“An improvised proximity explosive. Blows up when enemies get close.” —Trader description
The pipe bomb is an extremely powerful proximity triggered explosive device. Their power is sufficient to destroy virtually all targets instantly, with Fleshpounds and Scrakes being the major exceptions. With proper use pipe bombs can easily destroy large numbers of specimens before they are within sight. If a player is close enough to their own pipe bomb during detonation they will likely die. For this reason careful placement is advised. The Demolitions perk gives many bonuses for pipe bombs, including discounts and increased carrying capacity.
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Pipe bombs initially come in pairs; they can only be restocked in the same way as ammunition, from either the trader or ammo crates, if there is at least one in the inventory.
The discounts provided to Demolitions players is incremental in degrees of 4% starting at 50% at level 0 and currently ending at 74% at level 6. The carrying capacity is similarly increased by the player's level, starting at 2 slots for level 0 and players using other perks, granting 8 slots at level 6. Players who stock up on pipe bombs as a Demolitions then swap to another class will lose all pipe bombs after their first two.
Pipe bombs beep to signify their status. Idle status is approximately one beep per second. If a pipe bomb detects enemies that do not meet the detonation requirement, it will start to beep at twice the frequency. When the detonation requirement is met, a pipe bomb will beep loudly and quickly for a fraction of a second and then detonate. The detonation requirement is any combination of the following:
- 4x Clots, Crawlers or Stalkers.
- 2x Gorefasts.
- 1x Bloat, Scrake, Husk, Siren, Fleshpound or Patriarch.
Pipe bombs themselves are immune to explosives damage, excluding the Patriarch's rockets, and as such will not detonate as a result of taking damage from grenades, explosive projectile launchers or other pipe bombs, preventing potentially dangerous chain reactions. However, more than one pipe bomb may still detonate from the same threat, and in this case the damage stacks.
A pipe bomb will detonate prematurely if it takes damage, by either specimens or players (shooting another player's pipe bombs constitutes friendly fire, which is disabled by default). Only Husks and the Patriarch can cause a pipe bomb to detonate from a distance because they have ranged weapons with splash damage. Sirens disarm and destroy pipe bombs with their scream, and other specimens are unable to damage them.
Without the benefits of the Demolitions perk, the explosion from a single pipe bomb inflicts 1500 damage. No player can survive this, but only the owner of the pipe bomb needs to worry about this unless friendly fire is active. The only specimen that can survive this under all circumstances is the Patriarch. The only other specimens capable of surviving can only do so under certain circumstances. Factoring in the Fleshpound's 2x weakness to pipe bombs, they can kill a Fleshpound with five or less players on normal, two or less players on hard and suicidal, and one player on hell on earth; anything else will leave the Fleshpound alive and raging. Scrakes have similar pipe bomb survivability; a pipe bomb will dispatch them with five or less players on beginner, two or less players on normal, or with one player on hard; on suicidal and hell on earth, the Scrake cannot be killed from full health by pipe bombs at all. The Husk and Bloat can also survive a pipe bomb, but only with more than four players on suicidal for the Husk and with more than five players on hard, and more than three players on suicidal for the Bloat.
As with any explosive, any player or specimen that takes damage but survives the explosion will burn with a small fire for a few seconds. This deals no damage, but can be useful for easily locating invisible zeds such as the Patriarch and Stalker.
- For tactics against the Patriarch, see Help:Patriarch extermination tactics#Pipe bombs.
- A Siren's scream neutralises explosives in its range, so it is advised to defend nearby pipe bombs from the scream.
- If a Siren didn't exterminate a pipebomb but rendered them useless (pipebomb didn't vanish from sight but won't trigger from near specimen) you can set them up by shooting them using a standard 9mm pistol.
- Enrage a Fleshpound when it stands directly over a pipe bomb to maximise damage. A Fleshpound that rages prior to detonating the pipe bomb will generally run past the bomb before it explodes.
- A non-raging Scrake or Fleshpound can easily be lured into a pipe bomb. A Scrake will generally be stunned by the explosion if the Scrake is not killed, giving the players a few seconds to finish it off.
- A pipe bomb behind a welded door can greatly prolong its lifetime.
- A pipe bomb in front of a welded door can eliminate a large number of the specimens after they break the door unless a Siren or the Patriarch is behind it, as the Siren's scream neutralises explosives and the Patriarch's rocket will detonate the pipe bomb prematurely.
- Several spread-out pipe bombs can be used to keep an area clear of specimens, or at least to slow down their approach.
- If the player keeps one pipe bomb in their inventory, then they can collect more pipe bombs from ammo crates.
- Do not place too many pipe bombs close together because multiple pipe bombs can detonate on the same enemy, resulting in overkill. In particular, the Patriarch gains damage resistance to pipe bombs that are too close together; see Help:Patriarch extermination tactics.
- Possible ways to set up an effective trap:
- Kite a large group of specimens that does not contain a Siren, run behind a door, weld it, and then plant a pipe bomb at the door.
- Plant a pipe bomb on either side of a doorway that many specimens tend to traverse, and weld the door.
- If you need a lot of pipe bombs; especially for the patriarch, give your remaining money to a demolitions expert if there is one in your team. His discount is substantial and will allow him to place more pipe bombs than if you had bought them yourself, this also protects you from the possibility of taking damage from your own placed bombs.
 Bugs and exploits
- A longstanding bug in the game allows placing pipebombs in a way that causes them to land atop the one placing them, generally by facing a nearby wall and aiming at a specific upward angle. This is often called a pipe bomb hat. The player can then move around and the pipe bombs will remain on their head. The usefulness of this is dubious, one possible exception being the final wave, assuming the player does not expect to survive close contact with the Patriarch to begin with. High level Demolitions perks can sometimes survive one pipe bomb going off, however if multiple pipe bombs are placed, they will almost invariably kill the player.
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