When playing Left 4 Dead 2, my team-mates and I are struggling to kill a tank fast enough.

It always seems to be able to last a long time even when we are all firing on it. This also means it has more time incap some of us, making it harder to finish the level.

Is there a fast way to kill a tank?

13 Answers 13


Molotovs are definitely your friend when it comes to Tanks. You should make sure he is ALWAYS on fire. They do quite a bit more damage than you'd realize.

From there, if you don't have any heavy weapons, your next best bet is an automatic shotgun. Run in, pump him with rounds, then run out. This is especially effective if somebody else has his attention.

There are plenty of other things that work, but molotovs + auto shottys = win for me.

  • I tried this out today with my team-mates and it's an incredible difference! He died so quickly. Thanks! Commented Jul 10, 2010 at 2:33
  • This only works on Easy and Normal difficulty. It's way too risky on Hard or higher, and since the tank has way more health, you'd have to do this many more times.
    – Marcin
    Commented Nov 7, 2010 at 17:34
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    Note also that shots to the head do much more damage than shots to the chest/back - always make sure to shoot him in the head! Commented Nov 15, 2010 at 17:02
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    @BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft there is actually no hitbox for a headshot on the tank, but are there for every other SI. Commented Dec 7, 2010 at 20:21
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    Back when I played expert realism campaign with friends, we had no trouble lighting tanks on fire. Just keep your distance! Commented May 19, 2012 at 10:59

It depends on the difficulty you are playing, but note that faster is not necessarily better.

If you are playing Easy, Normal or Advanced difficulties, then by all means the best thing to do is light him on fire with a Molotov cocktail or gas can and then get as far away from him as possible. Make sure you can get to an area where he can't hit you with rocks. You can shoot rocks out of the sky with your weapons or the Gatling gun, however.

You also want to make sure that the Boomer does not vomit on you when the Tank is around, because it's harder to keep away from him when the horde swarms you.

If you are playing on Expert difficulty, never, ever, ever light the Tank on fire! In Expert difficulty, the Tank runs much faster when he is on fire and can outrun you when you have health in the green (60 or higher). If your health is less than 60, you're pretty much guaranteed to be incapacitated. Instead, you need to learn how to strafe and dodge the Tank so that he's less threatening. If you're playing with bots, it's much harder to survive a Tank encounter, but with human players, you need to focus on two things:

  1. Make sure you don't forget to keep moving. Lots of players forget this, stand still and shoot at the Tank until he's right up on them.
  2. The Tank only targets one player at a time. Learn how to tell who he's targeting, then let that person skirt the Tank around while the other three Survivors shoot at him.

Lastly, you can use oxygen tanks, propane tanks, and even an exploding Boomer to cause the Tank to stumble for at least 3 seconds, which is a great opportunity to get in some cheap shots.

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    You can shoot rocks out of the sky with your weapons or the Gatling gun, however. Wait, seriously? Holy crap, I was completely unaware of that!
    – FAE
    Commented Jul 9, 2010 at 13:53
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    @FallenAngelEyes Knowing is half the battle! :P
    – cowgod
    Commented Jul 9, 2010 at 15:19
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    Unless you and your team are disciplined enough to concentrate fire, i disagree with lighting the tank on fire if it's easy or normal. Too many times I see people scatter, unsure whether to shoot or run at that point when all the tank needs to die is 1 or 2 clips out of everyone's guns. Definitely use fire on advanced. The above post is good advice on expert. Another protip: the tank turns immediately to attack someone who gets on the gattling gun. And one more for the road - punch a tank to keep him from killing a downed survivor (he will turn on you, of course, so be ready.) srry necro post. Commented Oct 5, 2010 at 7:13
  • Also, as a general tip, make sure your anti-tanks (auto-shottys) have pills/adrenaline ready to skirt the tank - the tank runs faster than them if their health is not in the green. The rifles should stay farther away, if possible, and keep infected away from the auto-shottys while sniping the tank (in the head if possible)... though if the tank targets you, run! Commented Nov 15, 2010 at 17:07
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    I disagree, you should absolutely set the tank on fire on expert. Not only can you navigate terrain more efficiently while running away, but if you maintain line of sight, the tank will stop periodically to throw a rock which buys a huge amount of time.
    – NibblyPig
    Commented Mar 14, 2012 at 15:20

If you are knocked down by the tank stop shooting him. Your team can get his attention with a melee attack and pull him off you only if you are not continuing to hit him.


