Biters are victims of the Harran Virus who have been symptomatic for a long period of time, resulting in significant degradation of their bodies as well as major loss of movement, speed, and coordination. They form the majority of the shambling infected throughout Harran. Like other infected, they will react to, and eat, the living. They are visually distinguished from Virals by their partly or significantly rotted bodies, as well as their complete hair loss. They attack with wide, flailing swings or by grappling and biting their target.
Biters come in four various "archetypes":
- The first and weakest archetype are Biters with grey skin, they are the slowest and deal the least damage, most are missing one arm, preventing them from grabbing their target, they also wear little clothing, the male variants in racing shirts and matching shorts and shoes the other outfit still applies the shorts and shoes, but a different shirt that is short-sleeved and a sling that wraps around their torso diagonally with a small container attached, females wear sleeveless shirts and shorts with slipper, others wear crop tops and skirts whilst bare foot, and the final outfit is a bra and sweatpants. These Biters slowly become more and more uncommon as the player levels up, eventually no longer spawning.
- The second archetype retains their skin color and are a bit faster with the ability to move quickly as they reel back their arms to punch their targets as well as being able to grab their prey. They have a chance to be a Toxic Biter or Burning Biter when spawned, Toxic Biters cause a small amount of poison damage to their target with each attack, but they can still be killed with Toxic-modified weapons, Burning Biters are always on fire and are immune to fire damage, getting to close will harm enemies, making Takedowns and Drop Attacks risky as the player is harmed during these attacks. Toxic Biters are easily spotted due to emitting green gas and the toxin turning Biters with white skin yellow and Biters with black skin will be shinier. Second archetype Biters wear the same outfits as the first.
- Third archetype Biters are tougher and deal more damage, they will also sometimes spawn as an "Elemental" Biter, occasionally carrying melee weapons as well, their distinguished by the different clothes they wear, males are jacketed and with them unzipped and exposing their shirts underneath with jeans, the second outfit consits of a long-sleeve polo with jeans and the bottoms rolled up to half the length of their shins, the final is a tuxedo outfit. The two oufits for the females consist of pants and shoes with varying shirts, one a long-sleeved shirt and the other a buttoned up trench coat.
- The fourth and final archetype are male Biters wearing industrial uniforms made entirely out of rubber or a flannel with overalls, these Biters are very burley and much stronger. They often carry melee weapons and can also spawn "Elemental", females can be fourth archetype, but their outfits are the same as the third archetype females', making them undistinguishable between the two often resulting in an unexpectedly tough Biter. All outfits vary in color.
Power XP rewards for killing different archetypes of Biters are as follows:
The plus indicates that a little more XP is occasionally awarded by chance.
Biters are most dangerous in groups where their slow speed is less of a disadvantage. Biters are also fairly quiet at a distance and can be difficult to spot in darker or noisier areas, but can be heard by their heavy breathing and moaning when up close. If hit by fire-type weapons they will light on fire, Toxic Biters will explode, causing a small amount of poison damage to the player and attract the attention of other infected.
Some Biters can occasionally be seen holding simple melee weapons such as hammers, wrenches, pipes, and police batons, etc. Infected police officers, industrial workers and even some of Rais's Men can be seen still carrying these tools. Biters will throw these tools at the player or other survivors if they are at a distance, and will attempt to hit their target with them at close range, causing a larger amount of damage than their standard attack. Biters will often drop these tools after being knocked down, however. Side note: Police officer Biters will react to a dropkick as if it were a standard kick and they cannot be killed with Takedowns — except for drop attacks, this is because of the police hat they often wear, the same applies to Gas Tanks, however they can still be knocked down.
During the night, Biters have a chance to roar to alert nearby Volatiles, the sound they emit is very similar to a Goon's roar when attacking. They will also spontaneously mutate into Night Walkers, either by loud noises — such as the roaring of Biters and explosions, the player is in pursuit running from Volatiles and passes by Biters, or it just happens out of nowhere. This gains Biters the ability to run and mantle up obstacles like Virals. Night Walkers will also alert all nearby Volatiles upon spotting the player, initiating a pursuit. It takes a few seconds for the mutation to occur, during which the biter will spasm and emit yellow vapors.
Bruiser (The Following)
Exclusively seen in The Following within The Countryside, a new variant of Biter appears titled the Bruiser. While the Bruiser is arguably similar to the early stages of the Goon, Bruisers more likely appear around Biters, therefore possibly indicating that it is more Biter-esque. They don't carry around weapons like most Biters do, but they have a powerful hitting attack that can knock down and stun the player. They can be dismembered like regular infected, although it takes more strikes. Bruisers appear to be shirtless most of their time, with shorts or jeans to wear.
