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Survivors vs. Zombies
In this Left 4 Dead 2 special infected guide, learn what each type infected can do and how to best use their powers. With the exception of the Tank, the special infected in Left 4 Dead 2 are very weak and die easily. The reason for this is balance. They all have very powerful attacks that are difficult to pull off correctly, but devastating when executed properly. Part of the fun in playing as the infected is being able to take out one of the survivors using your special attack. As it goes, you will only get a few good chances to make this happen, and the key is to coordinate your attacks. Any one special infected by themselves is pretty weak, but if you work in conjunction with the other infected, you can quickly wipe out the four survivors.
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The Tank is the most powerful of the infected and only pops up in certain areas of the game, plus the player who gets to control him is randomly chosen. If you are playing the tank, be careful to avoid fire traps as persistent burning damage from molotov cocktails tends to be the main way to bleed down his amazing amount of hit points. The purpose of the Tank is to smack the survivors so hard that it incapacitates them, and if you are good about it you can knock out the whole party. Also look for objects like abandoned cars that can be shoved along for group damage.
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The Boomer is one of the most difficult of the special infected to play because he moves slowly and makes a lot of noise. The survivors are always going to hear him coming, and most of the time he will get shot or shoved back before he can do any damage. If, however, you are able to get his special puke attack to nail the survivors, it will bring in a horde that can really damage the whole group. I've found the the Boomer works best with other special infected, but is especially weak when going solo. That's why it is so important to coordinate your attacks.
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The Hunter is like the ninja of the special infected because they can hide better than any others. While all the other infected make distinctive sounds to identify themselves even while standing still, the Hunter doesn't make any noise until it springs to attack, and by then it is too late for the unsuspecting survivor. These creatures are very fast and can deal out a lot of damage quickly, plus they are great for catching stragglers and beating them down before the other survivors can rescue your victim. Because of their abilities, they actually work pretty well alone.
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The Smoker is a special infected that can spit its long tongue out and wrap it around the survivors, then pull them toward it. This type infected also leaves behind a cloud of poisonous gas after he is hit. The key to using the Smoker is to try and pull survivors off ledges or set them up to hang over open space so that you give them falling damage on top of the tongue damage. One of the best ways to use the Smoker is to first have a Boomer spray the group, then while they can't see very well you pick off one of the survivors and drag them back using the Smoker's tongue.
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The Charger is one of the new infected found in Left 4 Dead 2. It's like a big battering ram with a giant swollen arm that yields all kinds of damage. He runs down the survivors and grabs one of them to pound into the ground later on, and they can take quite a few bullets before going down. Chargers are best used in tight spaces where the survivors don't have anywhere to run away and can get smashed by its charging attack. These special infected are the second best thing to the Tank.
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The Jockey is another one of the newly infected you will encounter in Left 4 Dead 2. It is a hunchbacked infected creature that jumps onto the backs of survivors and attacks them while more or less riding them. The survivors have very little control while being ridden by a Jockey, but they can attempt to break the grapple. The main purpose for the Jockey's attack, other than to deal out damage, is to try and ride the survivors to their death by walking them off ledges or into the Spitter's acid, for example.
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The Spitter is the last of the new special infected introduced in Left 4 Dead 2, and it's an interesting creature. This thing spits out large blobs of acidic waste that do area effect damage and last for several long seconds. It's main purpose is to break up group huddles and to create obstacles for the survivors. When killed, the Spitter turns into a pool of acid for even more damage. To really deal out some damage, have a hunter pounce someone into a pool of the Spitter's acid.
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Teamwork is Everything
In the Left 4 Dead series, the survivors cannot survive if they work independently. Likewise, the infected cannot be effective unless they work together or at least in pairs. It is highly recommended that you get a microphone so you can use it in the game to talk to the other players and work out your battle plans in real time. Being able to discuss your plan of attack makes it much more fun and helps to guarantee a win.
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