Back 4 Blood characters guide: weapons and abilities for all the cleaners

Back 4 Blood characters: four people stand against undead in a four logo.
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Knowing what Back 4 Blood characters can do is essential if you don't want to become a zombie appetizer. Each cleaner brings several unique abilities, two starting weapons, equipment, and their own personality to spice up the horde-slaying action.

Back 4 Blood Guides

Back 4 Blood

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Back 4 Blood achievements: get all 67 of the trophies

Back 4 Blood crossplay: set up multiplayer cross-console 

While you’ll need to experiment to see which of the Back 4 Blood cleaners fits your playstyle, this guide should put you on the right track and give you an overview of all the characters. Finding someone who suits what you want to do is one of the joys of the game. 

Starting weapons are often discarded for better loot, so your primary concern will be the abilities that buff up you and your team. That, or you can just pick the personality you think is the coolest. 

Here's everything you need to know about the characters in Back 4 Blood, including the first expansion, Tunnels of Terror. 

Back 4 Blood characters

Who are the original Back 4 Blood characters?

Back 4 Blood characters - The full cast of characters profile

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Meet the original cast of Back 4 Blood characters, all of whom are available to play with the core game.


Back 4 Blood characters - Doc

(Image credit: Turtle Rock)

Doc is a close friend of Mom, and you can see why with how little tolerance she has for nonsense. Her confidence is a perfect match for her close friend, and as a doctor and a pragmatist, she’s a valuable resource for Fort Hope in the ongoing apocalypse. And, finding the positives in the undead terror, she’s ecstatic she doesn’t have to worry about her student loans anymore.

Doc is there to keep your team healed up and recover from mistakes. Her abilities let you heal more health with healing items, and make your team more resistant to Trauma (damage to your max health).

  • Field Medic: Doc can heal each teammate once per level for 25 health using her field dressings.
  • Skilled Physician: +15% healing efficiency
  • Triage (Team effect): +20% team Trauma resistance
  • Ready to Operate: Start with a bandage

Starting weapons

Primary: UMP45  - an accurate low recoil submachine gun

Secondary: Beretta M9, Semi-Auto - low damage semi-auto with a big magazine 


Back 4 Blood characters - Mom

(Image credit: Turtle Rock)

The tough-as-nails second in command of Fort Hope, Mom is still haunted by the death of her son Jason, who was also a cleaner. She acts like a mother to pretty much everyone, in her own weird, irritated-biker sort of way.

Mom is all about survival, as she gives the team an instant boost of temp health when someone goes down. She also doubles the speed of revives, which is a huge boost to recover from worst case scenarios. She’s a great pick if you like being the hero and helping out your allies.

  • Tough Love: Mom grants her team 25 Temporary Health when a teammate is incapped.
  • High Expectations (Team effect): +100% Team Revive Speed, 20% Slower Team Temp Health Decay.
  • Den Mother: +1 support inventory slot
  • Kill the Pain: Start with pain meds

Starting weapons

Primary: Ranch rifle - a slow-firing high damage assault rifle

Secondary: The Belgian - a high damage single-shot double-barreled shotgun


Back 4 Blood characters - Evangelo

(Image credit: Turtle Rock)

Evangelo is the kid of the group, and the youngest of three brothers. In fact, he’s only just completed his first mission when the game starts. While he’s a fun-loving optimist, he’s also a bit of a nervous talker, and he's always nervous, so you’ll get to experience a lot of his personality pretty quickly. 

Evangelo is a speedster, helping himself and the team keep moving forward and outrun problems. His ability to break out of grabs himself means he can move off from the group with a bit more safety.

  • Born Survivor: Evangelo can quickly break out when grabbed, once every 60 seconds.
  • Light Footed (Team effect): +5% movement speed
  • Fit: +25% stamina regen
  • Firestarter: Start with a Molotov

Starting weapons

Primary: Uzi - a low damage and high rate of fire submachine gun

Secondary: Machete - a big blade with a wide sweeping attack, one of the better melee options 


Back 4 Blood characters - Hoffman

(Image credit: Turtle Rock)

Somewhere between likeable and caricature, Hoffman is a doomsday prepper and conspiracy theorist who boarded himself up with his mother. Now he’s out in the world, full of paranoid wisdom and pockets full of grenades.

Hoffman is an amazing asset to the team, keeping everyone’s critical ammo supply topped off, and packing additional explosives. He’s a great choice to pack cards onto to help your item economy throughout your runs.

  • Always Prepared: Hoffman has a chance to find ammo or offensive accessories when getting kills.
  • Cargo Pockets (Team effect): +15% max ammo capacity
  • Ready to Rock:+1 offensive inventory slot
  • Never Without: Start with an ammo pack

Starting weapons

Primary: Tac-14 - a pump-action shotgun with huge damage but only 3 shots

Secondary: M1911 - a standard semi-auto pistol with moderate damage


Back 4 Blood characters - Holly

(Image credit: Turtle Rock)

A risk-taking daredevil, Holly is a bottomless well of positivity – as long as she’s not around Hoffman. Her bright clothing matches up with her attitude, since she’s always spinning even the worst and weirdest situations on their head for a happy perspective.

