The time to play Back 4 Blood’s open beta has arrived. If you were fortunate enough to play the closed beta, this is your next chance to spend more time with the game. For those coming in fresh, we’ve compiled some essential tips to help you better tackle the content found within Back 4 Blood’s beta.

If you’re looking to play it, check out our explainer detailing when the Back 4 Blood beta starts and how to download it. Otherwise, if you’re looking to secure yourself a copy once the game releases in October, then be sure to check out our Back 4 Blood preorder guide.

Coordinate Weapon Types With Your Teammates

While it’s not the biggest deal on the lower Survivor difficulty, there are several reasons why it’s beneficial to talk with your team and coordinate weapon loadouts. You can have teammates fill particular roles, such as a long-range sniper for picking off certain enemy types, an up-close shotgunner to protect the team, or an LMG user in charge of crowd control, to name a few. Ammo also becomes a concern as the difficulty increases, and picking different weapon types keeps players from having to worry about taking ammo away from teammates who might need it. Speaking of ammo, you can hold or drop ammo types you aren’t using for your teammates when they need it. Consider your teammates your very own ammo pouch!

Be Mindful of Ammo Types

Just as you should coordinate what weapons you and other teammates are using, you should be mindful of what two weapons you’re carrying yourself. At a basic level, you likely want to ensure you’ve got your bases covered and can deal with enemies both near and far, but the type of ammo your weapons use should also be accounted for. You don’t want to end up with two weapons that use the same ammo, since you’ll find yourself running out twice as quickly as you otherwise would. Even if you don’t care for melee weapons, you may be better off with one as your secondary as opposed to two weapons that use the same ammo type–that way, you’ll at least have some way to fend off the hordes if you run out of that ammo.

Stick Together

Sticking together is a good strategy in almost any co-op game, but as Left 4 Dead players can attest, it’s imperative in a game like this. Certain enemies can trap players, requiring them to be saved by a teammate. You can also revive a teammate who’s been knocked down, but you’ll need to be nearby to do so. Ensuring you don’t need to scramble to find a path to your teammate (while fighting your way there) will help your team get back to full strength quickly. That’s critical, as it’s easy for a shorthanded squad to get overwhelmed while trying to rescue someone and keep the enemies at bay with fewer guns.

Don’t Be Shy About Meleeing, Even If You’re Reloading

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An in-game tooltip will alert you to this, but if you’re a veteran of this type of zombie shooter, there’s a certain behavior you may need to break. Even if you’re reloading, you’re still free to use the melee/bash ability to deal with any enemies who are right on top of you. You might be desperate to get your gun reloaded so you can handle them more permanently, but the melee won’t actually interrupt your ongoing reload, so ditch any hesitation you have about using it while trying to get your gun ready. You’ll still want to begin firing your weapon again as soon as you can, but when times are desperate, that melee can spare you from taking some unnecessary damage and/or give you the room to escape to a safer location.

Make Sure One Player Always Has a Tool Kit

Tool Kits are handy items that allow you to unlock special doors and crates. These doors are always worth opening, as they typically contain several piles of copper, better-than-average weapon drops, and Health Stations. You can also use tool kits to open locked minigun crates, which can be incredibly useful in sections where you need to hold off a hoard. Tool Kits are found in the world but are always available to purchase at the start of each act. You should always have at least one Tool Kit in your party at all times, so take a moment to coordinate with your team before leaving the safe room.

Sharing Is Caring: Redistribute Copper As Needed

If you have extra copper, coordinate with your team and drop your extra currency for teammates in need. This practice helps ensure your whole team is stocked on grenades, heals, and other items you can buy from the Safe House shop. And that’s especially important if there is a good but expensive team upgrade in the shop or if you need to get everyone a turn at a Health Station once the free charge has been used.

Use That Ping System!

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While playing with a group of friends over voice chat would be the ideal Back 4 Blood experience, sometimes you have to play with randos online. This is where the game’s excellent ping system comes into play. Pointing out special Ridden, ammo, crates, or whatever is as simple as the press of a button and a valuable tool, as a major component of the game is taking the time to search every nook and cranny for valuable resources. Be a good teammate, press that ping all the time, and let your teammates know when useful items are around to be picked up.

Beware of Trauma Damage

Whenever you’re downed or take a substantial amount of damage, your maximum health starts to decrease; this is what’s known as Trauma Damage. If you’re not careful, Trauma Damage can sneak up on you and put you in situations where you will have to waste whole medkits on small amounts of recoverable life. Health Stations and some Safe Houses are your primary sources for regaining maximum health, but this can be expensive–after you use a Health Station’s free charge, additional charges cost 400 copper each. So try to be mindful of how much damage you’re letting yourself take, as taking too much means you’ll need to pay some hefty prices simply to survive.

And Friendly Fire, Too

Friendly fire can be devastating, especially if you’re hanging on by a thread with just a few points of life. If you’re often in the front of the group, make a habit of crouching; this will help prevent your teammates from accidentally shooting you in the back. Next, if you’re strafing or evading, try to keep track of where your teammates are so you don’t dodge right into their gunfire. Lastly, gas cans and Molotovs create a much wider spread of fire when they explode han you might expect, so be careful of setting them off near your team or in a small area.

Fine Tune Your Deck Order

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In Fort Hope, you can set your deck order. This means you can have your preferred cards in the first round, allowing you to create combinations that give you a serious advantage. For instance, cards like Combat Knife are really useful in the early rounds, since it turns your melee into a one-shot stab against any common enemy–even those powered up by Ridden cards. Pairing that card type with others that grant health per melee can be vital for scraping some health back when you’re running low. Just try to avoid taking hits with the Ridden when doing this, or it’ll ultimately be for nothing. Regardless, be mindful of your card combinations and how they can serve the necessity of your current build.

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