The other day I took an old L4D2 article and repurposed the topic into a Payday the Heist article. Well today, a Payday article is returning the favor due to a major L4D2 update coming out and bringing a whole host of new players to our favorite zombie shooter!

I recently played through the new campaign with three friends, and we managed to beat it on Advanced Difficulty our first try. Despite this, there were a couple of basic mechanics I saw they could have been doing to drastically increase their survivability:

Tip #1: Shove More.

This is the single most important thing you need to revolutionize your L4D2 gameplay overnight. If the game gives you any reason (any reason at all) to shove, you should shove. Entering a room and hear something waiting for you? Shove. You just swung your melee and it’s not ready to swing again? Shove. Shoving is free and one of the most powerful tools at your disposal, it doesn’t interrupt your reload and it sends any zombie except Chargers stumbling. If you watch the above YouTube video, you’ll see me shoving significantly more often than my teammates, and it really pays off in my end stats.

Tip #2: If you hear a pouncing Hunter/Charger, MOVE.

The two most important noises you need to recognize are the Charger bullrush and the Hunter pounce. When you hear them, you will likely not know which teammate is being attacked or what direction the ambush is coming from. Despite this, you must immediately pick a direction and move that way. If you turn out to be the intended target, you have a great chance of dodging them and giving yourself room to retaliate before they can jump you again. Don’t just stand still, you’ll get pinned and your team will have to rescue you.

Tip #3: Understand how melee weapon hitreg works.

The melee weapons in this game are unlike any other Valve shooter. Read this guide and look at the hitrays each melee gives off; you only need to land one of these rays to kill your target. That means many melees are more powerful if you swivel your body while swinging, as it increases the radius of your attack. (This is why the Fire Axe is my favorite melee in the game, since it swings so slowly you can clear 360-degrees around yourself with a single pirouette).

Bonus Tip: Learn how to climb ladders quickly.

This trick’s more optional than the other three, but it’s an easily-mastered mechanic to reduce the time spent on ladders. Ladders are dangerous locations in L4D2, since you move slowly and you can’t shove or shoot while on them. Instead, turn 90-degrees, look down, and press the arrow key that faces the ladder in addition to Down. Here’s a demonstration showing how much faster you’ll go:

And that’s it! If you learn those three basic mechanics, you’ll experience a massive improvement in your survivability. I used to watch Realism Expert speedrunners on YouTube because they demonstrate amazing survival capabilities, and their tactics translate into every level of Left 4 Dead 2. While that may be above-and-beyond the scope of this article, I still highly encourage using these 3½ tips to up your personal game.