Dead Island Wiki
Dead Island Wiki

The Floater is a type of special zombie featured in Dead Island and it's sequel: Dead Island: Riptide. The Floater is first encountered in the cutscene for the Sewers, emerging from the water after the level drops enough for it to gain its footing. In Dead Island: Riptide, the Floater is located anywhere in the Flooded jungle and in the flooded segments of Hendersons Jungles, along with a group of Drowners a new zombie introduced at the time in Riptide.


Floaters are bloated, partially decomposed zombies that produce a corrosive slime that is capable of hurting, blinding or disorienting enemies from range distances. The Floater uses their toxic projectile for distances, but it will also spray the putrid liquid in a lateral sweeping pattern if the Hero or anybody that gets too close. Floaters are difficult to kill, as their body is able to absorb a lot of punishment at them.


Floater in Jungle (Riptide)

Floaters used to have white eyes but as of the remasters they have red eyes like most zombies in Dead Island, and an incredibly bloated body that is completely covered in a shiny mucus-like membrane thanks to the water and any fluid they were in. As a result this zombie has spent so much time submerged underwater that it has become swollen, with skin stretched so thin the player can see it's insides. The skin of a Floater is either pale blue, putrid brown or grey, with what seem to be roots of either sea weed growing out of it. The Floater's main ability is vomiting on the player, which causes damage and impairs their vision for sometime. When the Floater is killed, it is notably common for its body to rupture open and leak it's insides. However, this is notably absent in the Definitive Editions of both games possibly because of the less gore compared to the original previous versions. One eye is notably missing, either having dropped out from putrefaction, closed because of the weed growing out of it's body or eaten by zombies before the Floater turned into what it is.

The Floater appears to be the oldest infected as close inspection on the head shows recided white hair, showing this infected to be around their elder years, possibly their mid 70s to 80s.

In Dead Island: Epidemic, they seem to have a more ocean like appearance with two versions present - Elite and Hoarders.


DIE floater

Floaters are more like ambush predators due to the way they have mutated into. While other zombies will constantly roam or guard an area, Floaters will sit at the bottom of ponds or water and wait for prey to pass by. And when it detects something nearby, it will erupt from the water and let out a gurgling roar. Once it's up and got it's balance, it will then from range, spit highly corrosive water and acidic bile at the victim in subject, and hoping it will either slow down or immobilise the human target. If a survivor is able to get close to the Floater, it will puke out a constant stream of bile in front of it, hoping to cover the victim and kill them that way being very effective at times. However, because of their reliance on water, they have to remain in locations that is water type to have easy access to it, limiting their appearance outside these areas. It is also very bloated, and due to this, it is slow and finds it difficult to turn making it one of their biggest weakness, hence why it prefers to attack at range because of this. If a survivor gets close to the Floater and is able to circle around it, the zombie is very helpless. You can also see that when standing idle, it will constantly be shaking and shifting from side to side, showing that its bile is putting a painful amount of pressure on it as a result for the special infected.


  • Using a shotgun within a short range can kill the Floater in one shot. However, it is not advised to use other kinds of firearms since the bloated body of the Floater can partially absorb the damage of the bullets.
  • All grenade types and modded explosive projectile weapons, with the exception of Molotov Cocktails, are effective against Floaters.
  • Fire is highly ineffective, as Floaters take greatly reduced (and in some cases, are wholly immune to) fire damage, meaning that the fire-based modifications (including those for firearms) are useless.
  • Not only is Fire-based damage nearly useless against the Floater, poison-based damage (Detox modifications, Deathstalker Mod, hazardous barrels, etc.) is also utterly useless; it is believed that Floaters are immune to Poison because of their vomit (Poison) based attacks.
  • Floaters are highly susceptible to electrical damage. A weapon with an electrical mod (Shock, High Voltage, Short-Circuit, or Old Smoky mods) has a higher chance of inflicting massive electrical damage over time. The Pride Mod for firearms and aforementioned Shock Mod have additional potential in that they can allow the player to avoid the Floater's primary attack (projectile vomit), and deal bonus damage and/or knockdown/back the targeted Floater.
  • Weapons modified with bleed effect seem to work on the Floater as effectively as electrical base-weapons, probably due to that fact that the thin skin membrane can be sliced open easily with sharp weapons.
  • Floaters have the potential to fall through the ground if knocked down by any means (explosions, Pride modified firearms, impact modifications, kicks, etc.). Luckily, the Floater is killed and the player gains XP appropriately, but on the other hand the player loses any potential loot that the Floater may have had.
  • Throughout Dead Island, players have a chance of finding Floaters laying down; attacking them with kicks and weapons will completely disable the Floater, preventing it from getting up and attacking or taking any action at all.
  • Floaters stagger when attacked from behind, allowing the player to stun them and repeatedly get off hits until the Floater is dead. As such, an effective strategy is to wait for the Floater to vomit and quickly run up behind it to attack.
  • Alternately, while a Floater is spewing bile back and forth, the player can run around the Floater's "open" side to its rear and attack it from behind until death. The Floater is slow to turn around, so as long as the player turns along WITH the zombie to stay behind it, killing a Floater with strictly melee attacks is relatively easy.
  • The Floater's vomit is flammable and zombies covered in it become susceptible to fire damage.
  • The Floater is rarely encountered in driving areas, as they are usually located in pools of water or sewers; but like any other zombie except for the Suicider, a vehicle is extremely effective against them when used as a high speed weapon.
  • If one encounters a Floater with a group of Walkers or Infected or other such zombies, it is usually a good idea to kill the Floater first, as its ranged vomit attack allows it to deal significant and repeated damage to the player in combination with the distraction and damage provided by other zombies. This strategy is especially critical when facing multiple Infected in the area.
  • In Dead Island, Floaters are incredibly vulnerable when being attacked. If you dodge their vomit and hit them once with a sharp-edged weapon they will stand still and not attack, making it incredibly easy to kill them. However, in Dead Island: Riptide, if you run up and attack them, they are still able to hit you back. Due to this, one should always have a gun in their inventory to deal with them.