Freaks of Nature
As of yet, only one Biter Freak has been discovered.
- Goliath is the leader of Biters and appears towering over his smaller and quicker Viral counterpart, David. Goliath deals extremely high damage and is very tough, which is balanced by his slow stride. Despite this, he can make a rush towards player, which is intensified by the relatively small island they inhabit.
Besides the common Biters found throughout the game, a number of variants can be found who are either unique to a specific location, or have unique attributes.
- Toxic Biter: These Biters emit a cloud of greenish gas, and deal toxic damage to the player if they are in close proximity. If these Biters are caught on fire they will detonate emitting a toxic cloud which does low damage over time and will also attract Virals. Toxic Biters will also tend to vomit as a death animation, and can cause acidic damage over time if Crane comes in very close contact with it. Furthermore, their attacks can deal acidic damage over time.
- Flaming Biter: While still remained ignited, this type of Biter is able to walk around and without dying from the fire. They will set fire to any flammable liquid or objects they walk near, and will deal fire damage to the player if they come into contact with them. Their flames can however be extinguished by hitting them with a Conducting Liquid.
- Gas Tank: A unique Toxic Biter variant, this Biter is seen wearing a yellow hazmat suit with an explosive oxygen tank on their back. Their enclosed suits prevent them from biting, but also protect them from fire and dismemberment. Like the Toxic Biter, it shares it's death animation with it vomitting, but can be killed when the oxygen tank is hit and explodes in mid-air.It can also be killed if the player deals enough damage, assuming the tank isn't hit during combat.
- Industrial Worker Biter: These Biters wear tough rubber suits similar to Goons. They have nearly twice as much health as regular Biters, and are noticeably tougher to kill. They carry tools such as hammers, wrenches and pipes and will use them as melee weapons. They are only found in specific industrial areas. In The Following, Biters as tough as Worker Biters appear wearing ragged clothing.
- Rais' Men Biters: Former members of Rais' gang who have been turned into biters, they begin to appear all over Harran once the player reaches Old Town. Like the industrial workers, they have almost twice as much health as regular Biters and as a result are harder to kill. They also sometimes carry melee weapons.
- Police Officer Biter: An infected cop, they are found at the military checkpoint on the other side of the mainland bridge, or in certain areas of Old Town like the police station which are affiliated with law enforcement. They carry police batons and will use them as melee weapons.
- Forever Foundation Scientist: A scientist of the Forever Foundation, these are mainly encountered in the Forever Foundation research lab in The Clinic. Despite having been infected for several weeks and behaving like other biters, these biters do not show the usual physical signs of decay and are similar in appearance to Virals. This may be due to having been preserved due to spending the outbreak in the air-conditioned underground lab, Despite wearing facemasks, they can still perform the usual bite attack.
- Military Biter: Members of Harran's military forces that have turned, and are noted for wearing a light green uniform as well as standing a fair bit taller than normal biters. In the fields, that are fairly resilient and on par of a Rais's Biter on terms of health. Another form of them appears in bulk at various Military Checkpoints in The Following, which can drop valuable ammunition and have the unique ability to mutate into a Night Walker even in daylight.
- Bruiser: Exclusive to The Following' the player will often stumble across what can only be described as Biters that have mutated. Bruisers look no different from normal Biters, but will undergo similar mutations to Night Walkers when Kyle Crane approaches them, even in broad daylight. Once mutated, they act identical to Virals in terms of agility and sound, but will look like a standard Biter. This is confusing to witness at first, if the player is used to Biters having a certain appearance, when suddenly what was expected to be a normal Biter begins sprinting towards them. Mutated Biters can be recognised by the distinctive sound they make during mutation, which gives the player a few moments to either prepare themselves for a fight, or to run away.
- On Normal difficulty, Biters have roughly 150 to 200 health at the beginning of the game, and will increase in health as the player's Survivor Level increases. At maximum Survivor Level 25, Biters have about 350 to 400 health. As Survivor Level increases, Biter health is eventually surpassed by the damage of leveled weapons. At Survivor Level 1, available weapons generally do about 20 to 30 damage, while at Survivor Level 25 they do roughly 700 to 1300 damage and can easily kill any Biter in one hit.
- When fighting one on one without the stomp ability, it is recommended to always aim for the head, causing additional damage. If the player is fighting a group or does have the stomp ability, it is recommended to aim for the body, as the player has a better chance of knocking them over quickly, where the player can then use a finishing move or simply run away un-pursued. If the player is overwhelmed by these biters, it is recommended to retreat immediately and stick to the rooftops as biters cannot climb onto high ledges.
