Back 4 Blood Characters – All Ridden and Cleaner Character Guide

Which of these Back 4 Blood characters suit your playstyle?

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Back 4 Blood is the spiritual successor to the Left 4 Dead franchise and is referred to by some as Left 4 Dead 3. It is easy to see why, since both Left 4 Dead and Back 4 Blood are developed by the same dev studio, Turtle Rock Studios. However, Back 4 Blood is taking the core principles of the late 2000s zombie-slaying classics and spicing it up with modern gaming features. If we compare B4B to Left 4 Dead 2, there are now even more special infected, aka the Ridden. Even the survivors (Cleaners) are getting a modern spin, receiving a class archetype makeover, rather than quirky characters. Here is what we know about the Back 4 Blood characters.

Ridden Characters

Back 4 Blood Ogre

The Ridden are the zombies that have taken over the world. They come in all shapes and sizes, each with its own ability to destroy those who cling to life. Most of the Ridden classes got a full reveal during the B4B Multiplayer trailer, so you can play most of these Back 4 Blood characters in the multiplayer mode, excluding the Ogre and the Snitcher. If you can’t wait to play as the Ridden, you’ll be happy to know you can playtest them during the Back 4 Blood beta.

Below you’ll find each Ridden class, along with a summary of, their abilities and weaknesses.

  • Bruiser – The Bruiser is a slow-moving but very tanky Ridden. But don’t be fooled by its slowness, as it punches fast with a signature charge ability allowing it to travel at fast speeds to hit like a wrecking ball. If it lands that charge, it could wipe out the Cleaners before they know what’s hit them.
  • Crusher – Crushers are Ridden units that use their incredible strength to lift their enemies in the sky and crush them. You’ll need to stay away from them to avoid their obsession with broken bones.
  • Exploder – The Exploders use the concept of mutually assured destruction to create havoc among the Cleaners. They like to jump into any  certain death situation, aiming to die in an explosion of guts, launching any unfortunate Cleaner caught in the blastwave off their feet. Fans of the Left 4 Dead series will find this character plays similarly to a Boomer, without the vision-impairing mess and vomit they leave behind.
  • Hocker – Hockers are a creature that is very small and agile, capable of pinning down opponents in gummy undead mucus. You’ll want to rescue any ally caught in the phlegm; otherwise, they’ll meet a sticky end.

  • Ogre – The Ogres are the 20ft boss-like Ridden that appear in the campaigns. They tend to appear out of the ground in certain areas and will kill anyone they get near. However, these behemoths are super slow so Cleaners can usually escape their almighty wrath.
  • Reeker – Reekers are a fast-hitting melee Ridden character that also likes to blow up on their enemies. If a Reeker detonate on a Cleaner, they will have a bad odour stuck to them, attracting any suddently-frenzied zombies to them thanks to a skunk-like aroma.
  • Retch –  A Retch is your usual vomit based zombie, flinging bile at enemies aiming to whither their opponent’s health bar down. If a Cleaner is hit with the bile, they’ll take damage over time, especially if they got directly hit. The Bile also leaves behind a pool of acid adding a whole new challenge for Cleaners to bypass. If you’ve played Left 4 Dead 2, you’ll immediately recognize the Retch as the Spitter clone.
  • Stalker – The Stalker is a Ridden that plays exactly like the Hunter in Left 4 Dead. Their sole purpose is to climb high in the sky and pounce on their distant prey.
  • Stinger – A Stinger’s slick appearance allows it to leap around and hang from surfaces. It can sit in an ideal vantage point and snipe unsuspecting Cleaners with its ranged attacks.
  • Snitcher – Snitchers are a long-necked AI-controlled Ridden that you may find around any map in Back 4 Blood. Be careful not to get too close to these, as they’ll snitch your position away and alert every zombie in the vicinity.  You’re best approaching Snitcher’s like you would a Witch from Left for Dead.
  • Tallboy – Tallboys are muscular mutants that walk around with a giant mace-like arm. Their favourite pastime is pounding enemies into the dirt while absorbing damage with their freakishly large anatomy.

Cleaner Characters

Jim Back 4 Blood

The Cleaners are the Back 4 Blood characters that fight for a living. Each Cleaner in Back 4 Blood fills a niche role, with some specialized for tanking, doing damage, or supporting their allies.

  • Doc – Doc is the traditional healer class archetype. This Back 4 Blood character is all about healing allies while providing a significant healing boost to his worse for wear allies. The character also brings team-wide trauma resistance and has increased personal healing efficiency.
  • Evangelo – Evangelo is one of the tough guys on team Cleaner. His ability allows him to break free out of grabs, allowing him some survivability when he is pinned down by zombie hordes. He also has improved stamina regeneration and grants teamwide movement speed boosts.
  • Hoffman – If you like to shoot things, Hoffman is your go-to Cleaner. Hoffman’s special ability passively drops ammo every time he gets a kill. Moreso, he grants his team extra ammo capacity while giving himself one extra offensive item slot.
  • Holly – Holly is one of the most agile Cleaners in the Back 4 Blood character list. She recovers stamina every time she gets a kill, making her incredibly quick. Moreso, her team benefits from her presence as they too gain bonus base stamina. Since Holly is more than likely taking point in acampaign, she gets bonus damage resistance to withstand the swarming zombies that’ll more than likely spot her first.
  • Jim – No shooting game is complete without a sniper archetype. Jim’s special perk is increased damage for every precision kill he gets. Furthermore, he increases his team’s damage versus Ridden weak spots, making him the ultimate boss or Ridden killer. Lastly, his personal passive grants quicker aim down scope (ADS) speed, which suits his scoped-in playstyle.
  • Karlee – Karlee is essentially the scout character of the Cleaners. She has the ability to sense hazards, guiding her team safely through the Ridden infested world. Also, if you find your team is in a sticky spot, her team-wide passive grants bonus movement speed, allowing the Cleaners a better chance of escaping danger. Finally, she has one extra quick item slot, enhancing that speedy style of play of hers.
  • Mom – If Doc is the useful healer, then Mom is the guardian angel for the Cleaners. Her skill allows her to instantly revive a downed target, saving them a trip to a respawn closet somewhere down the road. Follow that up with a team-wide extra life and personal support item and it’s clear that Mom is the versatile clutch character.
  • Walker – Walker is very similar to Jim, as he too has an ability that gains more accuracy for every kill he gets. He also comes equipped with increased base damage while improving his team’s maximum health – not too shabby


If you want a closer look at the Back 4 Blood characters, you can find all the announced Cleaners on the game’s official website.

These are all the Back 4 Blood characters joining the ranks of the Cleaners and Ridden for Back 4 Blood’s release. We will keep the article updated if and when Turtle Rock Studios reveal new Back 4 Blood characters as the game gets closer to launch, or as part of its post-launch content plan.