one time or another, when the player is next to become the Tank, they might spawn right in front of the Survivors, letting them pick at your health. It is possible that the player will have lost a significant portion of their health by the time you gain control.
    • If this does happen, just charge at the Survivors and attack. Since the Survivors are already in a position to inflict massive damage, the Tank could die as the player tries to run away, so it would be better to deal some damage to them before dying.
    • Conversely, the player may spawn far away from the Survivors, putting them in a situation where their frustration meter could run out before they can even reach the Survivors. Attempt to close in as fast as possible in this scenario.
  • Beware of Survivors with bile bombs. When the player is struck with one, their vision becomes impaired, and Common Infected will attack and slow them down until they either kill all of them or the bile effect expires.
  • Be wary of Survivors with melee weapons. If 2 or 3 of them have Katanas/Machetes/Chainsaws, these weapons can kill the player within a matter of seconds. Target them with the Tank's punches or Rock Throw. Be warned that these Survivors manipulate you into attacking early.

Attacking[edit | edit source]

  • The tank take two seconds before he can punch again and takes half a second to actually hit them. The actual hit speed is herefore 2.5 seconds. Keep this in mind when under concentrated fire.
  • Avoid attacking in the open at all if possible, because in the open it is much easier for Survivors to evade both the Tank's melee attacks and rock throws. However, Survivor Bots will barely move away from the Tank, so the player can punch them easily.
    • However, if any Survivors are below 40 health, the Tank will easily be able to outrun them. In open areas, they will be unable to escape the Tank, giving the player the advantage rather than them.
      • Keep in mind that the player may need to find cover after incapacitating their target, because their teammates will almost certainly have fled and taken up defensive positions to attack the Tank at range.
  • Using punchable objects effectively can save the player health and time, and can effectively distract Survivors as they try to avoid the objects.
    • Most of the time, the Tank can hit such an object from any side of his body. Use this to save time walking around objects, because the player can just walk up against it and punch the way they need it to go.
    • Use caution when hitting cars and other large objects. If the object hits something in front of it, or if the player walks forward while the object is airborne, the object may hit the player and cause a small amount of damage.
    • Keep in mind that cars and similar objects, when punched, follow the rules of the game's physics. For example, a car that clips into a wall or some other object might spin away at a different angle; if it's airborne, it might even bounce back towards the player.
    • If a car or other large object gets stuck behind a wall or another barrier, or if the player just can't move it towards the Survivors at all, don't waste time trying to punch it. Instead, go back to attacking them normally, or start punching a new object if there's another one handy.
    • Aiming up or down while punching a car or other large object alters the arc that the object moves. In Left 4 Dead, aiming up punches an object up, and vice versa; in Left 4 Dead 2, this is reversed, so aiming down will send the object up. When fighting the Tank in streets and other areas filled with objects that he can punch at them, Survivors will often try to stay on higher ground, so punching cars and other punch-able objects up at them may be the best way for the player to attack them (and will focus their attention on the Tank, giving Infected teammates a better opportunity to help the player).
    • Work with the space available: punch larger objects like cars at Survivors if there is a lot of room for them to try to maneuver, and punch more compact objects like dumpsters if the Survivors are in an alley or some other space where the object could easily hit a wall before it hits the Survivors.
    • These objects can also be moved to make a temporary barrier to slow or stop the progress of the Survivors.
      • Keep in mind that these obstacles will disappear after a short time, making any delay the player causes the Survivors far from permanent. However, it does still provide an opportunity for the player and their teammates to attack, making such a strategy still beneficial.
  • Punch Survivors in different directions to separate them.
  • If the Survivors are in an enclosed area, keep attacking one Survivor (usually the one with the lowest health) until they are incapacitated.
  • Be careful using the swing attack on Survivors in wide open, flat areas, as this merely gives them a chance to get away. The player should charge a Survivor they have punched as soon as they have punched them, and keep going in for another punch.
    • It's a good idea to hit a Survivor towards something that will stop them from flying far away from the Tank, so the player can hit the Survivor again and again while they are down and trying to get up to shoot the player.
      • Be advised that this makes the Tank a stationary target for other Survivors and even, if they're willing to sacrifice a teammate, give them a chance to throw a Molotov at him.
  • Always aim to divide and conquer if the player is in a building or an area with many obstacles. Try to spread the Survivors out by hitting them behind large objects or knocking them out of windows. Separated Survivors allow for other Special Infected to attack and kill them.
    • If the Survivors can't see the Tank, they can't shoot at him, meaning that the player will take less damage during their rampage.
  • Unlike Campaign Mode, attacking an incapacitated Survivor will inflict only 24 damage per hit. Considering incapacitated Survivors have 300 health, it is much easier to simply incapacitate each Survivor one at a time. The other special infected can help to save the Tank's time.
  • Go after any Survivors that are separated from the group, unless the others are extremely low on health. One gun on the player is much better than three.
    • The March 11th update made it possible for the Tank's melee to deal area damage. Previously, his punches are single-target, meaning that even if they are too close, he can only hit them one at a time and will not stand against sustained fire.
  • A few maps contain destructible objects that the Tank can punch, destroying them but sending debris flying in the direction that the Tank was punching. This debris inflicts damage on any Survivors that it hits roughly equivalent to the Tank's rock throw. These destructible objects include the pillars in "The Subway", as well as the boats and the pallets of bricks in "The Docks".

