Bloaters rank among the most lethal foes in The Last of Us. Their thick fungal armor makes them walking tanks, absorbing endless blows. Getting grabbed by one means instant death. Thankfully they appear rarely, but you’ll need the right tactics to take them down or avoid them when they surface.
Igniting Their Fungal Armor with Fire
Piercing a Bloater’s hardened shell requires using fire to soften them up. Molotov cocktails or a flamethrower will ignite them, stunning the creatures briefly as they futilely attempt to douse themselves. Though still dangerous when ablaze, this temporary vulnerability lets other weapons pierce previously impenetrable defenses.
Once the flames have weakened their armor, high-powered guns like the hunting rifle or El Diablo pistol work best, especially with armor-piercing ammo. Or throw a Molotov followed by a nail bomb for catastrophic damage. But never get close until it is neutralized, as one grab will finish you.
Targeting Glowing Weak Points for Exposure
Targeting glowing growths on a Bloater’s back, chest and stomach also helps shred defenses. Destroying all three weak points forces them into melee-only mode, stopping deadly projectile attacks. This allows safely kiting them while whittling down health.
Stealth and Evasion as Valid Survival Methods
However, evasion is sometimes the wisest strategy with these relentless monsters. Since they rely on echolocation like Clickers, stealth and distractions are key. An upgraded Listen Mode clearly reveals their locations – avoid confrontation when possible. If they block progress, bricks and bottles can lure them away from guarded paths. Their senses are also less refined than Clickers, so lose them in the environment by exploiting blind spots.
With caution and the right gear like molotovs and nail bombs, these terrifying infected can be felled, granting huge rewards in supplies. But when resources run low, fleeing to fight another day is no cowardice when facing such overpowering foes. Their rarity makes combat optional. With vigilance and patience, even these walking tanks can be Passed by and lived to tell about it.
Choose your battles wisely, and never get greedy – the margin for error with Bloaters is zero. Whether avoiding through stealth or softening them up before going in guns blazing, preparation and strategy will keep you alive when confronting the fungal juggernauts even the Cordyceps can’t consume. They set the stage for The Last of Us’s world only growing darker as the stakes rise.
The Last of Us Part I is available on PS4, PS5, and PC – Part II on PS4.
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About The Author
I'm a passionate content writer dedicated to the world of video games.
My heart beats to the rhythm of the virtual landscapes, and my true gaming obsessions are "Horizon Franchise", Zero Dawn and Forbidden West, and "The Last of Us Series". You can always find me exploring the breathtaking horizons of Ellie's and Aloy's adventures.