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Realism Versus Mode

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"You can't see each other, but they can see you."
―Realism Versus tagline
Realism Versus icon

Realism Versus is a Game mode that combines the competition of Versus with the tension of Realism. It was first released as a Mutation for Left 4 Dead 2 (4/22/10), but due to positive feedback from the community, it was made an official game type as of May 21st, 2010.

Realism Versus follows normal rules for Versus in terms of gameplay style and scoring, but makes things harder for the Survivors as they are bound by Realism rules. Common Infected are tougher, there are no glows around Survivors or items, and the Witch can kill in one hit, among others. Though Realism Versus will appear in the main menu, you cannot play it unless you have downloaded The Passing.

Realism BasicsEdit

  • Common Infected can take more damage, and body shots are less effective. The only weapons that can kill no matter where they hit are the Magnum and M60.
  • You cannot see your fellow Survivors when they are in danger (i.e vomited on, smoked, pounced, charged, incapacitated, etc.) so always stay together, and keep your eyes open for Special Infected.
  • Beware the Witch, as she can now kill in one hit, so be evasive.
  • Search carefully: items have no blue glows.
  • Speech bubbles over Survivors' heads are disabled, but it will still display above the character's icon on the HUD.



Teamwork is a must―make sure you move as one, cohesive unit and the Infected won't stand a chance. Just remember that sometimes, moving slowly and cautiously is much better than trying to blaze ahead and get your team points.

  • Try to do your best not to just pick up your favorite weapon―pick up the gun and/or items that would help your team best at that level.
  • Never run off. Never. The Special Infected can grab you easily if you try to rush and, since damage is much higher, your teammates will probably never make it to you in time.
  • Turn your speakers up. Listen carefully for the growl of a Hunter, or the cough of a Smoker. Sometimes, your mates won't hear these things, so be sure to alert them of the nearby Special Infected. In-game subtitles will work to this same effect.
  • Don't rush off for the big, cool weapons like the Grenade Launcher or M60 if you can help it―if the Special Infected get smart, they'll camp those spots and wait for you to run into the ambush.
  • You need to find weapons, pills, bile―all the stuff you need to survive without help from the game.


General Tips

  • Lone Survivors are always easy fodder.
  • Try to camp Tier 2 weapon locations or spots with clearly visible healing supplies, as the chances of Survivors rushing to those spots are extremely high.
  • Do your best to work together! Communicate with your team and work out a plan. Nothing can be more devastating than four Special Infected working together and taking down the Survivors.
  • Don't fear getting killed so much! Your damage is increased here so even if you only get in a couple of hits as a Charger, the attack could cripple their team greatly.

The HunterEdit

"Then, you were dangerous, now, you are deadly. Your strength has tripled, and you have a larger role. As usual, it is your job to punish the that task has become far more simple. Prepare to spread fear and panic as one of the most powerful Infected in this game-mode."

  • Never go after a group of two or more Survivors, unless they are distracted, such as by a horde of Common Infected.
  • Those weasels who run and leave their teammates in danger are tasty.
  • If you must go after a group, pounce on the ones at red or yellow health.
  • Another good technique is jumping on a Survivor in the middle of a tightly knit group and causing them to stumble.
  • Remember, your pounce will knock back any Survivors standing close enough.
  • Utilize the rooftops and the damage bounces they give you. If rooftops are not available, try lampposts, trees, or long-distance pouncing.
  • Survivors will be on high alert, so try not to crouch and give away your being until absolutely necessary.
  • Hunters work extremely well when paired with other Specials, so communicate with your team and plan.
  • If a Survivor is at black-and-white or the entire team is red, claw them until they are incapacitated/dead.
  • Standing in front of/clawing a Witch is a malicious and effective way to use Realism down-points to your advantage.
  • Remember that all outlines are disabled, so pounce on Survivors that go back for ammo/health/weapons and, again, those weasels who run ahead.

The SmokerEdit

"Pullling a Survivor into danger is your game.You're more then just an annoyance: you set the trap, make the first move, spread the icing on the cake. It hasn't changed. Sure, you're more powerful, like the Hunter now is, but you're still the one to trigger that 'unofficial' panic event."

