The Last of Us: A Guide to All the Different Infected Types

The Last of Us: A Guide to All the Different Infected Types

The Last of Us may be set in a zombie apocalypse, but it’s not exactly your traditional zombie apocalypse story. That being said, when the infected do appear, they distinguish themselves by being even more terrifying than any other zombies we’ve come across. But there’s not just one type of infected in the world of The Last of Us, so let’s break down the differences between each.

What are the different types of infected in The Last of Us


the last of us infected runners
Screenshot: HBO/Binge

The Last of Us’ zombies are infected with a fungus known as cordyceps, which has the ability to control the host’s mind and turn them into mindless killing machines in pursuit of spreading more of the fungus.

In both the games and the TV series, runners are the most common type of infected you’ll encounter. Being the first stage of infection, these creatures don’t have a lot of fungal growth and can be quite passive. But they are aptly named runners, and when agitated, they become quite agile and dangerous.


the last of us stalker infected
Screenshot: Binge/HBO

Stalkers are the creepiest version of infected you’ll encounter in The Last of Us game. They’re stealthy and like to hide from their prey, waiting in the dark for the right time to strike. They’re differentiated from runners by the fungal growth that is starting to emerge from their heads.

We saw an example of stalkers in episode 2 of The Last of Us. Anyone who has played the game will recognise them from the hotel basement sequence in Pittsburgh.


Screenshot: The Last of Us/HBO
Screenshot: The Last of Us/HBO

Clickers are one of the scariest stages of infected. At this point of infection, fungal growth has overtaken the victim’s entire face, rendering them completely blind but very susceptible to sound and echolocation.

When it comes to battling clickers, players need to be incredibly stealthy to sneak up on them, because when agitated they take multiple shots to kill, as we’ve seen in the TV show.


the last of us bloater
Image: Naughty Dog

Bloaters are a later and even more dangerous stage of infection. After years of infection, thick fungal plates have grown to protect the bloater’s body and while they’re slower than other types, they’re much stronger. Their bodies can produce clouds of toxic gases and they can use chunks of fungus on their bodies as projectiles.

Fans of the game know that bloaters are boss-level enemies. We’re yet to meet a bloater in The Last of Us series yet, but trailers have teased they are coming.

A couple of other types of infected are introduced in The Last of Us: Part II, but we wouldn’t want to spoil them here. So for now, these are all the different stages of infected you need to know about.

You can follow our recaps of The Last of Us TV show here and find out when new episodes release here.

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