The Last of Us: All types of Infected in the HBO show

Two types of infected in The Last of UsSony/HBO

HBO’s upcoming adaption of The Last of Us will feature many dangerous zombie-like infected that Joel and Ellie will encounter during their post-apocalyptic journey – here are all the different types of infected that will be appearing in the show.

The world of The Last of Us is a perilous one that is full of hazardous environments, hardened survivors, and monstrous infected. These zombie-like creatures originated due to a fungal cordyceps infection which grows and mutates a person over time until they become unrecognizable from their original human form.

The newly infected still have distinctive human qualities, while the later stages of the disease cause people to look fungus-like.

Article continues after ad

While every type of infected previously featured in the original game hasn’t been confirmed to be in the HBO show yet (so far we’ve just seen quick glimpses of a few in trailers) Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey) will certainly come up against their fair share of the creatures on their journey.

So, here’s every type of infected in The Last of Us that will, and could potentially be, in the show.


Confirmed Infected


An image of a runner from The Last of Us game.Naughty Dog
Runners are the most erratic stage of the infected.

The first stage of the infected in the world of The Last of Us are the Runners. These creatures are still very much human-looking as a person will mutate into a runner within 2 days of infection. While they are categorically the weakest of the infected they can still easily overwhelm their targets due to their agile speed and their tendency to swarm their enemies in large groups.

Article continues after ad

Runners will definitely be featured throughout the series, as a few shots from trailers have shown swarms of the creatures chasing after Joel.


An image of a Clicker from the HBOs The Last of Us.HBO
Clickers are the most iconic infected from The Last of Us.

Clickers are perhaps the most iconic and recognizable infected from the original game. This mutation will develop after roughly a year of infection and causes the victim to appear much less human with their heads being completely engulfed and scarred by the fungus growing from the brain.

Due to the infection taking over their faces, Clickers are completely blind but are still able to maneuver through the environment through the use of echolocation. The creatures are named after the distinctive and disturbing noises they make.

Article continues after ad

It has been confirmed that clickers will be featured in the HBO show as one of the very first teasers showed Joel and Ellie hiding from one.


An image of a Bloater from HBOs The Last of Us.HBO
We got our first look at a terrifying Bloater in the most recent trailer for The Last of Us.

Undoubtedly the most dangerous and imposing infected in The Last of Us are the Bloaters. These mutations occur years after a person’s initial infection and are the most in-human of all the infected. By this stage, the fungus has completely engulfed the person, resulting in thick armored plates and scaled tissue growing all over the body.

Alongside being able to psychically overpower their targets, Bloaters can also release a mycotoxin from their bodies. Their protective covering and incredible strength make Bloaters extremely tough to defeat but they can be hindered by their slow and often uncoordinated movements.

Article continues after ad

A Bloater appeared for the first time in Episode 5, when Joel, Ellie, Henry, and Sam reached the suburbs.


An image of a stalker from The Last of Us game.Naughty Dog
Stalkers are infected that hide in the dark and wait to attack.

Stalkers are the second stage of infected that develop between the runner and clicker mutations. They still somewhat resemble a human although the fungal growth has begun to spread over the head and face causing many of the creatures to only have one eye.

As opposed to other infected who will directly confront their targets, Stalkers hide in the darkness and attack their enemies at opportune moments.

The show’s first Stalker appeared at the end of Episode 2, where one of them gave Tess the “kiss of death” in the Capitol building.

Article continues after ad

Unconfirmed Infected


An image of a Shambler in The Last of Us Part 2 game.Naughty Dog
Shamblers were a new version of Bloaters that were featured in The Last of Us Part 2.

Shamblers are an alternative version of the infected that were first introduced in The Last of Us Part 2. They’re distinctive from Bloaters as they only develop in wet-weather environments and can spew out infectious spores.

Upon being defeated a Shambler will explode and release one final burst of fungus toxin into the air so even after the battle is over people need to be quick on their feet.

As Shamblers were exclusively featured in The Last of Us Part 2, and there hasn’t been any footage of them in trailers so far, we’re not sure whether we’ll see this infected in the show.

Article continues after ad

The HBO adaption of The Last of Us will also feature a new type of “infected individual unlike those seen in the game” – as revealed in a recent article from The New Yorker. While details were scarce about the new addition, series co-creator, Craig Mazin, did reveal that the design “had to be terrifying.”

The Last of Us Episodes 1-5 are available to stream now. You can check out the rest of our coverage here.