Back 4 Blood burn cards: what they are and what they do

Back 4 Blood burn cards: a cleaner fights a tallboy Ridden
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Back 4 Blood burn cards are a resource you'll earn when fighting off hordes of Ridden and completing your supply lines. You can play them to activate one-time buffs, such as restoring your team's ammo or giving a friend an extra continue, allowing you to further enhance a single playthrough. Used right, they can be a powerful addition to your arsenal. 

Back 4 Blood Guides

A mutated zombie in Back 4 Blood

(Image credit: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)

Back 4 Blood update: everything from Tunnels of Terror DLC

Back 4 Blood crossplay: how to play with friends

Back 4 Blood can get really tough, especially on higher difficulties, so giving you and your team extra advantages is going to be a huge part of your success. Burn cards are a great way of stacking the deck in your favor – literally.

While you may already be familiar with building decks for your favorite Back 4 Blood characters and going up against corruption cards each mission, burn cards work a little differently than the rest.  They become increasingly relevant the deeper you get into the game, so understanding them beforehand is going to be beneficial.

To get you up to speed, here's everything you need to know about burn cards, down to which ones you can get, and what they do.

Back 4 Blood burn cards

Back 4 Blood burn cards: what are they?

Back 4 Blood burn cards - Supply Lines

(Image credit: Turtle Rock)

Burn cards are special as they aren’t added to your decks like other cards, and instead hang out in your inventory once acquired. You can play them in saferooms to get yourself temporary effects that last until the end of your current run.

You can hold up to 99 copies of each one, so always grab them when you find them, you're not in danger of filling up your inventory. Unlike normal cards, they act as a consumable, meaning they'll disappear when you choose to use them. 

If you fail a run and have to use a continue, you also won’t be able to use a different burn card, though it will continue working, so remember that.

Back 4 Blood burn cards: where to get them?

Hoffman walks through a church cemetery

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

There’s only one method for getting yourself burn cards, and that’s by buying them with supply points from roving merchants. 

Supply points are the reward you earn from completing missions and challenges, so you'll accrue them steadily as you play through the campaign. Plus, if you play on higher difficulties and manage to complete entire campaign storylines, you will be in for a big payday.

At first, you use Supply Points to purchase unlocks from characters back at your home area, Fort Hope. Each character operates something called a Supply Line that works like a battle pass. The Supply Lines are collections of gear, cards, and cosmetics that you spend Supply Points to unlock. When you unlock all the items in a Supply Line you complete it and activate a new Supply Line to start unlocking.

Once you've completed all of Back 4 Bloods Supply Lines you'll start finding roving merchants. These characters offer a Supply Line that's only available for a set amount of time. After a set amount of time, the selection of cards will expire and refresh with a new inventory to pick from. If you buy all the inventory the merchant has it will mark the supply line as complete and they’ll refresh after a short delay.

Back 4 Blood burn cards: cards

Back 4 Blood burn cards - Players fighting a boss

(Image credit: Turtle Rock Studios)

In total, there’s 14 burn cards, so it's not too difficult to get your head around all of them.

  • Ammo Drop (Offense) – Team Effects. Each Cleaner restores and increases their maximum ammo by 25%
  • Dusty's Customs: Assault Rifle (Offense) – Grant yourself an Assault Rifle with random attachments
  • Dusty's Customs: Handgun (Offense) – Grant yourself a Handgun with random attachments
  • Dusty's Customs: Shotgun (Offense) – Grant yourself a Shotgun with random attachments
  • Dusty's Customs: SMG (Offense) – Grant yourself an SMG with random attachments
  • Dusty's Customs: Sniper Rifle (Offense) – Grant yourself a Sniper Rifle with random attachments
  • Dusty's Customs: LMG (Offense) – Grant yourself an LMG with random attachments
  • Extra Padding (Defense) – Team Effects. Each Cleaner gains +20% Trauma Resistance
  • Hazard Suit (Defense) – Team Effects. Each Cleaner gains: +20% Fire Resistance, +20% Acid Resistance, +20% Explosion Resistance
  • Hell Can Wait (Utility) – Team Effects. Gain 1 additional Continue.
  • Hired Gun (Utility) – Team Effects. Each kill grants 1 Copper, up to 500 for each Hired Gun card played
  • Slippery When Wet (Utility) – Team Effects. Each Cleaner gains the Breakout ability and reduces its cooldown by 20%
  • Urgent Care (Defense) – Team Effects. Each Cleaner restores 15 Health and Trauma.
  • Windfall (Utility) – Team Effects. Each Cleaner gains 150 Copper

It’s easy to see why burn cards can give you the edge, especially in nightmare difficulty where an extra continue is as good as gold.  

Philip Palmer
Senior Writer

Phil is a Senior Writer of TechRadar Gaming (TRG). With three previous years of experience writing freelance for PC Gamer, he's covered every genre imaginable. For 15 years he's done technical writing and IT documentation, and more recently traditional gaming content. He has a passion for the appeal of diversity, and the way different genres can be sandboxes for creativity and emergent storytelling. With thousands of hours in League of Legends, Overwatch, Minecraft, and countless survival, strategy, and RPG entries, he still finds time for offline hobbies in tabletop RPGs, wargaming, miniatures painting, and hockey.