Bloater a.k.a Rotter is a Freak-type zombie encountered in State of Decay. Unlike any other zombie types, Bloaters still pose a threat even after elimination, thanks to the ability to release a toxic gas that quickly drains survivors' health and stamina.
Bloaters can be difficult to spot when among other zombies. They are somewhat taller, grey and slimy, with spindly, wasted limbs and a grossly distended abdomen. They are clad only in a loincloth-type garment which is often hidden under their swollen bulk, and move in an unsteady, tottering shamble.
In a mix of other "normal" zombies, they can blend in with other overweight zombies at a distance simply by being hidden by the bulk of its fellows. In this case, only their greater height is a distinguishing characteristic, although by the time a survivor is close enough to make this assessment, it may be too late.
Bloaters can appear anywhere on the map, although they are found more readily in urban areas, such as Marshall. The main street in east Marshall seems to be a particularly common point of appearance, as well as the open fields around the McReady Farmhouse Home Site, as well as any surrounding homes/barns.
In State of Decay 2, they are among the first of two special zombies to appear in the map, and are common to find later on in the progression of a community. They spawn after the tutorial.
Bloater zombies have only a single attack: they will close in on a survivor until they are in range, whereupon they will spontaneously burst and emit their cloud of toxic gas.
This gas will contaminate nearby surfaces for approximately 30 seconds. Any survivor exposed to the gas will take constant stamina and health damage. This attack, while rarely able to kill a survivor by itself, is extremely dangerous if said survivor is in the middle of fighting multiple zombies. Lowered health makes subsequent attacks more likely fatal, and the drained stamina can severely impede the survivor's ability to retreat or fight back.
A survivor exposed to Bloater's toxic gas will also have high chance be infected with Black Fever. Consuming Methadone after being exposed to the gas seems to reduce the chance to get sick (unconfirmed).
In State of Decay 2, Bloaters will be found lying on the road or in fields awaiting the player to run them over, essentially as landmines. As listed below, as soon as you run over or enter the detonation radius of the Bloater, it will contaminate your car and damage you and your passengers and can possibly lead to death. Being hit with the gas will also cause fatigue via an injury.
The nature of a Bloaters's attack and the persistence of the toxic gas released upon its destruction force survivors to adopt different combat strategies to counter this threat.
Foot Combat Edit
Attacking a Bloater on foot is ideal, although melee combat is, while not suicidal, definitely self-harming.
As soon as a survivor manages to close to melee range of a Bloater, the zombie will explode spontaneously. Consequently, the survivor cannot attack without being attacked, defeating the purpose of engaging the Rotter.
Gunfire is the preferred method for dealing with a Bloated zombie, although unlike every other zombie type, a headshot is not ideal. If hit in the head, the Bloater will go down permanently, but will begin leaking a seemingly-endless trickle of gas and will still detonate when a survivor approaches. Instead, a single body shot with any weapon will explode the Bloater. After 60—90 seconds, the area where the zombie was destroyed will be safe again.
In the context of a Zed Hunt mission, the Bloater is not considered destroyed if only hit in the head; the zombie must explode to be considered eliminated.
Bloaters are slow-moving, so a survivor can maintain distance nearly indefinitely until a shot can be taken. If combat is not desired, a Bloater can be lost on foot.
When attacked by a Bloater, the player must get out of the contaminated area as quickly as possible, then consume a Stamina item, run away (if being pursued by other zombies), consume Health items if needed.
Improvised Bomb Edit
Despite their gas being a hazard to most survivors, there is a blessing to it. One way of dealing with the Bloater is setting it on fire via molotov, which causes it to explode. This can be used while dealing with masses, as the explosion should kill off a high number of Zeds.
Vehicular Combat Edit
Unlike every other types of zombie, with the possible exception of the Juggernaut, attacking a Bloater with a vehicle is to be avoided. If struck by a vehicle, the Bloater will explode, contaminating not only the ground it was standing upon but the vehicle as well. Any occupants of that vehicle will take damage as if they were standing on contaminated ground. This means that the vehicle must be abandoned until it is no longer toxic. If under pursuit by a horde or even a significant number of zombies, 60-90 seconds can prove fatal.
If a Bloater is spotted while driving, retreat to firearms distance, exit the vehicle, and put the zombie down as outlined above. Do not drive through the contaminated area until the gas has dissipated.
It is also possible to drive in the direction of the bloater then exit the vehicle before hitting the bloater. You can wait a few seconds for the gas to dissipate and re-enter the vehicle.
Baiting the Bloater Edit
As of State of Decay 2, it is also possible to make a Bloater run towards you and when you run away from it, it will trip and explode. This method of dispacting a Bloater will count as a Bloater kill. Furthermore, this can conserve ammunition. The risk is apparent when you attempt to bait it, as getting too close will result in detonation, but being too far will not make it run.
- Some survivors say "I'm on it like stink on a bloater" while starting a mission.