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The Tank

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Biohazard symbol
Health 3000 Easy
4000 Normal
8000 Advanced
8000 Expert
6000 Versus
Gender (infected) Male
Species Human infected
Abilities Inhuman strength and endurance
Attacks Punching, throwing concrete slabs, punching heavy objects such as middle-sized cars
Alternate names That Thing, Super-Assed Zombie, Big Freaking Zombie, Big Ass Zombie, That (Big) Mother, Giant thing, A Problem
"Run or shoot?... RUN OR SHOOT?!"
"Why can't that thing be on our side?"

The Tank is a Special Infected of hulking proportions, and it is arguably the most powerful among the Infected in the game (with the exception of the Witch on extreme difficulty levels).[1]

Unless all teammates pull their weight to take it down, the Tank can wipe out an entire team, either single-handedly or with the assistance of other Special Infected.

The Tank is voiced by Fred Tatasciore.


Extent of Mutations

Tank Sacrifice

The Tank as it appears in The Sacrifice at The Docks.

The Tank is an exclusively male Special Infected who has experienced the most extensive physical mutations of any other class of Special Infected. The most obvious trait is its extreme hypertrophy, or abnormally increased muscle mass. Despite its enormous bulk, the Tank is incredibly fast and agile, able to keep up with even a healthy Survivor.

This abnormal muscular growth is most obvious in its arms and upper body but less pronounced around the Tank's waist, hips, and legs. Though the Tank's legs are capable of supporting its static weight (such as when the Tank mounts a rock throwing attack), the Tank's disproportionate anatomy forces it to knuckle-walk like a gorilla, resulting in the Tank's wrists becoming swollen.

The Tank's body is covered with numerous scars and lesions from previous fights, with an especially large open sore on its left pectoral. The Tank's jaw at first glance seems to be missing, but upon closer inspection it is shown to be enveloped within its thick neck muscles.[2] It can be assumed its bones have become stronger too, otherwise the Tank's skeleton would have collapsed under the weight of its own body; this is supported by that shooting the Tank at his head will not put him down any quicker, hinting that the reinforced bone of skull has prevented the projectiles from penetration.

The increased muscle mass serve as the Tank's both weapon and armor. As a weapon, the muscle give the Tank inhuman strength; a smash from a Tank is enough to send Survivors or large objects such as cars flying meters away, destroying weaker structure, or ripping rock or concrete off the ground. On the other hand, it serve as the Tank's defensive body armor, protecting his vital organs from gunfire; the Tank can absorb excessive punishment from any weapons for that matter, which makes taking him down before he reach the defensive line next to impossible.

Tank Symbol

The United States Marine Corps symbol on the left side of the Sacrifice Tank's chest, instead of the regular gaping chest wound.

The Tank has also suffered either heavy brain damage or a rabies-like cerebral infection, resulting in the Tank being in a constant state of unbridled rage, even more so than most other Infected, and its response is to attack any human survivor on sight. Once the Tank has fixed a target, nothing short of death can stop him; bullets and explosives will not make him flinch, fire only slows him down (unless playing campaign in Left 4 Dead), and the sound of pipe bombs and car alarms won't distract him (ironically enough, though, in the Left 4 Dead intro, it is a car alarm that alerts a Tank). The Tank will even smash down doors, knock away obstacles, and plow through entire crowds of Infected just to bare down on an unlucky Survivor it has chosen as a target.

It is presumed that the energy it costs to run the Tank's enormous body is too much, that he must wait until the Survivors move close or start attacking to accumulate energy. However, when the Tank is completely trapped, cannot find a way to reach its target, or haven't hit any Survivor for too long after starting a fight, it automatically dies due to frustration, it is hinted that his death is either by energy exhaustion, or by some incretion which kills him if he haven't hit a Survivor for too long in the fight. This makes the Tank the only Infected that technically needs to kill Survivors to survive, it is also hinted that the Tank will always die once he starts fighting, because eventually he will suffer from lack of Survivors to kill once they have all fled or died, providing they failed to kill him.

Tanks in Left 4 Dead fixate on a single Survivor at a time, pursuing this person until he or she is dead whereupon they switch the focus of their attacks to a second victim. While unfortunate for the victim, it provides an excellent opportunity for team mates to counter attack. Tanks in the first volume also only spawn singly and at fairly predictable times and locations, often betraying their presence by uttering distinctive growls and arm flapping movements from behind their places of partial concealment.

Once in attack mode, their growls increase in intensity and frequency and the ground begins to shake with their foot treads. Since Tanks lack fine motor agility, a skilled Survivor can dodge around structures and through windows to evade direct attack, open the distance and fight back. Since Tanks are slow at climbing, scampering up a ladder or jumping off a structure are excellent evasive tactics (e.g. during the No Mercy finale). A Tank is especially dangerous when the Survivors are ambushed by one in a tight chokepoint (such as the subway carriages in No Mercy).

The Tank received a variation skin in The Sacrifice at a specific location in The Docks. The Tank is shaven bald, has jean shorts, surgical scars, missing front teeth, no shoes, a Marine Corps tattoo on its chest, and what appears to be some sort of leather restraints around its wrists. Its hands and forearms are covered with fresh blood.

Left 4 Dead 2

Tank 2

The Tank as it appears in Left 4 Dead 2.

The Tank is now completely bald, and its flesh has become raw and red from constant sun exposure along with the usual wear and tear. The open sores present before are not much larger and appear to be festering. It should also be noted that while in Left 4 Dead, the Tank's lower jaw can barely be seen, in Left 4 Dead 2, the Tank's lower jaw is now completely absorbed by its muscle and only the tongue flops out. The Tank's hands are smaller and less swollen, and his vertebrae are less pronounced than in the first game.[3]

The Tank's behavior has also been modified to focus on all of the Survivors, giving it a more devastating effect. Instead of focusing on one Survivor until they are dead, the Tank will attack whoever is closest and not kill an incapacitated Survivor if there are healthy ones nearby, which makes it extremely difficult on Expert, as a Tank can easily wipe out an entire team in seconds. When this happens, a healthier Survivor can use his faster speed (or an Adrenaline Shot) to distract the Tank while the others rescue the incapacitated Survivors. If the Tank cannot reach or find any other Survivors, it will pound the one he can reach on the ground. The Tank will also start smashing incapacitated Survivors if other Survivors crowd around the Tank, which can be deadly on Expert since the Tank will kill the incapacitated Survivor in two hits.

It is possible to fool a Tank, even on Expert. This only works on Dark Carnival at the huge slide. If a Tank spawns, run up the stairs. There is a small chance that the Survivor Bots will scatter and run off leaving the Tank time to pick them off. When all three bots are incapacitated, go on the top of the slide. The Tank will run up the stairs and make sure it reaches halfway. Run down the slide (the Tank will not jump for you), at this point, the Tank will do his Rock Throw. Get a Survivor up and then the Bot will revive another before the rubble hits them again. The Tank will die soon if you start firing when he comes out from his spawn point.

Custom created Tanks

Football Tank

The custom Tank featured in Suicide Blitz 2.

These Tanks' appearances have been altered and designed to fit into some custom campaigns and maps of certain community-based campaigns not originally made by Valve. The map creators are able to alter the Tank's appearance to be more fitting for the campaign and environment the Tank is to be seen.