Rock Throw[edit | edit source]

The Tank's ability to hurl chunks of concrete and punch cars towards Survivors was included when the game developers discovered that, because the Tank was relatively slow, it could be quite underpowered when faced at range. Survivors would use height and distance in large, open areas to easily take down what was supposed to be the strongest of the Infected.

  • The Tank's Rock Throw is usually underestimated. With practice it can be devastating and deals a lot of damage to the group of Survivors at a short amount of time. As a rule of thumb, aim the crosshairs above, and perhaps ahead of the target while throwing. Remember that rocks fly in an arc.
    • Even in close range, the rock throw can be effective because the player can follow it up with a quick melee attack. However, if many of the Survivors are focused on the Tank, the player may sustain a significant amount of damage during the relatively long process of throwing a rock.
    • If a Survivor is running away for distance, the player can slow them down with a well-aimed hit, especially if the player causes them to start limping, allowing the player to outrun and finish them off.
    • If the player has a competent team and are well suited with tossing rocks, they can simply hide behind low barriers or up high and throw rocks at the Survivors while teammates cause havoc. This tactic is often advised if the Survivors are in an area where they can flank the player easily or have powerful weapons such as auto shotguns or melee weapons, bile bombs, or Molotovs.
    • Be aware that if the player uses the Rock Throw, they will be unable to move for a considerable amount of time. More often than not, a crafty Survivor will take advantage of this and throw a Molotov/Bile Jar at the Tank. If the Survivors have melee weapons, one or two of them — especially if one is wielding a chainsaw — can come up behind the Tank and drop his health rapidly if not outright killing him. Keep this in mind if the player plans on using the Rock Throw ability frequently.
    • Although the player cannot punch through walls (with the exception of walls marked with yellow cracks), certain walls allow the player to throw rocks through them if the player is up against them.
  • During scenarios when the Survivors are pinned down by a Horde or some other obstacle, the player can simply stay far away and lob concrete at them from a safe distance. Not only does this make it very difficult for Survivors to throw a Molotov at the player, but if the entire Survivor team is using medium-to-close range weapons, the player can almost rest assured that they will have plenty of health in case the Survivors start moving again. However, the player may kill their allies if they get in the way of the rocks.
  • If the player plans on using the Tank as simply an artillery piece as above to attack Survivors, the player should find odd spots to stand on to prevent them from attacking using Molotovs or bile bombs, such as places up very high, or on top of a fence.
  • The direction that a rock is thrown is not determined when the player starts the attack; it's determined when the attack animation finishes and the rock starts flying. If the player's target starts to move as they start throwing, reorient the camera so that it's centered on where the player wants the rock to go. Since the Tank can't move while throwing, Survivors will sometimes try to take advantage of that, and shoot or even melee him from behind in mid-throw. Turning around in the middle of the animation and throwing the rock at the Survivor behind the player can save them from taking a lot of damage; even if the player misses, they will at least be looking in the direction of the Survivor who thought they were attacking the Tank from behind.

