Sun Tzu once said something that amounted to the following:
“It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle.”
And since I’ve never been one to argue with the man who invented zoos — well according to Jane Doe at least — I’m here today to follow up on my first basic strategy guide with a more in depth guide about the specimens of Killing Floor and about each and every one of the perks that you can select from to indulge in your mayhem wrecking ways. These tips hold true for most difficulties, and in the cases they won’t I’ll let you know.
Most of the variance here applies to enemies, and there’s a couple of ground rules you should know first.
- When playing a multiplayer match, the number of specimens as well as their total health gets boosted for each player on the team. Any specimen will be stronger with six players rather than two, and this makes the high tier specimens incredibly durable and dangerous in multiplayer situations, remember this.
- At higher difficulties specimens both have more hit points (as you might have expected) but also move faster, making run and gun tactics somewhat more difficult than at lower difficulty levels.
- Specimens can be baited into fighting each other under certain circumstances. This is both amusing and beneficial. This most often happens when a Bloat vomits and damages specimens that are in the vicinity.
- Decapitation, whether via headshot or melee attack, renders some specimens unable to use their special abilities. Any headless specimen will eventually “bleed out” given enough time.
- The specimens have unique auditory cues, but for nearly all of the higher level specimens the player characters will often say something relevant. In some cases your character might say something about a specimen even before you catch sight of it in game for the first time. Use this to your advantage. You’ll learn these on your own over enough play time, but I’ll include one or two lines for each in the descriptions where applicable so you can get the gist.
Anyways, with that out of the way it’s time to actually get to the nitty-gritty of each specimen that you’ll find in Killing Floor. Note that I’ll be giving the general rounds when you can first expect to see these specimens appearing, and for each I’ll be assuming long game which is ten rounds. Anything shorter and you can of course expect to see the nastier stuff appearing sooner.
The most common and weakest of the lot. This fellow appears from the very beginning of the game and is ever present. A single Clot is generally just a nuisance, but a group of Clots, or a Clot with other specimens presents a greater danger.
The one ability that these guys do have is quite a pain in the ass: they can grab you, which prevents you from moving until you either damage the Clot enough, or until you jump to break the hold. On Hell on Earth jumps will not break Clot holds. Only the Berserker is immune to being grabbed by Clots.
Clots are relatively easy to kill on any difficulty if you’re using a levelled up perk. Head shots make quick work of them. Be careful about getting surrounded though, and bear in mind that Clots can become unwitting meat shields for other, stronger specimens in the right circumstances.
Looking like he’s coming from having left his birthday suit at the cleaners, this skinless wonder is probably the closest thing this game has to a glass cannon. Gorefasts aren’t very durable, barely more so than a Clot. However they are extremely fast and do substantial damage; they are not to be underestimated.
These bad buys also generally start appearing on the first wave, and are the first specimens that have verbal cues. If you find your character belting out something like “Jesus, mind that bloody great knife!” or “Christ! He’s been out in the sun for too long!” then there’s a Gorefast nearby. Of course given how fast these assholes are by the time the line is finished it’s probably going to actually be right next to you provided you haven’t dealt with it.
The Gorefast’s ability is to run. This might seem goofy, but closing the distance at an alarmingly fast rate can really throw players off. Also, they are one of few specimens that can attack while moving. If you bait a Clot or a Stalker into attacking and they miss then they’ll be stuck in that attack animation until it’s done, unable to move. With a Gorefast they can do that same kind of animation, but they can also attack while still moving forward. This makes the act of baiting them into attacking much more hazardous than with any other specimen.
As with Clots, headshots make fast work of Gorefasts. These guys are nightmares when they come in packs if you don’t have a weapon that can spread the love around like a shotgun. Decapitating a Gorefast prevents it from running, but until it dies it can still take a good swing at you, so be careful.
The big bundle of gross is the last of the specimens that can appear as early as wave one, and it’s kind of hard to miss. The Bloat stands taller (and wider) than almost any other specimen in general. The Bloat is by far the slowest specimen, although still not to be disregarded when seen. There are two methods that a Bloat uses to attack; most commonly it will attempt to vomit on you, which both disorients and deals damage over time this is instantly lethal without body armour or perk resistance on Hell on Earth (Berserker and Medic perks mitigate this), the second attack is to take a swing at you with its meat cleaver.
