In addition to the common infected, there are five "special" or "Boss" infected in L4D and in L4D2 we see the Charger, Spitter and Jockey make their dabut. The Boss's mutations grant them special attacks that make them far more dangerous. Each of the special infected have a distinctive sound or a timely musical, making their presence easily recognizable by players.

Category: Infected

Special Infected


The Boomer is a Special Infected that vomits a special bile at Survivors, which temporarily blinds them and draws Common Infected to them. At a distance the Boomer isn't much of a threat; his large size and low health make him an easy target against any weapon at mid or long range. However, if within range he can vomit on Survivors, attracting the Horde. When he dies, he explodes, covering any Survivors who are close enough with bile, blinding them and causing them to stumble backwards. The Boomer is notorious on the Expert difficulty for being able to snipe Survivors. Boomers can be anticipated because of the near-constant gurgling they make. In Left 4 Dead 2, there is also a female Boomer, although the gender has no effect on gameplay.

The Hunter is a Special Infected that is not as mutated on the outside. The Hunter is extremely fast and agile, capable of quickly scaling walls. Additionally, he can pounce and pin down Survivors, clawing at their abdomen until either the victim is dead or the Hunter has been knocked off or killed by another Survivor. They are not the most physically robust Infected, having relatively low health, and thus it doesn't take very much to kill them. When the Hunter crouches down in preparation to pounce, it growls, giving it away to any nearby Survivors. However, whilst standing, it makes no noise. The Hunter is the only Special Infected that can remain absolutely silent. In Left 4 Dead 2, they can be killed with a melee weapon while in the state of pouncing by aiming upwards and hitting, although this is fairly difficult, as timing is vital and it's easier to kill them from a distance with a high-powered primary weapon.

The Smoker is an ambush class that can strangle Survivors with its long tongue. The help of another survivor is required to escape from a Smoker's hold (though if quick enough it is possible, though difficult, to kill a Smoker who has already grabbed you, earning an achievement). As the name implies, Smokers emit smoke when killed to impair Survivors' vision. A Smoker also will frequently cough, letting the Survivors know when he is in the area. The Smoker can drag players that he has captured with his tongue towards himself, though he remains stationary and cannot move. The Smoker is also momentarily paralyzed for a few seconds after having his tongue removed from his captive by another Survivor. In Left 4 Dead 2, the Smoker has six tongues, but this has no effect on gameplay.

The Spitter is a new Special Infected in L4D2. She possesses the ability to spit a green ball of acid from long distances, which, upon hitting the ground, will expand into a large puddle and damage any Survivors who make contact with it. After spitting, however, the Spitter is temporarily paralyzed for a second, giving the Survivors a chance to kill her. The longer the Survivor stands in it, the more damage the Survivor takes from the goo. This ability allows the Spitter to aid other Special Infected; for instance, if a Hunter pounces a Survivor, a Spitter can spit upon that Survivor, causing even more damage. However, in spite of such a useful ability, the Spitter is very weak in terms of health, so taking out a Spitter will be an easy task. Upon death, the Spitter leaves a similar, smaller kind of puddle that has the same effect on the Survivors. She is one of the most powerful Infected if Survivors are caught standing in her spit, and are too distracted to move quickly due to other Infected or a lack of awareness at damage being dealt. On Scavange mode or any finale requiring Gas cans, when Gas cans are dropped, the Spitter's goo will ignite the Gas cans if left in the goo long enough

The Charger is a Special Infected that appears in L4D2. The Charger's main attack is charging forward and plowing into the Survivors. On a successful charge, he will grab and carry a single Survivor while knocking down the others. Once the Charger has hit a wall or other surface, or after he has run a certain distance, he will begin slamming his captive into the ground until an ally frees them. If he misses and hits a wall, he will stumble, leaving him open to attack. The Charger can be detected by the Survivors by the warped growling noise he makes. He will announce his charge with a loud bellow. The Charger appears to have a rocky or calloused surface on his larger right arm, which may be what he uses to inflict most of his force when charging, while his other arm appears to have no bones or muscle. Because of his hulking size, the Charger cannot be shoved off with melee, and must be killed in order to release his victim. If a Survivor has explosive rounds, they will dislodge the Charger from the Survivor and stumble him. Any Survivor that has been knocked out of the way during his charge will fly a considerable distance and slowly stand back up, making the Charger a deadly foe in cramped hallways or near high passageways. He is also the strongest and most durable of the Special Infected (excluding the Tank and the Witch); additionally, his melee attacks are very strong and can easily incapacitate a weakened Survivor.