Suicide Blitz 2

This Tank featured in this custom campaign appears only on the finale map, The Stadium, where the Survivors have entered the Fort Harris County football stadium. The Tanks here appear to be former players of the Fort Harris County Bandits as they are seen wearing a torn jersey, football helmet, and football shorts. The custom Tank also appears in an Easter Egg section of Suicide Blitz 2, though players do not fight it.

Soldier Tank

The custom Tank featured in Urban Flight.

Urban Flight

Similar to Suicide Blitz 2, this Tank was featured in the finale, The Airfield, where the Survivors were at a military airfield trying to escape. The Tanks appear to be former soldiers still wearing their standard torn military uniform however, it does not provide any additional protection for the Tank.



A burning Tank

Weapons effectiveness on tank2


  • Igniting the Tank with a Molotov, a well placed gas can or a box of fireworks, or environmental fire is a very common way to fight against him, the fire will deplete the Tank's health very quickly, which saves ammunition and kills the Tank faster when done right.
  • The fire can be put out by water, depending on the depth of the water. In an area with very shallow water, such as the The Coaster, the water is not deep enough to properly extinguish the fire. In maps like Mill Escape, the water is deep enough to properly extinguish the fire.
  • When trying to set the Tank on fire, do it as early as possible to deplete the most of his health. Setting a Tank who is near his death on fire is a waste of time & your Molotov.
  • A common tactic is after setting the tank on fire, the survivors then focus on running instead of attacking, this greatly reduces the chance of being stuck and caught up by the Tank.
  • If playing in Campaign Mode on Left 4 Dead, Survivors should consider if it is a good idea to set the Tank on fire, as it will give it a speed increase (unless Survivors are in an environment where the Tank will struggle to navigate). Consider the health of your teammates and yourself, your environment (if it is open and no objects are blocking the Tank's path), and whether you have the correct weapons to deal with the Tank. On a difficulty like Advanced or Expert, it can eliminate you with terrifying speed. However, on Versus in Left 4 Dead, it is generally an excellent idea to set it on fire, as the Tank will be slowed down by the fire instead of being sped up.
    • However, in Left 4 Dead 2, a burning Tank in Campaign mode will act like one from Left 4 Dead Versus; it will take damage over time and therefore be slowed down.
  • When using a Molotov against the Tank, aim at the ground in front of him, as a Molotov will explode only when hitting the ground.
    • However, in Versus mode, the Tank can avoid the fire by running backwards or strafing left or right, so it is advised to use a Molotov when the Tank is throwing a rock, climbing, or when he is close to the player.
  • In Versus, players controlling the Tank will often try their best to avoid being ignited. This can also be used as a tactic:
    • Survivors can set fire on choke points to block the Tank's path, forcing him to take a detour or hide until the fire burns out, and buy some time for Survivors, sometimes even placing a gas can or a box of fireworks on the choke point without igniting it can lead to the same result.
    • The Tank will often go for Survivors who doesn't have a Molotov or isn't holding something to impede the Tank.
    • When ignited, the Tank will try to put out the fire with water.
    • Charge through the fire to cut off a chasing Tank at the expense of some health.
    • Note that the Tank can still choose to run through the fire, especially when he is already low on health, or Survivors are heading towards the rescue vehicle.
  • Incendiary ammo can also ignite the Tank but will only last for a while, sharing a pack of it with other Survivors can still gain some advantage if Survivors can concentrate fire on the Tank.


Preparing for a Tank

  • Listen carefully for the sounds created by the Tank. Make sure you can distinguish it from Hunters (the sound of its growling). You can often hear a Tank breathing and grunting before it attacks. You may want to turn subtitles on, so if there is a Tank nearby, you'll hear the "Tank Growls" which will help distinguish them from Hunters. Also, the Tank's theme song does not start until it starts attacking you, so if there is a sharp sound before a Tank, then you can gurantee that it is a Hunter. Sometimes part of the Tank's body is sticking out, like an arm, due to its gargantuan size. If you see it, you can get ready for the unavoidable fight by healing or throwing a Molotov to catch it by surprise. Occasionally the Tank will be in a part of the map that the Survivors do not normally pass by; if you get past him without alerting him, he will re-spawn in your path somewhere else. By the time the Tank is in your line of sight, it is often too late to plan an effective defense. If there are no obstacles, run backwards so that you can shoot on the run. Otherwise, go ahead and open up on it. Be aware that the nearest Survivor that shoots the Tank is the target. Running ahead of others may end up triggering a Tank that your teammates are not yet be ready for, and by the time they do reach you, you may be down and stuck behind the advancing Tank or even dead.
  • Be sure to reload with your primary and secondary weapons to maximize the damage you can deal before you need to reload.
  • If there are Gas cans or Propane tanks (or other explosives in L4D2), use them, as gas cans permnantely sets the Tank on fire, and propane tanks stumble the Tank.
  • In Left 4 Dead 2, it is possible to cover a Tank in bile without alerting it, and so it will not attack the Survivors as the Common Infected attempt to tear it apart. This can be extremely useful on Expert when your team is on a critical stage or low on health. Don't expect the Common Infected to help you though; they will stop attacking after a while and if they fail to kill it, they will attack you and easily overwhelm your team.
  • If you hear a Tank nearby, kill all idle Common Infected you can see to prevent the risk of being hit or blocked by Common Infected when falling back from the Tank. Also, clear any Special Infected to get rid of unwanted distractions.
  • If a Tank is around but has not been alerted yet, and a horde is coming, fall back and engage the horde first; after the fight is over, come back and fight the Tank.