  • Due to the nature of its creation, the Floater generally is only found near water or places near a large water source.
  • If a Floater vomits on a Walker, then the Walker will start to vomit. This usually lasts a few seconds, but leaves the Walker vulnerable for any attack, especially flame-based attacks. Suiciders are also vulnerable to this.
  • It is possible to stomp the Floater, though the head won't explode; instead, the body will explode and spill the Floater's intestines.
  • A few Floaters can rarely be encountered in the Prison Hospital during the main quest Chasing the White Rabbit at the Prison. How they possibly got there is unknown given that they need to be submerged in water to be created. This also applies to the dead Floater in the warehouse in the quest Power Slaves, as the warehouse is nowhere near water. This could mean that Floaters tend to travel certain distances.
  • Floater Meat is cheaper than Suicider Meat.
  • The Floater is the only Special Zombie that can spawn knocked down. If the player is fast enough, they can stomp the Floater before it even gets up for a quick and easy kill.
  • There are a total of 10 Floaters in the Sewers, around 5 in the Jungle, 7 in the Laboratory and, strangely, 1 or 2 in the Prison Hospital. In Riptide, there are 7 or 8 in the Flooded jungle and 2 or 3 in the Japanese Tunnels.
  • There's around 8 or more Floaters in the Unmarked Laboratory location for an unknown reason. This location could be a part of a cut quest of some kind, with the Floaters there to provide a challenge during the quest, or it's the 'birthplace' of the Floater, where it originated from, which also explains its dense population.
  • Spitters are very similar to this Zombie from Escape Dead Island. It is unknown how this zombie became what it is but it is either because floaters have been secretly experimented on to make them less bloated or it's an early floater not been able to reach it's true form as a result.


  • Once the Floater takes damage, there is a chance that it may phase through the bottom of the map. In this case, the Floater is killed and the Hero gets the XP.
  • Also, if you make the Floater fall down on its back and then crouch on top of it, it will go through the floor and might try to stand up again. Only its head might show, so if it does, you can punch it all you want and it will just turn around until you leave the area.
  • If you drop Floater Meat and then search the garbage cans in Paradise Survival Camp, you will find them.
  • On the PS3 and Xbox 360, there is a glitch when the Floater does its spray attack. If the player walks behind the Floater as the animation plays, the Floater will suddenly become trapped near the end of the animation. The only way to free him from this pose is to either be in front of it or attack it.


  • The design of the Floater is similar to the Boomer from Left 4 Dead.
  • The Floater was likely the inspiration for the similar enemy in Techland's follow up zombie game Dying Light, with the enemy being the Toad.
  • In the first installment of the game, Floater calls sound similar to Thugs but their voice sounds as if a Thug is submerged under water, or gargling.
  • This is so far the only zombie in Dead Island to survive in water since other zombies submerged in water will drown. Even Drowners will drown in the water after coming to life.
  • It is also the only Zombie that doesn't die from Fire.
  • Floaters were supposed to appear in Henderson with a different look, but it was scrapped. This is only known due to a screenshot and since this is the only Floater shown in Henderson, it is unknown how many there were going to be.
  • Floater is one of the few zombies to not have a unique Boss Zombie in Dead Island: Riptide. Others being: Rams, Screamers, Suiciders, and Drowners.
  • Despite Dr. Kessler's Casebook says the Floater is a level three threat, They're more like a level two due to how easy they can be to defeat sometimes.
  • Several bodies of what presumably were Floaters can be found in the warehouse areas and in the cages containing Infected and Butchers located near the scientists' bungalows uphill of the Laboratory. These bodies are notable for having been heavily consumed by other zombies (or at least they are in a very advanced rotted state), up to the point of being unrecognizable at mere sight. However, a few pieces of Floater Meat can always be found lying around them, which the player can pick up for their own use, making these bodies an infinite free source of this rare and valuable material, which will have new units of Floater Meat whenever the map is reloaded.
  • For some reason in the original Dead Island, there are no floaters in the resort area, despite the place being surrounded by lots of water and pools.


Dead Island[]


  • Sewers (first encounter).




Ryder White's Campaign[]

Dead Island: Riptide[]

  • In flooded areas in the Flooded Jungle.
  • Appears in the Paradise Survival and Ferry Horde Attacks.