Teamplay[edit | edit source]

  • It is possible to assist teammates who have already pinned someone, but not directly. The reason is that the Tank's attack will kill the Special Infected instantly, freeing the survivor they have pinned.
    • On the same note, if someone else on the player's team is playing as a Tank, the player should work with them, but give them a wide area to fight, as they could easily kill the player by mistake.
    • If a Survivor is pinned by a Hunter, try to protect him by running towards the other Survivors. The player will want to either punch the other Survivors as they try to run past the player to save their teammate, or have them back off so that they cannot save their teammate. Hunters have good DPS, but are fragile.
    • If a nearby incapacitated Survivor is attempting to save their teammate from a Special Infected, the player can use the Tank's body as a shield to give their teammate extra time to deal more damage. Although this can help, it works better when the incapacitated Survivor and trapped Survivor are the only two remaining, and it would probably be more productive for you to go after other healthy Survivors.
    • If a pair of the player's teammates have pinned a pair of Survivors, it may be a good idea to guard them from the others. Not the most effective since it only works with Chargers/Hunters/Jockeys, but this will reduce the chance of the rivals winning.
  • If the player incapacitates a Survivor, go after another. The other special infected can finish the job.
  • After the player incapacitates a Survivor, punching a large object over them will take away a large chunk of their health. This can help if the player wants to kill an incapacitated Survivor quickly. 
  • If playing on a level where it's possible to punch Survivors off of the level, such as chapters 4 and 5 of "No Mercy", the player should do everything possible to knock them off; once they fall, there's no helping them. To do this, punch while aiming the crosshairs upwards and towards the ledge.
  • Separating the Survivor team with the Tank helps other Special Infected pin and kill the remaining Survivors, so they can't come to the group's aid, leaving the Infected team with one less Survivor to kill.
  • If the player's team has good communication in the above scenario, the player should ask a teammate to pin a Survivor while they distance the others. The incapacitated player will not be able to use a pistol while they're down since they are being hurt, and their team needs to deal with the Tank first.
  • If the player gets the indication that you are about to become a Tank, and are currently an un-spawned Special Infected, try to immediately spawn that Infected near the Survivors. This way the Infected team will have an extra AI-controlled Special Infected to help during the attack.
    • Note that in some cases, if the player spawns too far from Survivors, the Infected AI will be idle and not attack.
  • The player can have a Spitter teammate run in and cause the Survivors to separate, allowing the player to rush in while they are confused to deal heavy damage before they realize a Tank is attacking them. By then, the player may have incapacitated one or more of them.
  • During almost every campaign finale, the Tank is summoned at the disposal of the Special Infected team at least twice. It can be noted that in most of the finales in Versus, the completion of the second Tank confrontation is necessary in order to allow the rescue vehicles to arrive. As a result, the Infected team can gradually weaken and crush the Survivors by instructing the Infected player nominated as Tank to camp, giving them better odds of stopping the Survivors, although they'll have to act fast before the Tank becomes AI controlled.

Tank Tips And Tricks Gameplay[edit | edit source]

As a Tank, most of the time the player is going to have to rely on themselves to kill the Survivors. Though the other Special Infected might help, they are not going to be able to distract them for long. Here are a few tips to get started:

