Floater artwork
Enemy statistics
Game(s) DItopleft DIRtopleft DIEtopleft
Danger Level Riptide-threat-3
Speed Slow
Special Skill(s) Acid Bile
Aggression High
First Encounter Sewers
Level Health
1 220
3 660
12 1364
20 2420
25 3520
50 8800

The Floater is a type of special zombie featured in Dead Island and Dead Island: Riptide. The Floater is first encountered in a cutscene in the Sewers, emerging after the water level drops enough for it to gain its footing. In Dead Island: Riptide the Floater is located in the Flooded Jungle and Henderson in the flooded segments along with a group of Drowners.


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


Floaters have red eyes and an incredibly bloated body and are completely covered in a shiny mucus-like membrane. This zombie has spent so much time submerged underwater that it has become swollen, with skin stretched so thin the player can see his organs inside. The skin of a Floater is either pale blue, putrid brown or grey, with what seem to be roots growing out of it. The Floater's main ability is vomiting on the player, which causes damage and impairs their vision. When the Floater is killed, it is common for its body to rupture open and leak. However, this is notably absent in the Definitive Editions of both games.

When the Floater is submerged in water it is very difficult to see it before it decides to show itself; however, upon standing, the Floater lets out a roar that is very similar to that of a Thug but with a distinctive gurgling sound at the end of the roar.


  • Using a shotgun within a short range can kill the Floater in one shot, however, it is not advised to use other kind of firearms as the bloated body of the Floater can absorb partial 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 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) have a higher chance of inflicting massive electrical damage over time. Also the Pride Mod for firearms and the before mentioned 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, not attacking back. Therefore, 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 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 be seen in the mission 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.
  • The design of the Floater is similar to the Boomer from Left 4 Dead.
  • this is by far the only zombie in dead island to survive in water since when you knock down other zombies in water they will drown.


  • 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.