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Left 4 Dead

From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games
Left 4 Dead
Left 4 Dead cover
Valve South[1]
Valve Corporation
Valve Corporation
Retail (Russia) Akella[2]
Release dates
Windows November 17, 2008
macOS (OS X) October 27, 2010
Metacritic 89
Monetization One-time game purchase
Microtransactions None
Modes Singleplayer, Multiplayer
Pacing Real-time
Perspectives First-person
Controls Direct control
Genres Shooter
Art styles Realistic
Themes Horror, North America, Post-apocalyptic, Zombies
Series Left 4 Dead
Left 4 Dead on HowLongToBeat
Left 4 Dead on IGDB
Left 4 Dead guide on StrategyWiki
Left 4 Dead on MobyGames
Left 4 Dead on Wikipedia
Left 4 Dead
Left 4 Dead 2008
Left 4 Dead 2 2009


The macOS (OS X) version of this game does not work on macOS Catalina (version 10.15) or later due to the removal of support for 32-bit-only apps.

Key points

Left 4 Dead 2 includes all Left 4 Dead campaigns.
A hack enabling split-screen co-op is available; see Local play.

General information

Steam Community Discussions


Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Icon overlay.png
Icon overlay.png
Left 4 Dead Bundle also available.
macOS (OS X)
All versions require Steam DRM.

Version differences

Some content is censored in Germany. Install the official Left 4 Dead - Uncensored DLC to remove the limitations.

Essential improvements

Skip intro videos

Use the -novid command line argument[3]
Delete or rename video files
  1. Go to <path-to-game>\left 4 dead\left4dead\media.
  2. Delete or rename l4d_intro.bik, valve.bik and

Game data

Configuration file(s) location

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\left4dead\cfg\config.cfg[Note 1]
<path-to-game>\left4dead\cfg\video.txt[Note 1]
macOS (OS X)
Steam Play (Linux) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/500/pfx/[Note 2]

Save game cloud syncing

System Native Notes
Steam Cloud
Approx. 128 KB available.
Settings, except for graphics, will also be synchronized.


In-game video settings.
In-game video settings.

Graphics feature State WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution
4K Ultra HD
Closed captions font does not scale with resolution and may appear small at 4K resolution.
Field of view (FOV)
See Field of view (FOV).
Borderless fullscreen windowed
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
Up to 16 samples.
Anti-aliasing (AA)
Up to 8x MSAA.
Vertical sync (Vsync)
Double and triple buffered.
60 FPS and 120+ FPS
Capped at 300 FPS by default.[4]
High dynamic range display (HDR)
See the glossary page for potential alternatives.
Color blind mode
Set in Settings, Multiplayer; Affects crosshair, HUD, and survivor outlines.

Anti-aliasing (AA)

Force SGSSAA (Nvidia only)[5]
  1. Download and run Nvidia Profile Inspector.
  2. Select the Left 4 Dead profile.
  3. Change Antialiasing compatibility value to 0x000000C0.
  4. Change Antialiasing - Behavior Flags to None.
  5. Change Antialiasing - Mode to Override any application setting.
  6. Change Antialiasing - Setting to 4x [4x Multisampling].
  7. Change Antialiasing - Transparency Supersampling to 4x Sparse Grid Supersampling.
  8. Press "Apply Changes" in the top-right corner.


Antialiasing fix is needed.[6]

Ambient occlusion

Force HBAO+ (Nvidia only)[7][8]
  1. Download and run Nvidia Profile Inspector.
  2. Select the Left 4 Dead profile.
  3. Change Ambient Occlusion compatibility value to 0x00000014.
  4. Change Ambient Occlusion setting to High Quality.
  5. Change Ambient Occlusion usage to Enabled.
  6. Press "Apply Changes" in the top-right corner.

Disable motion blur

Use the +mat_motion_blur_percent_of_screen_max 0 command line argument

Split-screen without bezels

Split-screen mode was meant to be played on a single 4:3 or 16:9 screen. The image may not entirely fit the monitor with different aspect ratios.
Edit split-screen aspect-ratio[9]
  1. Go to <path-to-game>\left4dead.
  2. Open splitscreen_config.txt.
  3. Look for the paragraph describing the split methods ("nonwidescreen", "widescreen_horizontal_split", "widescreen_vertical_split").
  4. Change the split method according to the desired aspect ratio multiplied or divided by 2.
  5. Save the changes.