  • Try not to get in the range of mounted guns because they have high DPS. Instead, try to get around them. There's always a way except for in Rayford Port.
  • A Survivor often panics when they see a Tank. Be on the lookout for such a Survivor and chase them relentlessly, unless there is a Survivor the player is more likely to kill, such as a wounded or bile-covered one.
  • A Charger/Boomer/Tank team makes for a good mix. Get the Charger to bring a Survivor as far from the group as possible, then while the Charger is pummeling his victim, have the Boomer throw up on them. The Tank can ensure that the other Survivors do not interfere.
    • However, make sure to spread out beforehand, as the Boomer can explode and stumble the Charger and Tank, freeing the Charger's victim and allowing the remaining Survivors to attack the Tank.
    • Also, if the Charger misses and hits a wall by the Tank and Boomer, it will stumble them.
    • If the Infected team is more spread out before attacking, the player cannot be stumbled by a mistake from their teammate(s).
  • The player will sometimes see the outline of the AI Tank before they take control. If possible, the player should get near the AI before they assume control so they will have a better idea of exactly where they are on the map, and also so they don't lose control of the Tank while trying to get their bearings.
  • In the rare case of seeing a Survivor coming at the Tank with a revved-up chainsaw, punch them as soon as they enter melee range. This prevents heavy damage.
  • If a Hunter or Smoker has a Survivor pinned in a narrow hallway or the other Survivors are grouped up in one place while the pinned Survivor is being killed, stand between the group of Survivors and the pinned Survivor. It'll buy invaluable time for the player's teammate to kill the pinned Survivor if the bullets are hitting the Tank instead of the teammate. Good locations to do this include "The Park" in the hedge "maze" or the alley leading under the highway to the trailer.
  • If at all possible, wait for the rest of the Infected team to spawn and then throw rocks at the Survivors at a place they have to go to. The player may get lucky and hit some of them, which will reset the player's frustration meter and may also incapacitate Survivors.
  • While buying the player's team time to spawn, they should set up and ambush the Survivors. The player should only move from the spot if Survivors are throwing a Molotov, trying to get past them, or shooting fire or explosive bullets at them.

Here are some links for you to use to find more tips.

Left_4_Dead_Tank_Gameplay_Tips_and_Tricks Left_4_Dead_-_Tank_on_Fire_Speed_Comparison

Achievements[edit | edit source]

Survivors[edit | edit source]

Left 4 Dead[edit | edit source]

L4d towering inferno.jpg
Light a Tank on fire with a Molotov

L4d achievement tank explosion stun.png
Stun a Tank with an explosion in the Crash Course campaign.

L4d man vs tank.jpg
Single-handedly kill a Tank.

L4d tankbusters.jpg
Kill a Tank without it dealing any damage to a Survivor.

Left 4 Dead 2[edit | edit source]

Tank burger.jpg
Kill a Tank with melee weapons.

Septic tank.jpg
Use a bile bomb on a Tank.

PC exclusive[edit | edit source]

Achievement Elephant in the Room.png
Revive an incapacitated teammate while a Tank is nearby.

Achievement Rocky Horror Picture Throw.png
Destroy a Tank's rock in mid-air.

Infected[edit | edit source]

L4d all 4 dead.jpg
ALL 4 DEAD (30G)
Kill all four Survivors in one life as a Tank.

L4d 20 car pile-up.jpg
20 CAR PILE-UP (20G)
As a Tank hit 20 Survivors with a car in the Crash Course campaign.

As a Special Infected, incap someone who is trying to sacrifice themselves.

Notes[edit | edit source]


Left 4 Dead 2 Taaannnk!! - Hard Rain (Part 1)

Left 4 Dead 2's Taaannnk!! mutation where every special infected in a versus game spawn as Tanks!

  • The Tank is voiced by Fred Tatasciore.
  • Music Cue: Tank
    • In the game's folder for the Tank's music (\sound\music\tank), there are two files: one named "Tank.wav" and one named "Taank.wav". Taank.wav sounds slightly different than Tank.wav, and is 27 seconds longer. It is played when the Tank appears during a finale.
  • The Tank had a letter written from his perspective in OXM 97. The letter is as follows:
Dear Humans. This is Tank. You probably know me from hit game Left 4 Dead. Well, Tank need to get something off chest. It make Tank sad that as soon as you see him, you start shooting at him. Tank not mindless killing machine. Sure, Tank enjoy smashing human skulls to paste. What 12-foot tall, 800 pound, horribly mutated creature wouldn't? But there is another side to Tank. Tank also enjoy stamp collecting, scrap booking, and updating blog under pen name "Love Muffin". Tank took origami class once at adult-learning annex, but fingers too big, so Tank smash teacher. Got B-minus.
So, when you see Tank on the streets of city, instead of shooting, try asking Tank how day is going. You may find that you and Tank have more in common than you think. Of course, Tank will still smash you, but you will die having made new friend. And that make Tank happy.
  • The handwriting appears similar to Team Fortress 2's Heavy, who shares a similar manner of speech. Though Heavy's first language is Russian and not English, and the Tank simply has poor grammar due to the neurological effects of the Green Flu.
  • He is still capable of grabbing a car despite his fingers being too large.
  • The Tank, along with the Boomer, is one of the only Special Infected that take on physical changes in appearance upon death. In this case, the Tank's skin becomes dried out and scorched if it dies on fire, unlike the other Special Infected who maintain their original appearance upon death even when on fire.This has however been corrected in The Last Stand update and now all special infected will get scorched skin upon dying after being set on fire.
  • In the censored version of Left 4 Dead 2, the Tank is the only Infected that has a fire effect when set alight (all other Infected can be set on fire, however the fire on them is not visible).