If you like bounding around at top speed and focusing on melee, Holly is where it’s at. Kills give her stamina so she can keep sprinting so long as you play aggressively, and her boosted damage resistance will help cover up for your mistakes.

  • Grand Slam: Holly recovers 10 Stamina when she gets a kill.
  • Cardio (Team effect): +25 stamina
  • Tough as Nails: +10% damage resistance
  • Self Defense: Start with a stun gun

Starting weapons

Primary: 870 Express - a pump-action shotgun with good damage and an 8-shot magazine

Secondary: Bat - a sturdy piece of lumber with a sweeping attack


Back 4 Blood characters - Walker

(Image credit: Turtle Rock)

A quiet former Army Ranger, Walker slots into the leader role of the cast and he considers everyone at Fort Hope to be his second family.

Walker is an all-around boost to the team and himself and an excellent choice if you’re learning or just want to focus on your basic zombie-killing fun, since he’s not too complicated.

  • Incoming!: Mutations that Walker pings deal 10% reduced damage and are highlighted for everyone
  • Pragmatic (Team effect): +10 health.
  • Model Soldier: +10% damage
  • Equipped: Start with a frag grenade

Starting weapons

Primary: M4 Carbine - an automatic assault rifle that’s a good all-arounder

Secondary: Glock 23 - a semi-auto pistol with a big magazine


Back 4 Blood characters - Jim

(Image credit: Turtle Rock)

A local to the Finleyville area, Jim is an outdoorsman and hunter. He’s another former member of the military and a sharpshooter to boot. He is focused on taking back the land his family helped cultivate from the horrors that have overrun it.

Jim slots perfectly in for the precision shooter. With his bonus damage, he can take down bosses and Mutations with deadly accurate fire.

  • Clean Kill: Precision kills increase your damage by 5%, stacking up to 50% until you take damage.
  • Seasoned Hunter (Team effect):+10% Weakspot damage
  • Quick Aim: +25% aim down sights speed
  • Razor Snare: Start with a razor wire

Starting weapons

Primary: M1A - a semi-auto sniper rifle that’s a great balance of magazine size and fire rate

Secondary: 357 Magnum - an accurate and high powered revolver with only six shots


Back 4 Blood characters - Karlee

(Image credit: Turtle Rock)

Karlee survived on her own, looting from the ruins and hiring out to any settlement she ran across to do runs for them. She’s blunt, and a bit of a mystery to everyone around her, but she’s decided to throw in more and more with Fort Hope since things seem to be getting worse.

Karlee has all-around benefits, helping her achieve objectives faster, pick people up quicker, catch Mutations early, and get your team into stashes. She's a great character to build around during a run, as her abilities are universally useful.

  • Danger Sense: Karlee can sense nearby hazards, like mutations. 
  • Dexterous (Team effect): +50% use/interact speed
  • Bag of Tricks: +1 quick inventory slot
  • Nimble Fingered: Start with a tool kit

Starting weapons

Primary: AK47 - an automatic assault rifle with powerful damage and range

Secondary: Tec 9 - an automatic machine pistol with excellent rate of fire and magazine size

Who are the Back 4 Blood DLC characters?

Back 4 Blood characters - Tunnels of Terror expansion

(Image credit: Turtle Rock)

The first expansion to Turtle Rock's spiritual successor to Left 4 Dead, Tunnels of Terror introduces two new Back 4 Blood characters. Even if you don't own the expansion you'll see them in your games when others play them, so it's good to get an understanding of what they do for you.


Back 4 Blood characters - Heng

(Image credit: Turtle Rock)

A survivor and immigrant, Heng owned a restaurant before everything went downhill. He's somewhere between optimism and wisdom, with some amusing quips always at hand about the unsanitary nature of the apocalypse.

Heng is the man for stacking the deck for item drops and helping your item economy with additional accessories and chance to keep them when using them.

  • Senses and can ping nearby attachments, prepper stash doors, and hive entrances.
  • When hit by a mutation, there’s a chance that Heng will create an Accessory.
  • +5% Accessory Reuse Chance (Team effect)

Starting weapons

Primary: RPK - a full-auto light machine gun with high damage.

Secondary: Hatchet - a melee weapon with quick overhead swings


Back 4 Blood characters - Sharice

(Image credit: Turtle Rock)

A firefighter and first responder during the initial stages of the apocalypse, Sharice has been in the middle of the chaos for longer than nearly anyone else. She seems likely to have a bit of a past to haunt her.

With additional Trauma resistance, Bolstered Health, and Makeshift Armor plate drops, Sharice is a tough, able to withstand a lot of punishment and pass that on to her team. Combined with her fire axe, she’s a great pick for being the first to wade into the undead for your team.

  • Armor pieces shot off enemies have a chance to become Makeshift Armor.
  • +25% Trauma resistance 
  • +25% bolstered health (Team effect)
  • Makeshift Armor will spawn with Sharice in-game

Starting weapons

Primary: UMP45 - a full-auto SMG with great accuracy and low recoil.

Secondary: Fire Axe - a melee weapon with heavy overhead swings

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.