The Bolter is an uncommon infected that is noted for being the only infected that doesn't attack the player character, but rather flees when the player is near it. It is also noted for having green lumps covering its body that glow. Along with the Volatiles, it is one of the few infected that only appears at night.
It is implied that bolters may have some ability to manipulate other infected, as when alerted or killed nearby Volatiles are sent into a chase, and in the "Witch Queen" side quest the brain of a Bolter is needed to for Dahlia to make the Cloak Potion.
The Bolter can be found in the wild after completion of the "Siblings" main quest line. After this point, the Quartermaster at The Tower will highlight areas on your map of known Bolter hunting grounds. They are located by the Blue skull seen on both the mini-map and the map itself.
The Bolter, as the name suggests, is extremely nimble and cannot be caught if it runs away from a sufficient distance. As such, the player should approach this creature crouched and from behind. If possible, make sure that you're camouflaged so that any surrounding Volatiles don't give you away. This will allow the player to hit the Bolter (which is quite weak) and kill it before it can escape. Players should keep in mind that, even if the Bolter is killed silently, Volatiles will immediately be aware of nearby players, giving chase to anyone in the vicinity. When the Bolter is killed, using flares to keep Volatiles away while someone loots the Bolter Tissue is advised. Ranged weapons will also take the Bolter down, but will still attract any nearby Volatiles, even if grenades or other throwables are used. Bolters are no threat to the player, as they will always run instead of fight. Even very low level weapons will usually kill them in one blow. Interestingly, and rare to see or do, players can actually use a Death From Above attack to kill a Bolter. This cannot be done on an unaware Bolter, as when it is crouched down the DFA wont register. The way to DFA a Bolter varies, if its eating underneath a light trap, activate it, and the Bolter will stand up, allowing a DFA, and giving you a shield of UV light for a few moments. If there is no trap near by, tossing Firecrackers can both lure away the Volatiles guarding it, and agitate it into standing up.
Even for experienced players, catching Bolters is a challenge. One wrong step and the Bolter will be gone, sprinting away and alerting all nearby Night Infected and Volatiles of the players' presence. One strategy is to drink the Night Vision Booster and the Speed Booster in case the Bolter catches wind of the players and takes off. Another strategy is to use firecrackers and flares to direct the Volatiles' movements to get them away from the Bolter, giving players the maximum amount of time to safely dispatch the Bolter and loot the corpse before fleeing. Ranged weapons generally should not be used, as players still need to retrieve the Bolter Tissue from the corpse before running, which is difficult to do unless all other Infected in the area (including Volatiles) are killed. Throwing weapons, being Throwing Stars, Axes etc. work wonders, being fast to use, and will one shot the Bolter. Using a DFA can be tricky, as described above, but leaves you with the Bolter dead, and the player literally on top of it. Using a Ground Slam with a heavy weapon can kill it, but also tends to knock the body away, and leaves the player vulnerable.
In The Countryside, Bolters are active during the day instead of the night. The reason for this behavior is because they feel "safer" in the open countryside (according to in-game tips). This reinforces the idea that Bolters have more advanced cognition than normal infected, and want to protect their own life.
In the main story of The Following, it is shown that it is possible for someone who is infected to turn into a "sentient volatile" when given enough of a failed military antidote. This shows that Dr. Zere's research may have converged upon a similar solution as the military's failed antidote.
- The Bolter gets its name from how it "bolts" from the player when seen and has surprising agility much like the Volatile.
- It also has the same amount of health as a Bomber or a Screamer (20).
- Even though Bolters are not aggressive and apparently intelligent, they are given no mercy by survivors. For Example, Jasir (a character in The Following) asks the player to kill as many Bolters as possible, the reason given is that they are a nuisance because they devour the dead bodies that are left at altars. This is odd, because the character Bilal (when commenting that the people in The Countryside don't "know how to feel" about killing Screamers) uses Jasir as a specific example of a soft-hearted person.
- During the first introduction of the Bolter, it appears to be observing the player, and flees when seen. This is another example of their intelligence.
- When a Bolter notices you it starts screaming scaredly but not like the Screamer.
- There is a bolter hotspot that can be found after you complete Pact With Rais;The hotspot is the same place where you go to check the bodies of Rais’ men to find an important note.