Chainsaw is your best friend on easy and normal. It deals 1000 damage/sec, and a tank has 4000 HP on normal. If you're lucky, sometimes he just stands there and takes it until he dies. It might not be the smartest way to deal with a tank, but it's fun… and that's the point of the game, no?


The best way I found is to continually move and evade him and all he throws at you.

That, combined with heavy weapons, a molotov, and incendiary or explosive ammo does the trick pretty fast.
Try not to use a Boomer Vile as that will attract more common infected, making it more difficult to evade him.

Obviously, I don't recommend using melee weapons

  • Boomer bile will help, but indeed only for a short moment (and better in versus). After the effect goes away, common infected turn to attack you.
    – Gnoupi
    Commented Jul 9, 2010 at 5:58
  • Besides, melee weapon is not a so bad idea, because it deals a lot of damages. You have to not be alone for this to work, as you can hit him safely only if he focuses on something else (in the back, for example)
    – Gnoupi
    Commented Jul 9, 2010 at 6:00
  • In versus it works great to have teammates use melee weapons on the tank's back while he's chasing you. The bot will realize it and turn around, but a human will likely take time to notice or have his teammates tell him to turn around. Commented May 19, 2012 at 11:06

Play a vs game until you become a tank. You will notice when you are lite on fire you don't stop. It will continually tick away at your health.

First step use a Molotov. Next aim for his head. His health will go down quicker when shooting at his head.

Keep moving and be AWARE of your surroundings. If you get trapped in a corner you are as good as dead.

Finally teamwork. You all have to work together (unless it is on easy then 1 person can do it.)

  • AFAIK, in "normal" games, Tanks do not take damage from fire, but rather die after a certain amount of time passes while being on fire (Maybe 45 seconds for expert?) In vs. games, however, you have health, and fire works together with guns to bring them down faster. Commented Nov 14, 2010 at 21:30

if you use Adrenalin shots and melee weapons you can easily run around him and slice him up or you can use pump shotgun that deals 1000 damage to the tank.

  • This is the closet answer to, have four people shoot it at close range with semi-automatic shotguns for about eight seconds. +1
    – Mazura
    Commented Jun 29, 2017 at 23:08

Light him on fire + boomer vile + you and your teammates shooting him.

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    The Boomer Vile will attract more common infected. I don't recommend it.
    – juan
    Commented Jul 8, 2010 at 23:31
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    Pretty certain the parent means throwing the bile bomb on the tank itself.
    – happy_soil
    Commented Jul 9, 2010 at 0:03
  • @happy, that attracts them also
    – juan
    Commented Jul 9, 2010 at 0:13
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    @Jon - the problem is that once you get rid of the tank, or worse, when the bile effect wears off, they turn to attack you, generating more enemies in the end for you. I think that's what Juan meant.
    – Gnoupi
    Commented Jul 9, 2010 at 5:53
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    Well, those'll come anyway, and they're useful while they last, especially if the Molotov doesn't work fast enough, or even more so if you don't have any.
    – user56
    Commented Jul 9, 2010 at 14:21

About melee weapons: Don't use them!!!

Unless (you need all the following points):

  • Your life value is green (or you have max-speed, due to adrenaline);
  • There is absolutely no small zombie around (you don't want them to stupidly stop you);
  • You don't have any ammo left.
  • You know how to run around the tank without being hit...

How to? If there are fixed (non-throwable) objects (like couch), run around them, while hitting the tank. He won't hit you, unless he manages to catch you.

No fixed objects? It will be harder...

  1. Run to about 1meter of tank.
  2. Wait for him to rise his arm.
  3. Begin to run aronud him. While he is trying to hit you, he will turn slower.
  4. Hit him, while trying not to be in front of him.
  5. ???

For those who play TF², it's similar to melee-killing a LVL3 sentry-gun.


Both sniper rifles are in the second damage tier, so I always use snipers for piercing effect and lovable headshot splatter.

Anyway, the setting is the motel (Expert, Solo, Undead Carnival) I just looted a lovely hunting rifle from the billboard that is like a 90% spawn chance? Nevertheless, I made my way to the hotel office lunch room and found a jerry can.

