In Back 4 Blood, there are three difficulty options for the Campaign: Recruit, Veteran, and Nightmare. While these might seem like the Easy-Normal-Hard difficulties, they’re actually more like Normal-Hard-Very Hard. Recruit is quite challenging, especially for teams that don’t coordinate properly. This means Veteran can seem to be near-impossible for some more uncoordinated squads.
While we already shared our guide for beginners, if you want to conquer Veteran and Nightmare, here are some more advanced tips that should help you get through the higher Back 4 Blood difficulties.
Play with a Team
We already recommend playing with friends to fully enjoy Back 4 Blood, though playing on Veteran all but requires that you play with a team of friends, or at least with three other players that are willing to communicate over voice chat.
A team of four who don’t communicate through voice may be able to get through Recruit, but not Veteran and Nightmare. This is because the two difficulty modes have stronger enemies, and has friendly fire turned on. If you don’t communicate your positions and your overall strategy for each level, prepare to have an incredibly difficult time on Veteran.
Team Composition is Key
While each Cleaner (aka Character) has his/her own useful skills, we found that for Veteran, there are four Cleaners with skills that form the optimal team, at least in our opinion. This team is composed of Karlee, Mom, Hoffman, and Jim.
Karlee should function as the point-person as she can see Special Ridden and Hazards, plus she has an extra Quick Item slot. Next, Mom gives the team a free Instant Revive, and she has an extra Support Inventory slot for another medkit. Hoffman, meanwhile, can spawn ammo for each Ridden killed, perfect for higher difficulties where ammo is precious; and he also has plus 1 Offensive Item slot for more grenades. Finally, Jim gets increased damage for each Precision Kill, making him a strong DPS character, especially when equipped with a Sniper Rifle.
If you pick these four Cleaners though, remember to equip them with the ideal weapons. For example, Jim should get a Sniper Rifle, while Karlee can use a Shotgun as she should mostly take point.
The Proper Deck Build can make the Difference
While proper team composition and weapons are key, having an ideal Deck Build is also important if you are to get through Back 4 Blood’s higher difficulties. The role that you will play should dictate the deck of cards that you build. For example, if you are the team’s designated Sniper, you should add strong offensive cards to beef up your damage. Meanwhile, if you usually take point, you’ll need cards to beef up your health.
Of course, you should also include other card types to give you some extra survivability, as you never know when you’ll get assaulted up close and need to tank some hits.
Unlock a Good number of Cards first
To build the best deck for a Veteran and/or Nightmare run, you’ll need a lot of cards, especially as the cards that you get at the start won’t be enough to get you through Veteran. This means you’ll have to play through the game (even on Recruit) so you can gather enough points to unlock more cards.
Thankfully, getting better cards shouldn’t take too long, as even after a couple of hours of play, you should be able to build a fairly specialized deck that can get you through earlier parts of the game on Veteran. Though we do recommend playing through the campaign on Recruit first before making a Veteran run to learn about the levels.
Learn the Maps
The objectives in Back 4 Blood are usually rather simple, but if you go in through each level blind at higher difficulties, you’ll have an incredibly tough time. Because of this, we deem it important to learn about the objectives and layout of each level before tackling them at higher difficulties. This is especially important if you want to tackle Nightmare mode as you will need a solid game plan given how much of a challenge the Ridden are at that difficulty.
Learning the maps is also a must as there are useful items that can be found in certain hidden rooms. For example, a minigun can be found early into an Act 1 level that proves useful when a horde of Ridden attacks as part of the objective.
Positioning is Vital
In Veteran and Nightmare, friendly fire is turned on. Even though Veteran only has 35% friendly fire damage, that adds up a lot if you keep firing at hordes without a care. So, in these difficulties, you and your team must coordinate on your positioning during fights.
It should go without saying that the shotgun and SMG wielder should be at the front while the Sniper should be at the rear. Though one specific tip that we can share is that, when in tight rooms and corridors, the players at the front should crouch down if they can so that the Assault Rifle and Sniper-wielding players won’t accidentally hit them when Ridden suddenly come pouring in.
Always Bring a Toolkit
As mentioned above, there are certain hidden rooms in the Back 4 Blood levels, and for a lot of these, you’ll need Toolkits to unlock them. This means having a Toolkit on you, or at least a Toolkit on someone on the team is a must if you want to get the best weapons and items to help you get through.
As an example, the minigun that we mentioned is in a locked crate that needs a Toolkit to be accessed. There are lots of these locked weapons and items that will be a bit of handicap if you miss them on Veteran and Nightmare.
For Console Players – Tune the Aim Settings
Finally, here’s a tip for players on PlayStation and Xbox. By default, we noticed that Back 4 Blood on console has aggressive aim assist. While some players may find this useful (especially those who don’t usually play FPSes on a controller), we found it to be too much. Again, your mileage may vary, but considering the degree of difficulty Back 4 Blood in Veteran and Nightmare, you’ll need to be at the top of your aim game. And on console, it’s a good idea to play around with the sensitivity and other settings to give you the best aim.
Back 4 Blood is available now on PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, and Xbox One.