Bloats are basically one of the tanking specimens. They have a stupidly large amount of hit points for being an early enemy, and if they die they blow up and spatter their acidic bile over everything. There is a solution to this though: that’s right, headshots. A Bloat will still lose its head just as easily as any other common specimen, and due to its slow speed it’s rather easy to decapitate it. Once you do it can no longer vomit, and if left to bleed out it also won’t explode when it dies.
As mentioned before, Bloat vomit can hurt other specimens. If it vomits on something like a Clot then the Clot may attack it and the two will keep each other occupied until one dies (usually the Clot). However, a Bloat can sometimes do this to a Scrake or Fleshpound. If this rare instance happens then you must do everything in your power to take advantage of it.
Spawning on wave two and beyond this literal pest is best relegated to the same category as the Clot: harmless under most circumstances, certainly annoying, but dangerous if left unattended and when in large groups.
The Crawler has relatively little in terms of hit points, but makes up for it by being a generally annoying target, these little bastards are close to the ground and can also spawn from places that other specimens can’t like air vents, ducts, and general confined spaces.
The fact that they’re also mostly black helps them blend in to some of the more drab backgrounds, so be on the listen for someone saying something about “I always hated bloody spiders.” or “Oh crap, they hop too!” Crawlers attack in two ways: the most common is a leap toward their target that quickly closes the distance. If the target doesn’t move or they just generally get close enough they’ll mostly just bite until killed. Crawlers can be baited into leaping once you get a general distance down, making them waste an attack and opening them up for fresh hot lead pie.
The only real piece of advice here is watch above you, and then aim down. These guys aren’t that tough, like I said. Like most bugs though, they’re annoying as hell.
Ah, the invisibitch. Appearing alongside wave two specimens, when you hear someone talking about invisible women that means that a Stalker is around. The Stalker shares the annoying slot with the Crawler, except her trick is that you can’t see her most of the time (with the exception of Commandos, who can always see Stalkers from certain distances depending on perk level).
Another thing she shares with the Crawler is spawn points, so you might actually get some of them travelling in the same general groups together. Because she’s invisible the Stalker is actually one of the more vocal specimens, asking for things like kisses or just generally muttering to herself. It’s not impossible to see a Stalker while she’s cloaked, but it’s pretty damn difficult.
Stalkers are mostly just annoying, they don’t have much hp and they can also be stunned with sufficient damage, making for easy kills. Stalkers are the bane of a Demolition player because at a certain distance she can still make the grenade you’ve launched blow up for massive self-damage. Demos should always take care to be aware of Stalker presence as best they can so they don’t blow themselves up.
Stalkers basically rend with their hands, but like most specimens they have to stop to attack, so if one appears in front of you and you can back up you can avoid the lionshare of the damage dealt and pick her off rather quickly, be careful of getting surrounded by a group of them though.
On a final note since Commandos need to kill Stalkers to level up their perks it’s considered general courtesy to leave Stalkers to them when it’s not a problem to do so.
One of the only specimens with any sort of attack range, the Husk is an annoying opponent for nearly any perk. Appearing as early as wave two and almost definitely by wave three, they can tank almost as well as a Bloat in some cases, and have more head health are harder to hit heads as well.
The Husk moves at a relatively leisurely pace stopping every so often to take frustratingly accurate pot-shots with its flame cannon. Husks have a decent aim and can even lead targets, so the only real counters are hard cover or being a high level Firebug. Husks themselves though have a high fire resistance, so a Firebug is not a good choice in general to take them out. A Husk charging a shot makes for a stationary target, and a good pop to the head can stun them and allow for an easy follow up. However, if you hear a Husk charging up a shot and can’t see where it’s coming from then it’s advised that you try and get around a corner or behind something.
The Husk does have a sturdy close range punch attack, but baiting him into trying to clock you over and over prevents the much more annoying cannon shot from taking place. It will generally take some time for a Husk to actually get within that range though, and the sooner that they can be dealt with the better.
It’s extremely rare, but a Husk cannon shot can detonate thrown grenades and perhaps shot ones as well. Be extremely careful about your grenade usage when a Husk is around, lest you end up getting blown up in an extremely embarrassing manner.
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