The Night Hunter is a player controlled fearsome predator who watches over hives of incubating Volatiles. It is a force to be reckoned with and should always be on the lookout for. It is considered one of the most dangerous enemies a survivor encountered.
The Night Hunter can be seen only in the Be The Zombie game mode. Just like the Survivors, it has a skill tree which can improve its attacks, movement, and other abilities. The Night Hunter can howl which reveals the survivors globally, like an improved survivor sense. As the Hunter levels up, it will gain skill points that can be used to purchase new skills from the skill tree. Its tendrils allow him to traverse at absolute extreme speeds and never runs out of stamina, which is never lost in the presence of UV light. The Night Hunter's primary attack is the pounce which can only be used at full stamina. It wraps its tendrils around the targeted survivor, delivering a fatal bite on their necks and instantly killing them. When in danger, the Hunter can ground pound, knocking enemies away in order to escape from UV light.
As the Night Hunter levels up, it gains the ability to spit four different projectiles. All spits will explode after a short delay besides Toxic Spit.
The Night Hunter has 3 stages/mutations, Each mutation unlocks new skills that were locked on the previous mutation. To mutate, you need to max out all the skills that are "unlocked" by skill points you gain from playing matches. However, each time you mutate, your abilities that you bought with the skill points will need to be achieved again.
The picture beside this is actually a bit outdated, since stage 1 has been renamed to mutation 0. But for the sake of simple terms, I will refer to it as in the picture. Stage 1 is the most basic form of the Hunter, the stage at which you'll start out as. You can see it has bits of clothing including a teared up pant and a ripped t-shirt. Stage 2 is the first mutation a player does, the hunter is turquoise has horns/bones sticking out of the back and top head, and the t-shirt is completely removed while the pants are torn up even more. Stage 3 is the 2nd mutation the player does, the hunter is a green-ish color with the same ripped up pants but has longer horns and has more exposed flesh and back. Stage 4 is the final form of the hunter, is very brown and has a lot of skin removed, the horns on the head is shaped up to be a crown, to represent the "Apex" or "King" of living things. There's a lot of bones on the arms as well as the back. The pants remain the same from Stage 2 to Stage 4.
The Night Hunter has a variety of abilities, the ones listed below are moves that were created to be offensive. Important note is that spits can be blocked with a shield, but in an upcoming patch, it will be taken out.
Pounces: This is the first ability your hunter will have along with the tendril locomotion without purchasing it with skill points. The pounce is an instant kill move that gives out 200 XP for killing the human. However it can be interrupted with a UV flashlight or a UV flare. But strangely, UV light in safe zones do not interrupt pounces, but the hunter will take damage when entering a safe zone.
Horde Summoner Spit: After the explosion, all survivors hit will be chased down by Suiciders. This is a useful tactic for forcing survivors onto rooftops, sending them into disarray, and causing them to separate. It last up to 18 seconds. There is a bug in the game right from release that hasn't been patched, called "telebombers". It teleports the Suicider on top of the roof, that kills survivors instantly.
UV Suppressor Spit: Disables all UV lights (including flares) in an area for 18 seconds. It creates chaos since the survivors are vulnerable without their main source of protection against the Night Hunter. Good survivors will know to throw a UV flare, specifically known as a "Flare" that lasts up to 8 seconds, and an efficient version called the "Zaid's Flare" that lasts up to 12 seconds, this provides temporary protection for the survivors against Pounces.
Sense Suppressor Spit: Disables the Survivor Sense for 5-6 minutes, making it harder for the Survivors to find the Night Hunter, causing panic. This does not disable the survivor's in game sound, so it can hear you growling, tendril, or howling.] In recent updates, this was replaced by Concussive spit. Concussive spit: upon hitting a human with this spit it will knock them down temporarily which makes it easier to kill them, however they can still defend themselves from a pounce, so hit them from the back instead.
Toxic Spit. This spit allows the Night Hunter to shoot a toxic puddle at the Survivors dealing damage when they stand in it; much like toxic puddles found around Harran except it lasts for a minute. It is used to deny access to an area since they would take damage standing in it.
