Left 4 Dead 2

From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games
This page may require cleanup to meet basic quality standards. The specific problem is: split-screen-specific information spread across the article, direct referencing of the reader, inconsistent formatting, multiple unfulfilled citation requests. You can help by modifying the article. The discussion page may contain useful suggestions.
Left 4 Dead 2
Left 4 Dead 2 cover
Valve Corporation
Linux Ryan C. Gordon
Valve Corporation
Release dates
Windows November 19, 2009
macOS (OS X) October 5, 2010
Linux May 3, 2013
Metacritic 89
Microtransactions None
Modes Singleplayer, Multiplayer
Pacing Real-time
Perspectives First-person
Controls Direct control
Genres Action, FPS
Art styles Realistic
Themes Horror, North America, Post-apocalyptic, Zombies
Series Left 4 Dead
Left 4 Dead 2 on HowLongToBeat
Left 4 Dead 2 on IGDB
Left 4 Dead 2 guide on StrategyWiki
Left 4 Dead 2 on MobyGames
Left 4 Dead 2 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

A hack enabling split-screen co-op is available; see Local play.
Extensive modding community, including Steam Workshop integration.
Includes the original Left 4 Dead campaigns and all DLC campaigns.

General information

GitHub Issue Tracker for Left 4 Dead 2 and other Source-based games
Steam Community Discussions
Steam Workshop for Left 4 Dead 2


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

Version differences[edit]

Some content is censored in Australia and Germany. Install the official Left 4 Dead 2 - Uncensored DLC to remove the limitations.

Essential improvements[edit]

Skip intro videos[edit]

Use the -novid command line argument[1]
Delete or rename video files
  1. Go to <path-to-game>\left4dead2\media
  2. Delete or rename l4d2_intro.bik and valve.bik.

Game data[edit]

Configuration file(s) location[edit]

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\left4dead2\cfg\[Note 1]
macOS (OS X)

Save game data location[edit]

System Location
Windows <Steam-folder>\userdata\<user-id>\550\remote\
It's unknown whether this game follows the XDG Base Directory Specification on Linux. Please fill in this information.

Save game cloud syncing[edit]

System Native Notes
Steam Cloud
Approx. 1 GB available


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

Graphics feature State WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution
4K Ultra HD
Closed caption font does not scale with resolution and can appear small in 4K.
Field of view (FOV)
75-120 in Multiplayer settings. Added on June 15, 2021.[2]
See Viewmodel to adjust the weapon model view. Though the option is in multiplayer settings, it still works for single player.
Borderless fullscreen windowed
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
Up to 16 samples.
Anti-aliasing (AA)
MSAA. Other types can be forced through Nvidia Profile Inspector and 0x000000C0 compatibility bits on Nvidia graphics cards.
Vertical sync (Vsync)
60 FPS and 120+ FPS
Capped at 300 FPS by default.
Color blind mode
Set in Settings, Multiplayer; affects crosshair, HUD and survivor outlines.


Use a console command to adjust the weapon model view
  1. Bring up console
  2. Type in "cl_viewmodelfovsurvivor XX" to change viewmodel FOV (replace "XX" with your desired FOV value.)
Works in multiplayer
Default FOV value is "51"

Disable motion blur[edit]

Use the +mat_motion_blur_percent_of_screen_max 0 command line argument[3]

Split-screen without bezels[edit]

L4D2 split-screen mode was meant to be played on a single 4:3 or 16:9 screen. If you have a different setup, the image could not entirely fit the monitor(s).
L4D2's file which is going to be edited is packed. Minimal hex editing knowledge is required.
Edit split-screen aspect-ratio[4][5]
  1. Go to <path-to-game>/left4dead2/
  2. Open pak01_000.vpk with a hex editor such as HxD
  3. Look for "aspect"...."8 by 3" string (offset 0x1C4CCFB, just under hex 73 20 34 78 33)
  4. Change it according to your actual aspect ratio divided by 2


Like any other worthy hex editing, original and final file size must remain the same. Therefore if you add or subtract a digit, you'll need to remove or add a character elsewhere too (commented lines are perfect for this purpose)
If you are interested to horizontal split-screen aspect ratio, you should look instead for "aspect"...."32 by 9" string (value should be your actual aspect ratio multiplied by 2)
As long as the Valve pak file is modified, it may be impossible to join pure servers


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

Keyboard and mouse State Notes
Mouse acceleration
Mouse sensitivity
Mouse input in menus
Mouse Y-axis inversion
Controller support
When gamepad is in use, the game prevents keyboard and mouse controls to prevent autoaim exploits. However, this becomes inconvenient, because the chat and voting keys become unbinded. See Text chat with keyboard in controller mode.
Full controller support
The gamepad option in the keyboard/mouse settings first needs to be enabled and saved.
Controller remapping
Controller sensitivity
Controller Y-axis inversion
Controller types
XInput-compatible controllers
Xbox button prompts
Impulse Trigger vibration
DualShock 4 controllers
Officially supported via Steam Input.
DualShock button prompts
Both DualShock 4 and DualSense prompts.
Light bar support
Static Yellow. Doesn't have any gameplay purpose.
Connection modes Wired, wireless
Generic/other controllers
Any controller supported by Steam Input.
Button prompts
Additional information
Button prompts
Steam Input must be enabled for all supported prompts else Xbox prompts are shown instead.
Controller hotplugging
Haptic feedback
Steam Controller only.
Simultaneous controller+KB/M
Steam Input
Steam Input API support
Official controller preset(s)
Steam Controller button prompts
"Gamepad" option in Keyboard/Mouse is to enable legacy Xinput controller mode. Enabling this erases all Keyboard bindings.