A dead Tank floating on the water

  • When the Tank dies in water, it floats, just like other characters do when ragdolling upon death. Normally, thick muscles would have a low buoyancy and therefore the tank should sink instead.
  • The Tank was voted number 51 in IGN's All-Time Greatest Video Game Villains.[4]
  • The Tank is called "hulk" in the game files, most likely referencing The Incredible Hulk whose general features also allude to the tank. Both the Tank and the Hulk are voiced by Fred Tatasciore.
    • Graffiti in "The Sacrifice" reads, "Lou F. turned into one of the big ones, " referencing a Tank. This may be referring to Lou Ferrigno, the actor famous for portraying the Tank-like Incredible Hulk on TV.
  • The Tank's throwing attack always involves a chunk of concrete, thus it is possible to see the Tank pick up slabs of concrete from non-concrete surfaces, like dirt or wooden floors.
  • In the Zombie Survival Guide trailer, a Tank is shown being hit with a Grenade Launcher by Ellis and stumbled, though he cannot be stumbled with that weapon in-game.
  • Shooting a Grenade Launcher or throwing Grenades in front of a Tank will sometimes caused a Tank to "climbing" the air and dropped into the ground for a few moments later.
  • AI-controlled tanks will be instanly defeated if they don't see the survivors for some time, or in the case of the player, they will lose control of the tank and spawn as another special infected (excluding another tank). This is likely not an in-universe phenomenon and just done for gameplay purposes as a failsafe, since a stuck Tank that the survivors also couldn't reach would cause Tank battle music to play for the entire remainder of the chapter, or if it was a Tank spawned during a Survival-type Finale, being unable to kill it would cause the Finale to become endless. This is currently the only proper explanation for why the Tank died when it can't hit a survivor — simply for balancing reasons, not based on any real-life biological symptom.
  • AI-controlled tanks is able to cling and climb most places without the need of infected ladders, unlike player-controlled ones.
  • It is unknown why Tanks actively find and attack the Survivors during finales, unlike in non-finale chapters where they must be alerted to the Survivors' presence before attacking.
    • It may be attracted by loud noises or bright lights. For example, in campaigns such as "The Concert", the pyrotechnics and records the Survivors use to get the helicopter's attention may draw its attention, or such as in "Town Escape", it may be attracted by the activated Burger Tank sign. This does not explain other finales where Survivors used a silenced means of communication. This may be simply for balancing reasons — If they could get away to easily without a Tank chasing them, then the game's too easy to beat.
  • Though extremely rare, it is possible for a Tank to notice Survivors from beyond an opaque fence (such as the one blocking the path to The Peach Pit in The Barns); if captions are on, it will say [Tank Yells!] but he will not attempt to attack. The only way to fix this is to attack him, which will start his attacking phase.
  • On Versus, if a Survivor can see where a Tank spawns, they will see a blue aura and a name called "Tank". However, this does not happen in Realism Versus Mode. The Tank is also aware of the Survivors' presence when he spawns, whereas those on Campaign are usually unaware until they see them.
  • Just like the Witch, there can only be two Tank corpses in the map. Over two corpses will result in the first ones being despawned. However, there can be multiple avaliable tanks on the map at once.
  • If a Tank punches a car at a Survivor and incapacitates them, and the car remains on their body, it is possible that the incapacitated Survivor will clip inside the car. The Survivor can still be helped back up, and when they get revived, they will teleport outside of the car. Under certain circumstances, the Survivor may also take extra "Tank" damage from the car.
  • If a Versus game allows cheats and an infected player (in spawn mode) types z_spawn tank, they will instantly become the tank, even if they are supposed to become another special infected.
  • It is possible for Tanks to get stuck on windows in "Hard Rain"'s Milltown.
