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The first Left 4 Dead game arguably introduced one of the most annoying Special Infected, the Boomer. They are tough to miss because of their obese build, unlike the Jockey, whose crouching figure makes it hard to shoot. They are effortless to kill because of their low health, unlike the Tank, which has massive health available.
Unlike the Chargers, they do not do heavy damage either, who will pin and smack you to the ground multiple times. They do not make you incapacitated as well, unlike the Hunter or the Smoker, who will grab you so that you cannot move.
If you have not played the game yet, this may sound confusing to you. After all, who would not want a zombie that is easy to kill, easy to find, and does not inflict lots of damage?
Brace yourselves if you are about to dive into your first campaign, as they will haunt your survival. Read on our Boomers Left 4 Dead Guide to learn more about Boomers and why you should be careful around them.
Bottom Line Up Front
Boomers are Special Infected available in both Left 4 Dead and its sequel. They are obese zombies that move slowly and have low health. They will puke their bile towards the players.
They will also spread this when they explode during their death. A drenched survivor will attract hordes of zombies. Avoid being puked on by killing them from afar. When they are near you, shove them first, then attack.
What is the Boomer?
The Boomer is part of the eight Special Infected available throughout the Left 4 Dead games. They are bloated zombies caused by the mutation of the virus. They have extremely low health and can die from just one single gunshot.
As such, they are fragile. There are only male Boomers appearing in Left 4 Dead. However, the developers added female Boomers called the Boomette in Left 4 Dead 2.
Their obese build also makes them move slower than most zombies. The Boomer’s purpose is to slow down the progress of the survivors. They can blind them and generate confusion among the team. They are perfect for giving hordes of the common infected a chance to attack the players successfully.
Players can play as them in Versus and Realism Versus game modes. Other names for the Boomer are as follows: Puker; Fat Guy; Fat Thing; Barf Bag; Exploding Guy; Roly Poly; Goiter Man; Big Guy; and Aunt Bea. Their special ability is their bile, which I will discuss in detail within the following sections.
The Boomer’s Appearance in the Games
In Left 4 Dead
The Boomers are bloated male zombies with short black hair. They don a stained navy-blue shirt and brown pants, and their gigantic bellies stick out from their shirt.
Their skin has slowly turned gray due to the effects of either decomposition or their bile. They are full of blisters and large boils all around the body, especially the arms, the belly, and the neck. A large boil covers its right eye.
When they explode, the only thing left is their lower body. Due to the explosion, their pants will be covered in blood. The players can see the inside of the carcass from where the lower body exploded. The bloodied meat resembles fat along with black corruptions of the organs.
In Left 4 Dead 2
The Boomer’s design and appearance stay the same in this sequel, albeit with minor changes and additions. They still wear a stained navy-blue shirt and brown pants, but their black hair is shorter now.
Their skin is much more detailed, with wrinkles and deflated parts all over. There are fewer gigantic boils compared to the first game’s design. Yet they are still quite large and bloated.
The developers of the sequel added a female equivalent of the Boomers, termed as Female Boomers or Boomettes. They have short blond hair and don a stained navy-blue tank top and blue jean shorts. As the male counterpart, they are bloated, and their bellies are enormous.
However, they do not have boils like their male counterparts. Instead, their skin has fungus growing all around the body. Ringworms infect her legs highly, and her arms and wrists have turned black because of necrosis.
Some parts of their face, like eyes, have turned black, and their teeth have worn down due to the constant bile coming out from their mouths. Their abilities and functions remain the same, though, as the Female Boomers only differ in appearance.
The Boomer’s Abilities Explained
Special Attack: Bile
Their primary method of attacking is their bile. Boomers can make large amounts of it which they emit from their mouths. They will vomit this bile towards the players in the game. This attracts hordes of zombies when a survivor has it on them. So, it is best to avoid being hit by a Boomer’s bile to avoid getting overwhelmed by many zombies.
However, the bile itself does not harm you directly. It simply attracts others to hurt you. It also obscures the player’s vision and removes their teammate’s outlines, causing confusion and panic among the team.
Other players will see a yellow outline around someone hit by a Boomer’s bile. It will not attract multiple hordes individually when it hits numerous players. Instead, a nearby horde will attack all survivors hit.
