How does the card system work in Back 4 Blood?

Uh, waiter? There's a deck builder in my Left 4 Dead spiritual successor...

Card System Back 4 Blood
The cards are probably in their pockets.

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Back 4 Blood has a few systems that make it different from Left 4 Dead, one of which is it’s rather complex card system. Throughout each run of Back 4 Blood, cards are drawn by the AI Game Director from ones which the player has unlocked. Each player starts a game with 1 loadout card and whichever 3 other cards they have chosen to equip, with the opportunity to swap a card out later on when they get to safety.

This gives the Back 4 Blood both roguelike and deck building elements that may not traditionally be expected from this sort of game.

Types of Cards in Back 4 Blood

Card System Back 4 Blood
He should probably get that skin condition treated.


Corruption Cards

At the start of each and every level, the Game Director will select Corruption Cards that will put interesting spins on the situation that is about to unfold for the group of survivors (aka Cleaners). These changes are varied, and can include things like special armored Ridden, interesting weather like heavy fog or even a level-wide blackout.


Active Cards

These are a lot like perks from the Call of Duty series and are selected when in the safe room. They provide bonuses to stats and abilities.

Three Active Cards are presented to the player at the start of each episode’s first act, but the player can only select one, so they must choose their character improvement for the level ahead very carefully.


There are currently over 60 Active Cards in the game, which fall into the following types:

  • Reflex cards are blue and give a player more utility. They boost speed and stamina and can do things like let you start off with weapons like the Uzi. Pep In Your Step is a useful reflex card, temporarily increasing your movement speed by 10% after a precision kill.
  • Discipline cards are red and increase player accuracy, healing ability and ammo count. These are best for players that want to play a support role. They also can let you start off with the assault rifle, shotgun or marksman rifle. Team Ammo is a good Discipline card, as it increases everyone on the team’s maximum ammo capacity by 10%.
  • Brawn cards are green. They increase melee ability, resistance to damage and overall health. Players using brawn cards like Arsenal can equip two primary weapons, which is great for players that like to go on the offense.
  • Fortune cards are gold. They provide bonuses that don’t fit into the other categories, but feel a bit lucky, like having your gun reload when you put it away. The best card in this category is probably Overheal, which allows you to go over your maximum health with temporary health, like in other shooters like Wolfenstein or Duke Nukem.


What do you think of how they designed the card system to work in Back 4 Blood? Do you love cards or do you hate them? Let us know in the comments section below. Want to read more on Back 4 Blood? Check out our guide to it’s playable characters.