The Last of Us zombies: What are Clickers in TLOU game & TV show

Clicker The Last of UsNaughty Dog / HBO

The Clickers in The Last of Us games and TV show are a unique breed of fungus-filled monster. But what are the Clickers in the Last of Us, and are they truly zombies?

The Last of Us gives us a unique spin on the classic zombie apocalypse. In this story, the world is ravaged by an infection that turns ordinary humans into cannibalistic mutants. Most look human in the beginning, apart from their feral and violent behavior, but in time each of the infected mutates into a Clicker.

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Here’s everything we know about Clickers in The Last of Us, the zombielike creatures that roam the world infecting and attacking humans, in both the videogame series and the HBO television adaptation. We’ll also explain what causes people to turn into Clickers once they have been infected.

Clicker The Last of UsNaughty Dog
Clickers are terrifying fungus zombies.

What are Clickers in The Last of Us?

Clickers in The Last of Us are humans who’ve been infected by an aggressive strain of Cordyceps fungus which has evolved to affect more species – including us. The fungus is a real thing that can affect animals, causing them to become dangerous and impaired. Of course, the strain of Cordyceps in The Last of Us is a heavily fictionalized version of the fungus, so the outbreak is highly unlikely to happen in real life!

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Once infected, the fungus makes humans attack the uninfected, spreading the strain across the population rapidly. Those who survive an attack from an infected person are likely to become infected and turn themselves eventually – however, some people are immune to the infection.

In time, the infected lose more and more of their humanity as the fungus spreads around their body. It changes their appearance and turns them into a human/fungus hybrid. Eventually, they lose their eyesight, but their hearing and sense of smell become more acute. They also become much harder to kill. This is when an infected can be considered a Clicker in The Last of Us, so called by the malevolent clicking noise the creatures make when communicating with one another.

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An image of a Bloater from HBOs The Last of Us.HBO
There are various mutations of the infected in The Last of Us.

Are Clickers zombies in The Last of Us?

While Clickers follow a lot of the same rules as zombies from other media and even act like zombies in many ways, technically Clickers are still living people rather than the walking dead. They have, however, lost all semblance of humanity and only exist to propagate and hunt their prey, just like zombies.

While Clickers are incredibly aggressive and frightening opponents, they’re not especially smart or cunning. They can be taken down with stealth or by excessive firepower. Should a Clicker get too close to the protagonists in the games then it’s game over, as Clickers can instakill in some situations.

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We imagine the Clickers in The Last of Us TV series are going to be just as deadly – and even more frightening.

For more TLOU content, check out some of our below guides:

Joel & Tess explained | Sarah spoilers | Fungus threat is terrifying | The dog’s fate | Who is Marlene? | Why is Ellie so important? | Soundtrack choice | FEDRA & the Fireflies explained

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