Field of view (FOV)

FOV when playing in splitscreen is easily customizable inside <path-to-game>\left4dead\splitscreen_config.txt.
By default field of view cannot be changed. The only changeable option is viewmodel FOV.
Change camera and viewmodel FOV[10]
  1. Download the FoV addon.
  2. Extract the files in <path-to-game>\left4dead\addons.
  3. Bring up the in-game console.
  4. Type in console (or .cfg) "fov_override XX" to change the camera FOV and "viewmodel_fov_override XX" to change the viewmodel FOV (replace "XX" with the desired value).


In-game control settings.
In-game control settings.
In-game key map settings.
In-game key map settings.

Mouse+Keyboard in split-screen

Bind controller to 2nd player[citation needed]
  1. Configure x360ce to force controller on the guest slot
  2. Copy x360ce.ini and xinput1_3.dll to the Left 4 Dead installation folder
  3. Go to <path-to-game>\bin and rename xinput1_3.dll to something else
  4. Follow standard procedure


In-game audio settings.
In-game audio settings.

Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Over-all game volume and separate music slider.
Surround sound
7.1, 5.1 surround sound, 4 speaker surround.
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
No option to disable it.
Royalty free audio


Language UI Audio Sub Notes
Simplified Chinese
Traditional Chinese


In-game multiplayer settings.
In-game multiplayer settings.

Multiplayer types

Type Native Players Notes
Local play
2 Co-op
See Local play.
LAN play
8 Co-op, Versus
See LAN play.
"Versus" mode. Up to 4v4 Survivors vs. Infected.
Online play
8 Co-op, Versus
Co-op (4 players) or "Versus" mode (up to 4v4 Survivors vs. Infected).

Connection types

Type Native Notes
Direct IP
Use connect [IP address here] in the console.
Server must have set sv_allow_lobby_connect_only 0


Protocol Port(s) and/or port range(s)
TCP 27014-27050
UDP 4380, 27000-27030
Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) support status is unknown.

LAN play

You can play Left 4 Dead over a local area network (LAN) connection.
Start LAN game[citation needed]
  1. Open the developer console and type in: sv_lan 1.
  2. After that, type in: map %mapname%, %mapname% is the name of the map (for example, to play on "No Mercy", write "map l4d_hospital01_apartment")


  • No Mercy: l4d_hospital01_apartment
  • Crash Course: l4d_garage01_alleys
  • Death Toll: l4d_smalltown01_caves
  • Dead Air: l4d_airport01_greenhouse
  • Blood Harvest: l4d_farm01_hilltop
  • The Sacrifice: l4d_river01_docks

To clients to join a server, use: connect <ip>:<port> (for example, connect


The player's IP address can be checked by typing net_start.

Local play

A list of useful commands for split-screen is available below
Playing with 2 controllers[11]
If you want to play with only a controller and a mouse+keyboard, check Mouse + Keyboard in split-screen
  1. Download custom split.cfg
  2. Extract it inside <path-to-game>\left4dead\cfg-
  3. Launch the game and join or create a match in the desired mode
  4. When in-game, open the console and type ss_connect
  5. Add second player to survivor team with cmd2 jointeam 2 command
  6. Load second player keys bindings by typing exec split (all previous bindings are reseted)
  7. Enjoy


If loading bar gets stuck quickly pause and unpause game
To play a private versus match, open console and use ss_map l4d_vs_#rest-of-map-name#
If playing in split-screen without a single 4:3 or 16:9 monitor, look above

VR support

3D modes State Notes
User created game profile, see vorpx forum profile introduction.
Novint Falcon

Issues fixed

Game crashing after map loaded with "OUT OF MEMORY!" message

Patch the game executable file under path "...\steamapps\common\left 4 dead\left4dead.exe"
  1. Go to this website
  2. Read the description and follow the given instructions

Purple and black broken textures

A generic fix for this issue can be found on our Source engine page.

