Butcher artwork
Enemy statistics
Game(s) DItopleft DIRtopleft DIEtopleft EDItopleft
Danger Level Riptide-threat-3
Speed Very Fast
Weapon Exposed sharpened arm bones
Aggression High
First Encounter Ghost Town
Level Health
1 350
3 500
12 2150
20 3050
25 5000
50 12000

The Butcher is a special zombie found in Dead Island and Dead Island: Riptide. The Butcher is first seen when searching for Afran and is only encountered in the Jungle in Act III. In Dead Island: Riptide, Butchers are located in the Flooded jungle, Dead Zones, Halai Village, and Hub defense missions. Except for Dead Zones and Hub Defense Missions, they are uncommon. They are first met in Chapter III, during Twisted Mind with Thugs, Floaters, and the Ogre, a taller version of the Butcher.


Butchers are a faster, stronger version of the Infected. They can slash you with their forearm bones. Their quick attacks make them difficult to fight with melee weapons. Attacking them from a further distance with guns or thrown weapons is an effective way of destroying them. Butchers have longer reach than their models indicate and can successfully attack you from a range that would normally require them to be wielding a long weapon to reach.


Butchers appear to be heavily damaged Infected zombies. Their forearms have been completely destroyed, leaving only bloody stumps with exposed, sharpened bones in their place. Whether the bones' razor-sharp points are the result of violent fractures or if the Butchers purposely sharpen the bones is unknown. Their faces are also greatly damaged, revealing much of the skull under their skin, but still possessing enough muscle to move their jaws. The eyes are pale and appear to not be functional, although they still manage to possess incredible accuracy and finesse in combat. Butchers appear to be wearing overalls and feature long gray hair and huge bald spots.


Crouched Butcher

Butchers use their exposed and sharpened forearm bones to tear their victims into pieces. While rushing towards the player, a Butcher will let out a loud shriek to alert others of your presence. Be forewarned, its attacks are fast and can kill you in seconds if he continues his barrage of rapid slicing movements. Butchers also have the ability to regenerate health so it is highly recommended that you kill them as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, it is extremely hard, if not impossible, to break the limbs of a Butcher. However, if one manages to do so, the enemy would be effectively neutralized.


  • They follow the same behavior as an Infected when they come after you, and would always charge straight to you, use its predictability to prepare for an attack.
  • Butchers are extremely fast, and attack quickly. Use a fast weapon; a slow melee weapon or slow-firing firearm will leave you open to a dangerous counterattack.
  • Firearms—especially those equipped with the Pride Modification—are quite effective against the Butcher, and can cause enough damage to kill in a single shot. A point-blank shot from an upgraded and modded shotgun can one-shot-kill butchers quite easily.
  • When a Butcher is running towards you, kicking it will give you roughly two seconds of opening to attack without the Butcher retaliating. If you attack in those two seconds and aim at the shoulder, you can cripple or kill it. Jump-kicking does not work on Butchers but can still be knocked down by vehicles and weapon effects, you can stomp or attack them while they are trying to get back up, but they can recover from knockdowns quite quickly like Infected.
  • Butchers are quite fast and can follow a vehicle for some distance, so be careful when exiting a vehicle after being chased by one; if you are aware one is chasing your vehicle, run them down. Butchers have little ability to retaliate against a vehicle impacting them at high speed.
  • Butchers typically charge their target in a straight line, and behave roughly like a typical Infected, including giving out high pitched roars and screams, albeit with a distinct tone to differentiate from the lesser zombie.
  • A well placed Grenade or Deo-Bomb can instantaneously kill a Butcher or, at the very least, knock it down.
  • When you are first spotted by a Butcher, or strike one with any weapon, it enters a state of "rage". Don't hit the Butcher again or it will quickly charge at you. It's best to leave the Butcher alone and strike it again when it stops screaming. It will likely enter the Rage state once more; repeating this process until the Butcher is dead is relatively effective.
  • The Butcher has been known to dodge attacks aimed at his head. But if you aim at the neck with a sharp-edged weapon and hit, you can cut its head off, killing it in one stroke.
  • Though they can dodge most melee attacks, Butchers are largely incapable of dodging thrown melee weapons. This can provide a reliable if dangerous way to damage the Butcher, and may even stagger them under the right circumstances.
  • The Butcher is capable of a "Stun Attack". This attack can instantly drain your stamina and send you flying backward to the ground.
  • Butchers are vulnerable to all special weapon effects which stun normal zombies, including Fire, Impact, Poison, and Shock effects. Inflicting any of these effects on a Butcher will leave it vulnerable to attack.
  • An Impact-related mod, such as the Lightning Mod, on a blunt weapon like a Baton will cause the Butcher to be sent to the ground on a critical hit, leaving him vulnerable to stomps (strangely, its head doesn't explode or spurt blood). If you are lucky, it will be instantly killed. But act fast, because he can get up very quickly. Jump-kicking is effective too despite the Butcher having no hands. If done correctly it won't be able to get up as fast. This tactic is most useful for Sam B, as his expertise is blunt weapons and he can deal more damage than others while kicking. In Patch 1.3 I found the Butcher to be immune to jump kicks (i.e., they were as effective as normal kicks).
  • Bleeding mods also work pretty well on this kind of special Infected: just a few swings from a Kanabo with the Medieval Mod or Baseball Bat with the Shredder Mod can kill the Butcher without any difficulties.
  • If the Butchers are left alone for a while, they can regenerate some of their health. This is indicated by the Butcher looking at his right sharpened bone while snarling.
  • Butchers, though susceptible to firearms, still take many shots from automatic and semi-automatic weapons before succumbing to their wounds. If you decide to use this strategy, make sure there's a sufficient distance between you and the Butcher before firing.
  • Fighting with two-handed weapons like a nailplank or staff can interrupt some of their attacks.
  • Butchers get back up very quickly, making head stomps hard to deliver.
  • A Wackizashi can take a butcher out with no problem.
  • They kind of act like virals from Dying Light since both are very fast do alot of damage can kill players within seconds and have a kind of skeleton look.