The Night Hunter has secondary attacks that are used for outright damage, comparable to survivors' attacks such as the ability to tackle enemies, which can be used to fling survivors large distances and deal fairly high damage, especially if they fall long distances. It can also be used to tackle a survivor into spikes much like the survivor tackles infected into spikes. The Night Hunter also has the ability to use Ground Pound in which it will slam his fists against the ground, causing knockback and damage to survivors. Missing a Ground Pound can be an effective way of getting killed as you take a long time to recover after missing but it can cancel the attack if it deems the plan ineffective. If the survivor is weak, a Night Hunter may use its claws. It does relatively less damage than other attacks and more used as a desperate attack or a finisher. It can also be used to completely kill a downed survivor. Ground pounds, even though is used as a getaway move, can be used to start a combo attack, such as a ground pound + spit, or a ground pound + tackle.
Keep in mind that the UV heal skill unlocked at Mutation 3, can allow you to recover from missed ground pounds faster and effectively.
Much like the survivors, the Night Hunter has its own tricks up their sleeve with support abilities. Its UV Shield ability blocks incoming UV light and is best used as a defense instead of an offense since pouncing will deactivate it although it can be exploited into being used as offensive support as the Night Hunter will take no stamina damage from UV. The Night Hunter can also use UV Heal which allows the Night Hunter to block UV light and heal its health and regenerate its stamina bar but uses up a UV Shield. It is mostly used when the Night Hunter has taken severe damage, which it may flee, heal, then return to the battle. In a desperate measure, the Night Hunter may use UV Heal during a battle to instantly return to full HP then continue although it isn't recommended since it is vulnerable during the time it is healing.
The Night Hunter has some extra abilities that aren't really used for direct support but more used as passive support that it either continuously uses or just an extra ability.
Spit support: UV Suppressor Spit x2 and Horde Summoner Spit x2 are abilities that allow the Night Hunter to upgrade to carry one more spit of either type. The duration can be upgraded with Horde Summoner Spit Upgrade and UV Suppressor Spit Duration which both increase the duration from 18 seconds to 25 seconds. The spits themselves can be upgraded with Spit Charging which allows you to charge the spit to shoot longer distances, effectively sniping survivors. The Spit Smash upgrade combines a Ground Pound with spits that cover the target in the selected spit after being knocked down.
Ground Pound Support: The Night Hunter can upgrade its Ground Pound with Aerial Ground Pound which allows it to start the attack in the air. It can also gain Ground Pound Movement which allows the Night Hunter to move with the attack active until released. The Ground Pound effect can be upgraded with Ground Pound Knockback which knockbacks the survivors farther.
Tackle and Pounce Support: The Tackle knockback can be upgraded to be increased using Tackle Knockback Pouncing can gain the ability to have knockback with the Pounce Slam ability which can disturb a ground of survivors. The Night Hunter can also become more dangerous even when it pounces on a survivor with the Leapfrog ability which allows it to "leapfrog" from one survivor to another.
Speed & Tendrils: Increases the speed of the night hunter's sprint and increases range of tendril locomotion, as well as increases the speed by sprinting when tendril hits the ground (A.K.A Tendril Sprint) Combining speed, tackles, spits and ground pounds together makes the survivor's survival chances low.
- Main article: Be The Zombie
- The Night Hunter is the only infected that can swim.
- It's odd how the Hunter has stamina, seeing as other enemies such as Virals and Volatiles do not. However, this is likely for balancing reasons.
- The Night Hunter might be inspired by Marvel's "Venom". They are vaguely similar in appearance, both antagonists, and both use tendrils to traverse the environment.
- The Night Hunter's powers are very similar to many of the abilities that the Special Infected contain in the Left 4 Dead franchise:
- Out of all, the Hunter from Left 4 Dead is the most similar to the Night Hunter. Both have the ability to pounce upon their enemies and attack them, can move on all fours, can move fast upon sprinting, and can perform high and long jumps. Both of their names are also very similar to each other's.