Mouse+Keyboard in split-screen[edit]

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 2 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
Game and music volume sliders.
Surround sound
7.1, 5.1 surround sound, 4 speaker surround.
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost


Language UI Audio Sub Notes
Simplified Chinese
Traditional Chinese
Brazilian Portuguese


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
Co-op (4 players) or "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.

Local play[edit]

"SFKTeam - Kaotic" created an UI mod which should simplify even more these steps
A list of useful console commands is available below
Playing with 2 controllers[6][7]
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>\left4dead2\cfg\
  3. Start the game and open the console
  4. Load up the map you want to play with the ss_map #map-name# command
  5. Type connect_splitscreen localhost 2
  6. Load second player keys bindings by typing exec exec split in console (all bindings are reset).


If loading bar is stuck quickly pause and unpause game
If you are not going to play L4D2 with a single 4:3 or 16:9 monitor look above

VR support[edit]

3D modes Native GG3D Notes
Nvidia 3D Vision
TriDef 3D
G3D, DirectVR
Officially supported game, see official vorpx game list.

Issues fixed[edit]

Purple and black broken textures[edit]

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

Improper sniper scope on 1366x768 resolution[edit]

Set resolution to 1360x768.

No Music playing in Main Menu on Linux[edit]

Shared Library filename bug in Linux depot of the game.

Go to <path-to-game>\bin\ and rename the file libmiles.so to libMiles.so [8]

Other information[edit]


Technical specs Supported Notes
Direct3D 9
OpenGL 2.1 OS X and Linux only.
Vulkan 1.0 Need to run with -vulkan in launch options. Uses DXVK wrapper (DXVK-Native on Linux).
Shader Model support 2.0, 3.0
Executable 32-bit 64-bit Notes
macOS (OS X)
[citation needed]
[citation needed]


Middleware Notes
Physics Havok Heavily modified variant.
Audio Miles Sound System
Cutscenes Bink Video
Multiplayer Steamworks

Console commands[edit]

Games running on the Source engine can utilize Source Engine Console Commands for various tasks.[9]
Enabling the console in Source games[citation needed]
  1. Launch the game
  2. From the main menu select Options
  3. Select the Keyboard/Mouse tab
  4. Set Allow Developer Console to Enabled


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)[edit]

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>\left4dead2\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

Notable Workshop mods[edit]

The game has a huge variety of mods, however, what may be "better" is subjective and opinionated (so Shrek Tank won't be listed here, for example). These mods help improve the base game, though use them at your discretion.




  • Resident Evil Weapon Sounds (low mid) - Lowers the volume of loud gunshot sounds, but has a glitch with the combat shotgun where there is a very loud static noise after each shot.
  • Shut Up Survivors - Mutes some of the more annoying survivors' quotes. Important quotes are left intact.


Third person support[edit]

The game in third person, featuring multiple other modifications
The game in third person, featuring multiple other modifications
An instant mod is 3PS

Input these 5 commands in the console.

c_thirdpersonshoulderaimdist 360
c_thirdpersonshoulderdist 90
c_thirdpersonshoulderheight 0
c_thirdpersonshoulderoffset 20
bind "F10" "thirdpersonshoulder"

Alternate third person which places the player in the center under the crosshair and raises the camera higher.

c_thirdpersonshoulderaimdist 1000
c_thirdpersonshoulderdist 115
c_thirdpersonshoulderheight 15
c_thirdpersonshoulderoffset 0

Pressing F10 will toggle between first and third person. You will have a greater FOV.

Some warnings:

  • Some cutscene intros may be angled incorrectly.
  • You may see a weird inaccurate weapon shadow.
  • The crosshair may be slightly off-center. You can mess around with the "cam_idealyaw" function to correct this. This isn't usually a hindrance anyway.
  • Flashlight glows may be seen at your character's back.
  • When survivors heal you, their animations will look glitchy.
  • The camera may occasionally see through walls and objects.
  • The shotgun will sound very quiet. Try this, however, it may cause online games to crash.
  • The motion blur for the fire axe and possibly other melee weapons may look ridiculous. Here's a mod to remove melee motion blur.
  • Switching between first and third person in-game may cause the HUD to disappear.
  • Dying and entering new areas may revert it to first person.

