Back 4 Blood: Mom Guide & Build

A player’s guide for Mom (Christine Tuttle)

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. The Cleaners are highly proficient with weapons, even if those weapons are nothing more than baseball bats and machetes.

Don’t let the wrinkles or silver hair fool you, she’s the hardiest Cleaner in Fort Hope and she’ll cuss you out until you admit it. Today we’re taking a closer look at the tenacious and tough Mom.

Back for Blood — Mom (Christine Tuttle)

Mom’s background

Christine Tuttle, known affectionately by the people of Fort Hope as Mom (except for Jim Hossler, who calls her Ms. Tuttle), is a midwest native who’s seen it all. She owned a tattoo parlor before the outbreak, and now she’s considered the second-in-command of Fort Hope, or at least the group of Cleaners. 

Mom and her son, Jason, survived together for six months after society’s collapse. They teamed up with Commander Philips early on and worked to establish connections with lots of other settlements. It’s what earned Mom a seat at the table and more trust than she knew what to do with.

Unfortunately, Jason didn’t make it back from one of his missions. A mission Commander Philips specifically chose for him. It’s a sore spot for Mom throughout the game—she blames Philips for Jason’s death. And since Philips kept many secrets to himself, Mom firmly believes more people would still be alive if Philips weren’t in charge.

Mom is best friends with Doc. They knew each other long before the outbreak. If you play with Doc and Mom in a group, they’ll constantly talk to each other. One of the rarest dialogues we ever got was a conversation about Mom’s cancer, something she’s tried to keep hidden from the rest of the group. 

But Doc knows. And Doc tells her that’s why she’s immune; the devil worms can sense her cancer and realize she’s not a good host. This hints at much larger implications in the lore of devil worms and those immune to them. But more immediately, it means Mom has more than alien infections to deal with.

Now she acts as the surrogate mother to all of Fort Hope. But her responsibility is more than just keeping people alive. It’s wiping that God-forsaken devil worm plague off the face of the earth once and for all.

For Jason.

“I’m not one to dwell on things, but sometimes I miss the ‘before’…”

Strategy & cards

Back 4 Blood — Mom's Offensive Deck Building

Mom comes with the following perks

  • + 100% Team Revive Speed
  • 20% Slower Team Temp Health Decay
  • She comes with an extra support inventory, and she starts with pain meds.

Clearly, Mom is a supporting character. She doesn’t bring any extra damage or offensive utility to the team. The quicker team revive is nice to have—if someone on your team is incapacitated. But since the goal is to avoid letting that happen, we did not utilize her perk much. Sometimes we never needed it at all.

The slower decay on temporary health can come in handy, especially if you’re using a Sharice Leecher build, but it’s easily granted by using the Pumped Up card, so it’s not exclusive.

Mom is not a great character to bring along on lower difficulties. Her perks don’t trigger, and the levels are easy enough that you don’t need her support. However, come Nightmare and No Hope, you’ll be happy to bring her along. She does enhance the team a bit, and no matter how hard you try, you will be incapacitated multiple times in No Hope difficulty. Having the support of Mom around can be beneficial. And if you don’t have Karlee on your team, she can be a pretty good scout too.

Back 4 Blood — Character Selection

When building a deck for Mom, we try to lean into strengths wherever we can. But since Mom doesn’t have many strengths, it’s up to you to make your own.

Whenever we played as Mom online, we called ourselves The Perpetual Nag. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the explosions and guns, losing yourself in trying to kill as many ridden as possible. But as Mom, we always reminded our team that the goal was to get to the saferoom, not kill everything. Did that make us a bit of a nag when others were in the zombie-killing zone? Yes. Did we feel it was our role as Mom to act in such a way? Yes. Yes, we did.

Since she’s mostly a supporting character, we built her support decks: offensive and defensive support. You’re in the flex position when playing as Mom on the team. You move to wherever the group needs you most.

Offensive Support

These are all team cards, so while buffing your health, ammo, and damage, you’re also buffing the whole team.

  • Life Insurance
  • Fanny Pack
  • Surplus Pouches
  • Offensive Scavenger
  • Saferoom Recovery
  • Well Fed
  • Confident Killer

These cards also give the entire team an extra support inventory. We liked having Knowledge Is Power, as it helped the team understand how much damage they were doing and act accordingly. Ammo For All is self-explanatory, and Avenge The Fallen helps in the chaos of battle. On Your Marks and Mandatory PT round out the deck to buff everyone on the team in just about every area.

Back 4 Blood — Wielding an Assault Rifle

Defensive Support

It’s all about stacking those health buffs.

  • Amped Up
  • Saferoom Recovery
  • Needs Of The Many
  • Inspiring Sacrifice

These are ways to get free heals just for going through the campaign. Group Therapy and Support Scavenger will ensure you always have medical accessories to use and that they go further. Well Fed, Well Rested, and Fit As A Fiddle will increase team health, bolstered health, and overheal. With this deck, you don’t need Doc at all. Mom can keep everyone alive just as easily.

Bot behavior

Back 4 Blood — Triggering an Alarm Door

She’s not going to stick out in your group. She won’t heal or kill any more than other Cleaners. She will cuss a lot more than anyone else. Like, way more. That’s her whole thing.

Her bot might not stand out in battle, but we found her motivating tidbits to be a bright light in the horror of Back 4 Blood.

“Well, what are y’all waiting for? Let’s kill these mother*******!”

– Mom

Final thoughts on Mom (Christine Tuttle)

Mom is a solid choice for a support role character on more serious difficulties for experienced players. You should focus on cleaners with more offensive or defensive capabilities if you’re just starting out. But if you’ve been trying Nightmare or No Hope and keep dying bitterly when the hordes come, try adding Mom as a supporting character and see if that smooths things out.

Victor's avatar

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.

View all posts by Victor →