Back 4 Blood enemy guide: How to kill all Special Ridden

As if fending off hundreds of zombies wasn’t hard enough on its own, Back 4 Blood includes several Special Ridden that bring unique skills to the battle. Some can scale buildings and shoot at you from a distance, while others will charge straight ahead and attempt to catch you off guard. Regardless of which you’re facing, taking them down requires patience, teamwork, and a steady hand.

Here’s what you need to know about defeating Special Ridden in Back 4 Blood — from the terrifying Ogre to the diminutive Stinger.

Further reading

Reekers (Exploders and Retches)

Back 4 Blood Retch preparing to attack.

These Special Hidden are easily spotted by their bloated body and shambling movements. Reekers come in a few different flavors — including Exploders and Retches — but they’re always a threat at close range. These deadly Ridden explode after being killed, making it imperative you communicate with your team to ensure no one gets caught in the blast zone and attracts unwanted attention from nearby zombies.

Taking out Reekers is a simple process on paper but becomes difficult when there are other Special Ridden nearby, or if a horde has been alerted. Regardless of what’s happening around you, there are a few guidelines when engaging with these brutes:

  • Stay as far away as possible: Reekers don’t have many long-range attacks, and you can effectively thwart their efforts by staying out of reach.
  • Alert your teammates: Beyond giving a verbal alert, make sure you ping a Reeker immediately. Not only will this help your crew stay out of harm’s way, but it’ll help keep you updated on its movements so it can’t sneak up on you.
  • Target the stomach: It should be obvious — thanks to its red coloration — but the stomach of Reekers is where you’ll deal the most damage. A few well-placed shots will take the beast down, but make sure none of your friends are nearby to get caught in its farewell explosion.

Tallboys (Bruisers and Crushers)

A massive Ridden in Back 4 Blood.

The aptly named Tallboys tower above all other enemies on the battlefield. Surprisingly agile, these Ridden will sprint forward in short bursts before slamming their gigantic (and deadly) arm onto their target. Beyond dealing damage at close range, they’re surprisingly spongy and can soak up plenty of bullets before finally going down.

Included in this family are the Bruisers and Crushers, which offer slight twists to the Tallboy formula, but can be dealt with in much the same way.

  • Aim for the shoulder: All Tallboys have a glaring weak spot on their right shoulder. Do everything in your power to hit this spot, even if it means rushing out of cover and finding a new vantage point. If you’re unable to see this target, you’ll waste a lot of bullets bringing down a single Tallboy.
  • Wait for an opening: Because its right arm is so massive, the Tallboy becomes staggered after missing an attack. This is the perfect opportunity for you or your teammates to open fire on its weak spot.
  • Prepare for lunges: Tallboy attacks are only effective at close range, but they’re capable of closing gaps much faster than you’d expect. Even if you think you’re out of the danger zone, be ready to backpedal and find cover.

Stingers (Stalkers and Hockers)

Back 4 Blood Stinger ready to attack.

Although they go down easy, Stingers — and their Stalker and Hocker variants — are some of the most frustrating enemies in Back 4 Blood. These acrobatic Ridden have no problem climbing to high vantage points or slinking across walls before ambushing you with a close-range attack or immobilizing projectile. You’ll only need to dole out a few good shots before they go down, but trying to hit the small, agile target isn’t as easy as you’d think.

Here are a few tips to make your Stinger hunt a bit easier:

  • Spot them before they spot you: Stingers can often be found perching high above the battlefield or lurking in the shadows. Their main advantage is their agility and stealth — so once you’ve spotted one, don’t let it out of your sight. Ping these targets as soon as possible and concentrate your efforts on any Stingers in your vicinity.
  • Shoot its chest: Like most Special Ridden, Stingers offer a bright red weak spot on their chest. A few good shots will take it down, but you’ll need to have a steady hand to hit the nimble target.
  • Figure out the variant: Unfortunately, Stingers come in several different variants. Some excel at ranged attacks, while others need to get up close and personal before inflicting damage. Because of this, you’ll need to keep a close eye on their behavior to figure out a strategy. Is the Stinger perched high on a rooftop and making no signs of inching closer? Then you might be dealing with a Hocker — which means it can deal damage at a distance. If you see one running on the ground trying to hide in the shadows, you might be dealing with a different variant — and keeping your distance will be key.

Other Special Ridden

Back 4 Blood Ogre attacking.

Beyond Stingers, Tallboys, and Reekers, there are a few other Special Ridden you’ll encounter in Back 4 Blood. They aren’t as common as the above list, but they still pose a very real threat to your journey to the next safe room.

Ogres

Significantly larger than the towering Tallboys, Ogres are without a doubt the most fearsome Special Ridden in the game. This beast can be found on a variety of levels, and you’re best served simply running away from it. If you have the firepower, however, you can take down an Ogre by shooting its weak spots — indicated by the bright spots on its neck, upper back, and chest. Deal enough damage or run far enough away, and the Ogre will burrow underground. Be cautious of this, as it could rear its ugly head later in your campaign.

Hags

Hags are among the rarest of Special Ridden, so you won’t stumble upon many during your time with Back 4 Blood. When you do find one, however, keep out of its way. Attacking one will launch it into a frenzy, which won’t stop until it’s been shot down. If you do happen to startle one, run away as fast as you can while your teammates lay down suppressing fire. Hags can only deal damage at close range, and your only hope for escape is staying on the move.

Breakers

Breaker raising arms to attack in Back 4 Blood.

Essentially a tank in zombie form, Breakers are capable of withstanding a tremendous amount of lead before finally dropping. These beasts chase whichever person happens to be closest — before throwing down a deadly barrage of melee attacks. Your best bet is running away and letting your team shoot at its bright weak spots located on the lower portion of its torso and up around its neck. Be on the lookout for its leaping attack if you get too far away, but other than that it’s a simple game of cat and mouse … and hoping your team can bring it down before it gets to you.

Snitchers

They won’t actively engage in combat, but they’ll alert a horde of Ridden if disturbed. Do everything in your power to stay out of their way — and definitely don’t shoot at them unless they’re already screeching.

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