How to Enable and Use the L4D2 Console

Unlock thousands of commands!

Left 4 Dead 2 is almost 10 years old, but many players still play the game today. One of the reasons for the long-term success of L4D2 is its console. The console is essentially a text-box that allows you to enter cheat codes, also known as commands, to spice up gameplay and do all sorts of other things.

This guide has three parts:

  1. Enabling the Console
  2. Using the Console
  3. Fixing Console Issues

Enabling the Console


In order to use the console, you first have to enable it. You can enable the console by navigating to "Options", going to "Keyboard/Mouse", like so:

Highlighted is the options button, and the keyboard/mouse settings button

Then, set "Allow Developer Console" to "Enabled". This is pictured below:

Setting the Allow Developer Console option to Enabled

After enabling the developer console, you can open it by pressing the ` (grave) or ~ tilde key on your keyboard.

If this doesn't work for you, see Common Issues below.

Using the Console


Right, so you've got the console opened. If you're asking yourself the question - how do I use this thing?! You'll want to read on.

Although it might look like a complicated stream of text, the console is relatively simple to use. All you need to do is type a command into the console and hit ENTER.


In order to use the console with most commands, you'll need to load a game with the map command. This is a relatively simple command to use. All you need to do is type "map" into the console, followed by a space, and the map code of the map you wish to load. The map code for the first chapter of "Dead Center" (The Hotel), is c1m1_hotel. The command to load the Dead Center Hotel map would be as follows:

map c1m1_hotel

You can find a list of all L4D2 map codes to use with this command on the map command page.


Finally, we'll show you how to use the "give" command to add an item. The give command works in a similar way to the map command. You need to type give into the console, followed by a space, and the item code of the item you wish to give to yourself. You can find a list of all item codes here. For this example, we will be giving ourselves an AK-47, which has an item ID of rifle_ak47. The give command with the AK-47's item code added to it looks like this:

give rifle_ak47

If you hadn't already tried or guessed, typing the above command into your console would give you an AK-47.

Common Issues with Opening the Console


If you've enabled the console via your L4D2 settings, but it still isn't working, fear not! Almost always, the issue is due to a different keyboard layout that doesn't have the correct key, or L4D2 doesn't pick up that you're pressing the correct key.

To resolve this, first make sure Left 4 Dead 2 is closed, then go to your L4D2 launch options. You can do this by going to library in Steam, right clicking "Left 4 Dead 2", and selecting "Properties". Then clicking "SET LAUNCH OPTIONS...". Once you've opened the launch options box, add "-console" (without quotes) to your launch options. Press OK when you have added -console to your launch options. You can check that you've added it correctly with the below image that outlines what it should look like:

Left 4 Dead 2 console launch options

After adding the "-console" launch option to Left 4 Dead 2, the console will open automatically when you start the game. You can then use the console to set a key to open it. We recommend F12. To bind the console to F12, use the following command:

bind F12 toggleconsole

After typing that into the console and hitting enter, the F12 will should open and close your console.


That's all there is to this guide. If you're looking for cheats to use with the console, check out our Left 4 Dead 2 Cheats page.