The Jockey is a Special Infected that appears in L4D2. He is a small Infected that attacks Survivors by clinging to them from behind and literally riding the Survivor while attacking them. He can shift his weight around and cause the Survivor to stumble in his desired direction, giving this Special Infected a type of control over the Survivor. Survivors who are being ridden by the Jockey can attempt to "resist" the Jockey, which will allow other players a chance to catch up and knock the Jockey off. Jockeys can ride Survivors into dangerous situations, such as into natural hazards, Witches, or other Infected; a Jockey can also pull a Survivor off of a ledge, causing them to become incapacitated, or riding them to their death if they are not resisting. The Jockey seems to have a spinal disease, similar to kyphosis, giving him a hunched appearance. He also has a maniacal laugh and is constantly twitching, giving him a sort of hyperactive nature.

The Tank is the biggest and strongest of the Infected and is reasonably fast, only slowing if hit with large amounts of automatic weapons fire or when lit on fire (Versus in Left 4 Dead only and any mode aside Versus on Left 4 Dead 2). He is the only player-controllable "Boss Infected." If any survivors at 40% or above health (including health gained from pain pills or the adrenaline shot) are running away from the Tank, it will not be able to catch them, as they can run slightly faster (unless the Tank in question is an AI Tank in Left 4 Dead). The Tank has incredible strength and resistance‚Äēhis punch can send Survivors flying, rendering them temporarily defenseless, and in Expert mode, instantly incapacitate them. The blow can send Survivors off high hazards to their deaths. He is also capable of throwing chunks of concrete that he rips out of the ground to momentarily stun Survivors and dealing the same damage as a punch from a Tank. It can also punch large objects in the direction of Survivors with enough force to incapacitate them instantly. Nevertheless, the Tank will die within 30 to 45 seconds if set on fire (varying with the difficulty), except in 'Versus'. When controlled by a player, the Tank has a "Control Meter"; unless the player is able to locate the Survivors and hit one of them, the Control Meter of the Tank will slowly lessen, and once it runs out, the player will lose control of the Tank to another randomly assigned player. When idle, the sound that a Tank makes is heavy breathing. The Survivors are alerted of an approaching Tank by dramatic music, furious roars and, when he is dangerously close, the screen will start to shake.

The Witch generally only appears a few times per campaign, and is passive unless provoked by flashlights, gunfire, or survivors in close proximity. She is the second "Boss Infected." Pistol fire does not provoke her easily, but it will do only a small amount of damage. She is very powerful, capable of incapacitating, and even killing Survivors with one hit. When the 'director' spawns a Witch, the faint chord of the Witch music will play, allowing veterans of the game to quickly prepare for the "obstacle." The Witch cries loudly, which Survivors will mention they hear, warn you to turn off your flashlight, and dramatic music will play. While the Witch can be killed, it is best to avoid startling her unless absolutely necessary. The most common means of her being startled is by staying near her too long or bumping into her. The flashlight will quicken her agitation rate, as she stands up faster with a flashlight shone near (or on) her. If you attack her, or if someone else startles it, it will say "[Survivor's name] startled the Witch". If a Special Infected like the Jockey or Charger gets too close to the Witch and a person was targeted and hit her, it will say, "You startled the Witch! Best not to disturb her next time."

The Witch is very rarely found in small rooms and normally stays off the main route, but has been found in front of safe rooms (or even inside the safe room), doorways, and in the middle of streets. Once a Witch has killed a Survivor, she will retreat out the area and completely disappear. However, in some strange cases, the Witch has been known to kill the closest Survivor to her. This does not usually happen, and when it does, the Witch runs off as normal after killing the Survivor. Also, if a survivor blocks the Witch from attacking the Survivor who startled her, she will attack the Survivor blocking her and either incapacitate the blocking player and run away or incapacitate both the blocking player and the player who startled her. If the Witch is lit on fire (Molotov, Incendiary ammo, Gas can) while she is chasing a Survivor, she will immediately start chasing after whoever burned her. Even if she is retreating, if she is lit on fire, she will go after that Survivor even though she either killed another Survivor or one locked themselves in a safe room.

The Wandering Witch appears in Left 4 Dead 2. She is seen only in the daylight hours, aimlessly wandering around and sobbing loudly with its head in its hands. It's constant movement makes The Wandering Witch harder to avoid, but it is also far more introverted and reacts only to direct attacks or physical contact. One can even damage it slightly without startling it. Unlike the sitting Witches, she does not seem to be alerted more readily by flashlights.

The Wandering Witch remains as vulnerable as ever to 'crowning' from a shotgun, and its more placid nature makes her much easier to cr0wn.

In Left 4 Dead 2's Hard Rain campaign, a large number of Wandering Witches have infested an abandoned 'suger mill', which the Survivors must traverse to obtain fuel for their rescue boat. An achievement,'Sob Story', is earned for navigating the sugar mill without startling any of them.