How To Unlock Characters In Back 4 Blood

How To Unlock Characters In Back 4 Blood
Images: WB Games

Written by 

Coleman Hamstead


12th Oct 2021 14:25

Lost on how to unlock characters in Back 4 Blood? Back 4 Blood features eight playable characters, but not all of them are available right away. This guide will run you through how to unlock all of the characters in Back 4 Blood.

  • Still debating whether or not to pull the trigger on Back 4 Blood? Check out our Back 4 Blood review.

How To Unlock Characters In Back 4 Blood

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At launch, Back 4 Blood features eight playable characters - or Cleaners - that players can use as they take on the zombie apocalypse. There are four Cleaners available at the start of the game: Evangelo, Walker, Holly, and Mom. However, there are four more Cleaners that Back 4 Blood players must unlock. 

Back 4 Blood players will need to complete the necessary prerequisites to unlock Doc, Hoffman, Jim, and Karlee for use. These prerequisites consist of beating the first four chapters of Act 1. Starting from the beginning, Back 4 Blood players must make it through the levels of Resurgence, Tunnel Of Blood, Pain Train, and The Crossing. Together, these four chapters make up The Devil Returns section of Act 1. 

These four chapters should take players about two to four hours to complete depending on experience and difficulty level. Upon completion of the fourth chapter, The Crossing, a cutscene will play introducing the four new characters.

Keep in mind, you will not be able to play as any of the four new characters in the same session that you unlock them. Players must first exit out of their current game and start a new one. Only then will Doc, Hoffman, Jim, and Karlee become available for choosing.

How To Unlock Characters In Back 4 Blood: All Cleaner Abilities

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Along with their differing personalities and multitude of skin options, each Back 4 Blood character has their own set of unique perks and abilities. Each Cleaner comes with personal abilities and a team ability that benefits the whole Cleaner squad. We have a dedicated guide to the best Back 4 Blood characters, but if you only care about the abilities, then we have the full list below.

Like Back 4 Blood Supply Lines, some of these Cleaner abilities are quite powerful and can influence the outcome of a run. For these reasons, Back 4 Blood players will want to make sure to unlock all eight Cleaners. This way, they can experiment early on and decide which Cleaner best fits their desired playstyle.

Below, you can find the list of all Back 4 Blood Cleaner abilities:


  • Doc can apply field dressing to each teammate once per level, healing them for 25 health points. 
    • +20% healing efficiency
    • +25% Team trauma resistance


  • Evangelo can break out of grabs once every 60 seconds.
    • +Stamina regen
    • +5% Team movement speed


  • Hoffman has a chance to find ammo whenever he kills a Ridden.
    • +1 Offensive item slot
    • +10% Max Team ammo capacity


  • Holly recovers ten stamina when she kills a Ridden. 
    • +10% damage resistance
    • +25 Team stamina


  • Precision kills grant Jim 5% extra damage that stacks up to 50%. Lose all stacks upon taking damage.
    • +ADS speed
    • +10% Team weakspot damage


  • Karlee can sense nearby hazards.
    • +1 Quick inventory
    • +25% Team use speed


  • Mom can instantly Revive an incapacitated teammate once per level.
    • +1 Support inventory
    • +1 Team extra life


  • Precision Kills grant Walker +20% accuracy for five seconds.
    • +10% damage
    • +10 Team health

While all of these Cleaners can be viable under the right circumstances, some are better than others. Back 4 Blood players looking to take on the harder difficulty levels like Nightmare will want to reference our best Back 4 Blood weapons guide.  If you’re still struggling, make sure you check out our list of Back 4 Blood tips.

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Choosing the right Back 4 Blood character is critical to not only your enjoyment of the game but also your success in slaying hordes of zombies. However, you won’t know which character suits you best if you don’t have them all unlocked. Follow the steps in this guide to unlock all of the playable characters in Back 4 Blood.


Coleman is a freelance journalist at GGRecon. While gaming has always been his passion, it wasn’t until he worked as a Sports Journalist at the Community College of Baltimore County that he found his enthusiasm for writing. In the time since Coleman has had his work featured in publications such as The Washington Post/Launcher and ESTNN. Coleman is a graduate of Towson University with a degree in Sport Management and Business Administration.

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