Can't unlock Lamb 2 Slaughter achievement

Enabling the console in Source games[12]
  1. Open console
  2. Type sv_cheats 1; achievement_reset L4D_ACHIEVEMENT_INCAP_AFTER_SAFEROOM; sv_cheats 0

Other information


Technical specs Supported Notes
Direct3D 9
OpenGL 2.1 OS X only.
Shader Model support 2, 3
Executable 32-bit 64-bit Notes
macOS (OS X)
This 32-bit-only macOS game does not work on macOS Catalina (10.15) or later.


Middleware Notes
Physics Havok Heavily modified variant.
Audio Miles Sound System
Cutscenes Bink Video
Multiplayer Steamworks
Anti-cheat Valve Anti-Cheat (VAC)

Console commands

Games running on the Source engine can utilize Source Engine Console Commands for various tasks.[13]
Enabling the console in Source games[citation needed]
  1. Launch the game
  2. From the main menu select Options
  3. Select the Keyboard tab
  4. Click the Advanced button
  5. Check the box next to Enable developer console (~)
  6. Click Apply


Press ~ to open the console.
Some commands may first require you enabling sv_cheats. You can do so with sv_cheats 1.
Many servers will not allow you to play with cheats enabled, or will disable them upon entering the server.
Users without a US keyboard could experience some problems.

Creating your own CFG (to run multiple console commands together)

A CFG is a file that contains a list of commands that when run will attempt to execute them all

Open a text editor such as Notepad and type in all the commands you want separating each with a ;

When done save the file as filename.cfg in <path-to-game>\left4dead\cfg. To run the cfg file, open the console during the game and type in exec filename.cfg If you want the CFG file to run automatically, name it autoexec.cfg.

Useful split-screen commands

Since Split-screen mode in Left 4 Dead isn't officially supported, there are multiple important key settings which aren't immediately available.

Command Description
connect_splitscreen localhost [ip-address] 2 Join a LAN or Internet server in splitscreen mode.
[cmd/cmd2] jointeam [2/3] Assign selected player (cmd) to either survivor or infected team
mp_gamemode [coop/survival/versus] Change gamemode. If adjusted while in-game it's advised to changelevel
ss_splitmode [0/1/2] Toggle horizontal and vertical screen split (0 is auto selection)
z_difficulty [Easy/Normal/Hard/Impossible] Change game difficulty
setinfo name Max Change player 1 name
name2 Tony Change player 2 name

Command line arguments

See command line arguments on how to use the following options.
Parameter Description
-w X -h Y Sets screen resolution (or window resolution if using -window). Example: -w 1920 -h 1080.
-refresh X Sets your screen refresh-rate (Hz). Example: -refresh 60.
-noborder -window Launches the game in a borderless fullscreen window (i.e. very Alt+Tab friendly). This may result in a minor performance loss. If you experience stuttering, disable Windows Aero.[citation needed]
-novid Skip intro videos
-autoconfig Restores video and performance settings to default for the current hardware detected. Ignores settings inside any .cfg files until this parameter is removed.

System requirements

Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 7, 8.1, 10
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium 4 3.0 GHz
System memory (RAM) 1 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 7.5 GB
Video card (GPU) Nvidia GeForce 6600
ATI Radeon 9600
128 MB of VRAM
Shader model 2.0 support
Sound (audio device) DirectX 9.0c compatible
Windows XP and Vista were previously supported, but as future updates for this game and Steam occurred; the support was dropped, even with retail copies.
macOS (OS X)
Operating system (OS) 10.6.4
Processor (CPU) Intel Core 2 Duo 2.0 GHz
System memory (RAM) 1 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 7.5 GB
Video card (GPU) Nvidia GeForce 8600M GT
ATI Radeon HD 2400
Intel HD Graphics 3000
MacOS X 10.6.4 or higher. (Snow Leopard Graphics Update required)


  1. 1.0 1.1 When running this game without elevated privileges (Run as administrator option), write operations against a location below %PROGRAMFILES%, %PROGRAMDATA%, or %WINDIR% might be redirected to %LOCALAPPDATA%\VirtualStore on Windows Vista and later (more details).
  2. File/folder structure within this directory reflects the path(s) listed for Windows and/or Steam game data (use Wine regedit to access Windows registry paths). Games with Steam Cloud support may store data in ~/.steam/steam/userdata/<user-id>/500/ in addition to or instead of this directory. The app ID (500) may differ in some cases. Treat backslashes as forward slashes. See the glossary page for details.