Before you grab a gun and start blasting zombies, you need to choose your Back 4 Blood character. Or rather, your ‘Cleaner’. With eight in the game, there will be plenty of options to suit your playstyle. Perhaps you will find your perfect match in the Melee Expert, Holly, or the Army Ranger, Walker. Who knows, it might even be conspiracy theorist Hoffman.
Who qualifies as the best Cleaner largely depends on your role on the team. Some are real killing machines, while others are more focused on keeping the team alive. Here’s a look at all of Back 4 Blood’s characters, their abilities, and how to unlock them.
How to unlock Back 4 Blood characters
Before you choose your main course, you will notice once you start the game that only half is available to begin with: Hoffman, Doc, Jim, and Karlee are missing. But if you feel like choosing them, don’t worry.
You will unlock the remaining four characters once you have completed the first chapter of Act 1, The Devil’s Return by playing online with others. With the four levels included, you will be entitled to a cutscene and, above all, the missing heroes.
Meet the characters of Back 4 Blood
- Team competence: increases ammo capacity by 10%
- Chance to find additional ammo by killing.
- Has an additional offensive inventory slot.
Since running out of ammo is quite common in Back 4 Blood, Hoffman is almost always helpful. With his first skill, he can easily collect ammo for himself as well as for his teammates. It will also improve everyone’s overall ammo capacity and it will be able to carry an additional offensive item (like homemade bombs and molotovs). The latter is a lot of fun and very handy if you need a quick kill (and ammo).
- Team competence: +10 increased health points.
- Performing a precision kill increases his precision by 20% for 5 seconds.
- Damage is increased by 10%.
Walker is one of the best Back 4 Blood characters to choose from if you want to show off a high kill count. For starters, it deals higher damage than other cleaners. Additionally, it gains accuracy if you manage to kill Common Infected with headshots or Special Infected by targeting their weak spots. His team skills aren’t bad either, but can seem a bit superfluous if you already have Doc or Mom on the team.
- Team competence: plus 25% trauma resistance.
- Can heal each ally once per level for 25 HP, using their “field dressings”.
- Plus 20% healing efficiency.
Maybe the name “Doc” betrays him a bit, but this Back 4 Blood Cleaner is the game’s specialist healer class. Her team skills alone make her extremely useful, as the damage from trauma ( reducing max HP after speaking) can be a real pain. Doc’s first skill also means that she can heal allies with low health even when you run out of med kits.
- Team competence: grants an extra life (each ally can be neutralized once more).
- Can instantly revive an incapacitated teammate (once per level).
- Plus a support inventory location.
Let’s not beat around the bush: Mom’s ability to instantly resurrect a teammate is pretty darn good. It’s only once per level, but it can easily save the team from a domino effect when surrounded by a large Horde. Mom can also take extra bandages and medical kits. Compared to Doc, Mom’s support role is more focused on bringing downed allies back into the game and less about normal healing. This elderly biker really shines once the team gets into real trouble.
- Team competence: plus 25 Endurance.
- Recover 10 Stamina for each kill of Ridden.
- 10% increased Damage Resistance.
If smashing zombie heads with a baseball appeals to you, Holly will be your favorite Back 4 Blood character. While her teammates can easily be overwhelmed in close combat, Holly keeps going as long as she delivers fatal blows. As such, Holly is the perfect cleaner for sweeping up large clusters of common infections.
- Team competence: 5% increased Movement Speed.
- Can detach from Grabs every 60 seconds.
- Plus 25% stamina regeneration.
Any player who knows the pain of getting caught when your teammates are nowhere in sight is probably happy to see Evangelo’s first ability. This highly mobile character can be a real blessing if you plan to join random teams. However, this first reactive skill is much less useful if you can rely on team play. Whether you save yourself from a Grab or depend on a teammate to do so, you’re still going to receive the initial damage from the Grab.
- Team competence: plus 25% speed of use.
- Is able to detect dangers.
- Plus a quick inventory location.
Karlee has the useful ability to warn the team when a difficult situation approaches. It will also facilitate the erasure of objectives by increasing the speed of use (interaction time such as opening a padlock) for the whole team. Finally, Karlee has an additional Quick Slot, meaning she can carry an additional Defibrillator to instantly resuscitate an ally, or a Stun Gun to evade a seizure.
- Team competence: plus 10% damage to weak points.
- Precision kills increase its damage by 5%, up to a total of 50%. This effect is lost if Jim takes damage.
- Plus 25% aiming speed (ADS).
As his abilities suggest, Jim is one of the best characters in Back 4 Blood if you like to shoot. His objective is much faster compared to other characters and he deals greater damage if he hits headshots on common infected or weak spots on special infected. Having Jim on the team will make it much easier to take down particularly intimidating Riddens, especially if others opt for weak spots as well. It probably goes without saying that playing as Jim requires a steady hand.