Killing a Tank

  • The Tank is slightly slower than the Survivors whose health are 40 or above, or under adrenaline effect. However, he can still catch up to them by carving a straight path whenever the survivors are not running perfectly straight backward.
  • In order to keep the Tank at distance, the Survivor being chased must either take advantage of the time when Tank is throwing a concrete, or by putting an obstacle in between to force the Tank to go around or climb the obstacle.
    • However, when using the obstacle, it is important to use an obstacle that cannot be punched by a Tank to attack the Survivors.
  • In some levels, there are small passageways such as vents. The Tank may get stuck in these passages on rare occasions, giving you time to kill it without it being able to retaliate. If Survivors are too close, however, it can still use its punch attack to throw them back or incapacitate them (or worse, kill them).
  • If you happen to run out of ammunition on your primary weapon, but have a melee weapon, do not be afraid to use it. It takes 20 hits to kill a Tank with a melee weapon, but be cautious, since walking up to the Tank and attacking it at a close range is dangerous, especially on higher difficulties. It is best to try this when a Tank is focused on a single Survivor, as the Tank's AI usually causes it to attack one Survivor at a time until they are incapacitated. However, should it come to the point that you are left on your own and stuck with a melee weapon, you may want to consider the tactic of using a melee weapon on the Tank only while it climbs over a platform, or after dodging its attack. Should it come to the point that you are badly being beat up by the Tank in one corner without escape, draw your melee weapon and strike it as it may be the best way to maximize damage to the Tank before being incapacitated or even saving yourself through the massive damage that your melee weapon can inflict. This is very good of getting rid of a Tank if you have bots on your game, since the bots will heal you after the battle, and you will easily kill the Tank. One swing from any melee weapon does 500 damage on the Tank, so after a few hits he will go down from the swings. 
  • The Tank can find you even in the dark, so hiding with the flashlight off is futile.
  • The Tank can knock down the beginning safe room door. However, if one were to crouch behind the door, it will cause the Tank to clip into the door and become stuck under the window, rendering it immobile. This is exceptionally helpful on harder difficulties.
  • The Tank climbs obstacles much more slowly than it can run; however don't completely depend on this as he climbs much faster than a Common Infected, so be cautious if he is partway up the obstacle. You also can't block the Tank if he is climbing a ladder of any sort, as his large body will push you aside.
  • When the Tank is forced to move while crouching, it moves extremely slowly. Try to get the Tank to go in through a window, vent or any other small area, it will give you a few more seconds to kill it.
  • If you are incapacitated, do not shy from using pistols on the Tank since every bit counts, on Easy and sometimes Normal it is actually possible to solo kill a Tank with your pistol(s) while incapacitated.
  • If you are in an area where falling is possible, such as the Rooftop Finale, make absolutely sure that you are between something solid and the Tank, so that its attack will not launch you on an incredible 30 story journey to your death.
    • However, if desperate, and the Tank's current target, run off the edge (don't jump) and it should follow you off the edge (the Tank keeps at its target even if they are incapacitated in Left 4 Dead). Once the Tank falls, have your teammates help you to your feet and keep on going. This tactic also works in Left 4 Dead 2, although the Tank tends to switch target when this happens. It prevents them from punching you off ledges, though.
    • Sometimes an AI Tank will forget that there's a bottomless pit between you and it, and will run straight into said pit. This is most exploitable in the elevator shaft right before the Rooftop Finale. Standing on the other side when a Tank spawns may cause it to drop down into the hole.
    • There are many places that can slow it down, do damage to it and maybe even kill it before it reaches you (such as a propane Tank, the pit of fire in the debris in the finale of Dead Air, or the exploding gas station in No Mercy, which are very useful if used right, if you don't want to use a grenade or don't have one.)
  • If a melee attack is used, the Tank will chase whoever hit it; this is extremely useful when a Survivor is incapacitated and is being pounded on, enabling a healthy Survivor to lead the Tank in circles while someone else gets the Survivor back up and into the fight. However, the incapacitated Survivor must not shoot the Tank after it has been hit or else it will turn right back around and resume its pounding on them. If so, since it is melee range, Adrenaline Shots might be used to run faster to avoid the Tank's powerful punches.
  • When using a primary weapon, sometimes the faster yet weaker weapons are useful when dealing with them. Shotguns are only effective up close, which means that you risk being severely damaged, incapacitated or killed when this happens. Assault rifles are excellent when dealing with the Tank because of the fast firing rate, damage and ammo. Scoped rifles are also another choice, as their high accuracy can allow you to deal with a Tank from any distance.
  • Avoid "teasing" the Tank, as this will increase the chances of the Tank focusing on you and no one else on the team.
    • Also avoid standing too close to the Tank. Often times the Tank will target whoever is in the closest proximity to him. However this could be used to draw away a Tank chasing after a wounded teammate.
  • Avoid bunching up together such as in a closet or corner and trying to unload onto the Tank while it assaults you. Doing so will make you a very easy target for the Tank. If there is a prop around such as a log, car, dumpster, or forklift, the Tank can send it flying towards your direction to instantly incapacitate everyone. Doing so will also make the Tank's punch hit multiple Survivors at once, and hiding in a closet can entomb you inside of it. The best action may be to stay apart but within range of your teammates if any Special Infected tries to pick them off.
  • If there is a Minigun or Heavy Machine Gun nearby, you can use it to force the AI Tank to switch targets. The AI Tank always goes for the person mounted on the Minigun/HMG. This is exceptionally useful if your team is on one side of the area being chased by a Tank, and you are on the other side by the Machine/Minigun. These weapons are also excellent for inflicting heavy damage on an attacking Tank should one spawn at a distance within its arc of traverse (e.g. the Death Toll and No Mercy finales).
  • The auto and combat shotguns suffer from a -15% damage penalty against the tank for balancing purposes, in the process reflecting real-world buckshot performance against animals with tough hides - something the tank most certainly has. Pump shotguns are unaffected however, due to the much lower damage per second of pump-action weapons.
  • If you and your teammates are equipped with Auto shotguns, you may be able to kill the Tank before it can inflict damage to anyone. (Auto shotgun damage - 3000 per magazine totalling to 2550 damage due to 15% damage resistance; see Tank health statistics). In addition, a propane tank can deal a fair amount of damage to the Tank and stumble it, allowing you to quickly finish it off with shotguns as it is stumbling.
  • If a Tank spawns after the Crescendo Event at the crane in the second stage of Dead Air, try lighting the Tank on fire and making it fall between the buildings. This will cause the Tank to lose a significant amount of time for an attack, and often it will burn out before climbing back up. If no one else damages the Tank, then you would earn an easy "Man vs Tank" achievement.
  • If you are close to the safe room at the end of a level, run into it. The Tank cannot get in, and you can shoot at it through the door. Keep your distance from the door, though. It can still punch you if you are too close. Do not try this at the start of a level, because as stated before, start level saferoom doors are breakable for tanks.
  • Be wary when using Bile bombs and Molotovs on the Tank at the same time. Common Infected running through the flames to chase the Tank will light on fire, rendering the Common Infected useless unless there are Infected CEDA Workers present to attack in Dead Center; but even then they aren't very common, meaning the summoned Horde is destroyed and you are a Bile bomb short. Try to set the Tank on fire first before throwing Bile bombs so he will run out of the fire when the horde arrive, also the fire on the Tank doesn't damage the Infected attacking him.
  • In Left 4 Dead 2, you may also want to consider whether or not you want to throw just a Bile bomb at a Tank. This depends in part on the play mode. In Campaign mode, the bile will not have the blinding effect on the AI that it would have on a human player in Versus. In any mode, throwing a bile also introduces a Horde, and if you do not deal with that horde before the bile wears off, you will have to deal with them as well. On the other hand, it will highlight the Tank, allowing all players (providing you are not playing in Realism mode) to see where the Tank is through walls.
  • A bad scenario is when a problematic Special Infected spawns before you fight the Tank. An example would be the Jockey, who will move you over to the Tank, and you will be left vulnerable to the Tank's punches. Problematic Special Infected should be dealt with first as they will help the Tank whenever they can.
  • Regardless of difficulty, AI Tanks will generally do a victory taunt (roaring, punching the air, beating its chest or slamming its fists on the ground when on fire) when it successfully incapacitates, kills, or hits a Survivor. Use the opportunity to unload your ammo on it while it is stationary, or if you are close to it and willing to deal massive damage, hit it with a melee attack and then run.
  • In Left 4 Dead, Tanks will usually pound on an incapacitated Survivor, making him a stationary target and easier to deal with as long as the Survivor is not killed. Tanks do not do this in Left 4 Dead 2, but it is still possible to force him to pound on an incapacitated Survivor, as long as you are willing to risk sacrificing a teammate. By standing close to the incapacitated Survivor, or helping them up, AI Tanks always go after those being helped up unless they are too far away. Swing your melee weapon quickly, and continue until it dies. However, the Tank does outwit this method sometimes and will instead land a punch on you, which can be deadly on higher difficulties. If you suspect that the Tank is about to attack you, quickly help the victim up so the Tank will change his agression towards them.
  • Unlike the Witch, who can be avoided by simply running past her, Tanks will always become aggressive and attack as soon as it notices you, even if there is a wall blocking its view, so it is impossible to avoid setting off a Tank.
  • Avoid fighting a Tank and a horde at the same time, as this can be very difficult, and can often result in failure, incap, and or death.
    • When a Tank is already alerted, a horde will only spawn when the Survivors trigger an event (such as being vomited on by a Boomer or triggering a car alarm). Of course, hordes and tanks always spawn at the same time during finales when the survivors are attempting to board the rescue vehicle.
      Left 4 Dead - Tank Theme00:53