- When fighting groups of them, location is key. Find a narrow area where you only have to deal with two or three at a time. Getting swarmed is the most dangerous risk of fighting groups of biters. The player must also always check behind them, as any biters appearing from that direction may completely trap the player.
- The stomp ability can be extremely useful when killing biters. If the player has obtained this skill, it is recommended for them to climb onto a small ledge (something that the biters can climb up onto), such as the roof of a car and lure biters into their location. When a biter nears the car or tries to climb it, the player can then preform the stomp move to instantly and efficiently kill the biter.
- Like with most infected, biters seem to have lost all ability to hold their breath underwater, possibly because they have very low intelligence. If the chance arises, lure them into deep water (water that the player can fully swim in), it will instantly kill them while giving full experience. The player can also knock over any biters that are not fully submerged. This also includes virals and volatiles, even Gas Tanks die instantly when tossed into water.
- If you are fighting them on a rooftop it is best to attempt to kick the biters off the roof.
- Sometimes, cutting off one or even both of a biter's legs or feet will not kill them, but they will crawl towards the player or wherever they can still move to. They will also suddenly lunge at the player's ankles and bite them on the legs. This is most commonly seen with biters who have survived an explosion but lost their legs in the process.
- When fighting Biters, they may sometimes stumble into the player when hit, preventing them from doing anything. This can be problematic as they can stumble multiple times and can leave the player open to attacks if fighting large groups of Biters. This is more likely to happen if the Biter is hit with a particularly weak melee weapon.
- Biters have a tendency to crawl out of drains in the side of buildings, from under crashed vehicles, and burst out of doors, adding an element of surprise to those who are unwary.
- Very rarely, biters can be found that won't attack the player unless directly harmed or being stood in too close of a proximity to them. They are often staring at the ground or sky, making choking or gurgling sounds. This means that it is possible that infected may be trying too fight the infection similar to a viral begging when hit, or they might just be distracted.
- Biters are able to climb low obstacles, including cars, over rails and fences, and onto dumpsters, though have a tendency to fall over when doing so. This makes for especially comical moments in areas such as Old Town, where there are frequently biters on the rooftops, and, in their attempt to reach the player will often times climb over a rail and fall to the ground below, sometimes killing themselves, or landing face first on an adjoining roof.
- As the story progresses, large, bulbous, fleshy growths can be seen on biters, which tend to pop and leave holes in the biter's flesh when they are damaged. These growths act as a weak spot, and can severely injure the biter. These growths can explode when exposed to fire, which can alert Virals.
- Chopping off a biter's hands or arms, or breaking both of them will prevent them from grabbing or swatting at the player, but they can still bite and headbutt. They can also still get up if knocked down.
- Biters appear to have a permanent angry scowl, giving them the appearance of growling or snarling perpetually. Especially considering that a biter's lips and eyebrows, oddly enough, are still intact after infection.
- Occasionally, biters found lying on the ground in homes will appear to have very little or no visible decay or injuries upon standing up. This implies that they died by some subtle means before or directly after being infected, and, thus, having never made it through the Viral stage, they were reanimated by the Harran Virus before visible decay sets in. Considering the amount of time the outbreak has been going on, this also implies that they have died sometime shortly before the player found them.
- There seems to be a difference between the more decayed and less decayed biters. Usually, the biters straight out of the viral stage are slightly faster than the more decayed variants of the biters.
- Some Biters can be seen wearing race number sheets as well as athletic shorts, implying that the outbreak occurred during a scheduled race during the Global Athletic Games.
- Oddly, one of the death animations for the Biter is when it stumbles/spins around and swats its arms before falling. While this is a general death animation, it looks considerably illogical when the Biter is decapitated or its head is shattered and the animation occurs because of this, as it would technically not have the ability to move without a brain.
- Due to Biters having to be heavily decayed, it appears that their skull's strength is very much weakened and thus, is able to be shattered easily in-game by weapons, the Stomp ability, from fire, from headshots, or even if landed on the ground from a tall building in Old Town.
- Due to their low intelligence Biters will wander off rooftops if they spot you, implying that their brain function to detect danger has gone with its intelligence.
- Some Biters can be found with their hands on their faces, meaning they may not feel the pain of being hit but the pain of the infection.
- Biters who are holding weapons, can sometimes throw them at the player, which acts as a surprise method and can catch newer players off guard.