Melee Attack: Claw
They can still damage players directly, but it is far too weak to be considered deadly. Boomers can use their claws to subtract two from a player’s health on normal mode. However, just like any other attack in the game, it can stop players from doing something such as helping up the incapacitated or filling up the gas in Jimmy Gibb Junior’s car.
Special Ability: Bile Explosion
Boomers explode when they die, releasing out a mix of blood and bile. If players are near the explosion, they will get sent back from the strong force. They will also get bile on them, which will still attract hordes of zombies.
The Boomer’s Abilities in Versus Mode
The Boomer is one of the seven Special Infected that are playable in the game through the Versus mode. This mode allows four players to hunt down four other players as zombies, and one can play as the Boomer. Below are the details of what you can do while playing as them.
|Name||Type||Damage||How to use||Effects||Cooldown|
|Bile||Special Attack||No damage||Aim to shoot out bile. Hit survivors are covered in it.||
|Claw||Melee Attack||4; 20 on Expert (L4D2)||Get near survivors to hit them with the Boomer’s claw.||
|Bile Explosion||Special Ability||No damage||Bile is released upon explosion when the Boomer dies. Nearby survivors are sent back and covered in bile.||
The Boomer’s Mutation Explained
It is said that their bloated appearance is due to a mutation of the Infection. It hijacked their body’s internal organs, most especially the stomach. This change seems to allow them to produce bile from their bodies. Their large bellies can house large quantities of it.
The mutation turned the Boomers’ skins fragile due to the intense bloating. As such, the slightest damage to their bodies can end up exploding and killing them. When they do explode, a mixture of blood and bile erupts outwards. Any survivor nearby can get pushed back from the strong eruption and drenched from the bile.
They have gigantic boils on their bodies, particularly their arms and face, in Left 4 Dead. This phenomenon could be that they exist due to toxic bile. These have been reduced in Left 4 Dead 2. Instead, the boomers have wrinkled and deflated skin with more blisters. They highlight the rotting process of their bodies.
The bile from Boomers has a unique chemical effect that makes them attractive to the infected. It gives off pheromones and stimulates the attention of zombies. They would attack the source of the bile wherever it may be.
Because of these unique properties, the fictional US government faction called the Civil Emergency and Defense Agency (or CEDA for short) developed a weapon of their own using the Boomer’s bile. Its name is the Bile Bomb, and it is a throwable glass jar with light-green bile inside. When a player throws it at a zombie, hordes will flock and attack the target.
CEDA may understand how the Boomer’s bile works. After all, they have manufactured a throwable bomb that functions similarly, except the targets are zombies. It is important to note that the Bile Bomb’s liquid is light green, yet the actual bile is dark green.
Strategies to Fight Against the Boomer
Boomers are fragile, yet they are immensely troublesome to face. Some players even consider them equally terrifying as Tanks due to the Boomer’s power to overwhelm the survivors with hordes. Here are some tips you should remember if you have problems dealing with Boomers in your campaign.
- Remember how Boomer noises sound like. They are very distinct compared to the other Special Infected. Be on the lookout for their sound so that you can ready yourselves in keeping distance from them.
- Be sure to push them first when a Boomer is near you. When you push them, they will stagger for a bit. The distance after moving them would be good enough to use your gun and kill them.
- Note the difficulty of the campaign you are playing. It will change how zombies behave. On Easy and Normal difficulties, you have ample time to shove Boomers or get away from them before they puke on you.
- Shoot Boomers when they stick out from walls. Due to their colossal stature, some of their bodies would often poke out from solid objects, like their arms. When you can see one in such a position, you can kill them. Just be sure to maintain your distance before killing them.
- Be wary around cliffs and ledges. If a Boomer explodes while you are near him, you will be pushed back and stagger a bit. So, when both of you are near ledges or cliffs, you might be pushed back towards it. This will cause you to become incapacitated.
- Be wary of suicidal Boomers. They can kill themselves off a high place and plummet towards you. They will still explode when they meet the ground, and anyone nearby can still be hit with their bile. This can lead to hordes that you might not be prepared for.
- Spread apart slightly from each other if you think a Boomer is nearby. If you are too near each other, everyone might get puked on simultaneously. However, do not spread too far apart, as you might individually get pinned down by Hunters, Chargers, Jockeys, or Smokers.