      Left 4 Dead - Tank Theme

      the tank theme

    • If you have to fight a Tank along with the horde at once, it is advised to use your throwable items. Use Molotovs to block the horde's incoming path (Don't throw it at the Tank unless it comes from the same direction, or you will still be surrounded fairly quickly), or throw a Pipe Bomb to eliminate most of the horde. Alternatively, in Left 4 Dead 2, you can throw a Bile bomb on the Tank to turn the oncoming horde against the Tank, or throw it in the opposite direction from which they are coming from to occupy them until the Tank is dead. An item used correctly will largely increase your chance to survive in this situation.
  • When one or more Survivors are covered in Boomer Bile, Tanks will usually choose them as his first target/s, you still can force the Tank to focus on you though.
  • If you are being cornered but the area is large enough for you to run past the Tank, use the Adrenaline shot to run faster, this will usually cause the Tank to miss his punch while you pass by. Running past the Tank with normal speed is possible, but your timing must be very accurate or you will get punched.
  • In Survival Mode, The Plantation or The Port, the Survivors may fight two Tanks at the same time. Try to make two tanks chase you together, this prevents you from being cut off from two sides, and helps you to set them on fire with only one Molotov or Gas Can. In some narrow doorways or corridors Tanks may even attack each other.
  • The Tank occasionally walks backwards, which is a glitch when it re-targets a player behind it. However, if he does this and he punches with his hand forward, he can still hit you. Sometimes he may turn around as he gets close enough to you before striking.
  • After an AI Tank throws a concrete, the Tank will focus on a closer target, unless all the other targets are dead/incapitated. 
  • In the Memorial Bridge finale, it is possible to sprint past the Tank on the bridge (and not fight him at all) by using an adrenaline shot at just the right moment. With the game set to Easy, this tactic is the only certain way to win the time-based achievement associated with this chapter.
  • AI Tanks will either spawn at a close or far distance. If it's at a close distance, throw a Molotov or (for safety) a Pipe bomb (allows you to gain some fair distance from him) and kill him that way. If he spawns far away, he will start charging towards you, so either stand ground and fire until he gets too close, or move back to a spot that gives you an advantage over the Tank (not recommended for Advanced and Expert).
  • Just because a survivor is down doesn't mean they will certainly die if you don't get them back up.  If you keep infected off of them, they will have 100 seconds to live, normally more than enough time to kill a tank.  They might also attract normal infected, which can usually be dispatched with the pistol quite easily. This keeps the infected away from survivors fighting the tank.
    • However on Expert difficulty, Tank will more likely pound the downed player first, so you may have to use melee weapon, or mount the Minigun to draw his attention away from downed teammates.


The number of Tanks depends on the server preferences, the game difficulty and the "mood" of the Director. It is fairly uncommon that there is more than one Tank per chapter except on Expert in Left 4 Dead, in which it is almost a certainty that the Director will spawn two on most levels (however, in Left 4 Dead 2 it is again uncommon for there to be more than one Tank per level on Expert). If you have not faced a Tank in the previous level (in one that can spawn a Tank), be prepared to face one near the beginning safe room. In addition, sometimes the Director will spawn a second Tank if your team is cruising through the level and have already fought a Tank very early on.

In all finales at least three Tanks are spawned, two while the rescue arrives and one when the rescue vehicle is waiting. The only exception to this being Swamp Fever and The Passing, which feature two Tanks after the second Infected wave (or in the case of The Passing, after a set of waves that followed a single Tank spawn). Regardless of campaign, unlimited Tanks (one or sometimes two at a time) will spawn when the Survivors are making their way to the rescue vehicle.

The Sacrifice also plays host to an increased number of Tanks. During the Port Finale, a Tank will spawn for each generator which must be activated to lower the bridge. During the sacrifice event four Tanks will spawn at the same time (albeit from a distance for balancing reasons). If going for 'Bill's sacrifice' achievements associated with this chapter, the tactic of setting the game on Easy, using a Pipe Bomb to distract the Common Infected and ignoring the Tanks is the only sure fire way to win these awards right off the bat.

The Tank is heralded by a brief ceasefire in finales, where the Hordes will stop rushing (unless a Survivor has been covered in Boomer bile), allowing players to catch their breath. In other chapters there are generally fewer Common Infected around, almost making things eerily quiet - a calm before the storm. It is possible that this is because the other Infected have fled, as the Tank seems to eviscerate anything standing between it and its target without hesitation, although the Tank does not attack the Infected intentionally. Another possibility could involve the fact that the Common Infected have no real sense of self preservation, so fleeing from a Tank is not instinctive. Instead, the lack of Common Infected in this situation could simply be to balance the gameplay so that it is not too overwhelming. But, it can be noted about what Louis said in the Sacrifice comic."The common infected are like piranhas, not too picky about who they attack. If you jump in a lake full of piranhas, and you ain't gettin' attacked? Means there's a shark around."

Sometimes it is also a good idea to use a programming foible involving ladders to trap the Tank. If a Survivor is climbing up a ladder and stops and holds still, there is a good chance that the Tank will stop as well and thereby giving the other survivors a chance to kill it without risk to themselves. Although this is a good idea, the person who is on the ladder cannot shoot the tank and must not move due to the fact that moving also causes the Tank to come to life again. Also, the Tank will probably be pushing up, so you'll need to (on X-Box 360), move the moving stick down or you'll get pushed up by the Tank or any other Infected. Also, Special Infected might be able to pin you down, such as a Smoker constricting you on the ladder.

On places without any barriers, such as the building on Hard Rain's Sugar Mill, regardless if it is part 2 or 3 of the campaign, if the Tank hits a Survivor and that Survivor dies, you won't be able to defib any Survivors if the Tank punched them off into the sugar canes.

Individual Tanks that spawn in the end of an Campaign are also uncommon; it's a somewhat rare chance of encountering a Tank that will spawn before activating the final Crescendo.


