In The Last of Us a vicious virus has taken hold of the majority of the population, spreading havoc far and wide. The humans that have been infected have been exposed to a mutated strain of Ophiocordyceps Unilateralis. The virus attacks the brain and being to alter the behavior of its hosts.

Soon after, growths protrude out of the orifices of the human hosts and it changes their physical appearance. While it is not known how the infection is spread, you are going to gain an advantage over the infected. In this article, we break down the infected to give you an edge before The Last of Us is released on June 14.


This is the first stage of the infection. The ability to reason is replaced with mindless aggression. Runners, as well as other members of the infected, rely on instincts. Runners may appear human, but they are far from it. Runners are also aware at all times of what they are doing, and even if they want to stop, the virus won’t allow them too. While they are aware of the morality of their decisions, the virus slowly deteoriates the brain until there is nothing left to fight back.

Runners have poor eyesight. This makes them easy to avoid if they don’t see you. Using cover and distraction will allow you to move around the Runners without ever having to interact with them. Once you are seen, Runners will dash straight toward you and attempt to rip you apart.  Runners also travel and attack in packs so if you see one, assume there are more in the area. With their humanity dwindling, the Runner stage of the infection lasts around two days. Then the host mutates into the next form.


The second stage of the infection is known as Stalkers. These individuals are deadly and will rip you apart in seconds. Stalkers attack like Runners, yet it is unknown if they are aware of their own actions or how much of their humanity is left. Stalkers are a vicious breed and should never be taken lightly.

Stalkers get their name due to the way they attack. They are known to hide and stalk their victims. While this behavior seems to be human, it could be the virus taking hold and seeking survival of the host for the next stage. Stalkers will not only hide behind cover and out of view, but they will ambush as well. Keep a eye out for these infected as they to may travel in packs.


Clickers are humans who have hosted the virus for a prolonged period of time. The specific period is unknown. Clickers are the most vicious stage of the infected as they attack with even more reckless abandon than the Runners. The physical appearance of the Clickers is marred, disfigured, and scared by the infection. At this point, the infection spreads throughout the body and the fungus growing inside the host begins to push its way out of the body. At this stage, Clickers are devoid of their humanity, and are extremely aggressive. Clickers are slaves to the virus. At this stage, the host no longer fights the fungus, and their humanity is lost forever.

Due to the fungus that is growing out of their eyes, Clickers are not able to see at all. They are blind to the environment. Instead, Clickers use a distinct sound through echolocation to navigate through the environment and to find their next victim. Clickers also have very sensitive hearing that can be used to distract them. Once a Clicker has you in it’s grasp, you are dead. These creatures also do not feel pain like a normal human, and take a lot to take down. While playing the game, listen closely for the clicking sound, and watch your step.


This version of the infected are the largest form. At this stage of the infection, the host body begins to produce spores to ensure the survival of the fungus. Bloaters move very slow through the environment. They also use echolocation to navigate through the environment with that familiar clicking sound. When you hear them coming, stay back as their attack is focused on spreading the infection.

Bloaters are filled with spores from the fungus growing inside of them. The spores begin to pulsate and push forward through the hosts skin. When attacking, Bloaters through spores at their enemy. Bloaters are also very difficult to kill. They are rumored to be able to take a Molotov cocktail to the face, and keep moving. Be careful when approaching and avoid them if at all possible.

Spore Cadaver

The last stage in the life cycle of the infected is the Spore Cadaver. This lifeless carcass serves as a breeding ground for the fungus to spread throughout the environment. When an infected feels it is close to death, it will find dark, moist corner to die in. While this may be the end of the line for the host, it is only the beginning for the fungus.

Once the host body dies, the fungus grafts itself to the surrounding environment around the host body. It then begins to feed off of what is left of the human body, causing it to shrivel and become skeletal in appearance. At this stage, the fungus releases infectious spores to begin the process all over again.

So, now you are armed with knowledge about the infected and their different stages. Study our tips and be sure to use them when The Last of Us releases on June 14.