- Jump if you cannot avoid a Boomer’s explosive death. You will not get pushed back or staggered if you jump in time as a Boomer explodes. This is useful, especially if you are near cliffs or ledges.
- Never go near Boomers. They will explode and release their bile when they die. It will block your vision and attract hordes towards you if you are hit.
- Do not kill Boomers using melee weapons. Using melee weapons against them would only result in them blowing up near you.
- Avoid killing Boomers if Witches are near them. The explosion from the death of a Boomer can trigger a nearby Witch. When this happens, the Witch will go for the person who killed the Boomer. Witches will instantly incapacitate the player they are chasing down if you do not know. In Expert difficulty, they will now kill the player instead.
- Avoid killing Boomers if Alarmed Cars are nearby. Like Witches, a Boomer’s explosion can trigger Alarmed Cars. A triggered car will bring you hordes with twice as many zombies. Unless you want to waste your bullets, avoid doing this.
If You are Hit in Bile
- Move to a corner. If you are out in the open, zombies will surround you from every direction. If you are in a corner, you can simply kill those in front of you. You would not need to worry about your back.
- Use a melee weapon to defend yourself. Hordes will swarm towards you. The most effective way to get rid of them when they are in front of you is to use a melee weapon such as an ax or a katana.
- Use a pipe bomb to distract hordes. Instead, the flock that will come for you would head for the pipe bomb.
Strategies to Fight as the Boomer
In Versus mode, you can play as the Boomer. Your goal is to confuse the survivors using your bile. Thus, you must strategically plan your position as vital in your gameplay. Overall, players of the game consider playing as the Boomer to support the other Special Infected. If you find yourself always dying before you can do anything, these tips may help you out.
- Hide and wait for the players. The Boomer relies heavily on surprising the survivors with their bile. As such, you need to hide along their path and wait for them to come to you.
- Consider being patient and finding an opening. Do not engage directly towards them when you immediately see the survivors. They may shoot you before you can even puke out your bile. Instead, you can find an opening. It can be an excellent time to strike if they are busy doing something, like healing up, as they are too preoccupied with something else.
- Move your aim slightly upwards to gain additional range. Your bile will arc and hit more survivors than aiming it straight towards them.
- Aim for multiple survivors with your bile. Your bile can hit numerous survivors at once. So, if you see them close together, it can be an excellent opportunity to release your bile. Another way to do this would be to fall from a high place and explode upon a huddled team.
- Hit incapacitated survivors with your bile. Hordes will attack them, becoming primarily defenseless against the overwhelming forces. This makes killing them faster. Furthermore, other survivors might have a hard time helping out the incapacitated.
- Consider puking on survivors in tight spaces. Hitting them is easier this way than hitting them out in the open.
- Never go out in the open alone. Boomers are delicate zombies, and they can be seen easily. If you are alone and in an open field, you can get hit by a single bullet and die. Instead, rely on the common infected to act as your bodyguard and camouflage.
- Avoid lumping too close with other Special Infected. They will still stumble when you explode if a survivor kills you. Instead, lump together with the common infected. There are many of them. Or, you could hide instead.
- Do not aim too high up. Your bile will disappear into thin air after a certain distance. Instead, aim slightly up.
- Avoid hiding behind thin walls. Survivors can often see Boomers sticking out of them. This phenomenon is due to the Boomer’s large build. This opportunity gives the survivors knowledge of where they are. They can quickly kill you.
If You Hit Someone with Bile
- Let the other Special Infected deal with the unhit survivors. Your bile is helpful to pin down survivors while one is distracted. The hit cannot see that zombies are pinning down their teammates because of the bile blocking their vision.
- Consider getting killed after you puked. There is a long cooldown before you can puke again when you puke. One thing that you could do is to get hit and explode yourself. This way, you can stagger the survivors, giving ample time for hordes to attack.
- Explode near unhit survivors. Exploding on the same survivor that you have puked on is wasteful. Remember that your explosion will hit them with bile. So, try to explode near unhit survivors.
- Consider hiding and running away after you puked. Alternatively, you can wait for your cooldown to strike again. However, since you are still alive, you will create a lot of noise. This strategy is good if you can find a good hiding place.