Tank chasing Bill

Notes about the Rock Throw

  • The Tank cannot move while throwing a rock, giving Survivors an opportunity to shoot it.
  • Keep moving and jumping when he is throwing rocks to avoid injuries. Jumping over rocks does not work, just as attempting to jump over Spitter acid.
  • You'll know when it is going to throw by the absence of the ground pounding noise. If you use captions, it will say "Tank picks up rubble."
  • Anyone can shoot the concrete out of the air, rendering it harmless. This method, however, is not always safe, as it takes more than a couple of bullets from an Assault Rifle to destroy the rock, and a shell from the shotgun at close range. The Hunting Rifle, if equipped, is perfect for sniping these rocks out of the air. It does require some practice, so you should not always try it. This tactic is best to use when you can't move immediately, such as when you are on a Minigun/Heavy Machine Gun, or are low on health.
  • An alternate choice if you have a Molotov is to throw it towards the Tank as it is throwing a slab. The Molotov should hit the slab and break it with the Molotov continuing on its original path (which, if landing in front of the Tank, is a plus). The other side to the rock throw is that once it is thrown, you only have a brief window of opportunity to shoot it or dodge it, depending on your distance from the Tank.
  • Similarly, if you happen to be holding Gnome Chompski and have no time to dodge, you can throw Gnome Chompski at the rock and it will break.
  • If the Tank is controlled by the AI, it cannot predict where a Survivor will run. Zigzagging will cause the Tank to throw the rock far from your current location. This does not apply on Expert difficulty, as the Tank possesses an increased aim and has an easier time predicting where you'll be when the rock reaches you. However, by moving in one direction when it is picking up the rock and then changing direction immediately after it has released it, it will most likely miss. This is because once it's been thrown it cannot change course. Note that this will not work if the Tank is very close.
  • You may be unable to dodge a rock if you are limping (i.e. when your health is below 40).
  • The Tank can throw rocks regardless of where it is standing, even if it's underneath a downed Survivor or if on a wooden support such as a bridge or walkway. The ground underneath it remains the same, despite having some of it ripped out. Strangely enough, if a Tank uses the Rock Throw inside the building, the "rubble" will be stone, even if the floor is wood.
  • Stay away from the Tank when it uses his Rock Throw. If you get really close to him (melee weapon range), he'll be able to incapitate or kill you easily.
  • If facing a player-controlled Tank with a melee weapon, try and trick the Tank player into punching early. Then hit him once or twice with your melee weapon before backing up. He may be so eager to hit you, you may back up out of his range as he punches, causing him to miss and allow you to attack again. This is an effective strategy, especially when someone else is doing the same thing. Be wary of the Tank's teammates trying to make you a sitting duck, and remember that you cannot use a melee weapon when grabbed by a Smoker (unless it is a Chainsaw) to free yourself. So make sure to have someone else using guns in the event if you should be immobilized by a Special Infected, unless it is a Boomer (you can still see through the bile if you have good eyesight and memorization of the chapter's map), and the Spitter.
  • Survivor Bots show little effort on evading Tank's rock throw. Keep moving so they will move up to follow you.
  • Survivor Bots also show little effort when surprised by a Tank and will just get themselves hit, keep moving so that won't happen and to avoid getting separated by a huge height distance.


"The Tank's job is to deal major damage to the Survivors in a short period of time, and to instantly change the pacing of the current game. If the Survivors are not prepared to fight the Tank as a team, they will be split up and inevitably killed individually."

Occasionally, players are able to take on the role of the Tank in Versus mode. When the Director has given them control of it, the Tank has a frustration meter that depletes quickly as long as the Tank cannot see the Survivors. The frustration meter will stop draining when Survivors are in sight, but will not refill until the Tank hits the Survivors. This was employed to prevent players from camping away from the Survivors for long periods of time and using out-of-character strategies (i.e "sniping" the Survivors by throwing rocks and not actually fighting them).

Once the frustration meter is depleted, control of the Tank is given to another player if available. If the second player's frustration meter is depleted, the Tank becomes AI-controlled. Also, when players are controlling the Tank, they can break down walls highlighted by yellow cracks. Though multitudes of Common Infected can break down the walls, as can other Special Infected, only Tanks can break through the beginning safe room door.

There was an update for both the Xbox 360 and PC versions of the game where certain objects that can be punched/thrown (cars, dumpsters, etc.) are highlighted in red. The items highlighted in red usually instantly incapacitate a Survivor on impact (except in The Bridge finale where the cars only take out a large amount of health to balance gameplay due to the abundance of cars on The Bridge.)


  • Avoid crouching through ventilation shafts and windows after Survivors. You will move incredibly slowly whilst taking damage and crouching (from weapons such as the Auto Shotgun especially), almost to a point where you will find it difficult to move at all. Although this problem has been addressed by Valve, it is never a good idea to move though an area where the Tank is forced to crouch or use the button to crouch while you are a Tank. Attack the Survivors through the window with rocks or, if they are in a vent, let your teammates flush them out.
  • Use alternative routes where possible to "sneak up" on or flank the Survivors. Make sure the route isn't too large as to avoid your frustration meter from emptying. It isn't uncommon for a Tank player to get around the Survivors to attack them from behind, only to have his frustration meter empty on him as he is getting into position.
  • In the scenario that all of the Survivors bunch up and use auto shotguns, attempt to put as much distance as possible between you and them. Keep them in your line of sight (or behind good cover if you are good at rock throwing), and pick them off with a volley of concrete blocks.
  • Some maps contain walls or other barriers that can only be destroyed when a Tank punches through them. For example, the window on top of the CEDA van in The Park can be only destroyed by the Tank (and he can use this to enter the van and attack the Survivors inside), although the windows on the sides work normally (and are not large enough for anything but a Spitter's spit or Smoker's tongue to pass through).

Resistance and Life

  • Even though the Tank has the highest hit points (6000 in Versus), a strong Survivor team can take it out without taking damage themselves. Especially those armed with a Chainsaw, a Grenade Launcher, or a Pipe Bomb.
  • Avoid being set on fire as much as possible.
    • Take notice at the Survivors who has a Molotov before you approach, and avoid these players until the fire they throw burns out.
    • If you hit a Survivor you see has a Molotov, be sure to incapacitate them as fast as possible.
    • If you see somebody who is about to throw a Molotov, change direction immediately. But if you are separated, use the Rock Throw to hit the Survivors instead.
    • Fire alone kills a Tank after 30 seconds.
    • If you are set on fire, charge the Survivors. You won't have much time to attack, so every second counts.
    • If there's water nearby (like in The Boathouse Finale), dip in to put the fire out. This also works in The Sewer of No Mercy.
    • In the Hard Rain campaign, you should not worry about Molotovs. thanks to the campaign's flooded environments, especially in the finale.
  • At one time or another, when you are next to become the Tank, you might spawn right in front of the Survivors, letting them pick at your health. It is possible to have only half of your health by the time you gain control.
    • If this does happen, just charge at the Survivors and attack. Since the Survivors are already in a position to inflict massive damage, you could die as you try to run away, so it would be better to deal some damage to them before dying.
    • Conversely, you may spawn far away from the Survivors, putting you in a situation where your meter could run out before you can even reach them. Attempt to close in as fast as possible in this scenario.
    • Beware of Survivors with bile bombs. When you are struck with one, your vision becomes impaired, and Common Infected will attack and slow you down until you either kill all of them or the bile effect expires.
  • Be wary of Survivors with melee weapons. If 2 or 3 of them have Katanas/Machetes/Chainsaws, these weapons can kill you within a matter of seconds. Target them with your punches or Rock Throw. Be warned that they can use the melee method and hit you, move back, and your attack misses and so on.