- The Horde Summoner Spit ability resembles the Boomer's function of vomiting on its opponent(s), thus tagging them and summoning an infected horde to attack them.
- The Night Hunter's spitting ability (especially the Toxic Acid) acts very similar to the Spitter's ability to spit out a harmful acidic projectile at their opponent(s). The Toxic Acid ability resembles more true to the Spitter's ability, as the Spitter's projectile can spread into a large pool upon hitting the ground much like the Toxic Acid ability.
- The Tackle ability is very similar to the Charger's ability to charge into it's opponent(s).
- The Night Hunter's locomotion tendrils may be considered similar to the Smoker's tongue ability. While the tendrils don't drag the opponent back towards the Hunter much like the Smoker does with it's tongue, the tendrils are seen used by wrapping around the opponent's body and holding him in position while the pounce attack occurs and kills the opponent, before unraveling off the victim's body.
- In the demo quest Public Face, the Night Hunter's pounce attack is different from the main game; when the Night Hunter jumps on the player, it slams its arms into the player, ripping out their guts and eating them.
- The sound effect displayed when the Night Hunter uses Ground Pound is actually the male Viral's scream, but higher pitched.
- Some players believe the Night Hunter to be Kyle Crane, mainly because of the Take the Vials ending on The Following, as Kyle Crane transforms into a being with the same traits as the Night Hunter. His arms are the exact same and the scream displayed at the end is also the exact same scream displayed by the Night Hunter at the start of every invasion. This would also explain the plot of Dying Light 2 Stay Human, the so far confirmed disappearance of Kyle Crane, and the fate of the world. As The Mother herself quotes, "this is a poison", "you'll kill them all". Which is exactly what the Night Hunter does, hunting and killing the players, the runners. Evidence for this theory also come from another quote from the Mother "breathing the fumes is one thing, but drinking the liquid is... something else entirely", which refers to her becoming a sentient volatile and getting telepathic powers. Kyle also drank the liquid. She also stated that during the night or in the dark her zombie identity takes over, but during the day she is herself again, which could be what happens to Kyle after the ending previously mentioned. The Night Hunter is also very agile and strong, unlike other zombies, which could be a reflection of Kyle's physical strength before turning into a zombie.
- A lot of the Night Hunter's abilities are extremely similar or just identical to abilities in-game used by Kyle Crane. These are: Howling/Survival Sense, Tendrils/Grapple, Tackle/Dropkick, Ground Pound, .etc Also the animation for the Night Hunter's main attack is the exact same as seen in the boss fight with The Mother, moments before Kyle completes his transformation.
- The Night Hunter's howl can be heard during the night in single player.
|* Crane's inhuman scream at the end of the "Take the vials" ending of The Following has been noted to be identical to the Night Hunter's scream, hinting that Crane becomes a Night Hunter in this ending, although this is not confirmed by the developers. It is more reasonable to assume Kyle Crane becomes a Sentient Volatile, after he is forced to drink from a vial that similarly made The Mother a Sentient volatile , and is told he will become like her. Evidence suggests that Kyle, upon drinking the vial, turns into a Sentient Volatile considering that Kyle upon looking at his infected hands, sees no similarities to that of the Night Hunter as the night hunter has tendril appendages while Kyle's has none but does have claws at the end of his fingers, similar to a Volatile. ps:zombie can mutate over the years.|
Night Hunter Skills and Ranks
- Horde Spit
- Horde Spit x2
- UV Suppressor Spit
- UV Suppressor Spit x2
- UV Block
- UV Block x2
- Ground Pound
- Aerial Ground Pound
- Ground Pound Range Increase
- Tackle Range Increase
- Pounce Shockwave
- Speed Increase
- Tendril Locomotion
- UV Block Durration
- UV Suppressor Spit Durration
- Spit Smash
Night Hunter Ranks:
- "Widow Maker"
- "Apex Predator"