  • In Dead Island, Butchers are tied with Rams as the most abundant source of high-rarity loot, having a 10% chance of dropping Exceptional and Legendary items. In Dead Island: Riptide however, they are a far inferior source, only capable of dropping Uncommon and Rare loot.
  • The health values for the Butcher given in the official Dead Island strategy guide are incorrect; they are actually the health values for the Infected Warrior, not the Butcher. The Butcher actually has the same health values as the Ram.
  • There is the Achievement/Trophy in Dead Island "Ah! Spoiled meat!" that requires the player to kill a Butcher with an axe. It's possible to critically injure the Butcher with another weapon, as long as the axe is used for the last hit and killing him.
    • The name of that Achievement/Trophy is a reference to the original Diablo game, specifically the popular boss monster also called the "Butcher", that fights with a massive cleaver and is known for bellowing "Ah! Fresh meat!" as soon as he sees the player.
  • There is also the challenge "Who butchers the Butchers?" in Dead Island which requires the player to kill five Butchers to get additional XP. There are several levels to this challenge. (The name of this challenge may be a reference to the famous Watchmen quote: "Who watches the Watchmen?")
  • When you are fighting a Butcher near one of the many cliffs in the Jungle, letting the Butcher go into "Rage" and leading it off the edge is an effective and amusing way to deal with them.
  • The Butcher is the only Special Infected to not appear in Ryder White's Campaign DLC, though it does make a brief appearance in the ending cinematic.
  • The Butcher cut-scene can be bypassed by circling around to the right of the cut-scene area, although the ammo crates will not be interactive.
  • In Dead Island: Riptide, the Butcher changes in appearance when damage is inflicted upon it. Some examples of physical damages include: losing an eyeball and its ribcage becoming exposed.
  • It is not possible for the Butcher to have its limbs or head cut off, even if you headstomp it, but in Dead Island: Riptide, it is possible for the Butcher to lose an eyeball after taking some damage.
  • Highly unusual, it is in fact easier to kill a Butcher with a vehicle that it is to kill an Infected with one. The same applies to the Ram.
  • In Dead Island, the first Butcher is introduced when it kills a Walker. During the Labratory map, The body of a dead Infected and a Floater can be found next to a live Butcher, leading some to speculate that Butchers are prone to attacking zombies as well as humans and are quite capable of killing both.