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Rescue Closets

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"I know you're out there! Now LET ME OUT!"

A Rescue Closet is a small room with a single door in which previously deceased players respawn readily for release back into the game by a teammate.

When playing in Co-Op ModeSurvivor players that die in either Left 4 Dead or Left 4 Dead 2 enter Spectator Mode until such time as their teammates have traveled a certain distance from their corpse, at which point the deceased player will respawn in a nearby Rescue Closet.

Rescue Closets are always conveniently located ahead on the route to be traveled by live teammates; they never require a team to backtrack. This makes things easy for the team since they can press on safe in the knowledge that they will soon pick up a lost player in a Rescue Closet.

A Survivor trapped in a closet.

Unfortunately, a respawned Survivor cannot get out of the Rescue Closet unaided and must wait until the door is opened by another Survivor. During this hiatus, alive human players will "see" the resurrected Survivor outlined in an orange aura and will hear that person yelling for help.

When the door has been opened, the once-dead Survivor will rejoin the team with a Tier 1 weapon, a Pistol, and 50% health.

The weapon they spawn with depends on what weapon they had when they died. If the player had a SMG or fully-automatic rifle such as the Assault Rifle, they will spawn with a SMG and Pistol. If the player had a shotgun or Grenade Launcher they will spawn with a Pump Shotgun/Chrome Shotgun and Pistol. If the player dies with a Hunting Rifle/Sniper Rifle, there is a 40% chance of spawning with a shotgun, and a 60% chance for a SMG. If the player dies with an M60, they will spawn with a full M60 and a pistol.

Rescue Closets do not occur in Versus and are removed from Realism mode, so Survivors that die in either of these modes will only respawn in the safe room at the start of the next chapter or being defibrillated.

When a player rescues a Survivor from a closet for the first time in Left 4 Dead, they get the achievement Hero Closet.

If all the human players in a game die, the mission will end and restart at the safe room at the start of that chapter (or the safe area if on the first chapter of a campaign). This is because Survivor bots cannot navigate the level by themselves (unless "sb_all_bot_team," and sv_cheat is set to "1") and must rely on human players to lead them.

Players trapped in rescue closets are safe from Infected and random gunfire.

Left 4 Dead 2 has fewer rescue closets due to the inclusion of Defibrillators. However if the Survivor died because hanging, they can only be respawned by opening the closets as ragdolls cannot be resurrected.

The plot line logic behind rescue closets was that closeted Survivors represent a new lone Survivor joining the party, as the Developer Commentary in The Subway map states "finding a new lone Survivor that joins your team is a staple of the horror movie genre".

Closet Strategy Edit

  • In Left 4 Dead, the rescue closets can be also used as a defensive point during hordes, crescendo events, or even finales, known as the closet strategy:
  1. After starting the Crescendo event or Finale, the team runs into the closet together.
  2. Two Survivors crouching at the front using Shotguns, while the other two stand at the rear using Submachine Guns, Assault Rifles, or Hunting Rifle variants.
  3. As the enemy can only attack from the doorway, the Survivors can simply spam gunfire on the doorway to eliminate the horde.
  • During the Panic events or the Crescendo events the team should stay in the closet until the event is finished.
  • During the Finales, the Tank is a problem as he can easily defeat the Survivors when they stay in the closet. So when the Tank music cue starts, the Survivors have to leave the closet immediately to fight against him. After the first fight, Survivors should grab ammo and any supply they need and return to the closet, while after the second fight, the Survivors should go for the rescue vehicle.
  • This strategy only works in Campaign mode. In Versus mode and Survival mode, respawns are off and some closets are removed for game balance. While in Single player, Bots have problem following human players into the closet.
  • This strategy is ineffective in Left 4 Dead 2, not only because Chargers and Spitters can easily do a lot of damage to the Survivors, but also the new Gauntlet Crescendo events require Survivors to be on the move. However, the general defensive tactic when Survivors have to stay in one place is still the same: Stay together in a corner or hallway that the enemies can only attack from one or two direction, while the place is open enough to maneuver from Chargers, Spitter goo, and even the Tank.

Tips Edit

  • If you are the last Survivor, move to a safe location and attempt to wait things out. Once you see the orange outline and hear the respawned Survivors shouting, run to the closet they are in (all Survivors will respawn in the same closet) and rescue them. However, if you are closer to a safe house, go there and close the door behind you. Everyone will be back when the next chapter starts. If a Smoker or some "pinner" Infected spawn, you will have to either restart or have to dodge the attacks with care.
  • If a Survivor can be rescued from a bathroom stall, you can go to an adjacent stall, climb the toilet and see them banging the door.
  • If you die in Single Player mode, you are given no chance to respawn, because, as stated above, the AI cannot continue without human players.
  • In a Left 4 Dead 2 campaign, when far away from a dead Survivor, it is often better to go straight on instead of using a defibrillator because chances are they will respawn closer to you in a Rescue Closet.
  • AI Bots will not take defibrillators in any mode in Left 4 Dead 2, but they can and will open Rescue Closets.
  • Sometimes opening the door will do nothing. In this case, walk in and the Survivor should spawn. This glitch is especially common in the bathroom rescue closet in the Burger Tank restaurant at the beginning of "The Sewer."
  • When the door is destroyed, the closet will lose the ability to spawn Survivors.
  • If a teammate is badly injured and a closet is nearby, it might be beneficial to kill the teammate and wait for them to respawn. Their equipment will remain where they died to be retrieved after they respawn, and they will return to 50 permanent health.


  • Sometimes, the door can break when shot at, but the Survivor is still registered as trapped.
  • Oddly, Infected cannot break down Rescue Closet doors when they house a Survivor. But when it is open, they can beat it down. The most probable reason for this is the orange outline, it normally shows the Survivor bracing him/herself on the door.
  • Occasionally, the Survivor won't even be on the door, but instead on a wall, shelf, or sometimes just in the middle of the room.
  • If there is any supply in the Rescue Closet, the trapped Survivor won't be able to pick it up or use it until they are rescued.
  • Rarely, a Survivor may spawn in a room of a house in which you can break open a window to get inside, but this will not rescue them and only the yellow outline can be seen instead of the body.
  • Sometimes (although rarely), in Crescendo Events of Left 4 Dead 2, AI Survivors in Rescue Closets can automatically get out and rejoin the team, even if the alive Survivors are afar.
  • If two or more Survivors are inside a Rescue Closet, they will be bracing other parts of the room (i.e bathtub, different wall, etc.)
  • Occasionally, a glitch may occur where a Survivor is braced against an object opposite a thin wall. At certain points in their animations, certain parts of their body may clip through the wall and be visible to living Survivors on the other side.
  • If the player uses console commands to create "extra" bots. They will be added but not alive, and must be rescued in the closets to make them help the player. Newly added bots will only have 50 Permanent health and a single P220 Pistol. In addition players who died by hanging or spawned with console cannot be respawned with the console command "respawn" and using closets area the only way to let them respawn.

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