Hives of Ridden
Turtle Rock Studio’s game Back 4 Blood is full of different levels for players to explore. Yes, those with a practiced eye might notice their team backtracking through some familiar levels more than once. But those areas lead to different places every time you encounter them.
The Ridden hives, unique in-between levels released with Back 4 Blood’s Tunnels of Terror DLC, are no different than the rest of the campaign. There are six other hives for you to run through, and each one is built with various dangers, obstacles, and bosses.
If you’ve ever found yourself running around a Ridden hive, wondering where the exit is, where the skulls are, and how the hell you survive, wonder no more.
300 Below is one of the easiest hives to undertake. It’s a very straightforward map spread over three levels, each containing a Skull Totem. There are no looping paths or hidden areas on this map, but plenty of dead ends are meant to confuse players.
Let’s get started.
We found little need to alter our loadout for this map, unlike Caustic Cesspool or Nursery. This map has no built-in corruption cards to screw over your Nightmare run. Pick whatever loadout you do best with, and get ready to power through some Ridden.
That said, if you’re playing on greater difficulties, you will likely get an Onslaught, and Toxic Spill card pulled against you. Onslaught can get relentless with unending waves of Ridden bashing themselves against you, so we recommend pipe bombs and firecrackers when you can get them. They take the horde off your team and allow those precious few seconds to sprint to your next goal.
Toxic Spill and Biohazard can initially seem painful, but if you’re on crowd control, you can overheal yourself like crazy. Again, stick with whatever loadout you’re most effective with and focus on thinning the crowd. With each kill you get, you heal yourself. You’ll find yourself saving healing kits because you know wiping out a horde is a free full heal.
Step 1: Find the first ladder.
Rip open that fleshy webbing and drop down to start the map. Follow the path, killing what Ridden appears, and make your way to a larger cavern. This expansive cavern ends with a ledge that oversees some fleshy anchors and an elevator below. That elevator will eventually lead you out of here, but let’s not jump ahead of ourselves.
There are three ways to drop down on this level, and we will have to drop down to progress. However, once you descend the broken ladder, there is no way back up, so let’s not be hasty. You’ll find a flashlight next to each rope ladder, which will be neon yellow, so it stands out in the dark. One is to your left, one should be straight ahead, and one should be to the right. You can also keep going right to find a pair of doors and an industrial area on the map. There’s nothing over there but more Ridden, though. So be careful.
Step 2: Find the first skull.
If you’re standing in the entrance to this cavern, to your left will be a mine cart tunnel, wooden beams holding the ceiling up. Follow that along the wall until you find another fleshy webbing. Rip it apart and grab the first Skull Totem.
If you’re in a hurry, you can drop down to the next level at any ladder. If you want to explore, take your time. This map has plenty of nooks and crannies that can hold item containers and warped chests.
Step 3: Drop & clear
Drop down to the next level. Though this level has plenty of ledges, you won’t enter the final level until you drop down another neon yellow rope ladder. This level has much less rock and much more flesh. As you explore, you’ll find an area requiring a short jump to reach; the ledge should have a small splash of white paint to designate its significance. Jump across, hope there’s a warped chest over there, and clear any Ridden that follow you. Be warned: bots suck at jumping short distances, so you may have to rescue them.
Step 4: Find the second skull.
Across the ledge, you’ll find the second Skull Totem. Add that bad boy to your first one, and we’re on to the next level.
Unless, of course, you want to explore 300 Below a bit. You will be rewarded for your curiosity, as we usually find a few webs on this level and plenty of copper and items.
Step 5: Drop & clear part 2
The last level is no different than the others. It may be more open, but that will only work in your favor.
If you’re playing on a lower difficulty, you won’t have any bosses spawn on this level. If you’re playing on Nightmare or No Hope, there’s a good chance an Ogre will spawn. Don’t panic; since the level is so expansive, you have plenty of room to run around. Use the fleshy webs as cover whenever the ogre throws a meatball at you, and put all you’ve got into taking it down. Once you’re clear, you can search for the final Skull Totem.
Step 6: Find the last skull.
Head back to where you first dropped down to this level. You should be looking at a giant metal gear of some sort. You can head left or right around a large rock pillar and enter the chamber correctly. Head to the right, follow the rocky path, and you’ll find the right wall open up to a narrow ledge. When standing on the ledge, turn to your left, and you should see a rocky shelf you can jump to. Like on the previous level, it should have some white to signify it’s safe.
Immediately jumping across, you may find nothing. On lower difficulties, armor or an offensive item is waiting for you. If you go to the far end of the shelf, hidden behind the wall is the final Skull Totem. Rip that urban legend backwood crap out of the ground, slap it onto the others, and get ready to bounce.
Optional Step: Find the golden skull trophy.
Every map has a hidden golden skull trophy, and the Ridden hives are no different. Remember that giant metal gear from earlier? Head back there and check right behind the wooden platform the gear sits on. You should find a golden skull trophy tucked away from prying eyes.
Step 7: Get the hell out of there.
Get the hell out of there. You got everything you came for. What are you waiting for?
If you’ve been keeping an eye on it throughout the map, you’ll know where the back of the level is. Remember that elevator from before? Head there.
Depending on when you grabbed the Skull Totem and what difficulty you’re on, the ogre might wait till now to spawn and ruin your day. Do not be discouraged. At this point, you don’t even have to kill him. But you should, for posterity.
Head to the back of the map, where a bridge has been infected with Ridden flesh. Run across and jump the gap to safety. Be warned: bots suck, and somehow even we suck at this part. Any little bump or hit can knock you off the bridge. The same goes for the tiny gap at the end; any little jostle and you drop right through that gap like a tallboy on fire. Take this part carefully; you’re feet away from victory.
Once you’ve cleared the gap, climb up to the top of the elevator cart and activate the rope ladder exit.
You made it through 300 Below!
Hot damn, you made it.
Congrats on your three Skull Totems. We’re sure they’ll go far (not.)
Ridden hives can be extremely intimidating at first, especially after getting used to the regular maps of the campaign. But they are the only way to get Skull Totems, and they are an excellent challenge to a player’s skill.
Back 4 Blood fundamentals
Even if you’re a seasoned professional at Back 4 Blood and can proudly say you remember when you’re deck wasn’t handed to you all at once, it doesn’t hurt to brush up on the fundamentals. Basics, like corruption cards, mutations tips, and deck builds.
There is plenty of hardcore Back 4 Blood players who know almost nothing about the lives of their favorite cleaners pre-collapse. Checking out a character guide can give you a brief look at what makes Back 4 Blood’s cleaners tick.