  • A Tank can punch every two seconds. Keep this in mind when running at a group of Survivors, as during the time it takes for you to punch again, the Survivors may have already killed you.
    • There is also a half second delay between when you click to punch, and when you actually punch, so take that into consideration.
  • Avoid attacking in the open at all if possible, because in the open it is much easier for Survivors to evade both your melee attacks and rock throws. However, Survivor Bots will barely move away from the Tank, so you can punch them easily.
  • Using punchable objects effectively can save you health and time, and can effectively distract Survivors as they try to avoid the objects.
    • Most of the time, you can hit such an object from any side of your body. Use this to save time walking around objects, because you can just walk up against it and punch the way you need it to go. Additionally, you can aim upwards to throw things in an arc or toward the ground to have more control of the direction you punch it in.
    • These objects can also be moved to make a temporary barrier to slow or stop the progress of the Survivors.
    • You can use the barriers to stop the Survivors from progressing along a chapter. This is best done to block a safe room door. Another example is the sewers in The Parish - you can punch a car over the manhole at the end, or if a Survivor or two have gone into a room with one exit, you can barricade them inside with a dumpster, car, etc. This is usually frowned upon however, and it often means you cannot reach the Survivors or any others that managed to avoid the barricade escape, causing you to lose control of the Tank.
    • This has been patched. Objects hit by a Tank will disappear over time if the Tank does not hit it again within the time limit. It still delays the Survivors a bit of time, though.
  • Punch Survivors in different directions to separate them.
  • If the Survivors are in an enclosed area, keep attacking one Survivor (usually the one with the lowest health) until they are incapacitated.
  • Be careful using the swing attack on Survivors in wide open, flat areas, as this merely gives them a chance to get away. Charge a Survivor you've punched as soon as you punch him/her, and keep going in for another punch. It's a good idea to hit a Survivor towards something that will stop them from flying far away from you, so you can hit them again and again while they are down and trying to get up to shoot you. Be advised that this makes you a stationary target for other Survivors and even, if they're willing to sacrifice a teammate, throw a Molotov at you.
  • Always aim to divide and conquer if you're in a building or an area with many obstacles. Try to spread the Survivors out by hitting them behind large objects or knocking them out of windows. Separated Survivors allow for other Special Infected to attack and kill them.
    • If the Survivors can't see you, they can't shoot at you, meaning that you will take less damage during your rampage.
  • Unlike Campaign Mode, attacking an incapacitated Survivor will inflict only 24 damage per hit. Considering incapacitated Survivors have 300 health, it is much easier to simply incapacitate each Survivor one at a time. Choosing not to do so usually makes you a stationary target for everyone to gun you to death. You should really only attack an incapacitated Survivor if they are close to death, your frustration meter is running out, or to force the other Survivors to come to you.
  • Go after any Survivors that are separated from the group, unless the others are extremely low on health. One gun on you is much better than three.
    • The March 11th update made it possible for the Tank to hit multiple Survivors at once. Previously, it was a viable defense when playing as the Survivors to group together in a small room or a corner. This was because the Tank could not hit more than one person at a time and would quickly be killed without doing much damage.
  • Flying cars and similar objects are your best weapon; they will incapacitate a Survivor instantly. This makes The Bridge easier for the Infected team. However, keep in mind that the cars on the bridge will only severely damage them, and will not cause instant incapacitation. Objects that can be punched like this by the Tank include mid-size cars, logs, dumpsters, pianos, pallet jacks, forklifts, boulders, and the globe held by the statue of Atlas in The Terminal. The bumper cars in The Barns can be punched like these objects, but they do not incapacitate on impact; instead, they work like the cars on The Bridge, as noted above. Objects that can be punched have red auras to the Tank (although this aura does not appear on Realism Versus).
  • Keep in mind that cars and similar objects, when punched, follow the rules of the game's physics. For example, a car that clips into a wall or some other object might spin away at a different angle; if it's airborne, it might even bounce back towards you. Work with the space you have available: punch larger objects like cars at survivors if there is a lot of room for them to try to maneuver, and punch more compact objects like dumpsters if the survivors are in an alley or some other space where the object could easily hit a wall before it hits the survivors.
  • Use caution when hitting cars and other large objects. If the car hits something in front of it, or if you walk forward while the car is airborne, the car may hit you and cause a small amount of damage.
  • Aiming up or down while punching a car alters the arc that the object moves. In Left 4 Dead, aiming up punches an object up, and vice versa; in Left 4 Dead 2, this is reversed, so aiming down will send and object up. When fighting you in streets and other areas filled with objects that you can punch at them, Survivors will often try to stay on higher ground, so punching cars up at them may be the best way for you to attack them (and will focus their attention on you, giving your teammates a better opportunity to help you out).
  • If a car gets stuck behind a wall or in other barrier, or if you just can't move it towards the Survivors at all, don't waste time trying to punch it. Instead, go back to attacking them normally, or start punching a new car if there's another one handy.
  • A few maps contain destructible objects that the Tank can punch, destroying them but sending debris flying in the direction that the Tank was punching. This debris inflicts damage on any Survivors that it hits roughly equivalent to the Tank's rock throw. These destructible objects include the pillars in The Subway and the boats and the pallets of bricks in The Docks.

Rock Throw

The Tank's ability to hurl chunks of concrete and punch cars towards Survivors was included when the game developers discovered that, because the Tank was so slow, it could be quite underpowered when faced at range. Survivors would use height and distance in large, open areas to easily take down what was supposed to be the strongest of the Infected.

  • Your Rock Throw is usually underestimated. With practice it can be devastating and deals a lot of damage to the group of Survivors at a short amount of time. As a rule of thumb, aim your reticule above, and perhaps ahead of the target while throwing. Remember that rocks fly in an arc.
    • Even in close range, the rock throw can be effective because you can follow it up with a quick melee attack. However, if many of the Survivors are focused on you, you may sustain a significant amount of damage during the relatively long process of throwing a rock.
    • If a Survivor is running away for distance, you can slow them down with a well-aimed hit, especially if you cause them to start limping, allowing you to outrun and finish them off.
    • If you have a competent team and are well suited with tossing rocks, you can simply hide behind low barriers or up high and throw rocks at the Survivors while your teammates cause havoc. This tactic is often advised if the Survivors are in an area where they can flank you easily, have powerful weapons such as auto shotguns or melee weapons, Boomer bile, or Molotovs.
    • Be aware that if you use the rock throw, you are unable to move for a considerable amount of time. More often than not, a crafty player will take advantage of this and throw a Molotov/Bile Jar at you. If the Survivors have melee weapons, one or two of them - especially if one is wielding a chainsaw - can come up behind you and drop your health rapidly if not outright kill you. Keep this in mind if you plan on using the rock throw ability frequently.
    • Although you cannot punch through walls, certain walls allow you to throw rocks through them if you're hugging them.
  • During scenarios when the Survivors are pinned down by a horde or some other obstacle, you can simply stay far away and lob concrete at them from a safe distance. Not only does this make very difficult for survivors to throw a Molotov at you, but if the entire team is using medium to close range weapons, you can almost rest assured that you will have plenty of health in case they start moving again. However, take note as fellow Special Infected can easily be killed with this ability.
  • If you plan on using the tank as simply an artillery piece as above to attack Survivors, find odd spots to stand on to prevent them from using Molotovs or Bile bombs on you. Either places up very high, or on top of a fence. As it takes extremely good aim to even hit the fence just right, you will be able to toss rocks.
  • The direction that the rock is thrown is not determined when you start the attack; it's determined when the attack animation finishes and the rock starts flying. If your target starts to move as you start throwing, reorient your camera so that it's centered on where you want the rock to go. Since you can't move while throwing, Survivors will sometimes try to take advantage of that, and shoot or even melee you from behind in mid-throw. Turning around in the middle of the animation and throwing the rock at the Survivor behind you can save you from taking a lot of damage; even if you miss, you'll at least be looking in the direction of the Survivor who thought they were attacking you from behind.


