Who are the best Back 4 Blood characters: Back 4 Blood Cleaners tier list

Back 4 Blood is Turtle Rock Studios’ return to their once genre-defining game, Left 4 Dead. The developers have looked to reinvent the cooperative zombie shooter they mastered in 2008, with Back 4 Blood’s frantic campaign action, replayability and class system. 

One of the ways players get to experience Back 4 Blood through is via the Back 4 Blood characters. There are eight different characters you play through the Campaign, which are titled Cleaners. Each character has its own unique playstyle, each offering different perks, bonuses and other reasons to bring them to a team. Here we go through the best Back 4 Blood characters you should be playing in the Campaign and Swarm modes.

Best Back 4 Blood Characters

Best Back 4 Blood Cleaners
Who are the best Back 4 Blood Cleaners? Image via Turtle Rock Studios.

The best Back 4 Blood characters are rather tricky to work out for the most part. Some of the cleaners have unique niches and react differently depending on weapons, level difficulty or game mode. So, take some of these rankings with a pinch of salt, as we cannot cover all situations. If we are sincere, every character is great and has amazing builds that compliment them. It’s only in certain niches that these characters stand out the most.


While it is difficult to define what is overpowered, Holly is easily the best character in Back 4 Blood. The reason why is because Holly has a perk that gives her stamina whenever she kills an enemy, along with a stamina increase team-wide buff. While that is not exactly stand out at first, building a melee deck around Holly makes her incredibly strong. Some cards grant temporary health when she kills an enemy, along with health recovery with melee weapon kills. In theory, Holly can continue to kill things in melee range, keeping her health and stamina up in entire hordes.

The build works incredibly well for both the Campaign and Swarm mode. In Campaign, she does get hit a lot harder in harder difficulties. However, you can get increased health cards and builds that make her more manageable in higher-level hordes and Ridden.

The best weapon you can get for Holly is the Machete. This melee weapon does wide sweeps and fairly good damage, meaning she can cleave through entire hordes of undead, gaining bountiful amounts of temporary health and stamina for every swing that leads to multikills.

Doc / Mom

Both Doc and Mom are equally as strong as each other. Doc gets increased healing efficiency as her perk, while Mom starts with a bonus support time. Doc is much better at the start of the game with her increased healing efficiency, which scales with better support item upgrades in the Campaign.

However, when these healing efficiency upgrades are purchased, Mom’s additional support item inventory makes up for it. If you want to play a support build in Back 4 Blood, both characters work fine. However, we give the best character in Back 4 Blood edge to Doc. If you’re farming Nightmare difficulty and need that extra progression, Mom is Op due to her extra team life passive. 

In Swarm mode, both of these characters are equally as good against players. The extra support inventory might make the difference in a clutch scenario. At the same time, the increased healing efficiency with Doc is generally good when you get a breather in between player Ridden spawns.


Hoffman is an interesting character because his benefits are not known until much harder difficulties in the Campaign. The reason is that Hoffman’s unique passive is the chance to drop ammo for every Ridden kill. On harder difficulties, players naturally get less ammo count, so the opportunity to loot more ammo has insane values.

Lastly, he carries an extra offensive item, which is very nice indeed. Having access to an extra pipe bomb or frag grenade is fantastic, or a flashbang in those close-range friendly-fire scenarios.


Karlee’s strengths are not that obvious at a first glimpse. However, when you use her in the right situations, she is incredible. She starts the game with a free toolkit, which is great for getting loot, attachments, copper and other goodies in vault rooms. Moreso, she can use them on alarmed doors and other interactable.

The one thing you need to know is that her use speed is the fastest in the game. If you’re doing key campaign missions like the Howitzer, she loads them the fastest. Perhaps you’re fortifying the library in Act 1; then, she can build the windows incredibly fast. It is not as great for easier difficulties, but she is invaluable when you need speed in Nightmare difficulty.

Back 4 Blood Cleaners Tier List

Back 4 Blood Cleaners Tier List
Hoffman makes his way into the top end of the Back 4 Blood Cleaners tier list. Image via Turtle Rock Studios.

Since we have outlined the edge cases that certain Cleaners are strong with, we have decided to create a Back 4 Blood Cleaners tier list to better contextualise the cleaners’ strength. With no further ado, here is our Back 4 Blood Cleaners tier list.

Cleaner Tier
Doc S
Mom S
Hoffman A+
Holly A+
Karlee A+
Jim A
Walker A
Evangelo B

The reason why Walker and Jim are considered A tier is down to their DPS focused build. They are certainly good at it, with Walker having obvious synergies with LMGS, capable of drilling weak points with ease. Moreso, Jim provides a team with 10% bonus weak point damage, and he gains bonus damage for every kill on a weak point. Jim is by far the best-Ridden killer but requires precise aim and the skill needed not to get hit to keep the damage buff up. Both cleaners are very good but don’t have that wow factor that makes them worthy of a specific mention in the best Back 4 Blood characters list.

Meanwhile, Evangelo is the worst of the Cleaners. Like his character says, he is happy to be even considered on the tier list, as his character only just made a cleaner in lore anyway. Jokes aside, Evangelo is a decent solo cleaner and is very good in Swarm mode to counter a few strategies. However, he doesn’t exactly fit the whole coop shooter vibe that B4B is all about, hence his B tier ranking in the Back 4 Blood Cleaner tier list.

Best Ridden characters in Back 4 Blood

Back 4 Blood Best Ridden
The Hocker and Tallboy make a great comp in Swarm. Image via Turtle Rock Studios.

So, you want to play Swarm mode? Well, the best Back 4 Blood characters for that game mode are easily the Hocker and the Tallboy. The two ridden have incredible synergy, with the Hocker locking a target down, while the Tallboy can repeatedly hit them with its heavy attack.

The only downside to this composition is that the Hocker doesn’t really damage itself, and the Tallboy moves very slowly. So, to make the composition work also requires something like an exploder to come and send other cleaners flying, or you can harras enemies and distract them with a Stinger or Stalker to ensure the composition works successfully.

Have you got any compositions you think to work well for the Riden? Perhaps we have overlooked a Cleaner? Let us know in the comments below.

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