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Back 4 Blood tips and tricks: how to beat the campaign on Nightmare difficulty

It's brutal out here on Nightmare mode

Back 4 Blood open beta has arrived, and the campaign is a doozy. Veteran and Nightmare modes pack some punishing difficulty, and many players will struggle to complete all the content in the beta on those settings. All that struggle makes the game extremely rewarding though, so whether you're just getting started or looking to finish the grind we’re here to help with some Back 4 Blood tips and tricks for Nightmare difficulty.

Take advantage of the roguelite design

The biggest key to avoiding frustration with Back 4 Blood’s difficulty is understanding how its design differs from Left 4 Dead. You aren’t meant to beat this campaign on Veteran or higher difficulty on your first try, even if you’re the most grizzled of Left 4 Dead veterans. Back 4 Blood uses a deck building system, similar to what you’d see in many roguelite games. The first time you face the campaign, and particularly the much more difficult second half, you’re likely to run into trouble. The default, prebuilt deck will only get you so far.

Thankfully, you can use Supply Lines to unlock more cards and build better decks. After that, you can restart the campaign from the last level you reached with a fresh set of continues and an improved deck. Push as far as you can, upgrade your deck, and go again. Eventually, you’ll make it to the end of the beta campaign.

The game doesn’t fully explain this system, at least in the open beta, so check out our guide to Supply Lines and deck building in Back 4 Blood to get a feel for the concept.

Pick the right team

Another key difference from Left 4 Dead is the character system. Back 4 Blood’s cast has more than just witty quips up their sleeves. Each character brings unique abilities to the table to help themselves and their team. Every character is solid, and you can play to their strengths through deck building. However, on Nightmare difficulty, you’re going to need the best team you can get. We’ve got a guide to the best characters in Back 4 Blood to help you and your team stay alive.

Fighting enemies in Back 4 Blood

Understanding weapon attachments

More Left 4 Dead differences! Back 4 Blood has more complicated weapons, which include attachment slots you can modify over the course of a campaign. Attachments can be purchased at the buy station in each safe house or found over the course of a campaign. Most of these are straightforward and include descriptions of the stats they provide.

Some weapons found on the ground will also have broken attachments that have stat penalties instead of bonuses. Keep an eye out for red attachments; these are the broken ones. Unfortunately, you can’t just pop them off either. If you find an attachment for the same slot though, you can replace the damaged part. I’ve seen a lot of players wondering how to remove weapon attachments in Back 4 Blood, and this is the only way right now.

Save some Copper for Medical Cabinets

Scattered throughout Back 4 Blood’s levels (and occasionally even in safehouses) you will find red Medical Cabinets on walls. These are sort of like Half-Life medstations, and are an absolute godsend on higher difficulties. Medical Cabinets heal you for a good chunk of your health, and, even more importantly, reduce your Trauma significantly. Trauma is a reduction to a player’s maximum health, so getting some of your health bar back is massive.

However, Medical Cabinets have only one free use. After that, each player will have to pay 400 copper per use. If you are low on Copper, your team should give the free use to the player with the highest Trauma and lowest maximum health. After the first level though, you should really try to save 400 Copper at the start of each level in case you happen upon a Cabinet.

Pay attention to Corruption Cards

At the start of every level, Back 4 Blood’s AI director draws Corruption Cards that modify the difficulty of the campaign. This is especially impactful in the second half of the campaign, where the Director draws five cards instead of two. It’s a big component of the difficulty, and it’s easy to get caught off-guard if you aren’t paying attention. If you missed an Armored Bruisers draw at the start of a level, you may find yourself dumping ammo into a protected weak spot to little effect. That’s a great way to get crushed and die. Read the Corruption Cards carefully so you know what to expect.

Now you’re ready to take on Nightmare mode and push for completion. It’s a big challenge, but we believe in you. The Open Beta runs from August 12 to August 16, so you’ve got all weekend to test the waters or fight through Nightmare. Visit our Back 4 Blood hub for more B4B content!

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