The Last of Us has 4 types of infected: clickers, runners, stalkers and bloaters

Episode 2 of the HBO series has given us more details about the phases and steps of the cordyceps infection, and presents every enemy in The Last of Us.

Episode 2 of The Last of Us on HBO has allowed us to know a bit more about the Cordyceps fungi, and about its effects on infected humans. The episode even dares to explain when and where it popped up for the first time (India, 2003); showing a FEDRA (Federal Disaster Response Agency) document as background, they explain how much it takes for an infection to complete ( 5-15 minutes if bitten in the face or neck, 2-6 hours on the torso or arms, and 12 to 24 hours on the legs); and ends up showing us some of the four types of infected, which we’ll go into detail below with images from the game.

First step of the infection: Runners

It’s the first phase of the infection, and refers to those that have only been recently infected. The cordyceps (based on a real fungus) takes control of the locomotive functions of its victim, turning it fast and agile with the sole intention of biting someone and propagating as much as possible. They travel in groups called hives, and unlike in the game, they possess a hive mind. This means that if one of them sees you, the rest of the runners in the area will also know where you are and will rush in hordes to get you.

Second step of the infection: Stalkers

People that have been infected for 2-54 weeks (meaning, less than one year since being bit) have lost their physical strength and instead gained some sort of primal intelligence. They’re able to hide in their environment to attack their victims when the opportunity arises. They make use of darkness and stick to walls, entering a sort of hibernation that allows them to survive until someone gets close to them. They seek to jump on their prey from behind and organize ambushes.

Third step of the infection: Clickers

Humans that have been infected for over a year. The fungus has already spread through the entire body, making it mutate physically and turning them entirely blind. They’ve adapted by gaining improved hearing, and they hunt their victims through echolocation. The sound they make to do so is precisely what gives them its name. In exchange for their sight, they possess extreme strength and resilience. They are ferocious and lethal enemies in hand to hand encounters, so the best thing to do is keep quiet and get out of their territory as soon as possible.

Fourth step of the infection: Bloaters

A rare and dangerous evolution of the third phase. These are years old infected whose bodies are covered in layers of fungus, as if the cordyceps itself was acting as armor. They are incredibly resistant, and are able to rip off pieces of themselves to throw them at their enemies as if they were spore grenades. They’re also able to spit acid. Any kind of confrontation is extremely discouraged, but if it’s unavoidable, it’s good to remember that they’re somewhat vulnerable to fire.

We’ll have to wait and see what else the series is willing to explain and expand upon through this series in the remaining 7 episodes, of which you can find their release date and duration of each and every one of them. Will we get some surprise enemies?