Back 4 Blood: Jim Hossler Guide

Back 4 Blood: Jim Hossler Guide

A player’s guide for Jim Hossler

Back 4 Blood, the gory first-person shooter from Turtle Rock Studios, is a game full of guns, zombies, and guts. It’s a chaotic experience from start to finish through post-apocalyptic Pennsylvania. Its depth, story, and lore are driven entirely by the characters players take control of.

From punk rock misanthropes to traumatized veterans, the survivors of this new wasteland are called Cleaners. They’re immune to the predations of the devil worm—the purveyor of this zombie infection—and they’re proficient with weapons, even if those weapons are nothing more than baseball bats and machetes.

Today we’re going to focus on one of our favorite Cleaners. Let’s talk about how to play Jim Hossler: reliable, deadly, and all too familiar.

Back 4 Blood — Jim Hossler Default Outfit

Jim Hossler’s background

Jim can trace his roots back to the founding of Finleyville. Generations of Hosslers have hunted, trapped, and fished in these hills. Jim grew up in the area, following his family’s long traditions. Hunting, trapping and fishing with his father and brother. When he was old enough, he became a truck driver for a bit. “Made good money, too,” he says. But something compelled him to join the military.

Though Walker is seen as the only veteran in the group, Jim also has a military background. It’s not dialogue players will trigger often, but on chaotic levels, Jim will sometimes reminisce, saying the carnage reminds him of the war.

Jim returned from his time in the military, got married, and started a family.

And then the ridden outbreak happened.

Jim lost his family. He lost his traditions and his focus for a while. But after meeting other survivors, he found a new purpose. Jim is like the surrogate father of the group. He sees it as his responsibility to ensure everyone makes it back home.

“It’s too late for my family, but not for others…”

Strategy & cards

Back 4 Blood — Jim Hossler Build Deck

Jim is all about damage output. His trait is as follows:

  • Precision kills increase Jim’s damage by 2.5%, up to 25%, until he takes damage.
  • His perk gives +10% weakspot damage to the entire team.
  • His aim down sights speed is 25% faster than other Cleaners, and he starts with razor wire for a quick use item.

So, you can see he’s innately built for damage. He can aim quicker, and adds more weakspot for the team, and if you’re good at headshots, you can increase his regular damage by up to 25%.

Therefore, you should bring cards that lean into his damage output. Ridden Slayer, which adds 20% weakspot damage, is a no-brainer. Large Calibur Rounds, Front Sight Focus, and Silver Bullets all add damage in the form of bullet damage, bullet stumble, weakspot damage, and straight damage output.

Back 4 Blood — Aiming down range

We always found it helpful to bring Shooting Gloves and Cold Brew Coffee. They enhance reload speed, accuracy, recoil control, and weapon swap speed. We found they rounded us out and filled in Jim’s gaps the best.

We always survived more as Jim when we also put some speed cards in our deck. Honestly, one would be enough to keep him away from most Ridden. But two or more only make the levels that much easier. Cross Trainers was our go-to speed card, but if we ever saw Dash or Fleet of Foot while going through a campaign, we always bought it.

Confident Killer is a card in most of our decks, but we only started adding it when we played as Jim Hossler. Confident Killer increases your standard damage output by 1% every time your team kills a mutation, up to 15% per level. And since the game throws many mutations at you, that extra damage kicks in quickly.

The rest of Jim’s deck is up to your playstyle. So let’s break down some playstyles of Jim Hossler.

Back 4 Blood — Staring down a scope

Sniper

Jim is an obvious choice for a sniper. His Quick Aim perk makes up for the slow aim down sights speed of snipers, he adds more weakspot damage to the team, and his perk encourages precision aiming. So grab a rifle and be the team’s designated sniper. Tag mutations as they come in, alert your team of potential dangers and bring up the rear. Let your teammates handle the regular Ridden, so you only focus on the bigger fish.

Combat Medic

With the addition of two cards, Jim Hossler can become more of a team player. We found that by adding Group Therapy and EMT Bag, Jim was able to keep the entire team alive in clutch moments. Group Therapy heals the entire team for 8 health every time a health accessory is used, and EMT Bag increased healing efficiency by 50%.

Use them together, and even when Jim is healing himself, he’s actually healing the team. You can lean into this more by adding Amped Up and Field Surgeon to make Jim a certified team carrier.

Soldier

A build closer to Walker’s easiest build, this leans less into Jim’s sniper capabilities and more into his overall damage capabilities. Make sure to add a Motorcycle Jacket and Tactical Vest to your deck, and look for assault rifles and LMGs, not snipers.

Our preferred build

Back 4 Blood — Our preferred Jim Hossler Build

Find yourself a ranch rifle. Get a holo dot sight on it. Pump it with damage output and reload speed. Grab either a Glock auto or a tech 9. Build a combo of both Combat Medic and Solider. You never have to worry about healing others; heal yourself when things turn for the worst, and you’ll heal your team.

The quick-fire rate of the ranch rifle, coupled with its high damage output, puts it between a sniper and an assault rifle. You can thin the hordes while also taking down large mutations with ease. It allows maximum flexibility, which we found most helpful in any situation.

Bot behavior

Jim is one of the dumbest bots in the game. We still can’t quite figure out why. Even though his bot acts like a sniper—looking for the sniper rifle, calling out mutations, hanging out in the back of the group—every once in a while, Jim will bolt right into the middle of the nearest Ridden group and start knifing and bashing them with abandon. He will leave this encounter will far less health than when he started.

It baffles our minds. We love Jim when we can control him. We despise his suicidal tendencies when he’s on our team as a bot.

Final thoughts on Jim Hossler

Our reliable old Jim Hossler comes in handy more than a little. He’s a well-designed character, and he’s one of our favorite vehicles through which to experience the traumatizing body horror of Back 4 Blood.

About Victor

Writer. Gamer. Outdoorsman. Victor has written across multiple mediums, with some of his work appearing in anthologies, magazines, and websites like Nerdist.com, SFFWorld.com, and CBR.com. When not writing, he is usually gaining inspiration for writing from the library of video games he owns. If he's not indoors, Victor is outdoors climbing mountains, hiking forests, or otherwise conquering nature.

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