  • It is possible to assist Hunters who have already pinned someone, but the effort required to aim isn't worth it. The reason is that the Tank's attack will kill the Hunter (or any other Special Infected, for that matter) instantly.
    • On the same note, if someone else on your team is playing as a Tank, work with them, but give them a wide area to fight, as they could easily kill you by mistake.
    • If a Survivor is pinned by a Hunter, try to protect your teammate as by running towards the other Survivors. You'll want to either punch them as they try to run past you to save their teammate, or have them back off so that they cannot save their teammate. It only takes a Hunter a few seconds to dish out some serious damage.
    • If a nearby incapacitated Survivor is attempting to save their teammate from a Special Infected, you can use your body as a shield to give your teammate extra time to deal more damage. Although this can help, it works better when the incapacitated Survivor and trapped Survivor are the only two remaining, and it would probably be more productive for you to go after other healthy Survivors.
    • If a pair of your teammates have pinned a pair of Survivors, it may be a good idea to guard them from any Survivor attempting to play the "hero". This isn't often respected, but may be useful if a Survivor is attempting to press forward to save his/her teammates. When he/she turns the corner to find you there, this allows you to easily incapacitate them.
  • If you incapacitate a Survivor, immediately re-target another and prevent the Survivors from reviving the incapacitated.
  • After you incapacitated a Survivor, punching a large object over them will still take away a large chunk of their health. This can help if you want to kill an incapacitated Survivor quick.
  • If playing on a level where it's possible to punch Survivors off of the level, such as chapters 4 and 5 of No Mercy, do everything you can to knock them over; once they fall, there's no helping them. To do this, punch while try to aim the reticule upwards.
  • Separating the Survivor team with the Tank helps Hunters to pounce on Survivors, or Smokers to grab Survivors, so they can't come to the group's aid or the group coming to kill the Infected that has them pinned or tied up, leaving you with one less Survivor to kill.
  • Do not attack an incapacitated Survivor if a Hunter, Charger, Jockey or a Smoker already has them locked in a bind. Doing so will more than likely kill your teammate and free that Survivor.
  • If your team has good communication in the above scenario, ask a Hunter to pounce on a Survivor while you distance the others. They will not be able to use a pistol while they're down since they are being hurt, and their team needs to deal with you first. Survivors armed with Magnums can be especially dangerous while downed.
  • If you get the indication that you are about to become a Tank, and are currently an un-spawned Special Infected, try to immediately spawn that Infected near the Survivors. This way your team will have an extra AI-controlled Special Infected to help during the attack. Note that in some cases, if you spawn too far from Survivors, the Infected AI will be idle and not attack.
  • You can have a Spitter teammate run in and cause them to separate, allowing you to rush in while they are confused and disorientated to deal heavy damage before they realize you're attacking them. By then, you've possibly incapacitated one of them.
  • During almost every campaign finale, the Tank is summoned at the disposal of the Special Infected team at least twice. It can be noted that in most of the finales in Versus, the completion of the second Tank confrontation is necessary in order to allow the rescue vehicles to arrive. As a result, the Infected team can gradually weaken and crush the Survivors by forcing/instructing the Infected player nominated as Tank to camp, making the finale's outcome one-sided and giving the Infected team the undeniable upper hand. However, this strategy is largely looked down upon by the majority of the online community. Additionally, a Tank that does not take the offensive runs the risk of losing control to another player or to the AI.
    • The second Tank defeat requirement is more common in the Left 4 Dead 2 finales than the the original Left 4 Dead finales.
    • As unbalanced and unfair this issue/bug may be, a patch/update has not yet been released to resolve it.

Tank Tips And Tricks Gameplay

As a Tank, most of the time you're going to have to rely on yourself to kill the Survivors. Though the other Special Infected might help, they are not going to be able to distract them for long. Here are a few tips to get you started:

  1. Try not to get in the range of mounted guns, as they eat away at a lot of health in a short amount of time. Either have a teammate eliminate the mounted gunner or find some way to get behind them and either force them off the gun to shoot at you, or punch them off. Doing such in The Plantation House is a great way to cause incapacitation or even death by punching them off the second story floor.
  2. A Survivor often panics when they see a Tank. Look for this one and chase them relentlessly, unless of course there is a Survivor you are more likely to kill, such as a wounded or bile-covered one.
  3. A Charger/Boomer/Tank team makes for a good mix. Get the Charger to bring the Survivor as far from the group as possible, then while the Charger is pummeling them, have the Boomer throw up on them, and the Tank make sure no interference comes from the other pesky Survivors. However, make sure to spread out beforehand, as the Boomer can explode and stumble the Charger and Tank. Also, if the Charger misses and hits a wall by the Tank and Boomer, it will stumble them. If you are more spread out before attacking, you cannot be stumbled by a mistake from your teammate(s).
  4. If one strategy doesn't work, try another. Each opposing team will play differently from the last.
  5. You will sometimes see the outline of the AI Tank before you take control. If you can, get near the AI before you assume control so you will have a better idea of exactly where you are on the map and also so you don't lose control of the Tank while trying to get your bearings.
  6. In the rare case of seeing a Survivor coming at you with a revved-up chainsaw, bat them away as soon as they are in range. A Survivor with a chainsaw will kill you in ,mere seconds, and if they are batted away, not only does it create some distance, but they'll have to rev the chainsaw up again, which can allow other Special Infected to incapacitate or even kill them.
  7. If a Hunter or Smoker has a Survivor pinned in a narrow hallway or the other Survivors are grouped up in one place while the pinned Survivor is being killed, stand between the group of Survivors and the pinned Survivor. It'll buy invaluable time for your buddy to kill the pinned Survivor if the bullets are hitting you instead of your teammate. Good locations confirmed are The Park in the hedge "maze" or the alley leading under the highway to the trailer.
  8. If at all possible, wait for the rest of the Infected team to spawn and then throw rocks at the Survivors at a place they have to go to. You may get lucky and hit some of them, which will reset your frustration meter and may also incapacitate Survivors. While buying your team time to spawn, set up and ambush the Survivors. Only move from your spot if Survivors are throwing a Molotov, trying to get past you, or shooting fire or explosive bullets at you.
  9. On Expert, if you encounter a Tank, you can run back into the nearby safe room, shut the door and crouch behind it while pushing up against it by simply moving the analog stick forward. The Tank will be unable to break the door down, allowing you to shoot him while he tries to knock it down. Be wary of the Tank's rock throw, as it can still damage you through this method. This trick is only recommended when you are nearby the safe room you were in earlier, and if all of your teammates are dead, unless this is on Advanced or if the Tank notices you and starts pummeling at the door. This means you will have to exit the safe room and move through the chapter until your AIs spawn, which can prove difficult as Special Infected (except the Boomer and Spitter), can cause you to restart from the Safe Room all over again, though a Tank might not spawn. If doing Co-Op, two players can provide more ease as there will be another person to help the player who is being pummeled, constricted, etc.

Here are some links for you to use to find more tips.

Left 4 Dead Tank Gameplay Tips and Tricks05:32

Left 4 Dead Tank Gameplay Tips and Tricks

Left 4 Dead - Tank on Fire Speed Comparison01:48

Left 4 Dead - Tank on Fire Speed Comparison


See Main Article: Achievements


Left 4 Dead

L4d towering inferno TOWERING INFERNO (10G)
Light a Tank on fire with a Molotov

L4d achievement tank explosion stun TANK STUMBLE (20G)
Stun a Tank with an explosion in the Crash Course campaign.