Useful split-screen commands[edit]

Since Split-screen mode in Left 4 Dead 2 isn't officially supported, there are multiple important key settings which aren't immediately available.

Command Description
connect_splitscreen localhost [ip-address] 2 Connect to a LAN or Internet server. Direct connections must be allowed
[cmd/cmd2] jointeam (2/3) Assign selected player (cmd) to either survivor or infected team
ss_map <map-name> [realism/survival/versus/mutation# Play the selected map in the desired mode
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

Text chat with keyboard in controller mode[edit]

If you play using a controller and want to use the text chat (press Y) online, there are several methods. This also applies to the voting keys.
Enable Steam Input from game porperties from Steam's library.[citation needed]

This allows simultaneous input from both keyboard, mouse and controller

Edit .cfg file[citation needed]

Open the 360controller.cfg file in Notepad, which can be found in the cfg folder in the installation folder. If you can't find it, search "360controller" in the game's folder. The text starts with "unbindall", but change it to "//unbindall".

If it still doesn't work, it's possible the bindings were unbound, so go into the in-game control settings and restore the defaults.
Bind the buttons back manually in the in-game control settings[citation needed]

Make sure the game settings has the gamepad option enabled. When you get into a level, open the button settings and bind the buttons again on your keyboard.

This only lasts until you exit the game, so you would have to do this every time you launch the game.

Enabling HBAO+ for Nvidia graphics cards[edit]

Use the Ambient Occlusion flag 0x00000014 with Quality or High Quality.
Using Ambient Occlusion flag 0x00000014[citation needed]
  1. Download and run Nvidia Profile Inspector.
  2. Under Profiles select Left 4 Dead 2.
  3. Under Ambient Occlusion compatibility insert the flag 0x00000014.
  4. Under Ambient Occlusion usage select Enabled.
  5. Under Ambient Occlusion setting select your quality of preference, but in order to use HBAO+ you must use Quality or High Quality.
  6. Click Apply changes.

Remove item/character glows[edit]

Some players may wish to remove the item glows and/or character glows since they are unrealistic and makes knowing where other players/items are too easy.

In the installation folder, in the "cfg" folder, in the "autoexec.cfg" file in Notepad, add these lines. If there is no "autoexe.cfg" file, then copy and paste "autoexec.360" and rename it.

Copy and paste the following lines:

//Glow of barfed survivors
cl_glow_survivor_vomit_b 0
cl_glow_survivor_vomit_g 0
cl_glow_survivor_vomit_r 0

//Glow of survivors
cl_glow_survivor_b 0
cl_glow_survivor_g 0
cl_glow_survivor_r 0

//Glow of incapped survivors
cl_glow_survivor_hurt_b 0
cl_glow_survivor_hurt_g 0
cl_glow_survivor_hurt_r 0

//Glow of items after you are in black and white mode (after 3rd incap)
cl_glow_thirdstrike_item_b 0
cl_glow_thirdstrike_item_g 0
cl_glow_thirdstrike_item_r 0

//GLOW from FAR distance:
cl_glow_item_far_b 0
cl_glow_item_far_g 0
cl_glow_item_far_r 0

cl_glow_item_b 0
cl_glow_item_g 0
cl_glow_item_r 0

cl_glow_ability_r 0
cl_glow_ability_g 0
cl_glow_ability_b 0

Command line arguments[edit]

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.
-novid Skip intro videos.
-high Sets the game's priority to High.
-autoconfig Restores video and performance settings to default for the current hardware detected. Ignores settings inside any .cfg files until this parameter is removed.
+mat_motion_blur_percent_of_screen_max 0 Removes motion blur.

System requirements[edit]

Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 7, 8.1, 10
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium 4 3.0 GHz
System memory (RAM) 2 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 13 GB
Video card (GPU) ATI Radeon X800
Nvidia GeForce 6600
128 MB of VRAM
DirectX 9.0c compatible
Shader model 2.0 support
Sound (audio device) DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card
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) 10.7
Processor (CPU) Intel Dual Core 2 GHz
System memory (RAM) 2 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 13 GB
Video card (GPU) ATI Radeon HD 2400 Pro
Nvidia GeForce 8600M GT
Intel HD Graphics 3000
Operating system (OS) Ubuntu 12.04
Processor (CPU) Intel Dual core 2.8 GHz
AMD Dual core 2.8 GHz
System memory (RAM) 2 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 13 GB
Video card (GPU) ATI/AMD Radeon HD2600/3600
Nvidia GeForce 8600/9600GT
OpenGL 2.1 compatible
Sound (audio device) OpenAL Compatible Sound Card
Other (Graphic Drivers: Nvidia 310, AMD 12.11)
OpenGL versions require the GL_EXT_draw_buffers2 extension.[10] A hacky workaround exists.
Not supported: OS X 10.5.x (Leopard), ATI Radeon X1600 or X1900 graphics, Nvidia GeForce 7 graphics or Intel graphics less than Intel HD 3000.


  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).