The Screamer is a Freak-type zombie encountered in State of Decay. Rarely engaging in direct combat, Screamers instead are a hazard due to their ability to summon large numbers of other zombies with their incapacitatingly-loud scream. Generally only a threat when encountered amid other zombies, Screamers are nevertheless a priority target in combat.
A Screamer is bald, pale, always topless and missing its arms, which give it a unique and easily-identifiable silhouette.
Screamers are always found at the site of a zombie infestation. An infested building will contain either one or two Screamers.
Although in far lower frequency than any other zombie, freak or otherwise, Screamers can also be found wandering in the streets or in buildings.
In State of Decay 2, they are always present on the map, one even in the tutorial. Like their previous iteration, they are the main freak in Infestations, usually with 6 zombies or other Screamers (up to 3 per infestation later on)
Lacking arms, Screamers pose little direct combat risk, although they are capable of not only rallying additional zombies to the site, but can also disrupt the fighting ability of survivors.
The feature from which this freak derives its name; a Screamer will shriek when a survivor is within sight and will continue to scream every 3-5 seconds until the survivor retreats from sight, the Screamer is knocked down, or the Screamer is killed. The Screamer's scream has two effects:
- Each scream has the potential to rally any zombies within a roughly 50-60 foot circle from the Screamer, using carlengths as a measurement guide. These "recruits" will come at a run and engage any survivors in the area.
- Of equal significance, however, is that the Screamer's shriek will stun nearby survivors for about two seconds, making them unable to move or attack. This will leave survivors completely vulnerable for the duration of the scream.
While a Screamer will generally try to scream any survivor into submission or retreat, a survivor who has gotten sufficiently close may, on rare occasions, be headbutted, or even bitten, for a minimal amount of damage.
Combat with a Screamer is relatively straightforward and does not require any significant modification of strategy insofar as dealing with the Screamer goes. However, despite their relative weakness, a Screamer should be considered a primary target as it will continue to draw in zombies and disrupt survivors' fighting ability while it is active.
Screamers are relatively fragile as zombies go, and have no more health or protection than the average zombie. Any weapon or combat strategy is valid. However, it is best to close with the Screamer quickly (if engaged in combat with other zombies), or stealthily (if undetected) to minimize the effects of the Screamer's shrieks.
If a survivor can come within striking distance while sneaking, the Screamer can be put down instantly without a sound.
Also, a good way to take on a Screamer is by running at it and jumping when within striking distance; you will perform a jump kick which will make it fall, leaving it for an easy kill and without it being able to scream. Alternatively, the player can roll through the Screamer, knocking it to the ground, where it can be easily executed.
Open combat with a Screamer, while low-risk and generally over quickly, does create the possibility of the Screamer issuing a death-shriek as it is put down.
Screamers are also particularly vulnerable to gunfire. A single shot to the head by any significant weapon will put the zombie down immediately.
Shoving a Screamer will, more often than not, knock it down, leaving it defenseless.
Screamers will rarely leave the site of an infestation unless they are the last zombies standing. Unlike any other zombies, they do not reliably respond to a car horn or other attention-getting devices. However, once the other zombies involved in the infestation have been eliminated, the Screamers may wander outside.
Screamers are no more difficult than an average zombie to destroy with a car and cause no untoward damage to the vehicle. Odds are high, however, that it will issue a death shriek when it is destroyed.
- Screamers are never the objective in a Zed Hunt mission.
- The Heavy Weapons Special Attack "Sweep" and Light Edged Weapons Special Attack "Low Slice", which cut off zombies' legs, don't work on Screamers.
- Despite lacking arms, Screamers are still able to regain balance when knocked down.
- If you look carefully, a spray of blood can be seen coming from the Screamer's mouth as it screams. This implies it is screaming with so much effort it has caused internal injuries, although the Screamer is not affected by this in any way.
- "The Screamer" is inspired by the unreleased special infected in Left 4 Dead called The "Screamer", which screams attract hordes as well the only difference is that the L4D version of the Screamer has a straitjacket instead of severed arms.