Dead Island Wiki
Dead Island Wiki
For the similar variant in previous games, see Infected.

New recruits to the zombie army still got their fresh legs, and we call them Runners for a reason. They catch your scent, they will be on your ass like THAT. You can try and run, ha, but they ain't gonna stop chasing you til either they get you or you get them. Hitting 'em ain't easy, but take 'em off their feet and it gets a lot easier.
— Website Description

Runners are a type of zombie featured in Dead Island: Epidemic and Dead Island 2.


Runners are people who have only recently turned into zombies. They are not experiencing the later stages of decomposition or bodily injuries like Walkers or Shamblers. As a result, they are highly aggressive and capable of running at high speeds. Over time, however, Runners will eventually become Walkers as their bodies continue to decompose. They are normally seen roaming erratically around areas and commonly wear athletic attire. They are attracted to loud noises such as gunfire, explosions, and alarms.


Runners are the most recent recruits to the ranks of the undead, and so appear more human than zombie, especially from a distance. Thanks to their recent infection, they have not yet decomposed to the state of Walkers, so their bodies are mostly intact aside from perhaps a bite or two, which may still be covered by a bandage. Outside of some blood from either their infection or biting a victim, Runners are untouched by the infection, though their bloodshot eyes will still give them away. Many are wearing athletic gear, indicating that they were once athletes, or at least more sport-minded than others. Which may explain why they were able to remain uninfected until recently being able to out run other zombies unlike less athletic individuals.


Runners will patrol an area, stalking around and hunched over, occasionally pausing to let out a scream before resuming their patrol. When they come across a victim, they will chase straight for them, ignoring all obstacles in their path, before slowing down and sometimes stopping just before reaching them. Runners will also attempt a "flying grapple", where they will leap at their intended prey to try and grab and bite them. Alternatively, they will attempt to claw and bite like other infected. Thanks to their recent turned state and increased motor functions, Runners will also sometimes dodge attacks, either to the side or directly backwards, before coming on the offensive.


  • Heavy attacks are not best suited to Runners due to their speed and tendency to dodge attacks, making it a waste of stamina.
  • Runners can also push players back and interrupt their attacks.
  • They are left exposed to heavy attacks if hurt, stunned, or if performing other heavy attacks themselves (ie: their initial dash attack).
  • Runners are vulnerable to Sharp and Bleed damage.
    • Their legs specifically are weak to maiming damage of any types, making it their weak point.
  • They are easily dismembered or broken off from the legs due to having lower health than Walkers or Shamblers.
  • The Meat Bait and Bait Bomb Curveballs can be used to temporarily distract them. However, it does not affect Runners nearly as long as it does Walkers or Shamblers.
  • Using an instant effect Curveball such as the Military Grenade is an easy way to deal with them from a distance.
  • Firearms can be useful to take them out from a distance as well, however thanks to their speed, it's best to use a Rapid-Fire weapon such as the Auto Carbine or Machine Pistol to negate their speed as much as possible.
  • Kicking them will stun them briefly, allowing you to get an attack in or heal.
  • You can dodge their leap attack by using the Dodge Skill and moving to the side, which can allow you to get a follow up attack, or even a counter if performed perfectly.
  • Using the Block skill against their leap attack will stop them dead in front of you, which makes them very easy to hit.


  • Burning Runner - A runner covered in fire and capable of inflicting burn damage.
  • Shocking Runner - A runner capable of emitting a field of electricity from their body.
  • Spiky Runner - A runner covered in sharp objects like glass that deals bleeding damage on contact.
  • Hazmat Runner - Runners who wear Hazmat suits and are immune to Caustic damage.
  • Firefighter Runner - Former firefighters who are immune to fire, shock, and caustic damage.
  • EAT Courier - Runners carrying EAT bags with food that restores health.

Notable Runners[]




Name Criteria Description
First Blood Kill 1 Runner Runners are attracted by loud noises such as gunfire, explosions, and alarms. Their speed allows them to cover ground fast.
Under The Skin Kill 25 Runners Runners have a PUSH attack that doesn't do much damage, but it will knock you backwards and interrupt any special move you were making.
Sliced To The Bone Kill 50 Runners Runners are WEAK to SHARP and BLEED damage, and their legs are WEAK to MAIMING. Cut 'em off at the knees!
Deep In The Guts Kill 100 Runners Runners are wired for agility and lightning-quick reactions, allowing them to DODGE heavy attacks.

Zombie Challenge[]

Name Challenge Description Reward
A New P.B.
A New P.B. 1 Slay 50 Runners while playing the game as any Slayer AGILITY+ (+3%)
A New P.B. 2 Slay 100 Runners while playing the game as any Slayer AGILITY++
A New P.B. 3 Slay 1000 Runners while playing the game as any Slayer AGILITY+++