I usually carry these throughout the whole map as a challenge so I don't know if I can describe my giddiness but either way I quickly made my way to the second set of stairs to the second floor to get out of there. Just when I thought my favorite area was gonna be a nice calm walk in the park, Bam, there goes the tank song. I immediately made the noob choice and hid my back against the wall in a random bathroom leaving the gas can at the door, and crouched for maximum accuracy. Then I looked over 2 inches from my face and there was a explosive rounds container right there like gnome chompski right before he busts a big one. I used it, and waited for the tank. Just my luck, however, the AI decided to do a L4D1 on me and climb in the bathtub. I tried to panic but didn't have time. I could see his thick gross faceshoulderneckthing creeping in on me. He used his throw attack and I immediately shot the gas canister and fired away at his face. I thought, "I'm gonna die in one hit, but let's go". After spraying my 2 shots per second hunting rifle in his face, he raised his arms and threw the rock. The door ate it outside, thankfully, there was a big dust cloud and afterwards, the smoke cleared and the music stopped. I had used a little more than 80% my clip, and he was dead.

The high power and firing rate of both sniper rifles even without explosive rounds is quite devastating to a tank, and now when I fight a tank, I throw my molly and spray my rifle in his stomach, and he goes down faster than he can reach us if I have at least two AI's with shotguns, or one player with a shotgun. Even though it only does about 30%-40% up a shotgun, it has range, and if you crouch you can fire around 12 bullets before he gets to you, if he's running at you. Considering he needs to be much closer than the rifle, let's assume the range is halved before the gun reaches full potential. Four shotgun shells do x damage and the rifle does 30-40 percent of that. (30x12=360= 3.60)-(40x12=480= 4.80) shotgun shells. That's only a 40% decrease of one shell, to potentially getting off another shell entirely. However I am not saying this is a good alternative by all means, auto shotgun the crap out of him, but hey if you like popping heads as much as I do, those four shotgun shells before your buddies can tear him apart and after that he's in the blender.

  • Welcome to Arqade! Do not use profanity on the site, we are alerted to it and have to clean it up.
    – user141024
    Commented Apr 26, 2016 at 3:30
  • @Yvette Generally, if you're going to suggest an edit, please scan the whole thing and fix more than one issue with it; at the very least, you could have scanned the whole answer and removed the rest of the swearing, never mind the punctuation or other issues.
    – Frank
    Commented Apr 26, 2016 at 3:39
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    @Frank I'm in this room and am responding to issues reported on the entire SE sites, I was removing the profanity. Perhaps a thank you for helping to keep the entire site clean would be nicer :D, I don't have time to review every profanity edit post I make in a day, I also need to work. Also, if I receive an edit ban for rejected suggested edits, I will not be able to edit out profanity, But then someone else can try.
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    Commented Apr 26, 2016 at 4:14
  • Granted I missed a second swear word.
    – user141024
    Commented Apr 26, 2016 at 4:19
  • I'm not very familiar with the game, so I don't want to remove important content, but this answer is very long. It might be received better if it was shorter, or broken up into headings.
    – user106385
    Commented Apr 26, 2016 at 6:18

With 10v10 by far the best is to crowd the tank (preferably on fire) and have your entire team hitting him with baseball bats/swords/machetes etc, he will only be able to knock half your team down, hopefully.

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    You don't often play on 10Vs10 servers...
    – Lysarion
    Commented Feb 28, 2011 at 12:58
  • While you are at it two boomers will jump in the middle, while the smokers and the rest of the infected team end the fun..
    – DrFish
    Commented Jul 12, 2011 at 12:26

I have a tip: using boomer bile to infect the tank and getting zombies to fight it, while also using the AK47 to shoot him until he dies. If he doesn't die we use the Molotov to set him on fire and then we can kill him. It becomes a BBQ.

  • Welcome to Arqade! While we do not expect everyone to write in perfect English, a little effort goes a long way. As it stands, it is somewhat difficult to make out what you are trying to say: your entire answer is one long incredibly unbroken sentence (it was really quite hypnotic). If you get the chance please (re)read though the tour page, and the Help Center. I would highly recommend going over the "How do I write a good answer?" section. Commented Jan 18, 2015 at 8:54

I have had trouble with this as well, my solution is to light him on fire, through a pipe bomb if i have one, and light him up with a combat rifle

5/10 wouldent recomend

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