  • Pulling a Survivor away for a Hunter to deal with them is a deadly tactic.
  • Grab any Survivors that try to help "pinned" teammates.
  • In some places, it is possible to pull a Survivor off a ledge to damage severely/kill them.
  • Pull Survivors into hazards, such as fire or Spitter acid.
  • The Smoker is usually a tool to start an ambush, so communicate with your teammates.
  • Distract the Survivors. Pull the only green one backwards, a red one into an angry Horde, or another into an unsuspecting Witch.
  • Avoid Survivors with Hunting/Sniper Rifles.
  • Pick at the group, and leave stragglers for the Hunter. If there is no Hunter, then grab them before they can catch up.
  • If the Survivors have been attacked by a Boomer, grab the one that was not vomited on.
  • Protect the Tank and pull an attacking Survivor away from him.
  • An extremely cruel tactic is to drag them into a Witch. This is very effective on open maps such as Dark Carnival and Dead Center.

The BoomerEdit

"Your job is simple: vomit on the Survivors to cause confusion and havoc. This never was a mundane attack, but now it's so much more. You're there as a distraction and to give support - ready to go even kamikaze to give your teammates time."

  • A seen Boomer is a dead Boomer.
  • When escaping, climb on rooftops or duck into buildings.
  • Try to get as many Survivors as possible covered in bile.
  • However, sometimes it is helpful to ignore the group and vomit on incapacitated/pinned ones instead. Be wary, though: if a Survivor shoots you near another Special Infected, they will stumble and cancel their pinning attack.
  • Jumping in front of Survivors from rooftops causes panic and they may shoot you immediately, causing them to get covered in bile.

The SpitterEdit

"Think of blocking paths and extra damage points. Your role hasn't changed very much, but the confusion you add will have a lot more of an impact. You should not underestimate her abilities."

  • Spit on incapacitated or pinned Survivors to cause massive damage.
  • Spit when you know the Survivors aren't going to move from an area in a while, preferably bunched in a room.
  • Try to attack from strategic positions, such as a rooftop.
  • If a Survivor is surrounded by Infected, or covered in Boomer Bile, spit on them to cause further damage.
  • If you cannot hit Survivors with your spit, then block their path instead.
  • In Dead Center and The Passing finales, spitting on the gas cans will cause them to explode.

The ChargerEdit

"While playing as this guy, you should have one thought on your mind: do as much damage as possible. Don't think of the consequences. If you time and plan exactly right, there won't be any Survivors to give you any."

  • Like with the other mobile-pinning Special Infected (Smoker and Jockey), the Charger is much more deadly in Realism Versus, too: Just charge one unguarded (most likely the last one in the line) somewhere out of sight. Even if you're big and make much noises, your high damage will usually incapacitate the victim before help can arrive.
  • Though you can (as stated above) easily take down Survivors on your own, work in a team to take down multiple enemies at once. In best case, all of them...

The JockeyEdit

"Steer the survivors into danger, whether it be a Witch or puddle of acid. You have a small frame but pack a large punch. Don't be afraid to be malicious like the laughing maniac you are."

  • In normal Versus Mode, the Jockey is sometimes considered the weak joint of the Infected team, mainly due to his low damage output. However, in Realism Versus, a Jockey can easily incapacitate a Survivor regardless of health, since the other players first need to find the victim to shove the Jockey off. Paired with the attack of any other Special Infected as distraction, smart Jockeys should always incapacitate someone in one of their attacks.
  • Don't make the first move; let the Smoker do that. Or if there isn't one, a Charger, so you can pick up the pieces of scattered Survivors.
  • If you can, try and get the last Survivor to turn a corner, as their teammate's first instinct would be to find your victim's aura. Since this has Realism effects, this will not be possible.

The TankEdit

"Pancakes, mmm. Smash them with a car or two. See how they like you now."

  • Since this is Realism Versus, the Survivors will most likely play it safe. They'll probably Molotov you and try to run―don't let them.
  • While it may not have been very effective in normal Versus mode, your rock attack is devastating here. If you ever get into an open area, such as The Park, be sure to lob a rock or two. Plus, the attack stuns any Survivors hit, which provides an easy opportunity to catch up to them.
  • Always, always, always try to hit Survivors with cars. If a hit car so much as grazes a Survivor, they are incapped instantly, and thus it is extremely useful. A great place to utilize this is The Bridge, where cars are aplenty and the Survivors have little room to move around.
  • Even though it certainly isn't a fair tactic, sometimes the only option is to move ahead of the Survivors and employ a door-block. Since it is Realism, the smart Survivors will move back and fire at you, but usually you get one person who will try and make it past you―take advantage of them.

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