Screamers are infected children whose screams disorient the player's vision and renders them unable to fight, as well as drawing in numerous other infected. The player will also continuously take low but progressive amounts of damage if within its screaming range. Presumably, Screamers will not wander out of the houses they're discovered in to join the general populace of infected.
Screamers do not exhibit aggressive behavior, instead seeming to be in an eternal state of fear. When not startled by a human, they are heard crying in very much the same way a still-human child would under extreme duress. When startled, their scream seems to be one of absolute horror. If Crane uses a special action to subdue a screamer, he will cradle the screamer in his arms calm it back down into crying like before startled, before proceeding to snap its neck. Whether screamers are a mutation of the Harran Virus that only affect children or if all infected children become screamers by default is unknown, though it is speculated that the latter is the case, and that their fearful behavior is a result of a child brain's fight response being much less developed compared to its flight response, in contrast with adults.
They remain inside their former houses in one spot crying in a nearly identical fashion to that of an actual child. Speculation leads many to assume that their crying may be a technique used to lure Runners or Survivors into a trap.
A screamer can be found on the quest "Health Potion", inside Alay's parent's House in the play area, among other locations. They can also be found during the mission "Legless Spider" in each of the houses you are are suggested to search for shisha parts. In the sewers leading to the Old Town building that is set to be detonated, a screamer can be found in a side cavern, lounging near the corpses of two dead children. During the mission broadcast while passing through the sewers for the first time, you can find a screamer in a room with two dead children. Remember: you can avoid the confrontation with screamer if you do not open the door (this is not needed for mission). If the screamer screams, it will attract tons of virals including a demolisher. Another screamer can be found in Rais's skyscraper in the slums, in one of the dark tunnels filled with bloody corpses and dozens of Volatiles.
It is recommended to quickly run up to it and push the action key to silence the Screamer. If possible, using camouflage before doing so will stop the screamer from screaming. One may also choose to grapple the screamer to stun it, although this will not kill the Screamer.
If the Screamer begins to screech, double back until the player regains control of Crane, then use throwing items or firearms to eliminate the Screamer. If none are in hand, one could possibly craft some via Blueprints. This is an extremely effective technique as Screamers tend to remain stationary and will not move under most circumstances.
Camouflage works on the screamer; allowing you to easily and silently dispatch it if you have the chance to camo yourself before approaching it.
Another method is also available if you have the camouflage ability. If you see a screamer, dispatch it with a weapon and use it to camouflage yourself so biters or virals attracted will not attack you.
Remember that survivor sense will be able to locate screamers around you. If you spot one behind a door, barging in and shooting it with a gun can kill the screamer before it attracts other zombies and drains your health.
- The Screamer's actions and name are very similar to Dead Island's Screamer. Dead Island's screamer is an adult woman instead of a child, however both function identically.
- This infected could also be a reference to Left 4 Dead's Screamer, an Infected type that was cut from the game.
- During The Following mission "We Don't Go There Anymore", in a house near the post office, there is a Screamer that can be found laughing while watching cartoons. This might indicate that screamers retain some humanity similar to the Virals.
- There is also a biter present in the room, suggesting that the child was stuck in the room during the outbreak, and was likely attacked and transformed by his infected father.
- It is impossible to use the Search action on the screamer but you may camoflage using it.