  • The Tank, when idle and not attacked on Campaign mode, will continually do its "victory" pose if spawned without any Survivors attacking it.
    • Even if a Tank is hit from a Survivor's weapon and the Survivor is out of the Tank's line of sight, the Tank can still find the Survivor(s). This may be for gameplay reasons, to prevent players from safespotting Tanks on harder difficulties. However, he will not retaliate if struck by a Bile bomb if he cannot see the Survivor(s).
  • Typically, when a Tank dies, it will go through a death animation where it sinks to its knees and falls forward before becoming a ragdoll. However, if a Tank is slain using console commands, it will skip this animation and immediately become a ragdoll, which will be launched in a certain direction. It is also possible for a tank to simply fall over instead of falling to its knees if the tank is killed while swinging and moving at the same time.
  • When a Tank is killed, the Special Infected kill message does not appear, despite doing so in several Mutations.
    • However, if the player stands stand near a dying Tank and someone else delivers the killing blow, that Survivor will get credit for a protection (game will show "[Survivor] protected [your name]"). This will happen even if the player is very far from the Tank and get up close to it as it is falling over if they did not land the finishing blow.
  • If a burning Tank dies, very rarely it will spontaneously transform into an immobile Charger with an abnormally high amount of health.[5]
  • The Tank is the only Special Infected that can break through a safe room door, and perhaps the only enemy in the entire game that is able to do so. He can't break through a safe room door with a bar on it though, for balancing reasons.
    • However, when smashing an ungrated saferoom door, the game will still say "you cannot break down safe room doors"
  • During the finale cutscene when the Survivors board the rescue vehicle, the Tank returns to its "idle" position, even though the accompanying Commons chase after the escaping Survivors. The same effect also applies if the whole team is incapacitated or killed during a Tank fight.
  • Cars, dumpsters or other large objects that are punched by a Tank will despawn after several minutes, so that Survivors will not have to restart if a car has blocked the path forward.
  • Abandoned coupes, sedans and hatchbacks with headlights left on are unusable by tanks, despite having a similar mass level to those usable by the tank. This is because these vehicles are static props, not dynamic ones like the cars able to be punched by the Tank.
  • If an object launched by a punch hits a survivor and remains on them, it is possible that the object will continue to drain their health and kill the survivor almost instantly. It happens most often with wide objects which cover the entirety of a downed player (like the cars in "Hard Rain").
  • The unique Tank that spawns during "The Docks" chapter will not spawn until someone opens the trailer's gate. (Even partially). This can be abused to cause the Tank to spawn but fail to break through the gate, therefore hindering their progress in the chapter.
  • The Tank can be endlessly spawned anytime in Left 4 Dead: Survivors when the player's timer ran out to end the game without being incapacitated, due to the game being remade as a timer-based arcade game.
  • While not including add-ons that change The Tank directly, some custom campaigns feature unique Tank models which include but are not limited to:
    • Tanks in football gear from the "Suicide Blitz 2" custom campaign
    • Final map of the custom campaign "Urban Flight" used to have L4D2 Tanks dressed in the remains of military uniforms. That custom variant was removed and replaced with normal L4D2 Tanks in the version 11, in order to avoid custom Tank modifications causing Tanks to spawn invisible.
    • L4D1 Tanks in police and military uniforms as well as the normal L4D1 Tanks from the "Back To School" custom campaign
    • Tanks that are reskinned into werewolves in "The Bloody Moors" custom campaign
    • A unique Tank wearing a conductor's uniform named "The Conductor" in the "Pain Train" custom campaign

Gallery[edit | edit source]

See image archive for more images…

Non-canon[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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


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