Achievements Related to the Boomer
In Left 4 Dead as a survivor
- Blind Luck: “You or another Survivor take no damage after being vomited on by a Boomer.”
- Clean Kill: “Shove a Boomer and then kill him without him splashing on anyone.”
- Stomach Upset: “All Survivors complete a campaign without being vomited on.”
- Outbreak: “Catch a rare strain of Infection, then pass it on to someone else.”
In Left 4 Dead as the Boomer
- Barf Bagged: “Cover four Survivors with Boomer bile at once.”
In Left 4 Dead 2 as a survivor
There are no achievements related to the Boomer if you are the survivor in Left 4 Dead 2.
In Left 4 Dead 2 as the Boomer
- Fat Ninja: “As the Boomer, vomit on a Survivor without having a direct line of sight with them.”
Survivor Quotes about the Boomer
The survivors would often comment about the presence of a Boomer. Below is a list of their quotes when they hear, spot, or get puked on by a Boomer.
Left 4 Dead Survivors
- “Christ, there’s a Boomer around here.”
- “Watch it; Boomer in the vicinity.”
- “There’s a Boomer trackin’ us.”
- “It’s Exploding Guy!”
- “Boomer, yeah! Boomer!”
- “I hear a Boomer! And it sounded Canadian.”
- “Hear that Boomer? I’m gonna kill his ass.”
- “He puked on me!”
- “I think one of those vomit bags is around here.”
- I can hear a Boomer sloshing around.”
- “Boomer, don’t let it puke on you.”
Left 4 Dead 2 Survivors
- “Roly Poly!”
- “What? D’oh!”
- “Fat thing!”
- “Ugh! ugh! [spits]”
- “Boomer around. Don’t shoot him if he’s near me. Okay?”
- It’s the fat barf bag!”
- “Goddamn it. I am covered in vomit again.”
- “Careful, I can hear a Boomer.”
- “Oh, there’s a fat guy!”
- “Damn it! I just washed this!”
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: What Does the Boomer Sound Like in Left 4 Dead?
Answer: They make burping and vomiting sound a lot, so much so that they sound like pigs. The bile in their stomachs would also gurgle and slush around when they walked. Watch out for deep grunting sounds if you are looking out for a Boomer. The explosion from their death creates a super loud noise.
Question: Was a Left 4 Dead Boomer Present in Cabin in the Woods?
Answer: As a fun easter egg, the Boomer appears in the comedy-horror film Cabin in the Woods. In it, you can see several monsters in various glass prisons, one of them being the Boomer. Apparently, the game was supposed to have a DLC related to the film. However, MGM went bankrupt, and so the collaboration failed.
Question: Does the Bile Bomb Come from the Boomer’s Bile?
Answer: Yes, it is possible. According to the game, CEDA manufactured the Bile Bomb. It says that they have successfully used the bile from Boomers to counter the zombies. However, the bile within the jar is light green, while the bile from Boomers is dark green. This may be due to chemical changes during the manufacturing process.
Question: Are there Mods about the Boomers in Left 4 Dead?
Answer: Yes, there are if you play on the PC. You can see them in the game’s workshop if you are playing using Steam. These mods usually alter the appearance of the Boomers or the music and sound surrounding them. You can make them look like Pudge from DOTA. You can change the music to play Boombastic by Shaggy when a Boomer is around.
Conclusion about the Boomer
The Boomer is an annoying Special Infected that will vomit their bile on you. This bile is extremely dangerous because hordes of zombies will come towards you and attack you if it hits you. They will also spill this liquid when they die since they explode upon death. Anyone nearby the explosion can get hit with the bile.
If you are playing as a survivor, avoid getting near the Boomers at all costs. You should kill them from a distance. Shove them away and retreat if you are too near them.
If you are hit with bile, go to a corner and kill incoming hordes of zombies with your melee weapon. You should also ask for help from your teammates to defend you from the incoming forces.
Hide and wait for the players if you are playing as the Boomer in Versus mode. Let them come to you. Do not charge directly towards them if you have no protection from the common infected.
Avoid being out in the open because the survivors can kill you pretty easily due to your low health. Move your aim slightly upwards to increase the range of your bile.