Bloater a.k.a Rotter is a Freak-type zombie encountered in State of Decay and State of Decay 2. 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, Bloaters are easy to differentiate from a normal zombie as they are taller, naked, and have green colored skin. This freak alongside the Screamer, are the initial 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 ram 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.
Bloaters' explosion can be picked up by other zombies on mid range, it can also be dangerous if players confront it in areas filled with zombie herds or Plague Heart zones. Although the explosion could be used as a decoy in distracting zombie herds and other freaks. It is also recommended to use suppressed guns or crossbows especially if it is accompanied by Feral(s) or Juggernaut, if you don't have attachment or crossbows, try using .22 caliber guns since its noise are minimal.
Gunfire is the preferred method for dealing with a Bloated zombie, although unlike every other zombie type, a headshot is not ideal. 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. It can, however, be stealth killed by headshots and dies while it starts leaking poison gas then silently blows apart.
Bloaters lying down on roads and other areas are lazy and non-attentive even when zombies would chase a survivor. However it may explode when passing near it. It would still explode whether by a head shot and might be dangerous when using loud guns.
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.
Also, a Bloater will chase a vehicle and eventually trip and explode. Although this won't count as a kill.
Baiting the Bloater Edit
As of State of Decay 2, it is possible to make a Bloater run towards you and when you run away from it, it will trip and explode. This method of dispaching 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.
State of Decay 2: Heartland Edit
In the DLC, special Bloaters that have been infected with Blood Plague are crucial to destroying the Plague Walls that have appeared in Trumbull Valley and completing the main story objectives. The player must "harvest" the poison glands from dormant Bloaters while being stealthy and use them to craft special explosives called "Plague Busters" to weaken and deal damage to the weak spots of Plague Walls.
- Some survivors say "I'm on it like stink on a bloater" while starting a mission.
- In the first day edition of State of Decay 2, game glitches made the Bloater's gas stay to where it exploded even after leaving the area. While it will dissipate into nothing, the sound of gas remains and survivors who'll walk or drive across its carcass could experience the same damage and health trauma. Restarting the game is the only way to fix it.