The Berserker is the melee specialist of the team, and as such is almost always on the front line beating back the horde. Their focus is entirely on melee and can effectively use the Knife, Machete, Fire axe, Katana and Chainsaw in place of using a gun.
The Berserker has a number of abilities to aid their survival. His melee damage and swing speed are drastically improved, and he moves up to 20% faster than other classes when wielding any melee weapon other than the Chainsaw. He also enjoys resistance to all damage types in the game, especially Bloat acid. He cannot be grabbed by Clots, which makes the Berserker a perfect candidate for deflecting aggro off of other players. He typically aims to carry either the Katana or the Chainsaw, as those weapons can cut down standard foes very quickly and will frequently extend ZED-time. The Berserker is also one of the cheaper classes to maintain as they rarely need to purchase ammunition; once he purchases his main weapon and armour, he can support his team by giving them the excess money.
Despite all his bonuses, the Berserker is a reasonably difficult class to play. He is typically the first contact for most specimens, and as such needs to handle incoming threats before they can strike him, but there are a few specimens that can make this quite difficult.
Crawlers pose a big threat as they are very common, small and fast. They prove a difficult target to hit, especially when they leap, and when on the ground they are hard to hit due to their size. They will chip away at the Berserker's Combat armour over the course of the round, making it easier for larger specimens to overwhelm him. Backpedaling out of the range of their jump and striking when they land is one of the few ways to avoid taking damage. Gorefasts aren't much of a threat as long as the Berserker can see them coming, but with a successful charge they can instantaneously deal a large amount of damage. Sirens and Husks are both ranged specimens and will require the Berserker to close down on them fast to prevent their attacks. This is made much harder when other specimens are blocking the route, especially with the Siren, as it will allow them to deal heavy damage to the player. One of the best ways to approach them is usually from around corners as their screams and fireballs cannot reach through walls, and will allow the Berserker to ambush them before they can attack. Alternatively the Berserker can take a Bullpup or Lever-action rifle to aid in dealing with these threats, but on harder difficulties the lack of damage may be problematic.
Unlike most specimens, the Fleshpound is not susceptible to a critical headshot and cannot be easily decapitated. This, coupled with their high speed and damage output, makes them very dangerous to the Berserker. They are however weak against grenades, so stacking a few at their feet can allow the Berserker to take off a large amount of health before attacking with powerful melee attacks to finish them off.
The Berserker does generally take some practice to function effectively, but in the hands of a skilled player it serves a vital role cutting down the bulk of specimens, and absorbing the brunt of damage off of the rest of the team.
Levelling berserker can be done quite effectively along side players levelling field medic, due to the nature of the perks. The white-listed map KF-Doomed has a chainsaw spawn near the players entry point which is beneficial to players wanting to level berserker. While using the chainsaw don't aim for the heads of specimens, since the chainsaw does 4 times less damage when used in this way.
|Rank||Melee Damage Points Required||Melee||Damage Resistance||Katana/Chainsaw Discount ↑||Spawn With||Special||Zed-time Extensions|
|Damage ↑||Faster Attacks ↑||Faster Movement ↑||Bloat Bile ↑||All Damage ↑|
|10%||10%||10%||Can't be grabbed by Clots|
|† Denotes an item also available to all additional levels of the perk.|
|Equipment by perk|
|Weapon damage table|