L4d man vs tank MAN VS TANK (30G)
Single-handedly kill a Tank.

L4d tankbusters TANKBUSTERS (20G)
Kill a Tank without it dealing any damage to a Survivor.

Left 4 Dead 2

Tank burger TANK BURGER (30G)
Kill a Tank with melee weapons.

Septic tank SEPTIC TANK (15G)
Use a bile bomb on a Tank.


L4d all 4 dead ALL 4 DEAD (30G)
Kill all four Survivors in one life as a Tank.

L4d 20 car pile-up 20 CAR PILE-UP (20G)
As a Tank hit 20 Survivors with a car in the Crash Course campaign.

Sacrifizzle SACRIFIZZLE (50G)
As a Special Infected, incap someone who is trying to sacrifice themselves.


  • Music Cue: Tank
    • Left 4 Dead 2 Taaannnk!! - Hard Rain (Part 1)04:01

      Left 4 Dead 2 Taaannnk!! - Hard Rain (Part 1)

      Left 4 Dead 2's Taaannnk!! mutation where every special infected in a versus game spawn as Tanks!

      In the game's folder for the Tank's music (\sound\music\tank), there are two files: one named "Tank.wav" and one named "Taank.wav". Taank.wav sounds slightly different than Tank.wav, and is 27 seconds longer. It is played when the Tank appears during a finale.
  • The Tank had a letter written from his perspective in OXM 97. The letter is as follows:
Dear Humans. This is Tank. You probably know me from hit game Left 4 Dead. Well, Tank need to get something off chest. It make Tank sad that as soon as you see him, you start shooting at him. Tank not mindless killing machine. Sure, Tank enjoy smashing human skulls to paste. What 12-foot tall, 800 pound, horribly mutated creature wouldn't? But there is another side to Tank. Tank also enjoy stamp collecting, scrap booking, and updating blog under pen name "Love Muffin". Tank took origami class once at adult-learning annex, but fingers too big, so Tank smash teacher. Got B-minus.
So, when you see Tank on the streets of city, instead of shooting, try asking Tank how day is going. You may find that you and Tank have more in common than you think. Of course, Tank will still smash you, but you will die having made new friend. And that make Tank happy.
  • The handwriting appears similar to Team Fortress 2's Heavy as he writes in the same kind of way, only human and less aggression. Though, he writes this way because his English is not very good.
  • The Tank, along with the Boomer, is one of the only Special Infected that take on physical changes in appearance upon death. In this case, the Tank's skin becomes dried out and scorched if it dies on fire, unlike the other Special Infected who maintain their original appearance upon death even when on fire.
  • In the censored version of Left 4 Dead 2, the Tank is the only Infected that has a fire effect when set alight (all other Infected can be set on fire, however the fire on them is not visible).
  • Floating Tank

    A dead Tank floating on the water

    When the Tank dies in water, it floats ironically when normally thick muscles would have a low buoyancy. This also affects other Infected, including Specials, and not Survivors. If a Survivor dies in the water, their bodies are sunk all the way to the bottom. This is most likely developer oversight.
  • The Tank was voted number 51 in IGN's All-Time Greatest Video Game Villains[4].
  • The Tank is called "Hulk" in the game files, most likely referencing The Incredible Hulk. Both the Tank and the Hulk are voiced by Fred Tatasciore.
  • Graffiti in The Sacrifice reads, "Lou F. turned into one of the big ones," referencing a Tank. This may be referring to Lou Ferrigno, the actor famous for portraying the Tank-like Incredible Hulk on TV.
  • In the trailer, it shows a Tank being hit with a Grenade Launcher by Ellis and is stumbled, though in-game it cannot be stumbled by anything except Propane/Oxygen Tanks or Pipe Bomb.
  • Oddly enough, on Campaign, if a Tank does not hit any of the Survivors, it dies. It is unknown how it is still living when there are no Survivors in sight, as in several examples shown throughout the series. For example, in the Left 4 Dead introduction, a Tank is alerted to the Survivors when a car alarm goes off. In Survival, Versus and Campaign finales, a Tank is alerted to the Survivors despite the fact that he has not seen them.
  • Extremely rare, it is possible for a Tank to notice Survivors between a fence, but if captions are on, it will say Tank Yells!, without attacking the Survivors. The only way to fix this is to attack him, which will make him angry and begin to attack you.
  • On Versus, when a Tank spawns, and you can see where it spawns, you will see a blue aura, and a name called "Tank".
  • In Left 4 Dead 2's Survival Mode, if a Survivor attempts to help a downed Survivor and attack the Tank and then attempts to get the incapped Survivor back up, the Tank will pound the incapped Survivor and send the other Survivor flying away. This does not happen in Campaign Mode, as doing this either results in the Tank pounding the Survivor or punching you away.
  • Just like the Witch, there can only be two Tank corpses in the map. Over two corpses will result in the first ones being deleted off the map. Because of this, you can see Tank corpses in an area near the saferoom, and if you get back that corpse will still be there.
  • If another Survivor gets hit by the Tank's rock throw, the Survivor that was hit will be knocked down and get back up. The other Survivors watching will just see an idle Survivor instead. 
  • It is possible to get noclipped from a Tank's punch. A Tank must punch a nearby car, and when it hits a Survivor, there's a chance that the poor Survivor will get noclipped onto the car. The Survivor can still be helped back up, and when he/she gets revived, they will move out of the car. If done correctly, the poor Survivor will also take extra "Tank" damage from the car.
  • It is possible to noclip a Tank onto a window. It is quite rare to do so, and was only tested on Hard Rain's Milltown. A player would find a Tank outside the garage sale house, and even though the Tank would break the window, it would instead accidentally noclip onto the window and die of frustration.
  • The Tank, when idle and not attacked on Campaign mode, would continually do its "victory" pose if spawned without any Survivors attacking it.
    • Even if a Tank is hit from a Survivor's weapon and the Survivor cannot be seen in the Tank's sight, it can still able to find the Survivor(s). This may be an oversight.
  • When the Tank dies on Campaign, it goes down slowly until it reaches the floor. However, on Versus, if the Tank dies it might flip.
  • When the Tank dies, you can hear something like "Nooooo" from the Tank. This shows that the Tank might still have some knowledge of English words from the other Infected.
  • When a Tank is killed, a Survivor will say something like "Killed it." However, it does not show the "[Survivor] killed Tank." The "Killed it" or "Done like dinner!" only appears when a Special Infected is killed, and when a Tank dies, they say this too.
    • However, if you will stand near dying Tank and someone else killed him (meaning his hit was killing one), that Survivor will get protection (game will show "[Survivor] protected [your name]"). This will happen even if you are very far from the Tank and get up close to it.


See image archive for more images...

See Also


  1. Infected:
  2. Tank's jaw
  3. Left 4 Dead 2 Tank model
  4. IGN's All-Yime Video Game Villans
The Infected
Introduced in Left 4 Dead Introduced in Left 4 Dead 2
Boomer nav Hunter nav Smoker nav Tank nav Charger nav Jockey nav Spitter nav
The Boomer The Hunter The Smoker The Tank The Charger The Jockey The Spitter
Introduced in Left 4 Dead Introduced in Left 4 Dead 2 Cut Infected
Witch nav Common nav Uncommon Infected nav 70px-Screamer nav
The Witch Common Infected Uncommon Infected The Screamer

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